Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:30

Spring a Great Time for Fun in the Sun

Tennessee Senior LivingAfter the long winter, it’s great to know that longer, warmer days are ahead. Active seniors welcome the opportunity to get outdoors.

Here are a few ideas for getting more enjoyment out of springtime:

  • Plant a Garden – Whether growing vegetables to eat or simply enjoying the scent of freshly cut flowers, this is THE best time of year for those who enjoy digging in the dirt and watching the beauty of nature at work. Will April showers bring May flowers?
  • Take a Picnic – With a little preparation, seniors can enjoy a picnic meal with family and friends, in the back yard or at a city park. Don’t forget the sandwiches and lemonade!
  • Visit a Farmer’s Market – This can be a great option for finding fresh veggies if tending to your own garden is too big of a project to take on by yourself. Many of the larger markets offer not only food items but arts and crafts and entertainment as well. Festivals are a big part of this time of year as well, many of them offering a showcase of all things Southern.
  • Take a Nature Walk – Many communities offer their citizens access to a walking park or botanical center where they can exercise at a leisurely pace. For those who are more active, hiking trails can lead to unexpected delights. Walking increases muscle strength, controls blood pressure and blood sugar and offers socialization experiences.
  • Bird Watch – It’s fun to listen to the birds chirping and try to identify what kind they are.
  • Spring Clean – Now is a great time to clear out some of the clutter lying around. While this might be more of an errand than a fun activity people look forward to, it can be entertaining going through keepsakes and recalling old memories. Plus, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment while enjoying the fresh air. Senior caregivers should use this time to make sure air conditioning is working properly before the summer heat arrives in full force. Spring cleaning may include cleaning outdoor furniture and pulling weeds.
  • Spend Time with Family – With kids out of school for the summer break ahead, now is a great time to plan activities with grandchildren or day trips to go shopping in nearby cities.
  • Fly a Kite – Combine walking with the exhilaration of guiding a soaring kite.
  • Learn Something New – More daylight hours means more opportunities to participate in things going on in the community. This may be attending events at a church or community center or taking a class to learn something like ballroom dancing, yoga, painting, etc.

Seniors and caregivers should check with their doctor before participating in any strenuous activity. Not only is getting outdoors good for Vitamin D production, but the fresh air can actually boost happiness, which is important considering the rise of feelings of depression during the colder months.

Say goodbye to winter and hello to springtime. To learn more about Regency Senior Living, call (615) 598-0245.

Written by Steven Stiefel

Copyright: tunedin123 / 123RF Stock Photo

Published in Active Senior Living
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 10:01

What To Look For In a Memory Care Facility

blog12It’s not always an easy decision to begin looking for a memory care facility for your loved one. Caretaking is so personal it can be hard to admit that someone you care about needs more than the love and devotion that family can provide. Moving to a memory care facility also means disrupting household routines, changing dynamics, and such a big decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.

However, memory care facilities offer many advantages that the average American home or senior apartment does not. Many are specially designed to help memory care patients function at their absolute best, and come with customized care programs to help manage Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other memory disorders.

When you are investigating a memory care facility, we suggest asking  these questions and looking into the following qualities to ensure you are finding the best possible place for your loved one:

What programs are in place to keep the residents engaged, entertained, happy, and fulfilled? Are there planned activities? Outings?  What opportunities are there for socialization and interaction with others?

Is the building designed in such a way that best accommodates those with memory care needs? Is it safe and secure, easy to navigate, or possibly designed on a loop pattern? Studies have shown that building design can have a big impact on the happiness and health of memory care patients.

How are staff hired? Are they required to have special credentials or training in memory care? How are they chosen from a pool of applicants? What background checks and personality tests are required, if any, to ensure safety and quality of care?

How will the facility keep your loved one safe? Are there procedures and processes for visitation, check in, and check out? What security measures are in place? Is there a safe space for residents to enjoy time outdoors without risk of elopement or getting lost? How carefully managed is the facility to prevent abuse, whether physical ,mental, or through some other means like financial theft or fraud?

By knowing what questions to ask, you can make the retirement residence selection process simpler and more effective. You may need to tour and interview several facilities to find the one that is the best possible fit for your loved one, but when you do, you can have confidence that they are having a wonderful experience that encourages their strengths and effectively treats their weaknesses.

Published in Memory Care
Thursday, 11 April 2013 09:38

How To Improve Your Memory As You Age

blog9It’s never too late to improve your memory retention and keep your mind working like a well-oiled machine. Although many seniors are anxious about the possibility of memory loss, you don’t have to let this be part of your aging experience.

Even in the face of memory disorders and diseases, it’s possible to maintain your present memory function or slow the rate of memory loss with a few proactive steps.

  • Get moving! Many of us think of our bodies and minds as separate things, but physically they are connected. The health of one affects the health of the other. Keep your memory sharp by keeping your body strong. Exercise is possible for almost all level of physical fitness and health—what seems like little for one person may be a lot for another. Consult with a doctor, trainer, or physical therapist to develop an exercise regimen suitable for you. Exercise not only keeps your brain healthy, it can be a great way to socialize and experience new things, which are also excellent for your memory.
  • Get out! Speaking of socializing, it really is wonderful for memory care. Socializing stimulates many different parts of your brain, and encourages your brain to create new memories. It’s also fun and pleasurable, and the more pleasure chemicals in your brain, the healthier it will be. Isolation and depression have been linked in some studies to increased likelihood of memory disorders. If you live alone, consider a retirement community to give you more opportunities to interact and mingle.
  • Get into it! What interests you? Is it politics, literature, learning languages, shopping, art, music, games, entertaining, or something else? Spend time on whatever gets you the most excited. Lifelong learning is linked to strong memories. You’ve spent your whole life learning new things at school, work, in hobbies, and through relationships. Don’t stop now just because you’re retired! Take this time to try something new.
  • Get a bite to eat! Changing your diet can also have a big impact on your memory fitness. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and reducing your intake of sugars, carbs, sodium, and processed foods improve your overall health, and your mental health, too. Give your body the ingredients it needs to grow new brain tissue and reduce the stress weight-related diseases put on all your body’s systems.
  • Get lost! Well, not lost exactly, but it can be fun to break routines and try new things. Take a new route to your grand kids’ house, wander through a park you haven’t visited before, or try a different shopping center across town. The more opportunities you give your brain to think hard, remember new information, and get out of a rut, the more stimulated it will be, helping your memory.

Memory care is more than just preventive medicine—it can be a fun way to liven things up and get the most out of life. Trying new foods, new activities, and meeting new people aren’t just good for you, they’re also a great way to enjoy yourself to a whole new extent.

Published in Active Senior Living