How to Talk with Kids about Alzheimer’s Disease

July 15, 2019

Talk with Kids about Alzheimer's Disease

It can be tough to talk with kids about Alzheimer’s disease. If an elder in your family has been diagnosed with the disease, these five tips can help you discuss it with kids.

If a family elder has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you are probably grappling with a variety of unique challenges. The disease can present different struggles at every stage. One challenge that families often encounter early on is how to discuss the disease with young children and teens.

Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that can be difficult to explain and understand, especially for younger family members. We created this tip sheet to share a few age-appropriate ideas and resources to make it easier to have this discussion with kids.

5 Tips to Help You Talk with Kids about Alzheimer’s Disease

Kids may have an especially difficult time understanding Alzheimer’s because of the unpredictability of the disease. For example, a grandparent may remember the grandchild’s name and who they are on one visit, but not the next.

These tips can help you explain Alzheimer’s disease to the kids in your family:

  1. Explain the medical condition: Begin by explaining that the family elder has developed an illness that makes it tough for them to remember things. Emphasize that the senior will have good days and bad days. On bad days, they may act a little different than usual and not be able to remember the children or teens’ names.
  2. No one is at fault: Be sure you take time to reassure children that they haven’t done anything wrong, especially on days when the senior is struggling most. Explain that the changes are all part of the illness.
  3. Not contagious: As the senior’s disease progresses and the children witness changes, it’s important for them to know that the disease isn’t contagious. They can’t catch it like they would a cold or the flu. Also, reassure them that you won’t catch it from caring for the senior either. That may help keep them from worrying that one of you will develop Alzheimer’s, too.
  4. Create an activities list: Before you sit down to talk with the children in your family about Alzheimer’s disease, take a few minutes to create a list of activities the kids and their family elder can still enjoy together. From crafts to art projects and music, people with Alzheimer’s can stay engaged with life.
  5. Learn from other kids: The Alzheimer’s Association developed several video series you can share with the children in your family to help them better understand the disease. Kids Look at Alzheimer’s and Teens Look at Alzheimer’s are especially meaningful because both are produced by kids for kids.

Legacy Senior Living

Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia can be difficult for families to safely manage at home. Wandering, agitation, and aggression are tough behaviors to cope with for those unfamiliar with disease management.

Families often discover that memory care programs are not only the safest solution for a senior, but one that allows a loved one to live their best quality of life. We invite you to call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more about memory care options and to schedule a private tour today!

The Unique Challenges of Caregiving for a Grandparent

July 8, 2019

Caregiving for a Grandparent

When the topic of family caregiving comes up, most of us picture a spouse or adult child as the caregiver, not a grandchild. As our population continues to age, however, an increasing number of grandchildren are taking on this role. In fact, estimates are one-in-twelve grandchildren in the US have assumed the role of caregiver.

In 2015, the National Alliance and AARP conducted research on the topic of caregiving for grandparents. They found that 5.3 million adult grandchildren were caregiving for a grandparent. This represents 10% of the family caregiver population. While most are happy to help provide care for a grandparent, they often encounter different types of challenges than other caregivers.

If you or someone you know is a caregiver for a grandparent, these tips might be useful.

4 Meaningful Tips for Providing Care to a Grandparent

  1. Don’t give up your own life: While caregiving for a grandparent who cared for you is important and rewarding work, don’t put your own life on hold. Stay in touch with friends, and make a point of sticking with college or career plans. Ask for and accept help when you need it.
  2. Develop good stress-management skills: Caregiving is stressful and physically exhausting at any age, but especially for younger adults. Adding to that is the emotional stress that comes from watching a grandparent’s health decline. Grandchildren may also struggle to manage college life or early career demands with caregiving duties. Young adults might not have the life experience to develop healthy coping skills. Exploring stress-reducing activities, like meditating, journaling, swimming, or yoga, might be beneficial. It’s also important to learn to recognize and avoid unhealthy coping methods including overeating, smoking, or consuming too much alcohol.
  3. Learn about respite care: No one can do it alone when it comes to caregiving. If no one else in the family can help with caregiving duties, consider utilizing respite care. This short-term care option gives an older adult a safe place to stay at an assisted living community for a few days or weeks.
  4. Connect with a support group: While non-caregiving friends may be able to sympathize, it’s hard for them to understand a caregiver’s life. The peer to peer support of fellow caregivers is best. Some grandchildren might prefer an in-person support group, and others may want to connect with an online support group. Your local agency on aging might help you find one to attend in your local area. If you’d prefer an online support group, The Family Caregiver Alliance and ALZ Connected are two resources to consider.

Respite Care at Legacy Senior Living

If you are a caregiver for a grandparent and you are feeling weary and overwhelmed, respite care might be the solution. Your senior loved one can stay at a Legacy Senior Living community while you restore your sense of well-being. Call the community nearest you to learn more today!

Saluting our Nation’s Service Members on Independence Day

July 1, 2019

If you are looking for ways to thank veterans and those who serve, these tips will give you some ideas.

Among the patriotic holidays our nation celebrates each year is Independence Day. This federal holiday celebrates the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress declared the thirteen American colonies to be free and independent of the British monarch.

While everyone has their own way of celebrating, remember to also salute and thank veterans and active duty service men and women who are integral in our freedom. If you aren’t sure where to start, we have a few ideas you might find helpful.

Thanking Veterans on Independence Day

  1. Volunteer at a veterans’ organization: One way to show appreciation for our nation’s service men and women is to volunteer for an organization that assists veterans. You will likely find a variety of organizations in your community, ranging from Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) halls to veterans’ health care clinics, to donate your time and talents.
  2. Share the stories: Veterans are often reluctant to share their stories of personal courage and sacrifice. It can result in younger generations not being aware of a grandparent’s or other elder’s service history. If your family is celebrating Independence Day together this year, make a point of sharing photos from your loved one’s service days. Encourage them to talk about where and when they served or ask permission to discuss the stories for them.
  3. Explore the Veterans’ History Project: The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress developed a way to gather the stories of our nation’s veterans and preserve them. It is called the Veterans’ History Project. You can participate and capture the story of a veteran in your life by interviewing the veteran or by sharing their correspondence or photos.
  4. Organize a local recognition event: Another way to honor our veterans and those who serve is to organize an event in your local community. For example, collect photos of veterans and active duty service people from your area. Post their photos in a display at the local library or senior center. At Legacy Senior Living communities, you’ll find a “Wall of Honor” filled with the photos and names of residents who served.
  5. Send thank you notes: Several military service organizations arrange letter-writing campaigns to let those who are serving in overseas know they are not forgotten. At your Independence Day celebration, set up a table with notecards and supplies and ask guests to write a few thank you notes. Operation We Are Here and Operation Gratitude are two examples of organizations to partner with.

It is always important to actively remember the reason we are able to celebrate with family and friends every July 4th.

Senior Care Benefits for Veterans

If a veteran you know is struggling with the costs of senior care, they may not be aware of a benefit designed for them. The Aid & Attendance Benefit is coordinated through the US Department of Veterans Affairs. You can review What Families of Veterans Should Know About the Aid & Attendance Benefit to learn more or call Legacy Senior Living for assistance at (423) 478-8071.

How Music Is Therapeutic for People with Dementia

June 24, 2019

How Music Is Therapeutic for People with Dementia

Learn how you can use music as therapy to improve the quality of life for a loved one with dementia

If you have ever listened to a song that sparked a happy memory from the past, you have witnessed firsthand the powerful impact that music can have on the brain. Researchers exploring the idea of music as therapy have found it to be a powerful tool. This is particularly true for those who are struggling with a health condition like Alzheimer’s disease.

Music, Memory, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, causes damage to the parts of the brain that are responsible for episodic memory. These are the memories related to specific life events.

Music, however, is learned and remembered differently. Instead of relying on episodic memory, music relies on an association of routines and repetitive activities. The brain stores them using procedural memory, which requires little mental processing.

Memories that are connected to music remain relatively untouched, even in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why music can act as a conduit to happy memories among people with various types of dementia.

3 Tips for Using Music As Therapy

Dr. Jonathon Graff-Radford of the Mayo Clinic says caregivers should consider using these three tips when using music therapy with a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar type of dementia:

  1. Choose music familiar to your loved one

It might take a little trial and error to determine which musical artists and songs connect with your loved one. Be patient and keep trying.

  • Find music that was popular during your loved one’s youth or young adulthood. It can help evoke memories of happier times in their life.
  • Ask family and friends for suggestions, especially those who grew up with the senior.
  • Pay close attention to the way your loved one reacts to the music. Reminiscing can sometimes be painful, too. If a song appears to be causing your loved one distress, change the music and make note of it so you don’t play it again.
  1. Match desired outcome with the choice of music

Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your choice of music. For example, are you trying to calm a loved one’s agitation? That’s a fairly common struggle for adults with dementia, and one music can often help overcome.

  • Soothing music can promote a sense of calm during mealtimes, personal care times, and right before bedtime.
  • When you are trying to encourage a senior with Alzheimer’s to exercise or do something physical, turn on upbeat music. Just be observant to make sure it isn’t causing agitation.
  • If your loved one is feeling down, a sing-along might lift their spirits. Music from their high school or college days might be especially helpful.
  1. Avoid overstimulation

Make sure the music isn’t competing with other activities or noises in the house. For an adult with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it can be difficult to process a hectic environment.

  • Turn off the television and close exterior doors and windows if it is noisy outside.
  • Monitor the volume of the music and take any hearing loss into consideration.
  • Select a music channel that is commercial-free or create your own play list.

These tips can help you use music’s healing harmonies to improve the quality of life for a loved one with dementia.

Creating Purposeful Days for Adults with Dementia

At Legacy Senior Living communities, we are dedicated to helping adults with dementia live with purpose. We invite you to join us for a personal tour to learn more. Call the community nearest you to schedule a time.

4 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

June 17, 2019

Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

Taking time to prepare for a transition to an assisted living community is vital. These 4 tips will help.

When an older adult is contemplating a move to an assisted living community, they often feel overwhelmed. As do their family members. With so many choices to explore and decisions to make, it’s easy to understand why seniors and their families feel so stressed.

One source of stress often comes from figuring out how to make the process of moving go well. While relocating is tough at any age, for an adult who is giving up their family home, the transition can be emotionally charged.

Here are a few suggestions to make the transition to an assisted living community go a little easier.

4 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

Tip #1: Get involved prior to moving.

One step you can take to ensure a smoother transition is to encourage your senior loved one to get involved with the community’s social life before moving day. It’s a great way to meet new neighbors and connect with people who share similar interests.

Another way to get comfortable before moving day is to stop by for a meal or two. Most assisted living communities are happy to have potential residents and their family members enjoy lunch or dinner in the dining room prior to the big day.

Tip #2: Set realistic timelines for moving.

Families often underestimate how much time it takes to downsize and sell a home, even one that isn’t very large. If the senior has lived there for a long time, as many do, it can be physically and emotionally exhausting to clean out their home. Unless this move is the result of an emergency, give yourself time to plan and pack.

Remember, in addition to packing the items that will be going to the assisted living community, you’ll probably need to host an estate sale or garage sale, and arrange to donate unneeded items to charity.

Tip #3: Make the new apartment look familiar.

While it can be tempting to sell or donate the senior’s current belongings and purchase new, it isn’t usually the best way to handle this move. Remember, the senior is relocating to a new environment where they will be surrounded by unfamiliar faces. That can be overwhelming.

Instead, create an environment in their new apartment that looks and feels like “home.” It will likely help your older loved one feel more comfortable and settle in faster.

As you develop a plan for decorating their assisted living apartment, try to include at least a few pieces of their favorite furniture and household belongings. The recliner or love seat they sit on to watch television, bedding from their bedroom, family photos, and familiar wall décor can help the senior feel more at home from the first day they move in.

Tip #4: Understand there will be ups and downs.

As with any major life change, there will be highs and lows during the days leading up to the move and shortly after. This is true not only for the senior, but for family members as well. Your role will likely revert back from hands-on caregiver to spouse or adult child.

For many people, that change can be an adjustment. Give yourself permission to feel down while also making a commitment to accept and embrace the new opportunities this move presents.

If you have questions about assisted living or need more advice for making a smooth transition, we’ll be happy to help. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you for advice!

Helpful Hints for Managing Caregiver Stress

June 10, 2019

Helpful Hints for Managing Caregiver Stress

Managing caregiver stress is vital to staying healthy and avoiding a crisis of your own. These tips will help you do just that.

As our population continues to gray, more spouses and adult children find themselves stepping into the role of caregiver. Sometimes it is short term while the senior recovers from a hospital stay. Many times, however, it is because the older adult has a medical condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

Juggling caregiver responsibilities with career and family can be difficult. It is important that caregivers learn to recognize the early signs of caregiver overload and know what to do about it. Unfortunately, busy caregivers who fail to do so may end up experiencing a health crisis of their own.

8 Common Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress

Here are some of the most common signs that a caregiver is under too much stress:

  1. Cries or becomes tearful easily
  2. Frequently gets angry or overreacts
  3. Unintended weight gain or weight loss
  4. Develops unhealthy coping behaviors (smoking, drinking)
  5. Sleeps too much or too little
  6. Withdraws from friends and family
  7. Loses interest in favorite hobbies and pastimes
  8. Suffers from headaches, stomach problems, or frequent colds

Taking steps to manage stress before it causes a serious health crisis is important. Here are a few tips for doing just that.

Healthy Ways to Manage Caregiver Stress

When it feels like caregiver stress is beginning to take over your life, a few of these tips may help you get back on track:

  • Respite care: Explore respite care options in your local community. Home care agencies and assisted living communities typically offer short-term support when a caregiver needs a break. An adult day program may also help.
  • Friendly visitors: Some nonprofit organizations, churches, and synagogues have friendly visitor programs that can be lifesaving for caregivers. Volunteers pay visits to homebound seniors to spend time with them. They may just talk and share or they come to read or do crafts. Your local agency on aging can help you locate a friendly visitor program near you.
  • Eat well: When you are pressed for time, it’s easier to grab fast food or rely on convenience foods. Most aren’t very healthy. When your diet is poor, your immune system can become compromised. For a caregiver, a cold or bout with the flu can be especially problematic. If you can’t find time to cook and freeze meals once a week, consider meal delivery services. Silver Cuisine and Sun Basket deliver healthy, pre-cooked meals directly to your door.
  • Exercise: Daily physical activity does more than keep you fit. It also helps manage stress. If your schedule won’t allow for 30 minutes of exercise, you can break these minutes down and still get the same benefit. For example, a 15-minute walk in the morning and a 15-minute bike ride in the afternoon will net the same rewards as 30 continuous minutes of either activity.
  • Journaling: Getting your feelings down on paper frees your mind from carrying a difficult emotional load. It often helps you find solutions to caregiving issues. Journaling to Help Manage Caregiver Stress can give you some ideas for how to get started.

Our final tip is to try to accept that, despite your best efforts, there are times when a senior loved one is better off living in an assisted living community. From a thoughtfully designed environment to a wide variety of life enrichment programs, assisted living helps seniors live their best quality of life.

Call Legacy Senior Living at (423) 478-8071 to learn more!

4 Decisions That Impact Your Ability to Live Your Best Retirement

June 6, 2019

Here are 4 factors to consider before retiring.

Planning for retirement is a complex process. Here are 4 factors to consider before retiring.

As retirement age draws near, many older adults are faced with a variety of decisions. While some are minor, others can impact a retiree’s quality of life. When you are working through your plans for retirement, here are 4 factors to consider.

4 Factors to Consider Before Retiring

  1. At what age you want to retire.

Some people dream of retiring early and sailing off on grand adventures. Unfortunately, it isn’t often a practical choice. While you may be eligible to collect some of your social security at age 62, most people can’t draw their full amount until age 66 or 67.

If you have been able to save enough money, this difference may not make a big impact. It’s important to know, however, that if you opt for early social security benefits, the amount you receive each month will be permanently reduced.

For many older adults, it is health insurance that greatly impacts when they retire. Most seniors are eligible for Medicare benefits beginning at age 65. If you retire before then, you may be able to use COBRA to extend your health care benefits or access an individual plan through the health care marketplace. Both options, however, can take a significant bite out of a retiree’s budget.

  1. Where you want to live after retiring.

From climate to health care, it’s important to think long and hard about where you will live after you retire. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Climate: Older adults often find southern climates to be a good choice for avoiding winter’s ice and snow. This is especially true for adults with chronic health conditions like osteoarthritis and asthma.
  • Health care: It is important to take into consideration how close you will be to hospitals, physician offices, and other care providers.
  • Public transportation: Many seniors lose confidence in their driving skills as they grow older. Be sure to explore transportation options before making a decision.
  • Cost of living: Some cities and states are much more affordable than others. When trying to make a retirement budget stretch, choosing a location with a low cost of living can make a big difference.
  1. The type of housing you choose.

Along with where you live, it’s important to think very carefully about the type of residence or senior community you choose to live in. Retirement communities typically have multiple levels of care. Most offer what is referred to as a continuum of care. That means you might move into an independent living apartment and later add personal-care services or move to an assisted living suite.

By contrast, if you choose to live in a private home, you will need to consider the expenses you have now and those you will incur in the future. Beyond the mortgage and utilities, you’ll need to budget for assistance with maintenance, home repairs, and basic housekeeping when those jobs become overwhelming.

Seniors who choose to age in place often need to modify their homes with ramps and barrier-free showers. Many will also need the support of an in-home care provider.

  1. What your priorities are in retirement.

Finally, think about what is most important to you. Are you looking to retire and move closer to your children and grandchildren? Or are you looking for freedom to travel more and be less tied down?

Living with purpose is an important part of aging well. Some find that purpose is found in family relationships, while others say volunteer work and continuing education is key. Be honest about what your hopes and dreams for retirement are, and use that as your guidepost in making decisions.

Retire at a Legacy Senior Living Community

With senior living communities located throughout the southeast, you are sure to find a Legacy Senior Living community that meets your retirement criteria. Call 423-478-8071 to learn more today!

Tips for Choosing a Senior-Friendly Realtor

May 27, 2019

If you or a senior loved one are searching for a realtor, these tips can help you find and interview potential candidates.

Moving can be physically and emotionally exhausting. In fact, mental health experts rate moving as one of life’s most taxing events. It’s right up there with losing your job or getting a divorce.

Added to this stress is the sentimental aspect of moving. It is fairly common for a senior to have lived in the same house for decades. That can make parting with the home even more difficult. Finding a realtor who has experience and training working with seniors is the can help make the process more manageable.

Common Reasons Older Adults Relocate

Seniors move for many reasons, but there are a few that are the most common. In a study conducted by a relocation specialist, the top three reasons cited were:

  • Declining health: 34% of older adults surveyed said their move was caused by a change in health.
  • More freedom: 10% of respondents were looking for a more carefree lifestyle and fewer home-maintenance burdens.
  • Problems keeping up: 42% of older adults said they were no longer able to keep up with home repairs and maintenance.

Having a licensed real estate agent who understands each of these situations can help make this transition go a little more smoothly. That is one reason the National Association of Realtors created a special designation for realtors who work with seniors.

Choosing a Senior Real Estate Specialist

A realtor who has earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) credential has undergone additional training. They know the unique challenges older adults face as they prepare to sell their home. You can use your zip code to search the National Association of Realtors online database for a specialist near you.

Once you’ve found a few good candidates who seem capable of selling the senior’s home, it’s time to schedule an in-person interview with each one. If you live too far away to be able to do that, try to use a video chat service like Skype to conduct the interviews.

Here are a few suggestions to ask each of your realtor candidates:

  • What led them to seek the SRES credential?
  • How many seniors have they helped sell their home?
  • How do they go about setting a price for a senior’s home?
  • How do they approach the sale of an older adult’s home differently than that of a younger family?
  • What will they do to market the home?
  • Do they offer advice on staging or other ways to help the senior earn top dollar for the home?
  • How successful is their track record for getting the asking price for a home?
  • Are some months better than others when it comes to selling a senior’s house?
  • Do they have experience working with any senior move managers or moving companies in the area?

Our final tip is to ask for a reference list of families they’ve helped sell a home. That can give you a better understanding of how well they work with and are sensitive to the needs of older sellers.

If you are a senior or an adult child of one looking to make a move, we hope you will keep Legacy Senior Living in mind. With options ranging from independent and assisted living to memory care, we have a variety of solutions for older adults to consider.

Call us at (423) 478-8071 to set up a personal tour!

Agitation and Alzheimer’s: How Can Family Members Manage It?

May 20, 2019

Agitation is one of the most difficult behaviors for families to manage at home when a loved one has Alzheimer’s. These tips may help.

Caring for a senior loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease often presents unique challenges. From sleep deprivation to wandering, family caregivers find themselves having to manage complicated behaviors. A common one is agitation.

Older adults who have Alzheimer’s often experience increased agitation later in the day, as the sun begins to go down. This condition is known as sundowning or sundowner’s syndrome.

Agitation isn’t limited to late afternoons and evenings, however. It can occur other times of the day too. The key to helping your senior loved one find peace may lie in determining what could be triggering the behavior.

5 Causes of Agitation in an Adult with Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Change in routine: Memory loss makes it tough for a person with Alzheimer’s disease to adapt to change. A variation in routine or environment can increase agitation. A structured, predictable schedule allows an adult with Alzheimer’s to feel more confident and in control. This often results in less agitation.
  2. Hectic environment: Because of the damage the disease does to the brain, people with Alzheimer’s are less able to multitask or process too many things at one time. When a senior with Alzheimer’s is in a hectic environment, it can lead to heightened agitation. For example, if the senior is at your home during a family gathering, the noisy background might be too much for them to handle. Crowded public places, like a restaurant or shopping mall, may also cause problems. Maintaining a calm, quiet environment is usually best.
  3. Overly fatigued: Sleep problems are common among seniors with Alzheimer’s. Family members often say it feels like their loved one can go days without sleeping. When a person with Alzheimer’s disease becomes extremely tired, it can lead to agitation. By finding a way to manage the senior’s sleep issues, you may be able help them to feel less agitated throughout the day.
  4. Excessive activity: Family caregivers lead busy lives. If you don’t have anyone to stay with your senior loved one while you run errands, you might need to take them with you. Doing too much in one day, however, can increase agitation. Consider dividing your stops over several days. Experts also suggest planning activities around your loved ones best and worst times of day. For many, morning is the best time. Afternoon activity might increase the risk for sundowning.
  5. Undiagnosed pain: Verbal communication skills often become impaired as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. This can make it tough for a caregiver to recognize when their loved one is in pain. Suffering with undiagnosed pain understandably increases agitation. If the senior you are caring for is unusually restless, look at their face for signs of pain and distress. You may be able point to different parts of the body and ask them if it hurts there to figure out what is going on. While this approach may not work for everyone, it might help narrow down the problem.

If you’ve explored each of these common triggers without success, it may be time to talk with a physician. They may have other options to pursue, such as reviewing the senior’s medication list for potential adverse reactions or side effects that cause agitation.

Dementia Care at Legacy Senior Living

If you are struggling to manage a loved one’s safety and well-being at home, we can help. Our award-winning memory care programs are designed to be a refuge from the storms caused by dementia. Call the Legacy Senior Living nearest you to learn more today!

Cooking for One: How Seniors Can Plan Healthy Menus

May 13, 2019

cutting herbs - cooking for one

If you are struggling to find easy ways to eat healthy when cooking for one, you aren’t alone. From storing produce to batching meals, we have some tips to help.

Healthy cooking for one is a challenge many older adults face. Some seniors, understandably, lack the motivation to create healthy meals. It can feel like too much work for just one person. Other seniors might have difficulty getting to the grocery store often enough to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. But eating well is an important factor in living a longer, healthier life.

What can you do to eat well when you live alone? We have some ideas you or your senior loved one might find helpful.

Tips for Making Healthy Meals for One

  • Healthy shortcuts: Reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen by taking a few shortcuts. Take advantage of in-store timesavers such as salad bars, packaged lettuce and precut vegetables, and prepared rotisserie chicken. Don’t overlook frozen fruits and vegetables either. Many nutritionists believe buying frozen fruits and vegetables is better than canned. By spending time exploring your local grocery store, you are likely to find more time-saving options.
  • Storage tips: Seniors who are cooking for one might struggle to find ways to keep fresh foods from spoiling before they can eat them. Along with freezing fruits and vegetables until you need them, another tip is to purchase reusable green produce storage bags. These bags help produce stay fresh longer. Experts also say you should store produce in the refrigerator with enough space around it to promote good circulation. This helps to improve the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
  • Batch cooking: Designate a few days a month for baking and freezing healthy entrees. By cooking in batches, you make the most of prep time. Storing meals in glass freezer-to-oven containers is another time-saving tip. Consider swapping batched meals with friends who also live alone. If you each prepare a few entrees a month to share, you’ll be able to stock the freezer much more easily.
  • Menu planning: It also helps to create a meal plan rotation. Come up with four to six weeks of menus and the shopping lists for each week. Cooking apps, such as Mealime and FoodPlanner, make this easier to do.
  • Invest in an Instapot: This modern version of a pressure cooker has earned a place in the kitchen of many busy cooks. Largely because it makes it easier and faster to prepare healthy meals. This might give older adults one more avenue for eating well without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

If you’ve decided not to spend your retirement years in the kitchen under any circumstances, there is another option to consider. Some home-delivered meal programs allow you to eat well without the hassle of grocery shopping and cooking. Silver Cuisine by bistro MD and Freshly are two to consider. Both deliver healthy, precooked meals right to your door.

Join Us for Lunch in the Dining Room

At Legacy Senior Living communities, residents leave the cooking to us. Residents enjoy homecooked meals in the company of friends in one of our beautiful dining rooms every day.

If you are searching for an independent living, assisted living, or memory care community, we hope you will consider Legacy Senior Living. We invite you to set up a time for a tour and lunch on us in the dining room. Call (423) 478-8071 today!