Pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick once said, “Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.”It’s sound advice—all too often, we can lose our sense of purpose when we leave jobs behind and families grow up. We spend so much time looking forward to retirement we forget what exactly what we want to fill that time newly found free time with. Fortunately, a city seeing a comeback, like Nashville, is the perfect place to stage your own renaissance. Let the city be your guide for how you can make retirement everything you dreamed it can be, and more.
These Boots Are Made for Walking
Nashville is a wonderful place to stay active. Try a tour like Walk Eat Nashville and not only get some exercise, but try some exciting new foods. Or you can explore Riverfront Park and the surrounding area around the Parthenon. The Nashville government also offers Senior Dance Clubs through community centers and some even perform throughout the city! You can take the grandkids to see the famous dragon sculpture at Fannie Mae Dees Park, or to the shops around Jenni’s Ice Cream in East Nashville. Studies show that as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day can improve cognitive and cardiovascular health, improve balance, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. By turning exercise into social time, you can greatly multiply the benefits.
Try Something New
Take advantage of being off the 9-5 and schoolyard schedule and do something fun in the middle of the day— after all, your time belongs to you and no one else! Take a break from your routine and do something unexpected. Walking up and down Broadway is a great way to hear some music you might not have heard before, too. The honky-tonks often have live music playing day and night. There’s also so many great up and coming bands that cover popular favorites, such as The WannaBeatles, the Sinatra Tribute Show staring Matt Snow, or ForeverPatsyCline. You could try an unexpected flavor at one of Nashville’s many amazing restaurants, like Wild Cow in East Nashville or brunch at the Frothy Monkey. Studies show that a wide variety of cultural experiences make for lower stress levels and greater feelings of happiness. Who knows, you just might find something you’ve been missing out on this whole time!
Never Stop Learning
If you could study anything just for your own enjoyment, what would it be? You spent years cultivating many useful skills, but it’s never too late to learn knew ones. Perhaps there was a subject you wanted to study in school, but didn’t see a vocational benefit. Or a craft you always felt drawn to, but couldn’t squeeze in the time with a busy life of pay checks, report cards, or soccer games. Now is your time! You can take courses in anything from art, foreign language, literature, or psychology at Nashville’s many higher education institutions. Finish that degree you started or simply sit in and audit a class on a new subject that interests you! It’s easy to take learning into your own hands with video tutorials online, audio books, e-books, or print text on everything from leather working to landscape design to history. You’d be surprised how much learning something new can lead you to new connections, inspirations, and motivations.
Look to Tradition
Nashville might be a modern city, but it’s one with deep Southern roots. You're no different. Even in a new era of your life, you are still deeply connected to your history. Memory is a powerful thing, and you can travel in and out of time, simply by reminiscing about your experiences and sharing those narratives with friends, neighbors, and family. Get in touch with your roots, whether it’s revisiting a favorite food from your childhood, an old fishing spot, or books you loved in school. If you're looking to retire to something, your past can hold major clues as to what that something might be. Look at what was meaningful to you in the past and you might just find what you want to dedicate your time and energy towards in the present and future, much as Nashville has built an exciting new era on the foundation of its heritage. Loved ones might enjoy hearing about your experiences and perspectives, and that might in turn, guide them towards their own passions and values in life.
Above all, Nashville is a city that believes in community. It’s as close knit, as it is country. That sense of community is often just what seniors need to feel the same sense of connectedness they did when they were plugged in to workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, and more. Isolation and boredom can leave you feeling adrift and depressed. Meeting you goals and cultivating a new sense of purpose can be jumpstarted just by spending time with others and defining a new era of life at our senior living community. If you’d like to learn more about how Maybelle Carter Senior Living can be a part of your journey, call today at (844) 602-2602.
Written by: Meghan O'Dea
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
Saving money for retirement is an idea that has been drilled into the majority of Americans’ minds since the landscape of the workforce began to change in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Prior to this, many people worked for the same company for the majority of their career, which could be 30 years or more, and then received a retirement pension.
The “security” that came along with a specified pension began to fade when portable 401(k) plans started being offered by companies. These 401(k) plans do offer more flexibility for workers, as they can take their savings with them if they change jobs. However, not everyone takes advantage of these plans, and even when they do, it can be too late to save enough money in order to retire at the desired age, much less comfortably.
In the US, women have an average life expectancy of 81.2 years, and men average 76.4 years. As people live longer lives due to advancements in modern medicine, time can become a liability.
So, how are we expected to juggle the financial responsibilities such as home mortgages, bills, children & their education, etc. and save money at the same time? And how can those negatively affected by the housing crisis of 2008 and 2009 offset their losses?
Here are some tips from experts on how to stretch savings during retirement years, in order to afford to live in an Assisted Living community like Maybelle Carter, when and if the times comes:
• Cut Back Spending – While this concept seems simple enough, many find it difficult to adhere to when extra money is available. Discipline is required, along with willpower, to save money for retirement as opposed to spending it on unnecessary luxuries. By making small changes (e.g. eating meals at home instead of dining out), the benefit will outweigh the cost later in life.
• Focus on Debt Elimination – It is nearly impossible to focus on saving money when there is debt involved, and older Americans normally owe more in credit card debt than younger Americans. In order to have retirement savings, it is imperative to stay ahead of this type of debt, especially when interest rates add to the original balance. Be sure to focus on paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate first, or consider whether or not debt consolidation is the route to take.
• Live a Healthy & Active Life – Lifestyle choices can be a major factor that directly ties to medical expenses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends exercise, a healthy diet, and regular checkups to have blood pressure and cholesterol checked, in order to reduce these expenses and avoid health issues that may arise from alternate lifestyle choices.
• Obtain Insurance – Unexpected medical costs can be associated with growing debt. Many times, health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid only cover medical expenses for a set period of time, so Long-Term Care Insurance may be needed. This is particularly important to consider, as an average of 70% of people past the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care during their lifetime.
• Work during Retirement – The number of individuals who work after “retirement” has grown, even in a challenging job market for this demographic. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the typical head of a family household, who is fortunate enough to have a savings account, is between the ages of 55 and 64 and has an average of $104,000 saved.
In addition to these tips, experts also suggest: young adults should start 401(k) contributions as soon as possible in order to compound the interest; don’t rely on Social Security/Medicaid because the number of people working to support retirees will decline by 2050, according to US News & World Report; consult a financial advisor when planning retirement; save more than anticipated for retirement needs in case of job loss or unexpected medical issues; stay open minded and flexible when the time comes to address personal care finances – selling homes, obtaining reverse mortgages, and living with a companion are a few options for seniors to consider.
It is easy to pretend that the day will never come when retirement savings will be so important and necessary, but procrastination will not solve the problem. Spending less and saving more is the bottom line.
Nashville is a popular place to retire for many reasons, but particularly for the multitude of entertainment options – many of which are free, low cost, or offer senior discounts. Maybelle Carter complements this already amazing city through its dedication to provide residents with an array of activities, many of which are free as well.
To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602.
Written by Kristen Camden
It is difficult to prepare for all of the changes that impact your body as you age. Youth can give a false sense of confidence and lead to living life in a reckless way for some; others may live their entire life cautiously in order to avoid or prepare for the inevitable changes that will happen to the body later in life.
In a society that has seen a vast increase in obesity, more than a third of all adults are considered to be obese. Partially, this is due to an increase in sedentary lifestyles. The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study in 2011 which found a link in decreased life expectancy in people over 25 years of age who sat and watched TV. For every hour spent in front of the television, there was a 22 minutes deduction in overall life expectancy among these adults.
Being aware of these factors and how they impact future health is a start. However, being and staying physically active, and taking charge of overall health are key to the management of future well-being, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Here are a few major age-related changes that a majority of older adults will face, and how to prepare for them:
Other age-related changes include: Balance issues, loss of teeth, bone and joint weakness, and digestive/metabolic system problems. These are just a few of the keys to help aging adults live a long, healthy life. Check with your doctor before making any changes that can affect your physical or mental health.
Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., the Former Director of the National Library of Medicine believes, “Good information is the best medicine for older adults. NIHSeniorHealth can help seniors find answers to their medical questions from the comfort of their own homes thanks to this new and innovative online resource and the Internet."
To learn more, visit http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov.
Maybelle Carter has a range of services, from Independent Living to Memory Care, in order to fit the needs of each individual resident. To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602.
Written by Kristen Camden
Spring signals a time for growth renewal through warmer weather, trees and flowers blooming, and outdoor activities! Everyone enjoys the change in seasons for these reasons, and especially since spring provides a chance to get out of the winter slump and cold that many experience.
Executive Director at Maybelle Carter, Jennifer Todd, agrees that, “Spring is here and we know our gardeners are just itching to get out to the garden and start digging in the soil and let the April showers bring the beautiful May flowers!”
While not every senior has the same level of mobility in order to get outside and fully enjoy the great outdoors, simply sitting in the garden and soaking up some Vitamin D can be equally as important. Research has shown that Vitamin D produced from sunlight can improve cognitive function. However, it is also very important to protect yourself from prolonged sun exposure, as it can cause harm to the skin, dehydration, and exhaustion. If you do plan to take advantage of the warmer weather and sunshine, take precautions: wear sunscreen and a hat, drink plenty of water, and take time to rest and cool down.
Some exciting FREE activities planned in Nashville for spring are:
Additionally, there are plenty of activities that you can plan and take part in on your own, depending on your hobbies, interests, and mobility. Some of these can be enjoyed outdoors or indoors, in case the heat is too intense to be outside.
Here are just a few examples:
Don’t forget to take all the precautions necessary to prevent heat stroke and exhaustion, as you make the most of the warmer weather! Wear light clothing, avoid being outside at the peak heat hours, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. If you need to take a break and seek air-conditioning, do so. You can always get back out and enjoy the weather once you feel more energized.
These are just a few tips to enhance your enjoyment of springtime as the weather transitions to the humid summer in the Deep South.
To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602.
Offering a wealth of knowledge – but also potential new hazards – it can be hard to determine whether the Internet is a treasure or a Pandora’s box. There’s no going back to the world before the web, but Nashville seniors can use some savvy to utilize the best of cyberspace while insulating themselves from many of the risks.
At Maybelle Carter, we take residents on a virtual trip to faraway lands like our China voyage on January 8th. Even though the Internet is becoming something we take for granted, it’s still pretty extraordinary to think that having a real-time conversation with someone in China is just a few clicks away. Opening up a larger world poses opportunities and dangers in equal measure.
Today seniors are increasingly comfortable on the web, using it to:
Unfortunately, others may use the Internet to target older Americans via emails and websites. Below are some common sense rules from the real world that also apply in the online world…
If Something Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is!
Scammers try to lure seniors into surrendering their personal information by claiming they’ve won a prize or gift, but not all that glitters is gold. Retirement savings make a tempting target for criminals who want to deceive us. If something feels suspicious, trust your gut and tread carefully, cybersecurity experts advise.
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
The Internet affords people the luxury of anonymity. Behind it, they may behave in ways they never would in the “real world” – pretending to be organizations we trust so they can try to trick us into telling them information they can use to steal our identities, money or credit. Be aware that most banks or companies will not ask for you to update your personal information from an email.
Look Before You Leap
Don’t open files attached to emails if they come from someone you don’t know. If you get an email from your bank or another seemingly reputable company, don’t click the direct link because it is easy to create a website that looks legit. Instead, go to your browser and type in the web address there. Don’t share personal information with a stranger such as a social security number or insurance policy numbers because anyone can pose as someone they’re not, possibly someone you’d normally trust. Once information goes online, it’s not always erasable, so be careful about what you share.
A Chain is As Strong as Its Weakest Link
Common sense precautions include using software protection against viruses, spyware, and malware. Avoid creating usernames or passwords that someone might be able to guess (or using the same username and password on multiple websites). Seniors who are comfortable online need to provide help to those who may be more easily tricked. Be sure someone isn’t looking over your shoulder in public when entering a password, and avoid connecting to public wireless, or WiFi, that does not require a password to connect to the signal. Update software whenever new security patches are released. If you aren’t sure about something, ask a trusted family member or a reputable computer retailer.
In the same way you keep your wallet or purse shielded from bad people in everyday life, you need to protect your information online. It is prudent to watch your bank or credit card statements for unusual transactions. If you sell or discard computers or mobile devices, be sure you wipe the hard drive to remove files and information stored on it.
There are many ways criminals can harm ordinary people, young and old, but with these common sense precautions and questioning things that appear suspicious, seniors can feel more comfortable enjoying the positive aspects of the Internet – seeing a new grandchild’s face on Skype or taking care of some business with a few clicks instead of getting out in the cold and risking a potential fall.
Written by Steven Stiefel
Communication is constantly changing, with new technologies springing up seemingly every other day. The ways we talk to each other aren’t the same as they were even 10 years ago. One thing hasn’t gone away, though. We are still fascinated by stories and storytellers!
Seniors might not realize it, but their lives have been full of great stories to share with their families and friends. They have decades worth of wisdom and insight stored up and ready to share, but they might not know how appreciated it can be. This is where writing comes in.
“The life review process helps a person find meaning, value, and fulfillment. It gives the person a sense of self-worth and of value to others.”
– Dr. Augustine DiGiovanna, Salisbury State University
Not only can writing one’s “memoirs” be a learning experience for younger generations, it can be beneficial for the writer. Reflecting on their lives and writing their stories can become a new hobby for seniors! It can help keep their minds and imaginations active, helping them to make sense of events long past. Additionally, the opportunity to discuss and share these memories helps foster a sense of community and can help keep them from feeling isolated.
This becomes increasingly important if the senior is living in an assisted living facility like Maybelle Carter. Writing it not only a pleasant pastime but it also gives them a tangible way of passing on memories to their families someday.
If you’re unsure where to start in the writing process, here are some tips:
If you have trouble writing or typing, using a video or voice recorder is a great way to preserve your stories! There are also groups in various places across the country who get together to write and share their stories on a regular basis.
Have fun sharing the story of you!
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.