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Best Stretching Exercises for Seniors

Whether you’re hitting the weights at the gym, going for a stroll with friends, or just getting ready for the day it’s important to include stretching into your daily routine. The best stretching exercises for seniors are stretches that focus on the muscles you use the most in your daily activities. Stretching offers your body huge health benefits like muscle flexibility, strength, and range of motion all of which can prevent joint injury or other health problems.


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There are two important types of stretching to focus on before and after physical activity. Dynamic stretching is best done before your activity because it helps wake up the neuromuscular system and get your body and joints ready for exercise. Dynamic stretches should mimic the movements you will do during your exercise or physical activity.

Static stretches are best done after your physical activity when your muscles are warm and pliable. Holding static stretches in place for 30 seconds can help muscles recover faster and lead to less pain and stiffness.

What Are Good Stretches for Seniors?

Regular stretching offers numerous physical and mental health benefits for seniors. These exercises enhance flexibility, blood flow, posture, and balance, reducing the risk of falls. Some studies have shown that stretching can increase serotonin levels, reduce stress, and generally feel better.

Some of the best stretching exercises for seniors focus on hip flexors and thoracic rotation and extension movements that improve flexibility and range of motion in the hips and upper back region while countering the effects of prolonged sitting.

“When these muscles become short and tight, they contribute to poor posture, low back pain, and poor mobility,” Ageility Fitness Manager Kathryn Cunningham says.

When static stretching, try to hold your stretch for 30 seconds to give your muscles time to relax. Other great static stretches for seniors include:

  • Neck: bring your chin toward your chest and turn your head side to side.
  • Shoulder and upper arm: hold a towel in one hand over your head, letting it drape down behind your back.
  • Chest: extend both arms to the side with palms facing outward and reach back with your hands. Use a wall if you have a hard time holding your arms up.
  • Hamstring: lie on your back and extend one leg perpendicular to your body Grasp your thigh, not your knee, and slowly pull your leg towards you.
  • Quadriceps: Lay on your side and bend your knee to bring your foot behind you. Pull your foot towards your body. You can use a belt or towel to help if you can’t reach your foot.
  • Lower back: Lay on your back with knees bent, feet together and feet flat on the floor. Lower legs to one side, twist your torso until you feel a stretch.

These additional safety tips from The National Institute on Aging can assist you in your stretching exercises.

  • Stretch when your muscles are warmed up.
  • Stretch after endurance or strength exercises.
  • Don’t stretch so far that it hurts.
  • Always remember to breathe normally while holding a stretch.
  • Consult your doctor if you are unsure about a particular exercise.

Stretching Exercises Before Walking for Seniors

We all know that any physical activity is good for your health, but walking in particular is a great way to boost immune function, increase cardiovascular benefits, and prevent frailty in seniors.

Try warming up before a walk with dynamic leg stretches, marching in place, and swinging your arms. Follow it up with a short walk, cool down, and another stretch. Repeat this process a couple of times before you set out.

Golf stretching Exercises for Seniors

Before teeing off, spend a few minutes warming up with some golf stretching exercises. Take slow warm-up swings without the club that are half the range of your normal swing. Then pick up your club and gradually increase the range of your swing.

Ageility clinical specialist Heather Ford says that a simple, active warmup of your muscles before any workout is important.

“Getting the body moving prior to starting any activity is the best way to prepare your body for the ‘work’ it is going to do during your desired activity,” Ford said.

Stretching Exercises for Seniors with Arthritis

If you have arthritis you know the challenge of waking up with stiff joints. Doing a few gentle stretches in the morning can help ease your discomfort. The best stretch for you depends on the type of arthritis you have. Consult your physician before trying out any new stretches. It’s important for every stretch to stretch to the end range of a muscle, but never so much that it’s painful.

Physical Wellness at Five Star Senior Living

At Five Star Senior Living, residents have fun and stay active through our holistic Lifestyle 360 program. We believe the path to independence is rooted in regular exercise and physical wellness, which is why we offer exercise classes, group activities, and more.

With our partners at Ageility, you have access to an entire suite of services, from physical, occupational and speech therapies to wellness and personal fitness training—everything you need to maintain strength, mobility and true independence. Find a community today and discover a healthier and more fulfilling chapter in life.

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Ideas for Decorating a Senior Living Apartment

Moving into a senior living apartment is an exciting new chapter in your life. It’s an opportunity to embrace a fresh start and make new friends. But how do you go about decorating your senior living apartment? Whether you’re making the move into an independent living or assisted living apartment, our guide to decorating and furnishing can help you create a new stylish space that is welcoming, and comfortable.


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Are Senior Living Apartments Furnished?

It’s one of the first questions that everyone asks. The answer is some senior living apartments come furnished while others are unfurnished, it can all depend on the specific community, but both offer their own benefits. An unfurnished apartment is a blank canvas that allows you to furnish and customize it exactly how you want. A furnished apartment provides you with essentials like a couch, table, and chairs so you can focus on setting up your favorite decorations and displaying beloved photos.

How to Make Senior Living Feel like Home

Moving into a new apartment can be challenging, especially if you’re downsizing from a larger, well-lived-in home. With our helpful tips and some planning, you can furnish your senior living apartment so it feels just like home.

Personalize with Beloved Memories

Incorporating cherished items and photos into your new home adds a personal touch that warms and comforts. Photos of family and friends, your favorite pieces of art, and most beloved knick-knacks can be great conversation starters too.

Choose Comfortable and Functional Furniture to Right-Size Your Home

Opt for furniture that gives you the best of both worlds providing comfort and functionality. For example, a coffee table with added storage underneath. Many furniture manufacturers offer pieces that can keep you comfortable while you right-size your space such as power lift chairs, multifunctional coffee tables, and extendable dining tables. Don’t forget to vertically maximize your space with bookcases and shelves.

Harness the Magic of Mirrors

Hanging large mirrors on the wall can help reflect light around your apartment and open up the room. Plus your mirror can be framed or unframed to help match the style and theme of your other decorations. Mirrors, combined with white furniture, can also help further disperse natural light.

Layer with Soft Furnishings and a Splash of Greenery

Throw blankets, cushions, rugs, and curtains add warmth, comfort, and character to your living space. You can also update them to match different moods and seasons. Adding in a plant or two can also add a touch of nature to your apartment. Artificial flowers and plants also add that earthy charm with low maintenance.

Keep Safety in Mind

When you move into a senior living apartment it’s important to consider safety when picking furniture. Incorporate furniture like rounded tables for ease of access, Use the three foot rule to ensure adequate space for all accessible areas, and set up proper light placement especially in areas that you’re most likely to fall like floor lips between rooms.

Be sure to reach out to your community prior to your move to see if they have any guidance on decorating a senior living apartment or moving your belongings into an apartment. Senior living communities like Five Star Senior Living are experts on resident move-ins and may have tips specific to their community.

How to Furnish and Decorate an Assisted Living Apartment

Furnishing an assisted living apartment is much like decorating any senior living apartment, but with an added focus on safety and accessibility. Maintain wide paths through hallways and around furniture to minimize the risk of bumps and falls.

Assisted living apartments should avoid area and/or throw rugs and loose power cords which can also cause falls. Accessible furniture and appliances are also essential such as large knobs on cabinets and glow in the dark light switches. These small additions to a senior living apartment can add up to a safer and more comfortable home.

Decorating your Five Star Senior Living Apartment

At Five Star Senior Living most of our apartments come unfurnished and we encourage our residents to bring their most cherished items, but we also work with residents to provide whatever furniture they may need.

An unfurnished apartment allows you to create a space all your own. Whether it’s the chair you sit in each morning to enjoy your coffee or the bookshelf that holds all your favorite novels, our team members will work with you before your move-in to make sure everything fits safely and securely.

Planning a move to a senior living community can be a challenge, but Five Star Senior Living offers you a world of choice, unparalleled comfort, and a community that empowers you. Find your community today.

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How Senior Living Communities Can Help Kinless Seniors Thrive

Nearly one million older Americans are considered kinless, meaning they lack a spouse, partner, children, or siblings. Some seniors may wonder who will care for them as they age in the absence of a family support structure. Kinless seniors often have to explore alternative solutions to ensure their well-being as they age.


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According to The New York Times, several demographic factors have increased the number of kinless seniors, particularly baby boomers including: lower marriage rates, higher divorce rates, and less children.

The good news is that senior living communities such as Five Star Senior Living, a division of AlerisLife, offer a viable solution. Some of the benefits that kinless seniors may expect at a senior living community include participating in social activities, joining support groups, getting involved in volunteer work, and having the dedicated support of skilled team members.

AlerisLife chief wellness officer Melinda Skirvin, RN, BSN, MHA says it’s important to advocate for each resident. “It’s our job to fight when they can’t and be their family when they don’t have a family there,” she said.

Who Will Care for Kinless Seniors?

Senior living communities like Five Star that feature independent living, assisted living, and memory care lines of service can provide you with a supportive environment that lets you thrive.

  • Built-In Community: Senior living communities create a sense of belonging and community. You can build meaningful relationships with fellow residents to create a supportive social network and make new friends.
  • Transportation Support: If you are unable to drive, senior living communities typically offer transportation services, ensuring residents can access essential services and activities.
  • Nutritious Meals: Senior living communities can provide restaurant-style dining with nutritious and delicious meals, removing the burden of cooking and grocery shopping for kinless seniors.
  • Safety: Communities prioritize safety with features like emergency response systems, security, and on-site staff who are trained to assist in case of emergencies.
  • Health and Medication Support: Assisted living communities within senior living communities offer personalized health and medication support, ensuring residents receive the care they need.

Advantages of Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are great if you seek an active and maintenance-free lifestyle. Some benefits include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Building maintenance
  • Lawncare
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Fitness and wellness programs
  • Access to on-site dining options
  • Supportive staff and emergency response systems

Advantages of Assisted Living Communities

Assisted living communities provide an extra level of care beyond what an independent senior living community provides and can support for you if you require assistance with activities of daily living. Key benefits include:

  • Personalized care plans
  • Assistance with daily tasks
  • Medication management
  • 24/7 access to skilled team members
  • Engaging activities and events

Tour a Five Star Senior Living Community

At Five Star, no one is alone. If you, or a kinless senior you know, are seeking a supportive and enriching living environment , consider exploring the options available at Five Star Senior Living communities. We are dedicated to supporting kinless seniors as they thrive and become a part of our family. Find a local Five Star Senior Living community near you and discover more choice and more comfort.

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9 Fun Outdoor Activities for Seniors

Life is a journey that is always changing. As you get older staying active becomes essential to your vitality and joy. One of the best ways to stay active is to find fun outdoor activities for seniors. Getting in touch with the great outdoors not only keeps your body moving, but also offers you mental wellness.

From pickleball and yoga to nature hikes and outdoor concerts, there’s an outdoor activity for every senior.


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6 Outdoor Activities for Seniors

Nature Walks

A leisurely stroll through a park or a hike through a nature reserve are excellent ways for seniors to enjoy the outdoors. Fresh air, changing scenery, and gentle exercise can boost your mood and keep you healthy. Invite friends and family along to make it a social outing.

Picnic

Combine two of life’s greatest things, the outdoors and food, and you get a picnic. Get your friends and loved ones together, choose a scenic spot, pack some tasty treats, and soak up some sun.

Gardening

Gardening is a rewarding activity for seniors looking to put their green thumb to work. Tending to flowers, herbs, or vegetables lets you enjoy physical activity, mental engagement, and the satisfaction of watching your work bloom.

Outdoor Yoga

What’s more relaxing than bird watching in the woods? How about embracing your inner zen by practicing yoga outside. Yoga enhances flexibility, balance, and mental clarity. There are a wide variety of schools of yoga and many can be done outdoors.

Pickleball

Considered the fastest growing sport in the United States, Pickleball is best summed up as a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. The game’s simplicity, short-sprint play, and low impact on joints make it popular and one of the most fun outdoor activities for seniors looking for a fun workout.

Local Events

Check out your local newspaper, town website, or community social media pages to find out what’s happening near you. Holiday celebrations, parades, museums, botanical gardens, and more are all right outside your door.

3 Outdoor Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility

If you’re a senior with limited mobility you can still enjoy the great outdoors with activities that suit your needs and enhance your wellness.

Scenic Drives

Sit back and enjoy the view with a scenic ride. Plan out your route along roads with captivating views or gorgeous houses.

Outdoor Concerts

Whether it’s a local band jamming on the gazebo, an orchestra playing music from a classic film, or the world’s biggest rockstar at a stadium, seeing an outdoor concert is one of the best and most accessible ways to get outside and hear great music at the same time.

Bird Watching

Unlocking your inner ornithologist is a relaxing and fun pastime. Set up a bird feeder in view from your window or combine birdwatching with a nature walk. Bird watching can give any senior a deeper connection to nature.

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Best Cell Phones & Plans for Seniors

Cellphones are a ubiquitous part of life; we’re either on our phones or they’re right by our side. It would be difficult to find someone without a cellphone, as 97 percent of Americans now own one of some kind, according to the Pew Research Center.

With so many cellphones and so many cell phone service plans, the abundance of options can feel daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate the maze of choices and find the best cell phone for seniors and the best cell phone plans.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a cell phone service plan:

  • How much data do you need?
  • How much talk and text do you need?
  • Do you need international calling?
  • Do you need a lot of features, like unlimited streaming or mobile hotspot?
  • What’s your budget?

Once you’ve considered these factors, you can start shopping around for plans. There are a few different ways to do this:

  • You can compare plans online.
  • You can go to a carrier store and talk to a representative.
  • You can use a service like Wirefly to compare plans from multiple carriers.

Remember to always read the fine print before you sign up for a plan. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, including the cancellation policy.

Best Cell Phones for Seniors

Apple iPhone – $899*

With its latest model the 14 Plus, Apple’s iPhone continues to be one of the best smartphones on the market for older adults. The iPhone offers a wide range of customizable accessibility features like large screens, large text, excellent call quality, and safety features like crash detection, SOS, and health monitoring apps. Plus the phone has an excellent camera. This phone is on the pricier side and is geared towards seniors who are more comfortable with technology, but is the most comprehensive when it comes to features.

Samsung Galaxy S23+ – $999*

For older adults more comfortable with Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy S23+ is a great pick. Great call quality, a large screen, and customizable accessibility options make this phone one of the best. The Galaxy’s large size might not work for those with smaller hands or reduced grip, but is great for those who like preinstalled safety features.

Jitterbug – $108* for smartphone

For those looking for a more simplified and cost-friendly phone, look no further than the Jitterbug Smart3. It features a large screen, a simplified user interface, urgent response button, long-lasting battery, and a great camera.

RAZ Mobility Memory Phone – $310*

Designed specifically for older adults with memory issues or a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s, the RAZ Mobility Memory Phone lets older adults with memory loss stay in touch with family.

Key features include preventing unnecessary emergency services calls and incoming fraud calls. Phone calls are made by the owner pressing and holding a large photo of a family member or friend they want to call. The phone features a camera, video calling, and one screen with the six most important contacts. Caregivers also control the phone remotely and can monitor it with GPS tracking.

What is the Best Flip Phone for Seniors?

Jitterbug Flip2 $89*

The Jitterbug flip2 is designed for simplicity and ease of use. It features a large, easy-to-read screen, large buttons that are easy to press, and an urgent response button that can be quickly accessed in case of an emergency. The flip2 is perfect for people who want a phone that is simple to use and has all the features they need.

Is Jitterbug the Best Phone for Seniors?

Both the Jitterbug smartphone and flip phone are great options for seniors. Their straightforward design makes them ideal for seniors that don’t want the extra capabilities of the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy. If you just want to make phone calls and send texts this is the phone for you.

Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors

Choosing the best cell phone plan for seniors can feel just as overwhelming as choosing the right phone. Here are the major cell phone providers:

  • AT&T Unlimited Basic
  • T-Mobile Essentials
  • Verizon Prepaid Start
  • Boost Mobile Unlimited
  • Cricket Wireless Unlimited More

These plans offer a variety of features that are important to seniors, such as unlimited talk, text, and data, as well as discounts on phones and plans for seniors. They also have simple plans that are easy to understand and use.

Here are some of the features that you should look for in a cell phone plan for seniors:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data: This is a must-have for seniors who want to stay connected with friends and family.
  • Coverage: Make sure whichever plan you pick offers good coverage in your area.
  • Simple plans: Seniors should look for plans that are easy to understand and use.
  • Discounts on phones: Many cell phone carriers offer discounts on phones for seniors.
  • Emergency features: Some cell phone plans offer features that can help seniors in an emergency, such as fall detection and 24/7 customer support.
  • Customer support: Seniors should look for a cell phone carrier with good customer support in case they have any questions or problems.

*Pricing at the time of post. 

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Senior Moving Checklist & Tips

Planning a big move to a new home can be both exciting and overwhelming. Luckily, we’re experts at making the move to a senior living community feel like smooth sailing. The easiest transitions start with a checklist and an understanding of the available senior moving services in your area.

Moving Checklist for Seniors

The best moving checklists include a timeline. Moving is a significant undertaking and the earlier you plan it out, the less headaches you’ll have down the road. This is especially important if you or your loved one has lived in the same home for many years as there might be more clothing, furniture, and other items to go through.

Outline the important tasks, deadlines, and milestones. This will help you stay on track and organized throughout the process. Now it’s time to get your home ready.

Two months before move in

The longer timeline you give yourself the better, but a good rule of thumb is begin two months before your expected move in date. This will give you enough time to set an actual date and learn about what time of day and the week you can move in. Two months before you move you should complete the following tasks:

___ Finalize any paperwork needed for move in
___ Begin researching senior moving services
___ Plan to get three price quotes from different companies on moving and shipping services
___ Establish the dimensions of your new apartment and create a floor plan
___ Start sorting your household items into three groups: Keep, Donate, Trash
___ Order boxes, packing tape, bubble-wrap, and other packing supplies.
___ Fill out USPS change of address paperwork.

Sorting items can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Hold a garage sale to sell some of your items or order a dumpster to make junk removal easier. You can also reserve storage units if necessary.

One month before move in

With many of the major tasks either done or set in motion, spend your next month getting minor items in order.

___ Notify physicians of relocation
___ Schedule utility disconnection
___ Pack non-essentials like towels, linens, dishware
___ Notify your insurance, credit card company, social security, vehicle registration, pharmacy, and bank of your change of address
___ Cancel or change magazine and newspaper subscriptions

One to two weeks before move in

Now that all your ducks are in a row it’s time to double check everything is ready for your big move.

___ Confirm moving arrangements
___ Pack a bag with essentials that can get you through a few days until all your items are unpacked
___ Refill any prescriptions
___ Coordinate with your new community on move in requirements for furniture

Moving day

The day is finally here! It’s time to gather up any last belongings and get ready to embrace the next chapter of your life.

___ Supervise the move
___ Say farewell
___ Unpack essentials for kitchen, bathroom, and living room

After the move

Once you’ve got all your items moved into your new home take a moment to appreciate this new and exciting moment in your life—you did it! Make sure to take one last look at your former home once everything has been moved out.

Senior Moving Services

Creating a checklist for your move will make your transition less overwhelming and more exciting as you look forward to your new home. Be sure to check out our eBook or the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers on what you need to know about making a move to senior living.

If you’re still in the process of selling your home, we’ve got you covered with tips on how to sell a senior’s home and tips for downsizing before a move too.

With Five Star Senior Living, we know it’s challenging to downsize your home, but we’re here to help you make the move and up-sizing your lifestyle with a world of choice, unparalleled comfort, and a community that empowers you. Find your community today.

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Signs of PTSD in the Elderly

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that can affect people of all ages, including older adults, who have experienced or been a witness to a traumatic event or set of circumstances. It’s a complex disorder that can be physical or emotional and create a negative impact on a person’s mental health and quality of life.

PTSD can emerge or re-emerge later in life due to retirement, increased health problems, decreased sensory abilities, reduced income, loss of loved ones, decreased support, cognitive impairment, and other stressors. According to a 2016 study, In the U.S, 50 to 90 percent of older adults have been exposed to a traumatic event.

PTSD is also common in older adults who are military veterans, especially men. Combat veterans in particular can have upsetting and painful memories of wartime experiences even long after completing their military service.

What to Look For: Symptoms of PTSD in Older Adults

According to the National Center for PTSD, symptoms of PTSD in older adults can vary from person to person, but there are several common symptoms for people who have experienced trauma.

Reliving the trauma

When a person experiences trauma the memories of it may return at any time, even years later. These memories can be triggered by something that reminds a person of the event. Watching a war movie or seeing a graphic news report can all be triggering and cause flashbacks, nightmares, and panic attacks.

Avoiding triggers that remind them of the event

Seniors with PTSD may try to avoid things that remind them of the traumatic event like large groups of people or leaving the house. A senior may isolate themselves from close relationships to avoid discussing issues and past trauma.

Increase in negative thoughts and feelings

No matter a person’s personality, trauma harms a person’s mental health and wellbeing causing them to feel sad, numb, or apathetic. With seniors, this can manifest as losing interest in hobbies after retirement, depression, isolating from family, and having difficulty expressing happiness. Guilt, shame, and regret from the traumatic event may also increase negative feelings.

Feeling on edge

PTSD in seniors can also manifest as stress, jitters, and anxiety. This can cause trouble sleeping, concentrating, and unwinding or relaxing. Angry outbursts in older adults can become more common and aggressive. Feeling on edge all the time can potentially lead to drug use or drinking too much alcohol.

Treatment of PTSD in Older Adults

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms it’s important to ask for help and find the best treatment. Reach out to healthcare providers, family, friends, and anyone else who can offer support.

Trauma-focused therapy that focuses on processing the traumatic event and using prolonged exposure to expose a person to the thoughts, feelings, and situations that have been avoided. Medication is another option for older adults with PTSD. Always talk with a doctor or psychiatrist to find out what kind of medications can help.

Caring for Elderly with PTSD

When caring for an elderly person with PTSD it’s important to be patient, understanding, and compassionate. It’s vital to create a safe and comfortable environment and to minimize triggers. Establishing a routine can also be helpful to promote security and stability.

Remember you or your loved one don’t have to go it alone. Healthcare providers, The Department of Veteran Affairs, and other support networks can offer an empathetic and nurturing approach to seniors with PTSD.

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What is Respite Care? Everything You Need to Know About Respite Care Services

What is Respite Care?

Respite care is a short-term care option for older adults primarily at assisted living communities who require assistance with daily activities. Lasting from a few days to a few months, respite care offers family caregivers a chance to attend to personal needs and other responsibilities knowing their parent or loved one will receive the highest quality care in a warm and welcoming environment.

Who is Respite Care For?

Respite care services primarily cater to family caregivers who need temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities. Caregiving for a loved one is rewarding, but can also be challenging and lead to burnout. Respite care also benefits seniors by providing them with a supportive, safe, and empowering community where they can receive care from skilled team members, join a variety of activities, and maintain the independence and level of care they’re used to.

Benefits of Respite Care

With respite care, seniors can maintain their preferred lifestyle while getting support tailored to their needs. Care plans are personalized so each day aligns with the person’s values and choices. Caregivers can pursue their own goals and focus on their wellbeing while seniors can explore new activities and meet other people.

Respite Care Examples

There are several different types of respite care for seniors based on a senior or caregiver’s preferences or needs.

  • In-home Respite Care: trained caregivers provide temporary relief to primary caregivers. They assist with medication management, companionship, daily activities, and more.
  • Hospice Respite Care: This kind of care provides relief for caregivers of terminally ill seniors in hospice. This allows the primary caregiver a break while the senior receives specialized end-of-life support.
  • Respite Care for Caregivers: This type of care offers caregivers the opportunity to take vacations, focus on personal goals, or enjoy time off from the responsibility of caregiving. Caregivers can catch up with friends and other family, recharge, and maintain their health and wellbeing. Caregiver burnout and guilt is all too real. Giving the gift of respite to a family member can give them a much needed break.
  • Residential Respite Care: Seniors who use this type of care will stay in an assisted living community for a short-term period. Seniors receive 24/7 care, support, and have the ability to participate in social and recreational activities.

Short-term Respite Care vs. Long-Term Respite Care

The length of a respite care stay can vary depending on the needs of the caregiver and the senior they care for. Short-term respite is temporary relief for a caregiver to rest or attend to personal matters. Seniors receive the high quality of care they’re used to with the added bonus of scheduled activities and socialization. Long term respite refers to week or month long stays at a community that allow a caregiver extended time to focus on other parts of their lives.

Paying for Respite Care

Depending on location and duration of stay, respite care costs can vary. For reference, independent living stays start at $85/day, assisted living at $140/day, and memory care at $200/day. Unfortunately, respite care assisted living care costs are not considered medical in nature and are therefore not covered by Medicare. In some states, Medicaid can be used to cover housing-related costs for low-income seniors who meet eligibility requirements. You can get more specific information on these benefits and other coverage details from your state’s Department of Health or Department of Aging.

What’s Included in Five Star Respite Care Services?

As a caregiver, you may need to plan a trip, attend to personal matters, take care of your health, or take a much-needed break from the mental and physical demands of caretaking. Respite care with Five Star Senior Living guarantees you or your loved one a sense of autonomy and empowerment. Respite stay guests have the same access to dining, Lifestyle 360 events, Five Star’s Montessori-based Bridge to Rediscovery dementia care program, and more that full-time residents enjoy.

Don’t wait to take time for yourself—find a community with respite care near you.

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The Top 10 Senior Travel Tips

Whether you’re a seasoned globe trotter or you’ve waited until after you’ve retired to enjoy your first big trip, travel needs and preferences can change significantly as we get older. Travel is a great opportunity for seniors to explore new places, experience different cultures, and connect with loved ones.

Traveling to places both near and far is also a great way to maintain an active lifestyle and stay engaged physically and socially. However, traveling in retirement can present its own set of challenges from selecting the right destination to navigating transportation.

Once you’ve found your next dream vacation and packed your bags, use some of these helpful senior travel tips to get the most out of your journey—no matter where you go.

1. Look for senior travel discounts

When you’re booking your hotel, airline, and other travel accommodations, be sure to check for special offers and discounts for seniors. Organizations such as AARP can offer discounted rates to members. Also, don’t be afraid to ask businesses for discounts as many are happy to offer them to older travelers.

2. Plan ahead with a clear itinerary 

It’s always best to be prepared. Once you’ve picked your destination, map out each day with sights to see, restaurants to enjoy, and shops to visit. This way you’ve got activities planned if you’re looking to get out

3. Pack light

When packing, choose clothing items that can be mixed and matched for different occasions—clothes you can dress up or dress down. Also, try to limit yourself to a few pairs of comfortable shoes.

4. Consider a bus tour or cruise

Traveling for seniors is all about comfort and accessibility without sacrificing any of the fun. Bus tours and cruises are an excellent way to travel wherever you want with comfort and ease. Both bus tours and cruises are often package deals with entertainment, meals, and other accommodations all conveniently rolled into one purchase.

5. Stay connected

Make sure you stay in touch with loved ones back home by bringing a smartphone or tablet. It’s never a bad idea to purchase a cell service plan in a foreign country, but remember many hotels, cafes, and other popular areas will have free or cheap wifi so you can access the internet.

6. Prepare for emergencies 

No matter if you’re traveling solo or with a tour group, it’s always best to prepare for anything. Bring spare batteries for hearing aids or other medical devices, have important numbers accessible on your phone, prepare medication ahead of time, and keep your personal documentation with you at all times.

7. Find a senior travel group

One of the best ways to have an enriching trip is to share it with other like-minded people. Joining a senior travel group is a great way to meet friends while you explore new places.

8. Research where you’ll stay

While searching for your lodgings, look for hotels and resorts that cater to older adults with amenities like wheelchair accessibility, bathroom grab bars, and more.

9. Consider your health

When you plan your itinerary, keep your health in mind. Make sure your schedule has open time for rest and relaxation. Try to research restaurants that can have foods you can enjoy and make sure you take any necessary medication with you.

10. Take care of yourself

This is the golden rule of travel. Make self-care a priority with enough rest, nutritious meals, and adequate hydration. This will help maintain your health and energy so you have the energy you need to see all the world has to offer.

Looking for a stress-free place to stay on your next senior travel adventure?

One of the most difficult parts of traveling can be leaving the safety and comfort of home. With Five Star Senior Living’s short-term stays you can travel across the country and experience the best parts of home at one of our communities.

Short term stays are great for older adults who want to recover from an illness or injury, have a safe and supportive environment with like minded people, or want to experience what senior living is all about.

We balance independence with aging so you can lead a more active, social, and fulfilling lifestyle all on your terms—each day done your way. Don’t wait to make the most of your retirement years—find a community near you today.

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Short Term Senior Care Benefits for Seniors & Caregivers

Being a caregiver for a spouse or family member is a full-time job that can be fulfilling and rewarding, while at the same time be physically and emotionally difficult. Caregivers often balance their support for a loved one with personal commitments and career obligations. In these scenarios, short term care can be a valuable solution to provide respite and support for both seniors and loved ones.

Whether it’s a few days, weeks, or months, short term senior care lets everyone recharge and feel refreshed and renewed. For caregivers, short term care can offer time for self-care or a chance to catch up with other important people in their lives, or simply to take a break and avoid caregiver burnout. This can benefit seniors too by giving them a supportive environment that is tailored to their unique needs.

Why might someone choose short term senior care?

Recovery from an illness or injury

Short term senior care is one of the best ways for seniors to recover from a surgery or to recover from an illness. The professional supervision, easy access to physical and occupational therapies, and emotional support provide a smooth transition from a hospital to home. Five Star’s rehab and fitness partner Ageility offers classes and personalized plans inside Five Star communities so short term guests can recover and enjoy the community and comfort of senior living.

Try out a senior living community

Why not try before you buy? Seniors who try short term care can get experience firsthand with senior living services, amenities, and activities. Additionally, seniors get the opportunity to meet community team members and residents to see if the community meets their needs and preferences. Communities like Five Star offer holistic programs like Lifestyle 360 that design activities around social, intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

Respite for caregivers

Caregivers receive a range of benefits from short term senior care like reduced stress, time for personal commitments, and support from professionals. The breaks that caregivers receive from short term care allow for self-care which, in turn, improves their overall wellbeing and capacity to provide long term care for their loved one.

Peace of mind

When an older adult stays in short term senior care, their caregiver can have peace of mind that their loved one will receive the best care and support from a community’s talented team members.

Seasonal stays

By scheduling a seasonal short term stay caregivers can have the flexibility to travel if needed. Seniors also benefit by getting to experience specialized activities and to explore new environments, climates, and cultures—all while getting personalized healthcare monitoring, medication management, and much more.

What types of short term senior care are available?

Respite care

Respite offers temporary relief to caregivers and provides support for seniors. It can range from days to weeks to allow caregivers to take a break while their loved one receives the care they need.

Short term independent living

This is a great option for seniors who want to take a vacation or have a home-like environment to recover from an injury or illness. Independent living features customized activities, nutritious dining, chances to socialize with other seniors, and much more all wrapped up in one stay. These stays typically last a few days or a week.

Short term assisted living

These short term assisted living stays are for seniors who may need assistance with some activities of daily living, but still live independently. These activities of daily living can range from medication management to personal care. These stays are also for a few days to a week.

Home health care

Seniors can also enjoy short term care right at home. Home health care provides skilled professionals with medical care, medication management, and therapies on a temporary basis. Services like Windsong Home Health Services can bring the best in nursing care right to your door.

Learn More About Short Term Senior Care Options at Five Star Today

Short term senior care is a valuable resource for both seniors and caregivers by offering respite, support, and personalized services for the wellbeing of everyone.

With Five Star’s short term and respite, guests can enjoy the same engaging activities, personalized care, and fellowship as full time residents. Explore our communities so you can enjoy a happier and healthier caregiving journey. You deserve it and your loved one deserves the best care possible.

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