Senior Lifestyle

Seniors Turns to Tech for a Safe and Secure Solo Living

seniors embracing technology

Who said the latest technology is only for the young? More and more seniors (and their adult children) are incorporating tech gadgets and applications into their daily lives, and as a result, they are able to maintain their independent living status. From innovations that help loved ones stay connected from afar, to health care monitoring, to help with housework and safety measures, tech is changing the way seniors age in place for the better.

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5 Signs Your Senior Community Is High-Tech

is your senior community high tech?

Seniors, just like so many of us today, have grown accustomed to technology. From remote controls to our smartphones, FaceTime to Facebook, many seniors are just as tech-savvy as their younger counterparts.

If you’re considering a move to senior living, you may want to look into a community that will feed your need for futuristic gadgets and the convenience of today’s technology. Here are five signs your senior community is high-tech.

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Helping Seniors With Time Management Stress

Helping Seniors With Time Management Stress

Trying to plan an outing recently with my mother made me realize an area in which my life approach widely differs from that of my senior parent. When I asked her about going out to lunch, I was met with a litany of all the things crowding her calendar. She said, “I need to concentrate on my appointment with the cardiologist.” This appointment was three weeks off. She then again read her to-do list that was obviously causing her considerable stress. After a similar conversation with my mother-in-law, I understood this state of feeling overwhelmed was not unique to my mother. Her long list of “chores” was also preventing her from putting any enjoyable activities on the calendar.

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Easy Gardening Solutions for Seniors

Easy Gardening Solutions for Seniors

As we head into July, many gardeners have finished up their season’s planting and yard clean-up tasks. But others are still looking forward to putting out a colorful display of blooms, later-season vegetables, and herbs. Garden centers and nurseries’ stock has diminished, but you will still find things to plant to enjoy the rest of the summer into fall. For seniors, particularly those in senior living communities, gardening work can feel a bit overwhelming. It’s hot, hard work. However, with some planning and the right tools, even older adults with physical limitations can take part in this healthy pastime.

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What Do Seniors Want From their Community?


What do seniors want from their communities? Whether they are in an independent living senior community, assisted living facility or a town with people of all ages, seniors’ needs and desires don’t differ greatly from what the rest of us want in a hometown.

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The Importance of Social Capital for Seniors


Studies show that money does, in fact, make people happier, but only to a certain degree. In fact, researchers at Princeton have put a price on just how much happiness money can buy or, rather, how much money it takes to buy happiness. People’s happiness tends to increase the more money they have, up until they reach an annual salary of $75,000.

After that, additional income won’t make you any happier and, depending on what it takes to earn that income, could actually make you less happy. The moral? Once our basic needs are met, having more “stuff” doesn’t add anything to our lives – except, of course, more stuff.

It also stands to reason that if your basic needs can be met for much less than that, as with many seniors in senior living communities where they pay one price for all their living expenses and even some medical care, you can be just as happy with less money than that $75,000 benchmark.

The Wisdom in Buying Experiences, Not Things
When you use money to buy experiences such as vacations or special events and create memories with loved ones, you can feel happier. But it’s not the money, or even the event that’s making you happy, as much as it is the people you’re with. This is what psychologists call “social capital,” and it’s a very strong argument for moving to a senior community to enjoy your retirement, filled with people that you can connect with and activities that are fun and fulfilling.

These connections with others are what researchers and psychologists call “social capital,” and it’s been proven to reduce some traits of aging, including cognitive decline and depression, and may even improve a person’s overall health.

The True Value of Social Capital
Bryan James, an epidemiologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, evaluated 1,100 seniors over a 12-year time period and discovered the rate of cognitive decline was 70 percent lower in people with frequent social activity.

According to an article published at Berkeley’s Greater Good website, even when James and his colleagues statistically controlled for health risk factors like smoking seniors who stay socially active have a 43 percent less rate of disability.

Yvonne Michael of the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia, PA, is another epidemiologist who studies social capital and seniors. She discovered that seniors living in places with high social capital, in areas where you could trust your neighbors and where neighbors helped each other, had greater mobility and improved health. In another study, not limited to seniors, she found that adults in areas of high social capital were more likely to get screened for diseases at the appropriate ages, leading to earlier interventions and improved health.

Can Senior Communities Expand Social Capital?
This research underscores the importance of finding a senior community where you can forge strong social connections, where good health and exercise are a part of the culture, and where you can live well and have your physical and emotional needs met while spending within your means.

Fortunately, senior communities today continue improving their standards and introducing exciting, fulfilling activities that allow seniors to do just that.

SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (877) 345-1706 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.

5 Easy Ways for Seniors to Save on Vacation


You’re enjoying your retirement but you’d like to get away. Of course, you’re on a fixed income and don’t want to spend a lot.

You’ve read all the “budget travel tips” articles, but you’re way past the age of wanting to couch-surf or stay in a hostel in Europe. Thanks to your independent living senior community and the meal options offered, you haven’t cooked dinner in years. Why start now? Can you still enjoy your dream vacation on a budget? Of course you can.

Here are a few money-saving tips to enjoy a vacation without sacrificing comfort, convenience, or amenities.

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Easy Ways to Reduce the Sodium in Your Diet


You’ve just been diagnosed with high blood pressure and you’re hesitant to go on medication. There’s good news! With some lifestyle and diet changes, it’s easy to treat high blood pressure the natural way.

Doctors say that reducing sodium intake can be an important first step in reducing your blood pressure or even preventing high blood pressure. Limiting sodium intake to 2,300mg per day will help, and if you can reduce your intake to 1,500 mg per day, you should see optimal results.

It’s not as hard as you might think to cut the salt from your diet and reduce your sodium intake. When they’re not doused in salt, you may even find yourself enjoying the rich flavors of foods even more.

Read the Labels
Sodium sneaks into our diet even when we can’t taste it. For instance, cheese, many fast food and canned vegetables have close to 2,000mg of sodium per serving, and most of these don’t taste particularly salty.

Throw Away Your Salt Shaker
Aside from fast food and instant soups, adding table salt to your meals is one of the biggest culprits of sodium in a diet. Simply eliminate the salt shaker from your table and in a day or so, you’ll discover you don’t even miss it. Instead, use pepper and fresh herbs and spices such as garlic, oregano, basil or cilantro, depending on what you’re eating.

If you’re on blood pressure medication or have kidney problems, avoid salt substitutes, as many of these contain potassium chloride, which can be harmful. Certain salt-free seasoning blends, though, can add flavor to your food with just a shake, without harming your health. Just read the labels to be sure there’s no potassium chloride in the seasoning blend, or make your own seasoning blends from your favorite combination of spices.

Find Substitutes for Favorite Snacks
It’s obvious that foods like potato chips and pretzels are high in salt and sodium. If you crave that crunch, consider air popping your own popcorn and then seasoning it with a spicy, salt-free seasoning blend. Dehydrated apple chips you make yourself are also a tasty snack, or sprinkle fresh kale with olive oil and garlic powder and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes on each side, or until crunchy, for a unique treat that satisfies that chip craving while providing lots of added nutrition.

Choose Organic and Fresh Foods
Many people who grow their own foods in a garden or shop at local farmer’s markets comment on how much more flavorful these fruits and vegetables are. Likewise, many people who switch to organic fruits, vegetables, meats and poultry note a more pleasing flavor.

People commonly add salt to foods in order to give it more flavor (canned vegetables and processed foods are a good example). Instead, look for natural foods with a rich flavor to begin with and you won’t have to rely on added salt for flavor.

Allow Yourself a “Cheat Snack” Once in a While
A high blood pressure diagnosis and living on the DASH diet doesn’t mean you’re destined to survive without sweets or salty snacks forever. Allow yourself a “cheat” every few weeks. But keep in mind once your taste buds become accustomed to the myriad of bold new flavors that exist beyond salt and sugar, you probably won’t even be interested in cheating after the first few months.

SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (877) 345-1706 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.

Three Unique Ways Seniors Can Conquer Anxiety


Crossing the threshold into life as a senior presents many changes and challenges that can lead to anxiety. According to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, between 10 and 20 percent of seniors experience anxiety. Feeling anxious or nervous is common when facing major life changes and many seniors may seek treatment in the forms of medication or drugs.

If your anxiety is not debilitating but you’d just like to feel more like “yourself,” once again, even in the midst of major life changes, you may consider other remedies that will help you face your fears, alleviate your anxiety and empower yourself to face whatever may come next by finding inner strength and greater peace. Let’s explore three drug-free ways to overcome mild anxiety that often shows up with age.

Get a Pet
Not only do pets ease loneliness and help give older people a responsibility that may infuse new meaning in their lives – pets also have stress-reducing benefits. Studies show that having a pet can lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety.

Additionally, according to an article on WebMD. Lynette Hart, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, explains: “Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home.”

If you (or an aging parent) are considering an assisted living facility and are not able to care for a pet on your own, look for a senior community that has resident pets on the grounds, or has animal visits as part of the weekly activities program.

Participate in a Fire Walk
Popularized in the U.S. by life and business coach and bestselling author Tony Robbins, firewalks are an ancient ritual designed to help people tap into their inner strength and face their fears. The lessons learned and emotions experienced prior to, during and after a fire walk can be programmed into our psyche and called upon when we’re feeling anxious or fearful.

Most firewalks are preceded by intense personal development training, whether the training takes a few hours or a few weeks. This overall experience can help calm anxiety –and the effects can last well after the workshop, sometimes even for life.

Tony Simons, who runs an affordable three-hour personal empowerment workshop called LifeCourage Workshops, which culminates in a firewalk, emphasizes, “You need not be ‘new-age-y’ to understand and get value from the workshop. It is really fun to work with people who are very new to the introspection game, and to see the light go on.”

Simons reveals that his mom, age 81, recently participated in a firewalk, and that anyone over the age of 18, as long as they are generally fit and can walk without assistance, can take part. “Older people often become very frightened. The workshop helps with that,” Simons says. “It can also be a great way to embark on retirement and face that life change head on. Several people have come to my firewalks for that purpose.”

Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Another practice often stereotyped as “new age-y” or spiritual in nature, the research behind the benefits of mindful meditation is compelling, and anyone can use it. First, what is mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness meditation, as defined by researchers in the Perspectives on Psychological Science study, is “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment.” It involves regulating your attention, maintaining awareness of your body, and regulating your emotions. Techniques, which are often taught on meditation retreats or in private or group classes but can also be learned through self-study using audio recordings and videos, involves mindful breathing, observation of the present moment and the cultivation of positive mental states.

Recent studies show that mindfulness meditation not only makes those who practice it feel better, but it actually lowers their levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Additionally, a group of researchers from prestigious institutes that include Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Arizona, Boston University, the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and Emory University discovered that meditation produces positive changes in the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotions – even when the person is not meditating.

Learning better control of emotions and having a stronger memory can definitely help reduce anxiety. As you learn the practice of mindfulness meditation, you can call on the techniques whenever you feel stress or anxiety rear its head.

A Note About Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Sometimes, seniors develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) characterized by constant, unfounded worry about health, money, family problems or even large-scale disaster.

Other systems of GAD include:

  • fatigue
  • chest pains
  • headaches
  • muscle tension and muscle aches
  • irritability
  • sweating and hot flashes
  • lightheadedness
  • breathlessness
  • irritability
  • Since these symptoms are also present in a number of other diseases or disorders, as well as during menopause, GAD is often misdiagnosed. If you believe you’re suffering from GAD, it’s important to seek the advice of a physician. While the powerful techniques outlined above may work, those suffering from this serious form of anxiety require medical care to determine the best course of treatment.SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (877) 345-1706 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.

Dreams to Fulfill in Your Retirement


Everyone has a list of things they dream of doing. Some call it a bucket list, while others don’t give it a name. But raising a family, holding a job and other “real world” responsibilities sometimes get in the way of fulfilling these dreams.

Then comes retirement. You can choose to sit around and let the days pass, or you can take an active role in your retirement planning and use the opportunity to check an item, or several items, off your bucket list.

Maybe you want to pursue a second career. Or maybe you still thrive on adrenaline rushes. As long as you’re in good health, age should not stop you from fulfilling your life-long dreams. Just look at these sterling examples of silver seniors who’ve discovered why they call it “the golden years.”

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