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 To prioritize, things that are outdated should be the first to go.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
"By one means or another we need to get more established individuals back near developing kids on the off chance that we are to reestablish a feeling of group, a learning of the past, and a feeling without bounds."
- Margaret Mead
Activities between the eras are not just an extraordinary approach to help obtain information and insight – they’re likewise fun.
Individuals of every age can take in a great deal from each other if everyone keeps a receptive outlook and values the extraordinary difficulties that go along with the task. This may appear as grandchildren showing an older generation how to utilize innovation and new technology or sharing contemporary choices in media. Similarly, youthful ones can find age-old tunes or classic motion pictures that are generally as meaningful today as they were decades prior.
The immense difficulty we face is building up the basic knowledge of others, which may include a conflict of qualities when individuals from various age groups work and learn together.
Does the WWII vet who hasn't addressed the effects of war have anything at all in common with a youngster inclined to over sharing details about her day on Twitter? Will a senior, whose state of mind about race and gender roles were shaped amid more difficult times, talk eagerly with the student who grew up finding out about the Civil Rights Era from history books?
At the point when individuals coincide, it begins to dissipate negative and harsh generalizations we too often make of others.
Researcher Dr. Morris Massey said, “We don’t have to agree with the values of different generations, but we can strive to understand the mind-sets of different generations and how each group sees the world based on their experiences.”
Though a senior may only interact in person or by means of telephone, a younger generation may only connect through advanced technological means such as email or instant message. Spanning such differences requires adaptability in your reasoning and thinking.
We are molded by the occasions of our lives, and history occurs in repeated cycles. People born after WW2, for instance, most likely had their virtues affected by parents who grew up amid the economic downturn of the Great Depression. They may discover a shared view with Generation X-ers who recall the economic crisis of 2008, or new school graduates who have attempted to discover steady employment ever since.
The advantage of intergenerational association for seniors is lessening disengagement and destitution among our elderly community, who in turn enhance the lives of children, young adults, and seniors by sharing their understanding on the world as leaders, examples, or teachers. Through regular communication, they can become supporters for each other and solve problems relating to lack of education, ecological and health issues, crime avoidance, and a so many more.
As indicated by Generations United, such intergenerational exercises permit seniors to stay dynamic and connected to their community, which adds to living longer with better physical and emotional health. Overall, they tend to appreciate a higher personal satisfaction from having meaningful relationships in young adults and children.
“Older adults who regularly volunteer with children burn 20% more calories per week, experience fewer falls, are less reliant on canes, and perform better on a memory test than their peers,” the organization states. “Older adults with dementia experience more positive effect during interactions with children.”
What’s the advantage for our younger generations? Creating abilities and valuable life skills, values, and a feeling of citizenship. By imparting a culture, historical and cultural customs are well preserved.
"Together we are stronger," states Generations United.
At Regency at Pineville, everyday life is an intergenerational movement as our youthful staff and volunteers look after seniors and those requiring additional help with daily tasks. We welcome that our senior community offers a breadth of intelligence and advice to us and are a quality to society by their endeavors to contribute to their Regency community in every effort possible.
For more information on communication with intergenerational groups, the Charmm'd Foundation offers a list that can be seen at: http://www.charmmdfoundation.org/resource-library/effective-communication/checklist-communicating-different-generations
Call today and talk with our Activities Director to learn of satisfying ways you can start working with seniors.
To discover more about Regency Senior Living Charlotte, call (704) 542-9449.
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.
Long ago, spring cleaning was necessary after a winter of coal fires, oil lamps, and soot accumulating in the house. These days winter doesn’t make as much of a mess and there isn’t as much spring cleaning to do, especially if you live in a retirement community where most of the daily chores are taken care of for the residents. However, there’s something about spring cleaning that always feels nice, even if it doesn’t involve a true deep cleaning with lots of scrubbing and elbow grease. It’s simply a pleasant tradition to take spring as the opportunity to refresh your home and simplify your life. Here are our top five tips for making the most of your spring cleaning:
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!