5 Tips To Help You Live Happily Ever After At Home For The Rest Of Your Life – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Nobody’s first choice is to live in a nursing home. Most people prefer not to move in with adult children or other loved ones either. Even if an older adult is open to the idea of a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) or assisted living, they are very expensive options. Aging in place is often considered the most cost-effective option for those who are healthy. Though many older adults will eventually reside in senior living residences, most would prefer to live at home for as long as possible. Here are 5 tips to help you do just that:

  1. Choose your home for aging in place carefully. Living near reputable healthcare institutions and providers you trust is crucial. Having a social support system nearby is also vital. Finally, having a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor is a huge help. Many older adults opt to move into a rancher or a condo with an elevator so navigating stairs will never be an issue. While this is a great strategy, some older persons want to remain in their “forever home” indefinitely. Remaining in the multi-story home in which you raised your family is a viable option if there is a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. If an older person becomes less ambulatory, these features make the difference between being able to age in place or not. Ideally, the older person living in a multi-story home will also have the laundry machine on the first floor as well.
  2. Understand normal aging and prepare for it. In order to age in place successfully, it helps to understand the normal aging process. All of our senses and organs become a bit less efficient. Even when no disease or abnormal conditions are present, all of us experience these changes. For example, all older adults are more at risk for falls because of diminished reaction time which happens to everyone. Older adults desiring to age in place should be mindful of anything that would exacerbate fall risk in the private home: throw rugs, dim lighting, clutter, etc.
  3. Join or start a Village. Villages are grass-roots community based organizations that help support members who wish to age in place. To find out if there is one in your community or how to start one, check out www.vtvnetwork.org.
  4. Embrace technology. Life Alert systems are quite effective in detecting falls, especially the ones that are waterproof and can be worn in the bath or shower. Wearable technologies like Jawbone Up, Fitbit and Lively Safety Watch can allow family members to track some of the older person’s health habits. For example, the family member and older person aging in place can both wear the Jawbone Up or Fitbit, link their accounts and see data like how many steps the other person has taken or the quality of the other person’s sleep. Not only does this increase information that family has about an older loved one’s lifestyle but it may encourage the older person to be less sedentary and embrace better sleep habits. The Lively Safety Watch includes sensors that can be attached to the refrigerator and other objects in the home (e.g. a bathroom door) to determine how often the older person has been eating or when she uses the restroom.
  5. Look into home care options now. You may not need help with chores or taking a shower right today but someday you might.  Get to know the home care options in your community early—before you need home care services.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Are You Generationally Sensitive To The Senior Living Buyer? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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The generation in which we are raised impacts how we see the world, communicate and make purchasing decisions. For a very long time, senior living marketing and sales staff have focused their efforts on impressing our oldest generations: the Traditionalists and Baby Boomers.

As a senior living marketing or salesperson, are you aware that more Millennials are caregiving than ever before?  AARP reports that about 25% of all caregivers are currently of the Millennial generation.  What have you done to gain better insight into the minds of these younger adult child shoppers of senior living? The features and benefits that appeal to Baby Boomers and their parents may be perceived very differently by Generation X and Millennials.

What values are common for Generation X and Millennials? What is most important to them?  What are their expectations? With the changing senior living landscape, understanding how to shift strategies when working with buyers of different age groups is essential.   How are you keeping current?  Jenerations can help you better understand senior living shoppers of different generations; please click here for more information: http://jenerationshealth.com/keynotes/

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Eighty Never Looked So Good: 5 Ways George Takei Continues To Inspire – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Today, on George Takei’s 80th birthday, here are 5 ways the man best known for Star Trek and LGBT activism shows us that age is just a number:

1. Takei keeps intellectually active.  Not only does he still work but he recently taped his Broadway show Allegiance, bringing it to movie theaters, breaking a film screening record:  http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-george-takei-screening-breaks-records-20170106-story.html

2. He defies age stereotypes.  With over 10 million followers on Facebook, 2 million on Twitter and 1 million on Instagram, Takei demonstrates that social media is most certainly not only for the young.

3. The Howard Stern Show announcer believes in moderation.  Takei enjoys wine, meat and even the occasional Taco Bell meal.

4. The former Heroes star is physically active.  100 pushups and 50 sit-ups daily isn’t bad for a person of any age!  Plus, he talks openly about how he and husband Brad Altman are still intimate even as they get older (which most older adults can be if they want).

5. He’s got a positive outlook.  While Takei admits he has “bad feet” and some aches and pains, he is grateful for a healthy body.

So if you ever think you (or a colleague or family member) is just “too old,” consider George Takei.  Are you judging yourself, a coworker or a family member on only chronological age?  Activities, interests, work and habits say much more about people of all generations than the dates on their birth certificates.

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Should They Move After Retirement? By Guest Blogger Barbara Milller

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My mom retired at the young age of 63 from the State of Alabama. She had been single longer than she was married, so her decision to leave Montgomery, Alabama and move elsewhere was not a surprise. My sister and I tried to persuade her to move closer to us; I was in a Baltimore suburb and Susan was in the Atlanta area. Our small hometown, though familiar, was not offering our mother the peace and relaxation she wanted. She did not have any ties keeping her local, but she didn’t want to move to a city with big city problems, big city traffic and big city prices. She had always enjoyed visiting her sister, so she eventually opted to move 15 minutes from her sister’s home in the mountains of western North Carolina. My mom was familiar with this new town from her annual visits. Before she moved, though, she—and other retirees in similar circumstances– have to consider the following:

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Could You “Age in Place” At Your Current Home?

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Most of us would prefer to remain at home indefinitely. But many older adults move in with loved ones or even eventually move to senior living residences. Here are some questions that will help you determine if you could age in place at your current home:

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