NOTE: If you or a loved one believe you have contracted COVID-19 or are having respiratory problems contact your doctor.
Dr. Sarfaraz Munshi from Queen’s Hospital in Romford, England (a suburb of London) posted a video to the internet this week demonstrating a breathing technique one of his head nurses showed him to help patients avoid getting pneumonia from the Sars-CoV-2 Coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, which is especially dangerous for seniors and the elderly.
The video has racked up over 3 million views on YouTube and has been shared tens of millions of times across social media platforms, helping raise awareness on one crucial way to keep people who have contracted COVID-19 alive.
Dr. Munshi starts his video off with a dire warning about how an active infection can easily turn into pneumonia.
“So what I need you to understand is that once you have an active infection you need to be getting a good amount of air into the base of your lungs. The only way you’re going to achieve that is having a technique…” – Dr. Sarfaraz Munshi
The breathing technique Dr. Munshi demonstrated is nothing new and in fact is recommended by Drs, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and Physios around the world for those who are sick, especially those with respiratory problems or the flu, to avoid contracting pneumonia. It is also used by those with Cystic Fibrosis to help clear their airways to avoid infection and disease.
The technique is called the Active Cycle of Breathing Technique or ACBT and it is designed to break up phlegm deep in the lungs and move it up through the respiratory system until it is ejected via the mouth.
There are different variations of ACBT used around the globe and for varying reasons. The version of ACBT recommended by Dr. Munshi in his now viral video goes like this:
Step 1: Sit upright and take as deep of a breath as possible. Hold the breath for 5 seconds (say “Five Mississippi” in your head).
Step 2: Release the breath slowly.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 four more times, for a total of 5 times before moving to step 4.
Step 4: Take one more deep breath, but instead of holding it for 5 seconds, release your breath with a big cough into a cloth covering your face.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1 though 4 one more time, or for one more cycle for a total of 2 cycles (10 deep breaths and 2 big coughs).
Step 6: Lay down on your bed laying on your stomach or front with a pillow under the upper part of your body. Breathe slightly deeper than normally for at least 10 minutes.
Repeat this technique (steps 1 through 6) a few times per day until breathing becomes normal. Make sure you are in contact with your doctor and that this version of ACBT is right for you.
Very importantly Dr. Munshi warns about spending too much time laying on your back while suffering an infection (i.e. COVID-19, the flu, or the common cold). Especially for older adults and seniors, spending a prolonged amount of time on your back can lead to secondary pneumonia.
Because the Sars-CoV-2 Coronavirus can be causing phlegm build up in the lungs before symptoms become noticeable, it may be a good idea to perform this breathing exercise at least once per day, especially for seniors who live in areas where COVID-19 infections are known to have taken place or who live in nursing homes where it might spread more easily.
Seniors are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. Remarkably, some seniors are even surviving into their hundreds. It’s estimated that there are more than 76,000 centenarians throughout the United States, and 3,000 in Texas.
Because they’ve seen and experienced so much, centenarians have important lessons to share. So today, we thought we’d highlight the incredible lives of sixteen Texas centenarians and pass on some of their wisdom.
John, 106, says that the key to a long life is moderation. He doesn’t overeat or drink and makes sure to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Charlotte, 105, believes that her happy marriage and an active lifestyle have both played a role in her longevity.
The pair also has advice for couples, they think that couples should date for a while before they get married. Charlotte and John dated for five years before tying the knot, which gave them a chance to really get to know each other.
The couple also resolves their arguments before bed so there aren’t any lingering hurt feelings in the morning.
We’ll definitely be taking their relationship advice. After all, they’ve been married for 80 years,
3. Erma Killion Meador
One thing that we can all learn from Erma Killion Meador, a 109-year-old Texas native, is the importance of giving back. She was a Sunday School teacher for more than 20 years and a caregiver to the elderly.
She was also an active volunteer at a number of organizations including the Pink Ladies. She didn’t retire from volunteer work until she was nearly 90.
Erma has made an immeasurable difference in her community and continues to inspire everyone around her with her positivity and kindness.
4. Ofelia Gonzales
Ofelia Gonzales, a 109-year-old who resides in Texas, says that the three secrets to a long life are faith, eating well, and staying active.
Gonzales regularly gives thanks to God for her blessings. She eats healthy meals and avoids fast food, but does enjoy a sweet treat every once in a while.
She also stays active by dancing to her favorite Spanish ballads and spending time with her beloved daughters and granddaughters.
5. Hertha Glenn
Hertha Glenn, a retired teacher from Austin, just celebrated her 100th birthday.
She was an educator for more than 40 years and taught both high school and college.
Her faith and her strong support network both keep her going. She has a close relationship with God and her friends, who she calls regularly to stay in touch.
She also focuses on giving back to others and enjoying life.
6. Artie Lowthorp
Artie Lowthorp is a retired beautician who just turned 100 in December. To celebrate, she had a big party with her friends and family, including her son Mark.
Artie is known for her big personality and a bright smile. She has a great sense of humor, loves to laugh, and genuinely cares about the people around her.
She tries not to worry about the things she can’t control, which is likely a big reason why she’s lived such a long, healthy life.
She also likes to go out and do things in her hometown of Tyler, Texas, which has kept her young.
7. James South
James South, a World War II veteran, just turned 100 on October 7th. He celebrated with his son Jim by golfing and indulging in his favorite meal, chicken fried steak.
Since James retired at 65, he’s stayed active by woodworking, playing golf, gardening, and spending time with family. He also attends church.
His main piece of life advice is that happiness is more important than money, and we definitely agree.
8. Janice Bradley
Janice Bradley just turned 100 in December. To celebrate the milestone, she wanted to receive 100 birthday cards and reached out for help on social media.
She received an overwhelming response. Instead of the 100 cards, she asked for, she received over 1000.
Janice is deserving of that and more. She’s a proud World War II veteran who served in the Women’s Army Corp.
We hope that those cards made her feel special on her birthday!
9. Lyndoll Hurley
Lyndoll Hurley, who recently turned 100, also had a birthday wish to receive 100 cards. Just like Janice, he received well over 1000 cards after posting on social media.
Lyndoll is a World War II veteran who served in the Navy. He’s also a loving father of four, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Lyndoll’s family is what keeps him going. He said he wanted to make it to 100 to have more time to spend with them.
Studies have shown that relationships play a key role in longevity, so his close ties with family likely helped him reach this milestone birthday.
10. Fay Hargrove
Fay Hargrove recently celebrated her 100th birthday at Christian Care Communities, a senior living facility in Mesquite, Texas.
Fay says that she’s not a worrier and believes that’s part of why she’s lived so long. She doesn’t worry about the things she can’t change, which keeps her stress levels low.
Stress is a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, so we think Fay is onto something.
She also has an important piece of life advice for younger generations. When you get knocked down by life’s problems, you don’t have to stay down—you can get back up again.
Fay is clearly resilient because she made it all the way to 100! We hope her fighting spirit keeps her going for many years to come.
11. Rose Landin
Believe it or not, Rose Landin, a 101-year-old from Dallas Texas, still has a job. She works at the State Fair as a greeter five days a week, a position she’s held for 25 years.
Rose said she gets bored sitting at home and enjoys working because it keeps her active. She always greets people with a smile on her face and is one of the fair’s most beloved employees.
Some studies have linked working past retirement age with better health and reduced risk of dementia. So Rose’s job may be one of the reasons she’s lived such a long, vibrant life.
12. Evelyn Tucker
Evelyn Tucker, a 100-year-old resident of Austin, served our country as a nurse in World War II. She went above and beyond for the soldiers she cared for and said that nothing she could do for them would be too much.
A few years after she returned home from the war, she married Bryan Tucker, a Marine. Sadly, Bryan died in 1994. But Evelyn is still surrounded by family, including her three loving children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
13. Evelyn Howell
Evelyn Howell recently celebrated her 100th birthday with her family and friends.
Evelyn grew up on a farm in the Texas Panhandle and studied at Texas Tech. She later married and had four children.
Evelyn has stayed sharp over the years by playing the piano. Music has always been her passion. She started playing piano at 6 years old and hasn’t let age slow her down.
Studies have shown that having a hobby can increase your longevity and give you a sense of purpose. So Evelyn’s dedication to the piano has likely helped her live a long, healthy life.
Evelyn also had a piece of life advice for younger generations—try your best to do what’s right. You may not always succeed, she says, but you have to try. We definitely agree.
14. Ernie Lacroix
Ernie Lacroix, a World War II veteran, just turned 100. To celebrate, he walked the Cowtown 5K in Fort Worth with family and friends.
Ernie has participated in the race for 20 years straight and shows no signs of slowing down. He says he still feels great and plans to work out regularly and walk 5K races for as long as he can.
Ernie has always been in excellent shape. He played golf twice a week for years, walked everywhere, and worked out at the gym three times a week.
His commitment to exercise is likely the biggest reason for his longevity. Many studies have shown that being physically active increases your lifespan and wards off disease.
For over 70 years, he’s trained generations of students to be great orators. His debate team has consistently beaten tough competitors like Harvard and the University of Chicago.
He still hasn’t retired from his job and works 12 hours a day on average. He believes that working is what’s kept him young.
16. Wilson Dickson
Wilson Dickson, a resident of Tyler, Texas, just turned 100 in November.
Wilson served in World War II as an engineer aboard the USS LSM 51. He loves sharing stories about his time in the service, spending time with family, and learning new things to keep his mind sharp.
When asked what his secret to a long life was, Wilson simply said, “luck.” We think he may be onto something because studies have shown that genetics play a key role in longevity.
We wish Wilson continued luck and many more happy, healthy birthdays!
Every centenarian has a nearly endless amount of knowledge, wisdom, and life experience to share. We hope that you enjoyed hearing the advice from these sixteen centenarians about how to live a better, healthier, and hopefully longer life.
Holiday travel is stressful for everyone, but it’s especially difficult and taxing for seniors. Older adults who have mobility issues and other limitations can have a hard time finding their way around crowded airports, especially if they’re traveling alone. If your aging parent is taking a trip with or without you this holiday season, you can help them have better, safer travels by arranging special services for them.
To help you take advantage of all the services that airlines offer to seniors and reduce travel stress this Christmas, we’ve put together this list of eight tips.
1. Check all medications to see if refills are needed
There’s nothing worse than making it to your destination and realizing that you’ve run out of your medication. To prevent this stressful situation from happening to your loved one, check all of their medications ahead of time to see if they need refills. You should also make a list of the medications they take with dosages in case they have to see a doctor while they’re on vacation.
Make sure that your parent puts all of their medication in a bag they’re taking with them on the plane. And if your loved one needs to take medication during their flight, it’s a good idea to set alarms on a phone or smartwatch to remind them to take their pills.
2. Make sure the destination has the accommodations your loved one needs
If your loved one is staying at a hotel during their trip, it’s important to book an accessible room for them. You should call the hotel to confirm that their accessible rooms have things like handrails in the bathrooms and walk-in showers that will make your parent’s stay easier.
If your parent is visiting you or other relatives this Christmas, make sure that the home they’ll be staying in has the accommodations they need. A downstairs bedroom and bathroom, for example, is essential for seniors with mobility issues. If the home they’re visiting isn’t accessible, book them a room at a nearby hotel instead.
3. Choose the right flight or train ride
Seniors tend to tire out quickly, so it’s important to make their travel day as short as possible. Book direct flights and high-speed trains whenever you can. You should also try to choose flights and trains that leave during the day rather than early in the morning or late at night. That way your loved one’s sleep schedule won’t be interrupted and they’ll be rested and ready to travel.
4. Request disability services from Amtrak or the airline ahead of time
If your loved one requires boarding assistance, has special medical equipment that needs to be stowed away, or has vision or hearing problems, you should let Amtrak or the airline know ahead of time. Amtrak allows passengers to specify the disability services they need when they book their tickets online.
Some airlines like Southwest also allow you to request disability services online, but it’s usually better to call the airline directly. Most airlines have special needs departments that are devoted to helping customers with disabilities, so ask to be connected to them when you call to get the best customer service.
5. Consider requesting a meet and assist services
Airports can be confusing, especially for seniors. If you think your parent will need assistance to make it to their gate, there are a number of free and paid services available to help them.
Airlines are required to provide wheelchair assistance to people who can’t navigate the airport on their own. Although you can request this service on the day of the flight, it’s best to inform the airline ahead of time to ensure that a wheelchair and attendant is available for your loved one.
Additionally, many airlines like American Airlines and United have meet and assist services that you can reserve for a fee. A staff member will be there to guide your loved one through security and ensure that they make it to their gate. Another staff member will meet your loved one as soon as they arrive at their destination to help them get their bags and locate their transportation. This service is especially helpful for seniors traveling alone.
If you don’t have the money to spend on meet and assist services, you can get free gate passes. They allow someone to stay with your loved one until they board the plane and meet them at their destination. If you get gate passes, someone you trust will be with your parent during the majority of their trip, which will give you peace of mind.
Even though these services are pretty comprehensive, they may not be enough for some seniors. If your parent has dementia or needs assistance with toileting or eating, then they’ll need to have a companion with them on the flight.
6. Arrange transportation to and from the airport or train station
If you can’t drive your parent to the airport, you’ll have to arrange transportation for them ahead of time. If your loved one uses a wheelchair or has mobility issues, you should try to arrange medical transportation or a volunteer driving service instead of a taxi. Call A Ride of Southlake, for example, is a great organization to contact. They provide free transportation for seniors and disabled adults in and around the Southlake area. An organization like this will be more attuned to the needs of your aging parent than a taxi service, so try to find one in your loved one’s area.
7. Get to the airport or train station early
Running late is stressful for everyone, not just seniors. To start your vacation off on the right foot, make sure that you and your loved one have plenty of time to find the right train platform or get to the gate.
8. Encourage your loved one to take it easy on their vacation
Seniors need more time to rest and relax than the rest of us. Remind your aging parent not to participate in too many activities on vacation. They should schedule a time to relax each day so that they don’t overexert themselves and come home exhausted.
Traveling during the holidays can be stressful for you and your loved one. But taking advantage of these services will help ensure that both of you have a positive travel experience.
Cooking a Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings is taxing and expensive. Many seniors don’t have the energy or the funds to cook a turkey dinner, and don’t live near family or friends who they can share a meal with. But thankfully, those seniors don’t have to go without a nice dinner on Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday, lots of restaurants and charities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are giving back and offering free meals to seniors and other people in need. Here’s a list of just some of the places where seniors can eat for free on Thanksgiving in our area.
Norma’s Cafe — 1123 W. Davis Street, Dallas, Texas 75208
Norma’s Cafe has been hosting a free Thanksgiving luncheon for more than thirty years. This year, they’ll be serving up classic holiday favorites like turkey, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their Oak Cliff location in Dallas. Knowing Norma’s, the food will be delicious, so seniors who live nearby should stop in and grab a plate.
The Slow Bone — 2234 Irving Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75207
Every year, The Slow Bone hosts a Thanksgiving dinner that’s free for everyone. In years past, the restaurant has served Thanksgiving classics like turkey and stuffing alongside delicious barbeque dishes from their regular menu like ribs and brisket. Seniors in need of a hot meal or some company can stop by The Slow Bone between noon and 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Meat U Anywhere BBQ — 91 Trophy Club Drive, Trophy Club, Texas 76262
Seniors who participate in the Metroport Meals on Wheels program can sit down and enjoy a meal at Meat U Anywhere this year. The barbeque restaurant is offering a free lunch to Meals on Wheels participants and their families to give them a chance to get out of the house and socialize.
Seniors who come to the luncheon can expect to be served delicious dry-rubbed turkey and other holiday staples like mashed potatoes and gravy. To sign up for the event, visit the Metroport Meals on Wheels website.
Salvation Army — 5302 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75235
Every year, the Salvation Army hosts a Thanksgiving luncheon for people in need of a hot meal at the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center in Dallas. Seniors who attend the luncheon can expect turkey with all the fixings, including green beans, mashed potatoes, yams and pumpkin pie. The lunch typically runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., but seniors who want to attend should call to confirm.
Impact City Church — 11550 Plano Road, Dallas, Texas 75243
Impact City Church is a non-denominational church located in Dallas. They’re hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner this year for anyone who needs it. Seniors can stop by Impact City on Wednesday, November 27th at 5 p.m. to grab a plate and enjoy the company of the church community.
Inspired to Live Church — 2455 Ascension Boulevard, Arlington, Texas 76006
Inspired to Live is another church in the Dallas area that’s offering a free meal to anyone who needs it. Seniors who don’t have a place to celebrate Thanksgiving can head to the church on November 27th at 6 p.m. for dinner or November 28th at 11 a.m. for lunch.
Operation Turkey is a volunteer organization that delivers free Thanksgiving meals to thousands of people in need across 22 cities, including Dallas and Fort Worth. Seniors who can’t make it out of the house this Thanksgiving can request a meal and have it delivered directly to their door. Each meal comes with turkey, stuffing, veggies, a slice of pie, and a drink—everything you need to celebrate the holiday.
Seniors can sign up for Meals on Wheels and have lunch delivered to their door every weekday, including Thanksgiving Day. This year’s Thanksgiving lunch will include turkey breast, gravy, cornbread stuffing, whipped potatoes, and a cinnamon sugar cookie for dessert. If you want your loved one to receive this delicious meal, you can sign them up for Meals on Wheels by visiting the VNA website and filling out the application form.
Many seniors can’t prepare a Thanksgiving meal on their own. But luckily, there are lots of places they can go this year to get a hot meal and enjoy the company of their community.
For seniors who are aging in place, getting out of the house is important. Older adults who leave the house frequently have a better quality of life and longevity than seniors who rarely go out.
That’s why you should encourage your loved one to get out and explore the city as much as possible. Here’s a list of fun activities in the Fort Worth area that your loved one can do alone or with friends and family.
Explore a Museum
Fort Worth has lots of interesting museums that seniors can explore to keep their minds active and engaged. Art lovers will appreciate the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which displays paintings by many celebrated artists including Picasso and Pollock. Seniors get discounted tickets, making this museum an affordable, enriching place to spend an afternoon.
Seniors who prefer science over art will love the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The museum has interactive exhibits about scientific topics such as astronomy, energy, and dinosaurs. There’s also a planetarium and a large IMAX theater that shows educational movies.
Other museums worth checking out are the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, which has over 250,000 works of art in its collection, and the Vintage Flying Museum, which features a large fleet of historic aircraft.
Fort Worth offers lots of opportunities for seniors to get out, enjoy nature, and stay active. The Trinity Trails, a network of paved trails along the Trinity River, are a great place for seniors to walk. They’re relatively flat, so they’re easier for older adults to navigate than many other hiking trails.
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is another great place to take a leisurely, relaxing stroll. There are lots of gardens to meander through, including a Japanese garden, a rose garden, and a rainforest conservatory. The Botanic Garden also hosts special events for the public in their garden center. They’re having an afternoon tea to celebrate Grandparents Day in September, which would make a nice outing for seniors and their families.
See a Show
Seniors who love the arts should consider seeing a show at one of Fort Worth’s many performance halls. The Casa Mañana Theatre puts on musicals and cabaret shows throughout the year. They also have shows for children that grandparents can see with their grandkids.
The Bass Performance Hall is another wonderful place to enjoy a show. Seniors can see ballets, operas, touring Broadway shows, and classical musicians at this world-class performance hall.
Seniors who aren’t big fans of classical music might prefer the concerts at Billy Bob’s Texas. Touring country musicians often play at this fun venue, which also has arcade games, pool tables, mouthwatering barbeque, and music memorabilia from famous musicians.
Shopping is a great way for seniors to get out of the house and get some light exercise. Fort Worth has a variety of shopping options to suit all tastes and budgets. The Tanger Outlets have lots of discounted clothes, accessories, and home goods from popular brands like Michael Kors and Vera Bradley.
For seniors who prefer unique, small boutiques, Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth is an ideal shopping destination. It spans 35 city blocks and has lots of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. Just some of the stores you’ll find there include a retro cowboy gift shop, an artisanal olive oil store, and a chocolate factory with dozens of different handcrafted candies. Sundance Square also has a large outdoor plaza where they host public events like movies, concerts, and yoga classes.
Visit the Zoo with Family
The Fort Worth Zoo is a fun place for seniors and their families to visit together. It’s one of the top five zoos in the nation and is home to over 540 different species of animals. The zoo also has lots of dining and entertainment options, including several cafes, an outdoor learning theater, and a small water park. It’s easy to spend a whole day there without running out of things to do!
Take an Art Class
Even seniors who aren’t artists may enjoy taking an art class. Making visual art has been shown to relieve stress and improve cognition. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
There are many places to take an art class in the Fort Worth area. The Museum of Modern Art offers drawing and animation classes taught by seasoned artists. The Art Room, a nonprofit that provides art education in Fort Worth, also has painting and drawing classes for people of all skill levels.
We hope that this post has given you some ideas of activities you can do with your aging loved one to help them stay active and healthy. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so keep exploring the city to discover new and interesting things to do!
In recent years, indoor gardens have gained popularity. They’re much easier to maintain than large outdoor gardens, so they appeal to young people with busy lifestyles.
But indoor gardens are also useful for older adults. Seniors who have mobility issues may find it easier to take care of plants in the comfort of their own home and can experience many benefits from being surrounded by greenery. Plants can purify their indoor air, reduce their stress and anxiety, and even improve their memory and concentration.
If you want to find out more about these benefits and learn how to set up a garden in a small indoor space, then keep reading.
Plants Purify Indoor Air
Did you know that plants can clean the air? Studies have shown that plants can remove some of the potentially harmful chemicals that are found in household products, like benzene and formaldehyde, from indoor air. They do this by absorbing the toxins through pores on the surface of their leaves.
Certain plants are particularly good at purifying the air, including snake plants, spider plants, and peace lilies. If seniors keep a few of these potted plants in their homes, they won’t have to invest in expensive air purifiers.
Indoor Gardens Are Accessible
It can be hard for seniors who use wheelchairs or walkers to get out into the backyard. If their yard doesn’t have even, level pathways, it may be inaccessible to them.
But that doesn’t mean that they can’t garden. Seniors can keep their plants indoors instead of on a table or counter that’s easy to reach. That way they can enjoy all the benefits of gardening without any of the accessibility issues.
Houseplants Are Easy To Care For
Caring for houseplants can be easier and more enjoyable for seniors than tending an outdoor garden. Outdoor gardens require lots of weeding, watering, and maintenance. Performing those tasks on especially hot or cold days can be physically taxing, especially for older adults. Seniors are prone to heat stress and hypothermia, so keeping plants indoors may be better for their health.
Houseplants are also easier to keep alive because most of the aspects of their growing environment can be controlled, including temperature. Outdoor plants can get damaged by extremely hot or cold weather, which isn’t an issue indoors.
With that being said, some houseplants are harder to care for than others, so seniors should still choose their plants wisely. Inexperienced gardeners should stay away from plants like orchids and gardenias, which are known for being finicky. Succulents and peace lilies are better choices for new gardeners.
Gardening is Relaxing and Rewarding
Studies have shown that caring for plants can help lower stress, anxiety, and blood pressure, which isn’t a surprising finding. The simple, repetitive tasks involved in taking care of plants like trimming and watering can be calming and almost meditative. Tending to plants can help seniors slow down, quiet their thoughts, and connect with nature.
Nurturing a plant and watching it grow as a result of their efforts can also be incredibly rewarding for seniors. When they look at the beautiful flowers on their begonias, they’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that they helped create them.
Indoor Gardens Are Perfect for Apartments
Many older adults live in apartments or have small backyards that aren’t big enough to accommodate a garden. Indoor gardens are a great alternative that will still give seniors plenty of space to grow flowers, herbs, and produce.
Seniors can place most of their flowers, vegetables, and houseplants on a table near a bright window or on a windowsill. The only exception is herbs—being placed too close to a drafty window can cause them to wilt. Kitchen counters are a better spot for them.
Seniors can even grow fruit like strawberries and tomatoes in their apartments to reduce their grocery bills. Fruit plants require a little extra care and some grow lights, but they’re a fun project for more experienced gardeners.
Plants Improve Memory and Concentration
One of the biggest benefits seniors can experience from having an indoor garden is improved memory and concentration.
Several studies have shown that being around plants can improve memory. Researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that walking through a park, or even just looking at photos of nature, can improve memory and attention span by twenty percent. It stands to reason that admiring houseplants would have a similar effect.
Another recent study showed that spending time in a garden can improve memory retrieval in people with advanced dementia. Indoor gardens may be a useful holistic treatment for seniors who are experiencing memory loss.
Having an indoor garden can really improve a senior’s quality of life. If you have an older loved one, consider buying them a plant or two to help them get their garden started.
People of all ages can benefit from volunteering, but seniors stand to gain the most from giving back. Volunteering can help seniors make new friends, lessen feelings of loneliness and depression, reduce their risk of getting dementia, and more.
With so many great reasons to volunteer, we think that every senior should try it! Keep reading to learn more about the benefits that seniors can experience by volunteering.
Volunteering Provides Social Connection
According to AARP, as many as 17% of older Americans are lonely and socially isolated. Social isolation has a number of negative health consequences, including increased risk of depression and heart disease. Isolated seniors may also experience more rapid cognitive decline than their active, socially involved peers.
Volunteering is an excellent way for seniors to get the social interaction they need to have happy, healthy golden years. Volunteer opportunities like mentoring children or entrepreneurs allow them to build close relationships with others, which helps prevent loneliness.
It Provides Structure
It can be hard for new retirees to establish routines. With years of free time stretching out before them, sticking to a schedule just doesn’t seem necessary. But without a schedule, retirees often spend too much time watching television and not enough time on the hobbies and social activities that will make their retirement fulfilling.
Seniors can prevent themselves from becoming too sedentary by scheduling some regular, weekly activities for themselves like volunteering. Volunteering gives them some structure and routine and gets them out of the house for a few hours. It won’t fill up their entire schedule, but it’s a great start!
Many seniors are on fixed incomes and can’t afford to spend a lot of money on hobbies and activities. Besides transportation costs, volunteering is free, so it’s a great way for them to fill their time.
Volunteering Keeps Seniors Sharp
Studies have shown that volunteering improves working memory and cognitive processing in older adults. Volunteering has also been shown to lower their chances of getting dementia.
The best kinds of volunteer opportunities will enable seniors to learn new things and solve problems. Being a member at a museum or a volunteer for a political campaign, for example, will engage their minds and keep them sharp.
It Gets Seniors Moving
Volunteering helps keep seniors fit, too. Helping out in the community garden or at the local animal shelter will get their body moving, which is important for their physical health.
Regular physical activity can prevent older adults from getting health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It can also help with arthritis pain and reduce the risk of bone fractures. Staying active is good for their mental health too—it improves their mood and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It Helps Them to Follow Their Passions
Many people have hobbies and passions that they didn’t get to pursue during their work years. Retirement is a great time to explore those passions, and volunteering can help them do it.
If a senior has a passion for animals and wildlife, for example, volunteering is the perfect way to pursue it. Zoos, aquariums, and animal shelters are all fantastic places to interact with and learn more about animals, and they all need volunteers.
Volunteer opportunities are available for just about every hobby or interest. With a little research, most seniors will be able to find volunteer work that aligns with their interests and passions.
Volunteering Makes Seniors Happier
When seniors know that they’re making a difference in the lives of people in their community, it improves their lives, too.
Studies have shown that volunteering makes seniors happier. It’s no surprise that volunteering wards off depression and gives them a greater sense of purpose. There are few things in life that are more rewarding than lending others a helping hand and making their lives better.
It Helps Seniors Build Their Legacy
With more time on their hands, retirees may start to think about how they’ll be remembered. They may want to make a difference in the world, be remembered for the good they’ve done, and leave a legacy for future generations.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to accomplish all of those things. Seniors can choose a cause they truly care about, like animal welfare or literacy, and get deeply involved with it to build a lasting legacy.
Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors
There are many organizations that provide volunteer opportunities for seniors. Senior Corps, for example, is a government agency that has multiple volunteer programs geared towards adults 55 and older.
Through Senior Corps, seniors can become a Foster Grandparent and help mentor and tutor children in their community.
Senior Corps also offers a variety of other opportunities, such as renovating homes and helping people affected by natural disasters, through their RSVP program.
These are far from the only opportunities available to seniors. So many organizations need help! Using websites like VolunteerMatch.org, seniors can find opportunities that align with their skills and passions.
For more local opportunities seniors can check out their city website. Once they experience all of these benefits of volunteering firsthand, they might just become lifelong volunteers!
Yoga is an ancient Hindu practice that combines slow movements, stretching, holding specific body postures, breathing, and meditation and brings with it stronger muscles and relaxation. Currently Yoga is the most popular fitness activity in most states in the U.S. beating out jogging and running, and continues to grow in popularity. Yoga includes stretching exercises that can alleviate pain from chronic conditions and diseases that affect the elderly like osteoporosis and fights against the risks of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle many seniors slip into in their golden years.
One study also showed that practicing Yoga significantly increased the quality of life, mood, and reduced fatigue for seniors who did it compared to those who did walking exercises or the control group which made no changes to their exercise habits.
It is possible to do yoga on your own, the most important thing is to be somewhere quiet. Therefore, it is best to keep far from crowded areas. Try to look for places at parks and beaches where a lot of people are not at, or even the comfort of a room in your own house where you can be wrapped in seclusion and quietness.
For those who want to train in a group instead, there are many options for group yoga including public events held at parks and rec centers and yoga studios, small gyms dedicated to group yoga fitness.
Here are a few special types of yoga you can also try:
If you like yoga and have a dog, this is the perfect opportunity to merge the benefits together and to spend some quality time with your beloved puppy. Dog yoga, also called Doga, started in the U.S. but is now practiced in many countries like Japan and Germany. It includes specific positions of classic yoga, along with meditation and breathing techniques to do together with your dog. This type of yoga requires two trainers to assist – one for people and one specialized in animal stretching and muscular relaxation.
Goat Yoga has been incredibly popular over the past few years. It combines classic yoga poses along with baby barnyard goats hopping around. While Yoga is intended to be done in silence, Goat Yoga tends to be more about having fun and being around the baby goats while they bleat and do adorable things.
Seniors need a lifestyle in which exercise has a significant role, in order to fight the natural aging processes. Swimming is a sport with many benefits, not only does it help increases the heart rate without putting stress on the body, but it also helps to manage weight
Where to do it? If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, take a swim. If you don’t have a pool head on over to your local gym, you can also join a water aerobics class. If you prefer more of a nature surrounding go to a nearby lake or a beach. In this case, it is important to check the weather every time before going, but the advantage is that you can bring everyone you want with you, have fun with your grandchildren and forget that you are exercising. If you don’t know how to swim or much rather stay on land then these actives are more for you.
3. Hiking and Walks
While yoga and swimming require silence, hiking and walks don’t. If you are on your own, you can listen to music while walking around your block or a nearby park, if you are with someone, you can chat and let the time pass very quickly. Every place and occasion are perfect to go for a walk, the most important thing is to find something to keep yourself entertained, even a specific after-exercise goal, to keep doing it periodically.
Ideally, you want to go for a walk when the sun is not too hot or in a shaded area. Don’t forget to keep hydrated, bring a bottle of water on long walks is important. If you plan to be out for the whole day bring something to eat that won’t go bad. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the scenery with your loved ones. If the slow pace of walking is not for you then try going for a bike ride.
Source: Public domain pictures
For cycling lovers, take an easy paved trail with little to no hills, if you don’t own a bike or are not able to cycle compliantly on your own then here are some options for you to try.
• E-bikes Many sports can cause major problems to the joints, but not cycling, especially with an E-Bike. If it has been a long time since you last cycled, it is better to start with the aid of the engine and then change gradually.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
• Two seater bikes Have fun with a loved one or a friend with a tandem. It helps those with limited mobility without limiting the pleasure of riding a bike.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
• Trio bike The triobike taxi is the safest option for those who have problems moving but still want to enjoy their ride. Have your loved one take you out on a ride while you enjoy the wind blow through your hair.
Understanding important environmental issues means to keep in mind what direction we, as a species will be headed. Earth Day is a good occasion to spend time with your family, making experiences that could be a bit out of the ordinary.
1. Go to an Earth Day event
From New York to Rome, there are so many Earth Day events set up by local organizations you could choose from. Most specifically, they can be divided into different categories, all with the aim to make people more sensitive to the topic of Earth protection- the ones that should appeal to you are music and culture. In some places, the events will include workshops set up by researchers and artists- that is a good occasion to do something special, but in this case, it is better to get information in advance. A very common activity is that of cleaning up beaches and public places from waste that could harm not only water-living creatures but also humans in the long run.
2. Cook an Earth Day-themed meal
Did you know a plant-based diet is more sustainable for the environment? If you didn’t, it would be a nice idea to cook an Earth Day-themed meal to be more aware of what adopting a different diet would mean. Of course, this doesn’t imply to change forever what one is used to, but rather to get to know some ingredients better. Go to the local grocery store and buy some fruits and vegetables you like. Then, get creative and think about the endless possibilities that come from all those ingredients- you can make vegetable lasagna, a ratatouille, a cheesecake, guacamole…
3. Get a new plant
Getting a new plant and taking care of it is the best way to celebrate Earth Day. If your parents like gardening and have a garden of their own, it would be great to plant a tree, something that lasts for a very long time. Otherwise, get suggestions from the gardener at the store if you want to buy a plant that takes up less space. The most important thing, in this case, is to buy something that can actually live where you place it. In fact, not every plant you buy, as well as some animals, are meant to live in the same climate you are used to. Get to know their story and geographic locations, and make a good choice.
4. Get rid of things together you don’t need any more
Earth Day means to reduce waste- in the general sense. Reflect together about throwing things you don’t need anymore- paying attention to recycling- and think about buying new, ethical items to replace those you don’t want.
5. Watch an Earth Day-themed movie
You can be inspired by protecting the planet without leaving your house. In fact, watching a movie at home with your parents is the best choice if they don’t feel like going out, but still, want to be involved in the celebration. There is a wide range of choices, going from documentaries from action movies, and most of them are family-friendly- you can all sit down and enjoy them.
If you and your parents don’t have the chance to go to a park as often as you would like, this could be a good occasion to explore something new. Go on a guided trip or on your own, to discover the beauty of local flora and fauna. Take pictures along the way, you will learn so much and will want to keep a memory of every moment!
7. Visit a zoo
Animals are one of the focus of Earth Day since the number of endangered species is increasing more and more. Visiting your local zoo will make you more aware of the species that need to be protected and supported over the next decades. There are great Zoos across Texas in the areas we serve such as Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio.
8. Try a different way of making coffee
Eco-friendly coffee is something we don’t often hear about. However, it is worth giving it a shot, since using fewer products to make your morning brew is a way to help to protect the planet. Also, keep in mind to reuse coffee grounds in your garden!
Depression in seniors is a very serious matter everyone should care about. In fact, there are multiple factors that can bring to it, and that is why it is very common, especially among men. When aging, an elder person can find themselves quite isolated, but too proud to ask for help from their close ones. Having to deal with that, health problems of every sort and fatigue, along with chemical imbalance, can cause a deep feeling of inadequacy, and the awareness that it is not rewarding anymore to do the things one liked the most. For instance, one could adore reading, but is not able to because their sight is deteriorating. Although this is perfectly normal, there are many ways to outbalance and improve such problems, most of which are due to the improvement of technology. Because these problems involve everyone’s lives, it is important to reflect on them and to reach together the best solution possible with care and love. Here are 10 ways to help prevent depression in seniors:
1. Don’t leave them alone!
Seniors feel often isolated because we get caught up in our lives, having to deal with work, a family, and other personal problems. The fact is that it is a matter of laziness not having 10 minutes to call your loved ones daily, and to plan something to do once a week with them. If you have a family and kids, you could also make calls in turns so that your parents will hear different voices and different stories. If you live far from your loved ones, and they don’t like to use the phone, write them letters and attach something unique- a bookmark, a pin, a postcard… to the letter.
Books are great at keeping company, but they are also an addictive hobby that an elder person can share with their family and friends. This is why, if your parents don’t live near a local library or a bookshop, you should be the one to get them books- when they will be finished, your loved ones can borrow them to a member of your family and then talk about their impressions. For the most technological seniors, an eReader is the perfect option, since it doesn’t tire eyes, it is very simple to use, and has a lot of functionalities they could use. If your parents can’t read because of sight impairments, it would be a great idea to read a book out loud together or, even better, to use audiobooks. Not only are they great to hear, but they also add something to the story, such as background sounds and music, that one wouldn’t have in the paper format.
Gardening is a long-term passion, meaning that you have to have patience and daily time to dedicate to it. Since it is something that involves a routine, gardening is a great hobby to pick up to prevent depression, because it gives motivation to grow some plants in order to reach a goal (it could be growing your own fruits and vegetables), but it is also possible to switch something up every time, such as changing type of plant/flower to cultivate, when one gets bored of it.
4. Senior clubs
Senior clubs are great if you feel like your elderly parents need to interact more with someone their age and keep in touch with the outer world. There are many types of clubs- book clubs, for instance-, that usually go on with weekly dinners, fun games and contests, etc.
Cooking is a great activity one can do alone or in a group. With the aid of the internet, it is now possible to look for video recipes and new cooking ideas from all over the world. Because many seniors already know how to cook, a good idea would be to gather together weekly and prepare a meal together, but if you want to do something more challenging, meet up for an ‘ethnic food night’ in which each of you tries to cook a dish of a specific foreign cuisine. Your senior loved one could practice during the week, and learn more about different countries through internet searches, TV and movies.
6. Cinema membership card
If your parents like movies, and the cinema is not that far away- why not gift them with a cinema membership card? They will be able to see a number of films when they want, so that they will have an external distraction. Morning movies are great because they could meet people their age there and bond. If they can’t go to the cinema, though, DVDs are your best option.
7. Clean house
A clean house is one of the secrets to prevent depression. Why? When people age, it is more difficult for them to take care of the house but, at the same time, it is never pleasant to live somewhere unclean. This is why helping your parents to clean their house, which means allowing them to do a bit of the work so that they play a role in it too, is really important. Good living conditions are fundamental, although sometimes underrated.
8. Go to museums together
A really fun thing to do together with your elderly parents is to go to museums- you can explore art, discover something curious about history, try all the museum cafeterias- they are usually great!
Source: Max Pixel
9. Listen to them
This tip could be obvious to some, but it must never be taken for granted. When you are together, really listen to your parents’ thoughts and feelings, interact with them to demonstrate you care, even if it means to go through memory lane for the hundredth time, or play that game you never really liked just because they have fun. It is a small action on your part, but it means a lot to them.
10. Get regularly checked by a doctor
Last but not least, go regularly to the doctor’s in order to be sure everything is fine, and that there are no supplements to be taken.
A recent article on the New York Times states that more than 50% of Americans take vitamin supplements. Among those are over 65, the percentage rises to 68%. Similar numbers concern many western countries, Europe in particular, where there is a widespread belief that vitamins can never be enough. When does taking multivitamin supplements become important?
More than 70% 0f 60+ Americans are used to having at least one type of vitamin supplement, as a study published by the Journal Of Nutrition in 2017 says, we can imagine the statistics for the vitamin market in the next five years will be interestingly increasing. However, what makes the data actually different from some other geographic realities is how the supplements are advertised. It is not a sole suggestion of the doctor when looking at the patient’s blood analyses anymore, it is not even the TV commercials we see everyday, which vary when the season changes, but it is rather websites and social media the main means to reach new consumers.
Furthermore, because of the aesthetic factor, that has to be expressed in the form of beautifully-packaged multivitamins, now supplements have to be appealing in their consistency and use- consumers requiring them to be a gummy or liquid-shaped experience.
What is the purpose of taking vitamins and food supplements?
Vitamins and food supplements are an effective way to improve health and well-being. Other purposes are to prevent diseases and to counteract the effects of age and wrong habits- little to none physical exercise, smoking and excessive eating combined with a poor diet. Other aims are the reintegration of mineral losses and the growth of muscle mass.
Vitamin supplements in the elderly
As the age rises, the goals change. Some adults know they eat badly and think they can replace food with supplements. Typically, these are people who are attentive to their state of health.
This leads to some of them to be willing to preserve their state of health and maintain their physical performance for as long as possible. Generally, it is possible to say there is a lot of attention and trust towards the idea that vitamins can avoid and prevent the onset of certain diseases.
A different topic concerns the over-75s. For this category, in addition to the social and economic situation that could compromise a healthy, balanced diet, we must take into account any problem related to chewing and possible difficulties in finding fresh food every day. In this case it becomes very important to make up for vitamin deficiencies through supplements, which should always, be taken under medical instructions.
Multivitamin supplements vs proper nutrition
In a young or healthy adult, a well-balanced diet is enough to bring the necessary vitamins in, while conditions of deficiency should be managed under medical supervision, never with a do-it-yourself approach.
Another important point is that vitamins must be taken in well-defined quantities. If these are exceeded, as can happen in orthorexic patients, there is a risk of serious consequences. Vitamin A, often taken as tablets to stimulate tanning, is a fat-soluble molecule that accumulates in the liver. If the quantity exceeds the level necessary for the body’s needs, the system is altered.
A commonly used supplement is folic acid. It is usually recommended to pregnant women with the aim of preventing neural tube defects in the fetus. In this case, it is possible to talk about real prevention, since its assumption must start at least one or two months before conception, and not when the pregnancy has already begun.
In addition to folic acid, in recent years many scientists have focused on the study of vitamin D, in order to define its role and possible uses.
While scientific researches are discovering more and more organic functions for this molecule, on the other hand, we spend less and less hours outside. In addition to that, because of sunscreens, the body’s ability to synthesize the molecule is reduced.
Along with vitamin D, another supplement to be taken by adults aged >65 is calcium. It is fundamental for a good maintenance of bone health, something that becomes weaker as we age.
What you don’t need to buy
Think twice, instead, before taking fish oil and vitamin B- unless you are affected by a disease that requires a specific daily amount of them, those supplements are only effectively processed by our organism through the intake of fish, cereal, and products that contain grain.
Canes have existed since the very beginning of mankind. Not only they were used for medical aid, but also to keep track of time, seasons, numbers- especially regarding basic and advanced math operations. As symbols, staffs could indicate power, as seen in ancient Egypt, and even war victories, as proved by the decorations American Indians applied to their canes to celebrate their success. When there was something heavy to carry back and forth, canes were used to ease the trip, while those who traveled needed them as well to be more balanced and have something that could defend them in case of danger.
Now you know canes aren’t only used by the elderly, but they are, instead, a very useful item for all ages and needs. Below, some tips that remind you how canes are usually undervalued.
1. It is great for hiking
Every cane has a hidden potential- in fact, you can use it if you go trekking or hiking. It doesn’t need to be strictly adventurous- a walk in a park will do- but, with the help of a cane, you will stay balanced when the ground is unreliable and you will prepared for every kind of danger. If you are planning to go on a pilgrimage, consider it will be a very useful tool to hang your clothes on, among other uses you can make of it. You can even find out how deep is the water you want to trespass!
2. A cane is a defense instrument
Defend yourself when being attacked- a cane comes handy in this kind of situations. Whether you feel you can potentially face dangerous situations, or you are just anxious something unwanted might happen to you, take your cane with you wherever you go. You never know how useful it can turn out to be!
3. Grab items from high above
You don’t need to use a ladder or stand on a chair every time you have to reach an item you are too short for. If it is something soft, just use your cane! It is easier and takes up way less time. Also, you can use it to turn the lights on or off without moving from where you are.
4. It is a fashionable item
Do you like the vintage look? Then, a cane is exactly what you need. It comes in infinite shapes and materials to fit your look, adding that elegant, refined touch to your elegant style. But if you want to look more into it, remember there is a wide range of unusual canes on the market, that have hidden features for who likes fun objects- you can find canes able to take pictures, or some you can drink water from- there are countless options! Furthermore, the story of every cane and the way it has been made- the more original, the more unique and certainly the more expensive- are the features that make it special. You can choose between the classic gold and silver, but also opt for animal-derived materials like their bones. Finally, the shape of the handles- a typical curve or a human head?
5. Pick up the things on the floor
Why do you have to stand up and bend if all you need to do when something falls on the floor is to use a cane and pick it up?
6. Shoo away animals
Are there some animals or pests that are making you upset? No worries- your cane will shoo them away, and they will soon learn not to be anywhere near you.
7. You can play with it
This requires a little fantasy, but what game doesn’t? You can use your cane to play with your friends- fight, limbo, capture the flag or make it a football match- the options are unlimited.
8. Be more steady when you are hunting
Every expert hunter knows a firearm needs firm support in order to be efficient. This is why a cane- one with a forked end- is perfect when your aim is an accurate shot.
Memory is a fundamental aspect of our lives, as we are constantly forced use our minds. What many people don’t know is that memory can be portrayed as a muscle the more you exercise it, the better it will perform. As we age, we will inevitably lose the ability to remember everything, and patience will have to become our closest ally. To help your parents cope with the problem of memory loss, and make them feel like it is a mission you are all in together as a family, we suggest a highly effective solution games.
Who doesn’t love playing together after dinner, spending some family quality time? Not only will it creates some of our best memories, but it could become more than just having fun. In this article, we will show you 9 ways games can keep your elderly parents’ memory in shape, getting such a fun activity it will never look like a chore.
Learning a new word every day is a great exercise for our memory, but what about using the ones we already know in a creative way? Scrabble is the perfect game to combine fun and work, as it makes us think in different ways than the ones we are used to. Everyone knows how to play it, and it could go on for hours!
Bridge is one of those games everyone, especially at an old age knows how to play. It stimulates our thinking process, since it requires us to remember your partner’s moves and to react impulsively.
3. Play chess or checkers
Both chess and checkers are strategy games we usually learn at a young age. Never forget the rules and they could be the path to fight memory loss! Because you must play with a partner, chess and checkers are particularly effective in exercising our intellectual activity, especially if we can associate a good memory with the action of acquiring information. Motivate your elderly parents to play with you or your children, and it will soon become a weekly appointment!
150 Pieces puzzles are enough to make our memory work. They are considered the perfect example of “mind exercises”, since their function is to “stretch” our minds- we get to develop neuroplasticity, and even fight anxiety and depression while increasing our social abilities. When we try to complete a puzzle, we are not distracted by external factors like our everyday life, but we are still required to be focused on the activity. This is the reason why your elderly parents could find puzzles a valid way to forget the routine while exercising their memory.
Origami are beautiful decorations, but their making requires patience. If your elderly parents can bear the thought of learning a new activity, this may be the most creative of our list. In fact, learning how to make origamis makes us able to reproduce them over and over, and this is a key factor in fighting memory loss. Choose the right paper, click on some youtube tutorials you can watch and pause as you fold, and then choose a place in the house to showcase every type of origami you have managed to create!
6. Memory – literally
Not to state the obvious – we can already see what it does from the name, but Memory is one of those games that will never go out of fashion.
Thought for the most competitive parents, battleship is one of the number one strategy games. Not only it is fun to find techniques to beat the enemy, but it also forces us to “think outside the box” if we want to win. This is a game everyone loves- the perfect scenario to achieve the most fun would be pairing children in the family with the elders.
If your parents don’t already do crosswords, they must try it at least! The exercise of having to remember a word after being given an instruction keeps our memory dynamic, and completing every blank space is actually very rewarding. Although this is mostly a solitary game, it is absolutely possible for everyone to take part in the activity, even the youngest members of the family.
9. Movie memory game
Watch a movie together with your parents, and then play at who can write down the highest number of places or characters’ names that were in the movie. Then, choose a sweet reward, such as the first slice of cake or cook them their favorite meal.
Thanks to the increasing scientific researches on aging, next generations will have more and more available information on how to conduct the best lifestyle in order to be healthy in the long run. Although this is a gift, and so is the possibility to live longer thanks to previously made good choices, our body will also have to face the risks of cell degeneration, which are still unclear to this day. In the meantime, what we must do to care for aging people in our family is remember some simple rules- love them, keep them active and healthy through a balanced diet, if necessary, with the aid of experts in the field.
Aging is by no means a disease, but we also must consider it implies some fundamental changes regarding not only a senior’s physical well-being, but also the psychological one. In fact, for instance, one could witness personality changes in their elderly parents. Taking care of your loved ones’ everyday life needs and challenges, even with small gestures, will surely improve their quality of life.
Wanting to do something is the first step toward achieving a goal. If you want to keep your elderly parents happy and cared for, you should keep a positive mindset and focus on that. There will surely be challenges to overcome- maybe you will find out caring for an aging person can be very time consuming, and you may feel the need to give up, or maybe you will have difficulties in finding devices to improve your parents’ home life, it doesn’t matter if they come from an internal or an external setting, you need to remember why you are doing this and how many important things in life this experience can teach you. Remember your parents probably did their best to make you happy, and in a healthy family this dynamic should always be reciprocated.
Communication plays a key role in effectively responding to your parents’ needs. In fact, being able to communicate means three things- to ask, to listen, and to be able to foresee. While it may take some time to adjust to an aging person’s way of communicating, it is just a matter of waiting for the right moment. When offering something helpful to your parent, their initial reaction may be to hate it and avoid at all costs, but that means they only need some time to process the thought of getting help from someone. Listening is a necessary part of communication, since your elderly parents may have the need to verbally express some fears and anxieties, as well as their need to feel important and useful among the family. The stories you have heard over and over may become repetitive to you, but it means a lot to them, and makes them build trust with the listener. The last action you need to take in mind – foreseeing one’s needs- is just a consequence of the first two. Once you have a strong bond with your parents and know what they explicitly want, you also have to actively make choices without consulting them first.
What about empathy? We can’t know for sure what it is like to be in our aging parent’s place, but we must try our best to respect it. Old age comes with changes your parents will not be able to fully fathom, such as memory loss or fatigue. Keeping positive and patient will be the best path to effectively care for your elderly parents in the long run.
Patience is a virtue, but don’t worry if you weren’t born with it- you are still able to learn its secrets. Caregivers for aging people are surely required to be patient. In fact, although we may feel overwhelmed by the enormous amount of responsibilities, requests, or just because we weren’t treated with respect by our parents, we also must understand we have to stay calm and balanced. When your parents will see how patient you are, they will be able to confide more in you. Either way, don’t take anything personally, as it can lead to misunderstandings.
Love is the most underrated skill of this list. During our daily routines, we almost take our familiar relationships for granted, forgetting what others have done for us. Being grateful and affectionate not only gives meaning to life, but it also helps others to see their days in another perspective. The key to a happy family is, of course, love, and our ability to build together memories, bonding over both good and difficult times.
As September is ‘save your photo’ month, we should remember to store our best memories in a neat way, especially if we have collected a lot of them over the years. Ask your parents to choose and reorganize the best pictures they have, the type of decoration, the materials, the colors, and make one of these 8 creative ideas come to life. While getting to work, you will all appreciate the time spent together while giving a new meaning to your old photos, since it will also remind you of family gatherings and shared memories.
1.Make the best uses of your polaroids
Hang your polaroids
Having polaroids is a blessing- while digital images are functional in many ways, polaroids are in fact more versatile, especially when it comes to creative projects. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about saving one’s photos, is to hang them in a significative place of the house, such as the living room. With polaroids, this is much easier, since it is one of their direct uses- string them up, and you instantly have a beautiful and meaningful decoration.
What about wearing photos as a way of saving them? Mini-polaroids necklaces are cute and personal- if you don’t know where to start, just ask your local photographer to help you with the dimensions, choose a cute chain and you are good to show it off.
Scratch-off cards to say ‘I love you’ and ‘Thank you’
Don’t panic anymore when it comes to special gift occasions like birthdays or Valentine’s day- scratch-off cards will get you the surprise effect you have always wanted. Just mix acrylic paint of a color of your choice together with dish soap to make your polaroid scratchable. Write a meaningful sentence and a date to make the gift more remarkable.
2. Fancy pillows
Did you know you could print your pictures onto pillows? Whether they are nature photos, or family ones, it doesn’t matter- they will look great on your bed and sofa. Just go to the photographer’s to make it professionally or do it yourself, if you feel like being creative. Find in stores the transfer paper onto which you will have to print your selected picture, and iron it carefully onto a light-colored pillow.
3. A special phone case
This idea is a very easy way to celebrate the ‘save your picture’ month. In fact, you just need a printer and a transparent phone case, along with some glue and additional decorations (glitter, for example) of your liking. Another option is to iron the image onto the phone case. Either way, as a result, you will always have your picture- or collage of pictures- with you.
4. Unique tote bags
A tote bag with a beautiful, personal picture is absolutely unique. Not only it is a great gift, it also makes a useful everyday accessory, especially for seniors. After choosing your best picture, and maybe editing it with a nice sentence, put it on the cotton bag with transfer paper or have it done by an expert.
5. Wooden photos
It may seem difficult at a first glance, but there are many easy ways to transfer photos on wood and make awesome decorations to hang in your house. The quickest technique is to use wax- there are many tutorials on the internet that show you how to achieve the best result, and learning something new with your parents will make a rewarding experience. Be careful, though- your picture will come out mirrored, and you will have to change it with an editing program before printing it.
6. Custom magnets
What about a magnet collage of photos? Not only it is budget-friendly, but also very easy to realize. Ask your parents to choose the most beautiful pictures- it could be one for each member of the family, but a nice option could also be landscapes or meaningful places you have visited together.
7. Snow globes
Let it snow! This creative way to save your family photos is perfect for the coldest months. After purchasing pictures insert snow globes in stores or online, you just need to easily assemble the pieces. For a nicer decoration, choose a globe that lights up!
8.Artsy set of pencils
Is there an artist in your family? If so, it would be a great idea to make a set of pencils that displays one of your most beautiful pictures. Furthermore, you can match the creation with a custom printed pencil case and scrapbook. Not only it will be very useful, but also definitely unique.