5 Ways to Honor the Veterans in Your Life and Town

November 6, 2017

Two veterans (VFW) holding US flags in a parade

Nov. 11th is Veterans Day. Are there any veterans living in your town? Here are some ways you can show your respect and honor the vets you know.

Next week is Veteran’s Day. As the nation prepares to honor those among us who have served, it’s a good time to reflect on the courage of our veterans.

Five Ways to Honor the Veterans Who Live in Your Town

As you consider what their service means to our nation, here are some ways to recognize veterans.

  1. Get Involved With the Veterans History Project

The stories of our veterans are priceless, and they can serve as reminders of the importance of history, citizenship, and valor.

In recognition of the value of these personal war stories, the Library of Congress began the Veterans History Project to help preserve veterans’ accounts of their service stories in the American Folklife Center in Washington, D.C.

You can assist the project by interviewing veterans in your neighborhood. The interviews can be recorded on audio or video equipment and must be at least 30 minutes long. For more information, visit the project’s website to find out how to register and participate. Once there, you can also find good tips on how to conduct the interview.

  1. Host a Fireside Chat

You may associate fireside chats with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s comforting radio addresses during the Great Depression and World War II. Today, however, they’re held everywhere from Starbucks to universities, bringing people together to hear stories.

If there’s a veteran (or two) in your area who’d be willing to share some stories of their service, you can host a fireside chat. It could be set up as an interview or a storytelling session. Invite everyone in your neighborhood, serve refreshments, and be sure to give the veteran(s) a proper introduction.

  1. Create an ‘Honor Wall’ in Your Town

A temporary honor wall in a public space in your city, like the honor walls found in all Legacy Senior Living communities, is a gentle reminder of the sacrifice that veterans make for their country. Make yours special by including photos of veterans in your community. Include stories and put captions on all photos so passersby can learn about area residents who have served.

  1. Read a Poem at Dinner

Ever wonder about the symbolism of the red ‘remembrance’ poppy that’s used to memorialize soldiers who died in combat? It’s from a famous poem written in 1915 called “In Flanders Field the Poppies Grow.”

Reading this poem aloud is a traditional way to honor veterans on Veterans Day. Although it’s more closely associated with Memorial Day, it’s a nice way to honor the vets in your area.

  1. Raise the American Flag

Not all gestures have to be grand. The simple act of raising the flag is another good way to show your appreciation.

From Our Community to Yours: Honoring Vets on Veterans Day

Letting the veterans know how much they mean to you can be as simple as hanging a flag. It can also be as grand as hosting a fireside chat.

No matter how you choose to observe Veteran’s Day–whether it’s with a large or small gesture, know this: your actions will be heard, loud and clear. From all of us at Legacy Senior Living Communities, here’s to the vets in our lives who served our country and made us proud.

Want to know more about the communities in the Legacy Senior Living network? Contact us any time!

Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Relieve Pain?

October 9, 2017

A salad with oilInflammation contributes to chronic pain, especially as we grow older. An anti-inflammatory diet might help alleviate it.

Inflammation has been receiving a lot of attention lately. Research continues to shed new light on the important role it plays in managing or preventing disease. In some ways, inflammation is a valuable part of the body’s defense system. It is the body’s attempt to counter the harmful effects of nutritional toxicity.

Unfortunately, this protective response can also cause problems for the body. Inflammation is a chief contributor to chronic pain for people with illnesses ranging from Osteoarthritis to Lupus. The problem often worsens as we grow older. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for medical intervention and lifestyle changes to become necessary.

One of the most effective of these lifestyle changes is an anti-inflammatory diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Diets and Pain Relief

Fad diets come and go, but anti-inflammatory diets have received consistent attention for many years now. Much of this attention is from reputable medical experts.

Why is this the case? Why do so many reputable medical experts advocate for anti-inflammatory diets to help older adults manage chronic pain?

The answer is simple—because they work.

Although there are many useful medications that can be prescribed to counter inflammation in older adults, these drugs are sometimes accompanied by unwanted side effects. An anti-inflammatory diet is a more holistic way to manage pain.

Five Guidelines for Adopting an Anti-inflammatory Diet

Anti-inflammatory diets can be of great assistance in the battle against chronic pain. You should always speak with your physician for more advice, but they will likely suggest you:

  1. Eat Lots of Veggies and Fruit

Eat between seven and nine servings of vegetables and fruits each day with veggies being the primary focus. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are usually your best bets against inflammation.

  1. Add Fiber to Your Diet

Make sure to eat plenty of fiber. Foods that are rich in fiber have an abundance of natural anti-inflammatory agents called phytonutrients. These go a long way toward preventing chronic pain. In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as barley and oatmeal will also help you get the necessary amounts of daily fiber.

  1. Make Use of Herbs

Use anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to help combat the toxins that lead to inflammation. Turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are some of the most useful.

  1. Limit Saturated Fat

Limit the amount of saturated fat in your diet. The best way to do this is to restrict your intake of red meat to no more than once a week. Avoid fast foods and fried foods.

  1. Eat Fish

Lastly, include plenty of fish in your diet. Fish such as salmon, trout, sole, and flounder should become your go-to sources of protein as you grow older. This will help reduce your intake of saturated fats and deliver a variety of beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids.

Useful Information Is Our Way of Helping

Chronic pain makes life difficult at any age. So we hope this information has been helpful to caregivers and older adults alike.

The Legacy Senior Living blog is a great source of information on a range of senior wellness topics, like inflammation and chronic pain. We hope our blog also gives families the guidance they need to make wise decisions.

If you’re concerned about the health and well-being of a senior loved one, remember that you’re not alone. We’re here to help in whatever way we can. Please call us if you’d like more information about our services or if you’d like to arrange an tour of one of our senior living communities.

Honoring Those Who Served and Sacrificed

September 14, 2017

black ribbon to remember POWs and MIAs

Honoring veterans is how we pay tribute to those who served and sacrificed for their country. Learn about National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

We know it is important to pay tribute to seniors who have served and sacrificed for the good of their country. This is especially true on September 15th, National Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Recognition Day. It’s a day for honoring veterans, a day intended to draw attention to the accomplishments of our military veterans and to express, as best we can, the gratitude we hold in our hearts for all they have done for us.

A Tribute to Our Veterans

On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we take time to reflect on the sacrifices the older generation made in service to our country. This annual event was designed to honor missing military members and those who were held captive during a time of war or conflict.

Veterans’ organizations across the country hold ceremonies throughout the week prior to this special day. Their goal is to raise awareness, especially to the fact that some of these brave soldiers are still missing; and their families are still searching for answers. The week culminates with a national ceremony in Washington, DC, on September 15th.

The National League of Families says it is important for us to honor and act.  Explaining it as “America’s POW/MIAs should be honored and recognized, rather than memorialized, with the focus on continuing commitment to account as fully as possible for those still missing.  Strong, united support by the American people is crucial to achieving concrete answers.”

A Special Note for Caregivers

We’d also like to reach out to the family caregivers of older veterans. These are the loved ones who tend to veterans’ daily needs and ensure they feel loved and appreciated. Caring for a senior whose health is declining can be difficult and daunting work.

We want to acknowledge each caregiver’s efforts as they are the ones who have truly followed the example of our older veterans. It is important that caregivers know we notice and appreciate their efforts and the fact that they are continuing veterans’ noble legacy of serving others.

Providing a Caring Environment for Honoring Veterans

We understand that caring for a senior loved one is a commitment that requires diligence, patience, and an open heart. And that caring for a senior at home sometimes isn’t the best solution.

If your senior loved one requires more support than you and your family can safely provide at home, we’d love an opportunity to supplement your efforts.

At Legacy Senior Living, we do more than simply pay tribute to our senior veterans and their caregivers. We are proud to say our communities are home to many retired members of all four branches of our military. We work hard every day to ensure they live their life to the fullest.

Please contact us today to schedule a personal tour of the Legacy assisted living community nearest you.

Spirituality and Aging

August 14, 2017

Spirituality and Aging

As Americans grow older, many begin to rethink and reconnect with their spirituality. The sense of satisfaction that results from that connection can lead to an improved sense of well-being, comfort, and an overall happiness.

Of course, this isn’t exactly news to generations of caregivers. Many have noticed a deepening sense of faith and spirituality as their loved ones grew older.

Now, however, there’s a growing interest in the relationship between spirituality and aging.

One reason for the growing interest in this area is the ever-mounting evidence that tapping into your spiritual side can produce health benefits.

Spirituality Can Improve the Well-Being of Older Adults

The connection between health and spirituality has been shown to be especially beneficial for older adults, who often enjoy a surprising array of benefits when they develop their spiritual sides.

Here’s what researchers are discovering in the exciting field of what’s often known as ‘happiness studies’. This name comes from the notion that what makes us happy also helps us to age well. For many older Americans, feeling spiritual or religious provides a pathway to happiness.

What Does it Mean to be Spiritual?

Getting in touch with your spiritual side can take many different forms. For some seniors it’s a walk in the woods, communing with nature and feeling connected to something on a universal level. Others take a more religious approach and its church-going that connects them to a higher power. For others, it’s time spent alone, immersed in deep reflection.

Whatever a person’s preferred method of maintaining a spiritual life might be, the results have been shown in scientific studies to be very beneficial.

How Does Spirituality Improve Health?

A study out of Florida tested the theory that older Americans use prayer to cope with stress. The results were stunning! They found it to be overwhelmingly true with 96 percent of seniors in the study reporting they used prayer specifically for stress management. What’s more, 84 percent said they used prayer more than all other alternative remedies for maintaining health.

Of course, prayer isn’t the only path to spirituality or finding God. Whatever form it may take, however, spirituality involves a core set of practices. These practices are what lead to better health, say researchers.

Scientists Say These Spiritual Practices That Can Lead to Better Health

  1. Faith
  2. Hope
  3. Forgiveness
  4. Prayer
  5. Compassion
  6. Gratitude
  7. Social Support
  8. Love
  9. Generosity

From healing faster after surgery to experiencing stronger immune systems and lower rates of depression, studies show that seniors with strong religious and spiritual beliefs enjoy a wide range of health benefits.

Spirituality, Faith, and Legacy Senior Living Values

These connections are why senior living communities offer residents opportunities for developing their spiritual sides. Here at Legacy Senior Living, our chaplaincy program is just part of our overall commitment to the well-being of our residents.

Each community has a chaplain who serves the ministerial needs of the residents and their families, as well as team members. Visiting multiple times throughout the week, the chaplains are involved in a number of ways with the community, getting to know everyone.

The Legacy Senior Living network of chaplains is overseen by our corporate chaplain program coordinator.

As you can see, faith is one of the four core values that help us live up to the standards we’ve set for all our communities. Along with honor, respect, and integrity, faith is one of the four pillars of the Legacy philosophy of serving the residents who choose to live in our communities.

The Health Benefits of Staying Social

July 6, 2017

Healthy social seniorsIt’s National Social Wellness Month. Did you know being social improves your health? Here are some of the ways being around others is good for you.

As human beings, most of us are programmed to be social. That doesn’t change as we age either. That’s why, for seniors, staying social is crucial to good health.

In observance of National Social Wellness Month this July, let’s review the benefits of maintaining an active social life once you’ve hit retirement age and beyond.

A Social Life Helps Ward Off Feelings of Loneliness

Feeling isolated and alone is not only unpleasant; it’s bad for your health. And our seniors are more likely to experience isolation than other segments of the population.

Research has shown that older adults who are isolated are more likely to suffer higher blood pressure. They are also more susceptible to colds and the flu. On an even more serious level, isolation in seniors may cause higher mortality rates from heart disease, breast cancer, and a few other chronic diseases.

The depression and anxiety frequently caused by feeling socially isolated may also lead to bad habits.

Bad Habits that Result from Senior Isolation

A few of the most common negative behaviors that can result from isolation include:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking or drinking too much
  • Skipping meals
  • Abuse of medication
  • Forgetting to take medication
  • Alcohol dependency

Isolation Is a Public Health Issue

Isolation is more of a problem for seniors today than ever before in history. What’s more, the population is aging rapidly.

All of this points to a major public health issue on the rise. Seniors and their loved ones may have to become more proactive when it comes to finding social networks. Recognizing the link between aging, health, and maintaining a social life is the first step.

Why Staying Social Is So Important for Seniors

It turns out that social contact with other human beings actually creates a physiological response. When we mingle with others, even casually, our brains send neural messages to the body to reduce the production of stress hormones.

Inflammation, a byproduct of stress, is reduced as well.

These reactions happen during social interactions because the brain senses an improvement in your environment. You’re not experiencing feelings of isolation, so the body can relax its ‘fight-or-flight’ response.

So yes, the brain considers isolation a type of stress.

Seen in this light, seniors who stay social are warding off the negative physical side effects of loneliness and isolation. Consider it preventative medicine.

The Long-Term Effects of Stress

Over the course of a lifetime, we all experience stress. The body reacts with stress hormones and inflammation, as we’ve just learned. Our bodies can handle this in small doses for short periods of time. However, chronic stress and inflammation can add up over the years.

Researchers think that it could be precisely this type of long-term stress that contributes to many chronic conditions. What can we gather from this?

Prolonged social isolation may lead to chronic health problems.

One of the chronic conditions that researchers suspect may be linked to long-term stress is cancer. Crowning a lifetime of stress with a serious dose of isolation may be very detrimental to the physical health of seniors.

Staying Social May Help Prevent Cognitive Decline

There are other negative physiological changes that occur in the body as a result of isolation, too. Seniors who live alone and experience loneliness may be more prone to dementia.

Getting out and spending time with friends and family or joining clubs and community groups help the brain stay healthy. It keeps those neurons firing regularly, much like a workout for parts of the brain.

Stay Social and Be Healthy

For seniors, it isn’t always easy to maintain an active social life. Transportation issues, living far away from friends and mobility challenges can complicate getting out and about.

At Legacy Senior Living, our residents enjoy the company of friends every day in their communities. They may also choose to join regular social groups and participate in fun activities and outings. If you’d like to know more about life at our Legacy community, please contact us at any time to schedule a private tour.

Why Do We Call Them the Greatest Generation?

June 5, 2017

Remembering the Greatest GenerationWhat is it about the Greatest Generation that’s so different? In this article, we examine how this generation got that name.

They say it’s the hardships of life that form our true character. If that’s true, then Americans who were born between the two World Wars have certainly earned their character badges. For this, we call them the Greatest Generation.

Who is the Greatest Generation?

You’ve probably heard the term before. It was coined almost twenty years ago by Tom Brokaw. Former anchor and managing editor of the NBC News, Mr. Brokaw published his best-selling book, The Greatest Generation, in 1998. By doing so, he forever set the phrase in our hearts and minds.

The phrase may be familiar, but have you ever stopped to wonder what it really means?

Four Factors Contributing to the Formation of the Greatest Generation

  1. Momentous Changes

This generation grew up during a time when the world was experiencing great shifts in power.  Europe was in upheaval, and the United States had yet to flex its military muscle. That all changed during World War II, and a new era of American power and wealth ensued.

This generation lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and then on into one of the most the prosperous eras in the history of our nation. The newfound prosperity contrasted sharply with previous decades of austerity.

The changes this generation witnessed will forever be marked as some of the most pivotal moments in history.

  1. Work Ethic

Perhaps because of having lived through the Great Depression, this generation knows a thing or two about working hard. On top of that, they lived through the years of World War II and appreciate stability.

Combined, these two factors result in one very strong work ethic among members of the Greatest Generation.

  1. Frugality

The combination of living during the Great Depression and experiencing war-time rationing means many in this generation are well-versed in frugal living. They learned to make due. They also learned creativity in the face of scarcity.

Frugality for them isn’t a badge of honor nor is it anything to be ashamed of. It was simply a way of dealing with life in those times.

  1. Sacrifice & Honor

Many gave of themselves during World War II, to the extent that they lost life or limb. The war was truly all-encompassing for this generation at that time. The Battle of the Bulge, for example, is considered by military experts to be the greatest in the nation’s history.

Back home, people made due with less in order to contribute to the war effort. That meant rationing and doing without some of the staples of daily living.

United as a country in the face of evil, the greatest generation came together to sacrifice what they could to make the world a better place.

Legacy Senior Living Serves the Greatest Generation

Because they made the world a better place for us, we’re committed to making the world a better place for them.

Honoring the Greatest Generation is part of our mission here at Legacy Senior Living. In fact, serving this generation is our mission. In carrying out that mission, we hope to uphold the values handed down to us by the Greatest Generation in every possible way.

If you’re looking for a senior living community that cares and serves with honor and respect, please give us a call us anytime, or fill out the handy contact form on this page.

5 Ways to Live Your Best Life in Retirement

May 10, 2017

Looking forward to a good lifeEveryone looks forward to retirement, but not everyone is prepared for it. Here’s what it takes to really be happy once it finally comes.

 

If polls have any truth to them, you can look forward to feeling happier once you reach retirement age.

The folks at Gallup-Healthways study happiness full time, and every year they produce what’s called a “Well-Being Index.” The data from 2016 shows that older Americans aren’t just happier than the rest of the population, they also report significantly higher rates of overall well-being.

Not quite sure you’re convinced? 

In celebration of Older Americans Month, and to highlight this year’s theme of “Age Out Loud”, here are five ways to help move the dial in the right direction and live your best life in retirement.

1. Stay Physically Active

Well-being, according to Gallup-Healthways, has many ingredients, which fall into these five categories:

  1. Purpose
  2. Social
  3. Financial
  4. Community
  5. Physical

The component which presented the biggest obstacle to well-being, according to the research, was the Physical category. It’s vital that you do everything you can to maintain good health. One way to stay healthy is to stay active.

2. Find Purpose

Worrying about whether you’ll be happy during retirement is a relatively new concern, historically speaking. Up until the late 1800s – and much later in some parts of the world – the idea simply didn’t exist. If you were alive, there was work to be done, which usually meant working the family farm.

But now, thanks to longer life expectancy and dramatic changes in technology, retirement is the start of a whole new chapter in life. Whether it’s traveling or sipping cocktails in the back yard, there’s no end to leisure activities you now have time to enjoy.

But those aging farm workers of the 1800s had something valuable that many retiring Boomers may not feel: a sense of purpose. They were needed, and feeling needed is a major part of your sense of well-being.

Finding a purpose can mean so many different things to different people so there’s some self-reflection involved here. Maybe you want to volunteer, or maybe you will play a big role in raising your grandchildren. Whatever form it takes, be sure to be proactive early on in your retirement and find purpose.

3. Seek Fulfillment in the Community

Rather than viewing life after retirement as a winding-down phase, like their predecessors did, Boomers seem to be seeking an elevated experience. Like ‘purpose’, fulfillment can take many forms. One that’s generally agreed upon as being helpful for well-being is seeking fulfillment within a community.

Once you retire you may have to work at seeking out new communities. You won’t have that sense of belonging that you may have felt at work, so finding new groups to belong to is crucial to happiness in retirement. Whether it’s hobbies that involve other people or joining a gym, find what you enjoy and use it to develop a sense of community in your life. Even if you plan on retiring in a rural area, there are communities to seek out in the form of all kinds of clubs and social organizations you can be a part of.

4. Pay Attention to Finances

They say money can’t buy happiness, but a predictable income will make all the difference in your feelings of contentment and peace of mind during retirement. A consequence of living longer is that we all have a much longer retirement to fund.

Sometimes the problem is we don’t even know how much we’ll need. In fact, 81 percent of Americans report they have no clue how much they’ll need! If you’re among this group, or if you know you haven’t saved enough, either start tightening your belt or talk to a financial advisor who can help ensure you are on track for a comfortable retirement.

5. Be Open to New Things

Finally, if there’s one piece of advice for retiring Boomers, it’s to keep an open mind about everything. For the generation that elevated the art of self-awareness and being open to change, it shouldn’t be all that difficult!

Being open to change is good for your brain cells – and may even ward off dementia. But beyond that, it can help you adopt new ways of doing things that increase your happiness in each one of the five categories of well-being, mentioned earlier.

At Legacy Senior Living, we support ‘Aging Out Loud’ and helping people live their best years during retirement. Stop by a visit to learn more!

Welcome to Our New Blog!

March 31, 2017

Aging Well with LegacyHello there! If we haven’t met before, welcome to Legacy Senior Living. We’re guessing you’re someone who’s like us: interested in improving the lives of seniors.

Whether you’re a senior yourself or a caregiver, you’ll discover answers to your most pressing questions, insightful articles that will awaken your knowledge about important topics, and fun posts that simply entertain.

All this information is created especially for seniors and caregivers.  We take a thoughtful, modern approach to how people age and the different ways we’ll manage our lives after retirement.

We’re So Excited to Share This with You

You’ll find more serious pieces later this month, but for now, we just wanted to introduce the blog and say how excited we are to have you here. It’s a true privilege for us to share the knowledge we’ve accumulated over the years of working with people like you. And, since we’ve been at this for decades, we hope you may even learn a little by reading the posts to come in the months ahead.

A New Way to Look at Aging and Senior Care

This blog takes a modern approach to senior care because we are changing perceptions of aging … for the better. The boomer generation is paving the way for tremendous changes in how we live our lives. Now, more than ever, seniors and their caregivers have choices. More options in healthcare, lifestyle, community, and the resources available mean better living for everyone.

Topics That Matter to You

We’re excited to begin sharing our ideas and discoveries with you. From healthy eating to the latest findings on dementia and surprising new ways to maintain satisfying work, it’s all going to be here in this new blog, created just for you.

We’ll discuss areas of interest like:

Join us on a regular basis and you’ll find fresh new articles every week.

Want a sneak peak?

Here’s what you can look forward to just this month:

  • Survival Tips for the New Family Caregiver
  • Creating a Purposeful Day with Adults with Alzheimer’s
  • Gardening for Your Health: Easy Ways for Seniors to Keep Growing

You’ll also be able to keep current with national events that matter to you and your loved ones. For example, May is Older Americans Month. How will that affect you? We’ll visit that topic in May, so stay tuned!

A Final Word Until Next Time

We’re writing this post so we have a permanent “Hello!” on our blog. We know that every week, more seniors and their caregivers will be joining us for the first time. They’re wondering where to start. And why a senior care blog matters.

Most people arrive here with a similar set of questions:

  • How can I live a life that’s fulfilling, enjoyable, safe, affordable, and sustainable as I or someone I love ages?
  • What resources are available to me as I or someone I love gets older?
  • What issues are people like me having, and how do they solve these issues?

These are all great questions, and we can’t wait to get started on exploring the answers with you.

We hope you’ll make our new blog a regular part of your week. Stick around, and we promise to deliver fresh content that’s relevant, informed, exciting, and written just for you. So, welcome! We’re so glad you’re here!

And in the meantime, if you have any questions at all about senior care, please call us at (423) 478-8071 or if you prefer, email us your questions!