The importance of religion and spiritual health in one's life commonly increases with age. It is especially high in seniors. Inside our Regency community, religion has emphatically influenced our residents to live a fulfilling and flourishing life. Whether this takes place in fun-filled group activities, congregational services, singing hymns together, scripture study, or just prayer in one’s own apartment, expressions of faith are vital to the lives of most Regency residents and seniors in general.
But did you know that participating in such spiritual activity offers higher physical and mental wellbeing, and also broadens life expectancy? Health benefits have been known to include offsetting the ill effects of depression, anxiety, and illness amid difficult life circumstances.
Here's the breakdown of studies:
The takeaway from these insights? Religious practices increase happiness, which, in turn, increases health and prosperity in seniors and the community.
At Regency, it could be said that spirituality is the cornerstone of our organization. Being a Christian institution, we value the dedication and sacrament of all religious practices, regardless of culture or belief.
In effort to empower our community and boost health and wellness, we encourage everyone to join us for motivational social events, fun, educational outings, and daily spiritual activities. Come visit us today and see what life at Regency of Charlotte has to offer!
Written by: Katie Hanley
The Christmas season is upon us! With ornaments hung from the tree and hot cocoa brewing, this special time of year celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus, can be filled with joy and cheer. However, it may not always come as a welcome season’s greetings for all. As we age, the holidays can lead to anxiety and sometimes even isolation or depression. With holiday memories of the past surfacing or extreme changes in a living situation. These can all act as triggers, leaving seniors feeling lost from their loved ones around them.
This year, you can make a difference and help beat the holiday blues for the seniors in your life by simply following this guide to making the holidays happy again:
With the many events from Thanksgiving to New Years, there are several opportunities to include them into your holiday plans. Even the smallest of activities can have an immense impact on your senior's life. Whether it’s asking them to set the table, baking holiday cookies with them for Santa, or inviting them to a showing of the Nutcracker ballet. Help make them feel loved by incorporating them into your schedule this holiday season. It will give them the greatest gift of all, precious time spent with family.
Spend quality time with your senior, reminisce about the past, and make new memories together. While those recollections can sometimes trigger sadness, it can also give them something light up about. Telling tales are a great way to engage with seniors, as they have many to tell. As you spend quality time with your loved ones, ask them what their family traditions were like when they were younger. Comparing your similarities is a great way to bond during the holidays. Time spent together will also allow for new family traditions and memories to be made.
Keep things upbeat - If your senior is going through a hard time as a result of mental or health related problems, don’t let it get them down this holiday season. Stay positive! Never make them feel poorly about themselves if they can't do things the way they used to. If you’re senior parent or grandparent is used to cooking the big family meal during the holidays, but are now disabled, find ways for them to participate. For example, let them peel the potatoes or help snap the green beans for Christmas dinner. There are lots of ways to accommodate for your aging senior.
Can’t see all of your loved ones this year? Send them a Christmas card! Seniors love receiving special mail from family members and close friends. It’s not only fun for seniors but for fun for kids, too! Turn it into an annual project for the kiddos. Every year, have them draw Christmas cards to grandparents, great grandparents, and seniors without families here at Regency Assisted Living. It’s a great way to tell them you’re thinking about them this holiday season. But not all messages have to come by mail, you know. For those with long-distance relatives, it is easy to connect virtually over the internet using communication tools like Skype, FaceTime or Facebook Live using a computer, laptop or phone. No matter how far, give your senior loved ones a call to wish them a joyful, happy holidays.
The greatest gift of all, however, is time spent with family during the holidays. At Regency, we encourage our residents’ families to visit or, alternately, pick up their elder family member for a dinner, family get-together, or holiday event. For families who decide to join us during this merry and bright season, our Regency staff and team of culinary chefs work diligently to serve you and your loved ones with a memorable, special meal in our dining room.
Written by: Katie Hanley
It's definitely not hard to acquire stuff throughout the years, yet over time there comes a peak moment when we need to rid our home of clutter and downsize into a smaller space. For most adults, that time happens when our children mature and have a family of their own, or perhaps it’s a result from a healthcare related issue.
For seniors considering decluttering, it may allow you to:
The top 10 dos and don’ts in downsizing:
1. DO NOT Wait
Spread the downsizing process out more than just a few days or even weeks. If time permits, begin at least 6-8 months in advance instead of trying to to make the difficult decisions of letting go in a shorter period of time. Also, be mindful with of your time; even though it may seem as if there is plenty of it – there never is, especially in those with a disability.
2. DO Plan
The professionals at lifehack.org advise thoughtfully planning out before jumping in head first. Take baby steps with identified zones to before beginning the long road to downsizing. For example, plan to start in the closet with old clothes, shoes, and accessories that are never worn.
3. DO NOT Panic
Taking on a big project like this in full can easily start to feel overwhelming when looking at the big picture. Remind yourself that it has taken years to accumulate personal belongings, so the likelihood of finishing in just one day is just not realistic.
4. DO Prioritize
Belongings should be sorted into different 3 identified boxes, labeled as keep, donate, and discard. To prioritize, things that are outdated should be the first to go. For example, books that haven't been read in quite a while, furniture that is never used, et cetera. Strategists from Lifehack suggests discarding anything that does not “spark joy”.
5. DO Make Hard Choices
It’s normal to feel nostalgic about certain items that remind us of fond memories. It’s also normal to feel heartbroken and guilty when disposing of things that are special to us. While it is an extraordinarily difficult time letting these possessions go, remember that one individual's trash is another person's treasure. For making these difficult decisions, use the yes-no method. Simply ask yourself, “Do I really need 10 winter coats?” or “Will I use 3 frying pans?” This step helps the flow of sorting while remaining neutral and concise.
6. DO NOT Create a “Maybe” Pile
This unnecessary 4th pile is a dangerous one. This gray space is where we start to question ourselves, letting doubt come between our progress. The solution? Ask yourself if you have used the item within a year. If not, chances are you won’t again.
7. DO Adapt
Most people prefer to age in place, however, depending on the situation this may not be an option for some seniors. The key is to adapt. Flexibility is crucial when it comes to extreme changes, especially when downsizing. For example, learn to part with belongings that take up too much space, like the never disheveled stack of loose photos. Adapt by scanning them onto the computer to keep them preserved and easily accessed. The same can be applied to music and movies with modern technology devices like Netflix, Spotify, and Apple Tv.
8. DO Repurpose and Recycle
Do consider donating, reusing, and recycling. The neighboring homeless shelters would much appreciate your closet full of unused winter coats. Need some extra pocket change? Post items online, such as eBay or Craigslist. If you have the time, host a garage sale. These methods can lessen the mess in your home and also give a second life to older items.
9. DO NOT Hoard
A senior whose living space has become unsanitary, hazardous, or unable to function may show symptoms of an elderly hoarding disorder Be between being something of a pack rat saving things for a stormy day instead of saving and assembling things that are used, broken, chaotic or of no regard. Gatekeepers may find stores of decline or waste spread all through the house, which makes a dangerous risk for tripping and falling.
10. DO Be Sensitive
If the senior is showing hoarding behaviors, this could be a symptom of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Take note of sudden mood changes, forgetting to take prescribed medications, or letting bills go unpaid. Be sensitive towards seniors struggling to remember. They may start to feel attacked, defensive, or confused when disposing of their things. Patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s should be moved to our Regency Memory Care facility for their daily assisted needs.
It's imperative to start decluttering now, so the move to your new home at Regency Assisted Living can be as fluid of a transition as possible. For more information on downsizing, see tips at http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/15-9-5-senior-downsizing tips/
“Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for the happiness in the future” – Wayne L. Misner
Written by: Katie Hanley
Regency Retirement Village Charlotte offers seniors a variety of activities meant to enrich their lives. You’re likely to find residents relaxing while creating arts and crafts, playing board games, enjoying a social gathering, or perhaps participating in a church service.
There’s plenty of facility-based activities with opportunities to be social, but Regency Senior Living is located in Charlotte, offering the warmth of small town living with easy access to all that the city has to offer. Our residents have opportunities to participate in outings to movies, musicals or even a local sporting event.
Some great possible outings in this area include:
Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord: NASCAR is huge in Charlotte, and the speedway hosts a variety of auto-themed events, including different types of motorsports racing and car shows.
Carolinas Aviation Museum: Featuring exhibits with aircraft from war and peacetime. Learn about commercial aviation and see military aircraft, including fighter jets and helicopters.
The Charlotte Knights (a Triple-A baseball team affiliated with the Chicago White Sox): They play at BB&T Ballpark on South Mint Street.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: It brims with works by Miró, Giacometti, Calder, Warhol and a wealth of other 20th century notables. The previously private collection of the Bechtler family of Zurich, Switzerland was, until now, mostly unseen by an American audience. Accumulated over 70 years, the collection features mid-20th-century modernism.
Billy Graham Library: Visit the Graham Family Homeplace, the Graham Brothers Dairy and Ruth’s Attic Bookstore.
Biltmore: This stunning 8,000-acre estate is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It includes gardens, Antler Hill Village, featuring the Winery, The Biltmore Legacy, Village Green, and Farm – plus shopping and dining.
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center: Site for a wide variety of performances, from musicals and programs for the grandkids. You may see Paula Deen Live, the Charlotte Classic Jazz Festival, standup comedians, or ballet depending on when you visit.
Bank of America Stadium: Watch Cam Newton lead the Carolina Panthers in the 73,778-sea stadium. A renovation project during the 2014 offseason incorporated state-of-the-art technology into the fan experience.
Charlotte Ballet (formerly the North Carolina Dance Theatre): Programs include The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, and Dangerous Liaisons. This is a world class repertory dance ensemble.
Charlotte Museum of History: It captures and shares the stories of the Charlotte region from settlement forward through exhibits and programs. The museum collects, preserves, researches, and interprets regional artifacts, including the oldest surviving house in Mecklenburg County, the 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Homesite.
Charlotte Nature Museum: Home to all kinds of reptiles —snakes, turtles, lizards and even an alligator. Visitors may walk among free-flying butterflies, observe live animals, buzz around with insects or hang out in the natural world.
These are just a few of the attractions that make Charlotte a great place to live!
There are some common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that kills one in every 3 seniors who dies each year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
For example, it is possible to get it while young, although most cases do affect persons 60 or older. And everyone knows about the “senior moments”, but it also involves changes in sensitivity to light and depth perception.
Alzheimer’s patients can have good days and bad ones.
When a doctor diagnoses Alzheimer’s, the person living with it often feels a combination of relief to finally have answers, anger at what life has thrown at them, denial about change, fear and depression about what lies ahead, and a sense of isolation in which no one understands what they are going through.
The emotions can feel overwhelming for everyone involved, but it is important to remember that they are not alone. There are a number of support groups, information online (see below) and resources to preserve quality of life while making the necessary adjustments.
It is critical for someone in the early stages of the disease to make legal and financial plans with a person they can trust while they are still able to participate in making decisions to ensure that others know their wishes, and know what to do.
Changes in thinking may reduce one’s ability to make appropriate decisions about self-care and day-to-day needs as the disease progresses. Difficulty managing personal hygiene or household tasks can lead to unsafe living conditions. Someone in that situation needs to plan ahead for how they will address basic needs, including housing, meals and physical care.
One option available to people in Charlotte is Regency Retirement Village’s Heritage Memory Care Unit.
With monthly rent to Heritage, residents take care of several challenges created by Alzheimer’s. They live in spacious studio apartments with private bathrooms, an enclosed courtyard, and numerous amenities, yet it is also a secure unit with a 24-hour emergency response system monitored by on-site staff.
All utilities are paid. There are smoke detectors and a fire sprinkler system. Plus, daily housekeeping service, meals and snacks throughout the day, scheduled transportation to medical appointment and activities, and assistance with the activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, walking, grooming and medication management.
Additionally, Heritage is conveniently located off I-485 next to Carolina Medical Center at Pineville and close to physician's offices. Regency even has a beauty and barber shop.
Regency works hand-in-hand with the local Alzheimer’s Association to assist in continued education of our staff, hosting support groups for our families, and educating people in the Chattanooga area.
The association is organizing the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Charlotte on Sept. 27 at Symphony Park. The event raises money to help advance Alzheimer’s support, care and research. To donate and/or participate, visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2014/NC-WesternCarolina?fr_id=5251&pg=entry or volunteer with Jacob Wilkins at (765) 544-0631.
To learn more about Memory Care at Regency Senior Living, visit http://regencyretirement.net/charlotte-retirement-living-services/charlotte-memory-care-retirement-facility or call (704) 542-9449.
Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/
The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers
Alzheimer's Reading Room: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/
The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/
Want to know a fun, free and easy way to instantly feel better?
Not only does having a sense of humor feel good and make life more fun – it can also do wonders for the mind, spirit and body of Charlotte seniors.
Laughing at a movie or TV show provides a physical emotional release that restores a sense of balance that leaves us feeling cleansed afterward.
Our bodies naturally have antibodies to attack disease, and humor increases the number of them working for us, as well as their effectiveness, resulting in a stronger immune system. The human body also produces several stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine, which laughing meets head on with the triggered release of endorphins. These chemicals not only make us feel good. They also temporarily relieve aches and pains.
Laughter is a distraction that pulls us away from stress, anger, resentment, disappointments, and so forth. It can also keep us grounded in ways that gives us an entirely new perspective on our world. Things that caused worry and angst yesterday can melt into a relaxed state if our mind is pulled into a more positive place.
Most of the things we worry about never even materialize, so humor can make us more playful and creative rather than anxious, angry or sad. When we are relaxed, the tension in our muscles gives way and blood vessels flow more effectively, reducing the dangers of heart attacks.
The unfortunate thing is most people do not laugh nearly enough, but we can often manufacture a state of laughter by smiling, which tends to attract others, which creates opportunities to laugh while participating in fun activities like miniature golfing or bowling.
Trying watching a funny movie on TV and see if your chuckles do not cause you to feel noticeably better.
In today’s busy world, a trusting doctor-patient relationship is difficult to create. As a patient, it is crucial that you are pro-active in order to ensure you get the care you deserve. This doesn’t mean that visiting your doctor in Charlotte, N.C. has to be a stressful experience. A little bit of pre-visit preparation will go a long way toward making your experience less nerve-wracking and more productive.
ASK FOR TIME!
Senior patients can be afforded a few extra minutes in the exam room. Be sure to ask about this possibility the next time you call to make an appointment with your doctor. Any additional time will help you and your doctor relax and discuss your concerns in an unrushed manner. You can also share your list of your health issues with the nurse making your appointment and ask for them to be shared with your doctor.
Bring along a trustworthy companion who will listen and observe your conversation with your doctor. They can even take notes so that the specifics of your visit won’t fall between the cracks.
CHECK IT TWICE
Writing down any worries that you want to discuss with your doctor is a good way to be reminded of exactly what you want to cover during your visit. Do not be embarrassed to share exactly what is going on with you
Take along your comprehensive medical history, a folder will allow you to stay organized. This is of utmost importance when having an initial visit with a new physician. Crucial information includes current doctors’ names, phone numbers, etc., current prescription, allergy and insurance information. Past and ongoing health concerns and treatments should also be included.
While at your doctor’s office:
The more understanding your doctor has about your symptoms, the better off you will be. Discussing your symptoms with your doctor is undeniably paramount to getting the treatment you need.
WRAPPING IT UP
Before your appointment comes to an end, request that your doctor go over the main ideas covered in your time together. You can ask any questions that come to mind at this juncture.
CLEAR THINGS UP
Make sure you go over any written directions with your nurse or doctor before your visit wraps up. A written review will enable you to know that you and your doctor are on the same page with regards to next steps and your follow up treatment.
It is essential to work with your physician as a team in order to optimize your health. Opening the lines of communication with your doctor in Charlotte will help you reach the end goal of good health!
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.
It’s hard to imagine someone being so heartless as to rob a North Carolina senior, but it happens every day – increasingly in ways that leave little or no paper trail.
Knowing the ploys used by scam artists gives North Carolina seniors the ability to arm themselves with some healthy skepticism and street savvy.
Among these scams are:
Fake Anti-Aging Products: The promise of concealing our true age and allowing us to maintain a youthful appearance can prove highly persuasive. Botox scams or bogus prescription drugs are not only disturbing, they can also be deadly. Some homeopathic remedies being marketed do absolutely nothing – except suck your bank account dry.
Telemarketing: Someone on the phone can be similarly convincing when soliciting money for a fake charity after a natural disaster or touting a large sum of money the senior can get if he or she makes a “good faith” payment by withdrawing funds from a bank account.
Internet Scams: Even tech-savvy youngsters can fall victim to sophisticated email/phishing scams that appear to be from a legitimate company or institution, but seniors should be particularly wary of requests to “update” or “verify” their personal information. Rather than clicking on the link in an email, type the web address of the organization directly into the browser to be sure you’re visiting the real McCoy. And be careful with spelling because scammers even buy up similar URLs to take advantage of those who misspell.
Investment Schemes: Ever heard of Bernie Madoff? Everyone loved how much money he made for them until the pyramid scheme collapsed (hurting a lot of seniors among its victims). Don’t put your money into anything too complicated to understand or which you suspect to be shady.
Funeral Scams: If you’re dealing with a less-than-reputable company, a funeral home may attempt to take advantage when you are emotionally vulnerable over losing a loved one.
These are just a few of the cons perpetrated against Charlotte, North Carolina seniors all the time. Don’t become a victim.
North Carolina has long been a popular state for retirees, and more so every year. With hip towns like Ashville, Boone, Chapel Hill, and, of course, Charlotte that offer big city culture, access to the great outdoors, and an affordable cost of living, it’s no wonder that more and more seniors are choosing the Tarheel state for their golden years. Charlotte especially has earned a reputation as a vibrant city for all ages, its Visitor Association slogan being “Charlotte’s Got A Lot” that makes it easy to travel anywhere in the country and enjoy plenty of fun and excitement in your own back yard.
Another reason North Carolina is such a popular retirement destination, however, is because of its financial incentives for seniors. The state has wooed Baby Boomers with tax breaks that are hard to beat. They were recently improved in 2013, with measures such as lowering the income tax rate to 5.8% in 2014 and 5.75% in 2015 with future drops possible in coming years. Social Security is not included in the types of income that are taxed.
North Carolina also recently ended its estate tax, an especially relief for anyone with 5.25 million dollars or more set aside, which was the previous limit for exemption. This is a huge boon for anyone who had planned and saved beyond the immediate living costs of retirement or anticipates passing along property or other assets. With that extra peace of mind, it’ll be even easier to relax and enjoy all the fun that Charlotte, and North Carolina, have to offer.