Maybelle Carter Blog

living with parkinsonsThere are plenty of great reasons to choose an assisted living facility for yourself or a loved one-- the caring community, delicious meals three times a day, fun activities, knowing that housework is no longer on your to-do list. For fifty thousand Americans each year, however, there's an added reason to consider a senior care facility: a Parkinson's diagnosis.

Parkinson's doesn't get the same level of attention as other disorders associated with aging, but a million Americans live with the condition, which primarily affects adults over fifty. Some of the symptoms are famous, including muscle rigidity and tremors. Others are peculiar and don't at first seem connected to a larger medical picture, like slowly losing the ability to smell pickles, liquorice and other smells.

The process to get diagnosed can take careful attention to changes you might be going through, including shifts in mood and speech. Some symptoms, like the loss of smell, can begin 4-6 years before movement dysfunction sets in. Others, like chronic constipation, are easy to mistake for the kind of changes you expect your body to go through as you age and can start over a decade before other symptoms start. There's no blood test for Parkinson's, so it will take a visit to your doctor to get an official diagnosis.

If you or a loved one does have Parkinson's, you'll not only have a diagnosis but also learn the stage of the condition. Parkinson's has no cure, and it is progressive. It's not life-threatening, however, so you can plan on enjoying your retirement with just a few adjustments. If the physical effects of Parkinson's, like a shuffling gait or shaking hands, makes it hard to manage everyday chores, assisted living can be a great option to keep things simple. That way you can focus on time with loved one and your hobbies.

A senior care community can also make a positive impact in Parkinson's patients' lives by helping to ameliorate the condition's impact on mood. Parkinson's is caused by the degeneration of your brain's ability to create and process dopamine, which can lead to depression and anxiety as well as the disorder's physical effects. That's why it's crucial to avoid a sense of isolation or limitation. Your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend therapy, too, but it can also help immensely to live near friends and neighbors, staying engaged in your favorite pastimes, and having the support of a compassionate staff can all help you stay on an even keel.

Whether you have already confirmed Parkinson's or are just trying to plan for everything retirement might hold, know that a senior home can grow with you, offering as much or as little support as you need, even if that changes over time. When a place like Maybelle Carter has your back, you can be confident in just how much there is to anticipate.

Written by Meghan O’Dea

Copyright: angellodeco / 123RF Stock Photo

Published in Retirement Communities
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:49

How to Stretch Retirement Savings

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?Nashville retirement living

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

Friday, 27 May 2016 18:16

Ways Aging Can Impact the Body

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.Nashville elderly care

Here are a few major age-related changes that a majority of older adults will face, and how to prepare for them:

  1. Brain Function
    Issue: Age-related memory loss is common among seniors, but it is important to distinguish between normal forgetfulness and signs of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
    Solution: While there is no clear cause of Alzheimer’s that has been determined by scientists, they do believe that there are certain environmental and lifestyle factors, along with genetics and complex brain changes, that can affect people differently. For instance, the misuse of alcohol may increase brain damage risk, as well as negatively impact other parts of the body.
  2. Skin
    Issue: Overexposure to the sun throughout life can lead to many things, including age spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Also, people over age 50 who had chickenpox during their life may suffer from shingles. Other factors that impact the skin are toxins, stress, and dehydration.
    Solution: A good rule of thumb is to always protect the skin when it is exposed to sun, and be cognizant of dehydration. There is also a shingles vaccine available now to help boost the immune system against the virus.
  3. Bladder/Prostate
    Issue: Various forms of incontinence, the involuntary release of urine, are common in older people, particularly women. For men, the prostate gets larger with age, making it more difficult to release urine.
    Solution: While you should speak to your doctor about medicines available to help control incontinence, being proactive is also important. Drinking less caffeine and more water can help improve overall bladder health.
  4. Eyes/Ears
    Issue: Vision impairment issues and changes slowly begin to surface around the age of 40. You may notice that it is difficult or impossible to read small print without an aid such as reading glasses. Presbycusis is a hearing condition which causes a decline in ability to hear.
    Solution: While vision loss in seniors is inevitable, having annual eye exams can help detect early signs of eye disorders, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Quality of hearing can be improved with hearing aids, but being mindful of exposure to loud noises in younger years is also important.

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

Published in Active Senior Living

Nashville retirement communityNashville 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.

Written by Steven Stiefel

assisted living provides opportunities for friendshipsThe ideal scenario for living out our Golden Years are carefree days packed with fulfilling experiences and social opportunities. For many, a senior living community such as Maybelle Carter provides just that kind of lifestyle.

Moving to a community such as this is appealing for sure, but the question that hovers over such a relocation is how to pay for long term care.

The seniors best positioned for the future have thought ahead earlier in adult life, either by building equity in property that they can sell to pay for their living expenses, putting money away into a savings account or possibly investing in a Long-Term Care Insurance policy.

The majority of assisted living costs are paid through personal finances of residents and/or their families, so Maybelle Carter seeks to educate the public so that the eventual move to a senior living community is a smooth transition free of financial worries about depleted funds.
Some mistakenly believe Medicare will cover the cost of assisted living, but that isn’t what the program was designed for. It does cover health expenses that seniors of a certain income may face, but it does not pay for assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, toileting, etc. Fees at Maybelle Carter are based on an evaluation process of how much help a resident needs performing these tasks.

We’re unlocking financial solutions to provide confidence and security for seniors and families. In toay’s world, that says a lot.

Some options to investigate:

  • Veteran Benefits – Elder Resource Benefits Consulting – If you are a US veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may be eligible to receive a federal monthly pension to help for personal care such as assisted living.
  • Line of Credit – ElderLife Financial Services – Flexible credit options are ideal for those who need rent support while they wait for other benefits to begin or are in the process of selling a home.
  • Converting a Life Insurance Policy – Life Care Funding Group – The liquidation of a policy through a Life Settlement can act as a “funding bridge” to help cover the costs of retirement and senior living when other assets such as a home or stocks are underperforming or difficult to sell.
  • Gift Tax Exemption – Family members can pitch in toward the cost of assisted living and take advantage of the IRS gift tax exemption. Consultation with a tax professional is strongly advised before making financial decisions.
  • Companion Living – Roommates at Maybelle Carter Retirement Life Community enjoy dedicated suite apartments at lower monthly rates without sacrificing any of Maybelle Carter’s signature amenities, programs or services.

These are just some of the financial solutions that can help residents move forward with confidence. For more information about these programs, please contact our marketing coordinators at (615) 868-2290.

Written by Steven Stiefel

Published in Retirement Communities
Friday, 28 August 2015 22:09

Seniors Should Write their Life Stories

write your life storyCommunication 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:

  • Start with short stories or vignettes. Trying to record your whole life can be a daunting task, so start small. Take it one story at a time, and focus on its details and the lessons or perspective you may have learned in that specific situation. And don’t confine yourself to beginning with stories about your childhood; you are the storyteller, so you can start where you want!
  • If you still aren’t sure where to start, think about significant events that happened during your life. This could be a major historical event, and you can write about how your life was affected by it. Or it could be something specific to your personal life or your family. Describe the event. How did you feel about it? What changes did it cause in your life? Did you learn anything from it? (This question brings up another point.)
  • When you are writing about an important life event, consider what you may have learned from it. If you have gained any wisdom from a certain situation, include that in your story. It could be a learning moment for the person with whom you’re sharing!
  • Be vulnerable. Tell the whole story, even if it may be a sad one. Emotional reflection is healthy, and looking back in order to write a story like this may help you gain new perspective even now. Whatever events you’re describing, happy or not so happy, they shaped you into the person you are today. If there are certain details that you don’t want to share, you don’t have to share them. If you would rather change names to protect others, you can! This is your story, so you control what goes into it.
  • Be descriptive! Give colorful details, rather than just stating the facts. Appeal to the senses in your writing. This will allow your readers or listeners to make a stronger connection with your story.
  • Include memorabilia. If you have been holding on to trinkets or photos that may connect with the memories in your stories, share them! This helps your family add a level of significance to the story. They can see what you looked like at the time, see the other people who played a part, or touch an item that was significant to you at the time!

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!

Written by Chanel Bell

Request Information