Peach Tree Times
Some of our articles have been written by guest writers
Peach Tree Times
Independent retirement can provide a much-needed change of pace for many seniors and older adults. Here are a few of the benefits of moving to an independent living community.
At an independent retirement community like Peach Tree, you aren't responsible for any of your home maintenance. Do you hate mowing the lawn? You don't have to! Is your faucet leaking? You don't have to fix it yourself. The staff also handles things like shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and trimming trees.
Meals cooked for you
Grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up can take a ton of time out of your day. At Peach Tree, all of that is taken care of for you! You'll get three home-style meals every day, and we even wash the dishes.
More time for hobbies
With all the time you save by not having to do maintenance, cooking, or cleaning, you'll have more time to explore your interests. Always thought about picking up a particular hobby, but never had the time before? Now you can!
Instead of paying for everything separately, (such as rent, garbage, water, and power), all of it is included in one payment. You won't have to worry about keeping track of as many bills, saving you time and energy.
Amenities & Conveniences
A variety of amenities are a part of living at Peach Tree. Feel the burn in the exercise room, or find a new book in the library in our activities room. Get fresh fruit from our mini orchard or just spend time walking around our beautiful property.
Safety & Security
With staff members on-site 24/7 and emergency alarms in every apartment, you'll have peace of mind. Independent retirement communities are built with seniors in mind. Things like grab bars, emergency pull strings, and wellness checks are standard, so you won't have to worry about your safety.
With so many neighbors, you're certain to find new friends. Whether it's hanging out in the dining room after a meal, or drinking lemonade and chatting with your neighbors on the porch, there's plenty of opportunities to expand your social circle.
As we age, our immune system naturally becomes weaker, making us more prone to illness. Luckily, there are many ways that you can improve your immune system and preserve your health.
1. Eat a well-balanced diet
Our nutritional needs and dietary habits change for a variety of reasons as we get older. But, poor nutrition can affect heart health and can weaken muscles and bones. A healthy diet includes a variety of proteins, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. You also should reduce your consumption of sugar, fat, and processed foods.
2. Stay active
Staying physically active can strengthen your immune system, as well as increase blood circulation in your body.
3. Spend time outside
Vitamin D has been shown to help your immune system. Spending time outside allows your body to create vitamin D from direct sunlight. Many factors affect how long you need to spend outside, such as your skin color or the amount of skin you have exposed. Always be sure to wear sunscreen when outside, even if it's not sunny.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or underweight can have a negative impact on your immune system. Excess fat cells can release cytokines, causing chronic inflammation and stressing your immune system. On the other hand, people who are underweight may not be getting enough nutrients to fight off infections.
5. Connect with others
Senior isolation can cause feelings of loneliness and depression. Socially isolated older adults have been found to be at a higher risk of sickness and disability. It's important to find ways to stay connected, whether it's a phone call, texting, FaceTime, or in-person visit.
6. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can lead to a variety of health issues. Water helps your body to absorb nutrients as well as flush out waste.
When touring senior communities, it might feel like you're getting somewhat of a sales pitch during your visit. The staff may be incredibly truthful, but they certainly have a little bias towards their community. Talking to residents can give you a good idea of the day-to-day life in a particular community, and can let you know if there are any major issues or complaints.
Questions to Start the Conversation
ADLs, or activities of daily living, are key tasks that people have to manage to be able to live independently.
ADLs are basic self-care tasks that we typically learn as small children. This includes dressing, eating, moving around, and bathing.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) defines the following as ADLs:
AOTA defines the following IADLs:
There are many myths surrounding independent living communities. With so many different options, you may be exposed to outdated information about independent living. At Peach Tree, we know firsthand that an independent retirement community is an amazing way to spend your retirement years.
Myth: You'll lose your independence.
Truth: Independent retirement communities like Peach Tree are designed for people who don't require much assistance in their daily life. As a resident, you're able to enjoy your hobbies and active lifestyle, while we take care of things like meals and home maintenance.
Myth: You can't keep your pets.
Truth: We adore your furry friends and would love to welcome them into our community alongside you! At Peach Tree, we know that owning a pet can be good for your health. Many of our residents are enjoying their life alongside their beloved pets.
Myth: Independent living is lonely.
Truth: While you might be moving farther away from your friends and family, they are always welcome to come and visit you, and you are free to come and go as you please. At Peach Tree, you can make new friends with your neighbors. We like to think of ourselves as one big Peachy Family.
Myth: You're too young to move to a retirement community.
Truth: It's never too early or late to start planning for your future. Independent living allows you to be free from home maintenance, cooking, and other household chores. You're young enough to live here!
Myth: Independent living won't feel like home.
Truth: Independent retirement offers multiple housing options. You get to bring your own furniture and decorations so you can really make your new place feel like home.
Myth: Meals are plain and unappetizing at independent living facilities.
Truth: At Peach Tree Retirement Center, we provide three home-style meals each day in our dining room. We encourage our residents to give us their favorite recipes. From bacon-wrapped meatloaf and honey garlic pork chops to tacos and shrimp alfredo, there's bound to be something you'll be looking forward to.
When it comes to selecting an independent retirement community, don't fall prey to falsehoods when the truth is better than you think! Enjoy your retirement with the stress-free living of a retirement community like Peach Tree. To schedule or tour or get more information, contact us today!
Seniors who read often get the benefits of more than just a good story. Studies have found many health benefits of reading, from helping sleep to improving memory.
A study of 294 seniors published in Neurology discovered that those who engaged in mentally challenging activities such as reading throughout their lives had slower rates of memory impairment than those who did not. Participating in frequent cognitive activities later in life slowed the pace of decline by 32%.
Reading strengthens your memory, which is essential for short-term recall of ordinary events. Reading on a regular basis can help to develop the brain's neural network, making your mind more susceptible to learning and memory retention.
Better-Decision Making Skills
Reading can help seniors develop the analytical and reasoning skills they need to solve problems, a skill known as fluid intelligence, which decreases throughout adulthood.
A study of Americans aged 25 to 74 discovered that, regardless of age, people who consistently challenged their brains through activities such as reading performed higher on fluid intelligence tests than their counterparts.
Delays Alzheimer's and Dementia
According to a 2000 study, adults in their 70s who engaged in mentally demanding hobbies, like reading, between the ages of 20 and 60 were less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. A different study in 2012 discovered that more frequent mental activities can help maintain brain structures that are important for cognition later in life.
Research conducted at the University of Sussex found that in only six minutes after diving into a book, participants' heart rates and muscle tension relaxed.
Reading in bed has been thought of for a long time to be an easy way to fall asleep. Creating and sticking to a bedtime ritual tells your body when it's time to sleep. Unlike TVs and other screens, books don't emit blue light that keeps you awake longer.
When a loved one is getting ready to move to a senior community, it's important to know who will care for them. Building a relationship with the staff at your loved one's retirement community is a great way to stay connected and involved in their life.
Introduce yourself. Make it a point to introduce yourself to staff members and other residents when you're helping your loved one move in. Encourage the team members to keep in touch with you and to let you know if your family member needs something or if something changes that you need to know about.
Help the staff get to know your loved one. By visiting regularly, you have the opportunity to help the staff learn more about your loved one. Encourage your family member to share their history or talk about their hobbies.
Show interest in the team members. Don't make all of the conversations about your loved one. Showing a genuine interest in the staff members will help create connections. This can help both of you work towards your loved one's best interests.
Get involved in the community. Most retirement communities welcome family involvement. Volunteering can be a great way to build relationships with the staff and other residents.
Follow social media. Pictures that are posted can give you something to discuss when you visit your loved one.
Give a positive review. Social media is important. It may have been one of the ways you found your community. Help others find their future home by leaving a positive review on social media or other sites. It doesn't take very much time to leave a review, and it helps boost awareness of the community.
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Do you still feel tired after you wake up in the morning? You're not alone. It's estimated that 40-70% of adults have chronic sleep problems.
How Sleep Changes as We Age
Experts recommend that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. As we get older, our circadian rhythms change. Light is a powerful tool for maintaining the circadian rhythms, but many seniors get less than an hour of sunlight each day. Additionally, as we get older, our bodies produce less melatonin. Melatonin is normally produced in response to darkness and helps control your circadian rhythms.
Health & Sleep
Many mental and physical conditions can affect the quality of your sleep. Depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis are all things that can interfere with a good night's sleep.
Medications can also contribute to sleep issues. Some medications (like antihistamines) can cause daytime drowsiness, while others (like antidepressants) cause insomnia.
What Can Help?
Exercise - Regular aerobic exercise can help promote good sleep.
Avoid distractions - TVs, phones, and bright lights can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Turn down the lights and limit your screen time before bed.
Get some sun - Sunlight helps to maintain your circadian rhythms, helping you sleep better.
Reduce caffeine - Try to avoid drinking coffee after noon. A 2013 study showed that drinking coffee 6 hours before bedtime reduced overall sleep time by an hour.
Take a warm bath - A 2019 study reported that taking a warm bath one to two hours before bed helped people fall asleep 10 minutes faster than normal.
Keep a schedule - Avoid sudden changes in your sleep schedule. This means going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. It can take days for your body to readjust to a new schedule. Keeping a routine makes it easier for your body to know when it's time to wind down.
Avoid naps - While a short daytime nap can be beneficial, longer or later naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
Develop a routine - Find activities that help you relax before bedtime. Whether it's taking a bath, playing music, reading, or meditating, find something that helps you wind down from the day.
See your doctor - If you're unable to solve your sleep problems on your own, you may need to talk to your doctor. Keep a log of when you go to sleep and when you wake up and track your caffeine intake and exercise. This may help your doctor determine what is keeping you awake.
The senior living conversation can be a difficult one, but going about it the right way can make it a little easier. Whether they just need a little help around the house or are ready to move to a retirement community, talking about it can help your loved ones get more out of life.
Before the Conversation
Make a list of concerns. Are your loved ones having difficulties in their daily life? Are you concerned about how safe their home is? Do they need help with the activities of daily life? You may need to talk to other friends and family members to get their perspectives.
Do your research. Most people have more difficulty with an abstract conversation. A few concrete examples and options can be less stressful and anxiety-inducing than a mountain of options.
Tips for a Better Conversation
Have the conversation early. Tackling the decision early will take some of the stress and pressure off if something happens, such as a fall or illness. Having the conversation before it's needed will allow you and your loved one time to process information and really consider what is best.
Talk face to face. Phone calls are great, but they can't replace a face-to-face discussion. If talking in person isn't possible, arrange a video call so you can see each other during the discussion.
Listen. Your loved one may have concerns and anxieties about moving out of their home, especially if they have lived there a long time. It's important to acknowledge their feelings. Take the time to really listen to what they are saying. A point that seems irrelevant to the conversation may actually be showing a concern you weren't aware of.
Empathy, not sympathy. Don't feel sorry for them, but show them that you care. Don't be combative - ask them for their thoughts instead of talking over them. It's both of you against the problem, not you against them.
Avoid info overload. Some background information can be helpful, but receiving tons of information can be overwhelming.
Take your time. The decision most likely won't be made in one conversation. Your loved one may need additional time to sort through their feelings and find the words to describe them. It's a process, not a one-and-done discussion.
Visit in person. One of the best ways to see what a community is like is by visiting in person. This allows you and your loved one to get an idea of the kinds of amenities, culture, lifestyle, and neighbors that they may have.
As with many difficult topics, starting the conversation can be the most difficult part. These conversation starters may be useful:
What's it like to be alone in your house? Do you feel safe?
Do you have a long-term care strategy in mind? Where would you go if you fell or became ill and couldn't care for yourself? How would you pay for your care?
Do you have times when you're feeling lonely? Do you wish you had more time to spend with people your own age?
How's the car? Are you still going on drives?
How do you feel about driving? Would you be interested in other transportation forms where you don't have to worry about driving yourself places, traffic, parking, and paying for car maintenance and gas?
Is it ever hard to keep track of your bills or finances?
Have you ever considered getting some help with laundry and housekeeping?
How's the house? It must be hard to keep it in good shape.
Would you feel better if you didn't have to worry about house maintenance?
Thanks to advances in technology, it can now be easier than ever to stay safe and independent as we age. Technology offers a variety of benefits for older adults, including news, entertainment, safety, and various utilities.
From sensors and voice activation to virtual assistants, technology can provide music, reminders, socialization, and more.