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Caregiving: How to Start the “Tough Conversation” With Mom and Dad

It’s often the way of life that you end up having to look after the ones who looked after you for your whole childhood, and even throughout young adulthood. You want to make sure that your parents have the care and support that they need when they reach a certain age, but it can be difficult to bring that conversation up initially.

If the tough conversation is in your near future, here are some tips on how to approach it.

Have the conversation before you need to

When it comes to planning for your parents’ aging care, it is better to have the conversation sooner rather than later. If you only start talking about it as a response to their deteriorating health, decisions might need to be rushed. In the unfortunate event that a parent develops dementia, for example, they might not be in a fit state to have the conversation and make decisions about their own care. Having the conversation early makes sure you’re prepared for whatever happens in the future.

Do some research

It can be good to do some research of your own before you start the conversation. Understand the different options for your parents’ care, such as assisted living, independent living, retirement communities, rehabilitative care. Form an opinion about what you think is best for your parents and talk to any family members that’ll be involved to make sure you’re on the same page. When you then talk to your parents about it, you’ll be fully informed and able to tell them what you think.

Be direct, but empathetic

It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but beating around the bush isn’t going to help any decisions be made. Be direct when you approach the conversation, but make sure you’re empathizing with your parents’ feelings, too. Consider how they’ll be feeling in this situation and be sensitive about those feelings.

Listen to them

Your parents will probably want to retain as much control as possible as they age, including through this decision-making process. So, when having this conversation, it’s important that you’re not just talking at them and telling them what to do. Ask them questions, ask for their opinion, and, most of all, listen to their answers. You should offer your advice and your opinion, but it’s important that they’re still the ones making the decisions, as long as they are fit to do so.

Talking about aging with your parents can be difficult, but if you start early then you’ll be better prepared when the time comes that they do need extra care. Bermuda Village at the Bermuda Run Country Club has been recognized as one of the best places to retire. Get in touch if you’re looking for independent living in North Carolina.

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Blog

7 Reasons Why You Should Choose Bermuda Village

Are you looking for a care solution in North Carolina for yourself or a loved one? Our retirement community in Bermuda Run is the perfect solution. But why should you choose us over the other options? Here are a few important reasons why Bermuda Village is the top choice.

1. You can still own your own home

We want you to retain your independence and control here at Bermuda Village, so our independent living options allow you to own your home within our grounds. This means you can decorate your home however you’d like, making it really feel like your own. You also benefit from maintaining your own equity.

2. We serve great food

You can forget the stereotype of unappetizing, mushy food in retirement communities. We serve food daily in our pub and Clubhouse dining room, with a variety of meals and specials on offer. You can even have your food delivered to your home for you.

3. You can enjoy the Bermuda Run Country Club

Our retirement community is contained within the grounds of the Bermuda Run Country Club. You can join to enjoy all of its perks and facilities on your doorstep, including a golf course, swimming pool, clubhouse, tennis center, and more.

4. There are lots of activities

We run lots of activities within our retirement community, too. We have groups for lots of different hobbies and interests, fun games like bingo and bridge, and more active things like fitness classes and ping pong. You can enjoy the outdoors in our Japanese garden or on our shuffleboard and croquet courts.

5. And opportunities to learn

If you want to keep your mind active as well as your body, then we also have programs to help you continue your learning. Our Lifelong Learning Program covers a variety of topics, or you can attend lectures with our Bermuda Village College series. We also have a library filled with a great range of fiction and non-fiction books.

6. We run social events throughout the year

Socializing doesn’t have to end after retirement. In fact, you’ve got even more time for it. We arrange regular social events to help our residents get to know each other and make real connections. Unwind over a drink at either our coffee hour or cocktail hour, enjoy some live music, or sit down for a movie with your peers. We also organize special themed events like murder mystery nights and beach bashes.

7. We provide care solutions to suit you

Whatever your needs, we provide a range of care solutions tailored to you. Whether you need around the clock care or occasional support, our team are here for you. We can provide rehabilitative care when necessary, too.

If you’re looking for an independent living or assisted living solution for you or a loved one, then get in touch to arrange a visit or to ask any questions.

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Blog

Is There a Link Between Stress and Alzheimer’s?

Stress is something we all face in our day-to-day lives, but too much of it can cause a number of health problems. You may already be familiar with the role of stress in our heart health – high levels of stress can lead to high blood pressure. But is there a link between stress and the development of Alzheimer’s disease?

Let’s look at what the research suggests and what we can do to keep our stress levels down as we age.

What causes Alzheimer’s?

While there is no single cause of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, researchers and health professionals have uncovered a number of risk factors that make a person more likely to develop these conditions. These include:

  • Old age
  • Family history of dementia
  • Head injuries
  • Smoking
  • Stress

How is stress related to Alzheimer’s?

In scientific research on the topic, stress has been found to be a potential contributing factor toward the development of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the extent of which has not yet been determined as there are so many contributing factors. Stress may be a risk factor because of its connection with other health problems, like depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, all of which have also been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Stress in itself has also been linked to memory problems. This is likely an evolutionary response. When we experience stress and enter the typical “fight or flight” mode, blood flow is directed towards parts of the body that are considered essential for this response. This means blood is diverted away from non-essential areas. So, if blood flow is restricted to the part of the brain that is responsible for forming short-term memories, then this could explain how memory loss is related to stress. If someone experiences chronic stress, then it can seriously change their brain chemistry and capabilities over time.

Another research study found that a hormone released in response to stress, corticotrophin releasing factor, actually boosts the production of protein fragments that have been consistently found in the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. These proteins, amyloid beta, have been found to cause brain degeneration related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Keep your brain healthy by reducing stress

While there is still more research to be done on the link between stress and Alzheimer’s, there are many health benefits of reducing your stress levels. If possible, remove yourself from situations that you know cause you a lot of stress. Luckily, stress levels tend to drop after retirement because work is a common cause of stress.

We can’t always avoid stressful situations, so you also need to practice ways to manage your stress levels. Meditation and light exercise are known to be good ways to reduce stress levels. But it’s about finding what’s right for you. This could be taking a hot bath or reading an interesting book.

If you need help caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, then Bermuda Village’s assisted living and independent living communities can support you with all your care needs in Bermuda Run, NC.

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Blog

How to Build a Meaningful Connection with a Loved One Who Has Dementia

Visiting and looking after loved ones with dementia can be a difficult and upsetting experience. They may not remember who you are and their personality might have completely changed as their brain degenerates. But it’s still important for both of you to keep up those visits and try as much as you can to build and maintain a meaningful connection with them.

Here are some helpful tips for achieving this.

Understand their abilities

As their condition worsens, what they can do and how much they understand will change. It’s important that you are aware of this and adapt your visits to their ability level. If your loved one has a professional carer, then they can advise you on this as well. Trying to get them to do something that is too difficult for them can make them frustrated.

Are they mobile enough to go for a walk with you or are your visits better confined to their home? Are they able to have a conversation with you or would they rather just listen to you talk? Or maybe silence is a better option, relying on non-verbal communication like touch instead.

Share activities that they enjoy

Whether or not they remember their love for a hobby or activity, you can do those things together. Taking part in these activities could bring back memories or make them feel happy without them really knowing why. You could watch their favorite movie together, for example, or go for a walk if that’s what they liked to do. If they always loved animals, you could bring your pet along with you on your visits.

Use all their senses

Different senses can trigger different memories and emotions, so think about how you can stimulate the different senses in positive ways. If you loved going to the movies together, then the smell of fresh popcorn could bring that memory back to them. Playing their favorite song or piece of music could make them feel happy and even bring back memories of listening to that music. Tasting different foods can also raise the spirits or help them to recall memories of trips they took to different places.

Make the most of their good moments

Dementia patients will have some moments that are more lucid than others. Although you should be there for both, make sure to really make the most of those more lucid moments. Especially enjoy and cherish the conversations you have when they are better able to recall past memories and ask you questions about your life.

Overall, try not to get frustrated with your loved one or the situation you’re in with them. Be patient and remember that they’re still the same person. If you need additional care for your loved one in Bermuda Run, NC, then get in touch with Bermuda Village to learn more about our assisted living community.

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Blog

A Thriving Social Life Will Do Wonders for Your Body and Mind

Loneliness is one of the biggest problems facing senior citizens. Many of their friends will have passed away or moved out of the city or country as they’ve got older. Family members move on, start their own family, and don’t visit as much. And it can be more difficult to socialize and make new friends as we get older.

But it’s so important to maintain a social life at any stage of our life. It’s not just a way to enjoy our time more; becoming isolated can actually have real consequences for our mental and physical health.

The mental health benefits of socialization for seniors

Having an active social life with friends and family members helps to avoid major issues like depression and anxiety in seniors. Regular social engagements provide something to look forward to and give seniors a purpose in life, which is especially beneficial towards fighting depression.

Also, socializing often requires getting out of the house, into the fresh air and different environments, which also helps to fight problems like depression. Enjoyable social activities also help to reduce stress levels and improve self-esteem, helping seniors feel happier, more relaxed, and more confident.

Benefits to physical health

Social activities that involve getting out of the house and doing light exercise like walking, or even a social exercise class like tai chi or bowling, improve the activity levels of seniors. Staying active is important for seniors to help them stay physically fit and maintain bone and muscle strength.

Socializing also has an amazing ability of keeping away illness. It has been found to improve the immune system, making them less likely to contract minor illnesses that can lead to further complications. Since it reduces stress, socializing can also help to prevent high blood pressure and to keep the heart healthy.

The cognitive benefits of socialization

Staying social also has lots of benefits for the cognitive health of seniors. Communicating with friends and taking part in novel experiences, which every conversation can provide, keeps the brain active and engaged. This helps the brain maintain its strength and health, keeping the mind sharp and helping to prevent conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Even for patients suffering from these conditions, socializing can help to slow down degeneration, especially in the early stages.

A thriving social life is an important part of staying healthy as we get older, but it can be difficult, especially for seniors who live alone. Moving into a retirement community or assisted living can make socialization easier because events are held on the complex and residents can share meals together. If you’re interested in assisted living for you or a loved one, then get in touch to find out more about our community in Bermuda Run, NC.

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Blog

Legal Planning Tips for Assisting Aging Relatives

When your parents or other relatives start to need additional care and support as they age, you’ll all have some challenges to face. You’ll have to support them emotionally through this difficult time as well as any physical care they might need. As well as this, certain legal planning and support will probably be required. This can be extremely difficult since most people don’t have legal training or education under their belt.

To help you through this, here are some of our legal planning tips for assisting your aging relatives.

Prepare early

It is good to talk openly with your parents about the decisions they need to make and their future needs. It is better to have these conversations sooner rather than later in case their mental faculties begin to decline. Talk about how they want to live as they age – are they adamant about staying at home or can you start considering options like assisted living and retirements communities?

Involve them as much as possible in making decisions

Even in the later stages of aging when you are the one caring for your parents, it is still important to involve them in any important decisions. If your relative is facing something like dementia, then this will become much more difficult, which is why approaching it early is a good idea.

Understand their situation

It can be important that you know information related to their finances and their healthcare, or that you at least know how to access this information and any relevant documents. Important financial documents include anything relating to their pension, their bank account details, any savings bonds they have, insurance documents, and their 401(k).

Will and power of attorney

Your aging relatives should have a last will and testament and should assign a power of attorney. If they haven’t already taken care of this things in advance, you should support them in performing these tasks as soon as possible. You should hire a trusted attorney to help your parent or relative with these documents. If you are power of attorney for your aging relative, this means you will be responsible for making decisions in their last days or if they are no longer capable to make decisions for themselves.

If you need additional help with providing care for your elderly relatives or handling their legal needs, then we’re here to help anyone in and around Bermuda Run, NC. Get in touch to find out more about our retirement community and the other services we can provide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories
Blog

Getting Ready for Flu Season

Flu season can range from an inconvenience to a dangerous time, with potential complications from flu symptoms hitting seniors harder than any other demographic. It is important to think ahead and get ready before flu season hits so that you are at less of a risk of contracting and spreading the flu.

Here are our top tips to help you get ready for flu season.

Get vaccinated

You should get your flu shot as soon as possible before flu season as it takes around two weeks to take hold, but the general guideline is to be vaccinated by the end of October. Various facilities can provide seniors with the flu vaccine, and many retirement communities and assisted living facilities will also provide it for their residents.

Know the signs

You’re probably familiar with the traditional flu symptoms – runny or blocked nose, sore throat and coughing, headaches and muscle aches, a fever, tiredness. For more severe symptoms, the CDC recommends seeking medical care straight away, especially for the elderly. These may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea

Knowing when to get treated can help to prevent serious complications and their consequences.

Reduce the spread of infection

It is not always easy to stay away from the germs and bacteria that cause the flu because those that have it become contagious several days before they start to show symptoms. So, it is important to be vigilant and maintain good hygiene practices to prevent contracting and spreading it.

You should wash your hands with soap or an antibacterial gel regularly throughout the day, especially after contact with someone else, if you have been sneezing or coughing, and always before and after eating or preparing food. It is also important to keep your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth in case you do have bacteria on your hands.

If you start to cough or sneeze during flu season, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re infected, but it is still more important than ever to cover your nose and mouth if this happens. Observe your symptoms to see if they worsen, and try to avoid contact with others in case you are infectious.

If you need any more advice on how to stay healthy this flu season, then these tips from the CDC on flu prevention can help.

Categories
Blog

The Importance of Senior Medication Management

As we get older, we are likely to need a variety of different types of medications to manage our health and any ailments we have. For anyone, taking different pills and vitamins a certain number of times a day and at different times of the day can be confusing and difficult to manage. For seniors with memory problems, this becomes even more of a challenge.

Whether you’re trying to manage your own medications or are supporting a loved one with taking their medications, managing this properly is vital.

Why proper medication management is so important

Depending on the severity of the conditions being treated, a missed dose could be dangerous. This is why it is so important to stay on top of which pills need to be taken when and at what dosage. Because, on the other hand, taking too much can prove equally dangerous, as can mixing the wrong medications together.

Proper medication management can also involve monitoring your condition or that of your loved one, as this can alert you to any necessary changes in dosage. If their condition deteriorates, for example, then they may need to consult their doctor about increasing their dose or switching medications. Plus, being able to recognize the side effects of accidental overdose, no matter how minor, can help you to monitor whether a loved one is taking too much by mistake.

Tips for better medication management

Whether it’s for yourself or someone else, the best way to manage medication is to create a schedule or timetable to follow. You can put this up on the wall so that it’s somewhere noticeable and close to where you take or prepare the medication. A daily or weekly timetable can show what needs to be taken and when.

Pill boxes and organizers are also a handy tool, allowing you to keep the relevant pills organized in advance based on the time and day they need to be taking. This can be especially useful if you’re preparing medication for a family member who you do not live with, so you can get them organized for when you’re not there.

Make sure you or your family member understand how and when to take their medication and how to store it properly. You should also plan well in advance when it comes to refilling the prescriptions.

For seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, properly managing medication by themselves can be close to impossible, depending on their severity of degeneration. This is where round-the-clock care will often be necessary, in the form of in-home care, assisted living, or a retirement community.

If you need support with senior care, our retirement community in Bermuda Run can give your loved one the kind of care and support they need while still maintaining their independence. Get in touch if you are interested, or you can take a virtual tour of our community.

Categories
Blog

Transitioning to Assisted Living from Short-Term Rehab

When senior patients are discharged from the hospital and go straight back to their home, success rates are not great. Many patients end up being readmitted within a short space of time afterward. Maybe they weren’t ready to be discharged or maybe they just needed more post-care. Short-term rehabilitation is a good way to ease the transition from the hospital to regular living, giving the patient access to around the clock care, medication, and rehab exercises and activities.

Short-term rehab typically lasts for around 4-6 weeks, although this will vary. Afterward, you need to determine the best option for returning to everyday life. Some patients may be fit and ready to go back home, while others may need assisted living if they need a continuation of care. You will have access to a lot of the same support you received in short-term rehab, but on less of an around-the-clock basis.

This is another transition that could be challenging for seniors, so here are a few quick tips on how to ease the transition from short-term rehab to assisted living.

Make sure you’re well informed

Research the community or facility you’re moving to and ask any questions you have about it and your future life there. Knowing as much as you can about it will make you much more comfortable and can reduce the stress of moving into the unknown. Visiting your new apartment before you move can also be helpful if this is possible.

Get support

You shouldn’t be ashamed to rely on your loved ones and even your care staff for support during this transition. Regular visits from your family both in rehab and in assisted living helps greatly with your emotional well-being during this time. Getting their help with moving your belongings for you is also a big advantage for easing the process.

Make your new place feel like home

Have your important possessions moved to your assisted living apartment and decorate it in a way that feels like home. You can do this once you move in or have your family members go ahead and decorate for you while you’re still in rehab. This will give you a comfortable and almost familiar place to move into.

The transition is an important process and not one that you should rush through without thought. You should have support throughout this stage so that the change is not such a shock to the system, and it’s important that your care team are fully aware of the support you need.

Bermuda Village not only provide assisted living for seniors, but we also help you during this sometimes difficult transition.

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories
Blog

The Art of Downsizing: How to Personalize Your New Apartment

When moving into assisted living or a retirement community, you’ll have a lot of new things to adapt to. One thing to remember is that you won’t have an entire house to look after and move into. This helps to take a lot of the burden off you in terms of household chores and other daily demands.

It also means you’ll be downsizing when it comes to moving all your belongings and decorating your new apartment. So, some furniture and other items will need to be left behind or sold when you make the move. Still, it’s important that you personalize your apartment so that it feels like home. Here are a few ways to achieve this while still decluttering and downsizing your life.

Prioritize

When it comes to deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind, you might need to make some tough decisions. It’s the perfect time to declutter and get rid of some of the items you never use or that hold no sentimental meaning to you. At the same time, it’s important to keep those things that are meaningful to you – the things that will make your new apartment feel like home. You probably won’t have space for all your furniture, for example, but maybe you’ve got a favorite chair that you always sit in at home that you don’t want to leave behind. Small touches like this are a great way to personalize your new place.

Decorate

You should try to make your new space your own, and decorating to your own tastes is a big part of this. An apartment that reflects your personality and interests will be much homelier. This may involve painting the walls a new color, adding accessories like cushions and throw rugs, and decorating the walls with photos of your family or your favorite artwork.

Create separate spaces

Even in a small apartment, you can still define separate spaces for different functions. If you sleep, relax, pursue hobbies, and socialize in the same space, it can be difficult to separate these parts of your life. So, you should try to create specific places for these different activities. Have an area where you entertain guests, and organized workspace where you can write or draw, for example, and a living space for reading or watching television, so that you don’t end up sitting in bed doing everything.

Adjusting to living in a retirement community can be a challenge at first, but any place you live can feel like home if you personalize it to suit your own tastes, even if it’s a smaller space than what you’re used to.