Our Los Angeles Dementia care facility has hobbies for every interest.Seniors sometimes have trouble finding ways to occupy their time, but there are many hobbies that they can still enjoy. Below are some suggestions. Art Art, especially painting, is a popular hobby for people of any age. Seniors can take great satisfaction from having created something. Even those with no artistic training or who have trouble holding a brush steady can still have fun expressing themselves with more abstract works. Needlecraft Seniors are often able to enjoy different kinds of needlecraft. Knitting is especially popular with older adults, in part because even people with limited dexterity can still complete projects. Many people who have arthritis in their hands also find that it helps them to improve dexterity. Games Games of all kinds make great activities for seniors and help to keep the mind active. Games also provide a way to socialize and help keep seniors from feeling lonely. Popular games among assisted living residents include chess, checkers, backgammon, and bridge. Other seniors enjoy putting together puzzles, both alone and with others, or doing word games and crossword puzzles. No matter what their interests and abilities, almost all seniors enjoy games of one form or another. Collecting Some people enjoy collecting things as a hobby. Objects related to a favorite animal, stamps, and coins are all popular items to collect. A collection can be a great way for a senior to have something to talk about with visitors, and also keeps them busy by having something to research and think about. Collections can help seniors keep in touch with their past: for example, someone who was a big fan of 1950s sitcoms might collect memorabilia related to their favorite shows. Writing For some seniors writing can be the perfect hobby, allowing them to reflect on and reminisce about their experiences. Sometimes they may need assistance and ask for someone to help them with transcribing their thoughts onto paper, which can also provide an opportunity for socialization. Other seniors may choose to write to friends and family. Sending and receiving mail is an enjoyable and comforting ritual for some people. They can tell friends and family about what they are thinking at that moment, rather than waiting until the next time they talk to them. Photography These days photography requires little in the way of initial costs and expertise, but there is still plenty to learn as one gains more experience. Seniors can always find something they would like to take pictures of, and this hobby can help them document their lives and then share what they’ve noticed with others. Some people have been shutter bugs their entire lives, and photography is a hobby they can continue to enjoy as they get older. Scrapbooking Scrapbooking can be a great hobby because it doesn’t require a large amount of effort or concentration. It’s also an excellent way for seniors to be creative, as well as to reminisce about good times and preserve memories for the future. These are just a few possible ways to keep busy in assisted living. With a little ingenuity and help, seniors can keep on doing the things that they love. This will not only give them ways to occupy their time, but also boost their spirits and even their health!
Our assisted living facility California makes it easy for family visits.Handling the needs of an aging parent is a task that requires teamwork, understanding, communication and cooperation among the senior’s grown children. The stress that comes with the situation can be overwhelming, making it difficult to get things done and work together. Conflict over many different issues—what kind of care is needed, who will do what, etc…—is common. But there are steps siblings can take to make this task easier. First, conduct a group meeting with all siblings and any other affected parties. The meeting will give the opportunity to lay out the issues at hand, brainstorm solutions, and establish individual roles for each person. Come to an agreement on an agenda in advance and remember to take notes. Keep focused on the aging parent’s needs and wants. Try to find the best possible avenue for obtaining these things and assign tasks to each caregiver. Be sure to establish roles among family members early in the process. These aren’t set in stone: it’s possible to redistribute roles later. It’s common for one sibling to become the primary caregiver. This can occur for many reasons, including living in an area close to mom or dad and having available time and resources. Unless siblings agree to this arrangement in advance, this can cause resentment, misunderstanding, and frustration. Not every caregiver is going to have an equal responsibility. Acknowledge individual strengths and weaknesses and assign duties accordingly. Discuss what each person is willing and capable of doing. Family crises can resurface old grudges and create resentments. Siblings can avoid this by setting up discussion rules. If possible, have regularly scheduled meetings with all caregivers, perhaps once a month or once a year, where everyone can discuss issues and concerns. Remember that working as a team is more productive and less hassle than working against each other. The aging parent and their needs are the primary focus, not settling family debates. If arguments continue to block progress, seek out information on elder mediators. Mediators are third-person professionals who can handle sensitive family debates on aging parents in a fair, honest way. It is essential to involve family members who appear to be in denial or unwilling to participate. Their assistance will help keep the amount of work from burdening the other caregivers and keep resentment at bay. The easiest way to get a family member involved is to ask them to do a specific task that is within their means. It is possible that this particular family member does not know how to help and is withdrawing because they aren’t sure what responsibilities they should take on. If there is no progress on persuading the family member to contribute, continue trying by sending e-mails or letters and making phone calls. Share medical records revealing the reality of the aging parent’s health and the list of tasks that need to be completed. If denial continues to be an issue, involve a third party. This could be a doctor, a family friend, or a mediator. Keep trying, if not for the benefit of an extra helping hand, then to involve this sibling in the limited time left with the aging parent. Managing the affairs of a dying parent is not an easy feat. To help things go smoothly and to keep family members on friendly terms, be proactive in maintaining the peace.  
Our Los Angeles assisted living facilities are ready for any emergency.

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No matter where your loved one’s assisted living facility is located, there’s the chance of a natural disaster. Federal and state laws require that assisted living facilities have a comprehensive disaster plan in writing. Yet, you should not take it for granted that every facility will have an effective plan in place. When interviewing facilities, try to gain a clear understanding of their disaster plan and their capability to carry out that plan. First, ask the management if you can review the facility’s disaster plan yourself. If they seem reluctant to grant this request, that by itself is a red flag. You may not be an emergency preparedness expert, but start by using your basic knowledge and common sense to evaluate the plan. Is something obvious missing? Take yourself through a disaster scenario in your mind. Can you spot potential problems? Ideally, when reading through you’ll have the impression that they’ve thought of everything. Asking to see disaster plans at several different facilities will help you start to recognize which plans are better designed. Evaluate the comprehensiveness of the plan. Does it cover all reasonable possibilities? Any true potential threats should be addressed in this plan. For example: here in California we are not overly concerned about hurricanes, but you would definitely want an assisted living facility to have a plan for earthquakes. Some of the questions you should ask the facility manager or director are:  
  • Does the facility cover these plans with the residents and the staff on a frequent schedule? There should be regular reviews and drills that involve both the residents and the staff. What kind of emergency training do staff members have?
  •  Is someone who is well-versed in the plan and capable of leading staff in carrying it out on site at all times?  Is there a plan to increase staff during a disaster? The number of people necessary to support a facility on a day to day basis may be insufficient during an emergency situation.
  • Are there disaster kits on site? If so, what is included in these kits and how will they be distributed and used in the event of a disaster? A facility should have disaster kits on hand that provide each person with canned food and water for one week. The kit should also contain candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, and first aid and sanitation supplies.
  • Even during an emergency, residents need to continue following their care plans. Ask the facility about their ability to continue without interruption during a disaster. Care plans should be easily accessible.
  • How will essential medications be dispensed during and after a disaster? You will want to be sure your loved one can get their medication during disasters.
  • Is there a plan for how to notify family members in an emergency?
  • How often is the plan updated?
The websites for FEMA and The American Red Cross can provide you with more information about specific types of disasters and improve your ability to evaluate a facility’s preparedness.    
Board care for elderly may require selling a home.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Casey Serin.

When they decide to make the move to assisted living, for many seniors selling their home makes a lot of sense. They have likely accumulated a great deal of equity during their ownership, and now no longer need this residence since they’ll be living somewhere else. But selling a house in today’s market is often a challenge. Below are some tips on how to make this process easier, so that you can more quickly move on to a new stage of your life. Keep Tabs on Your Agent’s Work While you will probably hire a real estate agent to sell and show your home, it doesn’t mean this agent will necessarily do a good job. So after they’ve listed your home, go online and see if potential buyers can find it easily, going back to check again on a weekly basis. See what pictures have been posted and if you agree with the description of the home itself. Tell your agent to change it if you don’t. They work for you. Post a Love Letter on YouTube The video sharing site can work to your advantage when selling your home, as you may have lived in it for decades and can talk candidly about why it is such a great place. Have a family member video tape you or do it yourself and show your home from a very intimate perspective. This will be helpful to your real estate agent and to prospective buyers when they are trying to make a decision. Make Necessary Inside Fixes All those little maintenance issues will need to be fixed. New paint, appliance repairs, light switches – tackle the things you have been putting off for years because you can live with them. Your home needs to be in the best shape possible for buyers, much like a car needs to be perfectly clean and waxed before you sell it. These improvements can always be folded into the overall sales price – and may even raise the value of your home beyond their cost. Up the Curb Appeal First impressions go a long way. So just as repainting and doing small bits of maintenance around the house are helpful for the resale value, so is the exterior landscaping. Have a good yard crew come in and mow the lawn, plant a flower garden, and trim the trees so when that eager new family shows up to buy their first home, your place will charm them as much as any they have seen. Know the Right Price Learn what other homes similar to yours are selling for in your area and have a good idea of your property’s worth. Pricing a home too high will just waste time and money and add stress; however, pricing too low will just leave money on the table. Do your research with the help of a real estate agent and make sure you price your home in exactly the right range so that it will sell quickly, but not cheaply.  
Our LA home for the aging ensures residents are healthy.

Photo used under Creative Commons from foodswings.

The best assisted living facilities provide nutritious meals that are designed to help older adults take in plenty of nutrients and calories. At Raya’s Paradise, we pride ourselves on our home-cooked food. However, even with delicious things to eat readily available, many people lose their appetite as they age or deal with chronic diseases. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your parent and look for signs of skipped meals during your visits. The biggest thing to notice is whether your parent has lost weight, but this can be tricky to spot if your mother or father is already relatively thin. Keep an eye on the wrist and forearm area for signs of looser skin. Ask your parent about the fit of their dentures as well – embarrassment often prevents older adults from wanting to discuss their dentures with assisted living staff. Why is this an important detail? If your parent is dealing with sore gums or a loose fit, they may not eat as much as necessary. Issues with proper swallowing can also make it hard to eat enough every day, even with a healthy appetite. Some seniors suffer from strong coughing fits after each bite due to esophageal issues. Every now and then, share a meal with your parent to get a sense of how easy or difficult it is for them to chew and swallow their food. Some illnesses interfere with a patient’s desire to feed themselves. Many seniors struggling with dementia, depression, digestive issues or ongoing infections spend more time pushing their food around the plate than eating it. Each person has different nutritional needs depending on their age, health condition, level of physical activity, and digestion ability. An active senior with diabetes needs a different food plan than one who is bed-ridden resident with severe stomach problems. Ensure that your parent is seeing a dietician and that the facility is providing food that matches their needs. People who have to deal with a lot of pain when swallowing may need high-calorie foods to maximize the energy they get with each bite. If you notice an issue, bring it up with a staff member. The care team, perhaps with input from your parent’s doctor, can come up with a solution. Depending on the particular reason why your parent isn’t eating, there are many simple tricks and strategies the staff can use to make sure they get the nutrition they need. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may need to be seated facing towards the wall rather than looking out over the rest of the room, where noise and activity may distract them. It may also help these patients if staff makes sure they’re seated next to the same companions at each meal, providing a dependable routine. Staff may also serve nutritional shakes to residents who have trouble eating, to make sure they’re taking in enough calories. The assisted living staff will also check on the eating habits of the residents, but you know your parent best. You may be able to notice subtle changes that are difficult for others to spot. These kind of observations, not just about eating but also about the state of your parent’s general well-being, can make the difference between good and excellent care. The more people watching out for them, the better off the resident will be.
Board care for elderly can be done properly.Deciding to enter hospice care is never easy. Everyone involved in the decision may find themselves experiencing regret, sorrow, and confusion about what to expect. While issues of death and dying are always extremely difficult, knowing what to expect can help make the process a little more bearable. Most know hospice as a form of care for those who are suffering from terminal illness. It’s more than just medical care, however, as clergy and social workers may be part of the hospice team in addition to physicians and nurses. Hospice helps patients and their families come to terms with this difficult event. The main goal of hospice is to make the final days of a dying person’s life as painless and comfortable as possible, while helping to bring about a sense of resolution. One of the main qualifications in order to be eligible for hospice is that the individual must be expected to live for no longer than six months. In most cases, if the person requires additional time, their physician can extend their care. Hospice can be discontinued if the person receiving it begins to recover. One of the first steps in going about retaining hospice services is to consult with the loved one’s primary care physician. You can also contact a hospice group or a facility, such as Raya’s Paradise, that provides hospice care. Once a hospice team is assembled, all aspects of the patient’s care will be considered and a comprehensive plan will be developed. This would include the patient’s comfort level, finances, necessary medical care and medication, as well as religious beliefs. When determining whether hospice is appropriate, physicians will usually use the Karnofsky Performance scale. This is a set of criteria to help evaluate the patient’s general health in order to determine life expectancy. Common diseases that usually resolve in hospice include cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Some may consider opting for hospice to be giving up. This couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, it takes a very strong person to be willing to accept help and support when it’s needed. This is not a matter of giving up, but more of doing what’s necessary at that point in time. Furthermore, by choosing hospice, your loved one will receive increased comfort and support, leading to more fulfilling and meaningful final months of life. Discussing hospice is never easy. Nobody wants to be the first person to bring up the topic of death and dying. If you or someone you love is considering hospice, it’s important to realize that not saying anything could in fact delay hospice and cause unnecessary pain. Hospice is all about making the last stage of life as comfortable as possible. There’s no point in prolonging discomfort. Take a moment to begin the conversation now and you may help ease the suffering of a loved one.