Did you realize that religious participation can offer higher levels of physical and mental prosperity in seniors, as opposed to non-religious seniors? Medical benefits have been linked to regular religious practices. Participation was correlated with:
Studies report that:
Religious seniors that attend religious services on a weekly basis, were described “very happy” at 45%, as compared to those who never attend at 28%.
Non-religious seniors reported to be “very unhappy” ranked at 4%, as compared to religious seniors at 2%.
Offering the feeling of self and social identity, 67% of seniors said that having religion in their lives offers more social fulfillment.
Out of the majority of seniors studied, statistics revealed that religion is the means of navigating through life’s difficulties, for example, the loss of a spouse or mobility.
The takeaway? These statistics that tie happiness and health to religion holds true. The correlation is clear, but the explanation of “why” for this relationship is less clear.
Regardless of the reason one thing is clear, we welcome all religious practice for the overall health of our community. This may incorporate nearby church organizations, neighborhood Catholic officials administering fellowship to parishioners, and honoring holy days, for example, Hanukkah for our Jewish occupants.
For many people, religion is not just a matter of spirituality but also a means of social connection. Many residents still attend church services or their pastor will make home-bound visits at communities to let seniors know they are still important to a church family, even if they are no longer able to make the service each week because of poor health or mobility issues.
In senior care facilities, meeting the needs of seniors comes with the job. However, at Maybelle Carter, we like to go above and beyond for our senior residents and staff, providing more than assisted or memory care. We can also guarantee the best religious and spiritual care through congregational services, worship, learning, and prayer. Living in senior retirement with neighbors that share the same or a similar religious belief can furthermore excel happiness, growth, and health. That is what we're about at Regency – giving the best opportunities and care to our senior community.
At Maybelle Carter, faith is commonly known as our cornerstone. Being a Christian organization, we urge the practice of religion, regardless of belief or culture. If you’re looking for a senior living community to meet your religious needs, take a visit through our facility and spend the day to get to know our staff and residents. Better yet get the full experience, and join in the fun at one of our activities or events. Call us to schedule your next visit us today. We are happy to welcome you and your family to our Maybelle Carter family!
Written by: Katie Hanley
The holiday season is upon us! Time to break out the Christmas decorations, string lights, eggnog, and cozy winter sweaters. ‘Tis the season to be merry! Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family. However, for many seniors, the holidays are often thought of as confusing, stressful, and in some cases saddening, especially in those suffering from seasonal depression or the loss of a loved one. Make this Christmas season special for the entire family by contributing these 5 tips to happier holiday and add more joy for the senior in your life:
1. Take a trip down memory lane. Stories are a great way to engage with seniors, as they have quite a few. As you spend time with your senior loved ones, ask them questions like, what were your family traditions when you were younger? Comparing differences and similarities is a great way to bond over Christmas dinner. Seniors love to share memories of happy times. Likewise, it can be great for the youngsters to hear about what it was like when the seniors were their age.
2. Cherish your time. Always cherish the seniors in your life and make quality time for them, especially during the holidays. At Regency, we encourage families and friends to spend time together. Whether that be a Christmas dinner, a drive out to see the magical winter lights, nativity scenes, or a candlelight church service. Just remember to have fun, chances are they will, too! Just a few minutes of uninterrupted, quality time is a lifetime of appreciation and happiness for seniors.
3. Recognize Depression. Experiencing some degree of depression around the holidays is extremely common in aging seniors. If you believe that the senior in your life might be experiencing seasonal depression this Christmas, we encourage you to make time for them. Don’t ignore the warning signs – let us know how your Regency family can help in any way!
4. Be mindful. For many seniors suffering from memory loss, the holidays can be confusing time. Be mindful that they may not remember certain past events or sometimes even names or how they are related. Use caution to not make them feel anxious or elevate confusion when they are experiencing a memory lapse. If it appears they do not remember, simply share the memory with everyone. Chances are they may not be the only one to have forgotten.
5. Ask them to help out in some small way. Our senior residents love getting the chance to help, even if their contribution is small. Include them so they feel needed by asking for a helpful hand or words of wisdom this holiday season. Give them the task of setting the dinner table, stirring the gravy, or if your senior is in a wheelchair, they can help out by peeling the potatoes. You can also include them in the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree. Gather the family around to watch the illumination kick off the holiday season. While many seniors are unable due to physical limitations, there are still many ways even older folks can help with.
Whatever the season holds for you, Regency Senior Living is honored to celebrate these special times with you and your family.
Written by: Katie Hanley
Not only does intergenerational activity pass along knowledge and wisdom, it can lead to longer, healthier lives. While finding common ground may be a bit of a challenge, it can be rewarding for all ages. Studies have proven this interaction reduces isolation and poverty among seniors while enabling them to serve as mentors for younger adults.
As Margaret Mead states, “Somehow we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, a knowledge of the past, and a sense of the future.”
Here are a few tips for intergenerational activity:
Keep an Open Mind
Seniors and grandchildren alike can learn a lot from each other if both parties keep an open mind and appreciate the unique opportunities and challenges that can accompany the interactions.
Differences in generations can also bring a collision of values. It is important to respect the variances in lifestyle and belief. When individuals come together, inaccurate and negative stereotypes are broken. As organizational development scholar Dr. Morris Massey said, “We don’t have to agree with the values of different generations, but we can strive to understand the mind-sets of different generations and how each group sees the world based on their experiences.”
Find Common Ground
Both seniors and those from Generation X can relate to the impact a downturned economy played on their lives. Baby Boomers were most likely influenced by parents who grew up during the Great Depression. That provides common ground for younger generations who struggled with a double digit inflation and a challenging job market.
Bridging the differences of age and beliefs requires flexibility in actions and thinking. The Charmm’d Foundation offers more tips in staying flexible and communicating with other generations at http://www.charmmdfoundation.org/resource-library/effective-communication/checklist-communicating-different-generations.
Differing generations can become advocates for one another to provide solutions for illiteracy, crime prevention, health and environmental issues. Generations United provides that intergenerational activities allow seniors to remain active and engaged. This interaction results in longer life spans with better mental and physical health while keeping them engaged in their communities.
Research from the organization also stated, “Older adults who regularly volunteer with children burn 20% more calories per week, experience fewer falls, are less reliant on canes and perform better on a memory test than their peers. Older adults with dementia experience more positive effect during interactions with children.”
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
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.