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Steps That Kids and Parents Can Take to Prep and Plan for Independent and Assisted Living

“Good night Mary Ellen.” “Good night John Boy.” “Good night Momma.” “Good night Elizabeth.”

Memories of a family who lived together in one home, with a Grandpa and a Grandma, on Walton Mountain. “The Waltons” was a popular TV show that ran for 10 years on CBS in the 70’s-80’s.  It was based on the series creator Earl Hamner Jr.’s real life family members. Hamner based the characters of The Waltons’ grandparents on composites of both sides of his Grandfathers and Grandmothers. The show competed against “The Mod Squad” and “Flip”, which were two very popular series at the time, and most critics believed “The Waltons” didn’t have a chance to score in the ratings. It not only scored, it beat out the competition and ended each episode with the much loved and famous ending, “Good-night John Boy.”

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Most families today do not live with their grandparents, nor do they live on their own mountain. But the sense of love and community and care for one’s family persists, and was and remains one of the reasons, “The Waltons,” was such a popular show. Caring for our loved ones is a primary concern and need. So, what can you do to prepare for the time when your parent or grandparent should no longer live alone? Worrying about when the time comes is not the best plan. As Grandma Walton famously said, “You fear a thing enough, you’re asking for it.” The better plan would be to prepare and make arrangements now, so there is no need to worry. Knowing your loved one has a place to live, when and if the time comes is one of the most loving things you can do for them.

John Boy Walton: “Between two people in a good marriage there develops a kind of silent communication.”

Communication. No one wants to think about the time when their parents are at the end of their days, nor do they want to talk about what arrangements should be made. According to a study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, nearly 75% of adults have had NO discussion – what so ever – with their parents about long-term care, living arrangements, inheritance, and funeral wishes. It’s the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ and no one wants to bring it up. But who does this help, and when would it be best to discuss this? After your parents can no longer drive? After your grandmother has fallen and needs assisted care? Waiting is not the answer. What better time to make arrangements with your parents or grandparents then when they do not need the care; when they are mentally and physically able and well to let you know their wishes and concerns.

Communication! It’s the key to insuring their wishes are taken care of, when the time comes.

Olivia Walton: I don’t think you should call Grandma “Old Woman.”

‘Grandpa’ Zebulon Walton:  Well, why not? She’ll be 68 on her birthday coming up this Saturday.

Olivia Walton: That’s why not.

How to bring it up. No one wants to start a conversation with their parents about the fact they are getting older and it’s a good time to discuss ‘arrangements’ for the future. That conversation can be awkward, excruciating, and if not handled correctly, it can ultimately hurt your relationship. Exactly how does someone begin the conversation? Waiting for a holiday gathering isn’t a great plan since most holidays are steeped in chaos and a lot of stress. Plus, you don’t want to have the discussion in a setting where it’s not the focal point, and try to ‘slip it into the conversation.’ Calling your parent and talking about it over the phone isn’t a good idea either, since there are many things to discuss and cover. A better plan is to arrange a family meeting with your siblings (if you have them) and parents. Perhaps a way to start the conversation is to simply state you want to discuss future plans and arrangements for Mom and Dad for their long-term care, for when they need it. You know everyone will want them to have the best care possible and that by planning and discussing it now, before they need it, you’ll be able to make that happen for them. Ultimately, that is the goal and with everyone on board you’ll be able to achieve it by starting the discussion when they are still in good health. Your parents taught you to plan ahead, remind them of this and they’ll understand.

John Boy Walton: “Many times when I have tripped across those events in one’s life called milestones, I have thought about how they so often catch us unaware. There was, for instance, that unforgettable spring many years ago when Grandma had to face growing old.”

 Tour Senior Care and Assisted Living Communities.  There is an assumption that all care facilities are the same. This assumption is furthest from the truth. By taking the time to tour a few facilities, you’ll be able to determine which one is best suited for your parent. ‘Nursing Homes’ have had a negative connotation for a long time, but that is no longer the case. Senior Living Communities have stepped into the new generation with much to offer and Assisted Living Communities are a wonderful alternative for loved ones who don’t need long term care but can no longer live alone in their own home. Seniors are finding that living in these communities have given them new beginnings with social events planned and new friends found. By taking the time and touring the places with your parents, you can make a sound and formed decision ahead of time and know that you have a place they’ll be able to call home.

John Boy Walton: “There is a special niche in memory where a child places his parents, a place in time where they are never younger, never older, a time when they are changeless. For me, that memory is of many years ago, and no matter what came after, they are forever young.”

Thinking of our parents as growing old or older, and taking on the role of ‘adult’ for them, is never easy. However, putting off the planning and decision making now will only make it harder on everyone when the time comes and decisions need to be made. Plan ahead now so you can rest assured your parent will be cared for as they wish and deserve to be.

9 Summer Activities for Seniors

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It’s that time of year where the warm golden sun, the fresh cut grass, and the bright blue skies beckon us all to the great outdoors. Getting outside increases your vitamin D levels which can help fight osteoporosis, cancer, and depression. So get on out there! Take advantage of the soothing summer rays. Not only will it feel good to be outside, it can prolong your life, and give you a happier peace of mind.

Here are nine activities you can do this summer!

 Picnic: What better way to spend a summer afternoon than packing a lunch, eating outdoors, and enjoying the view? You can even take your grandchildren with you. Sit on a bench in a neighborhood park and watch the children and their families having fun. Fresh air can do wonders for a soul.

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Go Fishing: This can be as simple and fun as simply catching and releasing the fish. For those who have always enjoyed fishing and for those who have never tried it, it’s as simple as sitting back on a pier or pond and letting your pole do the work. Pack a lunch, grab some friends, and make a day of it, all the while communing with nature.

 

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Walk, Jog, or Run: A nice stroll in the summer can be one of the most refreshing and peaceful activities you can experience. If your legs are not capable, no problem at all! Just getting outside, moving around, and taking in the warmth of the sun’s golden rays can keep your body, and mind, in shape.

Gardening Anyone? Do you enjoy gardening? Never tried it but want to start? If you have mobility issues that keep you from bending over, do not fret. You can plant your veggies or flowers in raised pots and flowerbeds. What are you waiting for; garden away!

www.invernessathome.com

Join or Start Your Own Book Club: Does your community have a book club? If not, start your own! Check with your library to see if they have one of if they, or a local church, can help you get the word out. Invite family and friends and pick book genres you will all enjoy. If that seems like too much work, you can always participate in a book club online. Check out https://media.bookbub.com/blog/2017/01/30/online-book-clubs-2017/. This website can help give you some ideas on where to start and which club to join.

www.griswoldhomecare.com

Visit Museums, Art Galleries and Local Events: Look to see if there are museums or art galleries in your community. A lot of times these events are free! Look to see what community events are going on and plan accordingly. There are often local websites you can go to, such as Arthur Festivals and Arthur Illinois Events, to check on the various activities going on in your town. During the summer months, there are many fairs and church festivals to enjoy, especially the Bingo Tent!  Some art galleries and museums in Arthur, Illinois include Joan Winters Gallery, The Vault Art Bank, Douglas County Museum, and the Amish Interpretive Center.

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Go to a Movie: No matter our age, one thing most of us will always love, is going to the cinema. A lot of times in the summer communities will offer outdoor movie nights. Too hot and humid? Check your local theater to see what days they offer lower ticket prices or attend an afternoon matinee which is always discounted. You can even host a movie night yourself and invite friends and family. Who’s bringing the popcorn?!

www.antiaginghealthsecrets.com

Water Aerobics: Want to make a splash this summer? If you have access to an outdoor or even indoor pool, get out there, cool down, and have some fun. Because of the buoyancy, swimming is easy on the joints, allowing you to feel relaxed and flexible. You can even attend a water aerobics class.

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Bird Watch: With over 914 bird species in North America, there are a variety of birds to identify and spot. Get a pair of binoculars and check out a local library book to help you identify the various birds, and keep a notebook. They can be quite funny and entertaining to watch. You never know what you are going to see. Also, Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village even offer a bird aviary!

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There are other fun summer activities and amenities Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village offer such as card club, live music, a library, and wellness groups.  Whatever you decide to do this summer, the list is endless. So, keep moving, keep learning, and keep engaging. Take time to enjoy yourself and this beautiful weather at Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village!

The Grey Light: Seniors and Driving (How to Ensure You’re Driving Safely)

www.everydayhealth.com

Today, people are living longer, which means there are more seniors on the road than ever before. That is why it is important to know that as we age, so do our bodies. Your physical abilities can change, as well as decline, making it harder to operate a vehicle. It is important to assess these changes and understand how they can affect your driving. Here are some tips you can take to improve your driving to insure you stay safe on the road.

Get an Annual Eye Check: Having good vision is extremely important when it comes to driving and operating a motor vehicle. As we get older our eye sight can deteriorate and weaken. This can affect the way we drive. There are several steps you can take to ensure you are able to see well enough to drive, but most importantly, drive safely. Make sure you get your eye sight checked one to two times a month. Your eye doctor can help with treatment if you are having any vision problems. Check with them to see if you need a new contact or glasses prescription. It is important that you always wear corrective lenses while operating a vehicle. If you have night blindness or difficulty driving in the dark, try to limit your driving hours to daytime. Be sure to keep mirrors, headlights, and windshields clean. Another important factor, make sure you can see at least 10 feet above your car. If you can’t, you need to adjust your seat.

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What Medications Are You Taking?: It is important you know what medications you are taking and what side effects they may cause. Some medications can make you feel light-headed or sleepy. If you ever feel this way, do not drive. Read your medicine labels to see if any of them interfere with your driving or say, “Do not use while operating heavy machinery,” If this important warning is on one of your medications, do not drive. If you are unsure about a certain prescription or the side-effects, consult your doctor or the pharmacist.

www.wsj.com

Check Your Hearing: What was that? It is important to be able to hear clearly while driving. You want to make sure you are able to hear if another passenger is honking their horn to prevent an accident or if an ambulance is coming up behind you, or a train is blowing it’s horn alerting drivers of its oncoming approach. Did you know at age 65, one out of three people has hearing loss? That is why it’s important to have your hearing checked every three years. It might be necessary for you to get hearing aids and wear them while you’re driving. If the radio or in car conversations impair your hearing, try to limit them as much as possible while driving. It’s important to also be careful of cracking windows while operating a vehicle because the wind can decline the efficiency of a hearing aid.

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Get Some Sleep: Sleep is essential for everyone, but it is a key factor to driving well. Make sure you are getting eight hours of sleep a night. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police reported crashes, each year, are caused primarily by drowsy driving and this results in more than 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. It is critical you consult your doctor about the effects your medications can have on sleep and driving. Bottom line, you are the one who needs to be aware of your own abilities. If you find yourself having trouble focusing while driving, or keeping your head up, constant yawning or rubbing your eyes, you must take the necessary cautions and not drive.

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Senior Couple Lying Asleep In Bed Together

Check Your Reaction Time: As we age our coordination, flexibility, and reaction declines. This can affect the way you drive, and not in a positive way. By having a slower reaction time, it can be more dangerous for driver’s when someone suddenly pulls out in front of them. However, there are a few steps you can take to increase reaction time and keep you safe while on the road. Make sure you leave enough space between you and the next car. It’s a good idea to stay the length of two car spaces between you and the person ahead of you. Try to avoid rush hour if possible. Find alternative routes with less traffic. If you do find yourself driving on the interstate or highway, stay in the right lane, as it is meant for slower traffic, but remember to watch for oncoming traffic.

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Driving is a pleasure everyone can understand and appreciate. It affords us freedom and mobility to go see our families and our friends. No one wants to be in an accident or cause one.  We all have loved ones on the road, so help keep them safe by being responsible and attentive to your own abilities of driving and help keep everyone safe on the road.

How to Prevent a Fall

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According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. One-fourth of Americans – aged 65 and older, falls each year, and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. Although these statistics are staggering, as well as frightening, they can be prevented. There are many reasons why older people are prone to falls. They could slip stepping into the bathtub, lose their footing on a curb, or get dizzy from their medications. By following the steps below, you or a loved one can take the appropriate actions to prevent a fall from ever happening.

1. Balance is Key: You might want to consider what shoes you are wearing as a part of your fall-prevention plan. Avoid high heels, loose and floppy slippers, and slick soles. All of these can lead to a trip, stumble, or fall. Instead, choose to wear properly fitted shoes that have nonskid soles, and give your feet good support. If you have calluses or corns on your feet that need to be removed, or a sore that just won’t heal, consult your doctor to see if you can get them treated or removed.  If you are using a walker or cane, be sure it is fitted correctly and replace the rubber tip whenever it gets worn down.

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2. Consult Your Doctor: What medications are you taking? You should make a list of the medications you currently take and bring that with you to your doctor appointments. Your doctor can consult this list and see if there is anything that has sides effects that may lead to a greater risk of falling. Have you fallen before? If so, record the incident in detail. Write down when, where and how it happened. These certain specifics can help your doctor figure out fall prevention techniques for you. It’s also important to know that certain eye and ear disorders can increase your risk of falling.

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3. Stay Physically Active: Let’s get physical! When it comes to preventing a fall, exercise can go a long way. If approved by your doctor, try different balance exercises such as tai chi, walking, standing on one foot, and water aerobics. These activities can improve your strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility, all which can help prevent a fall. If you feel nervous about exercising because you’re afraid it will cause a fall, talk to a physical therapist. They can construct certain physical activities specifically for you, aimed at improving muscle strength, balance, and flexibility.

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4. Stay Safe When Bathing: It is common for people to slip and fall when taking a bath or shower. Some proven ways to prevent this are installing grab handles and nonskid mats in your shower or bath. Try using a hand-held shower head. Additional measures for bathroom safety are bath benches or chairs in the shower or next to the tub. When you get into the tub, put your weaker leg in first and get out of the shower with your strong side first. All these steps can help prevent a fall when bathing.

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At Arthur Home, we care about you and your safety. That is why we provide a variety of services and amenities which can help prevent a fall. We have multiple skilled physicians, including a physical therapist, who can help correct strength and balance problems that may have made it difficult to walk or get on and off the bed, toilet or furniture. We also offer an assortment of personal care services, such as bathing, making sure you get in and out of the bath safely.

Come put your best foot forward at Arthur Home!

 

 

How Technology Has and Will Continue to Improve Seniors’ Lives

In the 40’s a phone was positioned on your kitchen wall, and your phone number was a few digits. You had ‘party lines’ meaning you could pick up the headpiece and hear that Susie Thompson down the road was talking to her best friend, Tilly. You would have to politely ask Susie if she could end her call so you could make a call. In the 60’s and 70’s the phone became a fashion piece in the home. Robin egg blue and harvest gold phones were situated in living rooms and dens all across the nation, and instead of rotary dials, there were push buttons that you pressed to make your call. No longer were you on a party line, but you had your phone line to yourself and could call anyone at any time without having to wait for your neighbor to get off the phone. Today our phones not only call someone, we now have the universe at our fingertips with the internet and web. At first, this was shocking, hard to understand, foreign and even those who were tech savvy were unsure what data was or even roaming charges. That has all changed!

Today 80% of seniors, 65 and older, own a phone. More than 60 percent own a computer or laptop.

Today, technology is benefiting and helping seniors by allowing them to be in touch with not only family and friends but also allowing them to engage in activities that are in the reach of their own hand. With iPhones and Androids, there are hundreds of helpful apps for everyday use, including topics on safety, learning, and so much more. The list below is just a sampling of some that help improve senior lives.

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Helpful Apps:

  1. EyeReader: An app that acts as a magnifying glass for reading, allowing you to see small fonts.

 

  1. Park ‘n’ Forget: Parking lots can be confusing and all of us know that feeling “where did I park?” Trying to locate your car out of a hundred others is no longer a problem with the Park ‘n’ Forget app. All you have to do is put in what floor, aisle, or section you’re on, and it creates a simple map that will easily lead you back. The app also monitors the amount of time you have spent in metered parking spots.

 

  1. Pillboxie: An app that easily helps you to remember your meds. The nice thing about the app is that it “visually” helps you remember. You can customize your pills by color and dragging and dropping them into the virtual pillbox. This will help you remember to take your medication at the scheduled time you set and also help you remember if you have taken that pill.

 

  1. Lumosity: Aging often affects our memory. This can frustrate many seniors who wish to stay mentally active. The app Lumosity is an easy way to keep your mind sharp which contains hundreds of puzzles and games. It was designed by neurologists and is proven to help memory recall and information retention.

 

  1. Facebook: Seniors can now stay in contact with their grandchildren, children, and friends. They can post what they are doing as well and have a sense of being in contact with loved ones by posting and messaging.

 

  1. Yesterday USA – Old Time Radio: Such a fun app if you are a fan of old time radio. This FREE app offers up radio shows from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

 

Here is a sampling of technological advances that are focused on aging Americans needs.

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  1. Edema socks: based on a Danish company called Ohmatex, these socks can detect and notify the person wearing them of swollen feet and edema. Most of the time this is a sign of illness or other health problems.

 

  1. Shoes that prevent falls: researchers have concluded that vibrating the insoles in your shoes can improve balance and stability, making a fall 70 percent less likely. Although the study concluded these findings as useful, we will have to wait because no company is manufacturing them quite yet.

 

  1. Shirts that conduct CPR: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is currently conducting a shirt that would be able to sense a heart attack and then administer CPR. It is estimated that this shirt won’t be completely ready for about 15 years, but shirts with sensors are already on the market.

 

  1. Self-driving cars: Most seniors fear the day when they won’t be able to drive anymore, losing a sense of their independence. However, Google is already testing self-driving cars, which use sensors to assess the environment around them and software to do the actual driving. The cars are still in the experimental stage, but it is predicted they will be available within a decade or so.

 

Sources:

http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/retirement/articles/2015/12/09/7-tech-advances-that-will-change-seniors-lives

Diabetes Alert Day is Tuesday, March 28

You Better Watch Out

According to the book “Fast Food Nation”, 96% of American schoolchildren can identify Ronald McDonald. The only other fictional character which they were able to recognize more – was Santa Claus. Just let those facts sink in. Then ask yourself, ‘What exactly does that say about our nation?’

Today in the United States more than two-thirds of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. The numbers are staggering. Diabetes is a common factor in the majority of those numbers. In fact, the two main causes of diabetes are obesity and lack of exercise. Diabetes has become a serious epidemic in our country. It affects more than 29 million Americans or about 9% of the U.S. population. An estimated 86 million Americans have prediabetes and 90% of those don’t even know they have it. Probably the most alarming fact is diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Every year on the fourth Tuesday in March, The American Diabetes Association observes Diabetes Alert Day. It is a one-day, wake-up-call to inform Americans how serious and important diabetes is, as well as to alert everyone to the increasing numbers of people who are affected by this disease and how severe the outcome can be when left undiagnosed and untreated. This day encourages all to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test; a quick and easy test you can take online in minutes. This alert day also encourages anyone and everyone to participate in work friendly activities that teach you how you can reverse the effects of diabetes and live a healthier and longer life.

There are two types of diabetes; type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is the more severe form and is referred by different names like insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes-juvenile diabetes because it usually occurs in children and teenagers. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin which then causes the body’s immune system to attack its own body, and in this case, a part of the pancreas. Scientists do not know why, but they do know the immune system mistakenly recognizes the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas as foreign, so it destroys them. It is this characteristic that classifies type 1 diabetes as an autoimmune disease.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases and has several causes, but lifestyle and genetics are the most common. A combination of these can cause insulin resistance when your body doesn’t use insulin well. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is also hereditary, which doesn’t guaranty you diabetes if your parent or parents have it, but it does mean you have a greater chance of getting it. Researchers have not been able to pin point which genes carry the risk, but the medical community has been researching certain genetic mutations that lead to a risk of type 2.

Symptoms of diabetes include: extreme increase in thirst, recurrent urination, unexplained weight loss, an increase in hunger, and tingling in your hands or feet. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor who can run a variety of tests, such as a fasting or a normal plasma glucose test.

To help reduce your risk of getting diabetes, tips include exercising regularly, eating a balanced and healthy diet, limiting processed foods in your diet, managing your weight, limiting your alcohol intake, and not smoking.

As Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation wrote, “Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu.”

The facts don’t lie. Ignoring them can be deadly. On March 28 take part in Diabetes Alert Day. Be aware. Be active. Be involved. It is time that we make healthier life choices for ourselves and for our children. It’s okay that Santa Claus is at the top of the list of fictional characters’ children recognize. Let’s change who number two is. Children don’t make choices where they eat, parents do.

 

 

 

 

 

Love You Forever

When the author of the ever-popular book, “Love You Forever” first wrote those famous words: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be” he didn’t write them, he actually sang them. There is a much darker side to this popular children’s book, the actual story behind the famous four lines. The author, Robert Munsch, sang those words inside his head, speaking them not even out loud for his wife to hear. He did this after his wife gave birth to their stillborn baby, the second stillborn they would have to mourn. After the loss of their second child the doctors informed them they would never be able to conceive a child on their own. The couple went on to adopt three children, but the loss of his first two babies as well as the little song he made up to sing inside his head silently, “my way of crying” stayed with him over the years, eventually becoming the blockbuster book published in 1986. By 2001 it was listed as No. 4 on Publishers Weekly’s list of best-selling children’s books.

The parents, who would have read that book to their babies, back in 1986, would be around 60 years old. Certainly, not an age most would think need care, but the idea that we as children should take care of our elderly parents seems simpatico with that book’s theme. It’s a common theme throughout our lives, that we will always take care of what is ours. A nice thought, a solid ideal, but one that can fall short when the actual task comes to hand.

As our parents age and become elderly, where they need our assistance, we often find ourselves in a position we did not plan for or give much thought to. Often like making out a will, if we don’t do it, then won’t that mean we won’t die? Why take on worry when it’s not at our door? But the reality of this situation is our parents are aging and living longer lives and we are marrying later in life and starting our families later, meaning we have our own children still in the home, still to be raised by us as we were by our own parents. Do you see where we are coming in this crossroads of life we didn’t want to ‘look’ at for fear it would happen?

We as adult children of parents, who are aging, believe our parents would want to be cared for by us, possibly live with us when that time came when they needed assistance. But the truth is, they all don’t want to, in fact – a majority of them do not want to. Less than a third (31%) of those surveyed for a Gallup & Robinson research project on aging and quality of life said they would live with a younger family member when they could no longer live on their own. We are raised by our parents to be independent, to build our own lives, hopefully close by, but on our own all the same. Our parents drilled that into us because they also love their independence. The assumption that they want to be living with us when they are elderly or cared for – primarily by us – is not true. Remember when you came home after college, flopped into their basement and thought your Mom was going to continue to cook your favorite meals and do your laundry? Do you remember how well that went over? You were shocked to find your Mom not home and your Dad had turned the basement into his ‘big game room’ filled with deer heads and stuffed turkey.  You were ushered to the door and it was soundly locked. The keyless entry on the garage was changed and it no longer bore your birthdate. They are independent. They are active, viable, and busy on their own. They love you, they love your children, but they raised you with the understanding the world had opportunities galore for you to thrive and survive. They did not, nor do not, want to live in your home to see what a bad job they did raising you.

Arthur home

Thankfully Eberhardt Village and Arthur Home have paid attention and have kept up on what the elderly of this new generation are looking for. Eberhardt Village offers many amenities for their active seniors including; card club, live music, transportation to scheduled outings, a Main Street Eatery and so much more. Located on sight is a Beauty & Barber Shop, a full laundry facility with complimentary washers and dryers and even a weekly housekeeping service. If the needs are greater they have Arthur Home, a full-scale nursing home for both long and short term skilled care. Plus, they offer rehabilitation services for those who just need time to mend and get back on their feet. At Arthur Home they know that not everyone has the same wants or likes for their living arrangements so they offer two different room styles, many just remodeled, which fit the many needs of their seniors. Wireless internet, built-in dressers, call lights and so much more.

By offering continuum care with options that include completely independent living, assisted living, and even nursing home-level care, Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village meet the needs of today’s senior. Enabling them to make their new home –  their last home, which has been a reoccurring ‘MUST’ among elderly who are moved around from one place to the next. They want their own home. And with this new era, long gone are the days of ‘Old Folks Homes’, replaced by the up to date living communities that are centered on meeting the needs of viable seniors who like yoga, who play euchre on their computer and enjoy going on trips to shop. They like to spend their money, not save it for you. They made you independent for a reason. And the resources for you to earn a good life and make a good savings of your own are more abundant than ever before.

If you remember the book “Love You Forever” you must then also remember the very end of the story. The son, grown now, went to his mother’s home to hold her and rock her. He didn’t go down the stairs to the den that was converted into a bedroom. Perhaps the author was telling us something?

De-Mything Stereotypes

There are many stereotypes surrounding elder care and nursing facilities. Before we talk about the most common examples, it’s best to define stereotype. Stereotype is “any commonly known public belief about a certain social group or a type of individual.” The media industry tends to give nursing homes a negative stereotype by portraying them as depressing and abusive.  These stereotypes can give the public a negative outlook and opinion on these homes, especially if a person has never visited one.  In rare cases, some of the stereotypes may be accurate, but the majority of nursing facilities are opposite of what people assume.

Depressing

The media and entertainment industry tend to portray nursing facilities as being depressing because they show them as a place for people to go and die, which isn’t true.  It may be hard to envision a close loved one somewhere other than his or her home, but in most cases a nursing facility is what’s best for the family member.  Elders keep busy with many activities throughout the day and company is always welcome to join.  There are always people around which makes the environment more lively than living at home alone.  Plus trained staff are around to provide assistance when needed.

Smell

If you’ve never walked into a nursing home, you probably assume they smell bad, which is actually the opposite.  Nursing homes tend to smell clean and sterile.  In order to keep a safe and germ-free environment for the residents, employees use sanitizers and cleaners throughout the day.  Bathrooms and shower areas are cleaned on a regular basis, as are tables, chairs and other surface areas that receive heavy contact.

Abusive

One of the worst stereotypes about nursing homes is that they’re abusive.  Contrary to belief and what is played out in the media, most of the employees that work in a nursing facility love their job and their field of work. When people like what they do, they create a positive and fun environment for people around them. People who care for the elder also tend to be caring, compassionate and patient people which radiates onto people living in the communities.

While there are stereotypes that surround elder care and nursing facilities, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of them are inaccurate.  Nursing facilities are a safe and loving environment for your loved ones where they will feel right at home.

Fighting the Winter Blues

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As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, it’s common to feel the winter blues.  In fact, nearly one in four adults experience different degrees of depression in the winter due to the lack of sunshine and limited activities. However, for the majority of us, there are several tactics we can do to help stay upbeat and positive this winter.

Additional Quality Time

If you’re starting to feel a little down this winter, spend additional quality time with friends and loved ones. Most people tend to isolate from others when their mood goes south, so it’s important to reach out to friends and family members for group support.  It can be as easy as spending time with them listening to music, playing cards, or even flipping through old photo albums.  A little additional time spent with others can go a long way to improve a person’s well-being.  If you don’t live within driving distance to your family members, consider setting up a video call.  A face-to-face video chat can help communicate with loved ones and improve your mood through uplifting conversations.

Daily Diet

Since we receive most of our vitamin D from the sun, choosing a daily diet rich in vitamins can go a long way in fighting the winter blues.  Vitamin D rich foods include salmon, eggs, tuna, milk, yogurt, sardines and fortified cereals.  Winter is also a great time to test out mood boosting soups and stews.  Key ingredients may include squash as it is a good source of magnesium and potassium, as well as eggplant, which is full of fiber, copper, vitamin B1 and manganese. Sweet potatoes is also a hearty winter food packed with vitamin b6, biotin, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Here’s a list of recipes for delicious dinners that include these key mood boosting ingredients.

Light Lamp

Researchers believe that sitting in front of a fluorescent light lamp, which mimics outdoor light, can cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Results show that this technique can start to improve depression symptoms within just a few days. Seniors should sit in front of the light for about 20 to 30 minutes within the first hour of waking up in the morning. They’re designed to be safe and effective and with prices starting at $39.00, light lamps are affordable.

While the winter months can be difficult at any age, all it takes is a little patience and some small adjustments in your daily routine to help beat the winter blues.  It’s important to remember that winter doesn’t last forever. Try to envision the spring and sunshine at the end of the blustery tunnel.

Yes, You Should Get a Flu Shot.

The Importance of Staying Vaccinated.flu-shot

It’s that time of year again – when flu vaccinations are highly recommended by doctors and pharmacies. While a flu vaccination won’t guarantee protection against the flu, it significantly reduces your chances of getting sick. Here are four reasons why you should get a flu shot.

 

Reduce trips to the hospital

Receiving a flu vaccine reduces the risk of doctor visits by approximately 50% to 60%, according to studies by Center for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, it may reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, especially among children and older adults. One study reported that people 50 years and older who got the vaccine reduced their risk of getting hospitalized from the flu by 57%.

Partners as a preventative tool

The flu vaccine is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Flu vaccinations have been shown to reduce hospitalizations in people with diabetes by 79% and 52% in people with chronic lung disease.  An October 2014 article in JAMA reported adults who had received a flu shot were 36% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke within the next year than those who weren’t vaccinated.

Affordable and convenient

The flu vaccine is offered by many pharmacies and within major retailers such as Walgreens and Target, so you don’t have to wait in long lines. Most places also take walk-in appointments, so there’s no need to schedule something far in advance. In addition to being convenient, the flu vaccine is also affordable. Your health insurance may cover the cost or in some cases, a local clinic may offer days where you can get vaccinated for free. Even if you do have to pay out of pocket, the average fee of $30.00 is well worth the price.

Keep your friends and neighbors healthy

Per the Harvard School of Public Health, 20%-30% of people are carriers of the flu virus who never experience symptoms, but are contagious.  When you get infected without knowing it, you could spread the virus to others such as your friends, neighbors and family members.  This means someone else may become sick and hospitalized, even though you never showed symptoms.

A seasonal flu shot is the single best way to protect against the flu. Do your part this winter to keep yourself and others around you healthy. Type in your zip code to find the closest place where you can get vaccinated today.

*It’s important to note that while a flu shot is highly recommended in most people ages 6 months and over, you should check with your doctor before receiving a flu vaccine if you’re allergic to eggs or certain antibiotics. Most types of flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein and while you can still receive a vaccination if you’re allergic, you should be vaccinated and supervised by a doctor who can manage allergic reactions.