fbpx
(618) 692-CARE (2273)

Posts Tagged ‘help seniors to get involved’

What to Eat to Age Better

What to Eat to Age BetterThere are a lot of conversations around what to eat to feel better or to lose weight, but what about aging better? Could our diet affect how we age?

The short answer is, yes. It’s true that we are what we eat, and our diets affect every aspect of our lives, including how we age. So, with that in mind, which foods should we be eating to make sure our aging experience is the best it can be?

Fruits and Vegetables

There are a lot of different diets out there and they all seem to be yelling at us to do different things, which can be very overwhelming. But one thing every diet agrees on is that we should all be eating more fruits and veggies – some say as many as nine servings per day. So, no matter what else you eat, be sure to include lots of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Dark, leafy greens are especially nutritious, so be sure to load up on kale, swiss chard, and spinach.

Collagen

Collagen is one of the building blocks of our bodies and it’s a key ingredient in maintaining healthy joints and skin elasticity. So, if you want to keep arthritis and wrinkles away, be sure to add collagen to your diet. You can get it by drinking bone broth or consuming broth-based soups. They also sell it as a powder in various grocery and nutrition stores now, so you can buy it and just add a scoop to your morning coffee, tea, or even just water. Collagen is tasteless, so it won’t affect the flavor of your beverage.

Coconut Oil

The debate around fat (particularly saturated fat) rages on, but the evidence in favor of coconut oil as a superfood just keeps piling up. It has a particular kind of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which our bodies (particularly our brains) use as a quick source of energy. One 2006 study found that Alzheimer’s patients who were given coconut oil saw marked improvements in their cognitive function.

Coconut oil also has anti-microbial properties that can help kill harmful microorganisms, which is why people have started swishing it in their mouths to improve their oral health. It’s also good at helping you feel full for longer periods of time, leading to a reduction in overall calories consumed and aiding weight loss.

Fermented Foods

Bring on the pickles, sauerkraut, and kombucha (just make sure the pickles and sauerkraut are actually fermented and not just soaked in vinegar). More and more recent studies have shown that fermented foods (along with plenty of fiber) promote a healthy gut biome, which can help boost both our digestion and our immune system, helping us to feel better now and for years to come. So, the next time you’re at a BBQ and you feel like a big juicy brat, just be sure to add a lot of sauerkraut to that brat.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we make a point of serving our residents food that is both delicious and nutritious, because we understand how important food is to both staying alive and to living well. If you want to see for yourself, or if you have any other questions about how we assist our residents in living their lives to the fullest, reach out now because we’d love to answer all your questions.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Loneliness in Older Americans: How Assisted Living Provides More Than Just Physical Assistance

Loneliness in Older AmericansWhen you consider risk factors for seniors, you might think about things like an increased risk of falling and sustaining a serious injury, increased risk of disease, and decreased mental and physical capabilities. While those are all serious concerns for older Americans, there’s another danger they face you probably haven’t considered: loneliness.

Loneliness as a Health Risk

Experts have known for a long time now that loneliness can be a predictor of everything from depression to heart disease, and while many people have pointed out that our society as a whole is becoming increasingly isolated, older Americans are especially vulnerable to loneliness.

A recent study conducted by the National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed more than 2,000 Americans between the ages of 50 and 80 and found that more than a third of them reported feeling a lack of companionship at least some of the time, with 27% saying they feel isolated. Almost 30% reported socializing once a week or less. The women surveyed were more likely than men to report a lack of companionship.

Since it’s well known that isolation and poor health tend to go hand in hand, it’s no wonder that 28% of the respondents who reported feeling isolated also reported their physical health as either fair or poor, whereas only 13% of those surveyed who did not feel isolated reported their physical health as either fair or poor.

Those who reported feeling isolated were also much more likely to rate their mental health as either fair or poor. This is not surprising, since the connection between mental health and physical health as been well established for many years now.

Loneliness and Decreased Life Expectancy

Rates of suicide among older Americans have been on the rise lately and there’s no doubt that isolation is a major factor. Whether from poor health or suicide, experts estimate that isolation is linked to shortened life spans as much as smoking, and even more than being overweight or sedentary.

On the surface, it might seem like loneliness is something that’s easy to fix, but the truth is that, while living alone was certainly connected to an increased risk of loneliness, some respondents who live with other people still report feeling lonely if they don’t have a strong emotional connection to the people who live with them. Living with their children or grandchildren might seem like a good idea, but it can end up enhancing feelings of loneliness and isolation by highlighting the differences between generations.

How Assisted Living Can Help

While many people might think of assisted living as something people only need when they can no longer do certain things for themselves, an often-overlooked benefit of assisted living is a sense of community. Living with people who are close to your own age is a benefit that should never be underestimated. And many assisted living communities (including Stillwater Senior Living) offer programs throughout the week to help residents get to know each other and form strong bonds that will last them the rest of their lives.

If you have any questions about the wide array of benefits assisted living can offer you or your loved one, please reach out now because we love nothing more than talking about all the ways we help our residents.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

The Benefits of Assisted Living

Assisted Living Can Actually Improve HappinessHere at Stillwater Senior Living, we’re so used to seeing the benefits of assisted living every day that sometimes we forget that a stigma against it remains in society at large. Many people who haven’t experienced the benefits of assisted living for themselves, or seen what it can do for a friend or family member, just don’t know what they’re missing out on. So, we decided to take some time to remind the world of just a few of the benefits of assisted living.

Socialization

The biggest asset we provide is access to social activities. They’re included in the price of our services and residents don’t have to travel far to get to them, which leaves them with no excuse to stay shut along in their rooms. Isolation is one of the biggest problems facing older Americans and it’s a leading cause of many of the other issues facing them, including a decline in mental abilities and a rise in illness and depression. But make it easy for them to spend quality time with people their own age and they come alive again!

Better Family Relations

If someone needs assisted living, but they continue living at home, for whatever reason, it’s usually a family member who ends up taking care of them. This can put a lot of stress on the family member, who has their own life to live, but has to try and find the time and energy to take care of their loved one. It’s a recipe for burnout, which tends to create resentment and put a lot of strain on their relationship with the loved one for whom their caring.

When families let us take care of the day-to-day tasks, it frees them up to take care of the things that need attention in their lives. That way, when they visit their loved one, they can enjoy it more fully with the freedom to really spend time with them, instead of thinking of it as another chore that needs to be checked off their to-do list.

Improved Independence

A lot of the stigma surrounding assisted living is the idea that moving into assisted living somehow means giving up your freedom. On the contrary, our job is to help our residents live fuller, richer lives. If they’re having trouble lifting pots and pans to do their own cooking and cleaning, we can take care of that for them while they chat with their neighbors or catch up on their favorite TV show.

If our residents are able to drive themselves around, we provide parking. If they’re unable to drive themselves, we’re happy to provide them with rides to wherever they want to go. Our job is to provide your loved one with more freedom, not less.

If you’re still wary of the benefits assisted living can provide, or if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us now. We’d love nothing more than a chance to show you everything we’ve mentioned here and then some.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 

Making the Transition to Assisted Living

Making the Transition to Assisted LivingMoving is never easy, and the older we get, the harder these transitions can become. The combination of having accumulated a lifetime of personal belongings and the physical challenges that come with old age and illness can make it hard to move one’s entire life into another, smaller living space. It takes planning and work, so we’ve come up with a few hints to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Plan Ahead

Know what your loved one can and cannot bring with them into assisted living. If your loved one has pets they can’t bring with them, make arrangements for the pet to go to someone who will care for it. Your loved one will almost certainly be downsizing from their current home into assisted living, so you’ll need to decide what to bring along and what to leave behind. Get a list of everything that will be provided by the assisted living community so you can get an idea of what gaps will need to be filled in. Then you need to decide what to do with everything that stays behind. Will it go into storage? Get sold at an estate sale? Whatever you and your loved one decide to do, you’ll need to make arrangements, not only for them, but for all their stuff.

Pro tip: if the assisted living community is helping with laundry, be sure to label all your loved one’s clothes and sheets so they don’t get lost.

Get Help

We know how tempting it is to try to do everything on your own, but that’s a recipe for burnout and resentment. Avoid falling into that trap by getting help. Make a list of everything that needs to be done (ideally you would have already done that during the planning phase) and ask friends, family and neighbors for help. The assisted living community that will become your loved one’s new home has had lots of practice with this, so be sure to ask them. If it’s not something they can help with directly, they’re sure to know someone who can.

Personalize It

Your loved one should be involved in every step of the process. Moving is always hard, so make it as easy as possible for them by letting them help you pack so you can ask them about keepsakes. Having them tell stories about their collections and pictures can be not only therapeutic for them, but eye opening for you.

When you’re moving everything into their new apartment, try to make it look as much like their former home as possible. Make sure the furniture, lamps, wall hangings, and knickknacks are all in the same or similar arrangement. Making the place feel as familiar as possible can help ease the transition.

Get Active

Not only has your loved one just been placed in a new home, but they have also moved to an entirely new community where they might not know anyone. The effect can feel a lot like the first day of school, so help them adjust by reviewing the list of available activities and helping them pick out a few they like to make it easier for them to find people with similar interests. You can even attend a few events with them to see how it goes.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 

Can Grandparenting Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?

Can Grandparenting Help Prevent Alzheimer’sAlthough no one knows for sure what really causes Alzheimer’s or dementia, there have been a number of studies showing that staying active, both physically and mentally, can help prevent Alzheimer’s, dementia, and a host of other chronic illnesses. Well, guess what tends to keep us physically and mentally active? Children.

So, it stands to reason that looking after grandchildren could help ward of Alzheimer’s and dementia, right?

In fact, the science supports this theory. In 2014, the Women’s Health Aging Project (WHAP) published the results of their study looking at the cognitive function of more than 180 women, from the ages of 57 to 68, who regularly helped look after their grandchildren. The WHAP gave the participants three different mental acuity tests throughout the duration of the study in order to measure the women’s working memory and mental processing speed. The study found that the women who helped look after their grandchildren one day per week performed significantly better on the mental agility tests, suggesting they might have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

The women who helped look after their grandchildren for five or more days per week performed worse on the mental agility tests, which initially suggested that they might be at a higher risk of developing some sort of neurodegenerative disease. But on closer inspection, researchers noticed that the participants who looked after their grandchildren more often tended be older and have lower levels of education, both of which tend to contribute to mental decline. Once those factors were taken into account, they found the women looking after their grandchildren five or more days per week actually performed better on verbal fluency tests. The only area where they suffered a decline was in their ability to conduct numerical reasoning, which could be a symptom of fatigue or stress resulting from caring for children on a daily or near-daily basis.

Although no one is sure why this link between grandparenting and Alzheimer’s exists, some have suggested that the increase in social interaction is key to warding off a sense of isolation, depression, and other mental disorders.

The Institute on Aging at Boston College conducted another study that looked at the habits of almost 400 grandparents and more than 300 grandchildren over a span of 19 years. They found that the important factor appeared to be the bond between the grandparents and grandchildren – the stronger the bond, the better off the grandparents were. This remained true of grandparents who both gave and received support, so if you have an aging parent or loved one who needs a little help in their day-to-day activities, getting your kids or nieces and nephews to help out could turn out to be beneficial for everyone.

There aren’t as many studies showing how grandchildren benefit from spending time with their grandparents, but there are plenty of studies showing that having close ties to family and a strong support group at home tends to lead to better performance in school and more success later in life. There’s no reason grandparents can’t be a part of that equation.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Fun Activities for Children Visiting Their Grandparents in Assisted Living

children visiting grandparents in assisted livingChildren visiting their grandparents in assisted living can be a challenge. While you want to make sure the grandparents have a chance to play an active role in the lives of their grandchildren, kids (especially small kids) are easily bored and are not always able to understand why grandma and grandpa can’t participate in certain activities. In order to avoid this pitfall, we’ve come up with a list of fun activities that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Arts and Crafts

Who doesn’t love arts and crafts? It’s a chance for everyone to express themselves creatively. You can draw pictures, make masks, make ornaments, make a bird house out of popsicle sticks and then paint it. This is not only fun, but the end results will show off everyone’s individual personality. They can make great conversation starters by giving you an opportunity to ask each person why they made the creative choices they did.

When the holidays come around, you can buy a gingerbread house kit that everyone can assemble and decorate together.

Games

Games are a great way to bring families together, and there are so many different kinds that it’s easy to find something everyone can manage. If the grandparents enjoy card games, many of those are easy to teach to kids. You can even have the grandparents teach the kids older card games that they might not be familiar with, such as Bridge or Go Fish.

Board games like Chutes and Ladders and Scrabble are also great for family members of all ages. Who knows? The kids might even learn something while having fun (it’s OK, we won’t tell them).

Go for A Walk

Walks are great for everyone and they’re an especially good idea when the little ones start getting restless. Discourage the kids from running ahead by asking them to spot certain plants and animals. You can use a book or just your smartphone to identify the kinds of birds, trees, and flowers you spot on your walk. Make it into a game by seeing who can name more than anyone else.

Bake Something

Who doesn’t love cookies? Kids love learning how to make their favorite foods from scratch, and you can include the grandparents by asking them to show everyone how to make one of their signature recipes. For some extra points, you can decorate the cookies afterwards.

Cakes and cupcakes are also a lot of fun to decorate together. You can either bring a pre-made cake or cupcakes without frosting, or you can choose a simple recipe that’s easy for the kids to follow as active participants in the process, then decorate afterwards.

We even have a full kitchen in our fireside lounge where you can do this together!

What Does Your Family Like to Do?

Every family has their own traditions, so think about some of the things your family has always done together. They’re usually things that people of all ages can enjoy together, so you can help keep the tradition alive by introducing it to the new generation, while including the past generation.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

10 Healthy Hobbies for Seniors

hobbies for seniorsHobbies are a great way for retired citizens to stay active, both physically and mentally and the importance of having a hobby in our golden years is backed up by an increasing body of evidence. If you or a loved one are considering what to do with your retirement years, here are 10 healthy hobbies seniors can start/develop.

1) Volunteering

One of the most detrimental effects of retirement is it tends to make people feel like they are no longer useful. It often leads to them feeling cut off from society, which in turn leads to depression and a variety of health issues. Volunteering can combat those feelings by giving seniors a purpose again and a way to become active in the community.

2) Exercise

We’re all told to exercise and maintain physical activity throughout our lives and it’s even more important to continue doing so as we age. From walking to yoga there’s something for everyone, including those whose mobility is limited as they get older. Swimming is especially popular among seniors who often suffer from joint pain as a result of lost cartilage.

3) Gardening

Many studies have been done on the health benefits of gardening. To start with, it gets you outside and moving, both things that are known to boost mood, immune system function, and overall health. You can make it an even healthier activity by growing some of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

4) Music

Whether singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or all three, music is a great way to keep minds and bodies feeling young. It’s enjoyable, provides mental and physical stimulation, and can be done with a partner or in a group for an added social aspect.

5) Games

Psychologists have long known about the long-term health benefits of things like crossword puzzles and that continues to be true for all mentally challenging games. People of all ages who play games like Scrabble and chess exhibit enhanced cognitive function.

6) Arts and Crafts

There’s nothing like creating something with your own hands. Arts and crafts can keep seniors active, maintain/improve their coordination, and provide a creative outlet for their thoughts and feelings.

7) Learn a New Skill

They say you learn something new everyday and that should remain true right up until the end. If you’ve always wondered how to identify birds or poisonous plants, your retirement years just might be the perfect time to find the answers to all those questions that have been plaguing you your whole life – or the last five minutes.

8) Fermentation

If you’ve always wanted to try making your own beer or wine, there’s no time like the present.

9) Creative Writing

Writing is another form of expression and a great option for people of any age. Whether you want to use your retirement years to put together that novel you’ve always wanted to write, or just short stories for your own amusement, creative writing has proven benefits for cognitive and emotional health.

10) Keep a Pet

There’s nothing like have a living, sentient being literally depend on you for survival to make you feel needed and useful. It’s also a symbiotic relationship because having a pet is known to improve mood and immune function while reducing stress and blood pressure.

The need to stay active is so important in the life of a senior. There are many options for seniors to stay active. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, our staff can provide stimulating activities to keep our seniors engaged and occupied. 

CONTACT US TODAY to find out ore and take a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Four Ways Assisted Living Helps Seniors to Get Involved

help seniors to get involvedIt is so important that seniors find meaningful things to do during their golden years. They tend to have more time on their hands than they had in the past. It has been proven through research that a sense of purpose may improve a senior’s physical and emotional health. This in turn could lead to a longer life. Today’s assisted living communities know how important socialization and activities are to the needs of their residents. They are doing their best to offer several different options, including community involvement, socialization, and entertainment. This can help their residents live longer and happier lives.

Assisted living communities encourage seniors to get involved by realizing the varying degree of their abilities. They offer several kinds of activities so there is something for everyone to get involved in. This will allow a resident to choose an activity that is both interesting to them a fitting to their needs and abilities.

Here are four different ways that senior communities are getting their residents involved:

Field Trips– It can be a shopping trip, a sports game, or a trip to a local museum to soak up culture and history. Besides entertainment, these trips can be helpful in keeping senior’s minds young and engaged, which will improve their mental health.

Classes– What better way to sharpen a senior’s mind than learning a new skill or hobby! The possibilities are endless including painting, cooking classes, book clubs, and computer classes. Computer classes can teach seniors to keep in touch with friends and relatives through social media. Learning to use the internet also helps them to keep up with current events in the news. Book clubs are great for avid readers and encourage conversation among the residents. It’s a great way to make new friends. Cooking classes are great for learning a new skill and exchanging cherished recipes.

Fitness– Many assisted living communities offer classes like yoga or tai chi. Some communities even have personal trainers and physical therapists to help create senior-friendly workouts to encourage healthy living habits. Dancing is also a great way for seniors to get exercise. You can hold a Friday night dance party to get seniors to socialize and stay active. It keeps residents social and physical fit.

Volunteering– Many seniors find meaning and purpose through volunteering. They can hand out brochures to prospective new residents, help to give tours of the community, help others wrap gifts for the holidays, and sit with a sick friend so they don’t have to be alone. Putting a smile on the face of a neighbor is sure to put a smile on their own face.

The need to stay involved is so important in the life of a senior. There are many options available to help a senior stay involved. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, our staff can provide stimulating activities to keep our seniors engaged and occupied.

CONTACT US TODAY to find out ore and take a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.