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.

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. 

With everything going on in December, taxes are the last thing we want to think about. But this is a crucial time if you’re looking to save some money when you send in returns in a few months. You probably already know to make sure you’ve used up your flexible spending account or to contribute to your IRA, but here are a few other things you can do during the year-end crunch.

  • Decide whether or not you (or your parents) will itemize deductions. Run the numbers to decide whether you’re better off taking the standard deduction (which is $5,950 for single filers or $11,900 for those who are married filing jointly). If you are going to itemize, look for opportunities to increase the amount of deductions before the year is over, since all deductions will lower your tax bill. For example, if you make a larger-than-usual donation to charity you’ll reap extra benefits. This may motivate you to do a little holiday cleaning, and take unused clothing or furniture to The Salvation Army or Goodwill. These organizations will provide you with a receipt, and you’ll be able to claim the item’s fair value as a deduction.
  • Make large gifts now. If you or your parents want to give someone a large cash gift, write the check and make sure it’s cashed before January 1. You can give as much as $13,000 to an individual without being required to pay gift tax.
  • Make an extra house payment. Here’s a trick for maximizing your deductions if you’ll be itemizing next year. Make your January mortgage payment early. As long as you mail it by December 31, the payment will qualify for this tax year.
  • Review medical expenses. How much have you and your parents paid for medical care out-of-pocket? If your medical expenses are greater than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, you can deduct them on your tax return. If you are close, you may be able to find ways to get care or purchase supplies that will put you over the edge.
  • Consider claiming your parent as a dependent. If you pay more than 50% of your parent’s expenses, and their gross income is less than  $3,800 (not counting disability payments, tax-exempt income, or Social Security), you can claim them as a dependent. Again, if you’re just shy of qualifying, see if you can make up the gaps in the last few weeks of the year.

As always, be sure to check with your accountant before taking any of these steps.

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.

Did you know that 1 in 4 older adults are not reporting falls?

Every year, there are more than 27,000 people, ages 65 years and up who die from falls. The numbers are astounding; so, our team here at Raya’s Paradise decided to interview several members of our 24-hour, on-site Wellness staff to learn best practices they use to help keep your loved ones safe.

What we learned was that most falls are typically attributed to normal changes of aging, like poor eyesight or poor hearing. There are Illnesses and physical conditions that can affect your strength and balance as you age. However, it is the little things in the house, like rolled-up rugs, and cords, and lamps and not enough lights, clutter that can really add to a fall,”  they explained. To combat hazards, Raya’s Paradise housekeeping and caregiving team facilitate routine room checks to ensure our residents are in a clean and safe home.

Moreover, the introduction of new medications often results in changes in balance. Medications used to treat depression, sleep and blood pressure are often the drivers for related falls. In fact, many medication for diabetes and heart conditions can also result in a change of gait and balance leading to falls. Upon moving into one of our communities, our Wellness team at Raya’s Paradise takes time to examine your medications. “We know that you are more likely to fall if you are taking four or more medicines and that you are also more likely to fall if you have altered your medications within the past two weeks. Therefore, we often partner with our house-call physician and pharmacy to determine if all medications are really needed and if there are any high-risk drug interactions.”

We encourage you to stop by Raya’s Paradise and speak to a member of our Wellness team to learn more about the risks of falls and ways to stay safe!

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Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, an annual report released by the Alzheimer’s Association®, reveals the burden of Alzheimer’s and dementia on individuals, caregivers, government and the nation’s health care system.

Share the facts and join the fight.

Our Caregivers & Residents enjoyed a spectacular Thanksgiving celebration this year with Turkey and all the fixins.

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.