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Vision Impairment in Older Adults: How to Reduce the Risk of Falls

One of the most common causes of injury for older adults is falling due to visual impairment. Many seniors struggle with their vision, making it difficult for them to navigate their living spaces. In skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, special precautions are taken to reduce fall risk in seniors with vision impairments. Read on to learn more about how older adults can avoid sight-related falls.

Preventing Falls in an Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg, FL

To reduce the risk of falls and serious injury for older adults with visual impairment, the following are four tips that seniors and their caretakers should follow.

Wear Appropriate Eyewear

Seniors who struggle with visual impairment often have issues with depth perception, peripheral vision, and other visual difficulties. These impairments can make navigating even familiar spaces hard. When you cannot see objects on the ground, barriers like walls or counters, and other potential obstacles, you are more likely to suffer from falls.

When struggling with visual impairment, the appropriate eyewear can make a world of difference. Older adults who have difficulty seeing should wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses that can improve their vision. With this improvement in their sight, most seniors can avoid falls caused by visual impairment.

Make Use of Mobility Aids

One of the best ways to reduce falls in older adults is to use mobility aids. Some seniors may be apprehensive about using mobility aids, as they feel it can infringe on their independence. The reality is that mobility aids are an incredibly useful tool that helps older adults maintain their independence by allowing them to move around in the world without assistance.

Mobility aids like canes and walkers provide added stability to older adults who are at risk of falling. These things can help seniors who struggle with visual impairment by providing them with increased stability and guidance when navigating their space. Canes may be used to detect changes in the level of the walking space, such as steps or holes. Walkers can act as a barrier that indicates objects or barriers on the ground that could trip someone with visual impairment.

Get Regular Eye Exams 

While poor vision is common with age, there are certain visual issues that can be resolved if caught early on. Many visual impairments can be treated or avoided with regular eye exams. Older adults should have their eyes examined at least once a year to check for eye conditions commonly found in seniors. This includes the following and more:

  • Glaucoma
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Retinopathy
  • Dry eye
  • Presbyopia

Regular eye exams can diagnose some of these visual problems early enough to resolve them or slow progression. Maintaining healthy vision can help seniors avoid sight-related falls. For this reason, residents in an assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, FL, should have annual eye exams.

Remove Excess Clutter

A common cause of falls, especially for those with vision impairment, is excess clutter throughout the living space. When there is too much clutter around a home, there are more things for older adults to walk into or trip over. Seniors with poor sight are more likely to trip and fall over objects in their homes, particularly in smaller spaces. 

In order to reduce the risk of falls, older adults with visual impairment should have clean, tidy living spaces. Rooms should be free of clutter and unnecessary objects that can be fallen over. Furniture should be situated around the edges of rooms, allowing for open walking space. Reducing clutter and creating a living space that is easy to navigate will help reduce potential falls.

3 Supplements Adults Over 60 Should Be Taking

As you age, your body undergoes natural changes that can affect your overall health and well-being. Seniors are more susceptible to conditions like arthritis, heart disease, cognitive decline, and more. You can take certain dietary supplements to reduce your likelihood of developing these issues or to combat some of their symptoms. Below are three of the most beneficial supplements adults over 60 should be taking.

What Supplements Should Seniors in Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, FL, Take?

Older adults are especially vulnerable to health concerns like broken bones, memory loss, and cardiovascular issues. To avoid these issues and more, seniors should take action to make sure that they have all of the vitamins and minerals they need. The following are three supplements adults over 60 should take on a regular basis.

1. Vitamin B12

Cognitive decline and memory loss are among the most common concerns for older adults. A daily vitamin B12 supplement can help reduce the risk of dementia and other cognitive issues. Vitamin B12 is one of many vitamins and minerals that are essential for proper brain function. Unfortunately, the amount of B12 your body absorbs will decrease as you get older. 

When you’re younger, your stomach naturally produces acid that extracts vitamin B12 from the foods that you eat. After the age of 50, there is a decline in the production of this stomach acid, leading to poor vitamin B12 extraction and absorption. Supplementing vitamin B12 in the form of a liquid or capsule can restore a healthy level of this vitamin in your body. To see cognitive benefits, the recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms.

2. Calcium

One of the biggest health concerns for senior citizens is bone weakening. As you age, your bones will become more brittle and prone to breakage. This is how simple falls can become medical emergencies, particularly for seniors in independent living in St. Petersburg. Many older adults experience broken legs, arms, and more due to vulnerable bones. Seniors are also susceptible to bone fractures from minimal impact. This is what makes calcium one of the most important supplements for adults over 60.

Calcium is an essential component of bone strength. While calcium is found in products like milk, leafy greens, and salmon, many people do not get enough of it from their diet alone. Getting enough calcium is even harder for older adults. As the body ages, it becomes more difficult to absorb calcium and experience its benefits. Seniors are often low in calcium, making their bones more susceptible to breakage and fractures. Low calcium levels are especially prevalent in older women after menopause. To see increased bone strength, adults over 60 should supplement their diet with anywhere between 1,200 to 2,000 mg of calcium per day.

3. Iron

Another important mineral for senior citizens is iron. Many older adults in assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL, are low in iron, which provides a wide variety of health benefits. Iron helps support energy levels, heart health, and cognitive function. Those who are deficient in iron can experience all of the following symptoms and more:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sores on or around the mouth
  • Strange cravings
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss

To avoid these health concerns, seniors should supplement their diet with iron in tablet or capsule form. Iron supplementation should be practiced carefully, as too much iron can also have adverse effects. Excessive iron in the bloodstream can lead to the formation of iron stores, potentially leading to cardiovascular issues. The recommended daily dose of iron for older adults is 8 mg per day. Please consult your trusted physician before adjusting your supplements.

Helpful Tips and Tricks For Seniors Living on A Budget

When you are on a fixed income, having a budget and sticking to it is extremely important. You worked long and hard to save for your retirement. Now it’s time to enjoy it. Making smart decisions with your spending is vital to ensure that you can live comfortably and enjoy your retirement. We are going to share some helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind when you are living on a budget.

Stick to Your Budget

When you see something you want that isn’t in your budget, it can be easy to ignore your budget and buy it anyhow. But, unfortunately, when you start letting your expenses slide, it becomes a slippery slope that can result in running out of money. And no one wants that.

Downsize

Housing costs make up a big part of any family’s budget. Downsizing to a smaller house or an apartment can help you save on a mortgage, property taxes, and utilities. Another great way to cut back on housing expenses is to look into a great St. Petersburg assisted living community. 

The assisted living options at Westminster Suncoast allow you to maintain your independent lifestyle with other great perks. You will be surrounded by a community of other residents and have access to many included services that can make an assisted living facility a great choice.

Ask For Senior Discounts

There are so many businesses that are happy to offer senior discounts. Often though, they are not advertised. So don’t be embarrassed to ask your local coffee shop or restaurant if they provide a discount for seniors.

Check Out Your Local Library

Did you know that libraries offer DVDs of movies and TV shows that you can borrow? There is also typically a section where you can use their computers at no additional cost.

Head to the Thrift Store

Thrift stores are a great place to find bargains. So if you have some extra time on your hands and you enjoy getting something for a steal, skip the superstores and check out your local thrift store.

Utilize Rewards Credit Cards

It’s important to be extra cautious with your credit card spending on a budget. However, if you have a card that rewards purchases, make sure you utilize that perk. Many rewards cards give you discounts on travel and gift cards, and sometimes they even offer cashback rewards. A great way to stay out of credit card debt while also utilizing rewards is to pay for bills, groceries, etc., with your credit card and then pay off your balance when your bill comes in.

Coupons

Coupons are everywhere these days! From in-store coupons to weekly newspaper inserts, you can save money on things you use the most by taking a little extra time and matching coupons to your shopping needs.

You want to relax and enjoy your retirement. And you deserve to do that without having to worry about finances. By creating and sticking to a budget and using some of the tips we provided above, you can have the best of both worlds.

Stay Connected: The Importance of Phone Conversations for Seniors in Assisted Living

When an older loved one enters an assisted living facility, maintaining certain aspects of daily life can support their well-being. One that may be overlooked is regular conversation. While seniors in assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL, will be able to interact with staff members and fellow residents, remaining connected to friends and family outside is still essential.

One way for older adults in assisted living to maintain connections with the people they care about is through phone conversations. Having weekly or daily phone calls from a friend or family member can have a significant impact on an elderly individual. Read on to learn three major reasons that phone conversations are important in assisted living facilities.

3 Ways Phone Conversations Help Residents in Saint Petersburg Assisted Living Facilities

Regular phone conversations present several benefits for older individuals. This is especially true for those living in Saint Petersburg assisted living facilities. Below are just three of the main ways that phone conversations help seniors in assisted living.

1. Remaining Connected to Friends and Family

The biggest benefit of phone conversations for seniors in assisted living is that they keep residents connected to their friends and family. Many seniors have friends or family members who live far away and cannot visit their living facility. Phone calls with these individuals help them to stay connected and remain a part of their loved ones’ lives. 

A weekly phone call from a friend or family member can indicate to an older individual that they are still an active part of that person’s life. Keeping them informed on recent family events or making small talk maintains their connection to the people they care about but don’t often see in person.

2. Keeping Memory and Cognitive Skills Sharp

Many older adults begin to struggle with cognitive decline as they age. Studies have shown that conversation can help keep memory and overall cognitive skills sharp. When living in an assisted living facility, residents often engage with staff members and one another. When this is not possible, phone conversations are of great help.

Having regular phone conversations with loved ones is a great activity for keeping seniors engaged. These phone calls help keep memory and recall skills strong in older adults who may experience brain fog or other cognitive concerns. 

3. Boosting Mood and Enthusiasm

Some older adults in assisted living can struggle with depression and feelings of sadness. Regular phone conversations can provide a boost of enthusiasm and an improvement in overall mood. Conversing with loved ones often lifts their spirits and helps them feel more connected to the people they care about.

Daily or weekly phone calls also give seniors in assisted living something to look forward to. While seniors in assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL, will often participate in designated activities, many still benefit from scheduled phone calls with friends and family. These regular conversations can help elevate anticipation and energy throughout the week.

Why Depression Warning Signs Are Commonly Missed in Older Adults

In recent years, mental health issues have continued to grow in prevalence amongst all age groups. With the ongoing pandemic, more people are experiencing mental health concerns. This development is especially true for older adults who struggle with loneliness, isolation, and feelings of depression.

While there are many seniors who battle depression, their struggle often goes unnoticed. The signs and symptoms of depression can be subtle or be mistaken for other underlying issues. Read on to learn why depression warning signs are commonly missed in older adults.

Tips from St. Petersburg Assisted Living Facilities: 3 Reasons Depression May Go Unnoticed in Seniors

When a loved one is in a St. Petersburg assisted living facility, it may be difficult to pinpoint when a resident is struggling with depression. Below are three common reasons that signs of depression go unnoticed in seniors:

1. Mistaken for Other Concerns

The most common reason that depression goes unnoticed in older adults is that the warning signs can often mimic the symptoms of other conditions. 

Many seniors struggle with health ailments like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or cancer. These medical concerns can produce feelings of hopelessness, extreme fatigue, weight fluctuations, and lack of interest in activity — all of which are common signs of depression. 

For those who work with the elderly, mental health issues can inadvertently be overlooked simply because medical concerns are so prevalent among seniors. 

When an older individual experiences signs and symptoms of depression, most healthcare workers first consider their physical health. This process leads to many seniors being diagnosed with a medical ailment rather than depression. 

2. An Inability to Communicate

Whether it be due to cognitive decline or other medical circumstances, some older adults struggle with communication. They may be unable to speak or properly express emotions, making it impossible to convey that they are experiencing feelings of depression. 

In skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, employees are often trained to look for nonverbal or physical cues that a resident is struggling. 

With that being said, depression looks different from person to person. Some older adults do not show any outward signs of depression, like self-isolation or irritability. In these seniors, it can be harder to pinpoint their mental health concerns without clear communication.

3. A Lack of Awareness

Frequently senior depression goes unnoticed due to a simple lack of awareness. Many people are not aware of the signs and symptoms of depression in older adults. When you are not fully informed on what depression looks like, it can be very difficult to spot in other people. 

The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of depression in seniors:

  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Intense fatigue
  • Disinterest in activity
  • Self-isolation
  • Insomnia
  • Sudden feelings of guilt or remorse

Proper education and depression awareness can help inform those who work with seniors. 

In St. Petersburg assisted living facilities, placing emphasis on the signs and symptoms of mental health struggles can make diagnosis and treatment much easier. When these signs and symptoms are noticed early on, they can help ease the severity of depression in older adults.

7 Tips for Lifelong Learning

Adopting an open mindset for lifelong learning will benefit you in every aspect of your life. 

In your career or as an entrepreneur, a thirst for knowledge can help you advance towards your professional goals. For your personal life, continuously striving to learn new things will keep your cognitive functioning strong. Maintaining a learning mindset is as easy as looking for ways to indulge your own curiosity.

1. Read New Things on a Daily Basis

While there are many different ways to expose yourself to new knowledge, reading is one of the most effective ways of learning. People tend to retain more knowledge when they read. You can read books, blogs, or news articles to learn about topics that interest you.

2. Form a Study Group with Your St. Petersburg Assisted Living Community

Lifelong learning doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. In fact, you can increase your understanding of complex material by discussing it with others. There may be other seniors in your community who also want to continue learning. You can strengthen one another’s cognitive functioning by meeting regularly to discuss new topics.

3. Associate with Other Students

You don’t have to organize a formal group to benefit from the intellect of others in your St. Petersburg assisted living community. When you choose to socialize with others who value learning and intellectual growth, you’ll help yourself embrace that mindset. You’ll also learn about topics that others may know more about.

4. Start a Learning List

As you go about each day, use a notebook or notepad app on your cell phone to create a list of topics that interest you. 

When you want to learn more about something you encounter in your daily life, jot that topic down on your list. The list will motivate you to continue learning, and it will ensure you’re never at a loss for finding some new topic to explore.

5. Watch Informative Videos

While some of the time residents spend in independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, will include structured activities, you will also have free time to pursue your own interests. 

During that time, you can search for topics that interest you on YouTube or other video-sharing sites. Many videos are short and divided into episodes in a series so that you can learn gradually at your own pace.

6. Listen to Podcasts

The podcast industry has been growing and evolving over the last couple of years. There are podcasts for political discussion, entertainment, or on a variety of educational topics. You can download a podcast app onto your phone or search for podcasts online to find those that deal with topics that you find intriguing.

7. Take a Course

If you live independently, you may have the freedom to take free or paid courses in your community. Local colleges, Labor Department offices, and other community resources often offer classes that are open to the public. Taking a course in your community is a great way to learn while socializing with other people in your neighborhood.

There are many more things you can do that will help you learn and grow. When you look for new ways to amass more knowledge, you’ll be teaching yourself to grow. This approach will help you evolve into a better-educated individual as you go through life.

Florida Fine Arts: Can’t Miss Attractions in St. Petersburg

Assisted living in St. Petersburg, FL is a dream for anyone interested in the arts. There are all kinds of affordable galleries, museums, theaters, and more for you to enjoy. To help you get an idea of some of the best art destinations in the city, check out this list of attractions you won’t want to miss!  

Duncan McClellan Gallery

2342 Emerson Avenue South, St. Petersburg

If you have any interest in glass art, then the Duncan McClellan Gallery should be on the top of your personal “can’t miss” list. It’s a 7,800 square-foot former packing plant located in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Art District. It offers rotating exhibitions of some of the world’s most creative, thought-provoking, and carefully crafted glass artwork from some of the leading artists in the medium.

The Dali Museum

1 Dali Boulevard, St. Petersburg

The Dali Museum allows you to experience the life and work of one of the most influential artists in history: Salvador Dali. You won’t find a more impressive or all-encompassing collection of his paintings, sculptures, and other surreal artistic projects anywhere else in the world. 

The building, designed by architect Yann Weymouth, is a work of art in and of itself. It houses three floors of Dali art, exhibitions, educational resources, and merchandise.   

Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg

255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg

While the Dali Museum offers an in-depth look at the life and work of one incredible artist, the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg also offers thousands of years worth of art from across the globe. They both have their merits, of course, but if you’re interested in taking in the grand scope of humanity’s artistic endeavors, this is the place for you. 

There’s plenty to enjoy from the permanent collection alone, but the traveling exhibitions are what make repeat visits a necessity for any art lover new to independent living in St. Petersburg.

The Mahaffey Theater

Duke Energy Center for the Arts — 400 First Street South, St. Petersburg

Whether you’re interested in comedy, cover bands, concertos, or classic rock, you can have a terrific night out at the Mahaffey Theater. The theater has a long history of putting on some of the best shows in town. They run the gamut from pop artists to symphonies to magicians and much more. 

Take a look at their upcoming schedule for a taste of their eclectic options.

St. Petersburg City Theatre

4025 31st Street South, St. Petersburg

For those who are new to assisted living who are fans of community theater, the number one spot on your list of outings is going to be the St. Petersburg City Theatre. They’ve been putting on shows for nearly 100 years, making them the longest-running theater company in the whole city. 

Spend the night out and take in a play or a musical in this intimate setting. Be a part of St. Petersburg’s theatrical history!

The Arts and Assisted Living in St. Petersburg, FL

We hope you found this guide useful in planning out your next afternoon or evening in St. Petersburg. It’s really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of art appreciation in this beautiful city. Start at one of these places and then continue exploring from there!

Aging and Memory Loss: When Should You Seek Help?

Everyone forgets things sometimes, especially as we age. Minor memory loss is not necessarily something you need to take action on immediately, so how do you know when you should seek help?

If your memory loss is interfering with your everyday life and making it more difficult to do the things you want to do, you should seek help right away. However, memory loss won’t always be so severe and obvious. It is often more subtle.

Here are some signs you can look for that indicate it is time to seek help for memory loss.

You Forget Common Words

It is normal for people to forget words now and then, but forgetting common words is a different story. Forgetting words that we use in our everyday communication is a sign of a deeper problem that may indicate a more serious memory issue.

If you notice that you increasingly forget common words like “number,” “water,” or “people,” it may be time to seek help.

You Take Longer to Complete Daily Tasks

Since we’ve been doing daily tasks for so long, such as laundry, dishes, and cooking, it can be difficult to comprehend forgetting how to do them.  

Before memory issues decline your ability to perform daily tasks, they will make you take longer to complete these tasks. While taking a little extra time to do your daily chores may not sound like a big deal, it is a sign of a larger memory issue. 

In addition, taking longer to do daily chores detracts from other activities that are good for your health, like exercising and social interaction. Help with everyday tasks is one of the major benefits of assisted living in St. Petersburg, Florida.

You Get Lost

We’ve all incidentally gotten lost when walking or driving in an unfamiliar area. However, it shouldn’t happen often. If you find yourself getting lost frequently, you probably get lost on routes that you should know, which can be a sign of more persistent memory loss.

Getting lost frequently can be very dangerous, especially if you are still driving. You may find yourself miles and miles from home in an unfamiliar area which poses a huge safety risk. 

Preventing residents from getting lost is one of the significant benefits of facilities that offer memory care in St. Petersburg, FL. Memory care facilities are set up to help residents find their way and provide 24/7 skilled nursing services for residents who need them. 

You Ask the Same Questions

There’s no doubt that sometimes it takes more than one try to absorb a message. That’s true at any stage in life. However, when you ask someone a question, and they answer, you should generally retain the information. 

If you find yourself repeatedly asking the same questions, that is a sign of a memory issue, and it may be time to seek help.

Assisted Living in St. Petersburg, Florida

Knowing when to seek help for memory loss can be difficult, but a transition to an assisted living community can be a positive one. From new friendships to great dining and amenities, assisted living in St. Petersburg is a great solution. 

What To Expect When Visiting Your Loved One in an Assisted Living Facility

Transitioning a loved one to an assisted living facility can be a lot to get used to for all involved. While assisted living in Saint Petersburg is the best in the country, the uncertainty of a new environment can affect both residents and their families. 

Visiting a loved one in their new community will be different than what you’ve experienced before, and you should prepare. Here are a few tips on what you can expect when visiting your loved one in an assisted living facility.

You May Have to Work Around Their Schedule

Most facilities for assisted living or independent living in St. Petersburg have daily schedules for residents. Agendas may include social activities, wellness programs, dining, and more. 

It is good for your loved ones to stay on a schedule, so don’t ask them to drop everything to accommodate your visit. Instead, find out what day and time work best for them!

Not Every Visit Will Be an Active One

While it can be an excellent idea to come to a visit prepared with stories, a game, or another activity, not every visit will be an active one. Sometimes, your loved one may just enjoy sitting and talking to you about your day or watching a movie together.

The main purpose of visits is to spend quality time together, not to entertain your loved one. Don’t put more stress on yourself than is necessary by planning for a super eventful visit every time. 

The best way to approach visits is to mix it up. One time, bring a game, a gift, or plan for an activity. Another time, just plan to enjoy each other’s company.

Not Every Visit Will Be All Smiles

Life in assisted living is just like normal, everyday life—some days are good, and some are bad. Unfortunately, your loved one may be having a bad day when you come to visit. This is a real possibility, and you should be prepared for it. 

Just because your loved one is having a bad day does not mean that they are unhappy in their living situation. The next day may be a great one. Remember to have patience and understand that transitioning to assisted living can be a tumultuous time. 

Your Loved One May Want to Share the Visit

Don’t be surprised if, at some point, your loved one wants to introduce you to new friends they’ve made in their community. 

While it can feel like sharing your time with others takes away from the visit, keep in mind how important it is for seniors to have friends and other relationships. Be welcoming to new friends and open to meeting new people in the community.

Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg

Assisted living in Saint Petersburg is the best senior housing around. From the weather to the abundance of activities, communities throughout the area cater to seniors. 

Finding a community can be easier than you think with virtual and in-person tours. The perfect community for your loved one is out there!

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