While many of us struggle to find some quiet time to ourselves amidst our busy lives, many seniors spend too much time on their own. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, “chronic loneliness can adversely affect mental, cognitive, and physical health, and general well-being, and even longevity.”
Being socially active is proven to provide positive, often dramatic effects on senior health. For example, studies have shown that seniors who actively engage in creative activities are less likely to suffer from depression, visit the doctor less often, and take fewer medications than their less-active counterparts. However, aging can bring on health conditions or limitations that make it difficult to drive, go visiting, or participate in activities and social gatherings.
Nonetheless, there are three important reasons for seniors to prioritize social well-being, despite potential limitations.
Medicare defines skilled care as “nursing and therapy care that can only be safely and effectively performed by, or under the supervision of, professionals or technical personnel.” Skilled nursing services are available in a hospital, of course, or in a designated skilled nursing facility (SNF). Because this is an advanced and often complex level of care, it can be quite expensive. So will Medicare or Medicaid help cover the cost?.
One of the first things most seniors want to know about assisted living is can I afford it? As more and more Americans reach senior status, the number of assisted living communities has increased dramatically. But those communities can vary significantly in terms of accommodations, services, amenities and quality of care. And, yes, cost.
The signs of unsafe driving are there, plain as day. Maybe Mom or Dad has had some cognitive or vision problems lately. Or perhaps you’ve noticed one of your parents missing traffic signals, weaving, becoming aggressive with the horn, or other concerning behaviors. Has Mom been involved in one or more accidents? Has she hit the gas instead of the brake? Are there new dents or scrapes on Dad’s car?
It’s time for Mom or Dad to hand over the car keys for good.
As an adult child, you naturally want what’s best for your aging Mom. Just like she has always wanted the best for you, ever since you were tiny. So, why do you feel so guilty about moving your beloved Mom into assisted living? Deep down you understand that assisted living is the best option. Mom may understand that, too, but moving to assisted living is a major change, one fraught with emotion.
Everyone’s life and lifestyle are unique to them. Maybe you’ve been Mom’s primary caregiver for some time now and you are simply overwhelmed. You want to continue giving your all for Mom, but your own health and wellbeing are important, too. Conversely, maybe you’re feeling guilty because you haven’t been able to personally care for Mom as her needs increase.
Should you move into a senior living community? The decision is highly personal, so you’ll need to consider many different elements. That requires research and asking questions. Lots of questions. Some will be very specific to your own circumstances, but there are also basic fundamental questions that reflect every senior’s concerns.
Here at Magnolia Manor, we meet with prospective residents and their family members every day, providing tours of our nine unique campuses in southern Georgia while providing answers and, perhaps more importantly, insight into frequently asked questions about senior living. Here are a few of the questions we hear:
Do you ever catch yourself humming or singing along to a song when music isn’t even playing? The power of music is so extraordinary, it gets “stuck” in our heads and can even help us recall memories. In fact, even seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia can recall songs and lyrics from their past. There are many documented stories of patients who could not recall the names of family members, but who could play an entire song on the piano or sing the words to a favorite tune.
Consider this: here in the US, 10% of those age 65 or older have some form of dementia according to a new study conducted by Columbia University. They say another 22% of Americans over 65 have mild cognitive impairment.
Not surprisingly, dementia becomes more prevalent with age – just 3% of those age 65-69 but 35% of those 90+. However, while dementia is a significant concern, it is not a normal part of aging. So how can you tell the difference between everyday forgetfulness and early signs of dementia, especially if you’re concerned about an aging parent?
Who doesn’t want the very best for their aging Mom or Dad – or for yourself in your later years when you need a little assistance? One of the many reasons residents and their relatives love Magnolia Manor is that we treat everyone, residents and staff together, like family. We are proud of the outstanding care we provide. But we’re always striving to be even better.
With that in mind, when our Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) told us a few years ago that they would be very interested in finding ways to advance their skills and career, we listened! And after doing some research, we created the Magnolia Manor Career Ladder Program. We launched the program in 2018 at our Marion County (Buena Vista) campus, and now offer it at our Columbus campus as well.