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Seniors & Technology: Staying Connected While Aging

By | News, Senior Living

Let’s talk tech and the importance of staying connected while aging. For our purpose, tech refers to all forms of technology—smartphones, computers/laptops, Smart TVs, virtual personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google HOME, important health and safety monitoring devices, and programming resources like FaceTime on your smartphone, video conferencing platforms like ZOOM and Skype, virtual reality goggles for travel experiences, and webinar and online learning resources for everything from college courses and travel to medical and financial advice.

Technology & Today’s Seniors.
The presence and threat of COVID-19 throughout our country has caused many people—especially seniors—to jump-start their technology skills. In order to continue to communicate with family, friends and professional advisors while honoring stay-at-home directives, they’ve increased their usage of FaceTime and learned how to ZOOM and Skype. Tele-medical appointments have become almost standard—increasing convenience and efficiency for seniors, while maintaining effectiveness.

Researchers at the University of California-San Diego tell us that programmers and software developers recognize the impact seniors are having on their marketplace—and it all began well before COVID-19. Developers continue to scramble to find helpful platforms and tools that are more user friendly for seniors. Wearables and apps for smartphones can now monitor everything from blood pressure, to your pulse and CPAP; activate your lights at night, your thermostat and your vacuum cleaner; adjust your satellite dish, turn on your fireplace, and lock and unlock your doors. These devices and their potential are expected to facilitate even greater opportunities for independence, self-management, and the overall well-being of older adults in the future.

And let’s not forget about technology programming in senior living communities that promotes learning and FUN for residents. Talented and professional wellness and activity directors like those at The Carrington at Lincolnwood incorporated unique customized online activity during the peak of COVID-19. Seniors nationwide took advantage of activities like the following on smartphones, laptops, and Smart TVs:

  • Getting Physical: Strength training, aerobic tone & movement, stretching, rhythm, and balance.
  • Mind Games: Words in a word, name that quote, other mind-challenging online games.
  • History & Science: Nature talks, historical facts, news & current events, universe talks, tech talk.
  • Culture: Book clubs, play reading, poetry, name that tune, touring the 7 Wonders of the World, virtual music concerts, easy listening music, downloading and watching movies.
  • Reflective Times: Weekly church services, morning reflections, spiritual readings.
  • Being Crafty: Cooking & baking programs, sewing & quilting, fishing tutorials, photo album creation.
  • Shop ‘til You Drop: A tour of helpful commercial sites for everything you need or want.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the role technology could play in your life. Every senior living community offers something different. As a resident-centered community, The Carrington focuses on the wants and needs of its residents. Our residents are progressive. Innovation and technology are important to them.

At The Carrington, events have been held lately via ZOOM, and residents in various neighborhoods arrange informal ZOOM gatherings to keep connected with neighbors. Communication flourishes via updates on The Carrington’s internal TV channel, website, and by email. You can easily see how physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual interaction in activities and programming are important to these vibrant residents.

Tech Concerns On Seniors’ Minds—RESOURCES To Help.
Even though the future holds endless opportunities for today’s seniors to expand their technology skills, studies show most are commonly concerned about three main things:

  • I’m too old to get started now.
  • Where can I get tech help when needed?
  • Privacy, security, and online fraud worry me.

My Grandkids Now Call Me “Techie.”
You’re in good company! Numerous recent AARP studies show that technology usage among older adults age 50+ continues to climb in home computers, laptops, smartphones, and in other areas you just might find surprising—virtual reality, home assistant devices, and Smart TVs (one that’s digital and Internet-connected). In 2000, 14% of those ages 65 and older were internet users; now 73% are—and more seniors are joining in every day. Smartphone ownership was uncommon for all ages around the turn of the 21st century. Now 53% of people 65 and older are smartphone owners.

This increased usage is having a significant impact on the American economy, too. The AARP predicts that by 2030, nearly 132 million Americans age 50+ will spend upwards of $84 billion a year on technology products. The AARP’s interesting and colorful infographic tells the story by the numbers.

Sometimes I Get So Frustrated!
Technology is used in every facet of life because it can provide the speed, connectivity, and efficiency to make tasks easier—pretty good reasons for staying connected as you age. You may be saying right now, “Sometimes I get so frustrated with technology. I want things to be easier and faster, and I DO try to get better at it. The fact is, I’m unsure of my ability and this leaves me unmotivated to keep at it.” Don’t lose faith! Technology doesn’t have to be disconcerting. As an older adult, don’t underestimate how technology can help you. Continue to dig in, learn a new computer skill, and discover innovative ways to connect with friends and loved ones—electronically.

Where Do I Get Computer Help?
Many seniors today left the workforce before technology was integrated into daily work, leaving them without the vocabulary or basic skills needed to function in the digital age. To increase your familiarity and comfort, first go online and get familiar with a few terminology basics—like types of computers (desktop, tablet, smartphone, laptop) and WiFi.

Now, to get help, family members—especially the grandkids—and computer savvy friends are an obvious choice for the basics. There are lots of other places, too:

  • Research online services and instructional videos that allow you to go at your own pace (Try: TechBoomers.com)
  • Visit Senior Planet for a short tutorial on Video Chat with ZOOM.
  • Watch for local classes or senior workshops in your area.
  • And if The Carrington is your home, you can depend on helpful support from the staff—just ask.

Finally, the old “trial and error” method really does promote learning. Just save yourself a little time each day to get on your computer, iPad, laptop, or smartphone and just hunt and peck around. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn—all by yourself!

I Don’t Want To Get Ripped Off!
If there’s a challenge or concern among older adults using technology, it’s still privacy and security. Nearly 1 in 5 indicates they have low confidence in their safety online. This concern has increased the need to provide more education to older adults on safe tech practices. More and more of these services are being developed and made available every year.

Hopefully, we’ve given you a little encouragement, comfort, and inspiration that will inspire you to stay connected through advancing technology. Please know you can stay in touch with The Carrington, too, by virtually exploring our website and Facebook page. The Carrington marketing team is also using technology for virtual community tours and conferences based on your comfort level, of course. Call us at (847) 744-9469 or complete our online form to arrange an appointment.

Times With Marv: Happy, Healthy, & Secure At The Carrington

By | News, Senior Living

One of the first friendly faces a new resident of The Carrington at Lincolnwood encounters upon move-in is that of Marv Weisenberg. Marv and his wife Sandy moved from Evanston, IL in 2018 and since then Marv has become the chairman of the community’s Welcoming Committee.  As you would expect, he’s in the know when it comes to the WHO and WHAT making up The Carrington’s service-rich lifestyle of warmth and familiarity.

Marv is a career manufacturer’s sales representative in the giftware industry and still works part-time out of his residence at The Carrington. He and Sandy married seven years ago and collectively claim eight children, 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Why The Carrington?
A three-story townhouse in Evanston was home for 35 years until the stairs became problematic, Marv claims. He tells of visiting other communities—one in downtown Evanston; one in Des Plaines near his son; and several others. “The kids found this place, so we came over during a visit, looked at it, and loved it,” says Marv. None of the other communities struck Marv and Sandy as positively as The Carrington.

“I can think of so many things that influenced our decision to move to The Carrington,” says Marv. “It’s a beautiful community—lovely décor, paintings on the walls, beautiful carpeting. When it comes to the quality and quantity of equipment and resources, the fitness center here is the envy of my friends who are health club members. I happen to be a swimmer and I love the pool—90 degrees, warm, comfortable, and great aqua exercise classes. A wonderful schedule of classes, lectures, and entertainment—not to mention Happy Hour with entertainment, beverages, and snacks at 4 pm every Wednesday adds to this special lifestyle. And, finally, I moved to The Carrington for indoor, heated parking, and my car thanks me constantly for the wonderful treatment I’m giving it!”

And what about the people? “Besides the amenities and perks, another wonderful aspect of The Carrington is that some very nice, good, long-time friends are here,” says Marv. “Coincidentally, some of the people I knew from high school. I was friendly with one gentleman in high school on Chicago’s North Side. Another was a fellow employee and we worked in a sales organization together. It was nice to find them here and catch up—re-establishing friendships. When we go down for dinners in the wonderful dining room, Sandy and I sit at a table with other people, taking the chance to visit and make new friends. We were always friendly with a small group of neighbors and friends in Evanston but nothing to the extent that we experience here.”

COVID Life & Times With Marv
“I cannot talk about the people at The Carrington without mentioning the staff,” says Marv. “Experienced. Professional. Charming. Delightful. Like no other time was the staff put to the task than during this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.”

Marv chooses two words in particular—communication and attentiveness—to characterize the service The Carrington residents receive during these COVID days. “We’re definitely kept up-to-date on anything and everything that’s taking place,” he says. “Residents receive daily bulletins taped to their door overnight, so when we first open our doors in the morning, information on new pandemic developments and community news and regulations is right there for us. They also broadcast community news via the in-house TV channel.

“I don’t know how much more caring can take place,” says Marv. “The services are never-ending—to the MAX!” Pleased with the attention poured on all residents during the pandemic era and the peace of mind he feels knowing that on-site care is available at all times, Marv continues to tout the staff at The Carrington and how wellness is their focus. He’s impressed that a nurse comes to his door twice a week to check temperatures and oxygen levels for him and Sandy. Residents get a weekly menu and circle the food they want for three meals each day. There are two choices per meal, which is then dropped off at each door three times a day.

“We’re on the 4th floor, so we have a wonderful view southbound of Lincolnwood and of Chicago off in the distance. And there’s a very lovely pond that The Carrington created—so, in the spring, we saw ducks, geese, and little ducklings swimming around in there. We’re encouraged to walk around outside, now—a nice walkway surrounds the community. So, Sandy and I have been out walking around and sitting on the benches. We all stay six feet apart from each other and everyone is wearing a mask.”

Take It From Marv…
“The Carrington offers a very happy, healthy, secure lifestyle. They cater to our physical needs, our mental needs, our entertainment needs, and our need to spend time with friends. Sandy and I are extremely happy and satisfied—and I’m not even getting paid to say this!”

We hope to soon have the opportunity to show you around The Carrington and even introduce you to Marv. In the meantime, experience The Carrington virtually on our website and check out our Facebook page. You can also make arrangements for a tour by calling us at (847) 744-9469 or by completing the online form.

The Carrington Strong: Navigating COVID-19 Together, Yet Apart

By | News, Senior Living

As part of its America Strong campaign, the United States Department of Defense staged the flyover as a salute to thank all who have worked amid the pandemic—medical professionals, emergency responders, and essential workers—to keep our country going strong. Here at The Carrington, we take the salute one step further by sharing a few personal stories from resident’s adult children and how The Carrington’s essential workers—at every level—are dedicated during these challenging times to keeping The Carrington Strong. Learn how we’re navigating COVID-19 together, yet apart.

Erik’s Story.
“There’s an overall positive feeling at The Carrington. The people are great—the staff, the receptionist, sales, the maintenance people, the guy who picks up the garbage, the person who drives the van—top to bottom. They are always engaging. Always asking how my parents are doing.”

Erik
Mother & father have been residents since October 2018

Besides the positivity he experiences every time he visits his parents at The Carrington, Erik says he appreciates the responsiveness of the staff. Everyone is exceptionally nice—not just to my parents, but to me, too,” Erik says. And not just during pandemic times—when times are normal too. Erik likes to tell this story:

“I see responsiveness all around The Carrington because I’m there a lot—in the shadows of a lot of situations. So, I see when staff are responding to the residents. One day, I could see my dad needed help positioning his chair. One of the staff comes up and fixes his chair. Just little things. Dad told me the other night, ‘You know everybody else gets one cup of ice cream for dessert, but they give me two.’ I don’t know if that’s true, but they make him feel special.”

Erik’s mother is in the highest risk category for COVID-19. She has COPD and is on oxygen 24/7. She became infected with the virus, overcame the illness, and is fully recovered. “My Dad tested negative,” says Erik, who is thankful the couple can stay in proximity of each other, even though they have been separated during this critical time. Erik’s mother has returned to her memory care residence, where nurses continue to call him with updates.  “Even when I don’t ask for them,” Erik says.

Having gone through a COVID-19 infection with his mother, Erik says, “I feel more confident now than ever before because I know the staff here have all protocols in place—things are going to be taken care of.”

Checking In On Mom & Dad During COVID-19—Jared’s Thoughts.
“I like to look at how The Carrington took on this unprecedented event (the pandemic), and the positive way they’ve handled things from the beginning. For me as their son, it’s just very comforting knowing that there are loving people there who truly care for them.”

Jared
Mother & father have been residents since October 2019

Both of Jared’s parents, residents at The Carrington, tested positive for COVID-19. His father, 91, was hospitalized and recovered. His mother, 79, tested positive and was immediately quarantined to a different residence at The Carrington. She has fully recovered and has been cleared to carry on with her lifestyle.

While initially concerned for his parents’ safety, Jared salutes the amazing staff at The Carrington for bravely and devotedly caring for his family and for making The Carrington Strong.

Jared admits his parents’ decision to move last fall from their Skokie home of 45 years was not an easy one. The concerns were common—loss of independence and privacy. And then health issues for both entered into the picture—and a move was inevitable. “Before the snow flies,” was his father’s request. The next major event in their lives: COVID-19.

Had his parents not moved to The Carrington, Jared shares, he would’ve discouraged them from going out shopping during this time. But he knows his dad still would’ve escaped when Jared wasn’t there. Plus, there would’ve been at-home caregivers coming in and out of their home, then into the community—creating a real risk for virus spread.

“The Carrington was extremely proactive about COVID-19,” says Jared. “They actually began restricting access to the immediate family much earlier than other places. I was actually disappointed one day (before official stay-at-home orders) because I wanted to see my parents, and I couldn’t. They were very firm as they were trying to keep everyone safe. I was sad I couldn’t see them, but it gave me a lot of security and comfort knowing that truly loving people were caring for Mom and Dad.”

Jared commends the nursing staff at The Carrington, some of whom even gave out their cell phone numbers so he could have immediate access, especially when his dad was in the hospital. “I would call them at 7 in the morning and 10 at night, and they would still be working. They were going to extreme efforts, pulling crazy shifts and being extremely responsive to my concerns—just as concerned about my Dad as I was.”

Jared is pleased to know his parents are out-of-the-woods and COVID-free. “I’ve spent a lot of time with The Carrington staff and talked to my parents enough to realize that the general attitude there is a caring one—like a family.”

During these days of “Stay-in-Place,” we invite you to experience The Carrington virtually and check out our Facebook page. Join us for a face-to-face virtual conference by calling us at (847) 744-9469 or by completing an online form. See what we mean by The Carrington Strong!

The Benefits Of Meaningful Human Relationships As You Age

By | News, Senior Living

People are living longer. As a result, there’s an increasing interest in understanding and promoting successful aging. There are volumes filled with advice on how to keep the body and brain in optimal shape as the years roll by. Some aging experts say the answer is to get plenty of exercise. Others tout a healthy diet. Still, others say a positive attitude is key. And then there are those who say it’s just plain old good luck.

At The Carrington at Lincolnwood, we’re rather partial to an idea posed by Louis Cozolino, professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, in his book Timeless: Nature’s Formula for Health and Longevity. “Of all the experiences we need to survive and thrive,” he writes, “it is the experience of relating to others that is the most meaningful and important. A lifestyle that maximizes social interaction and human-to-human contact is good for the brain at every stage, particularly for the aging brain.”

Meaningful human relationships. Makes sense, doesn’t it? In fact, research suggests that the people we surround ourselves with have a big impact on our psychological and physical health. Relationships allow us to interact socially, and additional research shows the support we receive can decrease risks of heart attacks, decline in cognition, depression, and anxiety. One study found that people with good social relationships have a 50% lower rate of mortality than those with poor social interactions.

With evidence that social relationships play a key role in maintaining health as you age, let’s take a look at how The Carrington accomplishes its goal of promoting meaningful relationships and well-being for all residents. A video produced with residents Phil and Pat O’Donnell will help you understand The Carrington’s culture of boundless engagement.

Meaningful relationships provide the opportunity for three key benefits: exchange of support, social engagement, and sense of worth—all major pillars for a foundation of healthy aging.

An Exchange Of Support—Give & Take
Your social network forms the platform for valuable personal support and opportunities for social interaction. Having someone to talk to, have lunch with, or laugh together over a funny story does wonders for your sense of belonging. The O’Donnells will be the first to concur. The day my husband, Phil, and I came (to The Carrington) there were only 13 of us. I believe this group set the pace for friendliness and welcoming for all who have come since. Now in 2020, we are a family of over 170 in independent living. The friendliness remains, which makes it wonderful for all newcomers.” On The Carrington’s Facebook page, you can read more about the positive social networks that have formed within the community and how the residents truly bond together over like interests and activities.

As an older adult, perhaps your family, spouse, and adult children are your central source of support. But, as you may be finding, children and grandchildren get older and other interests divert their attention elsewhere. As you age right along with them, it will be increasingly important to expand your social network—your lifeline of personal support. Findings show that social support from others can increase your feelings of independence and self-esteem, and lower levels of depression and loneliness that may creep up.

As you draw positive experiences from your social relationships, you’ll also find they offer the opportunity to provide support to others. This feeds your well-being, too, as you benefit from increased feelings of usefulness. Seniors who report giving support to others within their social network are more likely to receive support, greater feelings of self-efficacy, and higher levels of self-esteem.

Compassion and concern for others may protect against feelings of meaninglessness, too. “If you’re feeling lonely, go out and do something for somebody else,” one senior shared with us. Even making brief connections with relative strangers—acknowledging their presence, wishing them a good day, giving a compliment—can be a source both of meaning and happiness. Listening to someone with an open mind, reaching out to someone who may be lonely, or sending a card can provide good cheer to someone who’s down in the dumps.

Social Engagement—Learning & Laughter
Did you ever stop and think about how much you can learn from your friends—your social network? Just like you, they have a life story to tell. Take advantage of it—let them into your life. Chances are they’ve logged a few miles filled with exciting experiences, interesting acquaintances, fascinating travels, unusual hobbies, remarkable accomplishments, noteworthy previous occupations, and life goals yet to be achieved. Who knows, maybe together you can check a few items off your Bucket Lists.

Become a good listener, as well as a good friend, sharing with each other, and setting new challenges to meet and learn from in the days ahead. Listening to someone else’s point of view allows you to look at life from different perspectives, some of which you may not have thought of before.

You’re never too old to learn and grow—and you may even find yourself picking up a few new healthier behaviors from your expanding social network. “Joe always exercises at least 30 minutes a day, and now I make sure to take daily walks too “Jane taught me how important it is to eat three square meals—I’ve never felt better!”

Research shows that as age increases, a person’s social network decreases. However, even though older adults may have smaller social circles, their relationships tend to be of higher quality. Evidence suggests that, generally, the more varied your social network, the happier and healthier you will be. Intimate friends are very important for older adults. Social dining—even family-style meals—are great for promoting connectivity and battling social isolation, which can easily descend upon you as you age. As you’ll see in Marv’s video, dining at The Carrington presents the perfect opportunity for learning and laughter among friends.

What happens to social engagement when a community like The Carrington is confronted with a nationwide pandemic? Let’s face it—we’re all in a pause of unbelievable proportions thanks to COVID-19. At The Carrington, both creativity and fortitude have kicked into gear. A visit to The Carrington’s Facebook page tells a marvelous story of how The Carrington staff and residents are still focusing on their social connections during this time.

The Carrington staff is making sure all residents know how to connect with friends and family via the Internet or Smartphone, and, like elsewhere in the country, an entire culture of active ZOOMers has developed. Birthdays come and go, but not without some form of celebratory serenade. Religious celebrations in April—Holy Week and Passover—were observed on television, online, and with special courtyard ceremonies—at a distance, of course. Online field trips to museums and national parks, in-room exercise programs, and videos online are providing entertainment, learning, music and art appreciation, and physical and intellectual stimulation. Individual private time is still cherished, and many residents are catching up on reading. Social networks are functioning at full capacity at The Carrington—just at an appropriate distance!

A Sense Of Worth—Control & Confidence
Finally, meaningful social relationships later in life strengthen feelings of control and confidence. Keep all these benefits in mind as you develop a clear understanding of the importance of social relationships as an older adult, as well as the ways your social network promotes successful aging and health later in life.

Loss of control in decision-making can create a good deal of stress as you age. But it’s worth remembering that friendships are the relationships you choose and may allow for greater feelings of autonomy—leading to broader social networks, especially within a senior living community. So, as you cultivate and expand your social network, it stands to reason that you’re also cultivating healthier levels of self-esteem, leading to greater independence and feelings of happiness and well-being.

The professional staff at The Carrington has been trained to promote the development of meaningful social relationships and activity throughout the community. They are “tuned-in” and are constantly looking for ways to nurture meaningful friendships among residents. They encourage storytelling, sharing experiences, and lots of laughter, of course. They expect the residents to take an active role in planning and scheduling the activities and events THEY want to participate in. They also understand life’s natural transitions and are absolutely the best resources for handling them in a healthy, compassionate way.

Your Next Step…
During these days of “Stay-in-Place,” we invite you to experience The Carrington virtually. Join us for a video tour and a face-to-face virtual conference by calling us at (847) 744-9469 or by completing the online form.

On-site Care During COVID-19 & Beyond: An Important Component For Living Independently

By | News, Senior Living

COVID-19 has created a healthcare revolution. Multiple initiatives are underway at the federal and state level, and in the private sector, to reform our health and long-term care delivery systems in order to better address the health care needs of all Americans. In particular, the needs of more vulnerable groups like seniors when it comes to on-site care opportunities. These initiatives have really impacted the senior living industry.

But this is not news to you. You’re out there searching for the perfect place to spend an independent retirement, and the question keeps coming up: Should I be looking for a place that offers the security and peace of mind of on-site healthcare, just in case I need it someday?

We’re here to help you answer that question by outlining six common benefits of on-site care in the senior living community you’re considering.

BENEFIT #1: Peace of Mind

You may not need care right now. Your focus is independence. It’s your time! Time to pick up old hobbies and pastimes. Time to try something new with neighbors and friends. Time to just lock the door and take an extended vacation, if you want. But what if you get sick, fall and break something, or need an unforeseen surgery? The fact that you’ve chosen a community with on-site healthcare services will give you peace of mind that someone is there to take care of you, and you will not have to move to another community. Carry on—go ahead and enjoy life!

BENEFIT #2: Familiarity

Adding to peace of mind, the availability of on-site care, if you ever need it, gives you feelings of security and comfort in your surroundings. You’ll know what professional care you’re going to receive, where it will take place, and who will administer care—within familiar surroundings. You see all these compassionate caregivers regularly, and you trust them. They call you by name. They know your medical, emotional, and social needs. They are there for YOU!

BENEFIT #3: Connectivity

The availability of on-site care keeps you connected to the larger community of friends and neighbors who are in the same chapter of their life as you. A caring staff helps during your transition so you can get back to the independent lifestyle you enjoy—as quickly as possible. And, it’s easy for your neighbors to visit! This level of community compassion and connection empowers you to thrive and continue to pursue your passions and the retirement of your dreams.

BENEFIT #4: Prevention

Because on-site care is convenient, as a resident, this benefit will improve your awareness and use of preventive screenings, immunizations, and recommended aging health services you might not have otherwise considered. Recent studies have shown that on-site care services in senior living communities reduce medication-related issues, hospitalizations, readmissions, and trips to the emergency room. Additionally, on-site care services are known to lead to improved health, happiness, and quality of life. Further, they reduce the unnecessary use of health services, thereby achieving cost savings for senior residents.

BENEFIT #5: Programming

When a senior living community has an on-site healthcare component, an independent living resident can expect types of services they may not find in other communities. These services might include:

  • Educational programming in the form of health and wellness presentations, lectures, and fairs.
  • Wellness and prevention screenings and monitoring.
  • Fitness programs.
  • Medication management and assistance.
  • Medical appointment reminders.
  • Care coordination and navigation.
  • Physical or occupational therapy.
  • Mental health counseling and therapy.
  • Primary care.

BENEFIT #6: Professional Networks

It goes without saying that during the times of a national public health crisis like COVID-19, a senior living community that offers on-site healthcare services is preferred over those that do not. Health and happiness of residents and staff are the top priority at The Carrington. In addition, the staff is proactive and in constant communication with local, state, and national agencies. This includes the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In conclusion, the residents of The Carrington at Lincolnwood truly value the countless benefits of on-site Assisted Living and Memory Care services available to them.

To learn more about The Carrington, call (847) 744-9469 or complete our online form to schedule a personal tour.

RESOURCES: Housing and Healthcare: Partners in Healthy Aging by LeadingAge.

5 Benefits Of Staying Active In Retirement

By | News, Senior Living

Staying active throughout life is crucial to maintaining health and well-being for people of all ages—but even more so for senior adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, by age 75, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity.

Physical activity—so what are we talking about? A little more than that walk to the mailbox six days per week. We’re talking about movement, exercise, something physical that increases your heart rate and gets you breathing a little faster. Now, you might be saying to yourself:

“But I’m retired! Do you mean after all the years of working, running a household, raising children, and numerous weekends of endless sporting events for both children and grandchildren, that I can’t just sit in my Lazy Boy and watch T.V. all day?

Well, you can, but the experts say that regular exercise and an active lifestyle for seniors—who take longer to heal and recover from injuries—offer health benefits beyond the obvious. These benefits range from preventing physical injuries to increasing mental health and include improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and neurocognitive function.

Here we’d like to present 5 benefits of staying active as you age—with input from the experts—for you to think about.

1. Overall QUALITY OF HEALTH is higher when seniors participate in exercise or physical activity.
Physical activity need not be strenuous to be effective. Try walking—the most common form of exercise for seniors. A moderate amount of walking, preferably daily, has great benefits. Walking at a regular stride in longer sessions, or shorter sessions of fast walking or stair-walking, are great options. Consult your health care provider or physical therapist first, then start walking—varying duration, intensity, and frequency for the greatest results.

2. Management of BODY WEIGHT AND STRENGTH is easier with regular exercise.
Metabolism naturally slows with age and regular exercise helps keep body weight under control by burning more calories and developing muscle mass. Bones and joints benefit, too. Exercise also helps control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis, and your bones respond by building more cells and increasing bone density. Increased bone and joint health help reduce the risk of falling and improves the ability to better perform the routine tasks of daily life.

3. Regular exercise promotes HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) names hypertension as one of the most prominent causes of premature death worldwide and reports that by 2025, an estimated 1.56 billion people will be living with it. If you have high blood pressure (above 130/80), you’re not alone. Just know that it is both preventable and treatable, and regular exercise and any type of consistent movement are medically proven to be one of the best ways to lower blood pressure. Most of the experts suggest just 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, five times a week to reduce blood pressure, lower stress, and decrease your risks of cardiovascular problems, colon cancer, and diabetes.

4. A more active lifestyle will foster HEALTHIER SLEEP PATTERNS.
Sedentary seniors tend to have more trouble getting quality rest. If you fit into this category, inject a little more activity into your daily routine and see if it helps. It’s been proven that adding regular aerobic exercise during the day can promote deeper sleep. Raising your core body temperature encourages rest when you start to cool down. A pre-bedtime workout is best. Even that walk after dinner will help. Try a little more activity and see if you don’t fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up more refreshed.

5. An active lifestyle leads to a variety of MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS.
Exercise has been linked to improved cognitive function and the ability to fight off depression. Exercise works the muscles that generate mood-boosters causing them to activate and reduce stress. Recent studies show that maintaining activity levels may even help slow the progression of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, as well as lower the risk of vascular dementia in seniors. A regular fitness routine can help seniors stay focused and allow them to lead a higher-quality life with more energy and better motor skills.

The social aspects of group fitness activities can also have a positive impact on seniors who have trouble maintaining an active social life. Some aging adults today are increasing their social wellness by making exercise a fun group outing within their neighborhood or community. Senior walking groups and fitness classes are popping up everywhere, helping keep senior adults young at heart and mentally sharp.

In conclusion, as mentioned above, walking appears to be the most common form of physical activity for today’s adults aged 65 years and older, per the CDC. Other regularly mentioned activities that have great benefits are gardening and yard work. The next time you visit The Carrington at Lincolnwood, be sure you ask how the community promotes a culture of boundless engagement, well-being, and active independence through a variety of services, amenities, activities, and events that support a new level of vibrant retirement living.

Here are just a few wellness-oriented benefits of living at The Carrington:

  • Extra-spacious wellness gym with cardio and strength-training equipment and free weight, in addition to massage and full-service locker rooms for your cool-down.
  • Indoor swimming pool for aqua therapy, exercise classes, and water aerobics.
  • Programming designed to promote fitness, active living, and wellness for older adults.
  • Wellness professionals and healthcare providers who routinely encourage residents to incorporate physical activity into their lives.
  • Outdoor patios, courtyards, and walking paths that encourage activity and opportunities for social gathering.
  • Transportation to local attractions, parks, and shopping centers that promote opportunities for active socialization.

The residents of The Carrington at Lincolnwood truly value the community’s approach to ACTIVE senior living. We’d like to introduce you to them and show you around. Call us today at (847) 744-9469 or complete our online form to schedule a personal tour.

COVID-19 Preparedness At The Carrington

By | News, Senior Living

The Carrington at Lincolnwood is taking COVID-19 preparedness seriously and remains committed to protecting the health of all our residents. This includes taking preventative measures and precautions regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

We meet or exceed the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for coronavirus and flu prevention.

The safety of The Carrington’s residents is our top priority. Here are some of the important procedures we have instituted and monitor closely—especially during this sensitive time.

Our community PREVENTATIVE MEASURES include:

  • At this time only medical personnel are allowed into the community.
  • We have encouraged all residents to shelter in place within their apartments.
  • Common areas are not currently open to residents
  • Providing additional sanitizing materials to essential and medical personnel; stressing handwashing and hand-sanitizing.
  • Daily screening of all medical, essential personnel and staff

 The following PRECAUTIONS are now in place:

  • The Carrington staff receives regular orientation on how to properly communicate reports of suspected or diagnosed cases at a school, other employment locations, or places recently visited.
  • Residents and staff are asked to limit travel outside of the community.

 FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR RESIDENTS

We are only allowing “essential” visitors including hospice care workers, doctors, and private duty health care workers on the premises. All “social” visits to the community are not permitted until more information is available. Per the Illinois Department of Health, we are asking all essential visitors and staff to fill out a questionnaire. We are also screening for temperatures daily.

To learn more about The Carrington, please visit: https://thecarrington.com/about-us

grandparent walking outside and holding hand with young child

Bridging the Gap: Make the Most of Intergenerational Relationships

By | News, Senior Living

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2040, the estimated number of adults over the age of 65 in the United States will grow to more than 60% from 2016—just four years ago! More than 80 million seniors will account for nearly a quarter of the country’s total population. By 2035, older adults will outnumber children under the age of 18 across the country. Now more than ever, it’s important to foster communication and interaction between the generations, especially adult children with their parents, and children with elders.

Each generational group can learn so much from the other, but they often don’t see eye to eye. Children often feel that older people don’t like them. Adult children often steer the grandchildren away from grandma or grandpa fearing they’ll be too loud or upset them. Sometimes the older person doesn’t respond to the child’s comments. (Maybe it’s a hearing or attention span problem). And for adolescents, relating to older adults can be particularly challenging. According to research conducted at the University of Florida, teens tend to be more focused on the present and themselves, so they are generally less interested in learning about older adults. The elderly often feel that children don’t like them because they’re slow or don’t have anything interesting to talk about. Can you relate to any of these scenarios?

Fostering communication, understanding—AND learning—between the generations is becoming increasingly important—AND it takes thought and work. It’s definitely a two-way street, as well. Each generational group has worthwhile lessons to share with the others. Here we hope to give you some thoughts, ideas and practical applications that may help members of your family bridge the generational gaps you encounter in your daily lives and relationships. The benefits are widespread, especially when nurturing the grandparent-grandchild relationship.

All Generations Can Benefit

Consider the following ways that children of all ages, adult parents and the elderly can enrich their lives and relationships with each other by bonding:

  • Opportunity to learn new skills and ways of doing things.
  • Acceptance of people of all ages, capabilities and limitations.
  • Respect and emotional bonds are strengthened.
  • Loneliness and isolation are diminished or eliminated.
  • Increased knowledge and respect for family heritage, culture and history (thanks to grandparents’ stories of the “good old days”).

Let the Bonding Begin

What are some good ways to get started in bringing your personal generations together? Here’s where thought and creativity come into play. The following activities have proven successful in initiating, building and strengthening relationships between all generations:

  • Storytelling. Swapping stories helps build a connection.
  • Learning Skills. Both adults and children have skills they can share. Adults might teach weaving or needlework, fishing, or how to cook a delicious family favorite. Tech-savvy children may share computer tips and tricks with the elderly.
  • Discussing Ethnic Heritage by sharing customs or relating special stories passed down about family culture.
  • Planting Seeds or Gardening. A container garden can be a solution if bending or space are issues.
  • Discussing Hobbies and sharing examples.

Life Lessons to Be Learned

Youth and old age are categories grounded in biology but defined by culture and the way we live our lives. All generations have life lessons to share. Here we identify the most obvious lessons that can be learned by developing intergenerational relationships.

What children can learn from older adults

  • Life has a rhythm and nothing ever stays all-bad or all-good.
  • Family is important. Life stretches in two directions: toward our ancestors and toward our descendants.
  • What love truly means and how best to give and receive it.
  • How little you actually know.
  • How to stop caring about what people think.
  • Dealing with loss and avoiding regrets.
  • How to make time for what matters most.

What older adults can learn from children

  • Keeping effective communication flowing by staying up-to-date with modern technology.
  • It’s O.K. to relax and play every now and then.
  • Keeping an open mind and getting excited about learning new skills.
  • Appreciate and share the moments, thoughts, or ideas with friends and family.
  • There are fun ways to stay active that don’t involve a gym routine.

IN CLOSING—Generational Lessons in Curiosity and Growth

No matter how old you are, you can still set goals and live new dreams. This is the mantra of so many residents of The Carrington at Lincolnwood who cherish the community’s next-generational approach to senior living. It’s a community focused on curiosity, growth, choice and new opportunities.

We’d like to show you around. Call us today at 847.744.9469 to schedule a personal tour.

Right-Sizing For Your Retirement Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Maintenance-Free Living As You Age

By | News, Senior Living

The size of the single-family home has changed dramatically over the years. Analysis conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that, in 1950, the average home size was 983 square feet—historically, the norm for most of us over the years. NAHB data for the first quarter of 2019 reported the average home size is now 2,584 square feet. That’s an enormous difference just over the span of a few decades.

Experts suggest that empty nesters take a broad look at their plans for retirement over the next 30+ years, which may encompass several different kinds of living situations. Some people downsize from a large suburban home to a condo in the city. Others maintain their home as a family destination for holidays as well as a home base for wide-scale travel. In every case, there’s a plan for 5, 10, or even 20 years, and factors entering into specific decisions include desired access to medical services, walkability, weather, real estate taxes, convenience to shopping and dining, plans for travel and more.

This means that downsizing your residence—or some call it right-sizing—is very important as your retirement plan plays out. Here, we’d like to call attention to five big benefits of downsizing in retirement, along with the advantages of maintenance-free living as you age.

  1. Save Money
    Simply put, this is the big-ticket item. Housing expenses are the largest item in your budget, eating up 30-35% of your spending. Beyond mortgage or rent, these costs include utilities, insurance, taxes, interior and exterior maintenance, furnishings and decorating, association and neighborhood dues, and more. Stepping back and evaluating all of these costs over past decades might help you make more informed choices about downsizing your housing to fit the lifestyle you want today.
  2. Save Time
    It takes a significant amount of time to clean a big house and maintain a yard. Even if you have a housekeeper and landscaping company, it’s more work and more money coming out of your budget. A smaller residence leaves you more time to read, play with your grandchildren, plan and cook healthy meals, enjoy your favorite outside activities or resurrect an old hobby you had when the kids were growing up. If you want more time to travel, a smaller more manageable residence will give you more freedom to just shut the door and go.
  3. Live Simply
    Having a smaller home means less space to store your “stuff.” But do you really need or want all that stuff you’ve accumulated? Maybe it’s not even yours—like Johnny’s third-place trophy for javelin throwing in the 1988 state track meet. When considering a smaller residence, think of your new options not in terms of reduced space but as an opportunity to live a simpler life. Living in a smaller residence will force you to make choices about what to keep or donate and what to sell or give away.
  4. Eliminate Stress
    Are you beginning to see how having more money, more time and fewer possessions to worry about will reduce stress in your life? Paring down your possessions will increase enjoyment of your home. “Getting rid of unneeded furniture, unused exercise equipment, and outdated electronics will give you additional living space,” says Liliane Choney of ReVisions Resources, a nonprofit group that provides information on successful aging. “Clutter is not good for comfortable living,” Choney says. “Things are in the way. You can’t find things. Having things organized simplifies your life” . . . and eliminates stress.
  5. Feel More Secure
    Maybe mobility issues have become part of your life, making a smaller residence a real benefit to your changing lifestyle. Smaller space. Fewer steps. No stairs. Easier to get around. Greater accessibility. After all, your home life happens in the kitchen, living room and bedroom—all on the main floor—no need to take the stairs to the upper level of your home anymore. You just might feel safer and more secure in a smaller residence.

Maintenance-Free Living At The Carrington
As you determine the next step in your retirement plan, consider The Carrington at Lincolnwood. It’s a community designed for senior adults who desire a service-rich retirement lifestyle of growth, connection, security, and choice. Each residence—and multiple floor plan—is designed for an independent, maintenance-free lifestyle of convenience and comfort, with the flexibility and security of additional care services, if and when they are ever needed. If you want to take a closer look, download our brochure on the independent living lifestyle at The Carrington.

And don’t worry about the process of moving. The Carrington has partnered with Moving Station®, a leading senior relocation company dedicated to making your move smooth and easy. Working with The Carrington’s Personal Relocation Manager, Moving Station agents will assist with finding downsizing experts, real estate agents, a team to pack up your home, movers, and making other smart move-related decisions.

We’d love to show you our vibrant, fulfilling, and maintenance-free lifestyle. Call us today at (847) 744-9469 or submit a form online to schedule a personal tour.

Cultivate community through diversity

By | News, Senior Living

Those you share each day with—family, neighbors, church friends, social groups, the guys you meet for coffee—make up a “community,” no matter the size. They offer relationships and great opportunities to learn, engage, grow, and be thankful for differing cultures, customs, traditions, and beliefs.

Take advantage of the gifts you get from your personal communities over the next few weeks throughout December and into the New Year. You may encounter these 10 important celebrations noted on the 2019 diversity calendar. Learning about them—maybe even participating in special traditions with your friends—will help you recognize and celebrate the diversity in your daily life:

  • December 1-24: Advent – a Christian time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus.
  • December 16-24: Las Posadas – a nine-day Hispanic/Latino American celebration commemorating Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
  • December 21: Yule Winter Solstice – celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans who focus on rebirth, renewal and new beginnings as the sun makes its way back to the Earth.
  • December 22-30: Hanukkah – a Jewish holiday celebrated around the world for eight days and nights in commemoration of the Israelites’ victory over the Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus.
  • December 25: Christmas Day – the day Christians associate with the birth of Jesus.
  • December 26: Boxing Day – a secular holiday celebrated in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Africa.
  • December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa – an African-American holiday started in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage.
  • December 31: Watch Night – a day for Christians to review the past year, make confessions, and prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving.
  • January 10: Mahayana New Year – celebrated on the first full-moon day in January by members of the Mahayana Buddhist branch.
  • January 15: Makar Sankranti – observed by Hindus and dedicated to the sun god through the celebration of peace and prosperity.

The importance of inclusion
The term diversity reflects the entire range of differences that exist among people across the world. Considering how the world is evolving ever so rapidly, providing new knowledge and an increase in self-awareness, diversity is no longer a concept limited to race and gender. Ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, generation, disability, personality types, and thinking styles now all contribute to a truly diverse culture—one that more and more people want to experience.

So, how do communities of all types embrace cultural, religious, and racial diversity to provide an environment where everyone feels a sense of respect, value, belonging, safety, and security? The Carrington at Lincolnwood does everything possible to create—and celebrate—an environment of consistent inclusion. At The Carrington, you will find that:

  • Everyone’s voice is heard, valued, and understood in order to meet the needs of its residents.
  • Residents interact with one another, attend events and meetings together. What’s the result? Respect and value of individual diversities.
  • Events and activities are designed to bring everyone together and encourage positive interaction within the community.
  • Holidays of different cultures are observed and celebrated.
  • Management and staff “listen to understand” and communicate clearly across the board to avoid misinterpretation that can lead to hard feelings.

Being part of a community—or several—is essential to being human. At The Carrington, we take the development of community seriously, along with the roles that diversity and inclusion play in fostering a rich and healthy perspective in the lives of all our residents. We’d like to tell you more and show you our vibrant, fulfilling, and inclusive lifestyle. Call us today at (847) 744-9469 or reach out online to schedule a personal tour.