Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that stirs emotions. I think of my friend who recently lost his Mom. I think of the women that would give anything for someone to call them Mom. I think of how far away my Mom is and that I will spend this holiday away from her. I think of how blessed I am that God chose me to be the Mom of my daughter. Now I could write another flowery post about celebrating Moms. Believe me when I say they (all Mom’s) very much deserve this honor.
But I’m going to say this with sincerity and heart. Take time to notice ALL the special Moms in your life. Sometimes they are biological and sometimes they are not.
Sometimes Mother’s Day can be hard to manage for people who live in assisted living. Let’s be honest it can be hard for many people, in general, depending on the circumstances. Life is tough. So instead of just being a “Debbie Downer”, here are some practical tips for making sure that all the ladies in an assisted living community are not forgotten this Mother’s Day.
Plan something that celebrates all the ladies in your community. Have a tea or an ice cream social. Honor each lady there. Chances are whether she had a child of her own, she helped “mother” someone through the years.
Be sure if family comes to visit others that your staff is sensitive, but not awkward about those ladies who do not have family present. Many times staff become like second families and can make someone feel extra special by sharing time and smiles. It can go a long way.
Now yes…I know this celebration is for the ladies. But don’t forget to be sensitive to the men as well. Mother’s Day to them may be very different than in years past. Some may be just fine and dandy. But be aware, we sometimes see sadness or other ways of sharing emotion as thoughts of a spouse that is no longer living or even memories of their late Mother resurface on this day. Be kind. Show understanding.
It’s not that we shouldn’t celebrate Mom’s…we absolutely should. It would be terrible not to enjoy holidays for fear of stepping on toes. That’s not the way to live. But in an assisted living or any other settings, we need to be considerate. Show compassion, show kindness, show patience and show love. You know your Mama….or whoever raised you taught you those values. Make her proud.
Happy Mother’s Day
During this month of love, I thought it a perfect time to discuss the most loved things about assisted living. It has been interesting over the years for me to get the perspective not just from the families, but from the residents themselves on what was their favorite. So here is the TOP THREE FAVES of Assisted Living Communities.
- Peace of Mind
There is something to be said for having someone there to look out for you, day or night. It is also very reassuring to know that communities have emergency response systems. Another very beneficial help is transportation assistance. Some of our residents find that driving later in life becomes stressful. Having someone to take them safely to appointments is a huge help and comfort to them and their families.
- Enjoying Eating Again
Not only do you have someone there to cook three home-cooked meals a day, plus snacks….but eating with other members of the community makes the dining process so much more enjoyable.. Seeing new friendships form as residents fellowship around the table is a very gratifying part of my job.
- Handing Over the Housework
I don’t think I have EVER had one single resident that was sad to hand over the cooking, cleaning or the laundry. It is a huge perk of moving into an assisted living! I laughed when my husband came to my community the first week I started.. His exact words were, “they do your laundry, cook your food and clean your room? I don’t get that at home!!”. He’s a real comedian.
With so many things to love, it may be time to look into assisted living for your loved one. These are just three of many reasons that our communities are loved by our residents. Schedule a tour today and check out first hand what may be a perfect fit for you and yours.
My mother always said that before you can love anyone else, you must love yourself and take care of yourself. One of the best ways to love yourself…is to take care of yourself. That can be hard to do if you are always trying to take care of everyone else. February is American Heart Health Month, which makes it a perfect time for us to hard look at our heart health. Seniors are at a particular risk when it comes to heart issues. A staggering 84 percent of seniors over the age of 65 die from heart disease. Here are the warning signs and steps to take towards better heart health according to everdayhealth.com.
The warning signs of heart disease often don’t appear until you’re having a heart attack. Symptoms of an emergency or impending heart attack may include:
- Feeling faint
- Weakness or a sensation of light-headedness
- Having a hard time catching your breath
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Feeling very full or having indigestion
- Pain in the chest or an uncomfortable pressure in the chest
- Unusual pains in the back, shoulders, or neck
- An irregular heartbeat
Steps to Take
You can keep your heart healthy no matter how old you are, but it does take effort — possibly even changes in your everyday habits, such as eating a heart-healthy diet and increasing your activity level. Here’s how to get started:
- Get enough exercise This means at least 30 minutes of exercise almost every day of the week.
- Quit smoking If you do smoke, it’s not worth the risk.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting saturated fats, salt, and foods containing cholesterol, like fatty meats.
- Watch your numbers Get regular check-ups to monitor health conditions that affect the heart, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and make sure they’re under control with medication.
- Reduce your alcohol intake Excess alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that contribute to heart disease, like blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels.
- Minimize stress in your life Stress can compound many heart disease risks that seniors already face, steering you toward an unhealthy lifestyle. Find healthy outlets to relieve stress and lower your heart disease risk.
- Watch your weight Too many pounds can add up to increased heart disease risk. To help prevent heart disease, maintain a healthy body weight for your size.
You can also find more heart health information on the website millionhearts.hhs.gov. They even have a heart age calculator that can be a real eye opener. There is no better time than right now to focus on your heart health. If you have concerns talk to your doctor. Take time to take care of you.
Heart Disease affects more men than women, right? Wrong, heart disease is the # 1 killer of both men and women. In fact, 1 in 3 women die from heart disease I the US every year. That’s roughly one death per minute.
As a woman, it is important to know the risk factors that increase a woman’s chances of having heart disease. Those risk factors are:
- Family History of heart disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High Cholesterol
- High blood sugar levels
Okay, we can’t change our family history, but we can work to reduce our risk in all the other areas. If you smoke, talk to you physician about ways to quit. Have your blood pressure checked. If it’s high, ask your physician for ways to get it down. When you go for your annual physical, pay attention to your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Ask your MD what your Body Mass Index (BMI) is and if it is in a safe range.
While we don’t like to think about heart disease, this is one problem that we can actually do something about. Don’t put it off, check your risk factors today.
Celebrate National Wear Red Day this Friday, February 5th 2016! “National Wear Red Day® — the first Friday each February — is our special day to bring attention to this staggering fact. We encourage everyone to wear red, raise their voices, know their cardiovascular risk and take action to live longer, healthier lives.”
To learn more about Great Oaks Management, click here.
For more information on National Wear Red Day, click here.