There are many challenges that families face when discussing the idea of senior care with aging parents and loved ones. Due to lack of information, multiple opinions, and fear of the future, conversations about the making of senior care plans and assisted living can often lead to conflict, especially when friends and family don’t entirely agree on what constitutes the best alternative. In this month's blog, we will investigate three possible reasons for conflict as aging loved ones begin to require senior care as well as three possible solutions to resolve differences.
1. Resisting Harsh New Realities
Are your parents or loved ones resisting the idea of senior care? This is not uncommon in older adults reaching the season of life where daily activities become a challenge without some assistance. If you are struggling with discussing the idea of assisted living with mom or dad, it might result in hurt feelings or anxiety if not communicated appropriately. Conflicts can arise, resulting in family members talking AT one another instead of TO each other.
Solution: Be brief and clear-cut. To avoid hurt feelings, tell them that their health and happiness is of the most importance to you. Explain that you are not attempting to "be free" of them. It’s crucial to communicate your concerns effectively, because communication is key. Once you express your feelings and worries regarding their well-being, listen to their concerns with an open mind. Afterwards, appeal to logic by creating a checklist of pros and cons from among the best options. Helping an aging parent to accept senior care can be a challenge, even in the best of circumstances. The ideal approach is to be honest, yet compassionate and motivated, and remain patient in the journey to discovering senior care facilities and future plans. Senior care authority Debra Feldman encourages tolerance and understanding during this sensitive time. Empathy helps us to understand how frightening things can seem when losing our self-reliance.
2. Perception of Senior Needs
Is your loved one denying the need for senior care? In many situations, seeing is believing – but when it comes to aging seniors recognizing the time to accept help, this isn’t always the case. It is quite common for loved ones to perceive needs for assistance differently. For example, do your aging parents stumble at times or struggle to get around the house, but deny it when questioned?
Solution: Families often dispute about the needs of senior care. Those involved all have varying opinions on the way those needs should be met. To minimize family conflict, it is recommended to seek guidance from the senior’s health care professional. Keeping the best interest of their patient, a trusted doctor or nurse practitioner can help recognize the needs and objectively recommend options to aging seniors and their families. Following your visit with a physician, the next logical step may be to meet with one of our community consultants at Regency. Call and schedule a no obligation appointment today to learn more about senior living and senior care plans for your loved ones.
3. Dominance of Decisions
When families do not see eye-to-eye on important decisions, typically there is at least one loved one dominating the decision-making process. In some cases, this can be a sibling, other family member, or even a senior who refuses care.
Solution: If it seems easier to keep quiet in regards to senior control, think again. While it may keep the peace, it’s important to vocalize your concerns, especially if you feel the aging senior is not being well cared for. If faced with conflict and limited control over estate and inheritance, a family mediator might be able help. Such unpleasant conflicts will only grow more complicated if resentment boils over in the future. Losing a senior parent, when that time comes, is difficult enough without family arguing over things that ideally should have been settled years before.
Despite the preliminary challenges that accompany transitioning into assisted living, it is crucial to consider living alternatives for aging loved ones, their overall health and well-being. Again, our Regency community consultants are always here to answer any of your questions. We would love to have you come in and see our warm community. We look forward to introducing you to our Regency family. We welcome the opportunity to act as a true resource to you and yours.
Written by: Katie Hanley
Everyone searches for the key to happiness throughout life, and everyone also seems to have differing opinions on what that key is. Is it family? A loving partnership or marriage? Wealth? Actually, it turns out that it is a combination of these – having a wealth of good relationships is the real key to living a long, happy life.
In 1938, Harvard University started a study, and began tracking 724 men. These men came from a variety of backgrounds ranging from college students to men living in some of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. The researchers initially interviewed these men about their lives, medically examined their brains and did blood work, and continued this process every 2 years. The majority of the surviving men from the study are now in their 90s.
After 75 years of research, there are now some solid clues that can help piece the happiness puzzle together. Harvard Professor of Psychology, Robert Waldinger, is now the 4th director of the study and says that those who lead healthier lives also have strong social bonds which protect their mental and physical health over the long-term. In contrast, individuals with health problems have a higher probability of becoming isolated which can lead to unhappiness in old age.
This seems like a fairly simple concept…stay healthy and make friends. However, consider the various phases of life and making friends: when we are in school, there is a built in network of individuals to choose to build relationships with; when we enter the workforce, our careers provide opportunity to form even more relationships.
What happens when we retire though, and our colleagues/friends move on or become out of touch? Waldinger suggests that happiness is more likely for healthy seniors who make an effort to build new relationships after retirement. A person who is connected with friends, family and their community will tend to live a healthier, happier life than a person who is less connected.
The study also found that there were connections between mental unhappiness in younger years (caused by unhappy relationships) and physical pain in later years. For instance, some people reported that their physical pain at age 80 was magnified due to their emotional pain at age 50. This is why H. Jackson Brown Jr. said that who you marry determines, “90% of your happiness or misery.”
Even though romance may be hard to maintain in a relationship that lasts for generations, the study suggested that individuals who argued with their partner regularly had sharper memories. This was dependent upon the individual feeling that they could count on their partner in tough times, suggesting that secure relationships help strengthen the brain.
What role does an Assisted Living Community, like Maybelle Carter, play in this?
When a senior moves into this type of community, they are not isolated. The community fosters a healthy balance of freedom and privacy with an environment designed to help create and grow social connections. There are planned outings, games, meals, and a variety of great physical activities that are planned by staff in order to nurture the mental and physical health of residents.
Even though the prospect of moving to an Assisted Living Community can be scary at first, the majority of people feel like they belong with their new “family” within a few weeks of getting settled in. Some even discover that they are not as shy as they thought, and find a new freedom by spreading their social wings! These types of strong social bonds can play a very important role in long-term physical and mental health, according to research.
To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602.
Written by Kristen Camden
When is the “right” time to move a loved one into an Assisted Living Community, such as Maybelle Carter? That question is not easily answered for many seniors or their loved ones, as the topic can be a great source of conflict. However, once an aging family member or loved one is unable to live alone, the topic becomes unavoidable.
The great news is that even though this life-changing decision can be scary, many Maybelle Carter residents tell us, “I wish I had done this years ago.” Think of the process in terms of the nervousness a high school graduate feels when they are transitioning from living at home to going off to college and living in a dorm room. The feelings of being home sick and anxious about an unfamiliar place and people are normal in both cases.
There is a misconception among some that Assisted Living communities are cold and sterile, like a hospital. This notion may be attributed to nursing homes, which focus primarily on providing residents with skilled medical care. In reality, Assisted Living communities offer seniors their own apartment, complete with a staff to help with housekeeping, laundry, and daily reminders that may be needed for medications. They also offer residents the freedom to come and go freely, delicious meals provided in a social dining room, and activities that are planned by the facility.
Even as great as the idea may sound and be presented, a loved one that is aging could adamantly refuse to leave the home that they live in, which may hold sentimental value or attachments. However, the discussion does not necessarily have to be negative if it is approached with open and honest communication.
It is suggested by experts that children and family share their concerns with their aging parent, provide options, and then listen to how their loved one feels. This method is far healthier and more beneficial to all parties involved, as opposed to dictating when and what changes will be made. Another reason why it is important to encourage, and discuss the benefits of, moving to an Assisted Living Community is to avoid the topic being forced by worsening health or an incident.
Once the topic has been discussed, take time to visit and learn about various communities to see which one is the best fit and most liked by the parent. Things to consider are the location, along with what services and activities are offered.
Even though the idea of moving out of their home may be met with negativity, they would much rather be part of the process and have a choice of where they will be living, if the time comes. For many, settling on Maybelle Carter’s Assisted Living Community is due to the family-like atmosphere, as much as the activities and amenities offered.
The peace of mind that comes along with knowing a loved one is cared for, balanced with the senior’s need and want for social interaction and independence, is what is offered at Maybelle Carter.
These are just a few considerations when discussing or moving an aging or disabled loved one into an Assisted Living Community.
To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602.
Written by Kristen Camden
Nashville seniors see our share of snow and ice each winter. As we approach the holidays, it’s a good time to come up with a game-plan for keeping safe and arriving to springtime incident-free.
Maybelle Carter residents and their families are fortunate in that they enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a safe, secure residence where their physical and emotional well-being are the entire focus. There are definite advantages to living in a space with staffing and supplies to handle even major winter events.
For those seniors who choose to age in place in a private home, family caregivers need to carefully assess potential troubles as far as ventilation, backup in case of electrical outages and having enough food, water and medicine to last for several days. It’s possible for the homebound senior with mobility issues to be stranded in place for days without family able to access them. In such cases, it pays to have a reliable neighbor who is willing to check in on your senior loved one to make sure they are warm enough and not suffering.
Hypothermia is always a risk associated with the colder months. Part of the reason seniors and the very young are more susceptible to bitterly cold temperatures is a lack of activity (due to mobility issues) combined with health conditions such as diabetes that make it more challenging for the body to keep heat. Key to making winter more pleasant is maintaining heat in the home without allowing it to escape, as well as making sure the homebound senior knows about approaching severe weather and has a fully charged phone to maintain communication with his or her caregiver.
At Maybelle Carter, we offer transportation services to residents so they do not have to get out in the weather alone – a move that can be extremely risky in frigid temperatures. Outings and regular activities are part of what it means to be in our community – a togetherness that positively affects the mental focus and well-being of our residents. It’s tough to get too overwhelmed by wintertime blues when entertainers, staffers and friends keep you occupied.
Assisted Living offers the best of both worlds: we respect a senior’s privacy while being available to help with the tasks of daily life. It’s a compromise that allows the parent to maintain their dignity while giving grown children reassurance that mom and/or dad are safe and well cared for. A side-effect that families might not consider is the time and effort they save no longer having to winterize the senior's home, shovel snow out of the driveway, deal with frozen pipes, etc.
Winter can be an especially dangerous time for people of all ages, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that most natural deaths occur around the holidays and winter months. A move to Assisted Living (even if it is just during the winter months) can be a precaution that seniors grow to love.
For more information on relocating to our community, please contact our marketing coordinators at (615) 868-2290.
Like country star Keith Urban sang, “It’s gonna be a long, hot summer.”
Temperatures are already climbing in Nashville, and that makes it extra important to stay comfortable, healthy, and safe. The heat can be extra hard on those with chronic illnesses, the very young, and furry friends who live outdoors.
Here are our top tips for staying as cool as Johnny Cash even when the mercury climbs:
Beware of dehydration. It’s easy for it to sneak up on you. The University of Chicago Medical Center found that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people over 65. This is for a number of reasons, including naturally decreased water retention that comes with age, medications that may affect elders’ ability to stay hydrated, and issues with kidney function.
Symptoms of dehydration can include problems with walking or falling, dizziness or headaches, dry or sticky mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, inability to sweat or produce tears, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure or blood pressure that drops when changing from lying to standing, constipation and decreased urine.
Maybelle Carter’s staff of caregivers are trained to look out for symptoms like these and to help residents stay healthy and comfortable. However, friends and loved ones may want to take note of how they can stay equally refreshed during scorching Southern summers. Often by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already considerably dehydrated. Sip water throughout the day, and avoid drinks like coffee, tea, or soda that can contribute to dehydration even if they feel like they’re wetting your whistle. Skip alcoholic beverages in favor of mocktails, too, during the warmer months.
Avoid going outdoors when the sun’s rays are strongest and temperatures are highest. The sun’s ray’s heat things up and increase UV ray exposure from noon until late afternoon. Often temperatures peak between noon and 4 PM, depending on the weather. Stay inside where there is air conditioning or a fan and snack on foods like cucumbers, bell peppers, melon, or fruit instead of salty chips or pretzels.
If you lack air conditioning, there are plenty of places in Nashville you can head to beat the heat. See a movie, take a walk through your local shopping mall, the Nashville Public Library on Church Street, or grab a couple scoops at Jenni’s Splendid Ice Creams in East Nashville. Pinewood Social is a fun spot where you can grab a bite to eat, enjoy bowling indoors, or have a drink poolside. And of course, there is always the opportunity to catch a show at the Ryman Auditorium!
School is letting out for the summer and that’s a great opportunity to spend more time with the grandkids, nieces, nephews, or other special young people in your life. Luckily, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Nashville with little ones, meaning you can give mom and dad a break and make some special memories. Here are four great outings you can enjoy together:
Just thirty miles north of Nashville in Portland, Tennessee is Bottom View Farm. They offer a wide range of family-friendly activities. Until May 17th their Spring Spectacular event features inflatable slides and trampoline, as well as pedal tractors, hayrides, a gold mine, live animals, and refreshments. You can call 615-633-2853 for more information. All summer and into autumn Bottom View Farm’s main attraction is in full swing, however, with berry picking. Kids are sure to love getting to learn about where their food comes from and will be proud of showing off what they picked themselves. With strawberries through June, blueberries and blackberries in July, apples in late summer through autumn, there’s many opportunities to enjoy life on the farm.
The Adventure Science Center lives up to its name with almost 200 hands-on exhibits to teach children about biology, physics, the five senses, the atmosphere, space, energy, and earth sciences. In addition to the regular exhibits there are also regular workshops, lectures, and summer camps. The Sudekum Planetarium has shows Tuesday through Friday and almost hourly on weekends showing 6.5 million stars, both as they appear over Nashville (without the light pollution) and even in the time of the Pharaohs!
Older kids and teenagers especially might enjoy the treasure trove of artifacts at the Hall of Fame. Through 2016 they have a special show on Dylan, Cash, ad the Nashville Cats, showcasing artists from Nashville who played with these legendary icons. This could be a great way to teach a special young person in your life about the way music has evolved and enduring artists who are popular once more with the next generation. What better way to share some of your unique memories, too, of favorite musicians, dances and concerts you’ve attended, and records you listened to than by getting the conversation started at the Hall of Fame!
Not only are there amazing animals to meet at the zoo, including elephants, giraffes, meerkats, kangaroos, and flamingos, but you can meet certain animals up close and personal through the Animal Encounters that take place at scheduled times on certain days in pre-determined sections of the park. Kids of all ages will love the chance to learn more about nature and animals in other countries, and there’s always something new to see at the zoo. You can also take the wee ones to Zoovie Nights when the Zoo plays movies like “Toy Story” and “Ice Age” on an inflatable screen. If they still have energy to burn, the kids will love the games, inflatables, music, crafts and after-hour access to the carousel that go on as well.
The weather is gorgeous, the kids are ready for summer adventures, and now is the time to explore Nashville together! This is just the tip of the iceberg, however. There’s so much more to do afar these outings get you started!
It's easy to forget the most important things sometimes-- not the big iconic moments of history or the famous places that tourists visit, but the shops, restaurants, homes, and offices that made up our daily lives. These are the places that had the biggest impact on us and made us who we are, from the salon where we got our hair done to the diners we went to with friends and family. Nashville has always been a place steeped in the nostalgia of country music, so it only seems appropriate to revisit some of the places that made 1960s and 70s Nashville so memorable for anyone who spent time here:
Chester's was a popular hair salon for many years. Nashvillians fondly remember in the 1950s and 60s when myna birds were kept in shops to attract customers, and the many celebrity sightings that occurred at Chester's over the years. Nearby were popular eateries like Woolworth's where you could get an excellent soda.
Of course, you can't reminisce about Nashville without recalling the Grand Ole Opry House. There were no shortage of exciting new inductees throughout the 1960s and 70s, including Patsy Cline, Hank Locklin, Billy Walker, and Tammy Wynette. This was also the era of Gram Parsons and the Byrds, a rare instance of rock and roll invading the Opry's pure country sound.
Many a young motorcycle enthusiast got his or her start at Malone's Cycle Shop. From 1958- 1978 they were a major purveyor of bikes from Honda to Kawasaki, Husqvarna to Moto Guzzi.
Harvey's Department Store was quite the shopping destination. In addition to its five-floor spread of merchandise, it was home to The Monkey Bar and Carousel, which featured an indoor Carousel for the kids and real live monkeys. Some Nashville residents remember when Mr. Harvey would let the monkeys run loose in the store if there weren't many customers about. Harvey's even featured the first escalator in the city.
Want to make the most of the next year? We put together an excellent list of suggestions for how you can spend your time, get fit, and take on new projects that will make retirement even more rewarding. Excited? So are we!
Here are five ways to kickstart your year:
1) Coworking spaces aren't only for freelancers or independent contractors. They're also a great place to put your knowledge to work for others. The Skillery in Nashville offers classes and workshops on everything from pie making to indigo dying and beyond. If you have an area of expertise you'd like to share, they're often open to suggestions. If you want to learn something new, you only need to look at the calendar and see what strikes you!
2) Painting is creatively fulfilling and therapeutic— great for maintaining dexterity and keeping your mind sharp. Basic supplies are inexpensive and available at any craft store or art supply shop. If you're in need of inspiration, gather some friends to check out East Nashville's galleries and shops, especially during Tomato Festival time. You'll see some great examples of everything from folk art to fine art that might give you an idea of what you'd like to put on the canvas!
3) Start a new fitness habit like a daily walk or regular group aerobics class. Bike riding is also easy on Nashville's gentle terrain. Whether you choose to workout alone or with a buddy, you'll quickly feel the positive benefits to your balance, strength, and endurance, making it easier to get even more out of life.
4) Try a new board game. They're back in a big way and there are more options than ever beyond the classics like Life, Monopoly, and backgammon. Try something like Settlers of Catan, Othello, Cranium, Apples to Apples.
5) Find a new way to explore the great outdoors. One of the best things about Nashville is its mild climate. That makes it easy to appreciate all sort of natural wonders, from canoeing and fishing to a gentle nature walk or even something more adventurous like trail biking. Beaman Park, Bell's Bend, Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park, Bowie Nature Park, and Cumberland Park are all great options close to downtown and with short, accessible trails.
Christmas is a magical time of year for Nashville seniors. It's a time when we all act a little nicer and think of others. While some think the holiday has become too commercialized, Christmas isn't about buying affection.
It's about gaining time with people we love. Putting some thought into buying or making a present for giving to family can honor past traditions and lead to new ones. With a little preparation, we can make this year's Christmas an unforgettable holiday gathering.
At some point in the month of December, we gather with our families. For many, that involves time in and around the kitchen cooking traditional meals, baking cookies with children, saying grace and eating until we're stuffed. It's an opportunity to share family stories about Christmases past and remember elders who are no longer with us.
There's an expression "It's the Thought that Counts", and with Christmas, that's certainly the case. Simply handing over a credit card to a clerk to acquire something generic gets the job done, but gifts are only truly delightful when we pour our time and creativity into them. This can mean personalizing something like a calendar, sewing a quilt, or making a handmade craft. Or sharing an exceptional book.
Experiences can also make better presents than things. For example, a trip to a museum that stimulates a grandchild's imagination. There are so many attractions in Nashville to entertain, educate and delight a loved one. Journeys to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Ryman Auditorium, a Titans football game, or a shopping expedition to Opry Mills can make for amazing days.
Of course, it doesn't have to be Christmas to make someone feel special. A family trip can mean more memories of time spent together – and the photos from the day can generate an additional present in the form of a photo album.
Elders sustain holiday rituals, which are the things that grandchildren carry forth into their own families as they age and create new branches on the family tree. What fun things does your family do when you get together? Play board games? Sing carols? Watch a certain holiday movie?
When striving toward a great Christmas experience, families need to be appropriate in giving and receiving. It can be challenging to discover what family members want, requiring you to play detective. Remember to keep gifts age-appropriate.
The holidays bring expectations of graciousness – both in giving and receiving. Rare is the teenager these days who will take the time to hand-write a thank you note to a grandparent for a Christmas present, so don't take it personally if they show a lack of warmth when given something they probably need rather than necessarily want.
The holidays are about connecting with family and honoring traditions. It isn't about buying affection. The best gifts have thought put into them, and the gathering goes more smoothly when family members work toward harmony and humility.
With a little bit of thought, this can be one of the best Christmases ever!
Today we are going to talk about one of the most crucial conversations that can take place between a grown child and their aging parent: discussing a move to a senior living facility like Maybelle Carter.
Sometimes it is the parent who realizes he or she needs help with routine tasks or simply wants the socialization that comes from being in close proximity to other people their age. Other times, the grown children may urge the parent to consider such a move for the sake of their health.
It's only natural to want to stay in our homes for as long as we can. Most Nashville seniors are able to stay in their homes for years with a relatively small amount of help, then gradually, it may become more difficult for them and moving become less of a choice, more of a necessity.
Once your family is sure that a move is in the senior's best interest, the process needs to be handled delicately and gradually. Parents may not be aware of the dangers of staying at home alone once health starts to decline. There may also be inaccurate preconceived notions about what to expect at a senior living community. The senior may not understand what senior living options exist these days and all the benefits that senior living communities can offer.
At Maybelle Carter, we create a warm "homey" atmosphere with loving support from a friendly and well-trained staff. The senior's level of independence is carefully assessed by our licensed staff to determine how much help is needed, so the parent shouldn't necessarily dwell on doctors and medications but on our activities and social opportunities.
It's important to get these things on the table and discuss the various options that are available. This information will help start the conversation with your loved one. Information about our amenities and services can be found at http://maybellecarter.com/nashville-retirement-living-amenities
If the senior is reluctant, highlight the positives and use non-threatening talk. Seniors typically feel relieved once they see for themselves that Maybelle Carter really is a community rather than a stark "room" as we offer multiple floor plans including 1,100-square-foot two bedroom, two bath apartments equipped with full size kitchens and the ability to decorate with cherished possessions. Pets can even come along as a roommate.
One of the big worries for seniors is that they don't want to be a burden in any way to their children. They don't want to have to worry about their children paying for the move or having to visit them once they are in a new place. They may not understand what senior living options exist these days and all the benefits that senior living communities can offer them.
Call us at (615) 868-2290 or visit http://maybellecarter.com/elderly-care-resources-nashville/free-consultation to schedule a visit and tour. We welcome the opportunity to act as a true resource to you and yours.