Author Archives: Dan Smilloff

Building a Circle of Friends in your Senior Years

_K0C8110Retirement has many benefits. Among them is an abundance of time to do new things and meet new people. One of the greatest joys in life is making new friends, and you are never too old to enrich your life by bringing new ones into the fray. Here are a few things you can try to create new friendships in your golden years:

Volunteer your time
There is much you can give back to your community in retirement. Volunteering is good for your mental and physical health, and it puts you in touch with others who share the same passions as you. Building these
connections often leads to lifelong friendships, and there are so many ways to serve. Just contact your local senior center or a Primrose close to you for a list of opportunities available, and get plugged in!


Consider working part time
Many seniors continue working part-time after retirement – not necessarily because they need the money, but because it helps them to stay active and meet new people. You may be surprised how many of these jobs are available in your community, and how flexible the hours really are. If you thrive when interacting when interacting with other people, this may be a good opportunity to explore.


Consider making the move to a senior living community
Everyone’s situation is different. Some seniors live in areas surrounded by friends and family who are there to help them in times of need. Others may be more secluded, with family living far away and a diminishing circle of friends to keep them company. If you or a loved one are feeling alone, a senior living community may provide the answer. Both independent and assisted living arrangements provide increased safety and a social environment where residents are surrounded by their peers. It is easy to meet new people, and great friendships are born on a regular basis.


If you or a loved one have questions about senior living, Primrose would be honored to assist you. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more information.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

According to a blog article by Dr. Jerry Doctrow, data shows that it can cost more for a senior to stay at home and receive medical care than it would for them to move to a retirement community. A statement like this no doubt runs contrary to what many people may think, but when taking into consideration all the factors at play in determining overall cost, it can be eye-opening.


Studying the averages
Dr. Doctrow calculated the average cost for independent living ($3,076/month), assisted living ($4,722/month), and memory care ($6,082/month). He then calculated the average costs of a senior living in a $150,000 home with the mortgage paid and receiving basic home-care services. When figuring in basic living and operating costs such as maintenance, utilities, property taxes, and meals the average total comes out to about $2,400/ month.


That seems quite modest, and far below even the average cost of an independent living apartment in a senior living community. However, when home care costs, conservatively averaging approximately $1,520/ month, are added to the equation, the overall average cost of living at home increases to about $3,900/month.  Then, to account for the value of the home itself, an estimate of the amount you could earn from renting your home (also referred to as implied rent) would also need to be calculated. A 7% cap rate on the assumed $150,000 value of the home would add up to $875/ month, bringing the total monthly cost of remaining at home to about $4,800. This adds up to be a bit more than the average cost of an assisted living apartment in a retirement community. The numbers don’t lie!

Microsoft Word - Should I Stay or Should I Go - PR

The benefits of being social
Financial considerations will always be a major factor in the decision to make a move to a retirement community, but they are not the only ones that are of importance. A major perk of living in a retirement community is the ability to easily build new friendships that keep your social life active and vibrant. Finances are certainly important, but the health benefits of being part of a community are also impossible to ignore. Depression is less likely, your mind and heart will benefit from endless opportunities to learn and do new things, and your family relationships will strengthen when you can focus your time on simply being together and enjoying each other’s company.


If you have questions about any of the topics covered in this article, we would be honored to assist you. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more info.

Don’t Just Stand There – Do Something!

_K0C7535Living an active lifestyle has many health benefits that can lead to a longer, happier life. If, however, you are not getting enough exercise, you may be at greater risk for serious conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and depression. Understanding the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle will go a long way towards promoting better physical and emotional health.


The health effects are real
The Archives of Internal Medicine says that daily physical activity reduces the risk of death by 75% in older adults compared to those who are not physically active. Just 30 minutes of physical activity each day will help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, depression, and a host of other conditions.


Daily activities may be affected
Seniors are especially at risk for difficulty in performing activities of daily living due to lack of physical activity.  When a person sits too much, it causes them to lose lean muscle tissue. Once this happens, home maintenance tasks like mowing the lawn or raking leaves can become
almost impossible. Basic tasks like showering, dressing, and even eating can also become quite difficult – which can lead to less personal freedom and greater dependence on others.


You can stay active at any age
There are many practical things you can do to stay active, no matter your age. When you go shopping, try parking your car at the edge of the parking lot and walking to the entrance. Take a walk through your local city park
or nature trail a few times a week. Not only is it good exercise, but it helps you to meet new people to boot! Remember, if you are not sure what you can handle, check with your doctor. They can work with you to help develop an exercise plan that is safe.


If you or a loved one have additional questions, we would be honored to help. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more info.

Keeping your Mind Sharp as you Age

_k0c7253Did you know that your brain actually shrinks in size as you age? Over the years, it can lose up to 10% of its size – meaning that regular exercise is needed to help your brain stay strong and healthy. In fact, older adults may
benefit the most from activities that help to foster good mental health. Here are some ways to help keep your brain in tip-top shape:


Enjoy Games that Stimulate your Brain
The internet can be a great place to go for games that make you think. A quick Google search for your favorite game will likely provide you with places to play it online, sometimes against other people in real-time. If you are more inclined to avoid the computer, there are always board games like Monopoly, Clue, or Scrabble, which get your mind working and provide fellowship with friends and family.


Stay informed
Getting in some good reading time not only helps to make you smarter, it can also increase the power of your brain. In much the same way that the muscles of your body need exercise to stay healthy and strong, so, too, does your brain. Harvard Medical School determined that the best way to keep your brain healthy is to pursue knowledge throughout your lifetime. Reading the latest novel or staying current on politics and the news of the day is a great way to accomplish this. 


Be efficient
It can be hard to remember that your daughter’s birthday is next Wednesday, your grandson’s recital is on Saturday, you have a haircut appointment at 3 pm, and a doctor’s appointment tomorrow at 11 am. While you’re at it, you also need to keep track of where your cell phone, car keys, and TV remote are as well! Take advantage of calendars and planners, either on paper or the electronic versions, to help you manage your schedule. Set aside a specific place to put your knick-knacks so that you only have to look in one place to find your things. You’ll be surprised
how much less stress you have and how much easier it is to remember life’s details once you take control of the little things.


If you have questions about senior living and how Primrose can help you or a loved one, we would be honored to help. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more info.

Helping Seniors Prevent Fraud

_K0C6989Scam artists target senior citizens at an unprecedented rate. 5 million older adults are the victims of fraud and financial abuse each year, making it vital for our older loved ones to be wary of unsolicited attempts to gain access to their personal information. Here are some things you can do now to help protect them from these criminals:


Just shred it
Before throwing away any financial information that may contain account or social security numbers, be sure that these documents are shredded first. Scammers will go through garbage cans looking for this type of info – better to be proactive and destroy the evidence than to have to deal with someone stealing your identity and dealing with the heartache it causes.


Beware telephone scams
It is good to talk to your loved ones about not disclosing any personal information via phone or email.  In fact, if they don’t recognize the number it is good practice to remember to ignore the call altogether. Many of these scammers are quite crafty and will contact people numerous times, building trust with them before attempting to collect information they can use to drain bank accounts and steal identities. You can also put your loved ones’ phone number on the National Do Not
Call Registry by dialing 1-888-382-1222 or visiting www.donotcall.gov.


Know who to contact
If you suspect that your loved ones been victimized, talk to them about it and see if you can figure out what happened. Turn to local police, your bank (if money has been taken from accounts), and Adult Protective Services (APS). To find the APS nearest you, call 1-800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov.


If you have additional questions about this, or about senior living in general, we would be honored to assist you in your journey. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more info.

Seniors and Social Media

Capture One Catalog0135Many may believe that the world of social media is one that is exclusively inhabited by the younger generation.  The fact is, though, that many older adults have become frequent users of this technology. Social media helps keep them connected with loved ones and old friends, and it opens up a world of information they may never have had access to before.


Keeping friends and family close
It can be hard to stay in touch with family – especially when they don’t live close enough to visit frequently.  Fortunately, websites like Facebook and Skype can help to close the distance and make communication more personal than just a phone call. Facebook allows people to share photos and videos with one another, and Skype takes it a step further by making it possible to talk to friends and loved ones online with video. While being together in the same place will always be the best option, having internet access can make staying in touch – even from great distances – much more personal and enjoyable for everyone.


Meeting new people and staying informed
Older adults are also using social media to meet others with the same hobbies and interests as them. Sites like Facebook and Pinterest provide access to online communities devoted to thousands of different areas of
interest – and they allow people to easily communicate and share new ideas with one another. Whether you are into recipes, arts and crafts, home improvement, movies, or sports – it is easy to find people to talk to. With age, the ability to remain social becomes more and more important – particularly for seniors living at home alone. Social media provides an outlet to the outside world and an opportunity to congregate with others without leaving your home.


If you or a loved one would like more info on how technology can help enrich the lives of seniors, Primrose would be honored to assist you. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more information.

Why Exercise is Important as you Age

_K0C7535It is a well-known fact that exercise is good for people of all ages.  It is beneficial to both physical and emotional health, and for senior citizens, it – along with a healthy diet – is essential in helping to maintain independence and reduce the chances of chronic disease and illness.  The Centers for Disease Control recommend that older adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week. Here are some reasons why this type of exercise is important:


You’ll sleep better
Believe it or not, getting a good amount of weekly exercise will make you sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a study that found people who exercised at least 150 minutes each week experienced a 65% improvement in the quality of their sleep.


You’ll think better
Apart from the obvious, physical benefit of regular exercise there are also cognitive benefits as well. Exercise requires you to use your brain – whether you are out walking and taking in the world around you or playing with your grandkids at the park – which keeps it active and healthy. Whenever you are using your brain, you are helping to keep memory loss and dementia at bay. It’ll also put you in a better mood!


You’ll get around easier
The older we get, the more our bodies weaken. It is a natural process that can be slowed by getting regular exercise. Keeping our core strength will improve posture and lead to less slouching, greater flexibility, and improved balance and coordination. All of these things also help to reduce the risk of falling or other injury that is so common for seniors in their homes.


To see how Primrose helps our residents maintain their physical health, feel free to reach us any time at www.primroseretirement.com. We would be honored to answer any of your questions.

Fall Activities to Enjoy with your Grandchildren

Capture One Catalog0716Most grandparents will tell you, time spent with their grandchildren is among the most special time of all.  The bonds formed through this relationship can provide grandchildren with memories to last a lifetime, and grandparents with a chance to pass on knowledge and tradition to a new generation. Here are a few things you can do with your grandkids to make this fall a memorable one:


Spend some time in the kitchen together
There are probably a few traditional family recipes the entire family asks you to make whenever you are together. Take some time to make one of them with your grandkids. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way to teach them how to prepare fresh food, and it always leads to great fellowship as well.


Enjoy the outdoors together
Fall is a beautiful time to be outside. Find a place you can go with your grandkids to enjoy the fall leaves and cool weather. Perhaps you can pack a picnic lunch and head to the lake for a fishing trip. Or maybe a drive to the nearest state park for a picnic and a short walk through the nature trail together.


Answer questions
Ask your grandkids what they would like to talk about, and then take time to answer their questions. They may ask you about what it was like when you were a child, or how you met your spouse, or what your job was. Use your time together to tell them anything they want to know about you and your life. Your conversations will be memorable, and the bond between you will strengthen.  Above all else – have fun with them!


At Primrose, we love to see our residents having fun with their grandkids. If you or a loved one have
questions for us about making a move to a retirement community, we would be honored to help. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com to learn more.

Physical Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Capture One Catalog0724Alzheimer’s Disease often causes people to think of confusion and disorientation as predominant symptoms.  While it is true that these are some of the most prolific difficulties brought on by Alzheimer’s, the disease can manifest itself physically before mental or emotional symptoms become evident. Here are some things to look for:


Difficulty completing regular tasks
Someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia may start taking longer to complete simple, everyday tasks that they have been doing for decades. You may notice, for example, that a master gardener may have a problem trimming back flowers or watering vegetables. Regular activities of daily living like remembering how to get to a favorite location or managing a budget may also become difficult.


Wandering
According to the National Alzheimer’s Association, 60% of people with dementia are prone to wandering. They may not be able to remember their address or name, and they can even become disoriented in familiar places.
Severe wandering generally occurs after a dementia diagnosis, but milder incidents of wandering can be early signs of Alzheimer’s. If a loved one arrives late to an appointment for no reason, or if you notice them getting
lost when they are in a familiar place, you should consult a doctor.


Repetitive speech or actions
Frequent repetition of words, statements, questions, or activities is linked to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. People with Alzheimer’s may forget that they have just done something, so they do it again, and again,
and again. For example, if your loved one is checking to see if the door is locked moments after they just locked it, or if they are cleaning their glasses over and over again, it is a warning sign that is worth seeing a doctor about.


If you or a loved one have questions about Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, Primrose would be honored to help. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more information.

The Benefits of Being a Volunteer

Capture One Catalog0490Former religious leader and author Gordon Hinckley once said, “One of the great ironies in life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” Volunteers play a vital role in
spreading kindness within our communities and helping those less fortunate than themselves, and senior citizens play a huge role. In fact, 23.5 percent of seniors in the U.S. volunteered in 2015. Science is now proving what those who volunteer have known for years – that there are many benefits associated with serving others. Here are just a few:


You will feel better
When asked, many volunteers will say that taking time to help others gives makes them feel good. According to an article in Psychology Today, volunteers live longer, healthier lives and they experience fewer aches and
pains. The article also indicates that giving to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease, and it provides a stronger effect than exercising several times per week!


You will learn new skills
No matter your age, taking the time to volunteer will expose you to new opportunities to learn things you may never have considered doing before. It is good to explore and to develop new hobbies. It exposes you to a new world of different people to spend time with and can lead to many lifelong friendships and unique life experiences.


Your brain will thank you
As we age, we become more likely to experience the symptoms of depression. Volunteering can help combat these symptoms by providing access to social settings where it is easy to interact with others. Volunteering increases feelings of self-worth, and making a difference in peoples’ lives can often help friends and loved ones find new meaning in their own.


If you have questons about volunteering, Primrose
would be honored to help you fnd opportunites in
your community. For more informaton, just visit www.
primroseretirement.com.