Making Your Move a Smooth One

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Have you reached a point in your life where you are ready to “right-size” to a smaller home, or move into an independent or assisted living community?  While you may be excited about simplifying your life and getting rid of excess “stuff,” there is no doubt that a move later in life can have its complexities.  If you are preparing to move, then we recommend you have an experienced team in place to assist with these changes.

Getting Past the Overwhelm of Decluttering

One of the biggest hurdles with downsizing is deciding what to take with you. It can feel overwhelming to sort through a lifetime of items in your home. Family pictures, birthday presents, holiday décor and childhood toys can often fill the storage spaces. How do you sort through these items in a way that allows you to fit into your new home comfortably, but preserves your family memories?

Senior Move Managers are professionals who specialize in helping older adults with the task of downsizing and moving to a new residence. They know the nuances of moving later in life, and they can offer specialized services to optimize your experience. For example, they can obtain the floor plans of your new residence, help you measure your existing furniture, then determine which pieces to bring with you. Senior Move Managers can also coordinate packing, moving, and set up your belongings in your new home. For those things you decide not to bring along, a Senior Move Manager can help coordinate an estate sale or the donation of less valuable items. Look at the National Association of Senior Move Managers for more information.

Senior Real Estate Specialists

For many older adults, their home is their most valuable asset. How do you make sure you are getting the most value when you are selling your home and choosing your next residence? Senior Real Estate Specialists® are Realtors® with specialized expertise in helping adults 50+ with relocation, financing and selling their home.  With their involvement, you can have the confidence that your transaction will be handled with patience and professionalism, and that they will link you with other professional resources appropriate for your needs. Are you contemplating a move or other life change? Then you need to talk to our team at Windward Life Care. We offer a variety of services to support lifestyle and health as people age.


Mom’s Memoir: Preserving Family Memories for Future Generations

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Looking for a meaningful present this Mother’s Day? Writing your story, or helping an older relative to create a memoir, is a gift that many generations can share.

Life experiences shape an individual, and can influence the choices made by future generations in a family. The things that your parents and grandparents learned can be passed along to your children, creating depth in the relationships to maintain family culture.

It is essential to preserve these memories while your family member is still capable of re-telling the stories. Many families want to record these memories, including the stories of their mothers and grandmothers. You can write down your stories, and work with family members to write down their memories as well.

Getting Started with Your Memoir

You might find that the easiest place to start is by writing a memoir about one story from your life, instead of recording the entire story of your life. You can continue writing memoirs to share different experiences, making it a less intimidating project compared to a full autobiography.

If you are having a hard time pinpointing one story to tell, then you might try diagramming your life to find the perspective that you need. Look for patterns or pivotal events that could provide insights and lessons for your posterity.

Tools to Write Your Memoir

Some people are overwhelmed at the idea of writing a memoir. Where do you start? We are lucky to live in a time that offers many digital tools! If you like the idea of having some prompts, then you might consider an oral history app, such as StoryCorps. This phone app has several questions you can choose from to get started, and can be used on the go, allowing you to capture family memories around the dinner table or while visiting with an elderly family member.

The audio can be saved, preserving the voice of the speaker. Additionally, the information can be transcribed into written form to be printed or published. It is a good idea to keep a digital copy of the files, along with a backup in case something happens to the original. Here at Windward Life Care, we want to maximize your life experience and help you find the resources that are needed to maintain good health and strong family relationships. Contact us to learn more about the services that are available for your family.


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.


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!



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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