Category Archives: Assisted Living

Nature and Retirement Should Go Hand in Hand

Since we’re heading deep into winter, the last thing you may be thinking about is getting more outdoor time with your senior loved ones! But the beneficial effect of nature on health and wellbeing cannot be overstated, whether you’re young or simply young at heart. Here’s how the power of nature can help seniors live healthier, better lives, and why it’s such an important element of senior living and retirement communities.

Spending Time Outdoors Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

When we think about getting in touch with nature, your mind can easily jump to experiences captured by the National Geographic channel  – canoeing through the Canadian wilderness, rock climbing in Colorado, or walking through the Serengeti among the lions – but it doesn’t need to be that complicated or that adventurous!

Research has shown that simply experiencing everyday life outdoors  significantly impacts  overall mental and physical health. Easy access to green or blue spaces – local parks, woods and nature reserves, lakes, rivers and the ocean – is what really matters, especially through the retirement years.

4 Benefits of Nature for Retirees

  1. Encourages physical activity and interaction – If nature is on your doorstep, you’re immediately encouraged to go and explore it. This means you’re more likely to take a walk or hike, which is perfect not only for physical health, but also for mental health. Not only do you get your heart pumping and get invigorated by the fresh air, you’re less likely to suffer from boredom, stress and low self-esteem. It’s also  great for family interactions, helping form bonds between the generations.
  2. It helps fight depression and isolation – Seniors are especially vulnerable to isolation and depression, which can  significantly impact  physical wellness. One prevention strategy, interacting with nature,  creates a feeling of inspiration, spirituality and connectedness. Immersion  in nature has long been promoted as a way to revitalize the soul and spirit, and it works – regardless of age. It’s cheaper than therapy, too!
  3. It boosts memory – One of the biggest concerns for seniors and their loved ones is memory loss, however,  regular interaction with nature can help.  One study found that interacting with nature not only improved memory performance, it also increased attention span by 20%. The explanation:  natural surroundings have an immediate impact of reducing the stress levels and overstimulation that come from urban environments. 
  4. It lengthens life – Nature can help you live longer, and an interesting Harvard study found that despite socioeconomic status, age or race, people surrounded by  greenery, generally live 12% longer than those that don’t. Environments with trees and plants showed reduced respiratory illnesses and 13% fewer cancer deaths, which makes the power of nature pretty amazing.

 

Helping Seniors Get in Touch with Nature at Bristol Glen

When bringing nature to a loved one, make it easy on both of you. Remember to cater to their health and fitness by keeping it simple. A regular walk around the local park, a visit to a local farm to pick apples, a picnic, or fishing with the grandkids are all great options.

In light of these benefits, why not  consider access to nature when looking at retirement communities? Research those offering beautiful landscapes, community gardens, walking trails, large grassy and wooded areas, blooming plants, or easy access to green and blue spaces. At Bristol Glen, we know the importance of nature for our residents as well as our associates. Our beautiful wooded 74-acre campus is the breath of fresh air we all need! To find out more about our senior living community, contact us or visit our website.

How to Help Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Enjoy Summer Outings

One of the most important things to do when a friend or loved one has Alzheimer’s disease is to make an active effort to keep them a part of your social circle. Socializing and engaging with others helps fight depression and anxiety and is thought to be beneficial. Here is some advice to help make summer outings easier for your loved one to attend from the team at our assisted living and CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Develop New Traditions

The activities you used to do together may be difficult or impossible for someone with Alzheimer’s, so it’s important to come up with new traditions that align with their capabilities. If you always participated in the Bridge Club together, you may have to stop when memory loss becomes too advanced. However, it’s the perfect opportunity to start new traditions that don’t rely on memory abilities. For example, you could start bird watching, join a walking club or start a supper club together.

Bring the Past to Life

When you speak to your loved one, pay attention to the old memories of the past they talk about. These memories often remain very strong for people with Alzheimer’s, even as short-term memories fade. This could be a source of great inspiration for activities to do together – revisiting a favorite park, seeing a musical performance together or having a classic movie night are all great opportunities to bond.

Learn When They’re at Their Best

Many Alzheimer’s residents experience times of the day when they feel fresh, energized and active, and others when their symptoms seem more pronounced. You can observe these by spending time with your loved one or by chatting with their caregiver. Generally speaking, the best times of the day for an activity are mid-morning to early afternoon. Anxiety and agitation frequently peak in the late afternoon or evening, when fatigue sets in. Routines are very important, so work with a caregiver to determine the best time to get together with your loved one on a regular basis.

Compassionate Care for Independent Seniors at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community based in Sussex County that provides seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of resident-directed living, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model in which they do not have to move from their residential apartment to access additional services as their needs change.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.

4 Tips for Celebrating Aging!

We live in a culture that’s so focused on youth that we often forget to celebrate something that’s equally impressive and wonderful – getting older! Reaching our senior years is an accomplishment that we should all do more to appreciate. Here are some tips from the experts at Bristol Glen, our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

  1. Be proud of your loved one’s age (and your own!): In Native American, Greek, Indian and African-American cultures (as well as many more) people are respected for reaching their senior years – but the positive attitude starts with you! Encourage your senior loved ones to celebrate their birthdays with friends and family and treat it like the accomplishment it is. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be filled with love and laughter.
  2. Follow a passion: For many seniors, one of their biggest challenges is finding a reason to get up in the morning. Not having a purpose can make a person feel lonely and compromises their sense of worth. But being a senior means you have so much to give, from both your work and life experience! Celebrate by sharing it with others by joining a mentoring program or making use of your skills by volunteering your time for a cause close to your heart.
  3. Start a new hobby: The saying that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick is wrong – as a senior, you can learn to do anything you want! It’s healthy too, as the act of learning provides the mental stimulation that every brain needs to stay fit and help fight off cognitive disorders. It doesn’t have to cost a lot either – there are plenty of organizations that offer courses that are free for seniors or offer a discount. Learn the piano, start dancing lessons, get involved with board games or learn computer skills and show off your new skills!
  4. Have fun: Too often, seniors are criticized for not acting their age, but life is all about having fun. Dress up, look your best, play with the grandkids, make a mess, sing along to your favorite music, go to the movies or a concert – whatever you love best. Being a senior isn’t about always staying home and living a quiet life – after all, every day is worth celebrating your own way.

Full, Independent Living for Seniors at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community based in Sussex County that aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living arrangements that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of ageing in place, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model where they do not have to move from their residential apartment to access additional services as their needs change.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/ and book your visit today.