Posts Tagged ‘Aging’

The Last Stop: It’s the Little Things

Life goes on for me at my retirement community. Nothing too dramatic. I listen to the world news, the national news, the weather traumas, and know how fortunate I am to be living in this safe, comfortable environment in Colorado. Yet with that said, I still Margery's friends work on a puzzleam aware that every day offers a personal choice, a decision and an opportunity.

It’s the little things that I plan to share with my readers in this essay. Little things such as how I manage my meal choices, the leaving of friends and how a new friend resolved his personal complication. No matter how one simplifies one’s life, living is never without decisions.

Read more about the little things that make a difference in Margery’s life in “Part 12: It’s the Little Things.”

This post was written by Margery Fridstein, an author and retired psychotherapist who lives in a CCRC outside of Denver, CO. She is chronicling her experience in the monthly series, “The Last Stop With Margery Fridstein.”

Joan’s Journey: Famous 1873 Poem Describes Senior Living

Ron. Harriette. Jerry. Three names commonly used in today’s Western countries. Common names, yes—but unique to each individual who answered to the words. For me, “Ron,” “Harriette”  and “Jerry” are the names of folks whose memories evoke smiles on my face and joy in my heartJoan's friend Harriette (left)

These three folks, “like ships passing in the night,” touched my life ever so briefly along my journey of senior living at Holiday Villa East (HVE). Within six months of my arrival, each had passed away. But their friendship, kindness, intelligence and grace, under the most difficult of circumstances, will remain with me forever.

Welcome, Joan’s Journeyers. In our last blog, I was completely upfront about the life-cycle experience of illness, dying and death at senior living. I chose this topic for discussion because I believe it’s extremely important for a senior and his or her family to consciously explore one’s feelings of all aspects of senior community living—before one makes a choice of residence. A past blog, “Senior Communities Embrace Life, Even at the End,” posted on Oct. 1, discussed this topic.

Our current blog advances further to personally highlight three fabulous folks who experienced illness, dying and death while living in a senior community.

Learn more about Ron, Harriette and Jerry, and the impact they had on Joan’s life, visit the latest installment of Joan’s Journey, “Part 23: Famous 1873 Poem Describes Senior Living.

Joan London, a former Houston Chronicle correspondent and noted magazine writer/editor, specializes in freelance writing/editing of issues relating to seniors. London moved to a senior community in Southern California, where she has enhanced her quality of life and is close to her children and grandchildren. Follow her series, Joan’s Journey, on SeniorHomes.com.

When Harry Met Grandma Sally’s Keepsakes: How To Repurpose Items After A Move

When you’ve lived a full, comfortable life surrounded by decades of accumulated belongings, deciding what to take to a smaller assisted living space is anything but simple. After the big move, what becomes of what’s been left behind? The receipts, the clothing, the stacks upon stacks of letters … aren’t you glad we just e-mail everything now?!

Instead of throwing all of Grandma’s old records out, there are plenty of ways you can not only repurpose them, but preserve these keepsakes for years of admiration to come. To get ourselves in the sentimental mood, let’s just think of this upcycling mission in terms of quotes from popular romantic comedies, shall we?

“To me, you are (a) perfect (postcard.)” — Love Actually

Back in the day, people sent each other greeting cards. All. The. Time. While snail mail has arguably lost its everyday appeal, special occasions still call for a postcard once in a while.Grandma's Keepsakes

Luckily for you, the vintage artwork of old greeting cards will never go out of style.

Simply cut off the decorative front of an old greeting card, and voila! A brand new (to you) postcard. Sign, seal and deliver it to your oldest and farthest friend.

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody(‘s sweater), you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” — When Harry Met Sally

With sweater weather fast approaching, you’ve got to look good. A simple tailoring of the sleeves, taking in the sides and scooping out the neck can make any “grandpa sweater” fit like a glove.

“Nobody puts baby (blankets) in a corner.” — Dirty Dancing

So what about other clothing items that are not suitable for public wearing, yet you can’t quite bring yourself to donate or throw them out? Well, the sky is the limit when it comes to creating something out of pieces of fabric.

A great way to connect an older relative to a very young one is through material belongings. Making a teddy bear out of an old curtain, or a baby blanket out of several old pieces of clothing, can bond a child to their older relative in a really touching way—either now or years down the road, depending on their level of cognition.

“I’ll never let go, (love letter from) Jack.” — Titanic

Honestly, is there anything more romantic than old-fashioned love letters? Short of framing and displaying them all on the living room wall, perhaps try something a little more discreet with just as much pizzazz, such as jewelry. Cut an especially touching section out of a letter, laminate it, and put it into a locket. You can go above and beyond by decoupaging the letters onto just about anything—jewelry, picture frames, wine bottles, etc. Just like your grandparents’ love, their words will never fade. (Awww.)

“You gotta hear this one (melted) song. It’ll change your life. I swear.” — Garden State

First, be sure the old records aren’t worth something—there’s a big hipster market out there for vinyl. If not, here’s how to make some cool pinched bowls:

  1. Heat oven to 300-400°.
  2. Set the record on the mouth of a glass bowl—this will be its mold.
  3. Heat in the oven for a few minutes, just until the record is hot enough to bend.
  4. Press down into the bowl, allowing the sides to crinkle.
  5. Let cool and solidify.
  6. It’s a decorative bowl! Be careful while doing this and don’t forget to turn the oven off.

“I am just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love (scrapbooking with) her.” — Notting Hill

Scrapbooking … the old standby! There’s really no better way to condense a lot of photos, letters and postcards than into one (or several) handy scrapbooks. Here are some tips to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • Only use materials that are acid-free. This is critical to preserving the papers and photos.
  • Create a focal point on each page, then build around it with snippets and photos.
  • Tear some edges instead of cutting all of them. It gives a cool, textured look.
  • Use paper clips to adhere letters. It looks more authentic.
  • Use fabric instead of paper. Bonus points if you can put a piece of your grandmother’s old scarf underneath a photo of her wearing it!
  • A fine-tipped pen looks classic and elegant; a bolder pen looks more casual.

Conclusion

When sifting through the sea of mementos and personal items often left behind when an elderly loved one moves into a smaller living space, it can be difficult to make sense of the boxes of keepsakes left behind. Whatever you do, don’t let these precious family heirlooms spend another 50 years in an attic! By repurposing with tender loving care, these family memories can be passed on for generations to come.

Shayne Fitz-Coy is the Co-CEO and President of Alert-1, an aging-in-place technology company headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania with offices nationwide. Shayne has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard College and a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shayne hails from Maryland, and now calls the Bay Area home.

LGBT Seniors Face Additional Caregiving Challenges

Caregiving is both physically and emotionally demanding for any family caregiver, but those caring for LGBT loved ones may face additional challenges. There are a variety of contributing factors, ranging from fear of being judged or discriminated against, a lack of social support from family and friends, and lack of access to healthcare. This often happens when LGBT seniors resist moving to senior living communities out of fear that they won’t be accepted by homosexual residents or will face ridicule. Essentially, aging sends some LGBT older adults back into the closet, despite the struggles and challenges they’ve overcome earlier in their lives in the process of coming out to family and friends.

The result is that many LGBT caregivers report feelings of isolation or feeling as though it’s just them against the world. Many are afraid to reach out and ask for help, and grief is magnified as LGBT spouses or partners are sometimes afraid of talking about their feelings with other loved ones out of fear that they won’t be understood or accepted.

Legal challenges only further complicate matters. Presently, only 19 states have legalized gay marriage. That means LGBT partners may be faced with losing their homes, losing financial and other assets, and even personal belongings if other family members are handling their partner’s estate — particularly if those family members disapproved of the relationship. When these same partners feel a lack of social support elsewhere, as well, it’s not uncommon for them to shut off from the world, disengage in the activities they once enjoyed, and basically seclude themselves from the outside world for six months or more.

That’s why it’s so important for healthcare providers and staff at senior living communities to undergo sensitivity training. The less judgement LGBT aging adults feel as they enter their elderly years and may need to seek support or housing for help with activities of daily living, the more likely they will be to make use of these resources. But even more important is for anyone with a LGBT friend or loved one to reach out and offer a helping hand, to provide support and compassion, to help spouses and partners successfully manage their grief after the loss of a loved one.

Caregiving is challenging for anyone. No one should have to go through it alone. For more information on the challenges facing LGBT caregivers, read this article.

 

Image via Flickr by r. nial bradshaw

Joan’s Journey: Senior Communities Embrace Life, Even at the End

Just before 8 p.m. on a beautiful fall night in Santa Monica, the enchanting quiet of my “senior hotel” room was blasted with high-pitched sirens, annoying loud beeps and screeching tires. I was seated at my desk in the exact spot where, and time when, the recent 5.0 earthquake occurred. This evening, however, the unwanted sounds were manmade—those of an ambulance and a fire truck arriving at the front door of Holiday Villa East (HVE).

Unfortunately, living at HVE, these sounds are all too familiar. In fact, I hear them routinely—some weeks Ambulancemore frequently than others. The location of my room allows these unnerving sounds to penetrate into my room day and night. That’s a compromise I’ve made to occupy a lovely space with a balcony overlooking a busy urban street with three major hospitals, two fire stations and a police station within less than a mile.

Rapidly, the noises stop. Ambulance double-doors slam and footsteps scurry up the ramp. A resident needs immediate medical care.

Welcome, Joan’s Journeyers. Our story, but not our blog, ends here.

To read the rest of Joan’s post, and see how communities—and their residents—handle the loss of a friend, visit the latest installment of Joan’s Journey, “Part 22: Senior Communities Embrace Life, Even at the End.

Joan London, a freelance writer who specializes in topics on aging, enjoys living in senior housing in Southern California, where she is close to her children and grandchildren. London has a new roommate, Heather, 6 months, a beautiful Ragdoll Kitten. Follow her series, Joan’s Journey, on SeniorHomes.com.

Can’t Sleep? Loss of Neurons Could be to Blame

It’s probably no surprise to hear that many older adults suffer from insomnia and other forms of sleep disruption, but Michael Kennedy’s review of a University of Toronto study that seeks to explain why older adults can’t sleep acknowledges that experts don’t know the underlying cause. Andrew Lim, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Toronto believes that the study provides “evidence that loss of neurons in a particular region of the brain that controls sleep may be an important contributor to insomnia in many older individuals.”

Why are seniors losing sleep?

Clifford B. Saper, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, co-authored the study that was published in Brain, a Journal of Neurology. According to Saper, a person in his 70s typically gets about one fewer hour of sleep per night than a person in his 20s. The Saper lab has been studying insomnia for years, and in 1996, they “first discovered that the ventrolateral pre optic nucleus, a key cell group of inhibitory neurons, was functioning as a ‘sleep switch’ in rats, turning off the brain’s arousal system to enable animals to fall asleep.”

Saper explains that sleep loss and disrupted sleep are associated with a variety of health issues, raining from cognitive dysfunction, to increased blood pressure, to a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes. Thanks to the University of Toronto study, Saper says, “it now appears that loss of these neurons may be contributing to these various disorders as people age.”

Alzheimer’s impacts sleep due to loss of neurons

Researchers analyzed older patients who do not have Alzheimer’s as well as Alzheimer’s patients for the study. They found that “the fewer the neurons, the more fragmented the sleep became. The subjects with the largest amount of neurons (greater than 6,000) spent 50 percent or more of the sleep time in prolonged periods of non-movement while subjects with the fewest ventrolateral preoptic neurons (less than 3,000) spent less than 40 percent of their nights in extended periods of sleep.”

Upon deeper analysis of the study’s results, researchers determined that among Alzheimer’s patients, much of the sleep impairment appeared to be related to the number of ventrolateral preoptic neurons that had been lost. Lim points out that, “given recent evidence that sleep disruption may predispose to or potentiate the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” the findings of the study could lead to prevention or the slowing of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease some day.

Can you protect your neurons…or grow new ones?

Wondering what causes people to lose neurons, and whether there is anything that you can do about it? Well, a blogger for Mental Health Daily wants you to first keep in mind that most people lose brain cells over the course of their lifetime. The blog also includes an extensive list of things that kill brain cells, if you want to protect yourself from the potential loss of neurons. Here is just a sampling of the things the blog post suggests you avoid to prevent the loss of neurons:

  • Concussion
  • Head banging
  • Whiplash
  • Severe dehydration
  • Sleep apnea
  • Amphetamine abuse
  • Bath salts
  • Cigarettes/tobacco products
  • Steroids
  • Pesticides
  • Aspartame
  • Chronic/severe stress

The brain may have the ability to repair itself and grow new brain cells via neurogenesis. While there has been a debate over the reality of neurogenesis in adults, a recent paper suggests that new neurons do form in the adult human striatum. Several researchers concluded that neurons are added “throughout life in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. One area where neuroblasts that give rise to adult-born neurons are generated is the lateral ventricle wall of the brain.” Their research shows that “in adult humans new neurons integrate in the striatum, which is adjacent to this neurogenic niche.” And, the Mental Health Daily blogger lists 11 ways to grow new brain cells, including running, curcumin (which is found in the spice Turmeric), sexual experience, Omega 3 fatty acids, and more.

Keep your brain active to promote regeneration

Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical School also explains that “the brain has much more regenerative potential” than doctors were taught years ago in medical school, “but the regeneration doesn’t happen on its own. Keeping our brains active is one way to make it happen.” Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications suggests six ways to keep your mind sharp at any age.

  • Keep learning
  • Use all your sense
  • Believe in yourself
  • Prioritize your brain use
  • Repeat what you want to know
  • Space it out

Overall, Harvard Health Publications reminds seniors that to prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia, they should adopt some basic healthy habits – staying physically active and socializing, not smoking, limiting alcohol to one drink a day, eating a balanced diet, and keeping their minds sharp. The benefits include lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes, and now reducing the risk of insomnia. It’s definitely worth a try, for those seniors who are tired of losing so much sleep… and being tired!

Images via Flickr by Cristiana Gasparotto and Ars Electronica

How to Overcome the Challenges of Moving to Assisted Living … Using TV Catchphrases

A few years ago, you bought a medical alert system for your older parent or relative. Then later, you added in-home care to help her with the activities of daily living. Now, you’re done with aging in place. She’s moving into assisted living.

When moving day arrives, emotions might be high—but risk should be low. Let’s look at everything you need to know to keep seniors safe during the move. To help with our journey, we’ve enlisted the help of our friend, the television.

And a one … and a two …  and awaaaay we go!How to Overcome the Challenges of Moving into Assisted Living ... Using TV Catchphrases

Ask her, “How you doin’?”

Moving into assisted living is a huge change, so don’t trivialize the impact. Acknowledge the emotions moving causes and don’t let those feelings of helplessness, anger and sadness simmer. Talk it out, frequently.

Don’t look back: “The tribe has spoken”

Make moving a collaborative process so that your loved one can be involved. After all, she is the one who’s actually moving. Work with her to organize and plan the move. It’s not about you doing it all or her doing it all. Do it together.

Once you’ve made the decision to move to assisted living, don’t look back. Don’t go 50 rounds once you’ve made the decision. This isn’t an occasion to keep asking, “Is that your final answer?” Make the call and move on.

“Just the facts, ma’am”

Don’t get fooled by sales talk or fancy brochures. Visit as many facilities as you can with your loved one. When you visit the facilities, examine all aspects of life. Never assume anything when you’re visiting—ask questions! Most importantly, use a checklist like this one to inspect the assisted living facility so you can compare the options available.

Talking to residents is one of the best ways to learn what it’s actually like to live at the facility, so don’t be shy to ask them questions! After your visit, talk with your loved one about what you both liked and disliked about each facility so you can choose the one that best fits both their needs and their wants.

“Move that bus”: How to get your home ready to sell

Your home may not need an extreme makeover, but now that you’ve chosen your ideal facility, it’s time to get your house ready to sell. Go through the house, clean it up, and make those small repairs that have been put off for years. You want your house to shine for prospective buyers! Work with a real estate professional to sell the house. It’s one less item that you have to manage, and you’ll make sure you’re getting full market value for the assets.

“Well, isn’t that special?” Bring the things that matter, but not everything

Moving into an assisted living facility means your loved one has to narrow down what they want to bring with them. First, talk to the facility to learn what is and is not allowed. Then you and your loved one need to have a talk—be careful not to assume what they want to take with them.

Make sure your loved one brings her favorite belongings. You want to avoid clutter, but you also want to recreate the feeling of home in the new space. Be careful of the temptation to buy your loved one completely new furniture for their new home—many older adults prefer to keep their favorite recliner or sleep in their own bed.

Finally, double-check that you have packed the basic, day-to-day items she will need. These include medication, shampoo, toothbrush and other toiletries. Pack enough clothing to fill the closets. Include enough underwear and socks so that there is always a clean set available. Bring sweaters for air conditioning, and nice outfits for socializing events.

Choosing which items to bring can be the most difficult part of this process. Your loved one will likely need to downsize. Keep up the conversation with her so that everything she needs to be happy and feel at home is packed to bring with her.

“Grab your gear” (Or better yet, have someone else grab it)

Once you’ve decided what your loved one is bringing with her, it’s time to get it over to the new place. Let a moving company take care of things. While they do the heavy lifting, you can go over the paperwork to update your loved one’s address with the post office and necessary companies. You want her to continue getting her mail!

“Hi, everybody!” Make some new friends

It can be hard to make friends as a senior. She doesn’t have to announce herself every time she enters a room at the new facility, but your mother will have to try a bit. Work with your loved one to create a friend strategy before you arrive. Encourage them to meet the neighbors. Look at all of the available activities and pick a few to try. Meeting new friends and staying busy will ease the transition and make living in the facility much more enjoyable.

Conclusion

You’re not Mighty Mouse. Your job isn’t to save the day. Just do a little planning and help her transition to assisted living. Bring your plan and do the work, and you’ll be just fine. Remember, with clear eyes and a full heart, you can’t lose.

Shayne Fitz-Coy is an NAHB Certified Aging In Place Expert and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shayne hails from Maryland, and now calls the Bay Area home. As the Co-CEO and President of Alert-1, an aging-in-place technology company, Shayne writes about issues that matter to seniors and those that care about them.

The Last Stop: On the Go

For nine installments, I’ve been describing my senior living experiences. This month, I want my readers to know how good it feels to get away. I feel fortunate that I have places to go, people who want to see me and that I can handle the unpredictable, challenging experience of travel.

So far, so good.Margery prepares for takeoff!

When I went to Beijing to visit my son, he suggested I order a wheelchair when I landed to get me to where he would be waiting. I was insulted and firmly told him I had no problem walking and he should know that. The truth is, he was travel-smart and I was dumb.

In a country where few understand my language and I don’t understand theirs, there is a huge risk of getting misdirected when traveling alone and not being able to ask anyone for help. He was so right and I was stupidly vain. I was sure glad I did what he told me anyway. I went from the plane to the wheelchair to his car without a hitch.

Read more about Margery’s travels, including some helpful advice for seniors who decide to hit the road, in “Part 11: On The Road.”

This post was written by Margery Fridstein, an author and retired psychotherapist who lives in a CCRC outside of Denver, CO. She is chronicling her experience in the monthly series, “The Last Stop With Margery Fridstein.”

5 Tips to Help Seniors Saving for Retirement

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 28 percent of retirees feel they have enough money saved up for their retirement. It’s probably safe to assume that the rest of those folks are dealing with a significant amount of stress.

The older we get, the harder it is to pull in any income, meaning that your sunset years could be obscured by a stormy horizon. Not to fear, though—there are several things seniors can do to generate more cash, or spend less of it, after they’ve retired. Check out these five tips.

1. Cut Your Food CostsTips to Help Seniors Saving for Retirement

If you’re not clipping coupons from the Sunday paper to save on groceries, start now. It’s a tried-and-true method of conserving funds, and it’s just as effective as it was when you were younger. If you know your way around a smartphone, try out apps like Grocery Pal and Checkout 51. Like to eat out at restaurants? Visit deal-of-the-day websites like Groupon and LivingSocial to get 50-percent-off vouchers for restaurant trips.

2. Get Healthier

According to Fidelity, the average 65-year-old couple who retired last year can plan on spending $220,000 on healthcare expenses throughout their retirement. Although I don’t dispute that number, I firmly believe it’s possible to spend significantly less. Join the YMCA (the Silver Sneakers program may be offered for free) or start a workout program at home. Get active and you can not only live longer, you can lower your health insurance costs, to boot.

3. Reduce Entertainment Expenses

My mom is 82 years old. Sure, she could spend her money on theater tickets and fancy restaurants, but instead she invites all of her kids over every other Saturday for a fun game night—a great, inexpensive way to spend time with the ones she loves.

You can also save money by cutting the cable cord and signing up for Hulu Plus or Netflix. Or, rent movies from Redbox for a little more than $1 per day. There are countless ways to cut your entertainment costs during retirement, so don’t let pricier options fritter away at your nest egg.

4. Save on Travel

Use websites like BookingBuddy or CheapOair to track flight prices and save on airfare. Your preferred airline’s website may also offer a cheap rate that won’t necessarily be advertised elsewhere. Travel during the week when possible, book your flights from Monday through Thursday when most sales are going on, and combine luggage to save on checked bag fees.

5. Get Rid of a Car

Got two cars? You probably don’t need both of them. Even if you only have one, though, think seriously about selling it. If your neighborhood has a decent public transit system, you might be able to get around without a set of wheels altogether. You can not only save on gas by making this move, but also insurance, upkeep and a variety of other expenses associated with automobile ownership.

Drumming up extra money during retirement isn’t an easy task. Banking institutions are not going to offer you retirement loans, and your kids are probably dealing with their own financial difficulties. Do what you can today to drum up more money for your golden years and you just might find that the retirement you’re hoping for is within reach.

What other tips do you know of for retirees who need more money?

Martin Davis writes about senior living, retirement savings, investing, and smart money management.

Joan’s Journey: One Senior’s Journey Motivates Another

Welcome Joan’s Journeyers! I write this on a lovely, sunny Sunday in Santa Monica. I have a big smile on my face and I’m delighted to share why with you.

First, I’m happy and content after spending Friday afternoon at the fabulous Santa Monica Pier and Beach with my grandson Oliver, 4, and granddaughter Madeline, 1. Oliver threw five balls at the Game Park and won a toy whale for himself and a giraffe for his sister. In terms of quality time spent with my grandchildren, moving to senior living and changing my lifestyle is ever so worth it.

The second reason I’m in a good mood is that our activity director, Brenda Martinez, declared today “Grandparents Appreciation Day” at Holiday Villa East (HVE). We had a delightful social hour, with lovely tables set with pretty dishes and flowers. Iced peach tea, hot tea and lemon, blueberry and sesame cakes were delicious companions to the conversations.

Third, I’m smiling from a lovely email I received from my SeniorHomes.com Care Advisor, Cindy Fox. I had the pleasure of working more than two years with Cindy as my Care Advisor. Cindy patiently guided me in identifying appropriate senior residences that fit the criteria we jointly determined, including location, budget and degree of independent living.

Cindy brings a smile to my face because, after much deliberation and following Joan’s Journey, Cindy is relocating to senior living. Cindy’s email is so expressive and heartfelt, that with her permission, I am sharing her thoughts with Joan’s Journeyers. Sharing experiences helps decision-making. SeniorHomes.com and I invite you to share your senior living relocation experiences with us in the Comment Box below.

Cindy Speaks

“Seems like this is the time for change in our lives. We reach a certain age and suddenly have the need to be closer to family. As I am quickly approaching 61, I too have had an awakening that is moving me in new directions.

“I have decided to relocate back East to be there for my 82-year-old mom and closer to my daughter and 3-year-old grandson. Being on the West Coast, while they are on the East Coast, has made it difficult to visit and have meaningful time together. I am putting my strong aversion to the East Coast winters aside and leaving in less than a week. I will be driving across country with books on tape and good music as companions. I hope to complete the journey in four days or less!

“I am looking forward to being present for my mom during her final years and having more time with my grandson. I am sure you [Joan] are feeling the same. I hope life continues to bring magical moments. Thanks for sharing your Journey with me. I have and will continue to enjoy hearing about you on your blog!”

Joan’s Journey and SeniorHomes.com wish Cindy and all journeyers much joy and happiness as they relocate close to those they hold most dear.

In the next Joan’s Journey, we move from celebrating life to celebrating death—a real dynamic of living in a senior residence—and one I never considered on my journey. Accidents, illness, dying, and death are part of the senior community rhythm. How a residence deals with these realities is important as one investigates senior living. Until the next post, enjoy the Journey, day-by-day.

Joan London, a former Houston Chronicle correspondent and noted magazine writer/editor, now specializes in freelance writing/editing of issues relating to seniors. London moved to a senior community in Southern California, where she has enhanced her quality of life and is close to her children and grandchildren. Follow all of Joan’s Journey at SeniorHomes.com.