On the journey through life, there are many things that young people are told to pay close attention to in order to avoid difficulties later in life. Some of these include being financially responsible, planning for retirement, and staying “healthy.” Unfortunately, the former seems to be a larger focus than the later, as they are equally important. Maintaining good health is broad topic, and should be discussed in more detail because there are many age-related health issues that can arise and catch aging people off guard.
While people are living longer, they are also living more sedentary lifestyles. According to the US Census Bureau, life expectancy will be 79.5 years by 2020, compared to the 70.8 year life expectancy in 1970. And according to the 2011 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, for every hour that people over 25 years of age sit and watch TV, these adults show a 22 minute decrease in life expectancy.
That is why it is very important to understand the changes that can occur in the body later in life, how choices affect these changes, and how to manage them if they do occur. While the hands of time can’t be turned back, many adults can live active, healthy lives well into their advanced years.
Being aware is a start. However, staying physically active and taking charge of overall health are the keys to managing future well-being, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Some recommendations include:
These are some of the health tips that NIA recommends for those wanting to increase the quality and longevity of life. To learn more, visit http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov.
Regency at Pineville offers a range of services, from Assisted Living to Memory Care, in order to fit the needs of each individual resident. To learn more about Regency at Pineville, call us at (844) 425-4254.
Written by Kristen Camden
It would be difficult to find a person who has not dreamed of the day that they finally are able to retire from work and live care-free days, leisurely traveling and enjoying life. However, many do not factor a budget into that daydream in order to fund that exciting, fun-filled life.
There are ways to prepare and gauge how long retirement savings will last. Seniors should also maintain a monthly budget and stick to it, in order to stretch the nest egg.
Thankfully, money is not needed for all activities available in Charlotte, or in general. There are many ways to enrich daily life during retirement, and to find enjoyment, such as learning a new hobby or visiting local attractions.
Charlotte is home to the Carolinas Aviation Museum, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Charlotte Nature Museum, Wing Haven Gardens, as well as multiple themed tours led by Charlotte NC Tours. The city also boasts an extensive list of attractions for lovers of the arts: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum Uptown, Blumenthal Performing Arts, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Ballet, and many more.
Beyond local attractions, seniors have the opportunity to further enrich their lives on their own. A few examples might include:
Regency Retirement Community of Charlotte also offers various exciting activities and ways to stay involved each month. This month, the Girl Scouts will visit to help make crafts, pianist Ethan Uslan will perform, there will be an Easter egg hunt, as well as many more activities.
Regency is dedicated to its residents’ wellbeing and happiness, making the city of Charlotte the perfect complement, with its extensive list of activities and fun. To learn more, call (844) 425-4254, or visit our community at 9120 Willow Ridge Road, Charlotte, NC.
It’s not difficult to imagine how scary and uncertain the future might seem for someone who is relocating to Charlotte from another city, perhaps moving here to be closer to family after losing a husband or wife. Although adult children are undoubtedly a comfort, hence the move, it’s usually stressful to start over in a new place where nearly everyone is a stranger. The good news is that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.
What’s the best way to make new friends? That’s a question we all want to know. Life Coach Celestine Chua offers a few tips:
Let Go of the Past: “Friends come and go, it’s a fact of life,” Chua said. Circumstances change for people: Some relocate to another city or country, others grow distant for whatever reason. Some people neglect close friendships after marrying, then find themselves in need of social interaction following the end of that union. Letting go of the past can also mean letting go of old grudges with former friends.
Be a Best Friend: Chua said this means being understanding, supportive and encouraging to others, placing their needs before your own and being genuinely interested in what others are going through in their lives – not just selfishly expecting others to be confidants to you without reciprocating.
Use Opportunities to Get to Know People: With Activity Directors planning outings, entertainers and other get-togethers, a senior living community like Regency is perfect for this. Before a senior knows it, they are meeting new people and actively participating in fun.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: It’s easier to make friends when we are young and have classmates, work in the same company, etc. In retirement years, we may have to take the initiative to introduce ourselves to people who we do not necessarily have any compelling reason to spend a lot of time with.
Keep an Open Mind: “In connecting with others, you may experience qualities about them which you don’t like. Don’t let yourself shy away from that friendship just because of that though. It’s easy to harp on someone else’s faults, but such a mindset doesn’t help you build true friendships,” Chua said.
Accept Degrees of Friendship: Chua distinguishes between acquaintances, activity friends and “true-soul friends”, noting that authentic connections are the deepest bonds -- but not everyone is a compatible match.
Identify Someone with Shared Values and Common Links: Perhaps you have a birthplace in common or know a mutual acquaintance. The first step is to have a conversation. Throughout your interactions, you will begin to determine whether you share values with someone. “Your values are like the big rocks holding the friendship in place. People with similar values will have little problem connecting with one another. The friendship blossoms almost naturally. However, when people with different values get together, they may find themselves disagreeing and conflicting more often than they support one another,” Chua said.
Good tips to follow, whether you’re 8 or 80.
Copyright: budabar / 123RF Stock Photo
It’s already been a scorching hot summer and the season has only just begun.
In the most recent newsletter, Executive Director Jamie Jollie said, "Yesterday I went to start my car and the END of the day and my thermometer said 101 degrees! It's a good thing we have so many wonderful things going on inside to help beat the heat."
With summer heat in mind, here are some tips for making sure you and the ones you love stay cool. Infants and anyone with a chronic illness need special attention, as do outdoor pets.
Dehydration from being in the heat and not getting adequate liquids can lead to hospitalization. Older adults are particularly at risk due to changes in renal function and body water composition.
Signs include confusion, problems with walking or falling, dizziness or headaches, dry or sticky mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, inability to sweat or produce tears, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure or blood pressure that drops when changing from lying to standing, constipation and decreased urine.
A caregiver like the ones at Regency work to keep our seniors healthy and hydrated, but what about friends and family who may live alone and struggle to keep cool in the oppressive heat?
Some tips to remember:
With a little caution and following these steps, you can stay cooler this summer and help your loved ones remain safe in the shade.
Long gone are the days when time off from school mean helping in the fields or with the family business. Neighborhoods have also changed a lot, and chidden don’t have the same freedom to roam and make their own fun as previous generations did. Fortunately, there’s a great opportunity there to bond with the special young people in your life over summer break, and to have special outings with your grandchildren or other young relatives. Make special memories together, tell them your stories, and find out who they are becoming. There’s nothing like quality time spent together. Here are four ideas for summer vacation outings you can enjoy with the youngsters in your life:
It’s easy to take airplanes for granted as an adult, but children still get excited about the incredible possibilities of flight. Rekindle the amazement of aviation at a museum dedicated to it, and Charlotte’s unique role in the era of human flight. See real antique aircraft, commercial airplanes, and military fighter jets. You might even get to board a historic DC-7 plane that once flew non-stop routes from New York to London. The museum provides a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing machines. You might find the exhibits to be a great conversation starter about the first time you flew, your service in the military, or other exciting memories to share with the little ones. Tell them all about it with a post-museum picnic at Airport Overlook Park, where you can watch the planes land and take off at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.
Kids of all ages can enjoy these unique attractions, which feature hands-on science lab stations, a deep sea aquarium, a 3D digital theater that lets kids get a taste of what it’s like on a movie set, an IMAX theater, and more. Discovery Place Kids is for the younger set, with interactive exhibits like a submarine experience as well as regular programing like puppet shows. With so much to see and do, you could definitely get repeat visits here throughout the summer, and no doubt the little ones will have a lot to say about everything they learned.
If your little ones like to get up close and personal with nature they’ll love this 4-acre sanctuary where they can discover birds, rabbits, turtles, frogs, chipmunks, and other woodland creatures in their natural habitat. Founded by Elizabeth Clarkson, she specifically wanted to create a place where a garden was not only a place to look at beautiful blooms, but was a space where animals could thrive. You’ll definitely make many memories here as you see Peter Rabbit and his friends making new narratives throughout the beautiful space.
If nature is a big hit, check out the Raptor Center where you can view 23 different species of of birds of prey. The 3/4 mile trail isn’t difficult to walk, and is situated on an old plantation. Enjoy the beautiful scenery around Mountain Island Lake, let the kids stretch their legs and burn off some energy, and take in these beautiful and inspiring birds.
There are so many fun diversions that get put aside over the years as responsibilities take over. Fortunately there’s no time like the present to try something new, or rekindle an old favorite hobby. You’re never too old to reclaim the enthusiasm and curiosity you had as a child and to truly relish how you spend your time.
Here are five ideas for how you can get the most out of your senior years:
1) Take on a new perspective. Painting is not only relaxing creative outlet, it can help you see the world in a whole new way. Whether it’s a watercolor class or trying your hand at an oil painting workshop, you might enjoy capturing moments big and small and communicating something special about how you see the world.
2) Go for a walk! A daily walking route is a fun way to get low impact exercise. It’s also neat to see how the landscape and landmarks change day to day, and to spend time conversing with a friend or simply checking in with yourself.
3) Pick up a fun new game. Whether it’s something a crowd can play like gin or poker something you can arrange tournament style like chess or checkers, or games that test your smarts like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit, playing a card or board game regularly will help keep your mind fit and are a great way to spend time with friends and family.
4) Get involved with a religious or spiritual organization. Not only do you get to explore your faith, you’ll build a new social circle and have a chance to attend all kinds of events from fundraisers to church suppers. Plus the routine of attending services is a good way to create a structure and routine, which might be pleasant in retirement.
5) Writing letters is a wonderful way to stay in touch. There are more options than ever for stationary these days, as many craftspeople have rediscovered the art of letterpress and illustration. Or you could simply pull out some notebook paper and write a good long letter to your loved ones. It’s a more personal way of connecting with those who are far away than email or social media, and your correspondence could be a great keepsake to revisit later.
This month, we want to talk about the benefits of physical fitness – and simply ways to get exercise that are so obvious you might not even think about them.
Exercise builds muscle, burns calories and reduces the symptoms of chronic disease. It also makes us feel happier and energetic. Here at Regency Retirement Village, the amenities include an exercise room and garden plots, as well as monthly blood pressure, weight and nutritional status checks. We also help scheduling medical appointments.
Talk to your doctor about ways you can safely get more exercise as part of your daily routine.
Some suggestions are walking instead of riding when traveling short distances, stretching in your chair, taking the steps (if able) rather than the elevator, lifting light objects repeatedly to build muscle, sitting less and standing more, dancing in the multi-purpose room, etc.
We are nestled in the heart of Charlotte, so there are plenty of options for walking while exploring the area’s stores.
Talk to us at Regency Retirement Village about our exercise room, wellness programs and health status checks.
There’s been plenty of talk about the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act, yet many North Carolina seniors may be unaware of what it specifically means to their health care.
The law, which some refer to as Obamacare, doesn’t affect seniors when it comes to direct care because they are already covered under Medicare. However, the law does impact Medicare by reducing the coverage gap for prescription drug coverage and eliminating abuse, fraud and waste within the system. The so-called doughnut hole in prescription costs (Medicare Part D) should continue to shrink and be eliminated by 2020.
By doing these things, the Medicare program should be strengthened and the life of the program extended by nearly a decade.
Seniors have an opportunity to get in front of diseases by taking advantage of annual wellness checkups that could allow doctors to find and treat problems sooner rather than later. In the past, seniors had to pay deductibles, copayments and other cost-sharing for preventive care in Medicare.
In the first 11 months of 2013, three-fourths of Original Medicare Part B enrollees in North Carolina received all free services, while 153,732 participated in annual wellness screenings.
Such screenings, in some cases, allow seniors also avoid unnecessary visits to the hospital that could lead to health care-acquired infections.
The law puts Medicare Advantage plan payments more in line with the costs for the Medicare program.
The law also creates incentives for medical caregivers to improve quality and enrollee satisfaction.
A voluntary long-term care insurance program provides a cash benefit to help seniors and people with disabilities obtain services and supports that will help them to remain in their communities.
Charlotte seniors also receive greater protection through portions of the law meant to address elder neglect and exploitation. The ACA provides for background checks for employees in nursing homes and requires the immediate reporting of suspected crimes to police. The law provides incentives for individuals to train and seek employment at such facilities.
While the law isn’t perfect, it does provide some benefits that will hopefully extend the life of Medicare and result in healthier lives.
Did you know that “43% of Americans over 65 use at least one social networking site, compared with 26% in 2010 and 1% in 2008?” according to a PEW research study? Seniors are currently the fastest growing demographic on social media platforms, finding them (and other online tools) valuable assets to leading independent, well-connected lives. According to the PEW study, “Older people are looking to maintain ties with their family, particularly those who live far away. They want to see pictures of their grandchildren. Seniors also look up old friends and connect with people who share similar hobbies. The majority of seniors on social media are using Facebook.”
That’s no doubt in part because Facebook is such a great one stop shop that makes it easy to do a lot of things with one account. You can share pictures, find out about local events, create private groups to talk with family, friends, or your craft circle, share articles and interesting content, and more. There are fun online games and contests that work through Facebook, too. Its’ a great place for seniors to maximize their online activity with relative simplicity.
While it might have been true years ago that older folks weren’t tech savvy, today’s retirees were only in their 40s at the advent of the internet. They may not have adopted a tech-heavy lifestyle as fast as younger generations, but many still gained computer and web skills on the job or simply as the internet grew more widespread in everyday life. Now many seniors are taking the time to learn or improve web skills as the internet makes it easier than ever to refill prescriptions, manage money, get in touch with friends, and share memories.
Often the first place many businesses update their contact info, hours, and other crucial information is on their websites or social media pages. Fewer and fewer phone books are distributed, and these days paper media is often out of date shortly after it is published. Even many newspapers and magazines are moving online. One of the best gifts you could give a senior loved one this year is the gift of helping them get online or manage their web life more easily so they can stay up to date and in control of day to day affairs with online tools.
Whether your loved one lives alone or in a supportive retirement community, their independence will be increased simply by being able to use online tools to get in touch with friends and family all over the world and having all the information they need at their fingertips about senior living facilities, area events, vacation plans, medications, investments, and more.
It can be stressful dealing with the holidays as you get older. You may be less independent or mobile than you once were, and find daily household tasks a challenge, much less the added effort of decorating the house, baking and cooking for holiday parties, and hosting big family gatherings. Living in a retirement community can alleviate much of the stress of the holidays, allowing you to spend more time enjoying good company and good fun. With a little planning ahead of time you can avoid holiday stress and make the most of new traditions.
It can be a huge reduction in stress just to plan out what your ideal holiday would be instead of automatically launching into your usual preparations. Write down what you would most like to do for the holidays, and then check with family and friends to see if that overlaps with their vision. Create the holiday you want, not the holiday you’ve always had. Especially if you’re moving to a senior living facility or visiting others for the holidays, this is a great opportunity to create celebrations that suit where you are right now, or to plan ahead for how you’ll handle it when you meet a situation that’s raising your blood pressure.
Plan to do your shopping early before the crowds get big. Black Friday deals are often not as good as they appear and by doing your Christmas shopping bit by bit in the fall, you can avoid the major budget crunch of doing all your holiday spending at once. If you are traveling for the holidays this also gives you ample time to ship gifts to their destination with plenty of buffer in case something is lost or broken along the way, or if there is a delay due to holiday volume.
Most of all, treat yourself. The holidays should be an enjoyable time full of making great memories. Plan ahead of time as much as possible how you can ensure you are well rested, eat right, and have all the medications you need on hand. Don’t be afraid to take downtime during the day or rest up for evening festivities. If you will be traveling for the holidays, make sure everyone knows what your needs are so that you don’t find yourself in a situation that frustrates your mobility or ability to manage things like oxygen tanks. Just be communicating with those you’ll be sharing the holiday with well ahead of time, you can make for an easy season for all.
Travel has never been easier than when you live in a retirement community. You know everything at home will be well taken care of while you are gone, and you can have peace of mind during your trip. There’s also no better time to travel than when you are retired—with a freer schedule, senior discounts, and plenty of independence, this is your moment to see the world. We have a few tips to have the most fun:
· Pack extra items like hearing aid batteries, insulin syringes, camera batteries, and any over the counter or prescription medications you take regularly. In a pinch you can find these overseas or in different parts of the country, but you might run into different brand names or dosages, especially outside the US. Taking extras and keeping everything in your carryon will reduce the chance of confusion.
· Research the trip you’re planning yourself. Travel agents can be very helpful, especially if you need extra accommodation for a disability or another reason. However, you can often find good deals on your own with a little internet research. AARP and AAA can be great resources that will also help you avoid scams. Try sites like Kayak or Groupon as well to put all the pieces of your trip together or pick up a great deal.
· Have fun customizing your trip. Even if you are going on a guided, contained tour there is often free time you can use to pursue more specific interests. Tour guides may be willing to take their party’s interests in account and add in the occasional detour. No matter what form of trip you are taking, make it your own.
· Plan in time to recover. That doesn’t mean staying at the hotel to rest, but if you are spending all day on your feet in a museum, consider using the next day to take a ferry to the next destination or touring by double-decker bus.
· Don’t forget the electronics! You’ll want to make sure your camera memory card is cleared off beforehand, and that you have the charger, cable to connect it to a computer, laptop charger, cellphone charger, and more. Store everything together in a Ziploc bag to protect from moisture and getting tangled or misplaced.
It’s so much easier to plan ahead for a fabulous trip when your everyday life is already simplified by a reliable retirement facility. Senior housing makes it easy to do what you want by taking the load off your day-to-day routine. That confidence can make for an amazing travel experience, knowing that everything at home is in good hands and ready for your return. So go on—have an amazing getaway!