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Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:15

Key to Happiness? Assisted Living!

Everyone seeks the key to personal happiness throughout their life in a variety of places and in a variety of ways. Some think that happiness can be found by having more money, the perfect job, the perfect family, or through a laundry list of other ways.

While we all have been endlessly seeking the key to a happier life, Harvard University may have found it. In 1938, Harvard began a study that tracked 724 men of various socioeconomic backgrounds living in Boston. Every man was initially interviewed and medically evaluated, through blood work and brain exams, and this process has been repeated every two years. Most living participants and now well into their 90s, and Harvard now has an extensive amount of research to base their findings on.

So, what did they find during the 75 years of research? According to Robert Waldinger, Harvard professor and the fourth director of the study, the key to happiness is actually much easier to obtain than we believe. Good relationships with family, friends, and spouses are the biggest factor that lead to a happy life. seniors eating

People who were physically healthy and also maintained strong relationships were found to be mentally and physically healthier in the long-term. In comparison, those who had health issues and did not foster social bonds felt more isolated, melancholy and unfulfilled later in life. 

It can be challenging for people to make new friends at any age, but many people also take for granted that they have a built-in social network beginning when they enter school. Once school is completed, a career offers a new social pool and new ways to connect with people. But, what happens after retirement when those social circles essentially disappear?

This is where Assisted Living Communities, like Regency at Pineville, play an important role. Not only does moving into a senior living community help eliminate feelings of solitude and isolation, but it also keep seniors actively engaged – both mentally and physically.

Regency at Pineville’s structured environment offers a healthy balance between maintaining each person’s privacy and independence, and fostering new social connections. The latter is accomplished through monthly planned group outings and physical activities. Additionally, residents have the chance to join together for meals, games, movies, and worship.

While the idea of moving to a new place may seem daunting, the majority of residents discover a genuine sense of belonging after only a few weeks. Even people who would normally consider themselves to be shy may find that they are able to socially spread their wings for the first time, by connecting with other residents who become like family.

Cultivating and maintaining these strong social bonds after retirement, while also staying physically active, plays a very important role in protecting long-term physical and mental health, according to Harvard’s research. Assisted living can play an equally vital role in providing these keys to happiness to each resident.

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

There are more than 15 million Americans who devote their time and energy to caring for aging loved ones who can no longer independently care for themselves. Many times, these families and caregivers stretch themselves too thin and risk their own health in order to keep their loved one at home, where they feel the most comfortable. At this point, it may be time to evaluate whether moving them into an Assisted Living community, such as Regency at Pineville, is in the best interest of everyone involved.

There are some very telling signs that can help families and caregivers recognize when the time has come to openly discuss moving a loved one into an Assisted Living community. daughter talking to mother

  1. Care Needs Escalate
    -More help is needed with housework, yard maintenance, repairs and cooking. Family spends more time taking care of these chores than making lasting memories with their loved one.
  2. Memory Issues Worsen
    -A senior can no longer remember when to take medication or how to perform familiar tasks.
  3. Seclusion Occurs
    -When a senior only has human interaction with relatives, a caregiver, or an occasional friend that may stop by to visit.
  4. Fears Develop
    -When a senior fears being alone in their own home.
  5. Driving Ceases
    -Driving becomes a dependency, for appointments and even shopping.
  6. Safety Issues
    -The home is no longer a safe place, due to risks associated with trips, falls, etc.
  7. Caregiver Stress
    -When the primary caregiver puts their health at risk, causing stress and illness.

Broaching this topic often times creates a large amount of conflict between a senior and their family. Facing such a huge life-changing situation can be very scary for a senior, and he or she may become adamant about not leaving their home that contains comfort and sentimental attachments.

However, the conversation does not necessarily have to be negative. According to experts, the best way to approach this topic is with open and honest communication, where both the family and their loved one are able to express concerns and listen to feedback. It is also best to offer a senior options, as opposed to dictating when and what will happen.

Shopping around for the right fit will help an aging parent gauge what they want and need, such as location, services and amenities offered. Visiting communities is also an important part of the process, and can help alleviate any misconceptions that a loved one has about Assisted Living facilities. Many times, people envision a sterile, hospital-like setting which is actually more closely associated with nursing homes that are focused on skilled medical care.

Regency at Pineville’s Assisted Living Community has more of a “family” atmosphere – each senior has their own apartment, and receives help with housekeeping, laundry, and remembering to take medications. They can come and go freely, have delicious meals in a social dining environment and participate in planned activities. This is the reason that many residents say, “I wish I had done this years ago.”

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

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:04

Saving for Retirement: Dos and Don’ts

The American workforce landscape began to change in the 1980’s and 1990’s with the introduction of the portable 401(k). Prior to that time, many people worked for the same company for 30 years or more and received a pension when they retired. While retirement pensions provided a sense of security, they did not provide opportunity for people to change jobs and take that “security” with them.

Since that time, the importance of saving for retirement has been engrained into the minds of most Americans. One reason is because the average US life expectancy has increased to 81.2 years for women and 76.4 years for men, making time a liability.

But how is a person with financial responsibilities related to mortgages, bills, credit card debt, and children supposed to also save for retirement? And how do those affected by the 2008 and 2009 housing crisis counteract their losses as well as save?

Here is a list of dos and don’ts that experts suggest, in order to stretch money during retirement years. Following these tips will help in the future so that affording to live in an Assisted Living community, like Regency at Pineville, is a viable option.retirement savings

DO:

-Start contributing to a 401(k) plan immediately upon entering the workforce

-Take advantage of compounding interest

-Pay more than the minimum monthly payment on credit cards to avoid paying excessive interest

-Pay off credit cards with highest interest rate first

-Consolidate credit card debt to get a fixed monthly payment with a lower rate

-Be disciplined about spending and sacrifice small luxuries

-Continue to work after retiring, to supplement savings

-Consult a “fiduciary” who is legally obligated to provide financial advice in your best interest

-Live a healthy and active life to avoid additional medical costs

-Save more money than needed for retirement, in case unexpected medical costs or job loss occur

-Obtain Long-Term Care Insurance to pay for costs not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid

-Stay open-minded and flexible about selling homes, getting reverse mortgages, or living with a companion, when the time comes to consider ways to finance care

DON’T:

-Become a victim of time during years leading up to retirement, by not saving

-Abuse credit cards and fall into unnecessary debt

-Spend money just because it is “burning a hole” in your pocket

-Expect Social Security to cover your retirement years

Being disciplined is imperative in order to save enough money for retirement. Most people want to travel, stay self-sufficient, leave something for their children to inherit, and not become a burden on loved ones in the senior years. The way to do this is not by procrastinating, but by careful planning and continual saving.

The September 2015 and February 2016 blogs gave advice on ways to pay for assisted living, and ways to enjoy retirement on a budget. Reading these blogs again will give greater detail on the recommended actions given in this blog. By following these steps, seniors can help pay for care in an Assisted Living Community like Regency at Pineville, when the times comes for needed assistance with basic personal tasks of everyday life.

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

Friday, 27 May 2016 18:32

Tips for Living a Long, Healthy Life

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.Seniors Biking

Some recommendations include:

DO:

  • Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are high in fiber.
  • Schedule regular doctor visits to have blood work done, discuss any health concerns, medications, or changes in activities that are being considered.
  • Do aerobic exercises daily for at least 30 minutes.
  • Stay flexible and improve joint health by stretching daily.
  • Schedule regular eye exams in order to detect early signs of eye disorders, such as glaucoma and cataracts.
  • Make an appointment to see a doctor if hearing issues arise.
  • Visit the dentist twice a year to have cleanings, along with brushing and flossing teeth twice a day, in order to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.
  • Regularly have blood pressure checked.
  • Consider taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to increase bone strength.
  • Get enough sleep and stay socially active, to increase happiness and overall mental health.
  • Speak with a doctor about what family or race factors might contribute to increased risk for disease.
  • Stay cognizant of hazards in the home that may result in trips or falls.

DON’T:

  • Spend unnecessarily long periods of time sitting.
  • Sit in direct sunlight without sunscreen, protective clothing, and proper levels of hydration.
  • Spend prolonged periods of time in the heat.
  • Misuse alcohol or caffeine.
  • Smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Ignore health problems, such as bladder issues and incontinence.
  • Ingest too much sodium or add extra to meals.
  • Ignore mental changes, such as confusion or decline in cognitive function, as these could be signs of dementia and early stages of Alzheimer’s.

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

Monday, 25 April 2016 17:39

Senior Memory Lapses vs. Alzheimer’s

Discussing dementia with a loved one can be a scary and uncomfortable thing to do, especially when you are unsure whether they are having normal, age-related memory lapses or if they are exhibiting signs of something more serious.

As Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80% of all types of dementia cases, it is very important to be aware of early signs and symptoms associated with it. Because Alzheimer’s also causes a slow decline in memory, reasoning, and thinking skills, early signs can be easily confused with normal age-related memory problems in seniors. However, you can distinguish between the two once you know what to look for.

Here are 10 common signs and symptoms associated with early stages of Alzheimer’s, versus age-related memory issues:

  1. Memory Loss – This is the most commonly associated symptom, and can include forgetting newly learned information as well as relying on memory aids. An example of a typical change would be occasionally forgetting an appointment, but remembering it later.
  2. Inability to Complete Daily Tasks – Difficulty completing a familiar task, such as how to play a favorite game or managing a budget, is a sign, while sometimes needing assistance with microwave settings is more typical.
  3. Time/Place Confusion – A loved one who forgets where they are or has trouble comprehending time passage is exhibiting a symptom. However, forgetting the day of the week and then remembering it later, is a typical age-related change.
  4. Speaking/Writing Issues – Seniors who repeat themselves or have trouble maintaining and following conversations could be showing signs, versus seniors who may occasionally have trouble finding the right word to use in a sentence.
  5. Misplacing Belongings – A person who places things in unusual places and then cannot retrace their steps to find them, along with accusing others of stealing, exhibits signs. A person with typical age-related memory lapses may misplace an item, but then be able to retrace their steps in order to find it.
  6. Problem Solving & Planning Challenges – Some seniors may find that following or developing a plan is more challenging, such as balancing a monthly budget or following a familiar recipe. However, sometimes making a mistake while reconciling a checkbook is more typical.
  7. Vision Problems – A sign for some may be vision changes, which cause difficulty when reading, driving, or trying to judge distance. A typical age-related vision problem could be related to cataracts.
  8. Social Withdrawal – A loved one who begins to withdraw from their hobbies and social activities may do so because they have issues keeping up, while a more typical reason for withdrawing at times could be weariness of obligations.
  9. Decrease in Judgment – When a senior uses increasingly poor judgment regarding money, and even personal hygiene, this could be a symptom. Making a poor decision every once in a while is typically age-related though.
  10. Mood/Personality Changes – A senior experiencing symptoms could have mood changes including confusion, depression, anxiety, and fearfulness, and could become easily upset when uncomfortable. If a senior becomes irritable because their specific routine is disrupted, this is more of a typical, age-related mood change.senior memory issues

If your loved one is showing any of the 10 early signs or symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, it is very important to contact your physician in order to determine the cause. Before assuming the worst, it is important to understand there are many factors that could contribute to abnormal memory loss. For example, treatable conditions like thyroid problems, drug interactions, substance/alcohol abuse, depression, and even a vitamin deficiency could cause some seniors to experience similar symptoms. 

Regency at Pineville's Heritage Memory Care Unit offers the finest elderly care for your loved one. Although memory impairments alter an individual's life in a profound way, this does not mean an end to the quality of life or the ability to experience dignity, meaning, friendship and even joy.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there is continued research and treatment that is available to slow the progression and worsening of symptoms. Early diagnosis can help improve the quality of life for your loved one, as well as prolong levels their level of independence.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers helpful information regarding symptoms, research, treatment, and support. Visit their website for more information: http://www.alz.org/ 

To learn more about Regency at Pineville, call us at (844) 425-4254. 

Written by Kristen Camden

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:35

10 Spring Activities for Senior in Charlotte

The blooming trees, flowers, and warmer weather signal the return of springtime for Charlotte seniors to get outside and enjoy. While there are many ways for any senior to enjoy the beauty that comes along with the season’s change, caution and preparedness are imperative to ensure safety against the sun, when spending time outdoors.

“Oh my goodness it’s already April!” said Jamie Jollie, Executive Director at Regency at Pineville, in the most recent newsletter. “We are so excited to have the flowers blooming and residents sitting outside, goodbye to the cold!”

While mobility issues may keep some seniors from fully enjoying Mother Nature’s great outdoors, most agree that even sitting outside and breathing in the fresh air is a welcome change, after the long winter months. Before being too physically active, it is important for individuals to speak with a doctor in order to be aware of any limitations. Regardless of how time is spent soaking up the sunshine, Vitamin D will also be soaked up, which is very important for everyone. It is not only important for bone strength, but research is now showing that there is a link between Vitamin D and improved cognitive function.

Here are 10 ideas for seniors in Charlotte to do in springtime:

  1. Go for a Walk. After spending time mostly indoors during winter months, spring is a great time to make a habit of taking a daily walk, to strengthen muscles and improve mobility. Morning is the best time to take advantage of the sun, without the heat being too overbearing.
  2. Work in the garden. Whether you enjoy planting flowers, plants, or vegetables, working in a garden can offer physical and mental benefits. Time spent digging in the dirt is a relaxing, stress reducing task, which is also very rewarding once the hard work pays off and the garden starts growing.
  3. Watch the Birds. Anyone can enjoy this fun activity, regardless of the level of knowledge about birds. Just get some binoculars and enjoy the interaction between these feathered friends. Getting a book to identify birds that are indigenous to the southeast can add another level of fun!
  4. Visit a Park with Grandchildren. Spending time with children has the ability to bring out the kid in all of us. Whether it is a trip to fly a kite, have a picnic, or just stare at the clouds, spending time outdoors with the grandkids offers benefits to everyone; they get a much needed break from video games, and quality time is enjoyed by all.
  5. Peruse a Farmer’s Market. The Pineville Farmers Market on Dover Street is open every Saturday from 8 am to noon and offers fruits, vegetables, herbs and artisan foods direct from area farmers.
  6. Catch a Baseball Game. The Charlotte Knights start their season on April 14th and have a lot of home games scheduled at BB&T BallPark. What could be better than peanuts, cracker jacks, and baseball on a beautiful spring day?
  7. Plan a Day Trip. There is no need to travel far in order to take a day trip. Especially on hotter days, seniors can cool off by visiting one of the many museums nearby, including Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Most even offer senior discounts, so don’t forget to ask.
  8. Enjoy a Concert. Charlotte offers many opportunities to enjoy live music indoors and outdoors. For a more relaxing, harmonious experience, there is also the Charlotte Symphony which offers everything from Beethoven to ABBA.
  9. Go Fishing. Why not take in the beauty of nature and enjoy a recreational activity, like fishing? Even those confined to a wheelchair can cast a line from a dock and reel in a catch. There are many locations to choose from, including the nearby Davie Lake, located in William R. Davis Park.
  10. Do Some Spring Cleaning. They call it “spring cleaning” for a great reason…this is the perfect time to sort through clutter, discard or donate old things, and freshen up living spaces!

Additionally, there are plenty of local events, fairs, and festivals in Charlotte to take part in and choose from, depending on personal interests.

One thing for seniors to remember when getting out into the warmer weather and sunshine is to prepare and be cautious in order to avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and other side effects that can accompany prolonged heat exposure.

A few tips to remember are:

  • Wear light, loose clothingFreedom Park Charlotte
  • Stay hydrated
  • Apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat
  • Stay in shaded areas when possible
  • Avoid being out during peak hours
  • Pay close attention to the heat index

These are just a few tips to enhance enjoyment of spring and the warmer weather, in a safe way.

To learn more about Regency at Pineville, call us at (844) 425-4254.

Written by Kristen Camden

boating

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:

  • Developing a new hobby
  • Volunteering for a cause
  • Getting a part-time job
  • Reading books, old or new
  • Writing poetry, stories, etc.
  • Mentoring
  • Being active, whether you walk or just play cards
  • Expressing creativity through art or music
  • Traveling
  • Serving the community

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.


Written by Kristen Camden

friendships in retirement years 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.

Written by Steven Stiefel

Copyright: budabar / 123RF Stock Photo

Retirement Living Charlotte NCThere 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!

Written by Meghan O'Dea

alzheimers-diseaseFamilies hope that an elderly family member will live a long and healthy retirement, but when dementia is discovered, it brings with it inevitable change. It is, however, change that can be managed with proper planning and accepting what’s ahead.

Those with Alzheimer's live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

It is important to make preparations once a doctor has made the diagnosis so the senior’s care is provided for and important information is not lost. Families should have a list of contact names to be notified in case of serious illness or death, know where important documents are kept, as well as account numbers for pensions, insurance policies, investments, bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, and properties.

“Putting financial and legal plans in place now allows the person with dementia to express wishes for future care and decisions. It also allows time to work through the complex issues involved in long-term care,” the Alzheimer’s Association states on its website, http://www.alz.org/

Legal documents help ensure that the wishes of the person with dementia are followed as the disease progresses and make it possible for others to make decisions on behalf of the person when he or she no longer can.

These include:
• Power of attorney
• Power of attorney for health care
• Living will
• Standard will
• Living trust
• Guardianship / conservatorship

Once legal documents are filled out, the individual with dementia, the caregiver or a trusted family member, the attorney and the doctor should all have copies.

There are different care options to consider. Family caregivers may step up to take on the responsibility, but it is not always possible to continue providing the level of care needed in the home, especially if the person with dementia is at risk, has needs beyond the caregiver’s abilities or the structure of a care facility would benefit them.

Regency Retirement Village offers secure memory care from our Renaissance Centre, conveniently located off I-485 next to Carolina Medical Center at Pineville. We believe that although memory impairments alter an individual's life in a profound way, this does not mean an end to the quality of life or the ability to experience dignity, meaning, friendship and even joy.

Regency is proud to offer this resource to Charlotte seniors and their families so we can help to pave an easier road for the future and achieve a better quality of life.
For more information on our Renaissance Centre, call (844) 423-4254.

For information on the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit http://www.alz.org/northcarolina/

Written by Steven Stiefel

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