Depression & Aging

Depression & Aging

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting 7% of adults in the United States in any given year. According to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of worldwide disability. Men and women may experience depression differently. Women are affected twice as often, however men are more prone to suicide as a result of depression. In this article we’ll discuss more about depression and aging.

Is It Sadness Or Depression?

Everyone has felt depressed due to circumstances in their life.  However, for most people, this sadness is temporary. Depression is more than just feeling sad or blue due to a circumstance. It is a common but serious mood disorder that needs treatment.  Depression is accompanied with severe symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks, and function in day to day life.

Clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, is relatively long-lasting, can get worse over time, and significantly interferes with a person’s daily activities. A common misperception is that depression is a sign of weakness or a character flaw that someone should be able to snap themselves out of. However, most people who experience depression need support or treatment to get better.

Depression & Aging

Depression is a common problem among older adults, but it is NOT a normal part of aging. In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses and physical challenges.

However, important life changes happen as we get older and typically can cause feelings of uneasiness, stress, anxiety or sadness. Examples include:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Moving into a senior living community
  • Dealing with a serious illness
  • Retirement
  • Children moving away
  • Changing roles within a family
  • Experiencing isolation
  • Loss of productive and purposeful work/activity

Signs Of Depression With Aging

Signs of depression can include the following:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness, or having trouble sitting still
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Frequent crying
  • Eating more or less than usual, usually with unplanned weight gain or loss
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches, pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause that do not ease with treatment

If you have a combination of these signs persisting for more than 2 weeks, you could be suffering from depression.

Depression In Older Adults

Depression in older adults may be difficult to recognize because often sadness is not the main symptom. Elders may have other, less obvious symptoms of depression and may not be willing to talk about their feelings.

Signs Of Depression In Older Adults

Some of the more common signs of depression in older adults can include the following:

  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Seeming irritable or grumpy
  • Confusion
  • Attention problems

Older adults may be taking medications with side effects that contribute to depression or have medical conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, or cancer, which may cause symptoms.

Vascular Depression

With older adults who experience depression for the first time later in life, the depression can be related to changes that occur in the brain and body. Older adults may suffer from restricted blood flow and over time, vessels may stiffen and prevent the blood from flowing normally to the body’s organs, including the brain.

When this happens, an older adult with no family history of depression may develop what is sometimes called “vascular depression” due to lack of oxygenation. Those with vascular depression are also typically at risk for heart disease, stroke, or other vascular illness.

Orchard at Athens seeks to prevent depression for residents through education, collaboration, and encouraging activities for the body, mind and spirit. Transitional counseling, private therapy, support groups, assessment, and medical treatment are all available should depression be of concern. For more information please contact us.

How Swimming Can Help Seniors

How Swimming Can Help Seniors

It’s summer! Who wouldn’t want to be lounging by the pool all day? During this season, many families find themselves spending the day splashing in the water and soaking up some rays. This activity is great for the eldery too! Spending time in and around the pool has many benefits for the aging.

How Swimming Can Help Seniors

  1. Low-Impact Exercise

Being in the water is one way to exercise with low-impact and not bearing any weight. There is no pressure on critical parts of your body therefore, it can reduce pressure in strained areas. Swimming can relieve pain and it’s just plain fun!

  1. Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion

By reducing the ordinary strain on joints, swimmers are able to move their limbs and joints through the full range of motion more easily in the water. Using the full range of motion regularly helps to keep joints supple and improves flexibility.

  1. Improves Stability

Because swimming can work so many of the major muscle groups, it helps build endurance in the body. Building strength and endurance is a great way to improve posture and stability. This reduces the risk of falling.

  1. Promotes Cardio-vascular Health

Swimming for just 30 minutes a day, can vastly reduce the risk of coronary as well as type 2 diabetes. Regular aerobic exercise, such as swimming, reduces blood pressure and helps to raise good cholesterol levels

  1. Improves Sleep

It is a proven fact that physical activity leads to better sleep. Because swimming is a demanding exercise that burns a lot of calories and works all the major muscle groups, older adults will feel physically tired after a swim.

  1. Encourages Socialization

The pool is usually a place to meet other people. Senior swimming programs or group water exercise classes provide opportunities for seniors to socialize and meet new people.

Swimming can have many benefits for those who are older. Orchard at Athens is a luxury senior living community in Athens that offers a multitude of physical activities for our residents. Please contact us to get more information about our activity programs.

Sunlight & Benefits For Seniors

Sunlight & Benefits For Seniors

There are many precautionary steps we can take to preserve our health as we grow older. There are also many things we can proactively do to maintain our health. One of the ways to get vitamin D in our bodies is through sunlight.

Common Benefits Of Sunlight For Seniors

Sunlight has been connected to a myriad of health benefits, some of which are particularly important for seniors. Vitamin D is the source of most of these benefits. Direct exposure to sunlight allows the human body to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D helps generate the production of other vitamins that our body needs. Some of the many benefits of sunlight for seniors are:

  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Improved mood
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Stronger bones
  • Improved mental capacity
  • Reduced risk of influenza
  • Reduced risk of diabetes

Seniors are recommended to receive 5-10 minutes of sunlight 2-3 times a week. This amount of exposure balances getting enough sunlight to produce an adequate amount of Vitamin D without increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Best Activities For Seniors To Get Sun

Seniors to go outside to get the Vitamin D they need! Being outside can involve a number of activities. Here are some suggestions for what to do outside.

  • Take a walk
  • Paint
  • Talk on the phone
  • Listen to music
  • Write a letter
  • Visit with a friend

Precautions To Take With Sunlight For Seniors

While sunlight can be great for seniors, it does not come without risks. These risks include heat stroke, skin cancer, and burns. It is important to take the necessary measures to protect ourselves from the sun’s direct rays. Some precautions to take are using good sunscreen, wearing wide-brim hats, and wearing sunglasses. These are all vital for the elderly to get the benefits of sunlight while minimizing the risk of sun damage.

Getting adequate sunlight is just one aspect of caring for seniors. Orchard at Athens is a senior living community in Athens with many outdoor areas to help our residents get the sunlight they need. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule a tour of our community.

Avoiding Dehydration In The Summer

Avoiding Dehydration In The Summer

It is common knowledge that drinking an adequate amount of water is part of living a healthy life. During the summer, this can be especially challenging with the heat and extra time spent outside. As we age, it is even more important to drink the right amount of water. In this article, we will explore ways to look for signs of dehydration as well as ways to stay hydrated.

Common Signs of Dehydration

Many of the signs of dehydration can be confused with signs of other health problems. Here is a list of signs and symptoms to look for.

  • Not peeing or having very dark yellow pee.
  • Very dry skin.
  • Feeling dizzy.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability.
  • Fainting.
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Not peeing very much
  • Dark yellow pee
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps

If you or anyone you know experiences some of these signs, it is best to get them water as quickly as possible. If symptoms are severe, take them to the nearest hospital. Older adults are more at risk for dehydration, because they can be more likely to forget to drink water. Also, with other underlying health issues, some of these symptoms may not be as obvious.

How To Stay Hydrated

A common misconception about hydration is that water consumption is the only way to hydrate. While drinking water is great for you, it is not the only way to get an adequate source of fluid. Here are other ways you can work on getting the water you need for your body.

  • Eat your vegetables.
  • Take advantage of summer fruit.
  • Eat a cold soup.
  • Start your day with oatmeal.
  • Buy a water bottle that is fun to drink from.
  • Track the amount of water you are consuming.
  •  Order water when you are out to eat.

Hydration is key to staying healthy and alert. Seniors are at greater risk for dehydration because of how body composition changes with age.

Water is necessary for nearly every bodily function, from lubricating joints to regulating body temperature and pumping blood to the muscles. So not getting enough of it can have serious health consequences.

Orchard at Athens is a luxury assisted living community in Athens Georgia. We offer a wide range of outdoor and indoor physical activities for our residents, and know the importance of staying hydrated. Please contact us to learn more about our community and activity programs.

How To Reduce Effects Of Aging

How To Reduce Effects Of Aging

Eleanor Roosevelt once said…”Today is the oldest you have ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” It has also been said that “Aging is a privilege that not all of us are privileged to have”. In this article we discuss the aging process and how to reduce the negative effects.

When Does Aging Start?

Aging happens, but it is how we think about aging and what we do as we age that matters.  Aging begins around age thirty and progresses at about 1 percent a year. This is such a slow process that we only see the results after years have passed. And for every aspect of physical and mental aging, some people may get better with age.  For example, by getting the right amount of exercise, some people may get stronger as they age.

In the book, Super Brain, Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi state that everyone ages differently. Identical twins who are born with the same DNA will have completely different genetic profiles at age seventy. While the chromosomes of the twins will not have changed, the years of experiences will have caused the activity of their genes to be switched off in a unique pattern.

How To Remain Healthy & Reduce Aging Effects

No matter which approach you take to remaining healthy as you age, your brain is involved because certain messages are good for cells and certain messages are bad. Below we’ve included some tips for diet and other activity considerations to help reduce the negative effects of aging.

Proper Diet To Reduce Aging

Eating fast food sends one kind of message while eating salads send another. Eating a balanced diet is important, and the preferred diet is the Mediterranean, which includes the following food types:

  • Olive oil instead of butter
  • Fish or soy-based protein instead of red meat
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Mixed nuts
  • Fresh fruits
  • Whole vegetables

Activities to Reduce Aging

Other ways of lowering the risk of aging include;

  • Avoid over eating
  • Don’t smoke
  • Consume alcohol in moderation and red wine is preferable
  • Take steps to prevent household accidents such as slippery surfaces, steep stairs, fire hazards etc
  • Get enough sleep
  • Get enough rest during the day
  • Keep regular habits but also include some new activities
  • Read or listen to books
  • Learn something new
  • Change the way you drive to the store once a week
  • Keep from being isolated, stay connected to friends and family
  • Get out and do something productive in your community
  • Find a daily routine for mediation, prayer, or some kind of mindfulness exercise
  • Practice stress management
  • Reach out to your support system and if you don’t have one, find people who can be your support system

Set up your daily living to create opportunities to make the best choices possible for healthy aging. Knowing what is good for you and doing what is good for you are two different things. Therefore learning what helps the body and mind age well is only one step in the process. Turning knowledge into a habit takes time and effort.

It takes roughly 21 days to form a new pattern of behavior or a new habit. Pick one thing to change out of the list above and try to keep it going for 21 days.

Orchard at Athens is a Senior Living Community in Athens Georgia that is committed to helping people age well. We provide many opportunities for our residents to help their body, mind and spirit stay healthy, strong and well. Please visit our dining page, activities page or contact us if you have any questions about healthy activities and diet to reduce aging risks.

Benefits Of Vitamin D

Benefits Of Vitamin D For Seniors

Orchard at Athens is dedicated to helping our residents stay healthy and happy throughout their life. We offer a wide variety of ways to maintain health that meets each individual’s lifestyle. The staff at Orchard is current on the latest news and research in senior health in order to help their residents live their best life.

We invite you to come visit and see the large outdoor green space provided at Orchard. One of the reasons this space was designed to allow our residents to enjoy the outdoors and sunshine. The human body makes vitamin D when in direct sunlight and residents will be encouraged to spend time outside every day.

Benefits of Vitamin D For Seniors

  • Improved Sleep
  • Maintaining healthy bones
  • Regulation of insulin levels
  • Improvement in cognitive health
  • Help with Osteomalacia
  • Reduction of Osteoporosis
  • Boosts mood
  • Improvement in heart health

Getting more vitamin D can help improve sleep which can result in waking up more refreshed and focused and it increases the bodies ability to absorb Calcium, which is vital to bone health. Studies show increased vitamin D can help reduce Osteoporosis by slowing bone mineral loss which reduces bone fractures. And new research suggests that vitamin D, especially when taken with calcium, might help prevent certain cancers.

There are many other health benefits that are not as commonly known such as improving insulin sensitivity. This happens because vitamin D helps the body absorb and use sugar and glucose as energy instead of storing it as fat. Early research suggests that vitamin D might play a role in cognitive health. In one small study of adults age 60 years and older being treated for dementia, researchers found that taking a vitamin D supplement helped improve cognitive function.

Daily outdoor doses of vitamin D can improve energy levels and therefore improve mood. One study showed that a deficiency in vitamin D could increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease as well as hypertension. It appears to be able to reduce inflammation, to combat arterial plaque and generally to encourage health and normal blood flow.

Orchard at Athens offers walking paths, gardening, exercise classes, and a variety of sitting areas to help you enjoy the sunshine and outdoors.

Ways For Seniors To Increase Vitamin D Levels

Wondering how you can increase your vitamin D levels? Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Spend time outside in direct sunlight taking walks, gardening, or just sitting in the sun for limited time periods. It’s also important to remember to stay hydrated when out in the sun for any length of time.
  • Vitamin D isn’t found in many foods; however, you can get it from fortified milk, fortified cereal, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.
  • Taking a vitamin D supplement. However, we recommend you consult with your physician or a healthcare professional when choosing.

Please contact us to learn more about our community or to schedule a tour.

Yoga Benefits For Seniors

Yoga Benefits For Seniors

Orchard at Athens provides a holistic approach to well-being, which includes making your life work for you. One of the exercises that provides functional benefits for seniors is yoga. In this article we’ll discuss the topic in more detail.

What Does Making Life Work For You Mean?

Making your life work for you means:

  • Finding the right fit in living accommodations
  • Offering opportunities for education
  • Spirituality
  • Community outreach projects
  • Social events
  • Exercise

The Role of Exercise

Exercise is vitally important for a healthy life.

We all know injuries can happen in the gym, but most often with the elderly, these injuries happen executing daily activities such as carrying groceries.

Injuries from routine activity happens more often than people would like to admit, especially when living with a chronic condition. Your muscle mass and strength will decrease 30 – 50% between the ages of 30 and 80.

That means the average person starts losing the ability to perform everyday functions when they hit middle age.  This is why functional strength training has become such a hot topic and will be built into the activities of daily living for residents living at Orchard of Athens.

What is Functional Strength?

Functional strength training is defined as: “Training that attempts to mimic the specific physiological demands of real-life activities.”

Functional training such as resistance exercises and body weight movements can help you become stronger, more flexible, agile and better equipped to handle day-to-day feats of strength and athleticism that are often overlooked. Plus, it can help you become less injury-prone.

A common misconception is that you may be too old for strength training. But clinical data from a variety of sources clearly show the benefits of improving one’s functional fitness level, particularly for older adults.

Benefits of Functional Strength Training

Functional strength training is something all adults could really benefit from, and it’s never too late to reap the benefits.

  • A study of 87 adults aged 65-93 years published in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that functional ability improved for functionally limited elderly people who participated in a 16-week structured exercise program consisting of thirteen different strength training exercises using a Thera-Band resistance band.
  • In another study, researchers tested the effects of 12 weeks of resistance training on isometric strength, explosive power, and selected functional abilities of healthy women aged 75 and over, they saw statistically significant improvements in 4 out of 5 exercises measured.

One of the best programs for functional strength is yoga.

Yoga Benefits

Yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Types of Yoga

Examples of different yoga forms include:

  • Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.
  • Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.
  • Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.
  • Ashtanga. A series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.
  • Bikram. Also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.
  • Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment

For more information and the holistic approach to well-being and living, please contact us.

Fall Prevention For Seniors

Preventing Falls For Elderly

About 30% of people 65 years of age or older have a fall each year, increasing to 50% in people 80 years of age or older. Falls can cause distress, pain, injury, prolonged hospitalization, and death. Falls also result in loss of confidence and independence, especially when family members, care partners and health professionals’ reactions are to be overly protective. In this article we’ll talk about some of the reasons why aging can lead to falling, and provide some fall prevention tips for seniors.

Why Do Seniors Fall?

In a study of 8.3 million people, falls are one of the main reasons why people are readmitted into the hospital:

  • 16% readmission rate for people with cognitive impairment
  • 13% readmission rate for people with a previous fall
  • Falls were the second leading diagnosis at readmission for patients with cognitive impairment or whose initial hospitalization was fall related

8% of falls are unpreventable and they are due to an unknown or emergent medical condition such as:

  • Seizure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Orthostasis

Risk Factors For Seniors Falling

The risk of falling is multicomponent and the more risks a person has, the greater their risk of falling. The strongest risk factors for a fall are age and a previous fall. Other examples of risk factors include:

  • being male
  • higher care needs
  • incontinence
  • medication use
  • delirium
  • cognitive impairment or dementia
  • poor vision
  • postural hypotension
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • muscle weakness
  • postural instability
  • mobility and/or balance problems
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • arthritis

Common Fall Risk Factors

While aging is one of the risk factors for falling, Orchard at Brookhaven is committed to using fall prevention protocol and fall prevention programs to help our residents age well.

Three of the most common modifiable intrinsic fall risk factors are muscle weakness, balance deficits and gait instabilities. These intrinsic risk factors may be modified by structured, planned and repetitive physical activities in community-based organized exercise programs. Balance is important for maintaining postural equilibrium and thus for the avoidance of falls. Besides balance, muscle strength and power are required for the successful performance of activities in daily living.

Preventing Senior Falls At Home

Below are some tips to help prevent seniors from falling in their home:

  • Remove Obstacles – Walk through your home and take note of anything that could be a hazard. Culprits include throw rugs, cords, baskets or plant stands. Eliminate these from walking paths. Assess your furniture pieces to make sure they are placed in ways that don’t obstruct walking paths.
  • Turn on Lights – Keep lights on in dimly lit areas or use night lights with sensors. Place flashlights in convenient locations in the event of a power outage and make sure to keep a lamp on your nightstand. If you’re concerned about the expense of leaving lights on, consider investing in energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Choose the Right Shoes – Your favorite slippers may be comfortable, but slip-on shoes are not recommended in most circumstances. Select shoes with non-skid soles that offer your foot support.
  • Try in Home Balance Exercises – Keeping steady on your feet is an excellent way to stay in shape and is an integral part of fall prevention.
  • Take a Walk – Staying physically active is a great approach to fall prevention. A daily walk around your block, neighborhood or local walking paths will strengthen your legs as well as increase your endurance. Consider walking around the mall during the winter months.
  • Call Your Physician – If you take prescription medications, consult your physician about possible side effects that can cause loss of balance. If you’ve experienced changes in your physical abilities, inquire about therapy services that can address your mobility and balance.

Exercise is an accepted stand-alone fall prevention strategy, particularly if it is balance training or regular participation in Tai Chi. Dance shares the ‘holistic’ approach of practices such as Tai chi. It is a complex sensorimotor rhythmic activity integrating multiple physical, cognitive and social elements.

Senior Exercise Programs To Prevent Falling

Some exercise programs that have been studied to determine their success in reducing falls include:

  • Tai Chi training appears to reduce balance impairments in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease, with additional benefits of improved functional capacity and reduced falls.
  • Yoga interventions resulted in small improvements in balance and medium improvements in physical mobility in people 60 years and older
  • Dance offers older people an opportunity for greater social engagement, thereby making a major contribution to healthy aging

Orchard at Athens is a senior living community in Athens Georgia committed to using fall prevention protocol and fall prevention programs for our residents. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a tour, please contact us.

Body, Heart, Mind & Spirit: Holistic Approach To Life

Body, Heart, Mind & Spirit: Holistic Approach To Life

There are many aspects of humans to consider when talking about living a holistic, healthy life. In this article we’ll touch on 4 different areas. Caregivers must remember to care for themselves first so that they can provide optimal care for those they are servicing.


Our bodies need rest. Studies show that the vast majority of people need 8 hours of sleep a day. Available research states there are a few people who function normally with less than 5 hours of sleep. But the eight-hour mark is where most human beings must fall. Currently, most people are not getting enough sleep and therefore are not able to perform to their full potential.

If it is difficult being able to get a good night’s rest, there may be respite programs, day programs or in home care that you can utilize in order to get some rest or have time to get a break from caregiving. Geriatrician Dr. Rosemary writes in her book Take Your Oxygen First, that it is imperative that we find ways to take care of ourselves in order to be able to be there for the person living with dementia.

Diet is another way to reduce stress in our life and ensure we are well taken care of.  Cutting out processed, fried and high calorie foods is a good place to start. If you have been overwhelmed by the amount of advice and contradicting literature that is out on a healthy diet, here are some very basic steps to starting to eat well.

  • Omega 3’s are probably the single most important nutrient we need for brain health.
  • Eating healthy fats which include: monounsaturated fats like olive oil and fat from avocado, saturated fats from grass-fed beef, eggs, butter and yogurt and coconut oil, and unsaturated fats from fish oil, flax oil and raw nuts.
  • Reducing your sugar intake is another easy way to improve your diet and exercise is really important to reducing stress and having a healthy lifestyle.

Exercise is also an important factor in reducing negative stress and adding some positive stress to the body. Exercise that is the most beneficial is aerobic exercise. Twenty minutes of walking or swimming will improve your health and can dramatically decrease stress.


It is important to find ways to maintain our emotional state. Being a caregiver to someone who is living with brain change can be emotionally draining. As the person we care for changes, we can often feel a range of emotions that include but are not limited to sadness, pity, compassion and anger. It is important that we remember that feeling these emotions is normal. We can have anticipatory grief for what is to come, and we grieve the changing stages of dementia. Our brain is designed for joy, love, and connection. It thrives in positive emotional conditions. It is important to find people with whom we can connect and find support when we are caregivers, and a good resource is the Alzheimers Associate Atlanta Chapter.


When we learn new things and engage our brains in fun and creative ways, our brain is stimulated. Reading, and writing have been shown to help maintain brain health, as well as working our memory, learning new information or adapting to new ways of doing a task. If you can find new routes to the store, pick up a new hobby, learn something new on the computer, or write in a journal, this learning will help reduce your stress and can improve brain health. The website Games For the Brain is an easy way to start.


It is also very important to recognize and value our spiritual life. For some of us our spiritual path includes a religious tradition, but it can also be found in nature, in sacred spaces, being with people who share our beliefs and values. In times of stress and difficulty, it can be difficult to find ways to slow down and quiet our mind in order to meditate and pray. One way that helps us move into a space where we are able to quiet our minds is to find our spiritual on-ramp. This on-ramp is the way that we are oriented to our world. There are all kinds of misconceptions about how we should meditate and pray but the one way that can really help is finding our spiritual on-ramp.

We are all oriented to our world differently and therefore your meditation may not look like someone else’s meditation or prayer. Some people are oriented to their world through their sight. If you are a person who is visual, you may find your spiritual on-ramp through different sights. If you are a person who is oriented to their world through sound, you may find your on-ramp through music or guided meditation through a drumming circle or nature sounds. If you are a person who loves to move, you may find your best ways of meditating are when walking, dancing, or doing another kind of physical activity.

Final Stress Reduction Tip

One more tip to decrease the  stress of an already very busy life with many decisions to make, is to sit down and write up a list of things that you can do to reduce our stress in your life. Therefore, when you find that you are feeling stressed, you do not have to think about what to do, just go to the list and pick out something!

Orchard at Athens wants to be part of your solution and help make your life work for you! We do this by supporting you in a holistic approach to life and focus on the body, heart, mind and spirit, and are always open to being flexible and creating new opportunities to make your life work for you. We have a highly trained team seeking that you and your loved one keep your focus on the health and well-being a holistic approach to live can create, no matter a medical condition. Please contact us to learn more about our community.

Importance Of Community Environment For Seniors

Importance Of Community Environment For Seniors

The desire to feel connected is something that drives much of our human behavior. It is not surprising that even in the last stages of life, community is so important. During trying times, this sense of community becomes especially important. A sense of community helps people who are fighting dementia feel as though they are not alone in their struggles. It also helps to exercise their minds and keep them active!

Importance Of Community Environment For Seniors

Below are some ways to build community that can be impactful in senior living facilities. Seniors can participate in any of the mentioned ways to build a stronger community with those around them.

Have a Common Area

Common areas provide space for people to gather together. It also gives an opportunity for people to connect with one another whether it is through a conversation or a game they are playing.

Initiate Discussions

Discussions with other people help grow connections. Discussions can be in the form of someone giving a talk to an audience or small group discussions about what may be going on in the lives of the residents’. Either way, the talking that takes place helps people feel more unified.

Host Events

When a living facility gives people something to do, it is likely that they will participate with other people. This can create shared experiences and stronger connections with people.

Create a Newsletter

A newsletter or webpage that catalogues the different events going on in a particular facility is a great way to keep people in the loop about what is happening around them. It is also a great way to keep the families of residents involved. Newsletters can feature different residents, allowing everyone else to learn about them. Newsletters are a great way to make everyone feel as though they are part of where they live.

Health and Wellness Offerings

Senior living facilities should offer many opportunities for the residents to get up and move. This keeps their minds and bodies healthier for longer. They should also offer informational sessions about how the residents can be maintaining their own heath. Classes such as yoga, meditation or swimming can bring people together for a common cause.

Spaces For Specific Activities

Create spaces that are designated for specific activities. For example, you might have a room that is just for family visits, or a place outside for yoga. There could be a game room, a movie theater, etc. Creating spaces like these can foster a sense of community by making residents feel as though they are still living a purposeful life.

Importance of Community During Trying Times

Feeling a sense of community doesn’t have to mean being engaged in similar activities or conversing with others. Just being around other people can have a big impact. When people are going through a difficult time, it is important that they feel as if they are not alone. This connectedness is a support system that develops to carry people through their challenges. When community and relationships are in place, people tend to have more energy, a sense of hope and better mental and physical health.

Orchard at Athens understands that community is an important factor of senior living. Our facilities include floor plans that foster a sense of community and connectedness. The variety of activities that we plan for our residents each month give them a plethora of opportunities to engage with other residents. If you want to learn more about our community, click here.