Planning an Inter-Generational Father’s Day Celebration

Planning an Inter-Generational Father’s Day Celebration

A Father’s Day celebration is an excellent way for multiple generations to come together and honor members of the family. Some advanced planning can make the day go smoothly and ensure that everyone enjoys the event.

How to Plan an Inter-Generational Father’s Day

  1. Choose a comfortable location.

Whether the celebration takes place in a loved one’s home, a local park, or a restaurant, make sure you consider the needs of every guest.

  • If your loved one uses a wheelchair or walker, make sure the location is at ground level and not too far from transportation.
  • There should be plenty of seating, not just for eating but for family members to relax and chat.
  • Make sure there are close, easily accessible restrooms.
  • If the celebration is outdoors, provide adequate shade and cooling options.
  • Make sure all children can be kept safe and supervised.
  • If your location is mainly outdoors, plan for a second location in case of rain.
  1. Provide appropriate refreshments.

A little forethought will ensure everyone enjoys the food.

  • Check for any dietary needs before choosing the party treats.
  • Consider making it a potluck so one person isn’t responsible for all the food.
  • Hydration is important, so provide plenty of drinks within easy reach. Avoid serving only sugary or alcoholic drinks since they can contribute to dehydration. Include pitchers of water on tables.
  • Limit the salt content of any sauces and marinades you use for barbecues.
  1. Encourage fun activities.

It’s not always easy for several generations to interact, but a few fun activities can make things easier and more enjoyable.

  • Set up a craft table for kids and adults to use together, or provide building kits like sailboats or bird houses.
  • Play simple group games like charades or balloon volleyball. Consider asking guests to bring a favorite board game.
  • If any of your guests are musical, invite them to bring their instrument to perform a song.
  • Depending on your budget, you might hire entertainers like a magician, band, or kid-friendly comedian.
  1. Recognize the fathers.

Since the event is for Father’s Day, make sure the fathers in attendance feel appreciated.

  • Encourage everyone to exchange family stories.
  • Have each guest bring a favorite memory or photo of their dad. This can be done in writing or made into a video. Feel free to get creative.
  • Gifts are not always necessary but can be appreciated. One option is to make a donation in a recipient’s name.
  • Give out a certificate, trophy, or other “award” to each father for the things they’ve done over the years. You could make the entire gathering a “Father of the Generation” award ceremony with award presenters and “A Look Back” presentations.

An inter-generational Father’s Day gathering doesn’t have to be complicated. For many fathers, simply enjoying the day with loved ones is enough to make it special.

Help Your Dad Live His Best Life

At Heritage Senior Communities, we offer spacious homes with a variety of opportunities for socializing, exercising, and learning. Contact us today to find out which living option is the best for you or your senior loved one.

How to Prepare a Senior’s Home to Sell

How to Prepare a Senior’s Home to Sell

Dear Donna:

Our mom has finally agreed to move to sell her house and move to a senior living community. While we are thinking of having her move first and then worry about selling her home, we aren’t sure if that is the best approach.

Do you have any advice for selling a senior’s home when they are ready to move to a senior living community?

The Keller Family in Saline, Michigan

Prepare a Senior Loved One’s Home to Sell

Dear Keller Family:

Your mom has made an important and difficult decision that brings a unique set of stressors. The following tips should help make the transition and sale go as smoothly as possible.

How to Prepare Your Elder Loved One’s Home to Sell

Many families choose to sell a loved one’s home after they move to a senior living community. This involves a lengthy and potentially stressful process of downsizing, cleaning, and preparing the home to sell. The right approach can help you make the sale go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Start early.

The process of downsizing should start as soon as possible to give yourself and your loved one plenty of time to decide what to keep and to get used to the change. This can help keep families from feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Create a plan.

Take some time to plan your approach to the tasks ahead. Organize tasks by time and importance. When preparing the home, tackle one room at a time.

Decide what you will do with unwanted possessions. You might consider holding an estate sale if there are a lot of things to sell. Another alternative is to use online communities or an app to sell your items.

  1. Get plenty of help.

The changes will be more than what you and your mom can manage alone. Enlist the help of other loved ones, as well as outside services. Many charities offer pickup services for items like furniture. There is also a growing industry of senior move managers who help older adults relocate.

  1. Stay flexible.

While you might have a specific timeline for selling your loved one’s house, it is important to give yourself plenty of leeway in reaching your goals. Work, illness, and other scheduling conflicts can quickly throw off a well-thought plan. On the other hand, a willing buyer may appear sooner than expected.

  1. Update the home without renovating.

Increase the home’s curb appeal by neatly trimming shrubbery and lawns, sweeping porches and pavement, and power-washing the siding. Make sure the lawn and roof are free of debris.

Make sure rooms are bright and clean. Every closet and cupboard should be tidy since prospective buyers will look at them. Consider staging the home or hiring a home staging company to help it look its best.

Make minor repairs, such as replacing malfunctioning lights and fixing leaky faucets. Avoid major renovations, though, since you are unlikely to recoup the cost, and not all buyers will appreciate the results.

Best wishes,

Donna

Make the Transition Easier

Leaving one home for another can be difficult for senior loved ones. Heritage Senior Communities offers amenities and comfort to help elder adults settle in to their new environment.

Our Linden Square assisted living center in Saline, MI, offers a convenient location, inviting common areas, and a well-supplied activities room to help new residents feel at home. Contact us today for a tour.

Is There a Link Between High Cholesterol and Alzheimer’s Disease?

Is There a Link Between High Cholesterol and Alzheimer’s Disease?

For senior loved ones and their families, an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis can be devastating. There are many ways to help manage this disease, which affects memory and other parts of cognitive function. Because there is not yet a cure, it is understandable that older adults want to do what they can to reduce their Alzheimer’s risk.

Researchers are still learning about the disease. There is no single, definite cause, but scientists have uncovered several risk factors associated with the disease. This may include cholesterol levels.

Is There a Connection Between Cholesterol and Alzheimer’s Disease?

While some studies suggest a link between Alzheimer’s disease and high cholesterol, it is not a certainty. For example, the research has not yet shown whether high cholesterol leads to Alzheimer’s, or if this form of dementia can actually cause higher cholesterol. Other research has found no connection at all between cholesterol and Alzheimer’s.

One 2011 study published in the academic journal Neurology found that people with high cholesterol levels had more brain plaques compared to people with normal or lower cholesterol levels. Brain plaques, or accumulation of the protein amyloid, are considered a trademark sign of Alzheimer’s.

Another study published in 2017, however, found no connection between high cholesterol and increased risk of Alzheimer’s. The research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also found no association in people who carry the APOE4 gene variant. This variant has been connected to cholesterol metabolism and a risk of memory disorders.

What to Do About Cholesterol

The mere presence of cholesterol is not a health threat. In fact, people cannot live without cholesterol. It is important for the development of cell membranes, hormones like testosterone and estrogen, and the bile acids used for digestion.

However, high levels of a certain type of cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) can be harmful. LDL cholesterol has been linked to health risks like heart attack and stroke.

Many lifestyle factors can help reduce LDL cholesterol:

Genetics may make some people more likely to develop high cholesterol. If diet and exercise do not resolve high LDL cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medication.

How to Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

A lot of advice for healthy cholesterol also applies to Alzheimer’s risk, including physical activity and consuming a diet full of lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Here are some other ways you can reduce Alzheimer’s risk factors:

  • Quit smoking
  • Get your blood pressure under control
  • Reduce risks of falling in the home
  • Get enough sleep at night
  • Engage in mental activities by taking classes, reading, or learning a new hobby or skill
  • Nurture friendships and stay socially connected

Heritage Encourages Both Mental and Physical Health

The caring staff at Heritage Senior Communities provides enriching experiences for residents, including wellness programs and optional dining services. We also offer specialized dementia care for residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Contact us today for questions or a tour.

5 Things to Look for on an Assisted Tour

5 Things to Look for on an Assisted Tour

Dear Donna,

My mom has been living on her own for several years now. She recently gave up driving and now relies on my husband and me for transportation. Because our lives are already pretty hectic, she’s more isolated than I’d like for her to be.

We finally convinced her to at least consider moving to an assisted living community, and we’d like to take a tour of some local communities. What should we ask and look for on these tours?

Stacey Lawrence Holland, Michigan

Make the Most of Your Assisted Living Tour

Dear Stacey:

The move to an assisted living residence sounds like an ideal solution for your mom and your family. Taking time to visit and get to know local communities is the best way to make an informed decision. The key to making the most of your visit is asking the right questions.

5 Things to do When Touring Assisted Living Communities

Before you start the tour, consider what is important to your mother in a community. What type of lifestyle does she want to experience there? What amenities are most desirable? What is your family’s budget? The answers to these questions will help you narrow your search even before you take a tour.

Once you arrive at an assisted living community, there are plenty of other things to learn. Here are 5 things you should do during every tour.

  1. Observe the interactions between staff and residents.

Luxurious amenities are not as important as courteous, helpful, and trained staff. Watch how staff members treat and speak to those they care for. What you see is a good indicator of what your mom can expect. Also ask about the community’s hiring practices and training programs.

  1. Talk to residents.

An impromptu, friendly conversation with current residents may provide even more information than a tour with staff can. Ask if they have had any serious issues with the community, including thefts. Ask about the quality of meals and activities. You might even ask if they have a resident council. If they do, ask to speak to the resident in charge of it.

  1. Ask if there is a waiting list.

While it may be inconvenient, a waiting list is often a good sign. It means the community is in high demand and indicates financial stability. The possibility of a waiting list is also why it’s better to start the search for assisted living before a crisis occurs.

  1. Ask how the community bills for services and accepts payments.

Most assisted living communities assess level of care charges according to the amount of care and support each resident receives. The size and style of their apartment or suite also impacts monthly fees. Make sure you understand what to expect.

  1. Ask for a copy of the contract before you decide.

A community’s standard contract should include information on how it serves residents as they age and their needs increase. It should also note payment terms, and any costs associated with leaving the community. If possible, have a trusted attorney review the contract. He or she can explain the agreement and identify potential concerns.

Leading Provider of Assisted Living in Michigan

Heritage is proud to be recognized as one of the leading providers of assisted living care in the state of Michigan. Our family-owned business has been serving older adults in the Great Lake state for three generations.

In Western Michigan, we’re pleased to serve families in Holland at our Appledorn Assisted Living community. Call us today to schedule a private tour at your convenience.

Respite Care: Support for Seniors When Families Can’t Be There

Respite Care: Support for Seniors When Families Can’t Be There

Respite care is a way for your senior loved one to receive temporary care when their usual caregiver needs a break.

This type of care may be provided in your loved one’s home, or it may involve a short stay in a senior living community. Respite care may last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks depending on individual need.

Here are the answers to some common questions about respite care.

When is Respite Care a Good Solution?

There are many different reasons why you might consider respite care for your senior loved one.

  • Their home has become uninhabitable, perhaps due home modifications or renovations.
  • They have undergone surgery and need additional care before they can return home.
  • Their usual caregiver is going out of town or simply needs time away from caregiving.
  • They want to experience a senior living community before relocating permanently.

What Respite Care Options are There, and How Do You Find Them?

There is a wide variety of respite care options. If you need a day-long break from caregiving to do other things or just to relax, you could look for day programs that provide socializing opportunities and activities like games, physical exercise, or music therapy. Some programs provide counseling, personal care, and physical or speech therapy.

For longer stays, you might look for a senior living community nearby or find someone who can provide overnight care in your loved one’s home.

Once you know what you’re looking for, there are many ways to find it.

  • Contact the local agency on aging to ask if they maintain a list of respite care options.
  • Check with friends and family who are caregivers for a senior they love.
  • Talk with your family member’s primary care physician.
  • Ask local senior communities about their respite care program.
  • Call the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s or visit locating community resources on their website.

Once you find a location, call and ask the staff questions to address any concerns you may have. Their answers will give you some insight in to how they treat those in their care.

How Much Does Respite Care Cost?

The cost of respite care will vary widely depending on the type of care involved and how long it is needed. Ask the respite care provider about payment options or sliding scale fees. Long-term care insurance may also be able to help pay for respite care.

Local, state, or federal government programs are other potential sources of financial assistance. Local agencies on aging or Alzheimer’s Association branches may be able to answer questions about funding respite care.

Need Respite Care for a Loved One?

Heritage communities offer short-term respite care in comfortable apartments with delicious meals and social activities. Contact us to ask questions or to schedule a private tour.