Senior Living Blog

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Senior in Your Life

Having trouble buying holiday gifts for people who’ve already had a full life of being naughty and nice? What can you give them that they haven’t already bought for themselves? We have a few ideas that will please the senior in your life.

The key to holiday gift giving for seniors is to remember what their individual needs and capabilities are at this moment in time, and also being practical yet thoughtful.

Holiday gift ideas for the senior in your life
Photos- frame a great family photo from the present, or find an old one and frame it.

An Outing- Give them a gift card to a favorite restaurant with a promise to take them at a later date after the holiday.

Days Gone By- We all love a little nostalgia and an easy way to take someone back in time is with a good movie. DVD collections are easy to find and easy to play.

Toys– yes a favorite toy or game from the seniors youth. Something along the lines of Lincoln Logs, Pick-Up Sticks, yo-yo or top, Hula Hoop, jigsaw puzzle, or games like Life, Scrabble or Monopoly. Seniors can invite the grandkids over to play.

Reading New Technology- E readers and tablets are getting more popular than every with seniors. They are not as complicated as computers, easy to use and travel easily.

Music New Technology- Seniors are like all of us, they respond to the music of their youth. Load a digital music player with songs from the era of their youth- and then show them how to use it. You will see a big smile on their face.

Go for a Drive- Many seniors don’t drive anymore, but have the desire to get out. Here is a great gift to give with little to no cost. Offer to take them for drives.

Hobby Basket- Sounds simple and it can be. Fill a basket with many of their favorite things- this way you are giving a big gift, with many little items. Some fun themes include:

Playing cards- cards, score pads, and of course snacks
Afternoon tea- tea, new cups and saucers, teapot, and cookies.
Sports- Book by a famous sports star, snacks to watch the game on TV and tickets for an in-town game.

Keeping Warm- Seniors can always use new blankets, slippers and robes to keep warm.

Help with the Bucket List- Help them answer a dream if asked “I’ve always wanted to ….” Ask them what’s on their list and help them make a wish or two come true.

And Time- The most valuable gift of all is the gift of your time.

10 Caregiver Survival Tips

November is a month that celebrates many events like voting, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and even family caregivers. Yes every November family caregivers are reflected upon and we would like to take a moment to acknowledge all the sacrifices and help they provide for those that need assistance.

And while November may be the official month to recognize the a caregiver, every month–and every day–is one in which they make a difference. The emotional and physical demands involved with caregiving can strain even the most resilient person. Therefore it’s very important to take advantage of available help and support whenever possible. The healthier a caregiver is the better able they are to support others.

Here are 10 caregiver survival tips we’d like to share with you

Learn to accept help – It’s ok to ask others for help, it can be as simple as having someone help pick up the groceries.

Be Kind to Yourself – Take at least 20 minutes a day to be kind to yourself, enjoy a cup of tea, read a magazine or just sit back and the moment.

Know Yourself – Choosing to take charge of your life means recognizing your own strengths and limitations.

There is no perfect caregiver – Remember there is no “perfect” caregiver and remind yourself frequently that you’re doing the best you can at any given time. Your house does not have to be perfect, and no one will care if you eat leftovers three days in a row. And you don’t have to feel guilty about asking for help.

Get connected with resources – Research and enlist help from organizations such as local hospitals, the Red Cross and the Alzheimer’s Association who may offer classes on caregiving.

Join a support group – A support group can be a great source for encouragement and advice from others in similar situations. It can also be a good place to make new friends.

Keep a Positive Attitude – Perhaps the most important choice you have to make is how you are going to approach life going forward. Of course keeping a positive attitude is immeasurable! Your decision will set the stage for everything else you do.

Don’t forget your friends – Make an effort to stay physically an emotionally connected with your family and friends. It’s ok to set aside time for socializing. When possible,
make plans to get out of the house.

Make sure you are health – As the caregiver you are often overlooked when it comes to your personal health. Visit your doctor annually and get recommended immunizations and screenings. Make sure to tell your doctor that you’re a caregiver.

Be Proactive – Knowing yourself and understanding the circumstances that surround you is a start, but taking charge of your life shouldn’t end there. Looking ahead and plan to the extent that you can, looking to prevent crises rather than letting them happen.

Having a good attitude, staying connected to the community, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, being proactive, and gathering information are just a few of the ways you can begin to take charge of your life. It’s largely about recognizing that you do have choices and making the ones most likely to support you in your caregiving role. To learn more about caregiving visit

Make the Holidays Better for the Senior in Your Life

Easy Tips to Keep in Mind This Season

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, especially when families and friends get together to share the old times and the new. Yet for seniors, the joy of the gatherings and the season in general can be a mixed bag of eager anticipation and additional stress.

Careful Planning: Before an event begins, put yourself in your senior’s shoes. Do they have difficulty walking? Do they have trouble remembering names? Plan ahead to make easy adjustments, it will make all the difference.

Oh the Memories: Often the holidays are one of the few times of the year when younger family members can hear about days gone by. Entice seniors to share their stories and experiences through picture albums, family videos and music.

How much is too much: Many seniors live in environments that are relatively quiet, with a limited amount of activity in a day. Loud family gatherings can be a bit much, so a quiet place to sit down may be a good refuge.

Don’t Move a Thing: If a holiday get-together is held in the home of a senior with memory loss issues, don’t rearrange the furniture and other key objects. This could be a source of confusion and anxiety.

Keep away from embarrassing moments: If a senior forgets a person’s name, a place or an event don’t make it worse by saying, “Don’t you remember?” Instead guide the conversation forward, as you would for a best friend.

Car Ride: Many seniors don’t drive as much as they did, but they’d love to see the holiday decorations put up by the retail stores and over zealous neighbors.

Make Movement Easy: Is a senior coming for a visit? Remove slippery throw rugs and other items that could present barriers to a senior who has difficulty walking or balance problems.

Say Hello: For seniors it’s so important to let them know you are thinking of them during the holidays. Seniors today are of the generation that loves the simple things: a note in the mail, a phone call, or an invitation for coffee.

Share a Holiday Tradition: Have a senior share something special during the holiday season with you that is drawn from their own holiday memories. Be it a favorite cookie, decorations, arranging a centerpiece or a favorite movie or song.

And for the caregiver:

Make a New Year’s resolution: Make a resolution to spend quality time with the seniors in your life, to bring the grandchildren for more frequent visits, or to look into home or community care — to relieve some of the care giving responsibilities from yourself, and ensure the well-being of your aging family member.

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Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

As the nation celebrates Alzheimer’s Awareness month every November it gives all of us the opportunity to learn more about what is being done to find a cure for the disease. Recently the New York Times reported on an important breakthrough. Two Boston neuroscientists Doo Yeon Kim and Rudolph Tanzi created what many are calling “Alzheimer’s in a Dish”- a petri dish that is.

The pair have developed a method in which they grow human brain cells in a petri dish allowing them to study the telltale structures of Alzheimer’s disease. The result is that they have resolved the issue of how to study Alzheimer’s, which is paramount to aiding scientists in the pursuit to finding a cure or at the very least methods to help treat the disease.

“It is a giant step forward for the field,” said Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, an Alzheimer’s researcher at Duke University. “It could dramatically accelerate testing of new drug candidates.”

This news is thrilling to us all. To read the entire story visit this link at: New York Times: Breakthrough Replicates Human Brain Cells for Use in Alzheimer’s Research