Posts Tagged ‘Aging’

10 Great Places to Retire: Part 2

Are you ready to see my top 5 places to retire? As I said in part one, you might be surprised by what I pick for number one.

5. San Diego, California – A gorgeous town with excellent weather overall and easy access to a wide variety ofIndependent Living in San Diego, California beaches. Not to mention plenty of fun and interesting places to visit. It’s a great place to help boomers and seniors stay active year round. On top of all that, people rave about the various restaurants they love to visit. You’re close to sight-seeing pleasures in Mexico, and what fun to be able to visit the San Diego Zoo and Sea World easily.

4. Honolulu, Hawaii – My parents spent ten years right in the heart of Waikiki when my dad’s Parkinson’s Disease started to progress. In Hawaii, he was able walk miles each day as well as play his beloved golf. They lived just minutes from the beach and thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything they needed was within walking distance. We are still convinced that living in the lovely state of Hawaii with grand weather daily helped him stay as active as he did for over 20 years from his initial diagnosis.

3.  Los Angeles, California – Want to know what my favorite thing in L.A. is? Olvera Street.  It’s a popular tourist attraction with several restaurants and tiny shops full of fun and historical delights from Mexico.  They have the best taquitos in the world at the very edge of Olvera street at a teeny tiny place called Cielito Lindo. Many people, like my own family, have been visiting this delicious spot for decades – some of us over 50 years! I don’t have the energy to want to make the long drive there anymore so settling close to that along with all the other delicious restaurants L.A. is famous for would be grand. Not to mention all the intriguing opportunities for tours and sightseeing. The beach and the mountains are just an hour or two in each direction. Oh yes! Los Angeles is definitely on my top-10 list.

2. Sacramento, California – I love both Sacramento and Placer Counties. There are so many interesting things to see and do nearby and within a couple hours of driving. From ocean fun in San Francisco to mountain sports, not to mention several great golf courses, good exercise opportunities abound. Sacramento, itself, has the most intriguing neighborhoods with little delicious restaurants tucked away in fun spots. And there are plenty of malls toIndependent Living in Seattle, Washington keep us busy shopping and eating deliciously. For history buffs, Old Town Sacramento and Fort Sutter are always a treat not to mention the Capitol building and its surrounding area.

1. Seattle, Washington – I might be a bit prejudiced on this one since I am living in this area, but Seattle truly is a lovely locale. I am thrilled that I can’t go more than a few miles in any direction without seeing the glistening of the sun off the ocean, the Puget Sound or one of the many creeks and lakes that abound here. Mt. Rainier is gorgeous and can be seen from so many areas. It’s a real sight for sore eyes! There are hiking trails all over, including very easy ones. Traillink.com has a list of several that are even wheelchair accessible. Each city in the area has its own “personality” and there are so many unique places to eat, I doubt we’d run out of new places to try. And oh my, what fun to ride ferries and whale-watch!

After creating this list, I realized that the locations I daydream about the most generally have delicious food, good weather overall, great places to visit and take visitors to, and fun destinations to shop. Now that you’ve seen my list of the 10 best places to retire in the United States, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree or have other ideas? I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Written by senior living writer Kaye Swain

10 Great Places to Retire: Part 1

Have you been thinking about retirement? Are you wondering where you’d like to retire? I’m staying busy as a real estate agent and loving it, but ever so often I do find my mind wandering to think about all the various places in the U.S. that I’ve enjoyed living at or visiting. It is in these moments that I wonder where else I might like to settle down someday. While daydreaming about that this week, I came up with some fun ideas for 10 of the best places to retire in the United States. Here are the first 5. What do you think about them?

10.  Virginia Beach, Virginia – We lived near Virginia Beach for several years and really enjoyed our time there. The beach is gorgeous!Independent Living in Nashville, Tennessee The weather was fun. And there is plenty to do in each direction. Not to mention the fact that there are some delicious places to eat at including some of my favorites like Panera Bread and P.F. Changs.  My senior mom and I really enjoyed meandering around the quaint little stores that are close to the beach itself. It’s also close to North Carolina beaches, as well as historical sightseeing opportunities in Yorktown and Williamsburg.

9.  Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville and its surrounding neighbors – including our favorites, Elizabethtown and Radcliff – are full of warm-hearted people. We resided in Elizabethtown for several years and got to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of living in a small town in the country. But what fun when we could go into the big city of Louisville and visit a variety of interesting places including the Louisville slugger museum, drive along the Ohio River, shop at the grand malls (my senior mom’s favorite), and find new and intriguing places to eat. So many interesting things to see and do there, but you still have the country right next door.

8.  Nashville, Tennessee – If you’re into country music, country vistas or just plain nice folks, Nashville is a lovely place to visit and to live. I’ve visited there several times and always enjoyed the people, the scenery, and the interesting things and places to explore. It’s truly a beautiful area and has an airport right there to whisk you off for travel or bring friends and relatives to visit.

7.  Miami, Florida – I love the beach, you’ve probably already guessed that since several of these locales are in orIndependent Living in Miami, Florida near beach cities. More importantly for me, I have friends who live near Miami and my grandkids have visited the area and will again. All of that put together makes this part of the country a top contender for this particular dream list. Especially on those days when the thermometer tells me it’s close to freezing outside. I could really appreciate Florida’s average winter temperature of about 76 on those days.

6.  Yuma, Arizona – My sweet mother-in-law lived in Yuma, Arizona for years and loved it! She really enjoyed the warm weather that was NOT accompanied by humidity, making it a great fit for her. In the winter, the temperature can range from 46-70. Summer can have some triple digit temperatures but it never bothered her. She made good use of her air conditioning and relished the clean air and the good friends nearby.

Come back tomorrow to see my top 5 places I dream about retiring to! You might just be surprised what I pick as my number one.

Written by senior living writer Kaye Swain

Why Seniors Need More Sun: Aging Eyes and Your Health

Researchers are always coming up with fascinating new ways to study the connections between the body, the aging process and physical and emotional health. There are tons of studies that prove that there are many external factors that contribute to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, for instance. But one recent study has produced some intriguing insights linking your eyes to possible health and wellness woes.

Sunlight Impacts Your Mood – and Much More

You may be familiar with a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition is best described as seasonal depression that almost always occurs during the winter months. This has been linked to the impacts natural sunlight has on the body and on your mood.

Who doesn’t feel a sense of gratification or fulfillment when you take a moment, turn your face upward to the bright shining sun and just bask in the warm glow? Well, it turns out that aging eyes develop some problems that impact the amount of blue light that enters the eye. In turn, this disrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm and hormone levels — which are linked to health and wellness.  Sunlight essential for seniors' health

Shift Workers at Higher Risk of Common Ailments and Health Conditions

Shift workers, who often have disruptions in circadian rhythm from staying awake to work at night and sleeping during the day. That means they’re missing out on critical daylight hours to get the sunlight necessary to regulate the body’s internal clock.

Studies show that the disruption in circadian rhythm leaves shift workers more susceptible to diseases and chronic conditions like insomnia, heart disease, and cancer. This leads researchers to question how other factors limiting light exposure impact circadian rhythms and health — such as the eye itself.

The Aging Eye May Reduce Essential Light

The New York Times reports on research findings from Dr. Martin Mainster, a professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and his wife, Dr. Patricia Turner, an opthamologist. As you age, the lenses of your eyes yellow over time and your pupils narrow, reducing the amount of light that enters.

This prevents ample light from reaching certain cells in your retinas,  which are responsible for regulating your body’s internal clock — your circadian rhythm — by controlling the secretion and suppression of two hormones:

  • Melatonin, which promotes rest and repair, preparing your body for sleep.
  • Cortisol, which helps regulate blood sugar, metabolism and other key bodily processes, promoting energy and alertness to tackle the day.

Circadian Rhythm Disruptions Start Sooner Than You Think

The aging eye starts to filter light sooner than you probably think. It’s not a problem limited to the elderly; in fact, by age 45 the average adult is only getting about 50 percent of the light required to fully activate the photoreceptors in the retina, and thus the circadian system.

At age 55, the average person only gets about 37 percent of the necessary light, and by age 75, the average person gets only 17 percent of the light needed to fully stimulate the body’s internal clock.

Eyes filter blue light with age

Older People Need More Light to Get the Same Benefits

Several studies ferment the relationship between light and melatonin suppression. One European study, for example, demonstrated that the same amount of light that suppressed melatonin in women in their 20s had no effect at all on women in their 50s. And that means that younger people will feel awake and energized with far less light than someone a few decades older. By controlling cortisol and melatonin, ample exposure to blue light leads to:

  • Better memory retention
  • Increased energy
  • Feelings of wakefulness and alertness
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased sleepiness during the day

The key is that it takes more light to produce the same results in older people, because their aging eyes are filtering out more light than a younger person’s eyes.

What It Means for Older Adults: Get More Sun!

The bottom line is that the older you get, the more sunlight (particularly blue light) you’ll need to feel energized, alert, and content. Older adults have two disadvantages. One is that their aging eyes are filtering out more light due to the aging process.

The second is that older adults are more likely to spend more time indoors, which limits blue light exposure even further. Try to expose yourself to bright indoor lights, like fluorescent lighting, if you must be indoors during the day, and make an effort to get outdoors and soak up some natural sunlight.

Yes, extended exposure to UV rays is bad for your skin — but great for your eyes and your body’s internal clock. Make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more.

Cataract Surgery Poses Another Challenge

Another problem faced by older adults who have had cataract surgery is that in about one-third of cataract surgeries, blue-blocking lenses are used as intraocular implants — a practice established to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. This makes it even more difficult for those people to get ample blue light.

If your doctor recommends cataract surgery, discuss the risks and benefits of blue-blocking lenses with your surgeon. And if you’ve already had cataract surgery, that means you’ll need to compensate with more exposure to blue light.

How does light impact your mood and energy levels? Do you suffer from the winter blues? What do you do to get more exposure to natural light during the dreary winter months? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Image via Stock.xchng by krappweis and L-O-L-A

Post by Angela Stringfellow

Google and Apple Team Up to Fight Aging

Google has its hand in pretty much everything. From search engines to social networking, and now…aging? It’s true: Google has teamed up with Apple in an effort to fight aging through a new initiative called Calico (California Life Company). Calico’s entire mission is to prolong life — with a focus on health and well-being, and particularly, how technology has a positive impact on aging and aging-associated diseases. The main focus will be on diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.

Apple, Genentech Chairman Arthur D. Levinson to Head Calico

The effort will be headed by Arthur D. Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Genentech and chairman of Apple, a founding investor who will also serve as the company’s CEO. Levinson will continue to be chairman of Apple and Genentech, in addition to continuing to hold his spot as director of Hoffmann-La Roche. (Side note: It has yet to be revealed how Levinson will manage to find the time to essentially head four major corporations, but perhaps his attempt at the humanly impossible will reveal some clues as to how to slow the aging process.)

Google’s CEO, Larry Page, shares his excitement about what Levinson can bring to the table at Calico in a statement: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward.”

What Exactly is Calico’s Approach?

But here’s the thing: No one really knows exactly what Calico will be doing, and anyone who has an inside scoop isn’t spilling any details. It’s not really clear what type of approach Google intends to take to tackle aging. Software? Apps? Diagnostics? It seems some are speculating that Calico will take a “big-data approach” to the problem by amassing huge amounts of data from patients and then conducting sophisticated analysis to advance research. Prevention might also be a major focus.

Calico: Not Just Another Google Health

And this isn’t Google’s first foray into the healthcare scene. Google Health, which aimed to empower patient decision-making through better access to information, was shut down on January 1, 2013. Google didn’t wait long to re-enter the health niche with the announcement of Calico less than a year later.

Google Health, originally launched in 2008, allowed users to upload or import their healthcare records, have prescriptions filled, get lab results, and even get text alerts when it was time to take medications. Calico appears to be taking a broader approach that’s more focused on the big picture of researching, diagnosing, and preventing the diseases associated with aging — rather than a focus on the patient-management side of the puzzle.

According to an article in TechCrunch, one of Calico’s main focuses is to “dramatically extend human life,” by about 100 years. And because today’s patients are more health-savvy (25 percent of smartphone users have downloaded at least one health-related app, and 60 percent of adults seek health info online, TechCrunch says), Calico is hopefully entering the scene at the right time.

While Calico is an interesting avenue for Google to take, one thing’s for sure: If Google sets its mind to it, it’ll happen. It might take a few failed attempts — but Google always rises each time it falls.

Image via bizmaticsinc.com

Post by Angela Stringfellow

Inspiring Senior Dr. Louisa Littleton

SeniorHomes.com recently set out to identify the Most Inspiring Seniors through the Best Senior Living Awards. During the awards program, we found many well known inspiring seniors including Betty White, Fauja Singh, and Edythe Kirchmaier. However we also found another senior that doesn’t get the same amount of press as a 91 year old comedian, or the world’s oldest marathon runner. We found Dr. Louisa Littleton.

As the first female resident at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) in 1945 and paving the way for women in medicine, Dr. Littleton has been an inspiration to her own local community for decades. Dr. Littleton was nominated by her Sunrise Senior Living community, Brighton Gardens of Charlotte.

Littleton always wanted to be a physician and in 1945-46, she was the lone female in a class of 15 men–clearly a trend-setter in a profession which was largely dominated by men during that time. After finishing the program at CMC, Littleton became the first female pediatrician in Statesville and managed a private practice for more than 30 years.

Now 93, Dr. Littleton’s spirit still lives on to inspire other female doctors. CMC recently created an annual award that bears her name, the “Dr. Louisa Littleton Award”, which is given annually to the female resident who most closely embodies Dr. Littleton’s passion for service.

Dr. Littleton was recently presented with the “Inspiring Senior” award at her community (shown in the photo to the right). Surrounded by friends, neighbors and community staff, Dr. Littleton was made aware of her nomination, her 150 votes, and received a plaque. We’re certain that this won’t be the last of Dr. Littleton’s incredible accomplishments during her lifetime, but we sure are proud to be a part of bringing some much-deserved recognition to a woman who will continue to inspire women in the field of medicine, and seniors everywhere, for decades to come.

To read more about Dr. Littleton, visit her nominee page here.

To learn more about Dr. Littleton, watch an interview here.

 

 

How Home Automation Can Help Seniors

This is a guest post submitted by Elli Bishop, a writer and home security industry expert.

Barring any medical issues that would make assisted living or a nursing home a necessity, there’s no reason seniors can’t remain in their homes. With new advances in home automation technology it’s even easier for them to stay put.

The purpose of home automation for the elderly is to create an environment that is easy and safe for seniors to live in, giving them the ability to remain in their home for as long as possible.

What is Home Automation?

Imagine the convenience of turning your lights on before you step through the front door, having them automatically turn off the moment you leave the house, or programming your system to automatically unlock the front door every day at 3:00pm when the caregiver arrives. Or how about automating your home thermostats to regulate heating and cooling so you can reduce energy waste? These modern technological conveniences are no longer reserved for the rich and famous. With home automation services offered by various home security providers, anyone can enjoy the support, security, and savings of a “smart home.”

How Home Automation Helps Seniors

Home automation technology helps seniors maintain their independence by giving them control over their living space and providing the ability to reach out for help in the case of a medical emergency. Standard home automation features include:

  • Remote access
  • Motion detectors
  • Temperature sensors
  • Broken glass detectors
  • Flood sensors
  • Heat and smoke sensors

Many home security service providers also offer easy-to-use touchscreen devices and smartphone apps, allowing seniors can accomplish the following tasks:

  • See who is at front door without having to get up and look
  • Send immediate request for specific help such as medical, police, or fire department
  • Control interior and exterior lighting
  • Regulate and automate the thermostat
  • Remotely turn on and turn off the alarm system
  • Change security codes
  • Set reminders and alerts
  • Watch real-time video of camera-monitored areas outside the home

Home Automation Services Specifically for Seniors

Many home security companies also offer home automation services specifically geared toward seniors where help is just the push of a button away. These services provide state-of-the-art home health security products such as personal help buttons that are small, portable, and can be worn around the neck or as a wristband. These wireless devices are waterproof and have long-range capability.

Senior-driven home automation services also provide elderly customers with the added convenience of speaking with trained emergency response personnel over a two-way voice intercom system. This is especially useful in the event of a fall or emergency medical situation. Other services often include temperature sensors that send alerts if the house reaches unsafe temperatures and reminders to test the personal help button to ensure it is working properly.

Investing in a home automation service allows seniors to can enjoy all the comforts of home with the added security of knowing that if help is ever needed, it’s always there.

How else do you think seniors can benefit from home automation?

The 5 Best Activities To Do With Our Elderly

This is a guest post submitted by writer Sarah Jennings.

Our elderly loved ones play a special role in our lives since the day we are born. We don’t always have time for to visit them but when we do it is important to make the best of it since it then are with us for a significantly shorter period of time then the rest of our family. As a child I spent most of my summers with my grandma while my parents worked. My grandma always made sure I had a good time when I was a kid and I made it a point to repay her as an adult. Here are five of the best activities you can do with your elder loved ones to get the most out of your time together.

1.      Card Games

Your grandma could be a sweet, innocent looking old lady until you put a deck of cards in her hands. Card games keep the mind sharp and are something anyone can play at any time. Rummy, Golf, Hand and Foot, and Crazy Eights are classics that are always entertaining for both of you. Be careful when she tries to pull out her little mini-purse full of change though, she’s about to get serious. Ask her neighbors how she got all those dimes.

2.      Go Out For A Meal

Chances are your grandparents liked to spoil by overfeeding you when you were young. Take them somewhere they would like to go and treat them. A little change in routine is good for our elderly sometimes, especially if they don’t get around so easily anymore.

3.      Go For A Simple Walk

If you are like me and have a tight schedule sometimes just a walk to catch up on things is the best thing for both you and grandma or grandpa(or mom and dad). Ask them how they are doing, if there’s anything knew. If they are disabled and require a rollator or some other walking aid, keep it simple and stroll through the park as opposed to trails in the woods.

4.      Watch their Favorite Program with them or a Ball Game

Whether it is grandma’s favorite soap opera or grandpa’s favorite team playing, a good way to get in the habit of regular visits is to show up the same time that their favorite show comes on. You can watch the show and catch up or chat as you’re watching the game. Sometimes just being remembered and having your presence is all they want and occasions like this could be more meaningful to them then you think.

5.      Dominos

This one was my personal favorite to do with my grandma. Chicken foot is a great game that takes a couple hours to complete. It’s simplicity allows for excellent bonding during this time and is great to include kids in as it can help them learn to match the dominos and learn organization.

There are many other activities you can do with your elders to warm their hearts but these are the ones I personally recommend. Sometimes brightening their day is what brightens yours. Sometimes when your overwhelmed as an adult it can be good to go visit them, you might just feel like a kid again, if only for a brief period of time.

Sarah Jennings has been taking care of others her whole life. In 2005, she moved her mother into her family home. She uses her personal experience to share with others about caring for the elderly. She currently writes on behalf of Brookdale Assisted Living.

A Look Inside Dementia Care Facilities, by a Family Caregiver

This is a guest post submitted by Martha Stettinius, author of the new book “Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir.”

At age 80, my mother is living with advanced dementia (vascular dementia and probable Alzheimer’s disease), and I’ve served as her primary caregiver for 7 years. She’s lived in my home with my husband and two young children, then in assisted living, a rehab center, a “memory care” facility, and now the dementia ward of a nursing home.

In the spring of 2005, my mother lived with us briefly, but she was unhappy and needed more independence, so we convinced her to move to a nearby assisted living facility. With mild cognitive impairment, she seemed afraid to go to activities, which were held in large groups that included the higher-functioning residents of the adjacent “independent living” facility. Many of the assisted living residents had some degree of dementia, but activities and care seemed tailored to the more independent residents. Staff did not receive extensive dementia training, and interactions were minimal. To my dismay, Mom spent most of her days watching TV.

Late in 2007, after falling and fracturing her pelvis, my mother suddenly became incontinent. The fall may have accompanied a small stroke. After Mom spent some time in a rehab center, the assisted living facility staff were not allowed (by their contract, and by our state’s regulations) to physically help my mother change her adult diapers. I had to hire private aides to come in for several hours a day. The facility’s case manager told me that my mother’s needs had fallen into a “gray area.” Shortly after that, when one of the private aides found Mom in bed one morning soaking wet and uncovered, her adult diaper ripped off, I knew it was time to move her. But where?
Mom would live in this memory care facility for nearly 3 years—years that seemed her happiest in a long time. Mom rewarded the staff’s affection with lots of smiles and laughter. Firmly in the middle stages of dementia, she joined the activities, sparked a romance with one of the men, and generally enjoyed living in the moment, no longer tortured by awareness of her disease. Although she had her moments of agitation, the staff all received special training in dementia care, and they knew how to keep her calm and feeling safe.I toured a local “memory care” cottage, most impressed not with the plush, home-like environment—the light-filled windows, the green plants, the white, long-haired cat lounging on the hearth—or the seeming contentedness of the residents who listened to oldies on a CD—but the forthrightness of the administrator who gave me the tour. When I asked her, “At what point, exactly, would my mother have to move out?” she told me, “Residents must be able to feed themselves, and be able to walk for at least a few steps, for example from the bed to a wheelchair.” That’s the kind of answer I’m looking for, I thought. No “gray areas.”

By May of 2010, however, she seemed to have forgotten how to feed herself, and was losing weight. (She was also running out of savings, and the private memory care facility could not accept Medicaid.) I looked for a nursing home in the area that was on The Eden Alternative registry—a nursing home that follows the philosophy of person-centered care championed by Dr. Bill Thomas and his wife, Jude—or a nursing home that was part of the new Green House Project (also a Bill Thomas initiative), but the closest were 3 hours away.  Mom moved into a local nursing home, where for the past 2 years she has received excellent physical care, if not the emotional sustenance and vibrancy one might find in an Eden Alternative nursing home or a smaller, more intimate home such as a Green House. She lives on the dementia floor, where staff members receive some specialized training, but residents in the final stage of dementia rarely enjoy individual attention or appropriate stimulation. Though she can no longer speak, and is immobile in a wheelchair, Mom still enjoys people and shares her brilliant smile. She is still “here,” and deserves to have a life that includes more than being spoon-fed her pureed meals, and napping through group activities.

I’m hopeful that our new National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease will increase public understanding of Alzheimer’s and the need for specialized care, and that funding and answers will surface as more and more Americans fall prey to dementia.  However, we need to press the Department of Health and Human Services to recommend a minimum number of hours of dementia training for health care providers and facility staff. According to the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, individual states may or may not require dementia education, and their regulations vary by industry (home care, adult day care, assisted living, nursing homes, hospitals, and hospice). Some states, for example, require absolutely no dementia education for staff in the dementia units of assisted living. This must change.

 

About Martha Stettinius, the author:

Martha Stettinius is the author of the new book “Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir,”available at major online book retailers. She serves as a volunteer representative for New York State for the National Family Caregivers Association. For more information about the book, please visit www.insidedementia.com.

Joan’s Journey: Home Sweet Home! — Maybe?

As anticipated, exciting things did happen on my journey to Southern California: I experienced “Senior Living.” Okay. So just what does senior living mean?

Senior living and senior housing are interchangeable terms, according to the experts at the SeniorHomes.com Web site:

“Senior housing and senior living are evolving concepts, encompassing a place to live and a way to live. Today’s seniors, led by the Baby Boomers, have the opportunity to live life on their own terms. How one intends to live determine where one chooses to live. Choices are expanding as the senior population increases and the market develops to meet their needs and desires.”

Enjoying Life at The Village of Northridge

Which brings us to my recent stay at the beautiful new senior living community, The Village of Northridge in Northridge, California. Following a year-long search of senior communities recommended by knowledgeable counselors at SeniorHomes.com, I chose to re-visit Southern California and The Village to delve deeper than a tour and meal, and truly experience senior living for five days.

On the bright, sunny day of September 18, I walked through The Village front door. The warm and welcoming staff had arranged for my stay and the experience happily met my criteria and expectations. From my surprise “Red Carpet” entrance with key staff members waiting inside to meet and greet me, to the cheerful, friendly residents who readily accepted me as an extended family member, my experience could not have been more positive.

My one-bedroom-plus-den apartment with a balcony was attractive, cozy and completely accessible, with a refrigerator and freezer filled with fruit and snacks. No need for more food, for the 12-hour dining service is delicious and more than adequate with fresh, nourishing, tasty food. Activities in fitness, entertainment, intellect and fun abound. I stayed busy, made new friends and am sorry my stay was not longer. My conclusion: the life of senior living at The Village of Northridge is easy, carefree and comfortable.

What’s Next for Joan?

Is The Village of Northridge “Home, Sweet Home?” Maybe! There is still more Joan’s Journey ahead. In my next installment, I hope I have some good news on the sale of my condo in Baltimore and explore some of the pros and cons I learned while “senior living.” Please join the conversation on senior living by commenting below.

This entry was written by Joan London, a freelance writer living in Baltimore who is looking forward to her cross-country move to senior living on the Pacific Coast. You can read more about her and her search for senior housing by checking out her blog here.

Joan’s Journey: Miracles Do Happen!

Joan’s Journey takes a big leap forward with the sale of Joan’s Baltimore condo.

joan's journey part 8: miracles do happenIn late August, a lovely senior couple, referred by a neighbor, visited my condo and made a bid — in 45 minutes. The couple, apparently rapid decision-makers, had done their homework, knew the neighborhood and available condos for sale, and offered a contract. Nine months without a serious looker, then one buyer in 45 minutes! Yes, miracles do happen.

Three weeks have passed, documents have been delivered to the mortgage company and a deposit is on hold by my realtor. The dollar amount offered by the prospective buyer is considerably less than the amount owed on the condo. This is called a “Short Sale.” Marsha, a Joan’s Journeyer from Houston, responded to an early blog and informed us of this type of sale. Thank you, Marsha.

Moving On Up

The difficult task now is to wait for the mortgage company response and to downsize the items I’ve avoided losing. Each item needs a photo and descriptive tag for the second-hand furniture shop. One tag reads, “For sale: Two matching dark wood cocktail tables with black tops, CAT not included.”

To read the rest of Joan’s latest post and her experience with selling her condo, visit her blog post here.