About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement – Only the Beginning. He has authored three books: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". Dave was also a contributing writer for the books 65 Things to do when you Retire (“Positive Aging – Old is the New Young”) as well as 65 Things to do when you Retire – TRAVEL (“Travel to Discover your Family Heritage”). He lives in sunny California with his wife, his Boston Terrier "Frank" and a passion for the San Jose Sharks.

Finding Pet Friendly Senior Housing

Written by Lori Thomas

Transitioning to a senior care community can mark a big change in the life of any senior. However, this move can be even more complicated when seniors have pets that they want to bring along with them. The good news is more and more nursing homes and assisted living facilities are becoming pet-friendly to accommodate seniors and their furry friends.

Why Pet Friendly Facilities Are So Important

Moving to senior care marks a major change of the life of any senior, and as seniors and their families start to look for the right community, it may not seem as though pet-friendliness should be a major “must-have” on the list of top features. However, finding a pet-friendly nursing home is actually very important to many seniors and for good reason.

There have been countless studies on the positive impact that pets can have on elderly individuals, especially those who may be suffering from dementia or the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Many times seniors who already have pets do not develop dementia and memory loss as quickly thanks to the constant routine and responsibilities that come with pet ownership.

However, studies aside, above all things, pets provide seniors with love and companionship. They can enrich the lives of seniors, especially those who are home-ridden and no longer able to get out as much as they want to. The presence of a pet can greatly decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation in seniors and prevent the onset of depression.

When seniors have pets already and need to move to an assisted living home, it is important to consider taking their pet with them. The move to assisted living can already be a stressful experience for any senior. While moving to assisted living is typically ultimately a positive experience, many seniors feel overwhelmed by the process of moving from their home to an assisted living community. It can bring about feelings of depression, sadness or even anger. Taking a senior’s pet away during this transition, unless it is ultimately necessary can only perpetuate these feelings.

Tips For Seniors Transitioning to Pet Friendly Facilities

Seniors who do decide to bring their pets to their new assisted living facility, may find they need to take a few extra steps to ensure a smooth transition to life in a senior community with their pet.

  • If seniors don’t currently have a pet, it isn’t recommended that they adopt one before moving to their new community. Many senior care facilities are wary about welcoming new and untrained pets.
  • Think of the needs of the pet. Some smaller, older and lower-energy dogs may do well in senior living communities. However, larger, younger and more energetic dogs that are used to having a yard and plenty of space to roam may not do as well with this new life.
  • Try to keep pets on the exact same schedule in their new home to help make the transition easier. Keep eating times, bathroom times and exercise times all the same.
  • Give pets at least a week or two to transition to their new home before introducing them to new animals or people. This is also a difficult transition for pets, they need time to settle as well.

Simple tips like this can really go a long way in helping both pets and seniors feel more comfortable with their transition to their new life in their new home.

Different Types of Pet-Friendly Facilities

There is no shortage of different pet-friendly senior communities in our world today. Some senior living homes, such as Keystone Villa at Douglassville in Pennsylvania not only allow pets inside the rooms but they also allow pet visitations for seniors who may have trusted their beloved animal to someone else but still want to see them from time to time. The same rules apply in Florence Alabama’s Merrill Gardens. Other nursing homes such as Barrington Terrace of Naples or the Woodlands of Middletown in Ohio allows small pets only, meaning seniors with cats, small dogs, birds or caged animals can bring their furry friends with them.

Not all assisted living facilities are welcoming of pets and each may have their own rules. It is important to check not only on size restrictions and types of pets allowed, but on breed restrictions as well. There are numerous breed restriction rules placed on rental facilities in many states around the country. Boxers, Mastiffs, German Shepherds, Huskies, Pit-Bulls and Pit-Bull mixes are all restricted breeds in some areas, with some renters being banned from owning these dog breed in their apartments. The same laws may apply to senior living communities. When seniors have these types of dogs, they may need to do a great deal of research on a facility first if they plan on bringing their dog along. Dogs that are also service dogs may be exempt from these rules.

The best thing seniors can do before ever visiting a pet-friendly assisted living facility is to call ahead, explain the situation and see what types of accommodations they can make for that specific pet and that specific situation. It is important to remember that even some pet-friendly senior communities may not accommodate all animals due to safety concerns for all of their residents.

Even if seniors decide not to bring their own pets to one of these facilities, they will find that more and more nursing homes and senior assisted living communities are incorporating animals into their facilities. Pet therapy programs and visiting pets have all been proven ways to boost the mood of residents and even help seniors fight depression and decrease their cholesterol levels. Seniors who are interested in animals but may not need a home for a pet of their own, may want to consider facilities such as this as well.

From charming senior living communities like The Heritage at Northern Hills in Sioux City, Iowa to the sprawling Park Terrace Care Center in Corona, New York, more and more senior assisted living facilities are adopting a pet-friendly policies and the list of communities jumping on the trend is only growing. As more research into the positive effects that pets can have on seniors continues to come out more and more assisted living facilities are becoming more pet-friendly as a way to help improve the lives, and the care, of their senior residents.

SeniorAdvice.com is a leading online advocacy site and information source for seniors and their caregivers.

Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Seniors

Written by Nurse Susan

As you age and near retirement, you’re faced with a ton of health and lifestyle changes. Why would you want to change the way you eat, too?

Switching up your diet might not be particularly appealing. However, following an anti-inflammatory diet can seriously improve your quality of life, especially if you suffer from chronic illnesses like arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet, as well as some tips on how to implement it in your own life.

What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

An anti-inflammatory diet is all about incorporating foods that have been proven to reduce inflammation while eliminating those that are known to cause it.

This kind of diet prioritizes eating lots of fruits and vegetables and reducing the amount of sugar and processed foods you consume. It’s easier to implement than a lot of other diets because you don’t have to eliminate entire food groups. Extreme diets that require you to completely cut out carbohydrates or fat aren’t sustainable.

How Does it Work?

Inflammation occurs when your body is trying to purify itself after being exposed to toxins.

Inflammation is the root cause of conditions like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even mental health issues like depression. Most of these conditions affect seniors more than any other age group.

An anti-inflammatory diet may not cure your condition completely. However, it can help minimize your pain and give you more energy. It can also help you lose weight, something many people with chronic conditions struggle with.

Finally, anti-inflammatory diets also allow patients to bypass the negative side effects (memory loss, fatigue, etc.) that often come with traditional medications.

How to Stick to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

If you’re just getting started, these tips will help you implement and stick to an anti-inflammatory diet so you can reap all the benefits it has to offer.

Foods to Avoid

To avoid inflammation, there are some foods that you’ll want to avoid or eliminate altogether, including:

  • Refined grains (white bread, pastries, etc.)
  • Fried food
  • Soda, juice, and other sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Processed meat (hot dogs, sausage, etc.)
  • Margarine, lard, and shortening

Foods to Eat

It’s a bummer to cut out french fries and soda. But, luckily, there’s a lot more you can eat while sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet, including:

Fruits and Vegetables

Shoot for 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to fight inflammation. One serving is equal to one cup of raw fruits or vegetables or one-half cup of cooked.

Aim for variety when you’re shopping for and preparing fruits and vegetables. Some particularly helpful for fighting inflammation include:

  • Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries

High-Fiber Foods

A high-fiber diet also helps reduce inflammation in the body. It does this by feeding the good bacteria in the digestive system. These bacteria, in turn, release inflammation-fighting substances.

If you’re eating the recommended number of fruits and vegetables each day, you’re probably getting close to 25 grams (the ideal daily amount for adults).

You can also get fiber from whole and unrefined grains, brown rice, and chia and flax seeds.

Spices

Not only do spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic make your food taste better, but they also contain antioxidants that help the body fight inflammation.

Ginger, in particular, is so effective that it’s often included in homemade creams meant to help reduce arthritis inflammation and pain.

Healthy Fats

For a long time, fat got a lot of hate in the health and wellness world. Now, though, researchers are starting to realize that certain kinds of fat are very beneficial to the body.

Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids are especially helpful in fighting inflammation. You can find them in flax seeds, walnuts, beans, and cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines.

Avocado and virgin and extra-virgin olive oil are also good sources of healthy fats.

Even if you feel fine now, it’s worth trying an anti-inflammatory diet. You’ll probably find you feel better and you’ll significantly reduce your risk of developing a chronic illness.

Nurse Susan has  always been passionate about helping people heal. After she retired from a lifelong career as a nurse, that passion didn’t go away. She loves to use her expertise to write about the best ways to keep you and your family healthy, active, and happy.

Four Common Health Concerns and How Seniors Can Avoid Them

Written by Nurse Susan

Aging comes with a number of new health challenges, many of which can be frustrating. However, people are now living longer than ever.

This means that, if you take steps early to prevent common conditions, you can still live a long, productive life and enjoy your golden years.

Listed below are four common health issues for which seniors are at risk. Read on to learn how you can prevent them or stop them from getting worse.

  1. Arthritis

Of all the conditions that seniors face, arthritis is typically considered the most common. It affects almost 50 percent of people over the age of 65, and many find that it significantly diminishes their quality of life.

Arthritis can’t always be prevented, as factors like gender and family history play a part in causing it. However, these tips can still help you minimize your risk of developing arthritis:

  • Eat plenty of fish, specifically salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines. They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles and bones and maintain a good range of motion in your joints
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Use proper technique to protect your joints while exercising

If you already suffer from arthritis but want to minimize its effects, you can still apply these tips.

  1. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to weaken and become more likely to fracture.

Approximately 54 million Americans over the age of fifty suffer from osteoporosis or low bone mass, and that number is expected to increase to 64.4. million by 2020.

Osteoporosis can seriously limit your mobility and increases your risk for injuries that can reduce your quality of life. Luckily, these tips can help you prevent it:

  • Consume a balanced diet rich in Vitamin D and calcium
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen the bones and muscles — a mix of weight-bearing exercise (hiking, walking, dancing) and resistance exercise (weight lifting) is best.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption to 2-3 drinks each day
  • Get regular screenings to catch signs early

Osteoporosis is much easier to prevent than it is to treat. However, these tips will help those already suffering from it slow its progression and prevent injuries and fractures.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes affects about 25 percent of people over the age of 65, making it a significant health risk for seniors.

Type 1 diabetes is not preventable and typically occurs in younger individuals. However, there are many steps seniors can take to prevent Type 2 diabetes, including the following:

  • Limit your consumption of simple carbohydrates and sugar
  • Increase your fiber intake (fiber can help lower blood sugar and insulin production)
  • Pay attention to portion sizes
  • Exercise regularly to help manage your weight
  • Drink more water and avoid sugary soda and juice
  • Quit smoking (it can increase your risk of developing diabetes by 44 percent!)
  • Get regular checkups so your doctor can spot signs early

A healthy diet, quitting smoking, and exercise regularly can also help you manage your diabetes better if you already have it.

If you suffer from neuropathy, you can also prevent additional damage and improve circulation to your feet by wearing compression socks or pain management socks for plantar fasciitis.

  1. Falls

Millions of seniors are treated each year for falls. Falls are also the leading cause of fatal injury among seniors.

Your likelihood of sustaining a serious injury from a fall increases when you suffer from many of the conditions mentioned above, particularly arthritis and osteoporosis. Taking steps to prevent these conditions can also help minimize your risk of falling.

Some other steps you can take to avoid falls include:

  • Attaching grab bars in the bathroom
  • Removing tripping hazards like area rugs
  • Beware of medications that can cause dizziness
  • Get your eyes checked regularly
  • Exercise regularly to improve your balance and reflexes

You may also want to wear a medical alert bracelet so that, if you do fall, you can call for help immediately after.

Prevention is almost always easier than treatment. To avoid the conditions mentioned above and the complications that can accompany them, be sure to keep these tips in mind.

Nurse Susan has  always been passionate about helping people heal. After she retired from a lifelong career as a nurse, that passion didn’t go away. She loves to use her expertise to write about the best ways to keep you and your family healthy, active, and happy.