QUESTION: My mom seems depressed lately, could this actually be true?
Did you know that depression is very common among older adults? Some feel that if they have lost their health, lost their spouse, lost their friends, “lost” their house, and now they don’t know what to do. Interestingly, sadness doesn’t always accompany depression but forgetfulness, aches & pains and irritability often do! Many Seniors have never had to deal with such an issue. They think that if they just keep pulling up their bootstraps and working harder then everything will be okay. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work when it comes to aging! We all will get older no matter what! If you are a senior and think you might be depressed or you know a senior who is, don’t hesitate to get help. There have been amazing advances in medications as well as counseling. Other tips include:
1) Get more exercise- get those endorphins flowing!
2) Connect with others- we all know how the smile of a friend makes us feel better.
3) Get more sleep!
4) Eat a more balanced diet. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can eat junk food all the time!
Believe it or not, a move to a campus such as Stow-Glen can really help with the cure. We help with exercises, diet and most of all, friends- how great would it be to have hundreds of neighbors of the same age and interests!
For more information on all that we offer, please visit www.stowglen.com
QUESTION: How do I de-clutter & downsize all my “collections”?
As I watch my parents try to downsize a house they’ve lived in for 30+ years, I’m learning a thing or two.
- Organize. The first thing to do is organize everything into 3 categories: Keep, Donate, and Trash. Don’t spend too much time wondering if your granddaughter wants a figurine your Aunt Betty had in the 40’s. Just put it in one of the 3 groups and then ask your family (later) to make sure everything is in an appropriate group. If they want something, ask them to speak up!
- Downsize. Don’t play around with this one- focus on the “donate” and “trash” categories. If you haven’t touched it in a year or more, why do you still have it? Trust me; you will not ever need that 70’s Hawaiian print shirt ever again. Get rid of it! And your kids don’t want the “heirloom punchbowls!”
- Sell. Yes, selling the house and moving is very important and might even be necessary at some point. Start the conversation with a real estate expert that you know and trust, it’s much better and easier if you start this conversation early
Why do I feel “Bah-Humbug” around Christmas?
If you’re like most Americans, you tend to get a little cranky around the Holidays- especially as you get older! Many times this less than cheery attitude is a result of loss, missing the “good old days,” and not having anything to do around the holidays.
My encouragement to you is to get up and find something to do- go volunteer and help! I love the old saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and I think this is very important around the Holidays. You could sit at home and complain or you can make the world a better place. You could start by calling your church, a local food pantry or senior center. Places like this always need your help around this time of year.
Stow-Glen Retirement Village welcomes volunteers of all ages at all times of the year, but especially at Christmas. Our volunteers help with activities, arts & crafts, church services and visitation. So, if you’re feeling the “bah-humbug” spirit this Christmas Season, and want to experience the joy of volunteering, give us a call! We’d love to see you in a Santa hat visiting with our residents or helping make ornaments.
Well, winter finally arrived this week! While it certainly isn’t the worst we’ve ever had, when I slipped on a patch of ice I was reminded that we all need to focus on safety- especially for our Seniors! Remember- we are ALL just one fall away from an extended stay at the hospital. Here are some tips from our friends at the Ohio Department of Aging.
- Stay active. The stronger you are, the better your balance will be as you traverse the snow and ice and slush. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about easy indoor exercises and seek opportunities to be active.
- Wear boots and shoes that fit properly and have soles with good traction. Keep shoes and walking aids (canes, walkers) dry and free of snow, ice, dirt and mud.
- Coats, gloves, hats and other winter clothing are designed to keep you warm, but items that are bulky, don’t fit well or can catch on nearby objects can increase your risk of falling.
- Know your limitations! If the snow is too heavy, DON’T SHOVEL IT! If the walk is too icy, DON’T TRY TO WALK ON IT!
If it’s time to consider a move to a “maintenance free lifestyle,” give us a call- we’ve got a few open apartments! As always, you can visit http://www.stowglen.comor our Facebook page for more information!
If you’re like me, you have an aging parent or Grandparent who swears they don’t want anything for Christmas. “My house has enough junk in it! Please don’t bring me more!” or, “I have enough pajamas/coffee cups/umbrellas/etc, I’m just going to donate whatever you buy me!” The problem is, we can’t bear the thought of them not opening anything on Christmas Day. So, what are we supposed to do? Here are some ideas:
- Custom made throw blanket/shirt/hat/umbrella. Get one made with a big family picture or of their favorite pet on it. They’ll use it all the time!
- Family photo albums or scrapbooks. Just go through your Facebook and print a years worth of photos and put them in a nice album. They will love it!
- Senior Friendly tools/kitchen gadgets. Senior often struggle with grip and balance so little items in the kitchen and around the house are often appreciated.
- Gift cards to a favorite restaurant. But, the catch is, they are required to take an old friend they haven’t seen in a while. Decide on the friend and set a deadline that they must go by. You’ll see a big smile on dads face when he realizes you’ve bought him lunch with an old buddy!
- Take them to church. For many of our elders, Christmas Eve service is a long forgotten tradition. Drop what you’re doing and take them to church. You’ll be glad you did! From the Stow-Glen family to yours, we wish you the best Christmas ever!
Am I really losing brain cells as I age?
It seems like everything you read about aging these days has to do with dementia, the risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurological problems. When we are young- between 20-25, our brains reached peak performance. In our 30’s memory starts to slip, our 40’s & 50’s our reasoning skills slow down. By our 60’s the brain has actually begin to shrink! Like any other muscle, we can at least stave off deterioration with a good workout- here are some tips!
- Break a sweat! Exercise pumps blood to the brain and encourages growth of new brain cells
- Listen to music: A study in the journal Neuron showed that listening to music may sharpen the brain’s ability to anticipate events and stay focused
- Eat wisely: Certain foods like brightly colored vegetables and fruits are high in antioxidants- these counteract disease causing free radicals in your brain!
One of the most frequent complaints I get from my senior friends is about Medicare!
They often refer to it as a “necessary evil” and they don’t ever know where to start!
Can you get Part B with Part D and what about my Social Security disability benefits?
Fortunately, I can help- please come to the “Medicare 101- The Basics” luncheon at Stow-Glen on 11/1 to learn more from a local expert, Beth Kamer. She will cover each “part” that makes up Medicare as well as those products that work with original Medicare. We will all learn what the “donut hole” is and how it is calculated. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work are from Ohio State University. She has 23 years of experience in Hospitals, home care, nursing homes, senior center and Elder Law. Also, she has been an independent Insurance Agent for 3 years, working with Medicare products only. Believe it or not, she actually enjoys working with seniors and families to educate them on Medicare options! Attendees are encouraged to bring questions and challenges they’ve faced!
Well, Mom has admitted that living at home is no longer good for her. She wants to live in a place where she can be active, have friends and get a little care. So… NOW WHAT? How do you choose the best place? Is the “best place in town” the best place for her? Is the newest, most expensive place the best for her? Here are some tips for when you tour various places:
- Get feedback from residents and families. Online ratings are easy to see but aren’t very trustworthy- ask someone you know and trust!
- Eat a meal at the property. Ask to see the menu for the month. Is it something Mom will enjoy? Some places offer a gourmet menu 3 times a day and the seniors don’t necessarily like it! Some places offer pickled beets and liver and the residents go nuts for it!
- Visit the outdoors areas. Is everything clean, quiet and accessible? Are there green areas with room to relax and get fresh air?
- Trust your instincts. As you are touring make sure you think about your loved one actually living at the community. Do they feel comfortable and at ease? Do they feel at home? Are the staff and residents open, inviting and friendly? The staff at a senior living community must have the mindset that “They work in your home- you do not live at their work!” Always remember to follow your instincts and your heart.
Question: Mom seems lonely and depressed since her sister died, what can we do?
Have you ever stopped and really thought about all the loss a senior has experienced? By the time someone is 80, they have probably lost a spouse and a sibling. They have definitely lost their parents and other family members. By this point they have lost many close friends. Also, many have lost their driving privileges, overall health, hearing and many other things! I don’t want to depress anyone, but that STINKS!
That’s why having friends is so important for seniors- consistent socialization does wonders for our physical, emotional and intellectual well being! Here are a few reasons:
- Less isolation: a friend pulls us out of our shell and helps us live a good life. Places we wouldn’t normally go alone, we’ll go with a friend!
- More stimulation: Studies show that staying mentally and physically active help fight dementia, cancer and other diseases related a sedentary lifestyle!
- Friendly conversations: Seniors are full of memories and stories to share, but since they live alone, there might not be anyone to share them with. When a companion is there, seniors have someone to listen, show curiosity and develop genuine interest in their histories and the things they enjoy. At Stow-Glen Retirement Village, we have story after story after story of how important socialization is for our seniors! Now is a great time to make the move to Stow-Glen- can you imagine hundreds of neighbors of the same age with the same interests, goals and musical tastes? Call today for a tour!
What is Power of Attorney and how does it work?
This is a big question with several answers, but it’s very important that we address it!
A power of attorney (POA) is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. The reason there are several answers is that there are several types of POA. Here are some descriptions:
- Financial POA: allows your agent to make financial and property transactions, and handle taxes, stocks, safe deposit boxes, etc.
- Healthcare POA: allows your agent to make health care decisions on your behalf.
- Always remember that the most important thing with a POA is that they are only relevant when you’re unable to make those kinds of decisions! Just because you assign someone does not mean they have access to your checking account or medical decisions. It only means they have that access when a Medical Doctor determines that you are no longer capable of making those decisions for yourself!
The October 20th Lunch & Learn at Stow-Glen Retirement Village will address this question and questions about Living Wills. The luncheon is in Cedar Hall, doors open at 11:30, speaker and lunch at 12. Click on our Facebook page for more information!