Art as Therapy for People with Dementia

March 17, 2020

Art therapy has many benefits for adults with dementia. Learn about a few of the most common ones here.

Art makes the world better in a variety of ways. From enjoying the beauty of a watercolor painting to using art for self-expression, creativity has many benefits. An increasing amount of research shows engaging in creative activities improves the lives of adults with dementia.

Art as Therapy for Adults with Memory Impairment

How does art benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia?

Here are a few of the many benefits the creative process provides:

  • Sense of accomplishment

People with dementia often have short-term memory loss. It makes it more difficult to stay on task and complete projects. This can leave them feeling defeated. Arts and crafts can be very empowering. That’s because it is the actual process of creating, rather than the finished project, that encourages a sense of accomplishment.

  • Reduced agitation and anxiety

Dementia often causes seniors to feel anxious or agitated. When they are participating in art projects, however, they are more likely to remain focused and engaged. Painting, drawing, or molding clay can provide an adult with memory impairment something tangible to focus on. This may help reduce anxiety and boost mood.

  • A means of self-expression

Dementia impacts different areas of the brain, but almost always affects those associated with language. It reduces a person’s verbal skills and their ability to communicate effectively.

Art therapy utilizes part of the brain different from that used for language. That means while an adult with some form of dementia may struggle with speech, having a creative outlet can offer another means for self-expression.

  • Opportunity to socialize

Depending on what stage of dementia the senior is experiencing, they may be able to participate in art classes. Some Alzheimer’s organizations and adult day centers offer workshops for people with all forms of dementia. This gives the senior an opportunity to socialize with peers.

If your local community doesn’t offer any, you could host your own. Invite family members to join you in creating art. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind if you decide to host a dementia art project:

  • Make sure the project is age-appropriate. Activities that are too childish can be demeaning to the senior.
  • Because adults with dementia may put things that look interesting in their mouth, use safe, non-toxic materials.
  • Family members can help their loved one get started by showing them how to mold clay or paint the first few strokes but should step back afterward. That allows the senior to feel more independent and empowered.
  • Provide older adults with positive feedback, not criticism.

If the event is a success, you could consider hosting it on a regular basis. Ask loved ones to help you come up with a new project for each meeting.

State-of-the-Art Memory Care at Legacy

As part of our commitment to serving older adults whose lives have been impacted by memory disorders, we are continuously exploring ways to provide our memory care residents with meaningful activity. From art therapy to music and movement, you’ll find a variety of programs designed to support success. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more or to schedule a private tour.

5 Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors

March 11, 2020

Bathrooms can be dangerous for older adults. Learn how to conduct a safety assessment of your senior loved one’s bathroom here.

From handwashing to showering, people spend a lot of time in their bathroom.

What’s surprising is how dangerous the smallest room in the house can be. Every year, nearly 235,000 people over the age of 15 are admitted to a hospital emergency room due to a bathroom mishap.

For older adults, the bathroom can be especially hazardous.

More than 81 percent of their injuries are caused by falls. With 19.3 percent of injuries amongst people aged 65–74 occurring on or near it, the toilet is the most commonplace for a senior to fall. For adults over the age of 85, that number soars to 36.9 percent.

What steps can an adult child take to lower their senior parent’s risk of injury in the bathroom?

The key is to conduct a safety assessment to determine what safety measures your aging family member’s bathroom needs.

How to Assess a Senior’s Bathroom for Potential Hazards


1. Does the bathroom have adequate lighting?

Falls often occur when we can’t see properly. Vision problems common among older adults can further compound the issue. From cataracts to glaucoma, the room can look darker than it really is.

Ensure the bathroom and the hallway leading to it have adequate lighting. Nightlights that illuminate the path to the bathroom after dark is essential. Also, consider installing a motion sensor on the bathroom light so it turns on the second someone enters the room.

2. Is the flooring slip-proof?

Carpeting the bathroom floor might be the safest option for avoiding a fall. The downside is wall-to-wall carpeting can provide a place for mold and mildew to linger. That can present a different kind of health hazard.

A better option might be nonskid flooring. Some newer types of vinyl flooring are designed to be less slippery. Cork and bamboo are two additional options to explore.


3. Does the bathroom have sturdy grab bars?

Installing grab bars near the toilet as well as inside and outside of the tub may prevent falls in two areas where they occur most often. When they aren’t in place, an older adult may try to pull themselves up using towel bars. Since most towel bars aren’t designed for that, they may pull away from the wall, causing the senior to fall.

4. Is there a safe shower for the senior to use?

Climbing in and out of the tub to bathe or shower can create a fall risk at any age, but especially for older adults. Installing a step-free shower or modifying the senior’s tub to be barrier-free are other safety tips to consider.

Installing a shower chair and a non-skid mat on the shower or tub floor can also help keep the bathroom safer.

5. Would the senior benefit from a raised toilet seat?

A raised seat makes it easier for seniors to get on and off the toilet without falling. Installing one in an older adult’s bathroom reduces the chance of a fall in this high-risk area, especially for those with balance issues. Some raised toilet seats also have padded arms for greater safety.

The seats are easy to install and can be purchased at your local pharmacy or home improvement store.

Legacy Communities Offer a Safe Environment for Residents

Sometimes it isn’t feasible to modify an older adult’s home. Moving to an independent or assisted living community makes more sense. Not only do communities like Legacy Senior Living offer a safe environment, but they also offer benefits like healthy meals, social activities, and wellness programs.

With communities in six southeastern states, Legacy has a variety of options from which to choose. Call the location nearest you to schedule a private tour today!

Concerned about Coronavirus?

March 7, 2020

 

Coronavirus Preparedness Statement

In light of cases of Coronavirus being diagnosed in our area, Legacy Senior Living requests that visitors who have experienced or are experiencing respiratory symptoms refrain from visiting their loved ones at this time.

“Our priority is keeping our residents healthy, so we encourage all family and friends to delay their visits if they are suffering from a sore throat, cough, or have traveled to any of the locations where cases of the Coronavirus have been found,” says Bryan Cook, President of Legacy Senior Living.

All facilities will be emphasizing washing hands for the CDC recommended 20 seconds and utilizing hand sanitizer when hand washing is not an option. General cleaning of surfaces in all facilities will be emphasized to ensure that germs are wiped out; disposable cleaning wipes will be used to sanitize common area surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading germs. As the CDC updates its reports and recommendations, Legacy Senior Living facilities will adjust and respond as necessary.

If you have any questions regarding Legacy Senior Living’s preparedness for the Coronavirus or the precautions that all our local facilities are taking, please call your Legacy Senior Living community below: 

Concordia Retirement Center – Bella Vista, AR – (479) 855-3714
Grace Senior Living of Douglasville – Douglasville, GA – (770) 920-2273
Harbor at Hickory Hill – Prattville, AL – (334) 361-5111
Harbor at Opelika – Opelika, AL – (334) 749-7992
Legacy Village at Park Regency – Moultrie, GA – (229) 890-3342
Legacy Village at Plantation Manor – Thomasville, GA – (229) 227-0880
Legacy Village of Cleveland – Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-4700
Legacy Village of Jacksonville – Jacksonville, AL – (256) 782-0960
Legacy Village of Tifton – Tifton, GA – (229) 386-2273
Renaissance Assisted Living of Greene County – Stanardsville, VA – (434) 985-4481
Renaissance Marquis – Rome, GA – (706) 295-0014
Renaissance of Annandale – Annandale, VA – (703) 256-2525
Renaissance Senior Living of Vero – Beach Vero Beach, FL – (772) 562-8491
Sycamore Springs Senior Living Community – Elizabethton, TN – (423) 518-1077

What Is the Medicare Wellness Visit?

March 6, 2020

Are you a senior on Medicare? Be sure to take advantage of the annual wellness visit. Here’s what you should know.

A key component for living your best life during retirement is building a trusting relationship with an experienced primary care physician. Having confidence in your doctor will help you feel comfortable sharing health concerns big and small, no matter how embarrassing. This often allows the physician to catch potential medical issues early before they turn into serious or irreversible health conditions.

In past years, Medicare required older adults to pay for annual wellness visits out of pocket or as part of their deductible. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, this changed. Because ACA focuses on providing health insurance coverage and improving access to preventative screenings, the law includes a preventative visit each year. It is known as the annual Medicare wellness visit.

Understanding the Medicare Wellness Visit

Seniors who have been part of Medicare for at least 12 months are entitled to one wellness visit per year at no cost. During this visit, the doctor will typically screen for depression, conduct a basic vision test, review blood pressure and pulse, and test reflexes. Many physicians will calculate their patient’s body mass index and review any weight concerns.

Your primary care physician may also review or discuss:

  • Family medical history:

The wellness visit also gives seniors and their physicians time to discuss family medical history and note any genetic risks. That allows the physician to determine what preventative screenings may be necessary and how often to have them.

  • Personal medical history:

Lifestyle and past medical history can also determine what illnesses and health problems you may develop. Smoking, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and excessive drinking are a few examples. When your doctor has an in-depth understanding of your personal medical history, they can take a more proactive approach to care.

  • Preventative screenings:

Your physician will use your current health status as well as your age, personal risk factors, and family medical history to establish a preventative health screening schedule. It may include a mammogram, prostate testing, colonoscopy, cholesterol check, and diabetes screening.

Medicare Part B Benefit

While the wellness visit will be paid in full through your Medicare Part B benefit, it’s important to know follow-up testing and treatments may not. Ask your physician or their billing staff what is and isn’t covered.

If the physician’s staff isn’t able to answer your questions, you can call Medicare directly at 1-800-633-4227.

Live Well during Retirement

Developing a relationship with a physician is just one of the necessary elements for ensuring you live well during retirement. There are other factors that play an important role. “4 Decisions That Impact Your Ability to Live Your Best Retirement is a quick article with tips for making informed choices.

For many older adults, moving to a senior living community after retiring improves their quality of life. Benefits include healthy meals, social opportunities, wellness programs, a secure environment, and more.

With communities throughout the southeast, Legacy Senior Living has much to offer. We invite you to call the community nearest you to learn more and to schedule a private tour!

Signs a Senior Needs More Help Than They Can Get at Home

February 24, 2020

Wondering if an aging parent needs to consider moving to assisted living? Here are a few of the most common warning signs.

Young nurse reading a book to elder woman sitting close

While many older adults can benefit from the services and amenities offered by a senior living community, there are some for whom the support could be especially life-changing. Having a little extra assistance when it’s needed can help seniors avoid the negative effects of a fall, medication mismanagement, or poor nutrition.

If you are an adult child concerned about the welfare of your aging parent and you are considering senior living, learning how to spot the warning signs is essential.

Is It Time to Encourage a Parent to Move to Senior Living?

  • Is your parent’s home putting them at risk for a fall?

Seniors often live in the same house for decades. While the familiarity of home may be important to them, most older houses weren’t designed with the unique needs of seniors in mind. An abundance of stairs, poor lighting, and a lack of handrails or walk-in showers may increase the risk for a serious fall.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. An estimated 2.5 million seniors experience a fall every year. Experts believe this number might be even higher, as older adults don’t always tell family members that they suffered a fall.

Moving to an environment designed with an older adult’s safety in mind, such as an assisted living community, might be a better option than remaining at home.

  • Is your parent becoming isolated due to their health or a lack of transportation?

Isolation is a serious health risk for older adults. It contributes to everything from obesity and depression to heart disease and diabetes. When a senior has a mobility impairment, it can make it tough for them to stay involved in their community.

The same holds true for an older adult who has given up driving. Finding affordable, safe transportation solutions may be difficult. The senior might be reluctant to ask friends or family members for a ride out of fear they will be a burden.

Isolation and loneliness can be the result of both issues. By moving to a more accessible environment, a senior can make friends more easily, take advantage of transportation services, and participate in both on-site activities and local events.


  • Is your parent suffering from poor nutrition?

When menu planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation become more difficult, it’s easy to rely on convenience and fast foods. For some seniors, especially those struggling with medical issues, healthy cooking for one or two feels like too much work. But good nutrition is vital for avoiding illness or even a fall.

Moving to an assisted living community can be an ideal solution. Most communities offer well-balanced meals and a variety of menu options and settings.


  • Is your parent mismanaging their medication?

Older adults often require a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Staying organized and on track with each one, as well as remembering to order refills in a timely manner, can be a challenge.

Medication mistakes pose a problem that can land seniors in a hospital emergency room on a regular basis. From forgetting to take one medicine to taking too much of another, these errors can be dangerous.

Assisted living communities have medication management programs in place that are designed to reduce the risk of mistakes. In fact, it’s one of the most popular services in many communities.


  • Is your health suffering?

Finally, are the demands of caregiving putting your own health at risk? Providing care to a loved one can be physically and emotionally exhausting for family members. Caregivers experience more headaches, back injuries, sleep problems, and stomach problems than their non-caregiving peers.

If your health is declining, it might be time to explore assisted living communities for your parent.

Visit a Legacy Senior Living Community Today

The best way to learn more about assisted living is to visit in person. We invite you to call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to schedule a private tour today!

 

Is There a Genetic Link to Alzheimer’s Disease?

February 19, 2020

Wondering if you are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s because a family member has the disease? Read on to learn what researchers know about Alzheimer’s.

If you are the caregiver for a senior loved one who has Alzheimer’s, you’ve likely wondered whether their diagnosis increases your own risk for developing the disease.

It’s an understandable concern given how tough it is to watch someone you love struggle with difficult symptoms, such as agitation, memory problems, and a loss of verbal skills.

Is Alzheimer’s disease tied to genetics? The question isn’t an easy one to answer with any degree of certainty. While scientists have identified some genetic involvement, it is not fully understood how heredity links us to the disease.

What Are the Genetic Ties to Alzheimer’s Disease?

Our genes carry the code that determines which of our parents’ traits we will inherit. Genes are found in each of the billions of cells that make up our bodies. We receive one gene copy from each parent. Those differences are what contribute to our uniqueness.

Let’s say, for example, that your mother is very tall and your father has brown eyes. You could inherit the trait for her height, as well as the trait for his eye color. Your sibling might inherit the opposite combination—your father’s height and your mother’s eyes.

Our genetic code can also increase our individual risk for developing certain diseases and chronic health conditions. Sickle cell anemia, Huntington’s disease, and cystic fibrosis are all linked to an inherited single gene disorder.

Unfortunately, the genetic risks associated with Alzheimer’s aren’t as straightforward. Largely because so much of the science behind this disease continues to baffle researchers.

What we do know is that there are two types of Alzheimer’s disease, early-onset Alzheimer’s and late-onset Alzheimer’s. Early-onset, also known as familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD), has a genetic link.

Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

FAD is caused by a hereditary genetic mutation to one of three genes: PSEN1, PSEN2, or APP. If your birth mother or father carries a genetic mutation on one of these three genes, you and your siblings will have a 50% chance of inheriting that mutation.

A child who inherits one of these genetic mutations will, with almost 100% certainty, develop early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. About 50% of other family members who also carry this genetic legacy will develop the disease before the age of 60.

This contrasts with the much more common form of the disease, late-onset Alzheimer’s. Late-onset occurs in adults over the age of 60. Unlike early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, there is no known genetic mutation that is linked to late-onset Alzheimer’s with such certainty.

Guarding Against Alzheimer’s Disease

While the cause of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease continues to elude researchers, it is commonly believed that lifestyle may play at least a minor role. Exercising and eating a healthy diet might help prevent or delay the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s.

Giving your brain a healthy workout on a regular basis may also lower your risk. A few ways to do that include reading, pursuing new hobbies, learning a foreign language, or taking a class.

Other research seems to indicate blood sugar may impact your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Some researchers are going as far as hypothesizing that Alzheimer’s is another form of diabetes.

Support for Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease

If you are a caregiver struggling to manage a family member’s disease at home, we can help. Our award-winning memory care services may be the solution you are searching for on a loved one’s behalf. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more or to schedule a private tour.

Understanding the Hidden Costs of Being a Family Caregiver

February 11, 2020

If you are considering moving an aging loved one in with you, here are a few hidden costs of caregiving to consider.

When an older adult in the family begins to experience health issues or has trouble managing their personal care, loved ones often pitch in to help. This sometimes begins by assisting with small tasks, such as picking up a few groceries or completing light housekeeping chores. As the senior’s health declines, the duties often increase.

Providing care can take a significant toll on a caregiver’s physical and emotional well-being. While it might seem less expensive to move a senior in with you, many of the costs associated with caregiving aren’t obvious. Lost wages and increased household expenses are a few, as well as greater wear and tear on the family car.

If you are weighing the pros and cons of keeping an older family member at home versus encouraging a move to an assisted living community, here are some hidden expenses you should not overlook.

Caregiving Costs Not to Overlook

  • Lost wages and career opportunities:

As a senior loved one’s needs increase, family caregivers often cut back on their work hours or give up working entirely for a while. This results in not only lost wages and benefits for their current job but missed opportunities for career advancement. Caregivers who temporarily leave the workforce may also have a tough time finding a new position when their caregiving days are behind them.

  • Higher vehicle costs:

Caregivers find themselves behind the wheel of their car a lot. From trips to the pharmacy to physician appointments, the extra mileage means higher vehicle expenses. The added costs for gas, oil changes, tires, and brakes can quickly add up. If the vehicle is leased, caregiving may cause you to exceed the mileage and incur additional expenses.

  • More household expenses:

When an older loved one becomes a member of your household, it’s highly probable your home expenses will increase. Not only will you face higher utility expenses and greater food costs, but there’s also a good chance some modifications to the house may be necessary. Wider doorways, ramps, and a barrier-free shower are a few examples.

  • More health care bills:

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for caregivers to experience health issues that lead to unplanned medical expenses. Caregiving is physically and emotionally demanding work. Adults who provide care can experience a higher risk for digestive issues, back pain, and headaches than their non-caregiving peers.

One final expense to consider is the cost of a different kind—loss of personal time.

While caregiving can be a labor of love, it is also a 24/7 endeavor. As a result, it comes with the price of a loss of privacy and personal space.

A solution worth considering is a care option known as respite. This short-term service offered by many assisted living communities gives caregivers a break from their duties. It can be ideal for a caregiver who is worn out and weary. The senior can stay at an assisted living community on a temporary basis while the adult child or spouse enjoys a little time to relax and restore their spirit.

Call the Legacy community nearest you to learn how respite care may be the solution you need!

6 Traits Shared By the Greatest Generation

February 3, 2020

The generation born between the two World Wars is known for their humble, quiet character. Learn more about the traits common among this age group.

At Legacy Senior Living, we are proud that so many of our nation’s veterans call one of our assisted living communities home.

One group of veterans we’ve talked about before on our blog are those born between the two World Wars. They are the parents of the Baby Boomers. Broadcaster and author, Tom Brokaw, coined the phrase the Greatest Generation to describe them. It’s a descriptive term that seems to have stuck.

In addition to their commitment to military service, the Greatest Generation is one celebrated for their strength of character. Men and women of this generation have much in common, likely due to their shared experiences.

What traits do people of this generation often share?

As it turns out, a great many.

What We Know About the Greatest Generation.

While the number of survivors from this generation has dwindled greatly, those that remain have much in common when it comes to character. Here are several examples:

  • Disciplined: Anyone who has worked with or employed a member of the Greatest Generation will likely mention this trait. The members of this generation are disciplined, hardworking, and self-motivated.
  • Patriotic: Having played such a pivotal role in shaping our nation, this generation takes their civic duties seriously. Most are patriots through and through. From volunteer work to voting records, they’ve contributed to our country on many levels.
  • Humble: Other characteristics commonly found among this generation include modesty and humility. Veterans from this age group rarely discuss their bravery or accomplishments from their military days. Even friends and family members are sometimes unaware of the commendations their loved one received during their service.
  • Loyal: As our country moves toward a gig economy and lifestyles that focus more on short-term commitments, the loyalty of the Greatest Generation becomes more pronounced. Members of this age group tend to be devoted to family, friends, jobs, and country.
  • Responsible: You will rarely find a member of this generation who shrugged off their responsibilities. Most have a high sense of personal commitment. They follow through with obligations and take ownership of tasks and duties.
  • Fiscally cautious: Unlike subsequent generations, this one is known for being conservative with their money. They live in more modest homes and exercise caution when it comes to spending. Their fiscal responsibility has enabled them to amass healthy savings even on limited incomes.

Benefits to Assist Veterans

There is an option to help with financing if an older veteran in your family would benefit from moving to an assisted living community. Administered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the program is referred to as the Aid and Attendance Benefit.

Learn more by visiting Financing Your Retirement or by calling the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you. One of our team members will be happy to answer your questions.

How Senior Move Managers Can Ease the Transition to Assisted Living

January 27, 2020

If the idea of downsizing is keeping you or a loved one from moving to assisted living, a senior move manager might be the solution. 

Moving to a new residence can be overwhelmingly hard work. The task may be even more difficult if you are assisting a senior who has lived in their home for many years. The older adult likely has acquired many belongings that you will need to sort through.

The prospect of downsizing and packing can leave families feeling daunted about how and where to begin. If this sounds like your family’s situation, the support of an experienced, professional senior move manager may be helpful.

What Is a Senior Move Manager?

While you can easily hire professional movers to do the heavy lifting, most aren’t experts at managing the unique needs of older adults. A senior move manager has experience with those issues, from the emotions of leaving the family home behind to understanding how to dispose of unneeded items.

Senior move managers are trained to support older adults throughout the process of downsizing and moving. They also know how to help a senior and their family navigate the emotional highs and lows that accompany a move.

A senior move manager typically begins by sitting down with a family to create a relocation plan. It will include all the tasks that must be completed prior to moving to a senior living community.

A few additional ways a senior move manager can help during this process include:

  • Develop a timeline for the move from start to finish

  • Create a floor plan for furniture in the new apartment or villa

  • Sort, pack, donate or dispose of household treasures and belongings

  • Set up an online auction to sell unneeded items

  • Make arrangements for an estate sale or auction

  • Schedule local charities to pick up unneeded items

  • Interview and supervise a moving company

  • Oversee a cleaning service after the old house is vacated

  • Unpack and settle the new apartment or villa

To find a certified senior move manager near you, search the online database for the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Senior Move Manager

When you are hiring any professional, including a senior move manager, asking the right questions is essential. Here are a few to help you identify a move manager who is the best fit for your family:

  • How much experience do you have as a move manager?
  • How many seniors have you assisted with this process?
  • Are you NASSM certified, or have you completed another formal training program?
  • How do you charge for your services—hourly or by the job?
  • Will you provide a written quote and a contract?
  • Are you bonded and insured for theft or damage that may occur during the packing process or move?
  • Are you fully insured for liability and workers’ compensation for yourself and any employees you have?
  • Can you provide references, including phone numbers of past clients?

The bottom line is that finding a partner who can guide your family through this process can make the transition to a senior living community easier for everyone.

Legacy Senior Living Serves Seniors in the Southeast

If you are beginning the search for independent or assisted living, we encourage you to visit a Legacy Senior Living community. With communities in six southern states, you’ll find a variety of services and amenities designed to help older adults enjoy their best quality of life. Call us today to set up a time for your private tour!

5 Ways to Prevent the Blues When You Are a Caregiver

January 21, 2020

Protecting your mental health is vital when you are a caregiver. These five tips can help.

Caring for a senior is rewarding work. It often gives the family elder and the caregiver an opportunity to reconnect and reminiscence. Adult children frequently move a loved one into their home, at least on a temporary basis, to make it easier to care for them. That time together may lead to memories that last a lifetime.

It’s important, however, not to overlook the tough aspects of caregiving. When you are responsible for another person’s health and well-being, the stress can be significant. So can the physical and emotional demands. If the senior has difficulty leaving the home, caregivers may find themselves feeling isolated and alone.

The pressures of the caregiving role may lead you to develop the blues, or a more serious case of depression. Finding ways to look after your mental health and emotional well-being is essential.

Practicing Healthy Self-Care While You Are a Caregiver

  • Eat well

When you are run down from juggling too many responsibilities, it’s not just your physical health that deteriorates. Your mental health may also suffer. That’s just one of the many reasons caregivers need to stick to a healthy diet. While it might not seem possible when your schedule is already overbooked, eating a well-balanced diet will give you the energy you need to be a better caregiver.

This is an area where friends and family can pitch in. Lotsa Helping Hands makes it easy for loved ones to sign up to deliver meals to you. If you aren’t comfortable with that, consider using a home-delivered meal service like Sun Basket, Silver Cuisine, or Hello Fresh.

  • Laugh

The old adage that laughter is the best medicine is a truthful one, especially when you are a caregiver. By staying in touch with people who make you laugh and boost your spirits, you may be able to prevent the caregiver blues or a bout with depression. In-person visits, at least once or twice a month, are best. In between, you can use video chat services or FaceTime to enjoy more meaningful talks with friends.

  • See the doctor

Family caregivers are notorious for neglecting their own health. If you’ve gotten away from having an annual physical and staying on track with important screenings, schedule an appointment with your doctor today. When you visit them, make sure to explain that you are a caregiver under considerable stress.

  • Exercise

Don’t make the mistake of equating being busy with exercising. While caregivers usually have full schedules, they need to make time for exercise to avoid a health crisis. Walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, and tai chi offer both mental and physical benefits. It may be easier to work exercise in to your day if you break it up into 10- or 15-minute sessions two or three times a day.

  • Accept help

Caregivers often feel that no one else will provide a loved one with the kind of care they can. This may lead them to turn down offers of help and to not explore professional senior care options. It’s vital to understand, however, that no one can do it all alone. Having a few hours of time to yourself will make you a better parent, spouse, employee, and caregiver. One solution to consider is respite care in an assisted living community. The senior will enjoy the same services as long-term residents, giving the caregiver time to take a break.

Respite Care at Legacy Senior Living

Respite care is often a great way to get to know an assisted living community. It gives the senior an opportunity to see if the community is a good fit while giving a weary caregiver time to relax and restore their own well-being. If you are a caregiver for a senior who lives in the Southeast, we invite you to visit a Legacy Senior Living community near you to learn more about our services.