Your Best Future with Geropsychology and How to Live Better

Whether it’s the loss of a loved one or struggling with feelings of isolation, there are specific mental health challenges that seniors face. Fortunately, there is a relatively new branch of psychology that might be able to help. Geropsychology, originating in 2010, is a field of psychology that specializes in the mental health issues of seniors specifically.

How Geropsychology Can Help

Mental Health Concerns in Older Adults

Mental health can include emotional, social, and physical well-being. It influences how we feel, think, and act as we cope with daily life. It also determines how we relate to others, handle stress, and make decisions and is important at every stage of life.

Oftentimes, older adults are at risk for mental health issues. However, this doesn’t mean it is a normal stage of aging. Many older adults feel very happy with their lives even though they may have more physical limitations. This indicates that mental health issues are something separate.

Major life changes like losing a close friend or spouse, retirement, and illness can cause you to feel stressed, sad, or uneasy. But some people have more difficulty adjusting to these changes than others. This can result in a higher risk of mental disruption such as depression and anxiety.

It is essential to recognize and treat these issues in older adults as they arise. Such disorders don’t just create mental suffering but can also make it harder for people to manage their problems. This is particularly true if conditions are chronic. Some warning signs of mental unease are:

  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in energy levels
  • Withdrawing from people
  • Not enjoying hobbies anymore
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, upset, or angry
  • Feeling numb and apathetic
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling sadness or hopelessness
  • Increased drinking, smoking, or using other drugs
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Hearing voices and believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself

What is Geropsychology

Geropsychology is a special field of professional psychology that takes the knowledge and methods of standard psychology and applies it to the understanding and helping of older adults. This helps you and your family maintain well-being as you age, overcome problems, and achieve maximum potential later in life. Geropsychologists appreciate the diversity among older adults, the complex ethical issues that can arise in geriatric practices, and the importance of cooperative disciplines of care. 

Specialized Knowledge of Geropsychologists

  • Normal adult development and aging, including biological, psychological, and social changes.
  • Behavioral and mental health changes later in life, including medical, neurological, and functional.

Problems Geropsychologists Might Address

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Dementia and related behaviors
  • Coping with chronic illness
  • Changes in decision making
  • Behavioral concerns, i.e. insomnia, pain, or irritability
  • Greif
  • Caregiver burnout
  • Changing family roles
  • End of life care

Thinking of living a stress-free lifestyle? Check out what a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) has to offer with our FREE Guide!

Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio, independent living apartments, assisted living, rehab services, and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.

3 Amazingly Simple Health Benefits of Dancing for Seniors

There are many health benefits of dancing for seniors. These dancing benefits range from improving your physical health to promoting strong social connections which both increase your sense of well-being. Dancing isn’t simply a social activity or physical activity but is often used as a form of therapy.

Dance is not only an activity for the young, it can have several major benefits to seniors looking to age on their terms. None of these benefits are specific to any one particular type of dance but can be reaped by any type of dance. 

Senior Health Benefits of Dancing

Physical Benefits of Dancing

The older you get, the more your body starts to lose coordination, muscle mass, and balance. These issues can make you more prone to falling and injury during the course of everyday activities. Dancing can help prevent the loss of those important aspects of your fitness. 

According to this study, dancing improves muscle strength and function in older adults. Additionally, dance increases balance and flexibility which leads to better stability and fewer injuries while also improving cardiovascular health. 

Social and Mental Benefits of Dancing

Staying physically fit isn’t the only reason to break out your boogie shoes. It also helps you meet your social needs and improve mental health. Many women over 60 who regularly go out dancing, report that it helps them be more involved in their communities and encourages them to join other groups.

This is especially true for seniors struggling with poor mental health. Dancing socially improves feelings of connectivity and reduces feelings of isolation which can lead to depression. All in all, research confirms that regularly dancing can improve a sense of well-being and stay connected with the community for seniors.

Cognitive Benefits of Dancing

Though there does seem to be some evidence that dancing can improve cognitive function in seniors, the research is less clear. 

One study found that dancing can increase brain activity which helps form neural connections. This helps you think with more speed and agility. Dancing may also improve concentration and the ability to focus and pay attention better. Some researchers hypothesize this is due to how dance, particularly contemporary, emphasizes improvisation rather than remembering a strict sequence of steps and movements.

Want to start thinking more creatively? Check out this article about how to improve your creative thinking!

Looking for some other new secrets to living a healthy lifestyle? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

4 Simple Things You Should Know About Telomeres

So, you’ve already learned about telomeres in this article, now it’s time to learn the key things you should know about them. As you know, over time your telomeres get shorter, but did you know there are certain lifestyle factors that can affect your telomeres’ length as well?

But how do you ensure you’re keeping your telomeres as healthy and long as possible? Fear not. There are certain ways to take care of your telomeres by taking care of yourself.

What You Should Know About Telomeres

Some Foods Are Linked to Healthier Aging

As we have discussed here, what you eat is incredibly important to your overall health. Obviously, eating well can make you feel good. But it can also help your telomeres. According to one study, there is a link between your diet and the length of your telomeres. Diets that promoted healthier cell regeneration — like those found in diets heavy in fruits and vegetables — showed the strongest link to longer telomeres.

Stress, Smoking, and Sleep Deprivation Cause Major Problems

Your lifestyle is enormously important when it comes to the length of your telomeres. In one study, researchers discovered that everything from smoking cigarettes and lack of sleep can accelerate the shortening of your telomeres.

Exercise Can Keep Telomeres Healthy

Once again, we all know that exercise and staying fit is good for us. However, it also can affect the length of your telomeres. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a gym junkie to reap the benefits of exercising on telomeres. If you exercise an easy three times a week for up to 45 minutes, your telomeres are likely as long as those of a marathon runner.

Don’t Buy Telomere Boosting Supplements

Though there are many supplements out there that make the claim of lengthening your telomeres, scientists are skeptical. Many researchers believe these supplements can be risky or even bad for your health.

Looking for some other new secrets to living a healthy lifestyle? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

Fitness Challenge to Make the Most of Your Gym Membership

With residence at Twin Lakes comes membership to The Connection, so why not make the most of it? This year, get in shape with this great fitness challenge to keep your mind and body strong.

Fitness Challenge

These fitness challenges are suitable for most gym establishments and are a great way to switch up your exercise routine to keep things interesting. These challenges are simple and straightforward so anyone with a gym membership can complete them. Want to know how to become a member of The Connection? Check it out here

Running Fitness Challenge

A running challenge is great because you can work at your own pace. Some running challenge ideas include:

  • Run every day for a month
  • Increase your distance by 10% every month
  • Increase speed

Cycling Challenge

Similar to a running challenge, a cycling fitness challenge works really well for people who may have issues running due to joint pain or weight problems. These challenges include:

  • Cycle the distance to your favorite park
  • Increase speed 

Rowing Challenge

We can’t focus on legs all the time, and rowing fitness challenges are great for your arms. Here are a few ways you can challenge yourself on a rowing machine:

  • Row 2,000 meters in under 8 minutes
  • See how far you can get while listening to one song
  • 30 seconds intense rowing, 30 seconds rest, and repeat for 10 minutes

Calorie Burn Challenge

If you are looking for a weight loss challenge, testing how many calories you can burn might be a good place to start. Fortunately, if you have a gym membership, many of the machines there will tell you how many calories you’ve burned during your workout. One great way to track this challenge is to take a photo of yourself before you begin. Then compete with yourself by burning more calories each time you go to the gym. Then at the end of the month, take another picture so you can see your progress.

This challenge is a great way to keep variety in your workout because it doesn’t matter which machine you use.

Total Weight Loss Challenge

Similar to calories burned, this challenge simply focuses on weight. Weigh yourself at the beginning of the challenge and set your goal for the end of the month. This allows you to workout however you want as long as you are consistently losing weight.

Looking for some other new secrets to living a healthy lifestyle? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

3 Benefits of Attending a Senior Living Zoom Webinar

Due to the pandemic of 2020, there have been many changes people have had to adapt to. Though one change that may be staying around for a while is the use of virtual experiences in place of in-person ones. The advancement of technology has improved the amount of information people can access virtually. Not least of all is the ability to attend a senior living zoom webinar.

What is a Webinar

No different than a convention or seminar, webinars help bring people together, albeit through technological means. To host a webinar, one must find a webinar platform (like Zoom) to help connect people and share information. These platforms let you create and host virtual meetings from the comfort of offices and homes. These meetings take place in online rooms (like chat rooms, only for video) where all attendees can see and follow the presentation. Presenters, on the other hand, can share their screens, files, and open applications on their computer while presenting to the group.

Participants can type questions and comments in the chat box for presenters to address.

How to Attend a Zoom Webinar

It couldn’t be easier to attend a Zoom webinar. 

  • Simply click the link the host provided to you and it will take you to the room the meeting is occurring in. 
  • Then, simply join the room. You will be prompted to determine if you want to use your camera or not and you can make that decision before entering the room. 
  • Once in the room, you will be prompted to use your audio. Click “yes” but be sure to mute your own microphone to avoid any unwanted noise in the room.

Benefits of a Senior Living Zoom Webinar

They Are Safe

It would be an oversight not to bring up the benefits to seniors when it comes to learning from your own home. But you no longer have to travel to a senior living community to tour one. Now, you can tour from the safety of your own home.

Convenient

Another major benefit of attending a zoom webinar is convenience. Since webinars take place from the comfort of your own home, there is no need to factor in travel time or even leave the house. Due to this feature, many businesses and organizations are using this technology as a more efficient way of delivering knowledge to a bigger audience.

Another added convenience of webinars is the ability to watch them at any time that suits you. Many webinars are offered on-demand which allows you to view at your own convenience. 

Effective Learning Experience

Some research suggests that online learning may actually be more effective than in-person/classroom learning. Some studies suggest that webinars may be more effective and registrants who attend such events had greater engagement and better performance. 

Want to learn more tips and tricks about aging well? Here is your FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want. Click the icon and get your copy today!

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

How to Best Enjoy Your “Spirit” Guide on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Now that the weather is getting nicer, you might be thinking of ways to get out of the house. Whether you are looking for a little day trip or a several-day vacation, The Kentucky Bourbon Trail might be the trip for you. 

What Makes Bourbon a Bourbon?

The thing that makes bourbon distinct from other whiskeys is how it is manufactured and aged. All whiskey is a type of spirit that is made from fermented grain and then aged in a barrel. However, the type of grain and barrel can make a world of difference. Here are the stipulations for making bourbon:

  • Must be at least 51% corn
  • Must be made in the United States
  • Aging must take place in a new, charred barrel
  • Whiskey cannot be distilled higher than 160 proof
  • It cannot enter the barrel at higher than 120 proof
  • It must not enter the bottle higher than 80 proof

Distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

All the distilleries on the trail are within 110 miles of Louisville, Kentucky with most of them landing between Louisville and Lexington. There are 18 distilleries on the Bourbon Trail as of 2019 according to Wikipedia:

Bourbon Trail Passport

The Bourbon Trail Passport is a “passport” you can pick up at your first distillery with a place for a stamp and your personal notes on each distillery. If you collect all the stamps, you can get an official Bourbon Trail tasting glass.

How Long Will You Need?

If you live in Kentucky or Cincinnati, Ohio, you could take a day trip and visit one or two distilleries on this list. However, to hit all 18 you will need a few days. Most tours last an hour, so you will have to plan your driving time between distilleries. Fortunately, most distilleries offer tastings without the full hour tour and are grouped together, but remember to drink responsibly.

Stuck inside on a rainy day? No worries, check out our destination book article to travel from the comfort of your couch. 

Want to learn some scientific tips and tricks about aging well? Here is your FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want. Click the icon and get your copy today!

How to Improve Your Eco-Friendly Decluttering Journey

Decluttering and downsizing is a great way to prepare for senior life, but what do you do with all the extra stuff? Today, people are more environmentally conscious than ever so how do you improve your eco-friendly decluttering journey? Here, you will learn about more sustainable ways to dispose of your belongings as you continue to downsize.

Eco-Friendly Decluttering

Increasingly, people want to be better about how they unburden themselves of their unwanted clutter. Here are some aspects to consider when decluttering:

  • Find more sustainable ways to unburden yourself from things you no longer need.
  • Be mindful of the environmental impacts of what you bring into your home, to begin with.
  • Think of how you contribute to landfill waste.

Sustainable Ways to Dispose of Clutter

It doesn’t take much effort to discover more sustainable ways to dispose of unwanted items. Here are a few ideas:

When you are decluttering, be sure to have boxes marked appropriately, “donate” or “free” for example, and divide things into the boxes as you declutter. 

Bringing Less Stuff Home

The best way to stay eco-friendly while decluttering is to keep the clutter to a minimum when you aren’t cleaning. This means not bringing excess items into your home. This may mean canceling your magazine subscriptions or going to paperless billing. Simply cutting down on the number of hard copies of paper products can greatly reduce your carbon footprint and keep your home cleaner for longer.

The Psychology of Holding On

It can be very difficult to let go of your stuff, especially sentimental or gifted items. If you are curious “why it’s so hard to get rid of my stuff” we have covered that too. This can cause you to get stuck in your decluttering process, but you don’t have to let it.

Psychologically, living in clutter is very stressful and once you free yourself from your stuff you will feel much better.

Now that you’ve got the right mindset, learn the tips and tricks experts have been using for years to Unlock the Power to Declutter: The Definitive Guide on How to Start. Click the icon below to get your FREE copy today! 

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

Joining the Gig Economy in Retirement

Feeling restless in retirement? Well, the gig economy might be your answer to those post-retirement jitters. Whether you want to make a little scratch on the side or just want to keep working on your terms, gig work could be a great option.

What is the Gig Economy in Retirement?

The “Gig Economy” consists of independent contractors, part-time workers, freelancers, and seasonal employees along with other forms of temporary work. Recently, options for gig work have been booming and the senior community has taken notice. According to a 2017 Prudential Financial survey, 31% of gig workers are baby boomers and 34% of those are retired. There are lots of different forms of gig work, but the most popular are:

  • Short, independent contractors
  • Seasonal workers
  • Freelancers

Why Be Part of Gig Work?

There are roughly 45 million seniors in the united states. This is about 15% of the total population and it is only going up. As the expected retired population rises, fewer people can afford to quit working and live off of Medicare and Social Security. And many simply don’t want to. This is where the gig economy comes in. Some of the most popular reasons for seniors to participate in gig work are:

  • Lack of money for retirement
  • Lack of government benefits
  • To stay active
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Desire to keep learning
  • Desire to keep working

Effects of Working in the Gig Economy in Retirement

Gig work comes with some serious benefits, but also has a few downsides. Due to some complications, some seniors may be apprehensive about getting a gig job in retirement. Here are some of the pros and cons to gig jobs in retirement:

Taxes

One situation that comes into play when you are a gig worker in retirement is managing your taxes. Because you are not an official employee, you will be responsible for your own taxes from your wages at the end of the year.

You should set aside anywhere between 20-30% of your income to pay your taxes. This should be part of your factor for monthly earning. Also, keep in mind you will need to use a different tax form.

Health Insurance

One reason seniors work past 65 is the need for health insurance. With lower retirement funds, higher Medicare premiums, and less money in monthly Social Security checks seniors may not have enough to cover medical bills. Though gig work doesn’t often come with health benefits, it can help mitigate the cost.

Flexibility

Flexibility is the leading reason anyone, including seniors, joins the gig economy. You can take or leave any work you like and make your own hours for work. Gigs allow you to enjoy a level of freedom and choice few rarely get in non-gig work.

Get Involved

Now that you know the basics, here are the most common gigs for people of all ages:

  • Driving for Uber/Lyft.
  • Become a host on AirB&B
  • Professional consultant
  • Online teaching
  • Child sitting
  • Pet sitting

Want to save some money by downsizing? Click the icon below to download your FREE copy to Unlock the Power to Declutter: The Definitive Guide on How to Start.

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

5 Tips on How to Better Connect with Your Grandkids

Connecting with your grandkids can be tough. Whether they are always on their phones or you don’t get much time with them, sometimes it can seem near impossible to connect with grandkids. However, here are a few easy ways to try to bridge the generation gap.

Tips to Connect with Your Grandkids

Take the Time

Oftentimes, grandparents and grandchildren get into a routine of seeing each other only on holidays and birthdays. This reduces the interaction to big family gatherings which can make one-on-one time tough. So break the cycle and make time to spend with your grandkids specifically. Perhaps, take them out to lunch every month or have a sleepover. This will give you ample time with your grandkids to develop a close relationship.

Share Their Interests

Do your grandkids like Pokemon? Perhaps you can take them to Pokestops in your neighborhood while you hangout. Seek to understand their interests and find activities that involve their favorite things. In time, you might start to share those interests but either way, your grandkids will love it.

Help Them Get Involved in Your Interests

Sharing interests is a two-way street. If you are going to take the time to get involved in their interests, they can get involved in yours. Love classic literature? Buy them books. Can’t get enough of the theatre, take them with you to a play.

Be Yourself

Many people believe their grandchildren will only have fun if you are hip to the latest lingo or TikTok trends. But it’s much more important to be yourself. After all, how are they ever going to get to know you if you are pretending to be someone else?

Skillfully Navigate Complicated Family Dynamics

Not all families are ideals from the 1940s. In fact, many families feature complicated dynamics, especially between parents and children. That is why it is so important for you to respect your children in front of your grandchildren. Just because you don’t like your daughter-in-law, you don’t have the right to talk poorly about her in front of her children. Focus on learning to tolerate those difficult members of the family in order to have better family relations.

Be an Easy Person to Visit

It’s easy to want to stick to your regular routine or run errands when the grandkids visit. However, this can make visiting you boring or even a chore. As much as possible, try to think of fun things to do while your grandchildren visit so they enjoy their time with you. Read this article for tips on connecting across the generation gap.

Want to learn more scientific tips and tricks about aging well? Here is your FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want. Click the icon and get your copy today!

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

Taking a Bite Out of Senior Diet Myths

There are many diet myths about what complicates a normal diet. But how can you tell the difference between healthy diet facts and fads? Well, to sort out the truth, here are senior diet myths that many people still believe.

Senior Diet Myths

The right diet is arguably the most important aspect of healthy aging. And here are the myths you should stop believing.

You Should Avoid Eating Fats

For most U.S. individuals, reducing their fat intake is a good choice. However, there are bad fats and good fats. Trans saturated fats are the worst kind, whereas polyunsaturated fats are good for you. Trans saturated fats have no known health benefits and can increase your cholesterol. These are often found in pastries, frozen pizza, and margarine. 

On the other hand, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for you since your body needs them as a source of energy. They also assist in your body’s process of absorbing vitamins and minerals and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

You Can Get the Nutrition You Need From Pills and Supplements

According to this article, supplements can fill in the gaps of a balanced diet, but nutrients from food are more important. As people age, it becomes more difficult to absorb nutrients from food. However, there are dangers to getting nutrients from supplements. Namely, getting too much of a good thing. In addition, seniors with chronic conditions requiring medications should always consult their physician before making any drastic change to their diet and avoid negative interactions.

Senior Malnutrition Doesn’t Exist

Though malnutrition should be nonexistent in the developed world, many seniors suffer from it due to difficulty absorbing nutrients mixed with fixed incomes. Paying for everything from food to medications on a fixed income is an undertaking in and of itself. Unfortunately, some of the most affordable foods are some of the least nutritious. So, a poorly arranged diet that is rich in calories but bereft of nutrients will result in both weight gain and malnutrition. This malnutrition in seniors can lead to deficiency diseases regardless of being overweight or skinny.

Follow a Healthy Dieting Guideline and You Will Be Fine

Though it is often a good idea to follow the nutrient guidelines provided by experts, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most of these guidelines are not made for senior populations. It doesn’t take into account difficulty chewing, interactions with medications, and common conditions in senior demographics that could become worse with certain foods. Food guidelines should serve as a point of reference, but you should always consult your doctor when it comes to what you should or should not be eating.

It Doesn’t Matter If You Eat Alone or With Others

As discussed in this article, it is just as important to stay social as you age as it is to diet and exercise. This lack of daily socialization can result in cognitive and physical problems. You may find yourself unable to make nutritious foods or prepare filling meals. Also, eating alone can increase the likelihood of skipping meals altogether. Eating in isolation can also exacerbate conditions like anxiety, loneliness, and stress.

Ideally, seniors should eat with others at least some of the time. This is made substantially easier in senior living communities, given the prepared meals and social environment. This environment and careful attention to nutrition are some of the leading benefits of a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community).

It’s Natural For You to Lose Your Appetite

Due to metabolic changes, seniors need less food than younger adults, However, appetite loss is a red flag at any age. Simple problems like a decrease in sense of taste or dental problems can lead seniors to eat less, however, an outright loss of appetite could be a sign of bigger problems.

Thinking about moving to a senior living community? Learn what your decisions are with our FREE eBook, Moving to a Senior Living Community: Make Decisions Your Way

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.