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Tag: Assisted Living

 

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In communities around the country, groups of senior ladies are making their way around to their communities most popular spots, dressed to the nines in bold red hats. These women lovingly refer to themselves as Red Hatters and they are part of a growing group known as the Red Hat Society. Nearly 100,000 women from all over the United States and 31 different countries around the world have already joined this organization and the numbers are already growing.

Their motto is “you’re never too old to play dress-up” and their purpose is a simple one. These women dress up in red hats and go to museums, shows and restaurants together in groups. It is a social club that is all about fun and members can be found from all walks of life, including a growing group of women who live in assisted living facilities.

However, this group is about more than just buying fun hats, it has actually proven to be a very valuable resource for many senior women today, especially those who are receiving at home care or who are dealing with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Depression and feelings of loneliness are becoming increasingly common in elderly women, and social groups such as the Red Hat Society help provide these women with the social interactions that the need to live safe, healthy, happy and balanced lives. The goal of the Red Hat Society is to provide women over the age of 50 with the “Five F’s”: 1. Fun 2. Friendship 3. Freedom 4. Fulfillment 5. Fitness.

The group not only has local chapters in cities all over the country, but specialty chapters in different nursing homes and assisted living facilities as well. With these groups, senior women who want the opportunity to get out of their assisted living facilities and explore the area around them can have a chance to experience new place and try new things, all while making great friends.

For women who are struggling with loneliness or isolation or for those who feel a loss of independence, this group can be a great opportunity for them. There are many senior women who have also found that groups such as the Red Hat Society can help them feel more independent and help them easily transition to life in assisted living as they maintain an active social life outside of their senior living facility.

While many will notice the parade of senior women in purple outfits and red hats visiting their local restaurants and attractions, this group is about so much more than dressing up. With the Red Hat Society, many women dealing with the challenges of senior life in today’s world can get the support they need from their peers and a little extra social time they may desire to feel like themselves as they transition to life in assisted living. For those who don’t have a local chapter in their assisted living facility or home town, the National Red Hat Society is always interested in helping women start new chapters all over the world.

Two happy senior citizens dancing and smiling in a dancing class

For millions of high school students from around the globe, spring time means time for big dresses, tuxedos, limousines and corsages as prom season gets underway. For many high school seniors, prom is one of the most memorable nights of their entire life. However, now many senior citizens are looking to capture the same magic they had in their own high school proms with a trend that is sweeping the senior citizen community; senior citizen proms.

Just as the name suggests, these “proms” are simply a chance for seniors living in communities to get together, dress up and recreate their old proms, with all of the pomp and circumstance included. There is dancing, punch, dresses and in most cases, even a prom king and queen by the end of the night.

This is something that is spreading among assisted living communities and it is a great way for seniors to not only have a little fun and some social interactions, but it can also provide some really important cognitive stimulation for seniors as well. For many senior citizens, the idea of recreating a prom not only brings back good memories from their past, but it acts as a way for them to recall memories from their past as well. This can seem like a relatively simple notion, but for many seniors battling memory issues and dementia recalling their own proms can be used as a tool to improve their long-term memory. Bringing back photos and memories from their own experiences can help many seniors improve their own recall skills.

Above all things, this “senior prom” trend is providing many seniors living in retirement homes and assisted living communities with a new chance to get out of their comfort zone, try new things and have some much-needed social time. With more seniors than ever battling issues with isolation, loneliness and depression, it is so important for older adults to have a little extra social time to boost their spirits and help them live a balanced and healthy life.

For those living in retirement communities that haven’t caught on to this trend yet, it is really a rather simple type of party to throw. Many senior communities host their events right on their premises, with others planning larger “field trips” of sorts to bring all of their residents to new and exciting venues in their area. Most communities will also, just like most high schools, pick a theme for the evening and create decorations and magical backdrops to go along with the feeling of the evening.

While it may be a little on the silly side for some, the senior citizen prom trend is one of the fastest growing trends in the senior community. With more and more assisted living facilities catching on and throwing their own proms, it is safe to say that this is one senior living trend that won’t be going anywhere soon. Besides, who doesn’t love a good excuse to dress to the nines for an evening of dancing and fun?

Senior man communicating with female receptionist while women si

Each and every day, all around the country, there are countless senior citizens and their families who decide to enter into an assisted living facility to get the care and attention that they need. However, with more and more baby boomers transitioning to senior care, many of these communities just simply can’t house every individual who wants to reside in their facility. This is why each and every day there are countless seniors who are also put on what is known as the “waiting list” for these assisted living facilities.

This can be very frustrating for seniors and their families, especially those who are in desperate need of 24-hour care. If you or your family member has found yourself on a waiting list at one of these assisted living facilities, here are some important facts you need to know about being told you need to “put your name on the list.”

  • Make sure you read the fine print. Different assisted living facilities are going to have different policies about wait lists. Not all communities are the same. Some place will give you 24 hours to say “yes” to an available unit, while others may hold a place longer until you can make arrangements. Make sure you go over the details before putting yourself on the list.
  • Be ready to pay a deposit. Most waiting lists require a significant deposit for those who want to be on the waiting list. The good news is, most of these deposits are completely refundable.
  • You can consider moving into a facility at an apartment you don’t necessarily want and then getting on another waiting list until the right unit becomes available. Sometimes, this is the best tactic available for those who want to make sure they can get in somewhere in a certain facility, before they worry about getting into the right
  • You can typically reserve the unit you want. Most facilities allow potential residents to get on the waiting list for a specific unit, if you can wait, you don’t necessarily have to take the first apartment that becomes available when it is your turn.
  • There are sometimes internal wait lists to compete with. You may be a certain number on a facility’s external wait list for an apartment or room, but it doesn’t mean that you are as close in line as you think. Many facilities also have internal wait lists of residents who are waiting to move units or to move to a different specialty care ward.

When visiting any assisted living facility, it is typically smart to assume that you are going to have to get on a wait list. Nearly half of assisted living facilities today are at capacity and it can be almost impossible for them to give potential residents an exact timeline on when a spot is going to open up. While waiting lists are usually par for the course when it comes to finding assisted living facilities. However, with a better understanding of what these waiting lists entail and how the lists commonly work can only help you be better prepared to handle the wait list process.

Mullti-ethnic senior group of people

Assisted living communities have become a safe haven for many seniors today who are looking for a place to spend their golden years in style and comfort. Long gone are the day when assisted living facilities came with a stigma or were seen as the same thing as a nursing home. Today, these communities are much more resort-like than hospital-like and they are increasingly able to provide residents with more amenities and features than they ever thought possible.

These senior living facilities are not only becoming more posh and exciting, but there has also been an emerging trend of new niche senior communities designed to adhere to the needs of specific types of residents. Recently, an Indian American senior living facility opened in Tavares, Florida, and was established with the goal of providing a comfortable place for seniors from India to retire in style.

The ambiance, food and even the religious practices are all based in Indian culture, so that Indian Americans can make certain they are receiving everything they need to retire comfortably while still maintaining their cultural practices. The facility is designed to foster a feeling of belonging in their community and to make sure that seniors not only have access to the services they need but that they can enjoy activities and games that are part of their culture as well.

This new facility, known as ShantiNiketan is just one example of dozens of new niche assisted living facilities that are popping up all over the country. As more and more seniors decide to spend their later years in assisted living, these niche facilities are becoming even more popular. In addition to cultural-specific assisted living communities, there has been an increase in LGBT assisted living centers as well. These communities are meant to help gay, lesbian and transgendered seniors feel more comfortable in their surroundings as they enjoy life in assisted living.

Other trends include assisted living facilities specifically for seniors with certain interests or passions such as music, art or golf. At the Long Beach Senior Arts Colony, creative seniors can enjoy a variety of activities, art glasses, put on performances and even display their work in the community’s own gallery. Other communities are catered to those who have an interest in health and wellness as they retire and offer a plethora of healthy eating options, exercise classes and more; all aimed at the health-conscious senior. There are also facilities popping up for retired military and even retired professional athletes. While they may be different on the outside, the goal of all of these communities is to ensure they can adhere to their resident’s individual needs and passions and that all of their resident’s have access to a like-minded community of peers.

While there are many seniors who would feel perfectly comfortable in a more general type of assisted living facility, for some seniors these niche communities are just what they need to feel comfortable and confident in their new senior-friendly home.

In Love Senior Couple

One of the most challenging situations that seniors today face is when their spouse needs care, but they do not. Many married senior couples are faced with this difficult situation when they realize that their husband or wife needs to move to an assisted living facility. Many times the first question out of their mouth is “can I move with them?”

When senior spouses need different levels of care, it is important that all parties involved are prepared for the options that lie ahead. The good news is, there are some assisted living facilities that allow spouses to move in with their significant other who needs care. However, most assisted living facilities have rooms designed for single individuals, so finding the right space or apartment may be a challenge.

The other thing to remember is that there needs to be a balance so that both spouses are getting what they need. While the main focus may be on the spouse that needs care and on finding him or her an assisted living center that provides them with the care that they need, the other spouse should not be neglected in the process. Both parties need to be considered.

As you search for assisted living facilities, make sure that they also have activities and access to things like public transportation, available for the spouse as well. The spouse needs to still be able to live their life. They need to be able to have social activities, enjoy outings and maintain some of their own independence. Just because their spouse needs care, it doesn’t mean they have to live with the same limitations as their significant other.

While some couples may find a place that works for both parties, others may ultimately consider at home care, if they can’t find the right assisted living complex. There are other spouses who may ultimately have to split up and live in separate places, whether it is permanently or short-term until they find a better solution. With such a complex situation, it should come as no surprise that there is rarely an easy fix waiting right around the corner.

With this in mind, one of the best things that couples can do when they start to reach senior age, is to start looking for possible assisted living centers that will meet their needs. There are many facilities that offer progressing levels of care and that are ideal for individuals who may need more care over time and for couples with differing needs. The more prepared a couple is, the easier their transition will be when the time comes. Many of these facilities do have a waiting list, so couples are often encouraged to make the move earlier rather than later, that way they aren’t in a panic should an emergency occurs that prompts the immediate need for assisted living.

It is important to remember that this can be a very trying and emotional situation for any couple, as most couples will want to stay together no matter what. However, the more proactive seniors can be about finding a possible solution for this dilemma, the easier it will be to transition to this next phase of life.

How To Make Friends as a Senior

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Senior men relaxing in armchairs

Being a senior can be a very fun and rewarding time in your life. The wisdom that comes with experience can give you a unique perspective on the world around you while you enjoy perks such as the freedom to travel, less responsibilities and the joys of children and grandchildren. However, for many seniors, one thing that is missing from this exciting and rewarding time in their lives is an active social life.

Social circles are always changing, but for seniors they can often be even more complex. Many times friends and family may no longer be with you, old companions may have moved away to retire or you simply may not get out as much to keep up with different social opportunities. This is why so many senior adults struggle with making and maintaining friendships. While it can be a challenge, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make new friends. Here are some easy tips to consider that can push you in the right direction so you can continue to experience new and lasting friendships well into your golden years.

Start Striking Up Conversations – You never know where you will meet a new, quality friend. Chances are, there are a number of people that you see in your daily life that could potentially be great new friends. Push yourself to be more outgoing and talk to the people you see in your community, whether it’s the friendly neighbor next door, the woman you see at the market every week, or the kind gentleman that is always behind you in line at the coffee shop. You never know who you may have a lot in common with, until you start talking to them.

Join a Club or Group – One of the best things about being a senior in our world today is that there are so many unique opportunities for seniors in communities across the country. Seniors make up a very large percentage of our population which is why social clubs, community centers and gyms alike all have special programs designed specifically with seniors in mind and that are created to be both fun and to promote social interactions. Join a group or facility in your community, they are great places to have a little fun and to meet new people.

Don’t Limit Yourself – Just because you are a senior, it doesn’t mean that all of your new friends have to be seniors as well. You never know who may end up being a great friend, so don’t be afraid to reach out to younger individuals. The nice young couple that moves in across the street may be young enough to be your child but it doesn’t mean that they can’t be a great friends. After all one of the best things about friends is that they can provide you with a unique perspective on the world that makes life all the more interesting.

Hop Online – Many seniors are understandably apprehensive about using the internet to find friends or companions, but you may be surprised to find just how many seniors are on the internet looking for social activities and connections. There are numerous websites that not only help seniors connect one-on-one but that list a number of different social activities and outings in your local area.

Remember, you are never too old to make a new friend. While it may not come as easily as it did when you are younger, if you put yourself out there and keep these tips in mind, you will find many adults your age also looking for new and substantial friendships at this time in their lives.

Making the decision to move your loved one into an assisted living community can be an extremely stressful and emotional experience, but the decision process does not simply end here. Once you and your loved one have determined that it is best for them to move into an assisted living community, you still have to select a facility that will meet all of your loved one’s needs, provide him or her with safety and care, and help them thrive during this next phase of their life.

While we know that people make these decisions with the very best of intentions, here are a few of the most common mistakes that we see when people are searching for an assisted living community for a family member or loved one.

Choosing for Themselves Rather than Their Loved One

Everyone has different tastes, and in many cases, an adult child’s thoughts about what constitutes a perfect assisted living community will vary significantly from their parent or other loved one who will actually be living there. These differences could encompass everything from aesthetic qualities of a community to services offered to the level of interaction that will take place with staff and other community members.

As such, it’s important to get a realistic picture of what community features are important to your loved one, and to do your best to adhere to your loved one’s wishes, rather than your own, especially as you start attending in-person facility tours.

Insisting on a Facility Close to Their Home

A lot of family members will want to choose an assisted living community that is close to where they live themselves, thinking that a closer proximity will encourage them to visit more frequently. Unfortunately, as we all know, life has a way of interrupting our best laid and well-intended plans. While this might not be a big deal in every instance, some families will choose an inferior facility that is located nearby instead of a better facility located further away.  In cases like this, it’s important to continually remind yourself that ultimately, your loved one’s wellbeing is all that matters. If the best facility for them is close to you, then great! However, if this is not the case, you’ll want to make sure that you place your priorities in the right order.

Not Planning for the Future

Choosing an assisted living community is a stressful experience for both you and your loved one, and it’s not a process you are going to want to repeat every 2-5 years. As such, it’s best to think about this decision in the long-term, making sure that whatever facility you choose will be able to provide for your loved one’s current AND future needs.

For example, mobility may not be much of a concern for your loved one at the present time, but a lot can change in just a year or two. As such, this is something you will want to keep in mind as you look for an appropriate community, especially if you believe that this is likely to be a concern in the future.

Making Decisions Based on the Wrong Things

A fresh coat of paint and impressive staging can cover a multitude of sins in an assisted living facility, and it’s important that you look past the visuals when choosing the right place for your loved one. While you certainly want to take aesthetics into account when choosing the right community, this should be FAR down on your list after carefully examining the level of care your loved one will receive, investigating any possible complaints against the facility or recorded violations, and ensuring that the services offered by the facility can meet all of your loved one’s current and future needs.

Trying to Make this Decision without Any Help

No one expects you to be an expert at choosing an assisted living community, especially if this is the first time you’ve had a need to do so. As such, you should not hesitate to reach out for experienced help and guidance with this process. There are a number of free resources online that will help you look into the any recorded deficiencies with or penalties imposed against a given facility, like the “Nursing Home Inspect” tool provided by ProPublica. Additionally, our team here at SeniorAdvice.com has created a free checklist for what to look out for when touring an assisted living facility.

 

 

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