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Share Valentine’s Love With a Fountain Valley Retirement Community

Category Archives: Sunshine Stories

Valentine’s Day ideas to make you and your loved one smile

Valentine’s Day is on Sunday, February 14th, and is a day most often associated with couples in love, dozens of red roses, and grand gestures aimed at winning the hearts of people all over the world. This year, it might look a little different since we are expected to stay home and avoid public dates with those outside our households, all in an effort to stay healthy. Luckily, Park View Estates Assisted Living and Memory Care community, as well as our other sister communities, are some of the first on the list for the COVID-19 vaccine, so we hope to be able to invite our friends and family back to our community soon!

In the meantime, the expert staff at Park View Estates in Fountain Valley, California have put their heads together to brainstorm how you can make this Valentine’s Day special. Here are some of our favorite ways to share Valentine’s Day love safely and remotely with your family members or loved ones.

Have a Video Chat Date

You have likely heard this before, but we will say it again! Last year showed us that using technology to stay in touch with loved ones has been life-giving for so many of our residents. Consider having a video chat date on Valentine’s Day with your family members to show them you are thinking of them, you love them, and you cannot wait to see them in person again. This is also a great way to show how much those grandkids have grown. You can even enjoy a meal together. If this sounds like something you would like to do, just give the staff at Park View Estates a call, and we would be happy to help you set something up with your loved one.

Make a Handmade or Handwritten Card

There is something so special about receiving something homemade. You can use this idea to have a special love-filled date with your family members twice! First, gather all the necessary supplies, such as glue, pens, markers, streamers, photos, etc. Then, round up the kids to join in on the crafting. Spend a couple of hours creating the perfect cards for your family members and throw in some updated photos. These photos do not have to be professional. Instead, share photos portraying your everyday life. We secretly love those photos of you and your families enjoying each other’s company the most. After you have crafted your cards, mail them to your favorite resident at Park View Estates, and we will be sure they find their way home!

Create an Old-School Mixed Tape of Their Favorite Music

Do you remember when giving a mixed tape was a sign of pure affection and love? Those were the good days. Bring back some nostalgia by creating the same experience for your loved one in our community! Add some of your favorite old-school tunes as well as from back in your loved one’s prime to bring some joy, movement, and even some memory benefits to their lives. Music has so many benefits for both our cognitive function and our bodies since it naturally encourages movement. Include the mixed tape in the card you made to really show your love.

Deliver Some Delicious Treats

They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and we could not agree more! If you are short on time but still want to make sure your loved one feels Valentine’s spirit, consider sending them some delicious treats. Our favorite treats are the ones that travel well, such as fudge, brittle or toffee, candied or spiced nuts, shortbread cookies, popcorn, or even teas. We promise that your loved one would be so excited to receive a special treat from you!

Valentine’s Day is all about sharing love, and we hope these suggestions inspired you to do just that.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Park View Estates, contact our friendly team today.

Tips on How To Grow Your Own Vegetables

If you live somewhere where you do not have your own outdoor space such as our independent living community, you might think you have to give up your gardening dreams. But that could not be further from the truth! With a little creativity, a warm window, and some growth lights, you can have your perfect garden right in the comfort of your home!

To get started, first decide what you would like to grow and how much (keep reading for some great ideas). Then, you will need a few pots with some drainage holes. When choosing your pots, keep in mind that some of the smaller plants like herbs can grow in shallow pots, but if you are planning to grow something like carrots, you will need a large, deep pot. To fill the pots, be sure to grab indoor potting soil because it is specifically designed for indoor vegetable gardens! You may also want a pair of gardening gloves, a trowel, and a small tarp to protect your floors.

Once you have your supplies, scope out your space for the sunniest window. Vegetables need around four to six hours of sunlight per day, and fruits need at least eight to ten hours. If you find that none of the windows in your home get this much light, do not fret, just head to your local hardware store or online shop to order some growth lights. They can be relatively inexpensive and they can speed up the growth process for your garden.

After you have your space properly lit, it is time for potting your plants. We recommend starting with sprouts rather than seeds because it is easier and you can have produce sooner. Another thing to consider is watering. We recommend following the old adage that “less is more.” For herbs like sage, you might even choose to set up a humidifier that constantly runs to mimic an outdoor environment.

Our biggest tip with indoor vegetable gardening is to be patient. It could take several weeks or months before you actually have produced you can harvest, but it will be well worth the wait! Keep reading for some of our favorite, and most successful, vegetable varieties for indoor gardening.

Herbs

Growing your own herbs is a major step up from purchasing them from the local grocery store and a good first try at indoor gardening, especially if you are an inexperienced gardener. Herbs are relatively easy to grow and they will make everything you eat taste much better. Select herbs even offer immune system support.

Lettuce and other greens

We all love a good salad, and the foundation for a good salad is perfectly crunchy lettuce. Lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, and kale are all possibilities for your indoor veggie garden. Even some greens such as celery can be grown from the scraps of another piece of celery – how cool is that? Just plant the stump root side down in a little indoor potting soil, and regrowth will happen soon.

Peppers and Tomatoes

Peppers and tomatoes are slightly more advanced than the other veggies listed here, but you can do it! These plants need plenty of sunlight and larger pots for their root systems, as well as a cage or stake for them to climb as they grow. Smaller peppers (such as chili or shishitos) and dwarf tomato varieties are easier to grow in containers and taste just as delicious as their larger cousins.

Carrots

Finally, carrots are another great option for indoor vegetable gardening. Carrots actually prefer a cooler climate, which makes them perfect for the indoors. Our biggest tip for the best carrots is to get a deep enough pot for them to grow because carrots are root vegetables that grow underground.

And if indoor gardening is not your thing, stop by The Farmhouse Grille at Maple Brook Terrace, where our master chef cooks with garden fresh seasonal vegetables for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Maple Brook Terrace, contact our friendly team today.

How Music Can Improve The Quality of Life For Alzheimer’s Residents

Music plays an important role in the lives of people of all ages, but for those with Alzheimer’s disease, music therapy has been proven as a promising way of improving focus and communication. It can even help memories resurface for those affected by memory challenges. Even for our loved ones that do not experience memory challenges, music can deliver several other benefits for physical and mental health by promoting relaxation, improving productivity, and lowering stress and anxiety levels.

Music is a common form of therapy used at Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Tucson, Arizona. We are proud to offer our residents a full sensory spa that combines light, music, scents, and textiles to give a multi-sensory experience that lends to relaxation or brain stimulation, depending on the therapy needed by the resident. Here are some of the benefits that we find this program offers your family members and loved ones:

Promoting Overall Wellness

Here at Copper Canyon, we have a whole-body approach to healthcare and wellness that goes beyond just ensuring a healthy diet and consistent exercise. We strive to ensure residents are taken care of both physically and emotionally during their stay with us. We find that music has the power to stimulate positive emotions and memories. For many seniors, listening to a specific song from a special time in their life can often help them remember that event or help them feel the same warm and fuzzy feeling they felt when they first heard that song.

Improves Memory

Unfortunately, short-term memory loss is often one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s, yet many seniors that are affected by this can still recognize songs from the good old days. Music can still reach the parts of the brain where memories are stored and help residents remember an event they associate with that song. For example, a resident who struggles to remember their wedding might be able to reconnect with the memory of their wedding day by listening to their first dance song. This style of therapy works because we associate music with emotion, so when we hear a certain song, we feel that same emotion that is linked to our memories.

Encourages Movement

Music-related activities such as singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, watching musical performances, and even just listening to music all encourage movement. When you hear your favorite song on the radio, it is harder to be still than it is to move! Some residents might choose to stay seated and sing, hum, clap their hands, or tap their feet to the beat, while others may choose to grab a partner and sway or dance to the music. All of these are great therapy exercises and support motor functions.

The Power of Music

Listening to music has a huge effect on our emotions. Music is a universal form of expression and allows connections among people regardless of language. It has the power to boost moods, encourage exercise, promote overall wellness, and even uncover lost memories. We love using music in our therapy for our residents. If you want to try incorporating more music in your loved one’s life, here are some of our best tips:

  • Select music that is appropriate for their age.
  • Choose songs that reflect the mood you are trying to create. For example, using a slower song might induce relaxation whereas an upbeat song may elicit energetic, positive emotions.
  • Select music that is enjoyable to listen to and familiar enough for singing along, clapping, and dancing.

The many benefits of music therapy can improve the quality of life of your loved one. Reach out to us if you have any more questions; we would be happy to help.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today.

List of Heartwarming Gifts That Will help Cheer Up Your Loved Ones – Aurora CO

As beautiful as a frosty, snowy winter can be, sometimes the dark and cold winter nights are just that: dark and cold. Now that we are in the pit of the season, you may be trying to come up with a way to brighten your loved one’s spirit or show them how much you care. We think a thoughtful gifts might just be the perfect solution!

To help you with a few ideas, our expert team at Belleview Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Aurora, Colorado has put together a list of heartwarming gifts that will help cheer up your loved one while we wait for spring to arrive!

Artwork Gift for their room

Do you ever get tired of looking at the same photos, artwork, and decor in your home? Well, your loved one may feel the same way. If you want to get them something meaningful, spruce up their space with some fun artwork that can lift their mood and brighten their spirits. Remember, loud colors can stimulate the brain! As an added bonus, every time they see this artwork in their room, they will be reminded that someone cares about them.

A Warm Blanket for Temperature Regulation

Did you know that seniors who are affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia may also struggle with temperature regulation? They simply might not realize they are cold, may not be able to comprehend they are cold, or might not be able to communicate to their caregivers that they are uncomfortable. Having a blanket nearby is one way you can ensure they stay warm. For seniors who struggle to regulate their own temperature or don’t realize they are cold, that new blanket they just received in the mail will make them want to bundle up! And who does not love snuggling under a warm blanket and watching a movie when it is cold and wet outside?

A Daylight Lamp Gift

According to research, daylight or sun lamps are beneficial for seniors because they can help increase serotonin levels (also known as the happy hormone) and help regulate melatonin levels to restore a more natural circadian rhythm. Sun lamps are often used to treat SAD or seasonal affective disorder. SAD is a type of depression that occurs during the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of sunlight during the day. Investing in a daylight lamp can help alleviate these mood changes by mimicking natural sunlight. If you are concerned that your loved one might be suffering from this type of depression or any other form of depression, consult your doctor immediately.

Coloring or Puzzle Books

Adult coloring books have taken the world by storm in recent years with new research suggesting that coloring has been linked to reducing stress levels and positively impacting people’s moods. We follow the same principles at Belleview Heights and encourage our residents to be creative with both coloring and crafting! A fun coloring book with crayons, colored pencils, or pens would be a perfect gift for your loved ones as they wait for the weather to warm back up. Another great addition to this gift would be a puzzle book! Puzzle books require brainpower to complete and contain challenges such as crosswords, matching, Sudoku, etc. These are great brain-stimulating exercises that help to improve your loved one’s cognitive skills, and they make great gifts to pass the time as well!

We love to see packages delivered for our residents and the smiles on their faces when they open your gifts! Consider giving one of these gifts the next time you want to send your loved one some happy mail.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Belleview Heights, contact our friendly team today.

A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Dream, Use These Tips To Achieve Goals At Any Age

Are you tired of wrestling with the back and forth of saying “I want to get healthier!” only to never change your eating habits? Or maybe you’ve been saying “I want to learn how to play the piano!” but you never seem to find the time to start. Sometimes the hardest part of setting goals and actually achieving them is getting started. If this sounds like you, then setting SMART goals can help.

SMART goals are based on five principles geared toward making any goal achievable through a clear plan. Consider using these tips for SMART goals from our expert team at Garden Way in Eugene, Oregon when you are setting your goals for the new year.

S – Specific

When setting your goals, it is important that you make them specific. In doing so, you are already setting out exactly how you plan to achieve your goal. For example, instead of setting the goal: “I want to eat healthier,” try “I will try one new recipe each week that is rich in fiber.” The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach your goal and hold yourself accountable to your plan.

M – Measurable

It can be difficult to say you have reached your goal if it is not measurable. For example, your goal might be “I want to be more friendly.” But how will you know if you are successful in this endeavor? Instead, you could say, “I want to make five new friends this month.” This is a trackable goal with a firm finish line that helps you know how close you are to reaching your goal.

A – Achievable

One of the biggest mistakes in setting goals is that they are sometimes not reachable – yet. Here at Garden Way, we believe that almost anything is possible if you set your mind to it! Some goals just require more time to accomplish than others, so we recommend that you break large goals into smaller pieces that are easier to be achieved. For example, if you have a goal of walking a 5k, start by setting a goal to have the stamina to walk for 10 minutes without stopping, then bump it up to 20 minutes. Before you know it, you will be ready to walk that 5k!

R – Realistic

When setting goals, we may dream big, thinking that we can completely uproot our lives and create entirely new schedules that do not fit our lifestyles to achieve our goals. But sometimes that just is not realistic or even necessary! For example, if you have a goal to become more physically fit, but you hate mornings, there is no use in trying to schedule your workouts for early in the morning. You know that you do not like mornings, and you probably are not too fond of the gym yet, so you are setting yourself up to skip your workouts. You do not have to give up on your goal; just reschedule your appointment for the afternoon! This is a more realistic approach to your goals that will help you achieve it sooner and with less stress.

T – Time Bound

Research has shown that if you try to set goals without giving yourself a deadline, you might end up procrastinating or never getting started. By giving yourself a deadline and marking that date on your calendar, you are setting yourself up for success and ensuring you will get started (and finished) by the date you set. For example, if one of your goals is to read more, tell yourself that you will finish one book by the end of the month.

Setting goals is important for everyone, but especially for aging seniors. By setting and achieving goals, seniors can maintain their sense of purpose and ward off depression even in their golden years. The team at Garden Way is confident that you can achieve any goal you set using the SMART technique!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Garden Way, contact our friendly team today.

Downsizing Doesn’t Have To Be Scary With These Tips

So, you have decided that now is the time to sell your loved one’s home and move them to a retirement community. This is a big step, but a positive one. Retirement communities are often better suited for aging seniors with additional care needs because they include thoughtful layouts, incorporated safety features, and plenty of activities to enhance residents’ social lives.

Downsizing can be a daunting task. But it does not have to be! The process can be overwhelming and emotional, so take your time, carefully consider what to do with each piece of large furniture or decor, and know that help is available at every step along the way. Here are some of the best tips and some hard truths for downsizing your loved one’s home from the expert team at Belleview Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Aurora, Colorado.

The Good

The good news is that after living in their home for decades, your loved one has probably accumulated tons of memories that are meaningful to you and your family. How lucky you are to have had such wonderful experiences! When deciding to downsize, take a good look around and be thankful for all that you have. Make sure you have a crystal-clear vision for why downsizing is a good choice: whether that is to be closer to family, have additional medical care nearby, or to make sure your loved one thrives in an environment perfectly suited for their needs. That way, when it is time to commence the downsizing process, you will already have the perfect mindset for the undertaking.

The Bad

The bad news is that your loved one cannot take everything with them. You will have to sell, donate or pass down large pieces of furniture, decor items, kitchen appliances, or family heirlooms. But never fear, this does not have to be a “bad” thing. If you truly consider why you are downsizing, you can recognize that some of these items no longer serve your family for your new adventure. The large furniture might have become a tripping hazard, the knickknacks are just more to clean, and the kitchen appliances take up valuable cabinet space. Downsizing is also a good time to let your creative juices flow and set your loved one up for a new lifestyle at their retirement community.

The Ugly

The ugly truth is that you will have to get through feeling overwhelmed to get started. Starting is often the most difficult part since you may have no idea where to begin. And if your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, big changes to their living spaces can be very upsetting to them. We recommend that you start in the places that your loved one does not see or use daily, such as a garage or attic. You may also consider moving your loved one to their new community before tackling their main living space. While there will likely be an adjustment period when they move, you won’t be prolonging it by rearranging their belongings while they’re still living in the home.

Once you have decided which items you are willing to part with, make sure you know your limits when it comes to lifting or moving heavy furniture. Hire professional help or enlist the help of friends and family to make this process as easy as possible on yourself.

Downsizing Tips

Here are a few of our other downsizing tips to help make this process as easy as possible for you.

  • Take it slow. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was your home. Expect this process to take a while, and do not rush it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help! Your friends and family are likely more than willing to help you, and you can hire professional help as well. Belleview Heights also offers an Easy Move Program that will help you or a loved one move to our facility. Reach out to us today to learn more.
  • When deciding to donate or sell your furniture, consider having the organization or buyer move the furniture for you. This will save both your back and your time since you will not have to move the furniture yourself.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Belleview Heights, contact our friendly team today.

Exercises That Will Help Improve Stamina, Balance And Strength

Exercising is one of the most important habits for maintaining our strength, stamina, and independence as we age. By moving our bodies consistently throughout our lives and into our senior years, we are giving ourselves the best chance at reducing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even some cancers. Unfortunately, with the slowing and aches of age, seniors can fall into a sedentary lifestyle that involves sitting or lying down for more than six hours a day. It’s understandable; sometimes bodies just hurt, and it’s difficult to find the motivation to exercise. But one of the best ways to improve how your body feels is to exercise.

The good news is that you do not have to join a gym, buy special equipment, or even leave your home to benefit from exercise. There are a multitude of things you can do from the comfort of your home (and even from your chair!) that will greatly increase your mobility when performed consistently. Talk with your medical provider about creating an exercise program that fits your current fitness level and health needs.

In the meantime, and to help you get started, here are some of  The Woods at Merrimack’s favorite gentle exercises that are not too physically demanding on the joints and muscles, but will have a big impact on your health.

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is a low-impact form of exercise that is specifically designed for those with achy joints. The water helps to relieve the pain and stiffness from conditions like arthritis while also providing resistance and encouraging your heart to get stronger. This type of exercise is typically hosted in groups, so reach out to your local gym to see if they offer a class that you could try.

Yoga

If you are just getting back into regular exercise, then yoga might be the perfect place for you to start. There are many types of yoga, but the type we recommend for seniors involves gentle stretching and muscle building exercises that typically do not increase your heart rate too drastically. This is not a “cardio” activity, so if you are not a fan of sweating, this could be perfect for you! These low impact exercises are sure to strengthen your core and improve your balance.

Walking

This one might seem obvious, but walking is an excellent way to keep your body on the move. This is one of the most common exercises for seniors because it is so simple to do, requires little to no equipment, and can be done anywhere – even in your own home. Start by challenging yourself to walk for 10 minutes without stopping. When that feels easy, increase it to 20 minutes. You can even invite your friends or family to join you for walks through the neighborhood or take your pet out for an evening stroll.

Chair Exercises

If you are struggling with your balance, or if standing up for extended periods of time is difficult for you, there are plenty of exercises that you can do while sitting down. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Overhead stretch: Lift your arms straight over your head and interlace your fingers. Arch your back until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat as desired.
  • Hamstring stretch: Sit on the edge of your chair. Extend one leg in front of you to a straightened position. Bend slightly at the waist until you feel a stretch. Return to center and repeat with the other leg.
  • Shoulder stretch: Sit up straight and bring your right arm over your chest keeping it as straight as possible. Hold your right arm across your body with your left arm until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to center and repeat on the other side.

Exercising can help you stay active and healthy longer into your senior years. Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, there is an exercise program that is perfect for you. The best way to get started is to speak with your medical provider about creating your perfect program. Then, head over to our gorgeous facility to implement your new workout routine!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of The Woods at Merrimack, contact our friendly team today.

Healthy Eating Tips That Won’t Change Your Lifestyle But Can Change Your Life

As we age, our nutritional needs change just like our bodies do. We may find ourselves needing fewer calories since we are no longer quite as active. We may realize that we gain or lose weight at a different pace than we used to. A decrease in metabolism and slower digestion due to aging is completely normal changes and nothing to be worried about. However, some simple dietary adjustments can help accommodate these changes and ensure we are our healthiest selves.

Luckily, these improvements are fairly simple and easy, and you may even be doing them already! Our caring staff at The Woods at Merrimack in Methuen, Massachusetts has put together a list of five easy ways to improve your diet and your health.

Stay Hydrated

People of all ages often do not drink enough water and can easily become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue, and even more severe symptoms if not corrected. To prevent this, it’s important to drink several cups of water throughout the day and always have a bottle of water within reach. One of our favorite methods to encourage more water drinking is to purchase a fun reusable bottle that has a pattern or color that you enjoy as well as your preferred lid (with or without a straw, or with an opening that feels comfortable for you to drink from). Not only will you drink more water if you have a bottle handy, but a reusable bottle helps support the environment and the reduction of plastic waste.

Focus on Fiber

It is common for the digestive system to slow down as we age. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious foods that are rich in fiber and can help prevent the uncomfortable stomach pains and bloating caused by slowed digestion. These foods include beans, broccoli, avocados, berries, and whole grains. Try something new in the kitchen by incorporating these ingredients into new meals that not only taste great but offer healthy vitamins and minerals, too.

Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

Your doctor has likely told you that your plate should contain at least one serving of fruits or vegetables each time you eat, and that is for good reason! Fruits and vegetables contain lots of micronutrients that are vital to our health and well-being. Enjoying a variety of vitamin- and mineral-rich produce will provide your body with everything it needs to maintain your immune system, bone and gut health, fluid balance, and so much more.

Skip the Salt

Salt is in so much of the food that we consume, and the majority of people eat too much of it due to a reliance on processed, packaged foods. You may be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to salt, but for seniors with high blood pressure, salt can cause too much strain on the body and contribute to more serious conditions. When searching for low-sodium options, choose produce that is fresh rather than canned since most preservatives are sodium-based. You can also purchase many foods in a “low sodium” option. These small changes can have a huge impact on your overall health.

Take a Daily Multivitamin

Daily vitamins provide us with tons of nutrients that are sometimes hard to get from our regular diets, especially if we do not eat varied, nutrient-dense foods. Finding a daily multivitamin can increase your energy and protect your bone strength. Talk to your doctor about which daily vitamin might be perfect for you.

Small diet changes can have a big impact on your overall health. Consider incorporating some of these tips into your diet on your next grocery shopping trip!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of The Woods at Merrimack, contact our friendly team today.

Use These Tips To Stay Healthy During Your Golden Years

Those who maintained a healthy lifestyle during their younger years may also carry through healthy living to their golden years, but it is never too late to get started! Healthy living does not have to be rigid, boring, or even difficult. With just a few minor changes, you can start feeling better and moving more so you can get back to enjoying yourself as you did years ago.

Starting healthy habits now can increase your quality of life. Healthy habits can also make a difference for those who are prone to illness or who did not make the healthiest decisions in the past. Consider these five healthy habits for you to start today from the expert team at Central Parke in Mason, Ohio.

Eat Healthy Meals

This tip applies to people of all ages, but specifically, when you are older, your digestive system slows down which can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight, avoid digestive issues, and more. A high-fiber diet full of healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is your best bet at keeping a happy digestive system. For seniors, it is also easier to become dehydrated. To combat this, consider investing in a fun, reusable water bottle that you will love to carry around. You are helping save the environment by reducing waste and will drink more water to prevent dehydration!

Move Your Body Regularly

Exercise offers tons of physical health benefits, but it also can dramatically improve your mental health as well. Especially for seniors, moving your body can help prevent depression, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes. It also helps you stay moving longer. An exercise program approved by a physician that involves walks, stretching and other low-impact movements can help you remain nimble and lean which keeps you independent and active longer.

Take Your Healthcare Seriously

As seniors age, the need for more medical appointments and medications may increase. Although going to the doctor might not be fun, it is important to take it seriously. We believe the best form of healthcare is prevention, so consider getting those yearly physicals, annual flu and pneumonia shots, and health screenings. Do not forget about your dentist or eye doctor! You should be visiting your dentist every six months and your eye doctor at least once a year. We also recommend having an easy-to-understand instructional document and hub in your home where you can store all of your medications and take them as prescribed.

Get Enough Sleep

As we age, insomnia and restlessness are more common. Having a well-established nighttime routine is more important than ever to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Here are a few tips:
First, turn off any screens a couple of hours before bed to encourage your brain to produce melatonin. Blue light from computer and TV screens tricks our brains into thinking it is still daytime, disrupting our sleep patterns.
Second, turn down the lights in your home to spur drowsiness. Consider having just a lamp on in the room you are using.
Third, make sure your bedroom is comfortable, cool, and quiet, so when you decide to go to sleep, your room is ready for you.

Spend Time with Family

This might not initially seem like a “healthy habit,” but maintaining family relationships is important for mental and emotional health. Spending time with those you love helps keep your brain sharp and happy. Studies show that seniors who have an active social life are less likely to develop depression. Make sure you are being safe and protecting yourself when you are visiting with loved ones and consider using virtual tools instead to maintain that connection from a distance.

Being healthy does not have to be hard, time-consuming, or dramatically uproot your life. Incorporating a few easy habits into your daily routine can make a huge difference in your quality of life, keeping you active and healthy into your golden years!

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Central Parke, contact our friendly team today.

Try these new year’s resolutions to help you reach your goals

A new year is traditionally the time when many of us set new goals, and seniors are no exception! In fact, about 60% of people will set a new year’s resolution for 2021. As we age, our goals will likely change, but the tradition of setting goals remains exciting and fulfilling as we challenge ourselves to become healthier, more intelligent, and better individuals that serve our communities.

Setting resolutions and goals can also be beneficial for our health. Studies show that seniors who regularly set goals and view life with a sense of purpose are 2-4x times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Setting goals maintains independence and can slow the aging process as well. With all of those benefits, here are a few resolutions to add to your list from our expert community leaders at Maple Brook Terrace Independent Living Community in Greenville, South Carolina.

Volunteer in Your Community

There are few things in life that are more fulfilling than giving to others. Consider volunteering for your local library, museum, or welcome center for your community to give tours, offer advice, or read to children. Studies show that older adults who volunteer often show lower rates of depression, increased physical fitness, lower mortality rates, and overall greater well-being. Offering time to your community can also provide you with a sense of purpose and allow you to meet new people of all ages.

Learn New Technology

Technology is ever-changing in the modern world, but that does not mean that we cannot try to keep up with it! As we head into the new year, we challenge you to learn one new piece of technology every week. Start with the basics like learning how to use your cell phone or trying out a smart TV. Then, as you feel more confident, you can broaden your technological horizons to include things like a digital camera or learning new settings on your computer! This is a fantastic way to challenge your brain, keep your cognitive skills sharp, and learn some ways to make your life easier using technology.

Attend a Virtual or Socially Distanced Exercise Class

It is never too late to take better care of yourself! Staying physically active is important for everyone, but particularly for seniors. When our schedules become less busy, we sometimes forget to prioritize staying active. Consider adding a virtual or socially distanced exercise class to your schedule in the coming weeks and see how you like it. If you find that yoga, karate, or Zumba is not your style, try another class until you find one that you love. Do not give up; there are plenty of options out there that are bound to get you feeling your best!

Spend More Time with Family (Virtually)

This past year was the year of social distancing and staying separated from family members, but we have high hopes that 2021 will be better! In the meantime, we recommend that you spend as much time with your family members as possible, even if it is virtually. This also relates to learning new technology, one of the first things you can learn is how to video chat.

Explore your Community

Maple Brook Terrace has beautiful grounds that we would love to show you! If you are a current resident of ours but are feeling like you might not have a grasp on everything we have to offer, we would love to give you another tour and show you all the amazing amenities that we offer. If you are not a current resident but are interested in learning more, be sure to reach out to us. We are currently conducting safe tours of our community and have safety regulations in place to make sure that we are all staying safe and healthy.

After you have set your resolutions, make sure you write them down and share them with friends and family. This will help you stay accountable and inspire your peers to set goals, too.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Maple Brook Terrace, contact our friendly team today.