How wonderful it would be if you could simply take a pill and live to be a healthy, vital, 100-year-old. Can retirement communities Milwaukee or assisted living facilities help?
Although some people live to be centenarians, it’s not that simple. The secret to a long life includes the complexities that both lifestyle and good genetics play. There is quite a bit of interaction between healthy life choices and family history that can affect the risk for heart disease, COPD, Alzheimer’s, stroke, or cancer – the five top causes of death for those aged 65 and older.
The golden years often advance the predisposition to these diseases, but we have the power to delay or inhibit their onset. What you do has a significant impact on your longevity.
Knowing your family health history is vital to understanding the role it plays in these potential illnesses.
Cancer: There are hundreds of types of cancer, and the role family history plays varies depending on the diagnosis. Factors and causes are widely interpreted, but typically, family health history may only be relevant to a few kinds of cancer.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: COPD is a general term referring to lung diseases, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. In recent research, it was discovered that someone developing COPD is more likely due to family history – even more than smoking.
Heart Disease: Family history, gender, and race are significant factors in developing high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. If a grandparent, parent, or sibling has heart disease, you have a higher potential for it. Genetic testing is being developed to more accurately predict risk.
Alzheimer’s: Your risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases if a grandparent, parent, or sibling suffered from it. The likelihood increases for you with each additional family member being diagnosed with it.
Retirement Communities Milwaukee Helps to Enhance Healthy Lifestyles
Most physicians strongly encourage making healthy senior lifestyle choices. Clean living plays a significant role in preventing or delaying disease. Genetics is one thing, but damaging your body unnecessarily is worse. Experts agree on the following:
Exercise: Find a sport or activity that involves cardio work, strength training, stretching, and balance. Join a gym, take a yoga class, play golf, ride a bicycle, swim, dance – whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy and will continue to do every day. Keep your bodily functions healthy and blood flowing by staying away from long periods of sitting.
Smoking and Drinking: Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco products of any kind. Talk with your doctor if you need help quitting. Limit the amount of beer and liquor you drink. Men should not have more than two drinks a day; women, no more than one each day.
Diet: Cut back on sugar and sweets. Avoid fast food and junk food except for special occasions. Eat a nutrient-rich and healthy diet of fruit, lean protein, and vegetables.
Assisted Living: Moving an elderly loved one to an assisted living facility can have a dramatically positive impact on their health and life span. Assisted living facilities like Villa St. Francis offers fitness classes, nutritious food, and brain-healthy activities. The Villa St. Francis staff creates a plan with their residents, allowing them to be self-sufficient, while also getting the services and support they need. You can contact Villa St. Francis today to learn more or to book a tour of the facility and grounds.
Just like going away to college or relocating to a new city, transitioning into an assisted living Milwaukee WI community involves significant changes for everyone involved. Even when you and your aging loved ones agree that moving is the best choice, it’s important to understand there will be a multitude of emotions, both positive and negative, that come along with it.
Help your parents feel more comfortable in their new home by working as a team with the staff, other family members, and the physician. Your loved ones will have a more successful and smooth transition if you remember a few steps.
Think back to your first day of grade school or your first “real” job. It may have been very intimidating for you. Not knowing anyone and being in unfamiliar surroundings is, frankly, scary. It’s the same for your seniors. It can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days for them to feel content in a different location. It may take a while to make friends, meet the staff, and get to know the daily schedule. Try not to push too hard or be unhappy that your parents need time to adjust.
What the Seniors Should Do
There are a few things that your loved ones can do for themselves to make the transition easier. First, they need to keep an open mind to change. Before moving, they should take a tour of the assisted living Milwaukee WI facility, choose the apartment or room they’d like to live in, discuss the move openly, and be sure that everyone involved understands and is prepared. If the seniors still feel anxious, they need to continue asking questions, both before and after the move.
Then, once they transition to the facility, your loved ones need to socialize. Encourage them not to hide out in their apartment all day. Making a friend or two will have a considerable effect on feeling welcome. Seniors should walk around the building and get to know their surroundings. Greeting the staff and other residents with a smile and a “hello” goes a long way.
How the Family Can Help
If your parents have been in their home for an extended time, remember that they are emotionally invested in it. Lots of lovely memories may bring out apprehension and sadness. Give them time to grieve. Also, they may feel like they’ve lost control, so allow them as many choices as possible, especially when downsizing their belongings. Let them bring lots of personal items like photos, artwork, military medals, a favorite chair, etc. to make it feel like home.
Let other family members grieve as well. They may feel guilty about not being able to care for mom and dad at home. But remember, this move is for the best. It will offer everyone the opportunity to spend quality time together as a family and not just as their caretakers. This move will enhance their lives and well-being.
Balance time together with time apart. While it’s essential to stay in touch by phone and frequently visit, encourage your loved ones to socialize and get involved with the activities at the facility. Meeting people and having fun is the best way for them to feel more welcome.
Transitioning an aging parent can bring on many emotions. Each family has a unique circumstance, but the staff at Villa St. Francis is here to help. Reserve a time and date for a tour, and we’ll be happy to show you our community and answer all of your questions. Call us today!
Your parents are getting older, and for now, they’re healthy and happy at home. But what about next year? Or next month? Situations can change quickly. Many seniors prefer living at home and staying independent for as long as possible. However, others are happily moving to an assisted living center for benefits that aren’t otherwise available.
Certainly, the day will come when you must decide whether your parents need additional help. They may be reluctant to move. But the truth is, when it comes to quality of life, a senior living facility might be the best choice for their health and welfare. Senior care is an excellent alternative for those who need more help than the family can provide. Understanding what an assisted living community offers will make it easier to choose the best option for their situation.
Advantages of Assisted Living and Senior Care
Assisted living communities are bright, happy, stimulating, and offer a variety of care levels. Here are some of their benefits:
A Safe Living Environment
Do you worry about your parents falling or getting injured? Even adding a few modifications to their home is costly and may not keep them completely safe. Assisted living provides a secure and comfortable, stress-free environment. There are grab bars in bathrooms, handrails in hallways, proper lighting, extra safety precautions in every room, and medical attention immediately available if necessary. Residents have a setting designed especially for them.
Daily Living Assistance
Are you exhausted from running to your loved one’s home to help with bathing, dressing, and other daily activities? It’s time to be their child again and not their nurse. One of the most basic principles of assisted living is to help residents with these activities, so they can feel independent and keep their dignity.
Intellectual Stimulation and Social Activities
Are your parents spending time just watching television or staring out the window? Assisted living centers offer opportunities to learn new hobbies, such as gardening, take computer classes, join book clubs, etc. When people live alone, they often become isolated, which contributes to the decline of their physical and mental health. By moving to assisted living communities, residents socialize and stay connected with volunteers, residents, and staff through outings and activities. Even watching television with others is more fun.
Physical Fitness and Activities
Are your parents sedentary and losing their balance and muscle tone? Many assisted living communities offer exercise classes and gym equipment to encourage better fitness. Outdoor areas allow residents to take walks, practice Tai Chi, yoga, and other light exercises in the fresh air.
More Nutritious Meals
Have you become concerned about what your parents are eating? Unfortunately, seniors don’t always eat what and when they should. Fast food or junk food become their “go-to” meals.
Assisted living centers understand that grocery shopping, planning menus, and cooking can be a burden. They offer nutritious food three times a day, created for residents’ individual needs and medical conditions. Fresh and nutrient-dense meals, in a wide variety of choices, are made every day.
No More Housekeeping or Driving
Do your parents rely on you to drive them to appointments, shopping, church, and clean their home or do laundry? Fortunately, assisted living facilities take care of all that. Even residents who are still very independent find it challenging to keep up and don’t mind handing over the work to someone else. Senior care centers provide cleaning and laundry service and free transportation to shopping centers, church, medical appointments, concerts, other community events, and more.
Help your loved ones enjoy their senior years without worrying about home upkeep, safety issues, cooking, or daily personal activities. Instead, let them take pleasure in visiting with friends, learning new things, and living stress-free.
Learn More Through Villa St. Francis
If you are unsure of what the next steps of care should be, contact Villa St. Francis. We are a community specializing in independent living, assisted living, and healthcare living for seniors in Greater Milwaukee.
We invite you to contact us to take a comprehensive tour. We’re certain you and your family will feel right at home at Villa St. Francis. Call today!