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Grandparents are the latest players on board

Teenagers hold the gaming fort strong, but they are now being forced to share their gaming console with another group, their grandparents. Seniors across America have started jumping on the gaming bandwagon to stay busy and to find a community to engage with.

According to a survey, the USA had 51 million gamers above the age of 50 years. The rise in the grey-haired players is owing to two factors. They are either aiming to spend quality time with their grandkids by engaging in activities the younger generation enjoys. Or they are looking for intellectual challenges.

Video games are fun, they challenge the players, provide adventure, and help them connect with people. Just like youngsters, the elderly have started forming groups with players interested in the same game and have started having dedicating play sessions. Video games are proving to be more engaging, active versions of the good old poker and bridge clubs.

While video games provide intellectual challenge and stimulus is spades, researches have proved that video games are helping seniors cope with cognitive ailments Alzheimer’s and dementia. They provide an excellent workout for the brain by creating meaningful experiences without leaving the comforts and safety of a community.

At Raya’s paradise, seniors, we encourage you to virtually wield your sword, run to your heart’s content, create your own city, and care for your animals, all while sitting on your comfy chair. We understand that leaving your safe zone to travel far and wide isn’t a possibility, but this doesn’t mean you don’t get to see all the great places. This is what virtual reality is designed for. Travel to Paris with your friends, experience the long-pending Gondola Ride with your better half, or engage in a multi-player Super Mario game to see who’s the best player.

Once you experience gaming, you will realize that not only is it super fun, but it is also helping you lead an engaging fulfilling life. Regular gaming sessions with your friends or with your grandkids will increase your social interaction and will give you daily updates of their lives.

To facilitate your gaming, we have the best Wii Consoles. Wii consoles will help you game with your friend who lives across the country as well as be your gaming partner while playing solo.

Get gaming seniors, our consoles are waiting for you!

 

Anyone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s knows that angry, aggressive outbursts are one of the disease’s greatest challenges. Often, caregivers think in terms of managing these episodes once they occur. How can I redirect their attention elsewhere? Is there medication mom or dad can take? These solutions can be helpful, but it’s even more effective to find the cause of the outburst, in order to prevent such incidents before they even occur.

There are five common reasons why someone with Alzheimer’s disease may become upset. The problem could be one specific thing, or a combination of factors.

Their Surroundings: Is there something about the environment that’s making your loved one uncomfortable? Are they too hot? Is there some noise that’s bothering them? Are there too many people around? Frustration with being unable to control what’s happening or even communicate that they have a problem with it may make them upset.

Physical Difficulties: Your loved one’s agitation may be caused by some kind of a physical impairment. Check to see what might be wrong. Is there some kind of irritation or pain that’s bothering them? Are they having digestive problems or are they tired? These kind of problems may cause your loved one to lash out with a tantrum.

Psychological Issues: It’s common for Alzheimer’s patients to develop mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or delusions. If you suspect this might be the case with your loved one, take them to the doctor. Medication can make an enormous difference in these situations.

Interpersonal Problems: Alzheimer’s patients are very sensitive to the tone you set, and thus are likely to react strongly to feeling rushed, forced, or otherwise rudely treated. Be gentle and calming in your approach and try not to talk down to them. Be alert for your own frustration and do your best to keep it in check. Ask them to do things rather than issue commands.

Disappointed Expectations: Because you know what your loved one used to be capable of, it’s easy for you to ask them to take on a task that might be too difficult for them. When they realize that they are not able to carry out the assignment that you gave them, they’re likely to have an outburst. Be careful to keep in mind what they’re capable of, and remember that rather than learning and growing, as we normally expect from people, they are instead in decline. What was possible a few months ago may no longer be.

If you’re finding that your loved one is frequently aggressive or agitated, consider these root causes when trying to address the problem. If you can prevent such incidents from happening in the first place, you’ll both be better off.

Mom keeps misplacing her keys and dad needs to ask you the same question three or four times before the answer seems to sink in. Is this the beginning of dementia or just a normal part of the changes that come with aging? Here are 5 signs to watch for to get a sense of whether you should be concerned.

1. Forgetfulness. We can all be forgetful from time to time, but it doesn’t mean we’re developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s normal for mom or dad to forget someone’s name if they don’t see them that often or to misplace the TV remote. The key to knowing whether or not it’s dementia is the severity. Knowing how your loved one usually acts, does the forgetfulness seem unusual? For example, few of us would forget about a conversation that happened just 15 minutes ago. Another thing to keep in mind is that those in the early stages of dementia have trouble with short-term memory. If mom can’t seem to keep new information in her head, that may be a sign.

2. Lack of focus. Does dad forget where he is or is he taking longer to do familiar tasks? That may be a sign of dementia, as is having trouble with time and place in general. Look out for confusion between the past and the present, not understanding how time is passing and being unable to explain how they got somewhere.

3. Misplacing things. Just as with being forgetful, we all sometimes put something down and then lose it. However, a person with dementia will be unable to think back through their day to where they may have lost the object. They may also put things in unusual places: for example, mom’s glasses will turn up in the microwave. Those with dementia are often convinced that they remember where they put something, and may accuse someone of moving or even stealing it.

4. Trouble with everyday tasks. Dementia can result in a person forgetting how to do familiar things. Can mom no longer make her famous lemon meringue pie? Is dad forgetting the rules to bridge? Keep an eye out for your loved one asking someone else to do favorite tasks for him or her.

5. Trouble with words. Dementia patients often cannot think of the correct word to use, even for basic objects like a pair of glasses or a watch. They may use a placeholder instead such as “thingy” or something even stranger such as calling the refrigerator the “cold closet.”

The only person who can really give you a definitive answer about whether your loved one has dementia is their doctor. Dementia patients suffer a range of symptoms, and only a trained professional can make sense of what your loved one is experiencing. So if you
suspect that dementia is the culprit behind new behaviors, talk to your parent about making an appointment together.

Three important legal documents that every adult should have are a will, a living trust, and a living will.  Each document defines your decisions for the different areas of your estate and will save your loved ones time, money and stress when you are gone.  These documents are easy to draw up, or you could have a lawyer prepare the documents for a nominal fee.

A WILL dictates how your estate and property is to be distributed after your death and can also designate guardians for children and self should you become incapable or pass away. A regular will must pass through probate court in most states before your estate can be passed on to your heirs. Most state laws do not require that you use a lawyer to prepare your will; you can use a will kit at home.  Probate court can take some time if there are any disputes, so make sure your wishes are clear when writing your will.

A LIVING WILL defines your wish to be kept or not kept alive by artificial life support in the event of terminal illness or injury. A living will also give you the ability to set limits on your hospital, medical and funeral costs that can easily drain your estate and leave your loved ones with the bills. If you express your wishes beforehand, it will make the process much less stressful for those involved in your care and the execution of your final wishes.

A LIVING TRUST is quite similar to a regular will, but they are different at the core.  Unlike a regular will that cannot be changed after it is written, a living trust can be amended at any time.  A living trust takes effect while you are alive, whereas a will takes effect after you pass. You can put property into your living trust at any time before your death and afterward your estate goes directly to your heirs without passing through probate court. If you ever change your mind about the definitions of your will, you can change or revoke how your estate will be divided at any time by using a living trust. A living trust will also save money and time later on because your loved ones won’t have to go through probate first.

All of our residents here at Raya’s Paradise are looking forward to the Festive season. Of course, along with the season’s good cheer, comes the cold weather. 

This is a time for everyone at Raya’s Paradise to take just a little extra care to help avoid an illness or injury. The chances of catching a common cold, flu or even pneumonia are greatly heightened in the cold weather. 

At Raya’s Paradise, we are trying to get ahead of the problem and making sure all of our residents are aware of the risks at this time of the year. Here are 4 tips we give to everyone here at Raya’s: 

#1. Have the Flu Shot 

The best way to stay protected against the flu is by having a flu shot. The flu season starts in October and the CDC recommend that people get inoculated by the end of that month. The flu shot is the best way to stay free of this virus; one that has been responsible for a number of deaths over the past few years. Getting the flu shot will also protect family, friends and loved ones that come into contact with you during the festive period. 

#2. Eat Well 

Maintaining a healthy diet and eating well are important to keep your immune system strong. Vitamin D is particularly important at this time of year as you will have less exposure to the sun. The National Institute of Health recommend the following foods as a good source of Vitamin D: 

  • Salmon 
  • Tuna 
  • Swordfish 
  • Fortified milk 
  • Yogurt 
  • Orange juice 
  • Breakfast cereals 

#3. Dress Appropriately 

Dress in clothes that are designed for winter and that will keep you warm when outdoors. This includes your footwear. Dressing loosely, in layers will give you great insulation and let you remove a layer if you get too warm or go inside. Remember the small but essential things: hat, gloves, scarf, warm socks etc. Also, with your footwear, make sure you have good grip for rainy conditions and try to wear something waterproof too. 

#4. Preparing Your Home 

We take precautions to prepare the accommodation for winter: weather stripping windows and doors; checking heating and ventilation systems are fully operational; stocking up on supplies just in case deliveries are delayed in the poor weather. We also check all of the outdoor lighting is working to reduce the risk of trips and falls at night. 

We love our residents and are thrilled to be in the business of caring for them. This is one of our favorite times of the year where we host a holiday party at each community. We hope you enjoy these pics of the fun had by all.

There comes a point when you are caring for a loved one, when you have to ask yourself what is the best decision for me as well as for the person I am caring for. Whether you decide to continue to care for your loved one or start to explore other options such as a professional care home, take the time to insure your own personal health and well being. There is a reason that during the safety briefing on a plane they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first, then help your love ones. If you don’t take care of yourself you have no way to care for someone else. “There is a cost to caring,” states Charles Figley, an expert in trauma and researcher in the field of burnout; he comments that compassion fatigue is something that can occur when caring for someone long term. Take a moment to examine how you feel and see if you may be experiencing any level of burnout or even compassion fatigue and then take the time to explore ways to best care for yourself as well as those you love.

Before we go much further, let’s briefly explore the difference between burnout vs. compassion fatigue.  Figley describes burnout as the end result of a gradual process of wearing down.  It is the long-term consequences of unaddressed compassion fatigue, resulting in emotional exhaustion and a diminished sense of personal accomplishment and achievement.  Recovering from burnout is often a more lengthy process.

Compassion fatigue is often a result of the daily care we do, and is a more immediate specific response.   It is often characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion; symptoms resembling depression; and usually a shift in a person’s sense of hope and optimism about the future value of the care they are offering.  This may not be a constant feeling, but it something that comes and goes.  The recovery from compassion fatigue is often less lengthy then burnout.

Are you isolating yourself, bottling up your emotions, having nightmares or even physical ailments? Do you suffer from compulsive behaviors such as over eating or over spending or have difficulty concentrating. Do you feel stressed out or depressed? These are symptoms of compassion fatigue. There is no cure for compassion fatigue but by practicing good self care techniques daily can help you to be physically and emotionally healthy and decrease these symptoms.

A self-care plan begins with you.  It begins with being kind to yourself, becoming aware of how things are effecting you (both physically and emotionally), setting boundaries, expressing your needs, taking actions to aide yourself, surrounding yourself with individuals that listen and support you and being able to listen and support others around you.  Although when you care for someone it seems like you have no time, you need to take the time to have healthy eating and exercise habits. Get plenty of rest and hydrate yourself. Develop good time and self management skills even if it means saying no.  Have a support system, take breaks and try to enjoy a balance in your life. Do not give up all of your friends and hobbies.  Pick your battles and even though it is hard, consider professional care givers, if not on a regular basis then consider short term help.  You can sometimes schedule breaks, where you use a professional care giver in the home or facility for a few weeks a year, allowing yourself to have time to decompress and feel better before you can no longer care for your loved one.

The biggest travel day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving, is almost here. For families with an aging loved one, that brings up the question of how to get that person to the feast. Whether travel means just a few hours by car or a plane ride, here are some tips for making sure your voyage goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Talk to your loved one’s doctor. Make sure that it’s OK for them to travel before you take off, and that the place where you’re headed is somewhere they can handle. Your doctor will let you know if there’s any special preparations you need to make in advance, and can also give you advice on medication to take if problems with anxiety or other issues arise. Make sure that you fill your loved one’s prescriptions before you go.

2. Do some advance planning. Think through your trip with your loved one’s limitations in mind. Are you renting a car? Then make sure you’ve requested a minivan or other vehicle that will be easy for them to get into and out of. Make sure you can fit their wheelchair and any other bulky equipment. If you’re flying, put in a request for seats meant for the disabled and notify the airline of any dietary restrictions. Also request a wheelchair so that you have some help navigating the airport. Contact both your hotel and airline to make sure they are able to handle any medical equipment that your loved one needs. Request a hotel room at ground level.

3. Be realistic. You may need to scale down on your usual travel routine. Keep things simple. For example, consider renting a cabin in the woods that’s just a two-hour drive away, rather than going to Europe or planning anything that will require a lot of walking (such as visiting an amusement park). Do your research in advance to make sure the location is properly equipped to have your loved one as a guest. Put plenty of padding in your schedule and don’t overload on the activities: it will likely take much more time to do things than normal.

4. Make sure you have necessary supplies. Special stockings can help if your loved one will be sitting for long periods, so that their extremities don’t go numb or a blood clot forms. Make sure you have protective gear for the sun, and especially that you have enough water since seniors are more susceptible to dehydration. Make sure medical information is with you at all times in case there’s an emergency.

It’s well known that having friends boosts your wellbeing.  In fact, today’s research has even shown that having numerous friends reduces the risk of medical conditions like heart disease. “Stereotypes of aging tend to paint older adults in many cultures as sad and lonely,” says lead author Dr. Wändi Bruine de Bruin in a release by the Americans Psychological Association. Recent studies have also demonstrated the continued importance of friendship and positive relationship networks for assisted living residents without cognitive impairment and for residents with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia.

Engagement Coordinator for Raya’s Paradise, Elsa Argueta added, “my goal is to encourage and create opportunities for our residents to make new personal connections. Through programs designed based on our residents’ hobbies and interests, I have found that seniors begin to gravitate to those with shared interests. This way they are able to keep up the social interactions that keep them mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy.

At Raya’s Paradise, we are aware that making friends in a new place can be a challenge. Elsa added, “because of this, we create events for new residents that allow for connections. These connections result in a feeling of community and family.” As a best practice, Elsa recommended that though a new residents may be somewhat anxious, tired, or overwhelmed by a move, “it is a great start to attend outing and activities as they act as a good way to strike up conversations, ask questions, and find out what upcoming programs and special events there are to look forward to.”