Tips for Traveling Safely as You Get Older

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For many people, retirement means having the  time and resources to travel the world. After working for so many years to save for retirement, it is rewarding to have the freedom and flexibility to explore the places on your bucket list.

But, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind to protect your safety while traveling. Here are a few tips from travel experts:

Save Money

You can keep costs down by traveling during the shoulder seasons, between April and mid-June or September and October. It is recommended that you purchase travel insurance that covers medical costs incurred overseas. Choose a travel insurance plan that includes evacuation insurance to cover the cost of medical care if an emergency happens.

Also, older adults can be targets for pickpocketing. Don’t carry excessive amounts of cash or credit cards. Keep your money and identification secure with a money belt kept under your clothes.

Protect Your Health

There are a variety of environmental factors that could impact your health. When the climate and temperature changes rapidly, it can cause fatigue and stress. Additionally, you might not be used to the daily activities of standing for extended periods and walking long distances. To manage your body temperature, it is a good idea to dress in layers and wear loose clothing. Stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water with you at all times.

If your mobility is limited, don’t hesitate to arrange for transportation in the airport. Someone can pick you up at the gate and take you to the next destination. Do you take medications? Keep those items with you in a carry-on bag. These pills should be stored in their original containers, with applicable prescription information in case you need to show documentation.

Simplify Your Experience

It can be exhausting to lug around heavy suitcases. Simplify your vacation by “packing light” and doing laundry at your destination so that you can re-use clothing. Make sure that you bring along essential items such as eyeglasses, maps, a notebook, and Smartphone. If you are traveling abroad, you will need to make arrangements with your wireless carrier to set up “international roaming” so you can access maps and restaurant recommendations via your Smartphone.

Many travelers do their research in advance. By planning ahead, you will know the right methods of transportation as well as the best times of day to visit the attractions you would like to see.

Do you need assistance with safety on the road or at home? Windward Life Care is here to help! Contact us for more information.

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Healthy Eating: Superfoods to Incorporate into Your Diet

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Healthy eating is important for people of all ages because high-quality nutrition helps to fight disease and slow down the aging process. If you want to improve your health, then you need to learn more about nutrition recommendations for your age group.

Nutrition for Older Adults

As you age, nutrition can be a challenge because it becomes harder to get sufficient calories and nutrients. The digestive system isn’t as effective at absorbing the nutrients that are needed, leaving your body depleted of essential vitamins and minerals. At the same time, the taste of food declines, which often decreases appetite.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that older adults should follow these suggestions:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, focusing on brightly colored vegetables such as spinach, beets, and carrots.
  • Choose whole grains and consume at least 3 ounces each day.
  • Increase your consumption of peas, beans, and fish to improve the variety of protein sources.
  • Maintain bone health with three servings of vitamin D-fortified low-fat dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, or milk.
  • Cook with healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Super-Charge Your Diet with Superfoods

In addition to following a balanced diet, there are several ingredients that you can eat to boost your nutrition. These foods are packed with antioxidants and other compounds that protect your health and decrease the risk of disease:

  • Dark Chocolate: This ingredient can decrease the risk of stroke, boost memory, protect brain health, and lower blood pressure.
  • Blueberries: Slow down the uptake of sugar into the bloodstream, helping to reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Apples: A great source of fiber that can help with managing cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar levels. Potassium in apples is beneficial to reduce the risk of heart disease and manage blood pressure.
  • Broccoli: Research studies have shown that broccoli can be beneficial to reduce the risk of colon, prostate, breast, and liver cancer.
  • Coffee: Did you know that a morning cup of coffee can decrease your risk of stroke and heart disease? Limit your consumption to two cups or less per day.

If you are looking for other ways to improve your diet, then you might consider the benefits of talking to a nutritionist or health professional. Here at Windward Life Care, we can help you find the best resources for your situation. Talk to us for more information!

 

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Family Photos Become Stimulating Brain Game

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Windward Life Care’s Aging Life Care™ Managers are a resourceful bunch when it comes to finding new ways to enhance the quality of life of those in their care.

Recently Associate Care Manager Heather Arsenault created a “Memory Match Game” for her client “Gayle” using Gayle’s own photos. Heather is Windward Life Care’s “photo guru.” Previously, she had made several treasured keepsakes for clients by using their family photos to create personalized scrapbooks, mugs, and calendars.

The Memory Match Game features pairs different family photos printed on small, cardboard squares – like a card game. The cards are arranged face down in a grid, and the client is asked to search for a match by turning over two cards at a time until the match is found. The game can be played with just four cards, all 24 cards, or any number in between, depending on the capabilities of the client.

We showed the game to our consulting geriatric psychiatrist, Hossein Samadi, MD, who was enthusiastic about its value for brain stimulation. Dr. Samadi explained, matching task stimulates the frontal lobe’s problem-solving, sequencing, and processing functions. The parietal lobe’s visual recognition and three-dimensional construction functions are also engaged. Finally, the temporal lobe gets activated by the memory, logic, and reasoning aspects of the game.”

In addition to being mentally stimulating for clients, the game is quite fun! It encourages interaction between the client and professional caregiver, or a family member, providing opportunities for socialization and reminiscence, and prompting new conversation topics. Gayle’s family has voiced their appreciation for this creative and personalized “brain game.”

The Memory Match Game is just one example of how Windward’s Aging Life Care Managers take a holistic approach to caring for each client. Activities like this engage the heart and mind to stimulate and enrich the client’s overall well-being.

 

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