How to Keep Your Mind Sharp When You’re Over 55

You’ve heard the phrase ‘use it or lose it,’ and for those of us over 55 we can sometimes feel we’re losing it more often than not. “Where are the keys again?” “Why did I come in here?” But joking aside, there is truth to the statement particularly when it comes to your mind. In fact, another phrase you’re hearing more of lately is ‘brain health’ which is about making the most of your mind and helping to reduce risks to it as you age. We can help you do just that with 5 fun ways to keep your mind sharp as you age.

Why is Brain Health Important?

Before we get to the how in keeping your mind sharp, let’s talk about why it’s important.  One of the key reasons is to help ward off health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease which, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, someone in the United States develops every 65 seconds.  While a cure hasn’t been found yet, research has shown that the brain does benefit from staying both socially and cognitively active.

Doing something unfamiliar and mentally challenging can give you the most benefit, or as University of Texas scientist Denise Park says, “When you are inside your comfort zone, you may be outside of the enhancement zone.”

5 Fun Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp When You’re Over 55

  1. Learn something new – While you may not be in school anymore, that doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Keep your brain stimulated by learning a new skill, new language, new hobby; learn to play an instrument, to paint or even approach a familiar task in a different way.
  2. Win with brain games – Playing chess or bridge, doing crossword or jigsaw puzzles may seem like it’s all in fun but these types of games are also a great way to enhance memory and the processing speed in your brain.
  3. Read, read, read – If you’re not one to be found with your nose stuck in a book, it may be time to reconsider. Regular reading helps to strengthen the muscles in your brain; it improves concentration and even helps to reduce stress which can have its own harmful health effects.
  4. Take a walk – The mind-body connection is powerful as research suggests that parts of the brain that control thinking and memory have greater volume in those who exercise versus those who don’t. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise; the key is that its regular exercise.
  5. Stay social – We said above that the brain benefits from social and cognitive activity so two birds, one stone? Joining a book club, bridge club, a walking group or taking part in local volunteer opportunities are fun ways to do both at the same time.

Keeping Your Mind Sharp Made Easy

It’s true, achieving all the tips above on your own may be a challenge and it’s one of the big reasons people over 55 are moving to active senior living earlier than ever. Senior living communities today have shifted from a purely clinical focus to one of engagement for the whole person and that includes brain health. That’s why you’ll find monthly calendars filled with clubs, classes, events, fitness and enrichment opportunities for virtually any interest you may have. And it’s all right outside your doorstep, making it easier than ever to ‘use it.’

For more information on how our active senior living communities help you to keep your mind sharp, contact us today to schedule a visit →

How to Create Better Social Connections When You’re Over 55

If the fountain of youth exists, it may very well be found within your social circles. Turns out, socially active seniors have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease as well as some forms of cancer and even a lower death rate that those who don’t maintain social connections according to the National Institute on Aging. So, how should the over 55 set stay connected at a time in their life when it may be getting harder to do just that? We’re so glad you asked!

Four Ways to Create Better Social Connections When You’re Over 55

  1. Take advantage of technology – Nurturing existing relationships with friends and family is a great way to stay connected and technology is ideal in helping you to overcome barriers such as distance, mobility and/or lack of transportation. Plus, smartphones and tablets are more convenient than ever to use with large screens, voice capabilities and the ability to navigate by touch.

Ways to connect through technology:

  • Video chat apps such as FaceTime or Skype
  • Social media such as Facebook

If you need to learn:

  • Ask your kids, grandkids and friends.
  • See if your local senior center, public library, local university or local computer stores offer learning resources.
  • Find tutorials and classes online through aarptek.org and techboomers.com.
  • Watch for “How-To” events at local senior living communities.
  1. Try something new – Being over 55 is no excuse for letting yourself fall into a rut. Remember how invigorating it is to try something new? Yes, it’s another way to expand your social circles, but it also helps to increase your confidence and can give you a new perspective. If that’s not enough, research shows that brain health specifically benefits from staying both socially and cognitively active.

“New” ideas:

  • Adopt a new hobby.
  • Join a club.
  • Take a cooking class.
  • Join a walking group.
  • Learn a new skill and/or new language.
  • Challenge yourself to games with strategy.
  • Learn how to play an instrument.
  • Approach a familiar task in a different way.
  1. Find your cause – Volunteering not only introduces you to others with similar interests, it can also help you to find renewed purpose and offers the opportunity to give back in your local community.

Ways to get involved:

  • See what causes your friends and family take part in.
  • Check with senior living communities, who often partner with local organizations, to see what opportunities may be available.
  • Connect with online volunteer matching services like VolunteerMatch which works with over 121,000 non-profits across the country and SeniorCorps which has programs such as Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions as well as opportunities that include tutoring, renovating homes, teaching English and assisting natural disaster victims.
  1. Connect spiritually – The ways we’ve discussed to connect so far benefit your mind and body, but what your spirit? Connecting in this way can be even more profound because while the body ages, the spirit can always grow and renew. If mobility and/or transportation, small print scripture or difficulty hearing the sermon have stood in the way of attending church, you do have options.

Making it happen:

  • If you’re in senior living, check to see if your community can provide transportation to your church and/or if religious services are available onsite (many communities have these options).
  • Participate in a bible study in your senior living community or with your neighbors at home.
  • Go online; YouVersion offers an app and website where you can read and hear Bible scripture; it even offers reading plans.

Other ways to connect spiritually include:

  • Meditation
  • Art
  • Nature
  • Positive thinking

For more information on how easy it is to stay socially connected in our senior living communities, contact us today to schedule a visit →

Discovering your Passion When You’re Over 55

“What’s my purpose?” It’s a question we ask ourselves throughout our lives – as teens, then as college graduates, as new parents and as empty nesters. But there’s perhaps no more important time to ask that question than as we prepare to retire. After all, work, perhaps parenting, perhaps marriage or a combination of all three has defined the majority of our lives. Now in the absence of full-time responsibility, we have the opportunity to find a new or renewed purpose. The next question is how do you discover your passion when you’re over 55?

The Importance of Purpose

It’s common knowledge that having a sense of purpose gives us direction, fulfillment and happiness, but research has shown it also has a tangible benefit on your health.

  • A study at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri found that rating a person’s sense of purpose even one point higher on a seven-point scale decreased risk of death by 12 percent over 14 years. Plus, the benefits were seen across people in their 20s to 70s, suggesting it’s never too late to find your passion.
  • A study by Rush University Medical Center found that people who have a lower sense of purpose in their lives could be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared to people who have a greater sense of purpose.
  • Researchers for the American Heart Association analyzed a number of studies and found that over an average follow-up of 8.5 years, having a high sense of purpose in life was associated with a 23 percent reduction in death from all causes and a 19 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes.
  • A study by the University of Michigan found that those who reported having greater life purpose were more likely to make better use of preventative healthcare and spent less time in the hospital compared to those with a lower sense of purpose. 

5 Ways to Discover Your Passion Over Age 55

  1. Adjust your attitude – It all starts with getting yourself in the right frame of mind. Look at this as an opportunity to grow but don’t let pressure to find your purpose right away or fear of failing derail you. It’s a learning process so give yourself some grace, have fun and experiment along the way.
  2. Find your go-to – Most people, whether they realize it or not, are drawn to particular subjects, foods, books, movies, TV shows, hobbies, even types of people. Think about those themes and explore what attracts you to them, as well as how you might expand on them going forward.
  3. Start fresh – If you’re tired of the same ole same ole, perhaps it’s time to switch things up. It can be invigorating to try new things like joining a club, learning a new skill or language or even approaching a familiar task in a different way. You never know what opportunities may come when you put yourself out there.
  4. Make a difference – There’s nothing that warms your heart more than helping someone else. It can certainly give you purpose and for many quickly becomes a passion. To find your cause check with friends and family, local charitable organizations you’re already aware of or connect with online volunteer matching services live VolunteerMatch and SeniorCorps.
  5. Call on your inner child – There’s rarely a time when you’re more true to yourself than in childhood. Think back to what brought you the most joy; also ask your childhood friends or family members what they remember you being passionate about. You may be surprised to find that your purpose has been waiting for you all these years!

Bonus Tip – Change Your Scenery in Over 55 Communities

People are moving to over 55 communities earlier than ever these days and they’re an ideal place to find your passion. They offer a more active, convenient and carefree lifestyle than you may find at home, giving you more time and opportunity to fulfill your purpose. With various clubs, daily activities and enrichment opportunities, over 55 communities are plugged in locally in ways hard to achieve on your own.

For more information on the benefits of our over 55 communities, contact us today to schedule a visit →

5 Diet and Nutrition Tips for Active Seniors

The adage “You are what you eat,” has particular significance as you age. Throughout your adult life you’re advised to eat smart and make healthy choices to be your best self. But let’s be honest, doing that isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Couple that with dietary needs related to health conditions, medications, bone health, gut health, immune function – the list goes on – and nutrition becomes even more complex the older you get. Who has time for it all? And who can make sense of it? We can help with these 5 Diet and Nutrition Tips for Active Seniors.

Simplifying Diet and Nutrition for Active Seniors

  1. Diet Dos

The National Institute on Aging recommends these daily servings for seniors:

  • Fruits — 1½ to 2½ cups
  • Vegetables — 2 to 3½ cups
  • Grains – 5 to 10 ounces
  • Protein foods — 5 to 7 ounces
  • Dairy foods — 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk
  • Oils — 5 to 8 teaspoons
  • Keep the amount of solid fats, added sugars and sodium (salt) to a minimum

And don’t forget the water! In general adults need about 64 ounces of fluid every day (through beverages or food), but that amount can vary with heat, strenuous activity, medications and health conditions so check with your doctor on what’s best for you.

 

  1. Nutrient Know-How
  • Vitamin D and calcium are important in helping to prevent osteoporosis and can be found in foods such as fortified cereal, bread and juice.
  • B12 can help with energy levels and can be found in beef liver, mackerel, sardines, red meat, yogurt and fortified cereals.
  • Fiber is helpful in digestion, lowering cholesterol, maintaining healthy weight and stabilizing blood glucose levels and can be found in beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseeds, chia seeds, salmon, walnuts, tofu, shellfish, canola oil, navy beans, Brussel sprouts, and avocados) and flavonoid-rich foods (dark berries, cocoa, tea, soy, citrus fruits and red wine) can help promote immune function.
  • Probiotics can help with gut health and can be found in foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi.
  • To reduce salt intake you can try seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, dill, paprika, pepper, citrus and fresh herbs instead.
  • And resources such as ChooseMyPlate.Gov can help you learn how to build healthy meals and better understand how to read nutrition labels.

    1. Smart Shopping

    For the diet and nutrition an active senior needs, smart grocery shopping is key. Plan your weekly menu ahead of time to avoid impulse buying and to stay on budget. Also take advantage of sales to stock your pantry with canned vegetables, beans, fruits and dried foods such as rice and pasta. You can also buy in bulk and freeze into smaller portions that you can thaw and cook later.

    To skip the hassle of grocery shopping altogether, check your local store for online ordering with curbside pickup and/or delivery options, and take a look at meal delivery options such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Keep in mind however; the convenience will cost you more.

    1. In the Kitchen

    If you’re cooking for one or two, you can make large meals to freeze into smaller portions. Menu ideas include soups, stews, chilies, roasts, casseroles and any kind of slow-cooker meal. You can even make fresh side dishes each time you thaw out a portion to keep it interesting.  What’s more, the sides can also be multipurpose. Have rice as a side one night and use it for a casserole the next. Have chicken as a main dish in one meal and use leftovers in sandwiches for another.

    Add more variety and convenience with a dedicated cooking day a couple of times a month where you make several meals to portion and freeze. Then you avoid having the same meal multiple times in a row.

    1. Time-Saving Tech

    Active seniors are more tech savvy than ever and you can take advantage of that to keep your diet and nutrition on track as well. Save yourself some of the legwork with apps such as:

    • Food Network in the Kitchen — Offers over 50,000 recipes in categories such as Healthy, Weeknight Dinners, Quick and Easy.
    • Fooducate — Provides nutritional information from barcodes, helps you understand nutritional labels and offers healthy suggestions. You can also manually enter a meal’s nutritional information and track calories and exercise.
    • Shop well — Barcode scanning and shopping assistant that rates foods and grocery items according to your nutritional objectives and/or dietary restrictions and provides nutritional pointers.
    • Nutrients — Offers search for specific foods or ingredients with breakdown of nutritional content, or for particular nutrients to find foods with that nutrient. You can also customize recipes with a specific mix of ingredients.
    • Livestrong.com’s MyPlate Calorie Tracker — Allows you to log food/water intake, track consumption habits and includes database of over 2 million food items, a barcode scanner to log prepackaged food and a tool for creating custom meal items. Also doubles as an exercise log with Google Fit and Apple HealthKit integration and support for a variety of wearables.

    For more information on our active senior living communities, contact us today to schedule a visit →

    Best Upcycled Gifts for the Holidays

    Upcycling is a wonderful way to turn a great find into a unique one-of-a-kind treasure and to do so without spending a lot of money. Other additional terms that you may have heard being tossed around that fall into this same category are reused, shabby chic and “trashion.”

    Whatever you call it, it can be a whole lot of fun! First, there is the thrill of the hunt. As they say, one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. To find your treasure, you will probably need to sift through some junk.

    It is a fun challenge to look at something you find interesting and then figure out a way to transform it into a treasure for yourself or one you plan to share with someone else.

    Wikipedia offers a great definition for upcycling: “Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.” Sounds good, doesn’t it?

    The holiday season is in full swing, and there are various ways you can upcycle items to create treasures your friends and family will cherish for years to come. Let’s explore how you can create one-of-a-kind holiday gifts this season.

    Upcycling with Books and Magazines

    Go to any thrift or antique store and you’re sure to find books, and lots of them – many of them at very economical prices, oftentimes a dollar or less. This means that by using books to create new items, you can create some really extraordinary gifts without laying out a lot of cash.

    Create a small Christmas Tree or Snowman for someone who could use a little Christmas cheer.

    Make a gorgeous pair of quilled earrings using a colorful page from a magazine.

    Books can be used to create an end table or an end table with a little twist. A set of encyclopedias work especially well. Here is an excellent tutorial to make sure your stack of books holds up.

    They can be glued to the back and seat of a chair or used to create a unique and interesting rug. This video shows you how to use a saw to cut books quickly and cleanly.

    Use a piece of glass, a large board or an old door and lots of books to create a desk, coffee table or side table.

    Books can be used to make shelves. This one does a nice play on words with Humpty Dumpty and the egg beater, plus the second book title being “All the Kings Men.”

    How about a storage box or book safe? It can be compartmented like this one or it could be composed of one large compartment. Maybe a little more difficult, but how about an interesting shape … like a heart, for instance.

    You can use the techniques in this video to decoupage any piece of wooden furniture or shelves using comic books. How fun would it be to take your kid’s or grandkid’s coloring projects and do the same thing? Or, to use cookbooks to create something for someone’s kitchen?

    You’ll find lots of great ideas for books here at 30+ Great Upcycling Ideas for Vintage Old Book Pages.

    Upcycling Watches and Clocks

    Using the decorative faces from a couple of old watches, you can create a pair of Watch Face Earrings. Then, using some of the extra watch parts, metal washers, old metal buttons and a few jewelry findings, make a unique bracelet. Gears and other inner workings from old clocks would also make interesting components to use with a bracelet like this. Personalize the bracelet by inserting a special photo or other items, like an initial, behind the watch glass to give it a special little touch.

    Turn any item into a clock with a clock kit you can get at a craft store or on Amazon. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Use a mustard tin for a chef you know, an old saw blade (another blade idea) for a woodworker, a vintage book for a book lover or a bicycle gear or wheel rim for a cyclist.

    Beginning around the 2-minute mark, this video, How to Make a Lolly Stick Clock, shows you just how easy it is to make a clock using a clock kit.

    Upcycling with Old Dishes

    Use this reverse stencil technique to turn any dish into a unique gift idea. Plates can be hung on the walls or converted into clocks. Cups and bowls can be made into candles. Glasses into candles or pencil holders. Here is an additional decorative plate video.

    Other Fun Ideas and Sites

    Here are a few other links with lots of interesting ideas for gifts. Check them out. You’re sure to find inspiration for the DIYer in you.

    Well, that about wraps things up. You’re sure to have found a few ideas to make gift giving much easier this year. And there’s a whole lot of satisfaction in knowing that you created it.

    And that’s a good thing too, especially if you live here at Preston Place. Our family-like atmosphere means you’re sure to have lots of family and friends to exchange gifts with this holiday season. Contact us to learn more. And then get out your paintbrush and glue gun, plus one of your amazing antique store treasures and begin creating a very special gift for someone you love.

    4 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress as You Age

    Everyone deals with stress and with the negative impact it has on the body. However, according to Harvard Medical School, individuals have a more difficult time coping with stress as they age. Fortunately, there are measures older adults can take to manage stress and its impact on the body.

    Before we look at ways to reduce stress, let’s define stress and its effects on a person.

    What is Stress?

    Stress is the body’s natural reaction to a stressor or other stimulus that disturbs a person’s physical or mental equilibrium. It’s commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response. It may have served our ancestors well as they struggled to survive dangerous situations, but, for many in today’s hectic world, living in a constant “fight or flight” mode can have damaging health effects.

    Detrimental Impact of Stress

    Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, up to 80% of doctor appointments may be related to stress. The American Psychological Association backs this statement up with one of their own indicating that chronic stress is linked to six leading causes of death including heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, accidents, suicide and cancer. According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the effects of psychological stress affects the body’s ability to regulate inflammation which can promote the development and progression of disease.

    Chronic stress can:

    • Reduce your immune response affecting your ability to heal
    • Cause blood sugar imbalances
    • Raise blood pressure
    • Cause elevated levels of bad cholesterol
    • Increase fat deposits around your mid-section associated with heart attacks and strokes
    • Decrease muscle tissue and bone density
    • Suppress thyroid function
    • Affect the functioning of your brain

    With all of this in mind, let’s look at ways an older adult can address the issue of stress in their lives.

    Ways to Reduce Stress

    Now that we understand just how important it is to get stress under control, let’s look at ways that this can be accomplished.

    Practice Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is an excellent practice to help a person deal with stress in their life. Many people fret over the past or worry about the future, often robbing themselves of the present. This constant psychological turmoil causes undue stress. Mindfulness eases this stress by focusing on the present moment and what it has to offer.

    Other benefits of mindfulness include:

    • Hones your innate ability to focus
    • Helps you cope with physical and mental pain
    • Reduces brain chatter
    • Helps you connect better with others

    Exercise Regularly

    Although most stress originates in the brain, physical exercise can play a part in reducing stress by favorably impacting brain health.

    According to a study conducted at the University of Illinois, older adults who completed a walking regimen over a one year period saw a two percent increase in the size of their hippocampus. The hippocampus, which is the part of the brain where memory storage and new learning take place, is the first part of the brain to be affected by Alzheimer’s. This further makes the case to include exercise in your stress reduction routine.

    However, as we get older our bodies will sometimes respond differently to exercise than it once did. To prevent injury and added stress to joints, choose low-impact exercises that get your heart rate up. Low-impact exercises to consider include walking, swimming, water aerobics, resistance band training and chair exercises.

    “Body manipulation” exercises are another great choice. Although these exercises are characterized by subtle movements, they can still have a major impact on your body and your stress levels. Body manipulation exercises include yoga, tai chi, reiki, massage and craniosacral therapy.

    When all is said and done, the best exercise routine is one that you enjoy and are willing to stick to on a regular basis. Remember to start slow, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your workouts. Finally, don’t forget to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.

    Eat a Healthy Diet

    A poor diet, lacking nutritional density, can put stress on the body. In turn, stressful situations can cause overeating, which can lead to a never-ending cycle of poor eating habits. To stop this detrimental stress cycle in its tracks, make sure to eat a diet filled with nutritionally dense foods. A healthy diet includes foods that are low in carbohydrates, low in sugar and high in healthy, saturated fats. Eating this way will get you to naturally cut sugar out of your diet which can help prevent stress, anxiety, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

    If you focus on protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables you will provide your body and brain with the building blocks needed to function optimally and to fight off disease.

    Don’t Isolate Yourself

    For various reasons, older adults will sometimes isolate themselves and have less social interactions with others. This is unfortunate because social engagement is an essential component of successful aging. It’s critical that older adults find ways to remain active socially and cultivate warm and caring relationships with others.

    With technology, staying connected with others is easier than it has ever been. Enjoy conversations with family and friends more fully through the use of Skype. Keep in touch with what’s going on in other people’s lives through Facebook. (Be sure to avoid the drama that can be found there, otherwise, you’ll be increasing your stress levels!)

    Join your local senior center. Become involved in clubs that specialize in a hobby or interest you enjoy. Take a class at your local community college. Make a difference in your life and in the lives of others through volunteer activities.

    Final Thoughts on Reducing Stress

    Put these tips into action to reduce the stress that is robbing you of the joy in your life. The effects of stress can add up over time and when left unchecked can have devastating effects on your life. Thankfully, taking small steps to reduce stress can add up over time too! The longer you work at relieving your stress the better off you’ll be.

    At Parc Place, we understand the benefits of living a stress-free lifestyle; therefore, we strive to create a peaceful environment that focuses on keeping residents healthy and engaged. If you have any questions, please contact us. And remember, there’s no better time to take steps to reduce stress in your life than right now.

    10 Foods that Naturally Lower Blood Pressure

    Do you suffer from high blood pressure? If so, you’re not alone. According to the CDC, 29% of adults have high blood pressure. Your doctor likely has recommended changes you can make to address high blood pressure, such as limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, eating a healthy diet and being physically active. Additionally, selecting the right foods can help lower your blood pressure.

    You have probably heard that cutting salt from your diet is a good first step in lowering blood pressure. Fortunately, some tasty foods also have properties that can help reduce your blood pressure. Here are 10 of our favorites:

    Flaxseed

    Research has linked flaxseed to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Study participants showed improvement even when they also took pressure-lowering medication. Fiber and healthy fats may play a role in the ability of flaxseed to lower blood pressure.

    Blueberries

    A cup of blueberries every day is delicious and might help lower your blood pressure. A 2015 study found that women who consumed blueberry powder every day for two months showed a significant drop in systolic pressure.

    Fatty Fish

    Fatty fish like salmon, eaten three times a week, has been linked to the reduction of diastolic blood pressure. Research also has linked omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty varieties of fish, to blood pressure reductions. Leaner fish like cod has shown no effect.

    Bananas

    Bananas are delicious, portable and rich in potassium — which can help lower blood pressure. Experts say blood pressure meds can increase the need for potassium, and a deficiency can negatively affect heart rate.

    Olive Oil

    Research has linked olive oil with lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure, especially in women whose blood pressure was high. To keep your oil fresh, buy it in dark-colored bottles, and store it in a cool spot and out of sunlight.

    Whole Grain Products

    Along with reducing cholesterol, whole grains also have a positive effect on blood pressure, research has found. Consider starting your day with high-fiber, whole grain cereal like bran flakes or shredded wheat.

    Beets

    Experts say the nitrates in beets can help lower blood pressure. Naturally sweet beets make a versatile ingredient for all sorts of dishes, from salads to pastas. This deeply-hued vegetable can even add moisture to your chocolate cake.

    Pomegranate

    One study found a link between drinking a cup or more of pomegranate juice daily for a month and lower blood pressure. Scientists haven’t established what constituent of the juice might cause the drop, but they suspect it’s the healthy polyphenols or potassium.

    Dairy Products

    Consuming low-fat dairy products has been linked to a reduction in hypertension. The connection was strongest with milk and low-fat yogurt but, sadly, the benefit didn’t extend to cheese.

    Chocolate

    Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Research has shown that dark chocolate and cocoa may help ease blood flow by widening blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. The polyphenols in cocoa play a role in the formation of nitric oxide, which aids the process of reducing hypertension.

    Discover Meadowstone Place

    To maintain healthy blood pressure, eat a varied diet that includes these pressure-lowering foods, and see your doctor regularly. At Meadowstone Place, we’re committed to the health and wellness of residents, and provide the resources they need to live a vibrant, meaningful retirement. Our independent living community is located in beautiful Dallas, Texas, and is close to many area attractions for you to enjoy. To find out more about our active retirement lifestyle or to schedule a tour, please contact us today.

    Talking to Family Members about Independent Living Communities

    Unfortunately, many older adults resist even thinking about making a move into a senior living community, saying they want to remain in their own home. Perhaps, they feel such a move would rob them of their independence. Or maybe, they’re not ready to concede to the fact that they’re getting older. Whatever the reason or reasons, you may find yourself struggling to help them realize that independent living communities provide all the benefits of living in their own home plus a whole lot more.

    As you prepare for any discussions with family members, it’s important to remember and help them understand you want only what is best for them. You may have to reiterate this fact repeatedly until everyone truly realizes that this really is your ultimate priority.

    What is an Independent Living Community?

    It’s wise to have a thorough understanding of what an independent living community is so you’ll be equipped to overcome any incorrect objections concerning such a community. Independent living communities are much like living in your own home, but with a range of fabulous perks.

    Many people believe that senior living communities are only for people who require long-term care. While it’s true senior living communities are excellent places for individuals to receive long-term care and assistance, they can also be a great place to enjoy an active retirement lifestyle. With that in mind, let’s look at what an independent living community is and how it can benefit the older adult who does not require any assistance.

    There are numerous independent living housing options ranging from single-family homes in age-restricted communities to apartments within senior housing complexes and many options in between. All these options generally offer a variety of floor plans and sizes.

    Typically, independent living communities offer an active lifestyle and freedom from the hassles of home maintenance. They offer a wide range of services and amenities such as housekeeping and linen services, transportation services and security. Many communities also provide multiple dining options, fitness centers, pools, libraries, entertainment spaces, beauty and barber salons and much more. Additionally, they offer an abundance of activities and programs in which to take part, often with a focus on wellness.

    Benefits and Advantages of Independent Living

    An active adult may not readily see any benefits or advantages of moving into an independent living community. After all, they’re doing fine and don’t need any assistance. However, when residents of senior living communities are questioned, many will share that they wish they had moved sooner.

    One of the most important benefits of living in a senior community is the opportunity to stay socially connected. All too often, poor health, shrinking social circles, life changes and transportation challenges lead to social isolation and loneliness. According to an article in the Washington Post, more than 40 percent of seniors experience loneliness on a regular basis. Loneliness, even perceived loneliness, can negatively impact on a person’s health and quality of life.

    Loneliness and social isolation can lead to depression, and has a wide range of negative effects on a person’s mental and physical health, some of which include:

    According to research at the University of Chicago, older adults who feel lonely and isolated are twice as unhealthy as an obese person and have a 14% higher risk of dying earlier than their socially engaged counterparts.

    There are other key benefits to living in a senior community as well. Two of the more common include:

    • Freedom to enjoy life – By taking care of the hassles of caring for the home and a yard, independent living communities give residents the time they have always wanted to enjoy activities and pastimes, new and old
    • More opportunities to stay active and involved – After taking advantage of the numerous activities offered, many residents are surprised to realize just how little they were actually doing prior to moving into the independent living community. Not only do they have more chances to take part in activities they have always enjoyed, but they also have plenty of opportunities to try something new.

    Tips for Talking to Family Members about Independent Living Communities

    Let’s look at a few tips that can be beneficial as you begin the process of talking to a family member about moving into an independent living community.

    Dealing with Resistant Family Members

    By now, you should be convinced of the benefits of living in an independent living community, but when you bring it up with family members who could benefit from such a move, you find yourself facing resistance. What can be done? One thing you can do is to encourage them to try it as a “vacation” for a period of one to four weeks. After they experience all the benefits, they may be more inclined to consider moving into an independent living community. Contact communities in the area to see if they offer apartments on a trial basis.

    Talk in Person

    It’s best to have conversations about living options in person, if possible. Block out a time and pick a location that will allow you to talk without interruptions.

    Show Empathy

    Show you care by taking time to listen to what they have to say. A calm, patient, kind demeanor and voice will go a long way towards showing them you truly care and that you’re trying to understand their frustrations and fears.

    Have Regular Conversations

    Don’t wait until your family member is in crisis mode to begin the “living options” conversation. Although they may decide they don’t want to move into independent living at this time, they may consider it again later. Once they have moved into independent living, it becomes easier to take the next step into assisted living when the need arises, especially if the community also offers this option. As stated earlier, make sure they understand you have their best interest at heart, especially when discussing such issues with resistant family members.

    Know that it is likely to take several conversations before a decision will be made. Don’t expect them to agree after one conversation. Also, don’t rush them into making a decision. Give them time to think about it so they’ll feel good about the decision when it has been made.

    Make Sure All Family Members Agree

    As family members prepare to talk to someone about moving to a senior living community, they should come to an agreement among themselves first, before broaching the subject with the family member. Resistant family members will sense any discord and use it to divide and conquer.

    Avoid Information Overload

    You’ve done your homework and you’ve prepared for this discussion. Sharing some of the reasons you believe this is the right decision can be helpful. Sharing too much can become overwhelming and can feel like an attack; therefore, limit information sharing. If they become defensive, it will become harder to come to a resolution now and later.

    Independent Living at Parc Place

    Parc Place offers the lifestyle people dream of for retirement. Each of our senior apartments provides all the comforts of home, and we’re located a short drive from fine dining, shopping, historic sites and a multitude of other activities.

    Our wellness programs enable residents to maintain physical, mental and spiritual health. From fitness classes and wellness programs to our on-site entertainment and social functions, they’re sure to find an activity, event, program or social function to enjoy at Parc Place. Our resident programs and our amenities and services provide a sophisticated and active retirement lifestyle.

    We are a unique retirement community that provides financial freedom, allowing your family member to choose how they want to enjoy their retirement. Select only the amenities and services desired – it’s fully customizable, and no large upfront fee is required.

    View our floor plans and contact us at Parc Place to schedule a visit to our beautiful retirement community in Bedford, TX. We look forward to showing you and your family member all that retirement can be!

    Decorating Tips to Make Senior Living Feel Like Home

    A move to an independent living community comes with a variety of benefits, including convenient services and amenities, delicious dining and ample opportunities for making new friends and socializing. But leaving familiar surroundings — and downsizing possessions — can also cause conflicting emotions.

    If you or a relative are relocating to an independent living community, you’ll want to make your new apartment as welcoming as possible. What are some steps you can take to ensure that your new environment feels like home?

    Choose Complementary Colors and Textures

    You may not have previously spent time coordinating colors and textures for your residence, but doing so can make a big difference in how you feel about your abode. The specifics of your choices will depend on your personal preferences.

    If you’ve begun to experience any changes in your vision, you may want to go for contrast in colors between walls, draperies, floors and furniture. In addition, warm and neutral color palettes — or “healing colors” like greens — may enhance visibility in your new place. To make your home cozy and comfortable, consider adding some highly tactile items, such as soft blankets and throws.

    Highlight Important Mementos

    A different floor plan and space constraints may mean your new apartment cannot precisely replicate your previous residence. However, by strategically placing meaningful personal items, you can capture that homelike familiarity.

    Be sure to decorate your new home with plenty of photos that have meaning for you. Whether you place them on the walls, on shelves or on furniture such as dressers and end tables, photos can help you continue to connect with the people and events that are important to you.

    Consider creating groupings of favorite photos, with different sizes and colors of frames to add interest. You also can mix in memorabilia like trophies, crafts and items that have been handed down in your family — or designate special spots for these items around your home.

    Prioritize Mobility, Accessibility and Safety

    To ensure your continued well-being, consider arranging your furnishings in a way that maximizes safety. If you use throw rugs, make sure they are securely anchored with a non-slip backing or mat to eliminate tripping hazards. If you use an assistive device for mobility or you have arthritis, consider keeping walkways wide throughout your home to allow plenty of space for safe passage.

    In addition, arrange frequently used items in a way that makes sense for your needs and lifestyle. Keep phones beside your bed or near your usual sitting area and install handrails in your bathroom or elsewhere if you feel that you may need them. Make sure every area of your home has the right level of lighting for your safety and that of your guests.

    Go for Maximum Comfort

    What does “comfortable” mean for you? Some people love soft furniture they can sink into, while others prefer firm sofas and mattresses for back health and ease of rising. Think about how you define comfort and choose furnishings and decor that support your preferences.

    If you have any mobility challenges, arthritis or trouble with your back, you may want to select furniture that sits higher. In addition, choose couches and chairs with sturdy, tall arms you can use for support when getting up. A reclining chair — or one or more recliners built into a sofa — provides you with a comfortable spot for reading or TV viewing that you can customize to your needs.

    Spice up Your Walls

    We’ve already talked about making your new apartment feel like home by using some strategically chosen colors throughout — including on your walls. A serene color like sage green or warm beige, for example, can create a cozy ambiance as it lifts your spirits. If you have vision challenges, you may want to choose a wall color that clearly contrasts with the color of your floor for easy differentiation and safety.

    Another easy way to add interest to your walls is with decorative items, including framed art, photographs and wall hangings. Tapestries, quilts and other wall-ready textiles featuring inspirational messages or beautiful images can add a touch of home to your new place.

    Use Small Spaces Effectively

    If you’re moving into a smaller space than you’re used to, you may need to spend time downsizing possessions. You also may want to choose smaller furniture and decorative items that can serve the purposes you need while taking up less of your valuable floor space. Lamps placed throughout your home can cast a warm glow that also lends an air of comfort and a feeling of additional space.

    Rather than a large sofa, consider a love seat and a chair. You may find that you can seat the same number of people by using smaller items — or by purchasing multi-purpose pieces, such as dining chairs that can double as living room seating. If your storage space is at a premium, consider pieces that provide you with some additional storage options, including end tables with drawers or doors, a coffee table with a lid you can easily lift or an ottoman with available space inside.

    Make Room for Socializing and Relaxing

    In an independent living community, you may find that you spend more of your time out and about. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious meal with friends, taking a day trip, seeing a performance or working out, your daily calendar may remain full. When you do retreat to your personal apartment, you’ll want to ensure its suitability for two important purposes: relaxing and socializing with close friends and family members.

    Make sure you have enough seating to welcome in friends on occasion and consider some interesting art pieces to spark conversation. If you and your friends enjoy card games or puzzles, consider devoting a small table to your hobby or purchase a folding card table that can be brought out for hosting extra guests.

    When you’re ready to relax, you’ll want at least one comfortable chair with good light for reading. If you’re a TV or movie buff, consider a well-placed entertainment system with a screen that’s big enough to see throughout the room; you can choose a beautiful armoire for storage if you’d prefer that the electronics remain hidden when not in use.

    Decorate for Holidays — With Care

    If you celebrate holidays throughout the year, you may want to purchase some reusable decorations to help you make your new apartment feel more like home. Consider choosing items that can be stored within the space you have available and that are fire-resistant.

    If you plan to use candles as part of your holiday display, use caution. You may choose among many varieties of electric candles that look like the real thing — without the risk of causing a fire. A real holiday tree, if left to dry out for too long, also can pose a fire hazard; instead, consider choosing one of the many realistic-looking artificial versions. Be sure to thoroughly inspect all electrical portions of your holiday display, including strands of lights and extension cords.

    Choose the Ideal Active-Living Community for You

    When you choose Preston Place, you choose an independent living community in Plano, TX, with a variety of amenities, services, programs and opportunities for engagement that help you feel right at home. You’ll love our delicious, chef-prepared cuisine, along with our commitment to wellness. To learn more or to schedule a visit, please contact us.

    Questions to Consider When Choosing an Independent Living Community

    Do you daydream about leaving behind the responsibilities of managing a household? For people who can live independently with minimal support, communities that offer an active lifestyle are a compelling option.

    If you live on your own or with a partner, you may find significant advantages in moving to a community. From supportive services like transportation to friendly neighbors and an array of social activities, independent living communities provide the ideal setting for pursuing your passions.

    We have compiled the following list of questions — and answers — you may want to consider as you choose a community.

    What exactly is an independent living community?

    Independent living communities offer a welcoming environment for individuals who wish to take advantage of a variety of services and amenities. While independent living communities generally do not offer healthcare, they provide many supportive services that free residents from the burdens of homeownership and allow them to pursue their hobbies and interests.

    Housing options and pricing vary among communities based on location, services offered and other factors. At Preston Place, you can choose among one- and two-bedroom apartment floor plans with options like a balcony, den or patio. No matter the floor plan you choose, you’ll enjoy features like hardwood cabinets, granite kitchen countertops and 9-foot ceilings.

    Independent living communities are best suited for people who can live on their own but choose to give up the responsibilities of home maintenance to focus on the things they enjoy.

    How does it differ from other types of supportive living?

    Independent living communities offer a variety of services to individuals who can live safely and comfortably on their own, without significant assistance. The services and amenities in independent living communities are designed to provide residents with maximum comfort and convenience as they enjoy their time as they wish.

    Unlike some other types of supportive living, independent living communities do not offer medical services or included access to nursing staff. In some independent living communities, residents may wish to hire their own assistance for temporary medical needs or personal care, but the services typically are not offered through the community.

    If you or your family member need significant help with daily activities — including dressing, bathing, eating and taking medications — you may wish to explore supportive living options that offer care services and routine medical assistance.

    What services are provided?

    Before you select an independent living community, you may want to consider the specific services offered and whether they meet your needs. Depending on the community you choose, you may have access to convenient services including transportation to appointments, shopping and scheduled programs and events. In addition, you may enjoy chef-prepared meals, housekeeping, maintenance and landscaping, 24-hour security and some included utilities.

    In an independent living community, you also can take advantage of a variety of wellness programming, including exercise classes, a fitness center and walking trails. A full calendar of social and educational programming includes performances, discussion groups, classes and an array of activities.

    What amenities do communities offer?

    Amenities in independent living communities can vary, and you should choose the community with features that make you feel at home and that best complement your preferred way of living. You may enjoy multiple dining venues, such as a formal dining room, coffee bar and private dining room.

    Your community also may include elegant common areas, including a library, art studio, business center, billiards and game room, theater, beauty and barber salon and beautifully landscaped outdoor areas.

    What’s the cost to live in an independent living community?

    Costs for living in an independent living community can vary significantly depending on location, services offered, type of residence and other factors. Some communities offer a monthly rental fee arrangement that covers nearly all the offered services and amenities. Other communities offer a-la-carte fees that allow residents to choose among services. As you consider communities, think about the services you will need to help you enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

    In addition, some communities require significant entrance fees before you can become a resident. By choosing a community that does not require a large buy-in fee, you gain flexibility and control over your budget and financial future.

    Medicare typically does not cover costs associated with residency in an independent living community. Most residents fund a move to a community with their monthly pension, retirement benefits, savings or proceeds from the sale of a home.

    Where is the community located?

    Before you choose an independent living community, consider your feelings about the surrounding area. Is the local region one that you already know and love? If not, is it somewhere you might enjoy calling home?

    Think about how far the community is from your friends and family members, and consider how far you would need to travel to visit the people who are important in your life. In addition, take a look at the attractions of the area and consider how they mesh with your personal preferences. If you enjoy seeing local attractions and going on social outings, will you find plenty to do? For people who thrive on staying active, a variety of attractions such as shopping, dining, museums, sporting events and performances provide options to keep life exciting.

    What activities are offered?

    Independent living communities offer a wide range of programming to please the varied interests of a diverse resident population. Whether you are interested in fitness, art, travel, current events, games or simply socializing, you’ll find a wealth of options for pursuing your passions and new interests.

    Before you make your choice, consider whether the community offers programming that includes all the dimensions of wellness — such as social, spiritual, mental and physical. By moving to an independent living community, you free yourself from the chores of home maintenance, and you free your time to pursue the things you care about. Within your community and in the local area, you should find plenty of activities, events, attractions and social opportunities to help you keep your body, mind and spirit healthy and active.

    What types of individuals live at the community?

    In any community you choose, you’ll want to get to know your neighbors. You may find it advantageous to learn prior to your move about who lives in your preferred community. If possible, ask about residents’ average age, the breakdown of women and men and how many residents are single or part of a couple.

    To get a feel for the overall community and the ease of making some friends, consider at least one visit. During your time at the community, try to speak to as many residents as you can; ask for their feedback and opinions as you plan your move. By getting to know residents, you can learn more about the community you’ll call home — and you may make some new friends in the process.

    What are the most important considerations?

    Independent living communities differ in their locations, the amenities and services they offer, the residents who live there, the fees they charge, the types of meals they serve and the activities you can enjoy. All these factors should play a key role in your decision. Most importantly, you should feel comfortable in the community. You should find it welcoming, and you should be able to envision yourself leading an active, fulfilled life there as you make new friends and spend time pursuing your passions.

    Preston Place is an independent living community in Plano, Texas — only a short drive from area attractions, dining and shopping. Surrounded by a beautiful landscape and architecture, Preston Place offers exceptional customer service, elegant amenities, delicious meals, stimulating activities and much more. To experience our community for yourself, please contact us today to plan your visit.

    Reasons to Consider an Independent Living Community in Dallas, TX

    You may have noticed a shift in retirement living preferences: more and more of your friends are choosing to sell their homes and move into an independent living community. If you’re like a lot of older adults, you’re probably left wondering what would drive a decision like this.

    Here’s the secret: independent living communities have evolved into resort-like communities, offering a carefree lifestyle overflowing with opportunity for growth and adventure.

    Here are 20 reasons you should consider exploring independent living communities in Dallas, Texas:

    You can say goodbye to yardwork: You can enjoy lush greenery and the serenity of a beautiful yard and garden without pulling weeds on your knees in the heat.

    You have various dining options: If you enjoy cooking, senior apartments are usually equipped with a fully functioning kitchen so you can continue cooking your favorite recipes. You can also take advantage of delicious, chef-prepared dining options in a restaurant-style setting. Some communities, like our Dallas independent living community, offer continental breakfast and a Sunday buffet, among other options.

    You never stop learning: Learning every day is the best way to keep your mind in shape and fight off conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of independent living communities host a myriad of programs and activities to ensure personal growth and development is always at your fingertips. Trivia and art classes are just a few examples.

    You can focus on fitness: Many independent living communities offer access to an on-site, state-of-the-art gym as well as exercise classes, personal training services and wellness seminars so you can focus on your wellness, staying fit, mobile and pain-free.

    You can downsize: Many older adults find that downsizing is therapeutic. It provides the perfect opportunity to get rid of years worth of accumulation and keep items that have the most personal, sentimental value.

    You create lifelong friendships: You’ll find lifelong friends at retirement communities. It’s easy to meet others with the numerous formal and informal opportunities presented in independent living communities. Many friendships have blossomed at Meadowstone Place’s weekly movie night, fitness classes and clubs.

    You have access to good books: Stay up to date on current news and events and read your bucket-list books in the on-site library. You’ll enjoy the perfect setting for personal growth, relaxation and adventure – without ever leaving the comfort of the community.

    You have better access to healthcare: Not only do most independent living communities offer transportation to and from primary care and specialty appointments, most also have a system in place for rapid response should you need emergency medical attention. This gives you the best access possible whether you see a doctor for annual checkups only or you have chronic conditions to manage.

    You’re never tied down: Home and lawn maintenance are covered in many independent living communities, so you’re free to travel, spend time with family members or mark things off of your bucket list. You can come and go as you please without worrying about your home or chores.

    You have total freedom: When you live in independent living, you get to create your own schedule. You choose whether to dine in or eat out. You choose your primary care provider, the events you attend and how to furnish your home. At our Dallas retirement community, you select the services to take advantage of and which you don’t care for.

    You can enjoy your favorite beverages: Meadowstone Place provides a coffee bar and juice station for residents. Fuel up with your favorite beverage before the sun comes up or before you head out on your next adventure.

    You can bring your four-legged friend: Not all retirement communities welcome your pets. However, many do. Be sure to check with independent living communities you are interested in to learn about their pet policy. Meadowstone Place is a pet-friendly independent living community in Dallas.

    You look and feel your best: An on-site beauty and barber salon means you can spend time getting pampered so you can feel your best, all in walking distance to your home.

    You can enjoy a pool: Many independent living communities offer an outdoor pool and cabana area for relaxation, socialization and leisurely exercise. Soak up the rays poolside with a good book or alongside friends.

    Your expenses are predictable: Most independent living communities charge one flat rate that includes your rent, utilities and the services and amenities you choose to take advantage of. This can be especially helpful in retirement, when you may be living off of a fixed income. Fixed expenses make budgeting simple and ensure you always know exactly what to expect.

    You can choose the senior apartment of your dreams: Take advantage of breathtaking views, modern living spaces and a lot of natural light in some of the most beautiful and modern independent living communities in Dallas. Updating your home can be overwhelming and expensive, but independent living neighborhoods are designed to give you the best home possible.

    You enjoy stress-free entertainment: Host friends and family members for a get together, party or intimate dinner without stress or worry. Independent living communities often offer gathering rooms for residents’ use, which means you can host company in the perfect sized space without having to pack and travel.

    You receive help with housekeeping: Just because you can still maintain your home on your own doesn’t mean that’s how you want to spend your valuable time in retirement. Take advantage of optional housekeeping services so that you don’t have to worry about time-consuming chores.

    You only drive when you want to: You don’t have to face the traffic for daily tasks and appointments at independent living communities. For any amenities or services not offered on-site, independent living communities generally offer transportation to destinations such as appointments, pharmacies and shopping malls. Enjoy the company of others while you run errands and grab the basics.

    You can say goodbye to boredom: When you choose an independent living community, you gain full access to regular events and programs to ensure that you’re always able to find something that entertains you and fills your time with purpose and meaning.

    With these great reasons to consider the retirement lifestyle, why not take a look? To learn more about our independent living community in Dallas, visit us at Meadowstone Place today. We are eager to learn more about you, show you around and welcome you to the neighborhood. Contact us to schedule your tour.

    How Independent Living Improves Quality of Life

    If you are like many people, you might worry that moving to an independent living community will detract from the quality of your life. You might be surprised to learn that living in a retirement community can actually boost your quality of life.

    About Quality of Life

    Quality of life is multi-dimensional, affecting your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. As Merck Manual says, quality of life often depends on an individual’s health and the health care they receive. Quality of life is determined by many factors, including an individual’s:

    • Emotional well-being, particularly in regard to happiness and the absence of anxiety
    • Ability to carry out activities of daily living and enjoyable activities, such as hobbies
    • Close interpersonal relationships, especially with family members and friends
    • Participation in and enjoyment of social activities
    • Satisfaction with medical treatments and the financial aspects of those treatments
    • Control over personal finances
    • Environment, particularly if it is well-maintained, located conveniently and safe

    Other factors can influence how you perceive the quality of your life and some can negatively affect health-related quality of life. Chronic pain, disability, reduced life expectancy, cognitive impairment and decreased functional status that prevents you from engaging in activities of daily living or hobbies can negatively affect life quality. Social isolation and lack of accessible medical care can also decrease quality of life for older adults.

    Ways Independent Living Can Improve Your Quality of Life

    Greater financial control

    Independent living can provide you with greater control over your finances. This is particularly true for independent living communities in which you pay a monthly rental fee that covers your residence and the majority of services, versus a major buy-in fee. Communities that offer a number of affordable options, apartment floor plan choices and associated services and amenities give you extra control over your money.

    Independent living makes bill payment easier too – you don’t have to worry about a flood of utility bills, lawn maintenance contracts, home repairs or other recurring costs.

    Better living supported by an integrated wellness philosophy

    The finest independent living communities embrace a wellness philosophy dedicated to improving quality of life and take special measures to help you stay healthy, active and socially engaged.

    A truly holistic wellness philosophy focuses on the potential of each resident to achieve his or her goals through a personal wellness plan. Your personal wellness plan may include good nutrition and physical activity, ways to develop new social connections and strengthen the ones you already have, learning initiatives to keep your mind sharp and faith-based involvement, volunteerism and service that gives your life meaning.

    Amenities and services at your fingertips

    The right amenities and services can improve the quality of your life, especially when compared with those you have within walking distance of your current home. Amenities of some independent living communities feature chef-prepared meals served in a restaurant-style setting, concierge services, fitness and wellness programs, entertainment and education programs, a library and business center, beauty and barber salon and convenience stores – all within easy walking distance of your senior apartment!

    All the aesthetics of a well-maintained home without all the work

    One of the best things about living in a retirement community is that you get to live in a beautifully maintained home without having to do home maintenance.

    Imagine never having to mow the lawn, shovel the drive or worry about plumbing!

    Providing a pet-friendly atmosphere

    Pet ownership can greatly improve your quality of life, but with all the challenges of living alone, it can be difficult to give your animal companion the quality of life it deserves. Finding a place to live that allows pets can be tough, and the thought of leaving a pet behind can be even tougher.

    Many independent living residences are pet-friendly, so these communities welcome your pets and provide safe and comfortable outdoor spaces both you and your four-legged friend will enjoy.

    Enjoy fine dining and nutritious meals

    Good nutrition is important at any age, but many older adults find it challenging to prepare nutritious meals that taste good. The effects of aging, depression, isolation and limited income all make cooking challenging. In addition, many older adults are on special diets that restrict salt, fat or sugar.

    Malnutrition negatively affects quality of life, according to the American Journal of Nursing, while increasing health care costs and increasing the risk of short-term mortality. Mayo Clinic says that malnutrition in older adults can lead to a weak immune system and increased risk of infections and weaker muscles and decreased bone mass that can lead to falls and fractures. Older adults who receive poor nutrition also have an increased risk of hospitalization and a higher risk of death.

    Independent living communities can provide delicious dining options and improve the quality of your nutritional intake. You can enjoy healthy chef-prepared dining served in a comfortable and beautifully appointed dining room, just a few steps from your home. The highest quality supportive living environments use seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to prepare meals that taste great and accommodate most special diets.

    Opportunities for social engagement

    Social interaction improves quality of life, but many older adults enjoy fewer opportunities to interact with like-minded people as they age. Independent living communities offer the chance to meet new people and build upon existing relationships.

    Studies show that social participation improves quality of life. The authors of one study concluded their paper by saying that “activities that involve the art, sport and leisure subscale of social participation can result in quality of life improvement” for older adults.

    In addition to the proven social benefits, research shows that independent living can improve overall quality of life for older adults. In fact, one recent survey mentioned by Senior Housing Forum showed that residing in an independent living community could improve quality of life.

    Independent living provides an environment that improves the quality of life for older adults who desire the freedom and amenities of living independently without the hassles. For more information on how independent living improves quality of life, contact the experts at Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby. Our passionate team looks forward to sharing information about the many benefits of living at Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby, an independent living community in Shelby Township, Michigan.