Tag Archives: Seniors

Facts for Seniors

As the face of the Senior Citizen changes, it is helpful to understand facts about the Senior Citizen in your life. The following are some facts that may help you better understand your loved one.

11.3 million is the number of seniors 65 and older are engaging in exercise of one form or another. Exercise walking is by far the most popular sports activity for seniors (and for younger adults), followed by exercising with equipment, net fishing, camping, golf and swimming.

As the oldest baby boomers become senior citizens in 2011, the percentage of people 65 and older is projected to grow faster than any other age group. In fact, 26 states are projected to double their 65+ populations between 2000 and 2030.

About one third of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually.  About half (53%) of the older adults who are discharged for fall-related hip fractures will experience another fall within six months.

Only 3.6% of people over 65 years old are in nursing homes. Elderly men arefacts for seniors likely to live with a spouse while elderly women are more likely to live alone.

By age 75, about 1 in 3 men and 1 in 2 women don’t get ANY physical activity. You can keep seniors fit by hosting a dance class at your local senior center!

According to the data compiled by the Social Security Administration, a man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.3. A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live 86.6.

The ratio of women to men over 65 years old is 100 to 76. The ratio of women to men over 85 years old is 100 to 49.

5 million is the number of seniors age 65 and older who have jobs.

78 percent – Percentage of householders age 65 and older who own a motor vehicle.

These are just a few facts on being a senior citizen, and perhaps they will help you, the caregiver understand their needs and give you a bit of insight into their world.

 

Create Happiness in your Senior Years

Happiness in seniorsWe are all aware of the truths that seem to point to loneliness and depression in Senior Citizens, and how, as family members and caregivers we should be on the lookout for indicators that our loved ones may be struggling.

However, a growing shift has made itself apparent in our time as more and more senior citizens are choosing to live their ‘golden years’ out in experiences.  Happiness is more strongly associated with meaningful experiences than the accumulation of possessions. The iconic American Dream to own a home, have 2.5 children, a nice car, and a sizeable nest egg appeals for inherent reasons, but the ability to continue to make memories with either a spouse, family members, or friends is a growing trend in the lives of many seniors today.

Experiences can be as simple as taking the grandchildren to the beach, or traveling to an unexplored (for them) location.  If your loved one has the ability to get out on their own, let them.  Try not to be concerned about their ability to drive ‘that far’ on their own.  Perhaps they want to experience something new.  While the natural response is to say, not at your age, allow them the ability to do that thing, and perhaps even go with them.

One study shows that when people perceived they had less time left, they found greater happiness in ordinary experiences than younger individuals who perceived they had significant amounts of time ahead of them and who found greater happiness in the extraordinary.

The truth is, the older we get, we do gain more wisdom. We have learned that life experience gives you perspective. You know the downs don’t last, and the ups don’t last.   As a result, experiences, or those things that make us happy, begin to shift also.

Encourage them to go out and live life, and perhaps any loneliness or depression you were seeing will begin to disappear.  Being active at any age, and especially in seniors, is proven to have a positive effect on our mood and our health.

Let them enjoy the moment, and enjoy it with them.

 

Take Steps Toward An Active Retirement

Individuals who’ve budgeted and planned for it are retiring earlier than in the past. It’s important to keep mind and body healthy to make the most of your  golden years.

Potential retirees should make plans now to set goals for health and wellness when they no longer have to deal with the commute and punching a time clock. Just as you had the daily routine of getting up and going to work, so too should you have a daily routine and goals once you’re retired. Daily goals can be as simple as signing up for a cooking class or walking around the block. Setting longer term goals are also ideal as it gives you something to work toward and breaks a large goal into smaller, more manageable chunks, for example, a goal of saving for a month long drive across the country, or learning to play a musical instrument.  Here are five other steps to take to enjoy an active, healthy retirement:

  1. Learn something new. Keeping your mind active goes a long way in staying alert as you age. Consider taking a class at a local college or senior center or even taking an online course. If you enjoy working with your hands, take a cooking class or learn a craft such as woodworking or needlecrafts.
  2. Keep active. Develop an exercise program that keeps you active and moving. You don’t need to join a gym but you could sign up for a line dancing class, make it  a point to walk a mile (or more) a day, or taking up a sport suitable for your age.
  3. Work a part-time job. Now that you’re retired from your fulltime career, it might be the time to look into a part time job in a field that you’ve always had an interest in. Work at a bookstore or a craft shop. If you enjoy gardening, plant a garden and sell the produce. If you’re an internet whiz, consider teaching courses to seniors that aren’t as web savvy as you are.
  4. Volunteer  your time. Now that you’re not tied to a 40-hour workweek, it might be the time to invest time with a favorite charity or at a local church. You may even become a room aid at a local elementary. Keeping yourself occupied and involved helps you age gracefully and will also help you form new friendships.
  5. Speaking of friendships, make plans to get out of the house and meet a friend for lunch or a movie. Keeping in touch with your friends gives you something to look forward to and keeps you involved in the lives of those you love.

Being active in retirement will allow you a better opportunity to be able to age in place and enjoy your golden years.

 

Take Steps Toward An Active Retirement

Individuals who’ve budgeted and planned for it are retiring earlier than in the past. It’s important to keep mind and body healthy to make the most of your  golden years.

Potential retirees should make plans now to set goals for health and wellness when they no longer have to deal with the commute and punching a time clock. Just as you had the daily routine of getting up and going to work, so too should you have a daily routine and goals once you’re retired. Daily goals can be as simple as signing up for a cooking class or walking around the block. Setting longer term goals are also ideal as it gives you something to work toward and breaks a large goal into smaller, more manageable chunks, for example, a goal of saving for a month long drive across the country, or learning to play a musical instrument.  Here are five other steps to take to enjoy an active, healthy retirement:

  1. Learn something new. Keeping your mind active goes a long way in staying alert as you age. Consider taking a class at a local college or senior center or even taking an online course. If you enjoy working with your hands, take a cooking class or learn a craft such as woodworking or needlecrafts.
  2. Keep active. Develop an exercise program that keeps you active and moving. You don’t need to join a gym but you could sign up for a line dancing class, make it  a point to walk a mile (or more) a day, or taking up a sport suitable for your age.
  3. Work a part-time job. Now that you’re retired from your fulltime career, it might be the time to look into a part time job in a field that you’ve always had an interest in. Work at a bookstore or a craft shop. If you enjoy gardening, plant a garden and sell the produce. If you’re an internet whiz, consider teaching courses to seniors that aren’t as web savvy as you are.
  4. Volunteer  your time. Now that you’re not tied to a 40-hour workweek, it might be the time to invest time with a favorite charity or at a local church. You may even become a room aid at a local elementary. Keeping yourself occupied and involved helps you age gracefully and will also help you form new friendships.
  5. Speaking of friendships, make plans to get out of the house and meet a friend for lunch or a movie. Keeping in touch with your friends gives you something to look forward to and keeps you involved in the lives of those you love.

Being active in retirement will allow you a better opportunity to be able to age in place and enjoy your golden years.

 

Signs Your Loved One is Withdrawing from Life

Aging has a tendency to push the ones we love into smaller and smaller circles, withdrawing from wider-reaching social groups and activities. Removing oneself from certain facets of the outside world is commonplace for senior citizens, as they downsize their home, move into retirement communities, and forgo activities their bodies can no longer physically handle.

While downsizing and withdrawing may have a negative connotation, restructuring one’s life due to age can bring about many positive changes. Moving into a smaller home can alleviate the need for yard work or household tasks that are no longer manageable for them such as cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn or pulling weeds. Downsizing can also reduce bills and can free up more time for your loved one to engage in other activities they’re interested in but sometimes this can create new problems!

As your loved one begins to adapt to their new lifestyle, one of the most important things they can do to maintain their happiness is nurture their social connections. Most elderly individuals see retirement as a period in their life in which they want to spend more time with their families. However, the elderly often feel isolated as family and friends move away or pass on. Losing one’s loved ones or feeling disconnected can facilitate a downward spiral or lead to depression. Therefore, the most important indicator of happiness as people age depends on their ability to adapt to change. Going into isolation is a choice elderly individuals make, which often results in the following behaviors:

  1. Driving less or eliminating vehicles: Elderly individuals often begin to limit their amount of driving and downsize from two cars to one.
  2. Reduce their amount of travel and entertainment: Your loved ones may begin to cut down on the number of vacations they take each year, reduce the amount of time they spend on vacation, or stop going on vacations altogether. In addition to limiting trips, your loved one may also limit the amount of restaurants and or other activities they go to.
  3. Cut out or reduce hobbies: You may also notice that your loved one has quit attending regular activities with friends like playing golf or cards or even doing solo activities like knitting or gardening.
  4. Reducing the size of their closet or getting rid of belongings: The elderly tend to get rid of some of the clothing they think they no longer have use for.
  5. Moving closer to their children: This act often results in a greater reliance of their children for errands and activities.
  6. Eating habits: Your loved one may begin to limit what they eat, eating the same meals every day and foregoing new foods or recipes.
  7. Reduce the amount of time spent with friends and social groups: Lunch dates and social gatherings with friends may be reduced or eliminated altogether.

While some aspects of withdrawing and downsizing are normal when it comes to aging, completely cutting oneself off from the outside world and resorting to isolation is not. Make sure your loved is adapting well to change or consult with their doctor if you believe their behavior has become a cause for concern!