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Thursday, 28 March 2013 12:04

Your Role as a Caregiver

Caregiving can sometimes feel frustrating or disruptive as much as it can be fulfilling and rewarding. After all, it requires adjusting relationships, routines, and plans. It can be hard on both you and your loved one as you struggle with role reversal, stress, and a change in ability. Here are our top three suggestions for how to handle the transition gracefully and confidently:

Be flexible. Things are going to change, sometimes often, sometimes over many years. Your relationship with your loved one will change, as will the expectations and needs of everyone involved. You may need to travel more often if your loved one lives far away, or invite an aging parent into your home for caregiving. You may find yourself making regular trip across town to the retirement community you selected for your husband or wife. Hospital stays might disrupt your schedule. You never know when something could come up, positive or negative, from a day of unexpected mental clarity from a loved one with Alzheimers to a sudden fall from a great aunt. Prepare yourself ahead of time to roll with the punches and commit to flexibility.

Get organized. There are more ways than ever to stay on top of schedules, coordinate care providers, and keep items neatly arranged at home. Do some research, whether online, by talking to a doctor, or chatting with friends who have experience as caregivers to find solutions that will work best for you. Not only are there pills to take and shots to administer, there is also a lot of new information to keep straight. You may want to keep any interesting and helpful articles you’ve found on, say gout or dysphagia together for easy reference, or invest in a new closet system that puts home medical equipment at arm’s reach and out of sight.

Focus on the big picture. If the daily details are overwhelming you, try to step back. For example, caring for a parent with diabetes might seem like a never ending flurry of lancets and test strips, but if you take a moment to think about the situation globally you’ll notice that all that hard work is paying off with fewer hospital visits and improved overall health. It may be tough debating with your wife often about a new low-sodium regemin for her heart condition, but if you see the big picture you’ll notice that she’s been able to stop taking two of the medications you were managing. Focusing on the big picture, too, can mean the sad acknowledgement of your loved one’s mortality, but that also leaves a lot of room to celebrate the time you have together, however stressful it may be at times.

By staying positive and proactive you can transform caregiving from a chore to a vocation, and better appreciate the new relationship and lifestyle you share with someone special.

Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:02

Charlotte is a Retiree's Dream City

Charlotte has repeatedly been voted one of the best cities in the country to retire, with recommendations from Money Magazine, Forbes, CNN, and others. It shares the South's famously mild climate and low cost of living. As both a college town and major financial and business center with 325 Fortune 500 companies and many banking headquarters, Charlotte is growing rapidly and gaining fun new cosmopolitan features all the time.

For shopping, theres SouthPark Mall http://www.simon.com/mall/southpark/stores and Concord Mills http://www.simon.com/mall/concord-mills, with shops like Aerosoles, Ann Taylor, Clarks, Chicos, J. Jill, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and more. There's also plenty of fun, funky boutiques in the new NoDa arts district http://www.noda.org/shops.cfm. Gaffney Premium Outlets offers deep discounts on Coach, J Crew, Crocs, Pottery Barn, Michael Kors, and more.

Sports fans have plenty to stay busy with seasons to season. The Charlotte Motor Speedway http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/ is a must for NASCAR fans, as is the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The North Carolina Panthers call Charlotte's Bank of America stadium home. http://www.panthers.com/stadium/index.html . The Charlotte 49ers are in Division 1 for college sports. Charlotte even has two roller derby teams.

There is no shortage of the arts, either, with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra http://www.charlottesymphony.org/, the Bechtler Museum of Art http://www.bechtler.org/Collection/Collection-strengths

(which features contemporary greats such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Jean Tinguely and Barbara Hepworth), The Mint Museum of Art http://www.mintmuseum.org/, Blumenthal Performing Arts center,http://www.blumenthalarts.org/, and Harvey B Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture http://www.ganttcenter.org/web/. Plays, concerts, gallery exhibitions, educational seminars and more are all part of Charlotte's amazing buzz.

No matter what your interests or level of independence, Charlotte is a stimulating and exciting place to live. With Regency Retirement as your home base, you have all the benefits of a caring senior community and all the benefits of an interesting, adventurous city just moments away.

Monday, 31 December 2012 11:54

Keep Your Independence With Exercise!

One of the most frustrating things about aging can be the physical limitations. You might not feel old on the inside, but your body doesn't always agree. It can be difficult to feel hemmed in and limited simply because our bodies tend to slow down over time. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to dealing with this aspect of aging: exercise.

It may sound like the last thing you want to do when your body already doesn't want to cooperate. It may sounds like too much effort or a recipe for injuries and discomfort. But exercise doesn't have to be any of these things. It doesn't even have to look like a typical workout or athletic feat. It can be as simple as regular bike rides, swims, leisurely strolls with friends, or tending to plants outdoors. Just getting moving makes all the difference, whether it is stretching in the evening or joining a regular group workout at your retirement community or local gym. It could have a huge impact on your life, from when you join a senior care facility to when or if you need to transfer from independent to assisted living.

As LiveStrong.com put it, a fit and healthy body gives you a greater sense of control and feeling of self-confidence. Activities like travel, sports, socializing and family activities are more enjoyable when you are able to actively participate with minimal physical limitations. Being able to do things for yourself empowers you to make decisions concerning your living arrangements and daily activities. At any age, exercise can enable you to enjoy your life to the fullest.Who wouldn't want to increase their independence and health with a little daily exercise? Especially when the health benefits are so huge!

Many conditions we consider to be a natural part of aging, like memory loss, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, or generally being weak and winded by once routine chores are the first to be counteracted by exercise. Studies show that patients in memory care facilities see a positive impact on their memory retention and rate of decline when they participate in regular physical activity. Impact exercises like low intensity aerobics or lifting weights can strengthen bones. Cardio can lower blood pressure and increase stamina. Yoga or other strength training can improve balance and rejuvenate muscles that can help you be more mobile or avoid falls.

This is why Regency Retirement Village of Charlotte has a dedicated Wellness / Therapy Room, garden plots, and an exercise room with regular classes. It's not enough to us to provide simple senior services like medication reminders or prepared meals– we are a total life care community. That means making all parts of seniors' lives better and longer lasting! With all that going for fitness, why not take the time to get up and get moving? You might find it fun, and it will completely change the way you live your life!

When a loved one begins to experience memory problems, it can disrupt not only the special moments between family and friends, but also the ins and outs of daily life. It is never an easy decision to make, but sometimes Alzheimers, dementia, and other memory disorders reach a point where the individual requires more care than you have so far provided.

Finding a facility that can assist your loved one with not only day to day living, but also with the specific problems faced by those with memory loss can feel daunting. The Alzheimer's Association notes that these decisions are especially difficult specifically because by the time assistance is needed, the individual may not be able to fully participate in the selection process.

 

Thats why it is so important to be well-informed about the results of your loved ones medical and mental assessment by a qualified physician, and to know what questions to ask when investigating different memory care options.By first getting a full physical and mental exam, you can know exactly what level of care your loved one needs, and your doctor may inform you about what basic facility requirements to look for. We recommend always asking about the following points of care:

How will the facility protect your loved one against any tendencies to wander?

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