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
There are many great reasons for retirees to visit or relocate to the area, but one key to the quality of life among the modern skyscrapers and historical landmarks is the rich abundance of things for seniors to see and do in Charlotte, NC – many of the activities at a reduced price for seniors, or free.
Regency Retirement Village at Pineville is located about 14 miles from Downtown Charlotte, which offers a wealth of things to see and do. The major attractions are:
McIntyre Historic Site – History buffs will love exploring what was the setting of a 19th-century gold rush and a Revolutionary War skirmish between British soldiers and American patriots. Enjoy a picnic at “The Battle of the Bees” and take a walk down the 1.3 mile nature trail.
BB&T Ballpark – Take me out to the ballgame! The BB&T ball field is a minor league baseball park and home to the Charlotte Knights. Located across the street from Romare Bearden Park, enjoy a home game with the family, and maybe a bag of peanuts and cracker jacks, too.
The Billy Graham Library – Explore over 40,000 square feet dedicated to America’s favorite pastor, Billy Graham. You will learn about his dynamic journey of faith in the one and a half hour tour filled with stunning multimedia presentations, interactive kiosks, photos, and memorabilia. Admission is free, but if you’d like to make a contribution, donations are accepted in the lobby.
NASCAR Hall of Fame – Calling all NASCAR fans! Walk through the Ceremonial Garden to see the names of legends that decorate the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a museum honoring the history and heritage of racing. Tickets are available online or in-person at the box office. Admission is $17.95 for seniors 60 and up, and you must have a photo ID. Sign up to join the membership program - all members get in free of charge!
Charlotte Comedy City Tour – Learn and laugh on the Funny Bus! Learn more about the rich heritage of Charlotte with a 90 minute tour around the Queen City. Along with your guided tour of the city’s architecture and history, this mature comedy bus tour will throw in a good laugh or two! The price is $25 per ticket. While the bus is not wheelchair accessible, you can call to discuss your specific requirements.
Freedom Park – This beautiful 98-acre park is the ideal spot for people-watching or entertaining grandchildren. Enjoy batting cages, baseball and soccer fields, basketball and volleyball courts, and also a concession stand. This park is family-friendly for kids of all ages to play.
Discovery Place – For those seeking an attraction to entertain grandchildren, you’ll hit pay dirt here. Science comes alive in the multiple exhibits designed for children. At Discovery Place, they’ll explore hands-on activities that encourage science in the world around them.
Carolinas Aviation Museum – Earn your wings! Browse through the 40,000 square foot hangar of Charlotte Douglas Airport, which originally consisted of only one building. The museum includes crafts of commercial, military, civil, and helicopter aviation. General admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children 6-18 years of age. Be sure to ask about senior and military discounts!
Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary – Located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina, this tranquil garden and bird sanctuary offers shelter for songbirds and wildlife alike. Rich in Southern horticulture, the gardens welcome visitors of all ages to discover and learn about wildlife preservation.
Tour De Food Charlotte – Take a guided tour through the city to learn all the local dives and dig in! Along the way, your tour guides will inform you about the historic facts and architecture of the Queen City. Depending on the tour, prices vary from $30-$60 per person. Wheelchair accommodations can be made upon request.
Senior discounts are available at select hotels, retail stores, restaurants, and grocery stores near these attractions. At Regency Retirement Village at Pineville, we arrange for our residents to participate in group outings to local attractions. Being part of a group of peers living together in Charlotte Assisted Living makes for a great way to experience these sights and sounds.
To learn more about things for seniors to do in Charlotte NC, visit http://www.charlottesgotalot.com/
Written by: Katie Hanley
Caring for an aging loved one can prove to offer many challenges, especially when siblings and other family members don’t see eye to eye. But when everyone can put aside their differences and work together, it allows seniors and their families to overcome obstacles and avoid the arguing and strife. In this month’s blog, let’s take a minute to look at some the obstacles families may face as senior parents become incapable of living without day-to-day assistance, as well as the solution for each to achieve family harmony.
1. The Needs Are Viewed Differently
In most cases, it is extremely common for the parent-child-sibling relationship to differ when it comes to perceived needs and assistance. The senior parent or sibling may likely say they are well, either from denial or fear of moving into an assisted living arrangement, but in reality they are needing of daily care and are thus refusing to accept outside help. For instance, do they require extra help getting around the house as their mobility is declining? Or is the onset of memory related disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer's, beginning to affect their daily activities? It is natural for the senior to perceive they are fine and to become defensive when confronted with a different appraisal of the situation.
Possible Solution: When families disagree about how much care an aging parent needs, if the senior parent needs care at all, the conflict can often be addressed by consulting expert guidance and receiving a professional recommendation. Arrange a visit, either at home or in office, to speak with the senior’s primary physician. The advice from a healthcare professional can help to definitively identify the needs and suggest an appropriate care plan for your senior loved ones. Doing so may eliminate the conflict that prevents necessary care actions. Talking with a Regency community consultant may alleviate some misconceptions that might cause aging parents to dread the inevitable.
2. Parents Resist Senior Care
It’s normal for seniors to feel apprehensive about transitioning into assisted living. This sensitive topic can easily cause anxiety and hurt feelings, if not expressed properly. Often, a lack of effective communication results in talking down to one another instead of listening one another.
Possible Solution: When approaching the conversation of assisted living with parents or loved ones, be concise, clear, and to the point. Let them know that you’re not trying to hurt their feelings in any way or “get rid” of them. Do your very best to express your concerns so they know that you are coming from a place of love. Also, do your best to listen to their concerns. It’s critical to provide and educate your aging parent about the many options. Today’s assisted living communities have all the comforts of home and so much more! In attempting to convince even the most incorrigible parent to consider the idea of senior care, remember to never hide any information from them. Chances are they will find out and feel that the move is a forced migration. Be open, upfront about the process of finding senior care options, and include them in every step, if possible. Lastly, take things slow if your situation gives you this luxury. Chances are a decision regarding future care plans will likely not happen overnight. Senior care specialist Debra Feldman recommends having patience and understanding in situations where resolution takes time to come to an agreement. Arranging to stay overnight in an Assisted Living community can help the senior grow more comfortable with the idea.
3. Primary Control in Decision Making
A scenario similar to the first example, occurs when one member of the family takes the responsibility as primary caregiver, leaving everyone else without say, sometimes, even the senior. This can result in one sibling’s full control of deciding how the parent is cared for, along with their estate and inheritances.
Possible Solution: Broaching the topic of assisted living and estate planning is never easy, especially if the conversation does not happen until after one member of the family has assumed full control. And while avoiding the topic may seem easier to keep the peace, family members should always approach concerns regarding the well-being of an aging parent, even though it hurts to not feel included. If a dispute arises regarding estates and inheritances, consider contacting a family mediator. They will analyze each situation fairly and objectively. While compromise may not be found through a mediator, if a will has been written, legally there is no reason for concern. At the end of the day, the focus should be that the care needs of your loved ones are being fulfilled.
Written by: Katie Hanley
There has been a lot of discussion about whether the Internet is a benefit or a burden. Some see its limitless potential to connect us, and others are apprehensive about how it affects everything from our in-person relationships to industries like publishing and retail. One way to make up your mind is to try the Internet out for yourself— it doesn’t take too much tech savvy to get started, and you might find that, like 58% of seniors who surf the web, it has the potential to broaden your horizons beyond, say, Charlotte, North Carolina, and give you a way to explore people, places, and things all over the world.
Play chess or Scrabble with fellow gamers in England or Alaska, learn new gardening techniques, read movie reviews, discuss politics and religion with people all over the United States, find new crossword puzzles, preorder books, or even learn a new language! One of the best features of the Internet that many seniors log on for is in order to stay in touch with loved ones who live far away and make sure they’re involved in their communities. Seniors can sometimes feel as if their worlds get smaller after retirement, which is why senior living communities like Regency Charlotte can have such great appeal, with plenty of fellow neighbors, activities, and excursions to bring residents together. The Internet can be yet another way to expand your horizons and try new things that you might not have gotten to try while you were busy with work and the kids, or learn about new topics, like what your grandchildren are into this week.
While there are many benefits to online access, there are some downsides, too. When the postal service was first invented, criminals quickly found ways to use it to scam people, and the same is true of when telephones became wide spread. As technology takes leaps and bounds, so do new types of crime. However, there are a number of ways that you can keep your personal information safe and enjoy the best of the web while keeping the worst out of your life.
You can start by signing up for an email account with a service that has strong security and spam filters, like Google Mail or Yahoo Mail. This will protect you from having to deal with most of the junk mail you receive. You can also choose a strong password that will be hard for cyber criminals to hack. It’s best if it’s a random assemblage of symbols, numbers, and letters that doesn’t add up to a word as do, for example, “grandma1982” or “ILoveCarolinaPanthers777.” Your password should be eight characters or more.
It’s also a good rule of thumb never to open email attachments or download files from suspicious sites, unknown senders, or pop-up windows. Sometimes files may download automatically. If so, you should immediately delete them. If you receive an email message from a stranger with a suspicious looking file, you should mark the message as spam so your email program will know to filter messages like it in the future. If a message appears to be from someone you know, but you aren’t 100% sure, check in person or over the phone. Scam artists may use innocuous statements like “How are you doing?” or “I just wanted to check in on you” to appear like concerned friends or family and lure you into a conversation through which they will try to build on your trust and get you to share information like your insurance, credit card, or bank account numbers, or agree to transfer money online or through a wire transfer program.
Install and regularly update your firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software, such as McAfee Anti Virus or Norton. If you have any questions about this software, or other computer-related questions, a trusted resource can be your local computer store, like the Apple Store at SouthPark or Northlake Malls, or Best Buy. You can also talk to a tech-savvy friend or family member in your close circle if you need pointers or aren’t sure if a site or email is trustworthy.
Last, you should have a healthy sense of skepticism for what you read on the Internet. Not everything is professionally written and vetted, and you might run across misinformation or marketing copy that is designed to get you to buy in to items that aren’t what they appear or won’t function as promised. The Internet is a great place to learn about new things, but double check to make sure that sensitive topics like banking, medical advice, stock numbers, or product reviews are credible and accurate. Sites that end in .edu or .gov are more likely to be legitimate and the information solid.
Enjoy using the Internet safely and with savvy to try and learn new things, and stay connected with the wider world around you!
The uncertainties of life can get in the way of even the best laid plans. Today’s volatile economy has affected us all and brings unprecedented challenges to seniors and families who are preparing to move to a senior community.
Regency Retirement Village of Charlotte recognizes those challenges and seeks to educate the public about some possible financial solutions that allow seniors and their families to move forward with confidence.
Veterans (or surviving spouses of veterans) may qualify for a monthly pension to offset the cost of senior care. Regency refers them to a company called Elder Resource Benefits that walks them through the process of qualifying for the federal benefits with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Qualification for the wartime pension with aid and attendance is dependent on having low assets and low income.
A company called Life Care Funding has a program to use existing life insurance plans to pay for long term care. CEO Chris Orestis explained that Life Care Funding covers all fees and expenses – the company making money because they own the policies and collect the death benefit when the insured dies. The conversion option applies to almost any form of life insurance: Universal, Whole, Term, and Group. Seniors can sell their policy for 30 to 60 percent of its death-benefit value and put the money into an irrevocable, tax-free fund designated specifically for their care.
Orestis said Medicaid isn’t the best option to pay for the costs of long-term care and seniors should avoid going that route if at all possible because people on the program lose their ability to choose what kind of care they want and where they will go, resulting in a move to a nursing home instead of assisted living. You also need to be below the poverty line to use it, which means spending down your assets to get there.
Long Term Care Benefit Plans are used to fund immediate need for senior care services. Typically tax-free funds are being sent to care providers the same day the account is funded. To qualify for enrollment, care must be funded by the account within 90 days or less of being opened.
“One problem is that people wait until they are in the middle of a crisis before they start trying to figure out long-term care options and how to pay for them,” Orestis told the website LifeHealth.com. “Long-term care is expensive. It’s natural that families want to do whatever they can to help take care of a loved one, but they can go broke in the process.”
Senior living communities must also cover their costs to stay open. Something called “Companion Living” can make it more cost-efficient for many seniors who cannot afford to live alone in an apartment. Having a roommate allows for lower monthly rates without sacrificing services.
Because services take time to process paperwork and homes may be on the market for weeks or months before selling, a bridge loan may be needed for the senior to move right away to Regency Retirement Village or another community like it. These loans are usually low interest and allow multiple persons to co-sign without putting up collateral.
There are tax implications to these strategies, so seniors and their families are urged to read all information carefully and consult with tax professionals before making decisions. For more information about these programs, please contact a Community Consultant at (704) 542-9449.
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.
All over the country people are surely rejoicing at the arrival of spring. Warmer weather, beautiful blooms, and sunny days are great reasons to celebrate. Residents of Charlotee, North Carolina have added reason to celebrate though with a treasured community resource in their midst— the UNC Botanical Gardens. It’s easy to enjoy the best of spring with the Botanical Gardens right in your own back yard.
April 17th and 18th the Gardens are hosing a Spring Plant Sale. There’s something for everyone from shrubs and tropicals to houseplants and even carnivorous varieties! Attend the preview April 16th from noon-4PM to see what they have available and get a membership if you aren’t already part of the Botanical Garden family. There’s so many reasons to snag some of these gorgeous greens. Studies have shown that gardening is an excellent activity for seniors that not only provides gentle exercise that helps strength and balance, but that it can have a positive impact on memory and mental health, too. There’s just something so wonderful about burying your hands in the dirt and making something grow.
The Botanical Gardens also have volunteer opportunities, in case you really get carried away with your green thumbs. They have regular events, too, in everything from learning about the unique soil in our Piedmont region of North Carolina to photography workshops. Each event is a great way to meet new people, make friends, and learn something new. They have also offered classes in the past on birds you might see in your yard, history of botany, or how a garden can inspire you to journal.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for an event to enjoy the rich health benefits and fun the Gardens offer. The gardens are open seven days a week during daylight hours and the Greenhouse seven days a week at set hours. If you enjoy going for regular walks as part of your fitness regimen or to have a fun activity to share with friends and family while you catch up the Gardens are a great place to do it. Going for a walk each day is so much more fun when there’s variety in the view— and there’s always something new to see at the Gardens, especially at this time of year when everything is blossoming and blooming.
There’s so many more ways to celebrate spring in Charlotte though, if gardens aren’t your thing. Charlotte’s Polish community loves to share Dyngus Day with the whole city in an event hosted by the Red Fez Shrine Club. You get to spend a beautiful day on the lake, try Polish food, and enjoy the music of the Polka All Stars and accordion player Bob Wilusz! That’s April 6th. There’s also the Spring Auto Fair April 9th-12th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. May 1st through 3rd the Vinyards of Swan Creek hosts a Spring Herb Celebration featuring foods prepared with each vineyard’s signature herb and wine pairings. In addition to enjoying food and drink you’ll get a 4-inch potted herb from each vineyard.
There’s always so much to do in Charlotte, but especially in the spring time when everyone is eager to break through that cabin fever and get back to the hustle and bustle of warm weather life. We can’t wait to see how you enjoy yourself!
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!