What’s So Great About Zionsville?

What’s So Great About Zionsville?

With its unique combination of small-town ambiance and urban sophistication, Zionsville is an ideal destination for anyone seeking a beautiful, safe and engaging place to call home. Its population of almost 30,000 makes it one of the smaller suburbs to Indianapolis’ north, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up in culture, activities and outdoor opportunities. At Senior Living Advisor, we often recommend senior living facilities and neighborhoods in Zionsville because this lovely community checks off so many requirements for today’s seniors.

A quaint village setting

A trip to downtown Zionsville feels like a trip to the good old days, where you can walk to your favorite restaurant or poke around an assortment of shops. Cross-stitchers can indulge their hobby’s passion at Persnickety Stitchers on Main Street, while your favorite philatelist (that’s a fancy word for a stamp collector) may want to check out the Village Stamp & Coin shop. Zionsville’s main street is as old as the town itself. In 1852 the town’s first home and first store were built. You can read all about it on the historical marker located on the south end of Zionsville’s quaint brick Main Street.

Foodies feel at home in Zionsville. Locally owned restaurants give the area a unique flavor, with everything from seafood to Thai, Italian and the all-American burger shop. Lona Newton, our Senior Living Advisor owner, particularly enjoys Auberge Restaurant & Bar for its French-inspired cuisine and Salty Cowboy tequileria for tasty tacos.

Lots of outdoor options

Zionsville Parks and Recreation offers an amazing 500 acres of parkland and 20 miles of trails within the community. There’s no need to sentence yourself to a treadmill when you can take a walk on the conveniently paved Big-4 Trail, weather permitting. If you like to hit the links, Zionsville is home to four golf courses, including one municipal course. Lions Park, a privately owned recreation space owned by the Zionsville Lions Club, offers many athletic opportunities, including its two lighted tennis courts/pickleball courts. The Zionsville Nature Center, located at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library, focuses on local Indiana habitats and wildlife.

Awards and citations

Zionsville receives national recognition for its character and charm. It has been named one of the “Best Cities to Live in Indiana,” one of “Indiana’s 20 Safest Cities” and one of the “Best Suburbs in America.”  It consistently scores high as one of the safest cities in the state, with low rates of violent and property crime.

Zionsville’s location just outside of Indianapolis proper means its residents have easy access to state-of-the-art healthcare. Witham Health Services, Ascension Medical Group and Riverview Health are a few of the many healthcare options located within Zionsville, and the prestigious Indiana Health University Hospital and IU’s Simon Cancer Center can be easily accessed from the highway.

We think Zionsville is the perfect spot for living your best life, no matter how old you are. Are you interested in exploring Zionsville’s senior living options? Let the experts at Senior Living Advisor help guide the search. We’re familiar with the many senior living solutions in the Zionsville and surrounding areas, and we’ll help you find the right fit for yourself or your loved one. Reach out now for a free consultation. We look forward to working together!

The 12 Days of Christmas for Caregivers

The 12 Days of Christmas for Caregivers

If you’re part of the so-called “Sandwich Generation,” you may find yourself in dire need of a holiday break. Sure, a trip to a fancy spa sounds lovely, but you’d settle for a 30-minute bubble bath with no interruptions. While you’re taking care of everyone else, who’s taking care of you?

That’s why we’re introducing caregivers to the 12 Days of Christmas for Caregivers. And unlike the traditional Christmas song, you don’t have to wait around for your true love to give these to you. Self-care is the name of the holiday game, as you continue your solo task of caring for everyone around you.

The 12 Days of (Caregiver) Christmas

Day 1: Make yourself a priority. Yes, easier said than done. To care for others, you must care for yourself. It’s time to change your mindset. Give yourself permission to take care of your own needs.

Day 2: Talk to the family. Ideally, you have other adults around to share the burden. They may need a not-so-subtle reminder to pick up the slack. Give your children the gift of responsibility by teaching them to pack their own lunches or fold their own laundry.

Day 3: Consider professional caregivers. You may have promised yourself that you would never allow a stranger to care for your beloved parent or senior relative. Stop and think what this means. Would you want your own children to compromise their health and well-being to care for you 24/7? Make peace with letting someone else lessen the load.

Day 4: Adjust your holiday tasks. Maybe you’ve always prepared a huge family feast for Christmas Eve. If you just don’t have the energy this year, pop a frozen pizza in the oven and tell the family you’re doing things differently. Years from now your kids may wax poetically about the traditional Christmas Eve frozen pizza.

Day 5:  Use the technology at hand. Are people constantly calling for an update on Mom? Start a group text or social media page to offer regular reports. If you have a tech-savvy youngster, let them handle the updating tasks.

Day 6: Exercise. Depending on your feelings about exercise, this may or may not be a gift. But regular exercise is essential to your physical and mental health. Even if you only walk around the block, you’re pushing blood through your veins and oxygen to your brain.

Day 7: Shop for yourself. If you have a spouse or family members who know how to shop for you, that’s awesome. If not, purchase a few things for yourself, wrap them up and stick them in your stocking. You deserve holiday treats!

Day8: Schedule the appointments you keep putting off. We understand. You’re too busy to schedule an annual physical exam or ask a medical professional to look at that mole on your arm. Refer to Day 1. You must put yourself first.

Day 9: Take a hard look at finances. You may be losing sleep over how you’re going to pay for caregivers or long-term care. Douse your nightmares with a bucket full of reality. A financial advisor or eldercare attorney can help you design a care plan within your resources. While you’re at it, sign the important papers. Your loved one’s health can change with one accident or illness. Do you have signed power of attorney documents allowing you to make health care decisions? It’s always better to have these too soon that be left without them during a health crisis. If you’re not sure who to call, check out the Senior Resources page on the Senior Living Advisor website.

Day 10: Plan a night out. Get out of the house for an evening. Splurge on a nice dinner or just drive around looking at holiday decorations in the neighborhood.  

Day 11: Let it out. You may feel guilty because you’re frustrated or annoyed with the unrelenting demands on your time. Consider this your permission to feel angry. This may not have been the life you envisioned. Occasionally you must take out the emotional trash before it builds up. Talk to a non-judgmental friend or write down your thoughts in a journal. You’re carrying a heavy load. Don’t let your emotions add to the burden.

Day 12: Take that bath. Remember the uninterrupted bubble bath you’ve been craving? You’re allowed to lock the door behind you when the kids are in bed and the phone’s not ringing with demands. Throw in some scented bubble bath, grab a book and relax. You deserve it.

How are the holidays treating you this year? If you’re overwhelmed as you try to care for everyone around you, it may be time to look at different options. Senior Living Advisor is here for you during every step of the journey as you work to find a safe, comfortable living option for the people you love. Contact us now and set up a free consultation.

 

 

 

Embrace the Storytellers in Your Family This Season

Embrace the Storytellers in Your Family This Season

“Tell me a story.” This simple request often comes from small children who want to postpone bedtime for as long as possible. It may come from a middle school English teacher or a college professor who is encouraging students to exercise their creative muscles. Storytelling is the ultimate historical record, predating modern-day printing operations. Family histories are rich with stories of relatives who came to the states via the Mayflower or Ellis Island. Holiday gatherings become reminiscence sessions where siblings recall their childhood antics or learn about their own parents’ escapades.

Storytelling is a powerful tool, both for preserving important family history and empowering the storytellers, who benefit from the process. Elderly relatives may enjoy sharing their tales, and their relatives receive a gift that can’t be bought at the local department store. Storytelling has additional benefits – it can stimulate the memory and improve articulation and self-esteem.

During the holiday season, we encourage families to carve out time to hear and record their family stories. Use the tips below to begin a conversation that someday you will repeat to your own children, as you continue to enrich the family history and ensure that each generation’s legacies are passed along.

Tell me about it

Some seniors need no encouragement when it comes to telling stories. If families are lucky, they have a grandparent who happily launches into the tale of how he met his beloved bride when he visited the church where she sang in the choir. Others may need a little prompting, and a simple “tell me about” question can jump start the conversation:

  • Tell me about your elementary school.
  • Tell me about your grandparents.
  • Tell me what you did for fun when you were my age.
  • Tell me about your favorite pet.
  • Tell me about your favorite meal that your own mother prepared.

Check with other relatives and friends

You may have had your parent or grandparent for your entire life, but they had their own lives long before you made your debut. Reach out to other relatives and friends to share their own stories, which you can then pose as questions – “Hey Grandma, Uncle Chuck told me he once tried to hide a kitten in his room. What did you think when you heard it mew?”

Pull out the photo albums

Remember the days before digital storage, when people tucked black-and-white photos carefully into the pages of a photo album? Find those photos and let them inspire the conversation. You may discover that Aunt Clara ran away with the circus when she was a young teen, or that Grandpa was best friends with someone famous. Look at the wedding pictures and find out who was in the wedding party. These were important friends and family members. Now is the time to discover why they played such an important role in the Big Day. You can assign younger members the task of finding some of these folks on social media and encouraging your loved one to reach out for an update.

Keep a record

Be ready to take lots of notes while your loved one is talking. If you’re not much of a note taker, put your smart phone to work. (Make sure first that you have enough memory available.) This is another great time to enlist the younger family members who may have a better grasp on technology and can ensure the phone doesn’t stop recording in the middle of an important memory.

Be patient. Your elderly relative may have memory lapses, or they may tell stories that are inconsistent with each other. Even if the story isn’t completely accurate, you’re hearing the version that is accurate in the storyteller’s brains, and that is important, too. Ask questions as needed. A simple “Tell me more” can yield another layer of information to an already compelling recollection.

Stories are family legacies. This year, when the plates are empty and the hearts are full, consider setting aside a time to learn more about the family events that led to today.

An Alarming Rise in Geriatric Suicide Numbers

An Alarming Rise in Geriatric Suicide Numbers

Nobody likes to think about suicide and older adults. We want to envision our loved ones living out their Golden years in comfortable settings, surrounded by friends and family members as they continue to make memories. We want them to be happy. But facts and figures paint a more unsettling picture. Suicide rates among people aged 75 and older are some of the highest in the country. Suicide attempts by seniors are also more likely to be successful. Older men are more likely to take their lives than older women, with white men over 85 being at the highest risk for suicide among all older adults.

What’s behind these sobering statistics? Why do some seniors find themselves fighting the darkness that leads them to this decision?

Loneliness and isolation

As people age, they may find themselves becoming more and more isolated. Children grow up and move away. Friends retire to the south. They may outlive their spouses, siblings, friends, or pets. If they are still driving, they prefer short trips to long drives. Those weekend jaunts that brought them so much pleasure are now a thing of the past.

Physical mobility issues can restrict even the simplest outing. Seniors may feel uncomfortable navigating the curbs. They may be embarrassed about the oxygen tank they’re carrying or the fact that they’re holding up traffic as they walk down the aisle to their favorite pew at church. The pandemic added another layer of isolation to an already lonely community. Although the world is much more open than it was a year ago, seniors may still feel uncomfortable venturing too far from home.

Depression and other mental health concerns

Many of today’s seniors were raised in a time where people were told to have a stiff upper lip and power through the blues. Yet depression in older adults remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. Many of the diseases associated with aging, including vascular diseases and diabetes, can increase the risk of depression through their physical and psychological effects on the brain. Anxiety disorders can also play a contributing role in suicide among older adults.

The loneliness and isolation mentioned above may exacerbate depression and other mental health concerns.

Aging concerns, physical ailments and pain

They say aging isn’t for the faint of heart. As the body slows down, many people experience painful changes, including arthritis, joint issues, back pain or trouble catching their breath. Some of these changes can be addressed through lifestyle changes and exercise – if the patient has access to a safe place to exercise or can easily modify their daily diets. Like their counterparts who battle depression, though, many seniors will try to power through the pain, afraid to face another hospital stay or weeks of rehabilitation after a hip or knee replacement.

Chronic pain affects not only the body, but the brain and the spirit as well. Seniors who spent their entire lives slaying the proverbial dragons that threatened their loved ones are now afraid to ask their loved ones for help. Their brave promises to never be a burden to their children echo in their minds, as reality shows that nearly everyone needs assistance sometimes.

Substance abuse

Again, the image of Grandpa playing with the grandkids clashes with the idea of seniors and substance abuse. Sadly, nearly 1 million people aged 65 and older live with a substance use disorder. Older brains may have difficulty metabolizing alcohol or other substances, making people more sensitive to their effects. Prescription medications can be abused or simply misused by a confused senior who forgets when he took his last painkiller. Such misuse can be a contributing factor to suicidal ideation among seniors.

The question of geriatric suicide has no easy answers. Seniors living alone can be particularly vulnerable if they are lonely or isolated. Today’s senior communities are designed to prioritize senior safety and health. Senior Living Advisor can help families find the right senior living setting for themselves or a loved one. You don’t have to do this alone. If you are interested in learning more about how Senior Living Advisor can help you on this journey, contact us now or call us at 317-973-5570.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All When It Comes to Senior Living Options

One Size Doesn’t Fit All When It Comes to Senior Living Options

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing that was one-size-fits-all? How did that work out for you? Just as a sweatshirt isn’t going to be a perfect fit for every body, senior living options must come in different shapes and sizes to meet the needs of their residents. The journey can be overwhelming, especially when you’re also dealing with health concerns or other issues of aging. Senior Living Advisor is here to walk this journey with you and find the senior living solution that fits you and your lifestyle.

What differentiates one senior living community from another? We look at a few factors below that you will want to consider to ensure you find the right fit for you.

Level of Care

Senior living communities are thriving, vibrant areas where seniors can live safely and as independently as possible. Residents have access to different levels of are, depending on where they live and what the community offers:

Independent Living communities are specifically set up for seniors to offer safe homes

with minimal assistance. Residents may have access to hospitality services like housekeeping, meals, or laundry as needed. Residents do not need regular medical care, but they may have call buttons in the event of a fall or other emergency.

Assisted Living provides help with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, medication management, or toileting. Most assisted living facilities offer different levels at different price points, depending on the resident’s current needs.

Long-term Care facilities are for seniors who need the highest level of medical care. They may be bedridden or require daily nursing care.

Memory Care facilities focus on residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. These facilities typically have a higher caregiver-to-patient ratio and feature security measures to keep residents safe.

Price Points

Senior Living comes at various price points, depending on where you live and what level of care you need. According to Caring.Com, assisted living in Hamilton County currently averages $3519 monthly. Medicare typically does not pay for assisted living, although it may cover a short stay in a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation services.

Look at your budget and consider what you’re already spending on your mortgage, utilities, internet access, groceries and more. Are you a veteran? You may be eligible for a monthly supplement to pay for senior living. It can be hard to let go of the family home but selling while the market is hot ensures you get the maximum amount of cash for that asset.

Some facilities have a set number of spaces set aside for Medicaid recipients. Most people are not eligible for Medicaid until they have exhausted all their financial assets.If you envision needing Medicaid at some point, you may want to ensure you’re in a community that accepts Medicaid. Otherwise, you may have to move again in the future.

Services

Senior living communities offer various services on-site to help residents with daily tasks and errands they used to take for granted. What services will you need? Will you need transportation for a doctor’s visit, for instance? Do you plan to shop for your own groceries and cook your own meals? Can you combine those home cooked meals with a meal plan offered by the community?

The level of medical care at different communities will vary as well. Some communities have a full staff of medical professionals who can monitor your health and assist you if you are not feeling well. Do you want to continue being treated by your primary care physician, who may only be able to see you in his or her office, or would you feel comfortable switching to the facility’s doctor who makes regular house calls?

Activities

Senior living communities are breaking the mold when it comes to what people are doing in their Golden Years. They may offer regular classes or lectures. Who knew you’d be able to take dance lessons at your new senior living home? Many communities host regular concerts or visiting choirs from local high schools. Some residents say it’s like being back on a college campus again!

Religious services may be an important part of your life, and a community that offers them on-site can be a good fit for someone who has spent their life engaged in a particular faith. Travel options may even exist for residents who have some exploring to do.

It’s up to each potential resident to decide how important activities will be when they move in. Some senior living residents take advantage of every club and event on the schedule, while others prefer to spend quiet time in their homes. There is no right or wrong answer, just the right answer for the right person.

What are the rules?

Each community has its own set of policies governing what residents can do. Some communities allow pets, which can be very important to owners. Some restrict visiting hours, which may not work for your loved ones who want to visit. Can residents bring guests to the dining room? Are overnight guests allowed? Can residents keep their cars on the premises? Find out the rules before you sign on the dotted line, so there are no surprises.

Finding the right fit

If this all seems overwhelming, don’t despair. The staff at Senior Living Advisor is already familiar with local senior living options and what they offer. We sit down with clients to become familiar with their needs before suggesting communities that could be a good fit. Nothing can compare to an in-person visit, where potential residents and their loved ones can tour the facilities, taste the food and get a feel for the residents and staff. Senior Living Advisor will walk beside you on this journey, arranging visits and accompanying clients to up to three communities for a tour and dining as appropriate.

Nothing is more important than your peace of mind and comfort as you choose your next home. Senior housing and care choices don’t have to be frightening, and they don’t have to be the same for every person. Let Senior Living Advisor help you make the right decisions for the best possible fit. Contact us now. You won’t be alone.