Attitudes Senior Care Guest Blog Post – Simple Recipes for Seniors:

As you get older, a well-balanced diet and frequent bouts of exercise become paramount in maintaining your overall health levels. Studies have continuously shown that, the older you get, the more you have to pay attention to what you consume, as well as trying to eat as healthily as possible. For those who are over 60 years old, your mobility will naturally become somewhat limited over time, which means it unfortunately becomes more difficult to enjoy cooking in the kitchen or trying new and refreshing culinary creations.

 At certain times, cooking a meal will feel like a tiresome chore to be avoided, so it is crucial that you have some easy-to-prepare recipes close-at-hand. However, it is vital to keep preparing meals that are both delicious and nutritious. Below you will find four simple, three-step meal recipes that are perfect for seniors, either as breakfast, lunch, or mid-afternoon snacks.

Rotisserie Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

1 pre-cooked store-bought rotisserie chicken (strip off the meat and cut into small strips)

2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth

2 peeled and sliced carrots

1 diced onion

1 red bell pepper

Chopped fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary or thyme

Salt and black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1. Place chicken meat into a large pot with the chicken broth, fresh herbs (sage, rosemary or thyme), carrots and onion.

2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low heat. Leave uncovered and simmer for 2 hours.

3. Add red bell peppers and slow simmer on the same low heat for 90 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste before serving.

 Roast Turkey Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound of pre-cooked turkey meat

2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth

2 peeled and sliced carrots

1 diced onion

1 raw sweet potato

1 diced parsnip

1 minced garlic clove

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil or parsley

Salt and black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1. Sauté carrots, onion, sweet potato, parsnip and garlic in olive oil for approximately 15 minutes over a medium heat in a large pot.

2. Add chicken broth, bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes on a medium heat. Make sure the pot is covered during this time.

3. Stir in cooked turkey meat, Italian seasoning,fresh herbs (thyme, basil or parsley), and salt and black pepper to taste. Leave for 15 minutes on a low heat before serving.

Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

2 ounces Farfalle bow-tie pasta (uncooked)

1 diced cucumber

1 diced green bell pepper

3 chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Low-fat Italian salad dressing

Garlic and herb croutons

Salt, black pepper and grated parmesan cheese (to taste)

Directions:

1. Cook pasta until it has an al dente texture, drain water and place pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt and black pepper to taste.

2. Add cucumber, green bell pepper and tomatoes to the pasta, and then add croutons. Liberally cover with Italian salad dressing.

3. Transfer to smaller bowls and then sprinkle Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Cover bowls and refrigerate for an hour.

 Chocolate & Banana Milkshake

Ingredients:

2 cups skimmed milk

1 scoop chocolate ice cream

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 tablespoon Nutella

1 sliced banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter (if desired)

Directions:

1. Thinly slice banana and place in blender.

2. Add skimmed milk, chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup to blender. When ready, blend away!

3. Add a tablespoon of Nutella and, if desired, also add a tablespoon of peanut butter if you want to make the shake thicker. Blend again before serving in a tall glass.

 

AttitudesSeniorCare.com specializes in affordable senior housing, nursing home care and hospice health care services, and proudly offers all the usual comforts of home, such as healthy meals served daily. We have three beautiful residential care homes to choose from, located in Del Mar, Solana Beach and Mt. Soledad/La Jolla. Please visit us online at Attitudes Senior Care if you want to take a free tour of our facilities, or if you would like more information on what we can do for you.

 

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Guest Post: Apartment Homemaking 101- Making Your Apartment or Downsized Home Feel Bigger

Guest post written by Paisley Hansen

Home sweet home. When we enter our homes, we should feel as if it is welcoming us, not suffocating or overwhelming us. Can you relate? These oh so lovely emotions can particularly apply with apartment living or a smaller home. When I moved into my first apartment, I remember wondering, “how am I actually going to live in here? It’s too small!” But it doesn’t have to be this way! Personally, I believe that apartments should be fun, cool, and homey. There are many cost-effective, simple, and fun ways to make your apartment seem more spacious while, at the same time, reflecting you and your home.



Less is More


After downsizing, you realize how much stuff you have. One way to make your apartment look bigger and more home-like is simply to cut back on your stuff. We truly live in a society of “more is better,” but is it really? Look around. Does that pile of stuff in the corner make you happy? I bet not. Get yourself three boxes. Label one “toss,” another “give away,” and the last “re-use.” Now, get busy and go through your things. Do you really need that waffle iron? Let it go. Now ask yourself, “would someone benefit from this?” If so, put it in your “give away” box. If not, toss it in your “toss” box. Continue to do this with any item you truly know you don’t need. For those items that you have doubts about, consider them for your “re-use” box! Can you use the item in a different way in your home? Decoratively? Functionally? Maybe that old coffee table you hate can be painted a funky color and turned into a piece that you truly love. Have fun with it!



Prioritize


Most interior designers would agree that you should pick one or two items that you want to design a room around. A favorite picture, couch, or other piece that really reflects you or inspires how the room is going to make you feel. Then, accessorize that piece! Think texture, color, fabric, and the big picture. Remember, less is more. The clutter will make you feel exactly that: cluttered. Pick your favorite pieces and group them together to show them off. A perfect example would be your favorite family photos that are the focal point of your end table.



Ambience


Creating the feeling of home definitely includes the ambience of a room. Throw open your windows! If you are fortunate enough to have a porch or balcony, take advantage of that barn door hardware and let the fresh air and sunshine in. Window treatments and screens are a worthwhile investment that will pay off because of the privacy, warmth, and functionality it adds to a space.



Functionality


One of my favorite ways to add some interest to your apartment or house is to rethink the purpose of a room. With limited space, sometimes we need to think multi-functional when it comes to what a room is traditionally used for. An extra bedroom can easily be transformed into an office/spare room with the creative use of functional furniture and wall space. Our walls are an organizing and space-saving asset that even the smallest apartment can afford. Search your nearest garage sales, antique stores, or Goodwill for inexpensive shelves that you can hang to get your things up off the floor and table surfaces. This saves space. Simple baskets and other fun containers can be found at garage sales and the like to help your space look sleek, clean, and organized.





So there you have it! I hope you are inspired to tackle your very own apartment and turn it into the home of your dreams. As Dorothy would say, “there’s no place like home,” and we should all feel as if we are returning to our own personal oasis when we walk in the door. Happy homemaking!

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Guest Post: Advanced Health styles – Safe Exercises for Senior Citizens:

For those who are entering the twilight years of their lives, many tend to lapse into a sedentary lifestyle sitting in front of the TV or sitting in a favorite chair and reading a book or doing a crossword. However, for those who are keen to retain a healthier standard of living, there are many effective exercises you can carry out that will keep your body in great shape. Exercise helps to keep bones strong, prevents high blood pressure and diabetes, and keeps you feeling both limber and mobile. However, due to the fragility of the human body as everyone gets older, you must always be cautious.

Older adults and senior citizens are more at risk of falling and injuring themselves than younger people, and they may potentially break a hip if they inadvertently fall foul of a trip hazard. Falls are a serious problem for anyone who suffers from thinning bones, so exercise on a regular basis helps to improve strength and balance. A little strenuous activity also helps you to sleep better and keeps your mind active.

There are a handful of get fit exercises that a person of any age can do to keep themselves in good shape, although you must always remember to warm up before beginning any type of workout and cool down after each workout. Try to do a form of exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week, and the aim is to raise your temperature, get your heart thumping and really get your muscles working. Bear in mind that moderate amounts of exercise are better for your health than strenuous workouts that might cause injury. The best idea is to choose activities you enjoy since you will be more prone to carrying them out repeatedly in the fullness of time.

Endurance activities can assist in increasing your heart rate and are also very good for your breathing and your body’s muscles. Warmed-up muscles are more flexible, so gentle aerobic exercises will help to increase your strength and overall levels of energy. Moderate swimming relieves stress on your bones and joints as well as strengthening and stretching your arms, legs and back muscles.

Jogging and walking at a brisk pace are other highly effective endurance exercise alternatives. In fact, one of the most popular forms of exercise for older people is walking, be it inside their home or around their backyard or the surrounding neighborhood. In addition, water aerobics is a cardiovascular exercise that delivers an effective swimming pool-based, full-body workout, and the accompanying water resistance will help to strengthen your muscles when you move, as well as building stamina with very little impact.

As the name suggests, flexibility exercises focus on how lithe and supple your body is, and, particularly due to old age, the human body can become stiff and inflexible as the years pass. Although people of all ages can benefit from stretching exercises such as yoga and tai chi, yoga is typically a little difficult for senior citizens and should only be attempted if they are able to move freely between positions and have no trouble getting up and down from the floor. Tai chi is very popular amongst the older members of society due to the way it helps to control breathing, and low-impact stretching exercises can help to hamper the possibility of muscular deterioration. Arm and leg stretches are also especially effective exercises for senior citizens who are chair-bound or bed-bound.

Many strength training exercises are too intense for the elderly to perform without aid, so it is important to carry out light, easygoing activities instead of overexerting yourself and risking the possibility for injury. Using a series of light free weights can help you to retain muscle strength, while resistance bands are a cheap and easily transportable option to decide on if you would like to do exercises like bicep curls.

Finally, make sure that you take things at a leisurely pace and never push yourself to the point of severe fatigue. After all, you should never keep doing arduous and overly-exhausting exercises when it gets painful or you start to feel uncomfortable.

Advanced Healthstyles is proud to supply health and wellness products that can help seniors embrace the concept of active aging in their own lives. Whether you are in need of equipment for your home or commercial business, we are a dedicated supplier of exercise and training equipment if you want to keep in shape in your old age. Please visit our website at AdvancedHealthstyles.com or call us at 855-326-6765 today to find out what we can do for you.

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Guest Post: A Teardrop That Gave Me Wisdom

This Guest Post is brought to you by Todd Stull, President of Alone Eagle Remodeling LLC.

Alone Eagle Remodeling is a specialty Bathroom Remodeling Contractor in the Harrisburg, PA area.

Early in my remodeling career I spent quite a few years working for a company as a bathroom remodeler/installer. There was one specific job that has always stuck in my mind which was actually both a shocking and emotional experience. It was one of those experiences where I never forgot their names or even the address but have not mentioned this day to anyone until now.

Recently I was driving through Lancaster, PA passing that home while on my way back from an appointment and I started to think about these folks. A few concepts crystalized in my mind. Some things came together that I was not even aware of 15 years ago so I wanted to share this in hopes that we can all learn from what others go through in real life. All that said, let me rewind the clock and tell you what happened.

My assignment for this project was to replace a tub/wall surround, install a new shower faucet and mount a handful of grab bars (4 if I remember correctly). When I showed up to get started on the job an older man opened the door to let me in. We chatted for a few minutes and went over the scope of work before I started my task. As I walked into the living room his wife was sitting in a mechanical recliner (similar to a hospital bed) and she gave me a big smile. I said “Hi” to her but she strained to talk to me. I could tell that she had most likely had a stroke leaving her speechless and with little mobility. In a way, it appeared that she knew I was there to help her… she smiled again and I kept on my way to bring tools in and get started.

As I made multiple trips loading my tools and supplies into the home, she caught my eye again while I was passing through the living room to the second floor. She reached her hand out to me and was trying to talk again. I walked closer because I thought maybe that her speech was broken or she could only whisper. All of the sudden her husband jumped in and said-

“Don’t mind my wife, the invalid. She won’t bother you or get in your way”

I stepped back (at this point you can only imagine what a young, stubborn, short-tempered kid was thinking…) not knowing what to say. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Since I had a job to do and didn’t want to misrepresent the company. I replied, “It’s no problem sir, she is fine right there and nothing is ever a bother to me… I’ll get to work now.”

I was upset and annoyed; however, I didn’t want that to affect my work so I moved on and tried to stay focused on the job. Most of the day was a blur but the husband spoke to me a few times throughout the day. He apologized for the outburst and proceeded to tell me how stressful things had been for him. He could not afford a tub to shower conversion and chose to do what was necessary, because the shower walls were in bad shape and he was in hopes that the grab bars would help while taking care of his wife.

I hope that bringing this story to the forefront can be somewhat of a catalyst for all of us to both learn from and act upon. Fifteen years ago we simply did not have the resources and education that is available today. The Aging in Place paradigm is at our fingertips with a world of information. Alesha’s blog has become such a great platform to study all the different aspects and many of the writers that contribute are bringing so many different points of view and options to the plate.

Planning Early is the best way to become aware of different situations that we may face as we age. We can only communicate and recognize that as we grow older, facing health conditions and mobility issues are greater. I don’t think we can plan to not be stressed out by situations like the one I shared. In the story above, I’m sure that in his head, he was losing his partner of many years and didn’t know how to cope with that.

Budgeting Now is important. Whether you have a retirement account or are trying to save money in other ways, make it a point to set money aside for necessary (or currently unknown) improvements. Work on changing small things along the way. You may find that engaging in a tub to shower conversion or walk-in bathtub installation a couple of years early may be a good choice while you’re still working towards retirement.

When I left that day, she was still in her chair and gave another smile. He shook my hand and thanked me with a tear in his eye. I couldn’t tell you if this couple is still with us today, but I hope that what I was able to do for them was some kind of improvement to better their situation.

Be good to each other and be good to yourself.

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Guest Post: Tiny Home Building From Salvage

Lately I have been thinking about downsizing. I feel like my life is cluttered with a lot of unnecessary junk and my family could benefit from a simpler lifestyle. While contemplating this, I ran across an article on tiny homes. These homes are only a few hundred feet of usable space but they are very energy efficient and provide everything you really need. While it is not doable for me at the moment, I could easily see retiring in a small home like this.

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© Tiny Texas Homes

In my research on these tiny homes I ran across a few companies in my state, Texas, which are building tiny homes using salvaged materials. Not only are the materials eco-friendly but the building process and completed home is as well.

One of the builders are called Texas Tiny Houses. They believe in using salvaged material to make the best and greenest homes for any project. Salvaged materials can be found in barns and old homes and the site even offers classes and seminars on how to salvage your own materials for building projects. After all, the greenest products are the ones that have already been created.

Would you build your home from salvage? I would! The benefits for the environment and for your wallet are innumerable. If tiny living is in your future, or even if you are thinking about remodeling in an eco-friendly way, you should look into salvage.

As Brad Kittle, owner of Texas Tiny Houses says:

“Tons of vintage materials are at our fingertips waiting to be re-harvested — awaiting our awakening to the responsibilities we have to live with, not destroy the planet that we share. With some imagination, these salvaged quality materials and simple Human energy, anyone can have energy efficient tiny houses to live in for the rest of their lives. Sub-Zero carbon footprint houses are not only possible they are here – our tiny houses are proof that this concept works.”

Author Byline:

This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.

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Are You One of the Short-sighted Home Remodelers Not Planning For Your Future?

BBCD05A2E90BE652_479_1There was an AARP study done that basically said more than four in five Americans over the age of 55 plan to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Unfortunately, if you are in this group, chances are, you are not preparing for this situation. A report by the Mature Life Institute that summarizes a survey of homeowners in the 55+ age group and what they are looking for in purchasing a home. What it showed was that this group mentioned they wanted high-speed internet access and energy-efficient appliances. While these are great things (and necessary), there are other considerations that you should consider for safety and comfort as you live in your home.

There is a checklist by The National Association of Home Builders of proven safety adaptations to help you live better and longer that includes such things as installing bathroom changes like grab bars, raised toilets, non-slip flooring, and installing railings on both sides of the stairs. Things like having increased lumens in lighting, low thresholds, wider doorways, lower upper cabinets with accessible shelving, and choosing lever door handles are good choices.BBCD05A2E90BE652_576_1

Are you one of the remodelers in the baby boomer age group or older who is not preparing for the future so you may stay in your home as you age? Maybe this is due to a lack of knowledge about what to expect as aging occurs.  It is time to start planning so that pro-aging in place choices are a norm, not a special situation. It is time for you to be pro-active and plan. If you are remodeling or building, find a designer who can help you plan and join small but necessary elements so you are not stuck in a home that is potentially dangerous or requires expensive changes later. It is usually easier and more cost-effective incorporating accessibility design from the beginning and not retrofitting when an emergency crops up.

The number one key to designing for your forever home is to think about how you live and not just make the space “pretty.” Take this scenario for instance, you have a nice home and want to remodel. Your walls need painted, flooring needs updated, and lighting needs upgraded. Are you going to go with the current home trends found in most homes these days? Are you going to choose the generic brown or dark taupe for the walls and hard wood and tile for the floors? What if you want to create a home you can call your forever home?

There are many things to consider making this happen. As you age, your eyes do not see as well as they used to making your surroundings seem darker. If you have chosen finishes conforming to the current home trend, the already dark space becomes a recipe for depression and even a safety disaster. Older eyes need more light to see things clearly; the dark walls will absorb the light creating an even darker space. In addition to this, older eyes tend to view colors with a yellow cast to them.

Take those shiny wood floors and ceramic tile that is so sought after in today’s homes; these finishes can create a slip factor that is treacherous as you age. Luxurious marble and tile are extremely slick yet often installed in the bathrooms and showers. Yes, they look great but they are not the most functional for an older person. Consider flooring that has a higher slip resistance factor. Lightly textured surfaces tend to reduce slipping more than slick or highly polished materials.

Be pro-active and research the finishes you are looking at choosing and make sure they are safe, have low maintenance needs and give comfort for you and your loved ones both now and in the future. Sites like the NKBA and the AARP sites offer some guidance. Consider working with a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist). Universal Design elements and pre-planning can go a long way to making your life safer and easier. The hippest, hottest trends may look very cool but will they stand the test of time: your time?

I would love to hear your comments and ideas- please feel free to share your ideas and thoughts about planning ahead for aging in place.

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