The Thoughtful Way to Make Long-Term Care Decisions for a Loved One

Elderly woman looking into camera

Photo via

Family is all about taking care of each other, especially loved ones who are unable to look after themselves. Unfortunately, unless you’re doing it full-time, the care you provide to a senior or disabled loved one may not be adequate, despite your best efforts. This is particularly true for those whose care and assistance needs are increasing because of medical concerns. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting vulnerable loved ones in more danger, which could mean that they may not be in the safest situation at present.

For this reason, you might be facing a need to make alternative long-term arrangements for the sake of your loved one’s safety and comfort. This is, however, a delicate situation, so the following considerations can be taken to determine how to move forward with their best interests in mind.

Take stock of the situation: Is it time for a long-term care facility?

First thing’s first—before any critical decisions are made, it’s important to evaluate your senior or disabled loved one’s specific situation. This will entail taking into account several factors. No doubt, the most important consideration is your loved one’s medical needs. It’s a good idea to work with their doctor to determine what they need and the best possible place to get it.

There’s also the question of whether in-home care is an option, which can be made more feasible with home adaptations and lifestyle choices. For instance, moving the bedroom to the ground floor, implementing a bathroom remodel, and exploring grocery shopping alternatives might be all that’s needed to keep a senior safe and comfortable in their current abode.

Otherwise, a long-term care facility may be more ideal. In most cases, the latter is often the better choice as your loved one will be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of professionals. But of course, choosing a long-term facility also has its own considerations, too, such as the setup, personnel credentials, and what kind of care they’ll require. For instance, if they’ll need skilled nursing care and constant supervision, then a nursing home may be their best option. Be sure to carefully weigh reviews and compare costs before choosing a facility, such as reviews within the Pennsylvania area. The COVID-19 measures these facilities are taking are also essential to ensuring your loved one stays safe and healthy.

Sort out the financial kinks: How do we budget for long-term care?

There’s no other way to say it—the cost of long-term care can be higher than you may think. With this in mind, you’ll definitely need to help your loved one work out the financial aspects of this transition.

One way to ensure that your loved one is able to get and afford the long-term care they deserve is by selling their home. Of course, selling in a pandemic can be fraught with challenges, especially with social distancing rules making it difficult to stage showings and open houses. It’s a good idea, therefore, to make use of tech tools like video-chat tours, virtual open houses, and 3D walkthroughs to sell your loved one’s home at this time.

While this might sound difficult at best, these technological answers like 3D walkthroughs offer many opportunities to experience properties. From viewing in a “measurement mode”—which allows viewers to measure various components in a room, such as a kitchen island or shower stall—to viewing the floor plan, home buying and selling is made efficient and safe for everyone involved.

Look into available benefits: What is my loved one eligible for?

Finally, get to know the benefits and options available for your senior loved one’s healthcare needs. Doing so will help alleviate the financial burden of medical bills and care in leaps and bounds, so this is definitely something you shouldn’t overlook.

Medicare is, by and large, the most valuable and helpful asset your senior loved one could ever have to stay healthy, so it’s more than wise for you to know what it entails. The most important thing you should know is that you need to stay on top of your loved one’s yearly coverage, and that Medicare’s AEP, or Annual Election Period, which starts on October 15 and closes on December 7, is the only time that coverage changes can be made. It’s also important to ensure that your loved one gets the right coverage, so do your due diligence in selecting the plan the works best for them. At the very least, you’ll need your loved one’s Medicare card, last year’s healthcare bills, current medications, and diagnoses on hand.

There’s no denying that getting the best possible care and assistance for your loved one is crucial. Ultimately, ensuring that your loved one receives the best care possible as necessitated by their medical needs and the current pandemic is the best gift you can ever give them.

Look to Caregiver Corner for additional information to help you and your loved ones live fuller, healthier, and happier lives.

Post contributed by Karen Weeks at

How Seniors Can Benefit From Music in Their Daily Lives

Senior man playing saxaphone

Image via Pexels

Music has the power to calm our minds, ease pain and discomfort, and improve the quality of our lives. These benefits are even more apparent in seniors. As we grow older, music benefits us physically, emotionally, and cognitively — and it can even help to reduce agitation, stress, anxiety, and depression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The following article will discuss these benefits in greater detail and share some ideas for incorporating music into the lives of seniors, so keep reading!

Physical and Psychological Wellness

According to Music Education Research International (MERI), music has been shown to benefit us physically, socially, and psychologically as we grow older. In addition to improving the quality of our lives, music leads to improved psychological, social, and physical health; relief from pain and stress; reduced medication usage; and prevents certain age-related diseases. And for those who suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, and stress, musical activities like singing, playing an instrument, or listening to music can be a healthy distraction from these types of issues.

Moreover, some of the physical health benefits of music vary by musical activity. According to findings from MERI:

  • Singing boosts respiratory function.
  • Playing the piano reduces stress, boosts cognitive-motor skills, and prevents arthritis in the fingers.
  • Playing in a band boosts aerobic capacity.

Improved Cognition

In addition to improving the physical, social, and psychological health of seniors, musical activities also help to boost cognitive function in older adults. According to a new study on the effects of playing background music while performing cognitive tasks, certain types of classical music may help to improve processing speed, episodic memory, and semantic memory performance in seniors. However, loud music or songs with lyrics may have the opposite effect on memory and processing speed performance.

Furthermore, music may also help seniors with dementia, including those with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, singing songs or listening to music may benefit seniors behaviorally and emotionally — and caregivers may reap these benefits as well. Anderson Music Therapy lists some of the best songs for seniors, so give these a try if you’re not sure where to start.

How Seniors Can Incorporate Music Into Their Lives

If you’re a senior who’s looking to experience the physical, psychological, and cognitive benefits of music, there’s no better time to take music lessons, learn a new style of dance, or sing along to your favorite songs. Due to the pandemic, online music lessons are available to teach you everything from singing and reading music to playing different types of instruments, including the piano, bassoon, stringed instruments, and more.

If you’ll be using technology to stream songs, take music lessons, or learn about music online, you’ll need to ensure your current tablet, laptop, or PC is operating as well as it should. If your devices could use an upgrade, Black Friday is the perfect time to score deals and discounts on laptops and tablets. A quality pair of noise-canceling headphones can also help you to learn music from home, as well as a music stand, metronome, and amplifier.

Second, you’ll need to learn how to protect yourself from identity thieves, viruses, and other types of cyber threats, especially if you’re new to using the internet. The internet can be an excellent place to learn about music, but it’s important to be aware of common online threats and the things you can do to protect yourself and your tech devices.

The Bottom Line

Music has been shown to benefit seniors cognitively, psychologically, and physically, regardless of whether they’re playing an instrument, singing aloud to a song, or listening to the radio. And to experience these benefits, seniors can take online music lessons, listen to music while cleaning the house or getting ready in the morning, and enjoy other types of musical activities such as singing in a choir and dancing to their favorite songs!

Are you a caregiver to a senior loved one? Visit Caregiver Corner to find everything from senior-friendly products to tips and advice for caregivers and their senior loved ones.

Post contributed by Tanya Lee at

Home Modification Solutions for Seniors with Limited Vision

Ergonomic Lever Door Handle

Age-related eye diseases that lead to vision loss are a common health problem among seniors. While vision loss can have a profound impact on your day-to-day life, it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your golden years. Low vision seniors can still live safely and independently at home with a few simple home modifications. Caregiver Corner offers plenty of useful resources that can help you cope with health changes like vision loss. Below, we’ve collected just a few home modification ideas to get you started.

Improve the Lighting in Your Home

To help prevent falls and injuries, make sure every room, staircase, and hallway in your home is brightly lit.

Use Contrast and Color to Enhance Accessibility

Mixing light and dark colors around your home can help you detect important objects like stairs, doorways, and furniture.

  • Apply contrast strips to stairs and thresholds.
  • Repaint door knobs in bright colors for greater visibility.
  • Choose high-contrast color schemes for your bedroom.
  • In the kitchen, use brightly colored dishes and high-contrast food preparation tools.

Reduce and Eliminate Fall Hazards

Low-vision seniors are more likely to suffer a fall at home, so take steps to mitigate your fall risk.

  • Remove trip hazards from around your home.
  • Remove area rugs that slide around or bunch up.
  • Install grab-bars and railings throughout your home.
  • Install non-slip flooring in your kitchen and bathroom.

Living with low vision isn’t always easy. As you adjust to this new challenge, make some modifications around your home so you can stay safe and comfortable. Through good lighting, high-contrast design, and a few home safety upgrades, you can live a happy, healthy and independent life!

Post contributed by Tanya Lee at

How to Help Your Patients Manage Their Medicine

Pill Box Container

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

By SingleCare

It’s not uncommon for a patient to be diagnosed with more than one health condition. In fact, two-thirds of older adults in the U.S. are living with multiple chronic illnesses. This can be burdensome on the patient and the caregiver. Treatment options can become overwhelming, as each health condition may require multiple medications. 

As a caregiver, you could be responsible for not just one patient with multiple diagnoses, but several. So, how do you keep track of it all? Refer to this senior’s guide to medication management for helpful strategies that could streamline the process.

  1. Stick to a schedule

The easiest way to remember to take (or administer) medication is to do it at the same time every day. SingleCare has a free medication schedule that you can download and fill out for each of your patients here.

Whether you follow SingleCare’s template or create your own version, you should include the name of each medication, the day and time it should be taken, and how much should be taken at a time. This daily medication schedule should be comprehensive of all medicines including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements.

  1.  Be detail-oriented

Understanding prescriptions can be a challenge. There’s a lot of information on those tiny labels. Here are three steps to follow each time you pick up a new prescription for your patient. First, verify that the patient’s name, doctor, and pharmacy information is correct. Next, jot down the drug name, its strength, and administration instructions on that medication schedule we just talked about. Then, ask the pharmacist questions if anything is unclear or confusing to you. We’ll talk about this more in the next section.

  1. Speak up

Remember that you are an important member of your patient’s healthcare team. You should feel empowered to lean in by asking questions and providing feedback. To do so, make sure you take advantage of doctor’s appointments and pharmacy visits. 

One resource that you can benefit from is a medication review from a pharmacist. You can request an appointment with your patient and his or her pharmacist during which you all can sit down, review the patient’s list of medications, and ask questions. Don’t forget to bring that medication schedule we mentioned earlier. It may also be helpful to note the possible side effects of certain drugs, so you and your patient can be prepared. 

Many of us abide by doctor’s orders—no questions asked. And although it’s important to trust your doctor (or your patient’s doctor), you should also be an active participant in healthcare discussions. For example, two questions that seem obvious but are often overlooked are: 

  • How will this drug improve the patient’s health condition or symptom it has been prescribed for?
  • Are there any drugs that are no longer necessary for the patient to take?

The less medication your patient is prescribed, the lower chance there is for a medication mishap. Mistakes in medication management can be dangerous and sometimes fatal. It’s important that caregivers take the time to understand their patient’s treatment plan, get organized, and stay diligent.

Post contributed by Sarah Breckon at SingleCare

Choosing a Carer for Seniors

Caregiver with Senior in Wheelchair

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

If you’ve ever considered hiring someone to take care of an elderly relative, you will have realized that it can be a daunting task. Placing a loved one in a care home may not be the answer you are looking for, so finding someone to take care of them in their own home may be the best thing.

So, where do you start looking?

There are several levels of live-in care options and the type of carer you hire will greatly depend on the needs of your loved one.

Companion carers

This type of care offers only companionship. It does not include any medical assistance. Companion carers are there to offer friendship and company, they will help with light housework and things like shopping and collecting medication.

Personal carers

A personal carer will be able to help with bathing, dressing and toileting. They are always specially trained in administering medication. They will also be trained in using hoists and other equipment.

Home health and skilled nursing

Carers who work at this level have been trained to help with clients who have serious illnesses such as cancer. They also help with clients who are recovering from accidents or surgery. This level of carer often does not include any companion services such as shopping or housekeeping, they are there to ensure that your loved one stays on the road to recovery.

Many people who are looking for a live-in carer for a loved one need a carer who is in the ‘personal’ range of care giving.

What should you look for in a personal carer for your senior person?


Are they friendly and relatively outgoing? Do they seem easy to get along with? Ideally you should look for a person who seems to get along with most people and is comfortable talking to different people.

Their interests

Do their hobbies and interests have anything in common with your loved one? A suitable carer should be able to adapt a routine to include her client such as going for walks on sunny days rather than sitting in front of the TV.

Things in common

For a relationship to work, there needs to be some common ground, even if it is only one area such as reading or cooking. There needs to be something that your loved one and carer can chat about.

Tact and diplomacy

When you interview the potential carer, you should ask one or two questions which will need thoughtful answers. This will give you an idea of how tactful and diplomatic the person is. Senior people often need a person who can tell them something in a kind and pleasant way instead of being harsh and judgmental.

Handling difficult situations

Before you hire a carer for your senior, you have every right to ask them how they would handle certain situations. How would they handle it if your mom fell? What would they do if they could not wake her up? You need to be sure that the carer will not panic and will follow the protocols you have in place.

Sense of humor

Look for a person who can laugh at herself, not make fun of others. She will need an immense amount of patience at times, while still respecting your loved one.

Can she cook?

A personal carer needs to be able to cook meals that your loved one enjoys. She may be a gourmet cook in her own country, but many older people like to eat traditional foods. She should be able to handle this with ease.


Depending on circumstances you may or may not need a carer who can drive. If you do, she needs to be able to drive on the correct side of the road and possibly use the car you offer, whether it is manual or automatic. You may ask for a valid drivers license, but if she is driving a car you provide, she also needs to be added to your auto insurance policy beforehand.

And now for the ‘official’ questions

The CRB (background check)

The CRB (*available in the UK), must be in-date if you are to hire anyone to care for your loved one. You should be able to check this online to be sure that the potential carer is eligible to work with vulnerable people. Never be tempted to hire someone who does not have this, no matter how nice they seem to be.


The potential carer should be up to date on her training. Many agencies who place a carer insist that an annual update is done. This is to ensure that the carer is aware of any new developments in the care industry and the regulations that go with it. She will have received certificates showing what subjects were covered such as ‘Moving and Handling’ and ‘Medication’ and should be able to produce them for you.


Question the carer about previous employers and then follow up with a call to the past employers. Ask about competence and kindness. Check the reliability and bedside manner. Ask about honesty and trustworthiness. Never feel embarrassed about calling and asking about the carer as it is in your best interest to see how other employers have felt.

Right to work in the UK

Ask to see proof of this right to work. Again, do not be tempted to hire someone who cannot show you this proof.

To sum up

Look for a person who is warm and friendly, comfortable to be with and easy to talk to. Ideally you would like a person who takes his/her job – and all that goes with it – very seriously but can see the funny side of things. The ideal carer will be able to cook healthy and nutritious meals and keep the house neat and tidy. Driving may be an option, although this depends on circumstances.

The ideal carer to look after your senior is the one that you yourself feel at ease with. You should feel safe and assured that she is confident to handle any situation, and you should feel comfortable leaving her to look after your loved one.

Post Contributed by Valerie Holyoak for Live In Care Friends  – a free portal for service users in the UK to find private individual carers that will provide care in their homes. Valerie has been a live-in carer for 11 years. She works in the UK and has extensive knowledge of many medical conditions affecting older people. Before she became a live-in carer, she taught exercise classes and provided personal training for seniors with limited mobility and other disabilities.

Tips for Caring for Bed-bound Patients

A bed-bound patient is usually an elderly who isn’t able to move or do any daily activities on their own. If they aren’t hospitalized, they may opt for external help due to their complex medical history.

Truth be told, most of the patients would rather be at home than in hospital where they run an every-day risk of being dismissed not yet fully recovered, because of the staff or money shortage. For those who can afford extra help, it is much better to know that they have a bed, and not worry when the state will decide they are “too much”- the high cost of hospital stay has never been a bigger issue!

For care providers, on the other hand, it is essential to know how to do it, especially for bed-bound patients. And not only physically, but emotionally as well. The dignity of those patients is really frail and you need to know how to really be there for them.


Basically, there are four areas in which you as a caregiver need to excel: hygiene, bedsores and their prevention, moving, lifting and handling a person, and creating general comfort with a lot of patience.

Mind you, if any of these sounds overwhelming or your loved one needs professional care, consider hiring a personal assistant for elderly people or a live-in personal assistant, they know exactly how to care for bed-bound seniors’ particular, sensitive needs.


Bathing- not only does it fight infections, but it also fosters self-worth and adds a “self-care” feeling to the recovery process. It may sound obvious, but it must feel soothing to know you are fresh and clean.

Moreover, it’s not just eliminating microbes and sweat, it’s also sort of a physical exercise for it activates circulation due to the body massage and toning. Make it a daily routine.

That said, there’s not just one type of bathing a bed-bound patient- it depends on a patient and their level of mobility.

Some are done in the bed a patient lies in- like sponge baths, while patients in wheelchairs may have a regular shower with the help of a bench.

You’ll need warm water and a large container, warm towels- one for soaping the other for rinsing, body wash, lamp (to inspect the skin for rashes, sores, swelling), a razor, comb, toothbrush, basin and their clothes, including incontinence panties.

Make sure you lock the door or drop the curtains around bed to allow some privacy. Don’t undress them all at once, for a) they don’t want that exposure and b) they may catch a cold.

When putting on clothes, be careful to dress the painful side first. When taking them off, the stronger side is the first to go.

Always follow the head-to-toe rule, and when it comes to the peri-care (involving the genitals), it’s front-to-back.

Extra tip: while this might be just another daily routine to a carer, it’s way more than that to the patients- it’s critical. Therefore, be mindful and try to perform it with as much dignity as possible.


Decubitus, known as a bedsore is a pressure ulcer that starts off as a skin inflammation due to longer lying in the same position or improper lifting and turning because of which the skin tears. Lack of circulation leads to the death of the tissue (necrosis).

The most vulnerable patients are those who cannot feel the pressure and are immobile (due to stroke or paralysis).

It’s widespread and lethal at the same time- bacteria enter the blood system, and aside from exuding odor, it may lead to limb amputation or death. The number of people dying from it is growing.

So, how can you prevent these in bed-bound patients?

Extra-padded foam specialty mattress is the key, together with an adequate diet. Check the back zone and buttocks on a regular basis. Change the patient’s position often (every couple of hours), but make sure to use sheets to avoid friction.

Should a bedsore happen, ensure it’s uninfected, and treat it daily- use saline to clean it, change clothes and move the patient often. An infected tissue must be treated surgically. Don’t bathe too much or too often and don’t wipe the skin. Pat it instead and moisturize often.

Extra tip: take photos of the area to track progress or regress.


As you’ve seen, this is utterly important in order to preserve the health and comfort of the elderly.

To avoid the risk of hurting yourself or a patient, up the height of the bed. Always bend your knees. Lift smoothly and only to your shoulder height, with stable feet. Also, the more you keep weight to your body, the easier it is on your back.

Furthermore, National Health Service compiled some practical tips- filed under the “Lifting checklist”. It says: “Before attempting to move someone, ask yourself:

  • do they need help to move?
  • do they require help or supervision?
  • have you told them you’re moving them?
  • how heavy are they?
  • are you healthy and strong enough to move them?
  • is there anyone who could help you?
  • how long will it take?
  • is there enough space around you?
  • are there any obstacles in the way?
  • are you wearing suitable clothing and shoes – for example, if you’re on a slippery or damp surface?”

For another detailed list on how to move a bed-bound patient, check here.


A lot goes into the formula of a human’s outlook, and a lot is out of the carer’s hands. But what you can control in order to offer an elderly bed-bound patient a comfortable and bearable life is a nice, clean environment and a lot of patience and genuine care.

It’s not just about changing catheters and taking care of oxygen machines, hydrating the patients and feeding them balanced diets.

Let the sunshine in. Declutter the room and air it properly. Listen to them. Read to them. Play some music. Or their favorite film. If appropriate, ask some meaningful questions: What do other people not understand about you? What do you worry about? Have you learned anything about yourself or other people amidst this situation?

On top of everything, understand the patient and their situation, empathize with their lack of movement, don’t get frustrated, it translates easily.

They already have a very hard time, try not to make it harder.


  • Being bed-ridden is a predicament.
  • Being bed-ridden in a familiar bed is a little better.
  • Seniors confined to their beds may require 24/7 care for their basic needs. Make sure it’s quality care since their quality of life depends on it.
  • And one more thing: “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

 AuthorBio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for She eagerly shares her knowledge with her audience on various blogs. When she isn’t writing or attending wellness conferences, she likes to pack her rucksack and ride her day away on her bike or spend time with her friends.

Helping Your Senior Loved One Through the Financial Impact of Losing a Spouse

Photo via Rawpixel

Losing a loved one is one of the most stressful and traumatic experiences in life. Unfortunately, we have to handle all kinds of difficult life decisions while we’re dealing with grief. The funeral and burial plans must be arranged, outstanding bills need to be paid, and the estate must be distributed. If your senior loved one just lost a spouse, you can be a great help to them during this rocky period. Here are some essential financial matters that should be tackled sooner rather than later.

Funeral Cost Planning

Planning for funeral costs is one of the most immediate tasks that need to be handled after a death. According to Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage, funeral expenses cost an average of $7,000 to $9,000. Cemeteries often have a separate set of costs for other essentials like a plot and headstone. Unless your loved one’s spouse had some form of life or burial insurance, covering these costs can be very stressful. Help your loved one shop around to avoid overspending on expenses like the casket or transportation. Contact several different funeral homes and compare their prices for services or items, so you can keep the funeral affordable.

Collecting Insurance Benefits

If the spouse had an insurance policy, help your senior loved one collect the payout. Investopedia recommends contacting the life insurance company as soon as possible, so your loved one can use the death benefit to pay for the funeral and any other immediate expenses—most companies will pay within 30 to 60 days of your claim. Keep in mind that your loved one has payout options. They can choose to receive the benefit as a lump-sum payment or as regular installments over time. If they choose installments, they may have to pay tax on any interest.

Transferring Assets

According to FreeAdvice Legal, certain assets aren’t passed on by will. These include real estate, cars, investments, and bank accounts held by more than one person. Most of these assets should automatically pass to your loved one, but they will need to update the title into their name. Make sure your loved one transfers these shared assets by filing the appropriate documents to the right offices and agencies. If your loved one’s name is not on these assets, they will have to go through the probate process to gain ownership.

Paying Debts

If the deceased spouse held debt, your senior loved one may be concerned about their liability. The good news is that most debts are not collected from the surviving spouse. However, your senior loved one will be responsible for making payments on any accounts that their name is on. If your loved one did not hold any joint accounts with their spouse, they may be pressured by collection agents to make a few payments which could make them legally responsible for the debt. Make sure your loved one doesn’t make any payments without talking to a lawyer.

New Financial Responsibilities

Many senior couples become accustomed to certain roles in their marriage. If financial matters previously fell on your loved one’s spouse, they may feel overwhelmed and lost by their new responsibilities. Help your loved one organize their financial obligations. Track down all of their bills and consider setting up automatic payments with their bank. You can also help them come up with a new budget to ensure they can maintain their lifestyle without financial help from their spouse. Your loved one may be eager to pay off their mortgage, downsize, or make other large changes to their financial situation. According to U.S. News, overspending and rushing to make financial decisions are common mistakes that people make after losing a spouse. Encourage your loved one to take some time to think before committing to anything major.

Getting life back in order after a loss can take a long time, so be patient and gentle with your senior loved one. Avoid pressuring them to make quick financial decisions. Although you have the best of intentions, your loved one may need time to heal before they can gain a clear understanding of their financial situation.

Post contributed by Lucille Rosetti at The Bereaved

5 Strategies for Maintaining Community Connections While Aging

Community Connections for Seniors

Image via Unsplash

Aging in place may satisfy a senior’s desire for independence, but if they don’t maintain community connections, staying home could do more harm than good. While some seniors enjoy active social lives, others develop a fear of falling that keeps them home-bound more often than not. Our communities also affect seniors’ ability to stay engaged, with seniors suffering greater isolation in areas with poor walkability and limited community resources.

Staying engaged becomes much more difficult as we grow older, but it’s not impossible. With these strategies, seniors and their caregivers can avoid the isolation that comes with aging in place and enjoy better health while aging.

Move Downtown

Rural seniors have it harder when it comes to staying engaged. Isolation hits especially hard when rural seniors lose the ability to drive and can no longer get to their favorite activities. While moving isn’t without challenges, it’s easier for seniors to stay physically and socially active when they live in dense, walkable neighborhoods where everything they need is nearby.

When seniors need to move, it’s always better to do it sooner rather than later. Moving early in the senior years gives older adults an opportunity to form relationships and routines before the challenges of age catch up to them.

Downsize the House to a Manageable Size

Mundane tasks like cleaning the house can take a lot of energy as we get older. It’s understandable that seniors want to stay in a familiar home, but most seniors benefit from a downsized house that’s easier to move around and maintain.

Downsizing also saves money on housing costs. Even if a senior’s home is paid off, selling and buying a less-expensive home will provide a lump sum that can be used for senior care, healthcare, and other expenses. However, downsizing may not save as much money as a senior expects. Before diving seriously into the home-buying process, research home prices to get a clear picture of what you can afford and avoid sticker shock. For example, the median list price of homes in Huntingdon Valley is approximately $396,000.

Save Money with Alternative Living Arrangements

If a senior’s heart is set on an area but homes are not affordable, consider alternative living arrangements like home sharing. Sharing a home with a roommate reduces housing costs and combats loneliness for independent seniors. In some cases, a roommate may offer housekeeping or companion services in exchange for reduced rent and board.

Senior co-housing and cooperatives are other options. These communities combine private living spaces with communal facilities where seniors can connect with their fellow community members. Unlike assisted living, co-housing and cooperative communities are owned by the residents and cater to independent seniors, although residents may hire their own caregivers.

Connect with a Village

Villages are membership-based volunteer organizations designed to meet the needs of local seniors through volunteer services, service coordination, and social opportunities. While only a few communities have established villages, seniors can search for a local village organization or learn how to start a village at the Village to Village Network.

Stay Physically Active

Exercise helps seniors maintain their physical health so it’s easier to get out and enjoy life. Getting active is also a smart way to meet new people. Whether it’s a neighborhood walking group, a Zumba class (which only cost around $5 to $20 per session), or pick-up games at the local senior center, exercise allows seniors to mingle in a low-pressure environment.

Staying active also enables seniors to continue living independently. Physical exercise is the most important thing people can do to prevent Sarcopenia, the gradual muscle loss associated with senior frailty, among other age-related disabilities.

Aging in place presents many challenges, from remodeling the house for senior living to coordinating in-home care. While the challenge of senior isolation is often overlooked, it has a big impact on a senior’s ability to age in good health. By taking a community-minded approach, seniors can stay engaged, active, and independent throughout the senior years.

Post contributed by Hazel Bridges, the creator of Aging Wellness, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.

The Best Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

If you have lived in your home for a long time, chances are you think of it as a comfortable, safe environment. However, as people age, sometimes the risk for in-home falls can increase. To ensure you can savor the safety and comfort you’ve come to expect from your home, a handful of changes can make all the difference.

Cause for Concern

There are numerous reasons that seniors become at-risk for falling. Many of those reasons stem from physical changes relating to aging. Our vision isn’t as sharp as it used to be, or a health condition might cause balance concerns. Oftentimes, it’s harder to catch yourself when you stumble, due to a decrease in strength and flexibility. Some statistics show that 60 percent of senior falls occur in the home; thankfully, as HomeAdvisor explains, there are many modifications seniors can make to help prevent falls at home.

A House Full of Support

The last thing you want is for your home to become a danger zone. With that in mind, start making some notes about what you might change so you can safely age in place.

Here are some ideas:

Light Your Way

Vision naturally fades later in life, with eyes gradually slowing in how they adjust to depth and brightness. With that in mind, brightening dim areas in the home — especially places you go from a well-lit space to a dark one — can help you stay safe. For example, if you leave a bright bedroom for a dark hallway, adding lights in the hallway can help. This can come in many forms, such as installing wall sconces, adding plug-in nightlights, and/or installing overhead lights. Staircases are another area of concern. Contemplate your trouble spots and think of how to improve them, aiming for generally even lighting throughout your home.

Ease Your Entryway

Reducing risks in the entryway can make a difference in keeping you on the go. The ideal situation will include a zero-step entrance, and if steps are a must, ensure they are deep, even, and have handrails for support. Also, change out traditional doorknobs for lever-style handles, which can be easier for older hands to operate, especially if you’re carrying things.

Slips and Slides

With water, smooth surfaces, and changing positions, bathrooms can be hazardous for older adults. To enhance safety and accessibility, consider installing grab bars in the bathroom, and swapping a traditional toilet for a comfort-height selection. Walk-in showers or tubs can also be a boon, and faucets with lever-style handles can be easier to work with than knobs.

Put Away Your Toolkit

There are some simple changes you can make in the bathroom as well that require no tools or expertise. To boost traction, add a rubber bath mat outside the bathing area, and install non-slip strips inside the shower or tub. A magnified mirror can make it easier to groom yourself, and a pill bottle magnifier can help you read the fine print.

Focus on You

Aside from home modifications, there are changes in lifestyle you can embrace to help prevent falls. Tech-Enhanced Life explains that you can design an exercise program aimed specifically at addressing your personal risk. Base your regimen on how much strength, balance, and flexibility you currently have. There are fun options you can explore, like tai chi or a class at a local gym. If your risk is severe, Medicare might pay for you to work with a physical therapist.

When it comes to falls, the home can hold many areas of concern for seniors. Think about how you can improve both your living environment and lifestyle to reduce your risk of falling. With a few changes, you can enjoy safety and comfort at home throughout your golden years.

Post contributed by Kent Elliot at

How Caregivers and Seniors Can Benefit From Daily Yoga and Meditation

Photo: Courtesy of Unsplash

Sometimes, we get so stressed out that we forget to breathe. Caregivers tend to get so wrapped up in their duties that they neglect to take time for even basic self-care. If you are a senior living with a debilitating illness or injury, you may also feel this way. This is why yoga and meditation can be so enriching for both groups. So, if you are feeling frazzled and need some extra self-care in your life, these simple practices may be right for you. Not entirely convinced? Here are some reasons to fold these helpful habits into your daily routine.

Yoga and Meditation Can Be Learned at Home

When you think of yoga and meditation, you may think of large classes taught by experienced instructors. It is true that practicing with others can have many benefits, but you don’t necessarily need to go to a class to learn how to relieve your stress with these practices. You can set up a home workout area that can also serve as your meditation/yoga zone. Make sure you have some soft exercise mats to cover hard floors or consider having a softer floor installed. While many meditation room guides suggest low lighting, seniors would do better with lighting that allows them to see where they are moving. Need some help getting started? Check out online tutorials and apps that will make your home practice so much easier.

Less Stress Will Make Your Practice More Meaningful

Mediation and yoga can definitely help you release tension. However, if your duties as a caregiver have you overly tense, then you may find it hard to even get started. So, before you begin your wellness journey, consider treating yourself to some serious self-care. Plan an at-home spa session to help your body and mind relax. Whip up a DIY face treatment, massage your muscles, and take some time to truly unwind. A cup of calming tea can help seal in all that self-care and can also fight inflammation. To really pull your spa day together, compile a playlist of relaxing spa or meditation music. You can use this playlist later as you work through your first breathes and really get into your new practices.

Even Gentle Exercise Can Provide Stress Relief

Did you know that exercise affects your brain? Regular exercise routines can help seniors and caregivers fight feelings of depression and anxiety. Most studies suggest more intense workouts to maximize your endorphin release, but a gentle workout may suit you better. Plus, you can still get the same mood boost if you choose the right exercise. Since caregivers are at a higher risk of depression and burnout, practicing stretching poses in yoga can be especially beneficial. Headstands may be out of the question for beginners, but that’s okay! You can use variations of tree pose or child’s pose to help your body release any built up stress. What matters most is that you find a relaxing way to get moving a few times a week. That’s why yoga is a good idea.

Purposed Breathing Should Always Be Your Focus

Yoga can certainly be an effective physical workout. The gentle movements are perfect for building balance, as well as developing a little muscle tone. The true benefits of these ancient practices, however, rest in your ability to focus on your breath. Controlling your breath is the simplest way to encourage your body to release tension and stress. For this reason, it may be best to master your breathing before you begin your actual practices. Try this short exercise to learn how to count your breaths and calm your body. You can use it at night to relax before bed or in the morning to set a positive tone for your day.

The beauty of yoga and meditation for caregivers and seniors extends beyond the physical. These self-care habits are so helpful because they can quickly melt away any excess stress. Less stress can add up to more quality of life. So, think about practicing yoga and meditation for your mind, your spirit, and lastly, your body.

Post contributed by Dana Brown at HealthConditions.Info
Connecting You to the Health Information You Need Most