Category Archives: Senior Health

How Daily Activities Affect the Holistic Health of Seniors

Routine keeps a person motivated and active. Your daily activities change and evolve as you go through life, moving from the structured schedule of school to the predictable rhythm of adult working life. Once you retire, you might suddenly find yourself with all the time in the world but nothing to do with it. That’s why it’s important for people to maintain a schedule after leaving the workforce, especially as you enter old age. Not only will it help stave off boredom and listlessness, but it will also have a positive effect on your overall health.

It all comes down to caring for yourself from a holistic viewpoint. Some people might have doubts when they hear about holistic care, but we aren’t talking about herbal remedies or other kinds of alternative medicine. When you look at health through a holistic lens, you look at how all parts of life affect wellness. We have seen firsthand how a busy social calendar and vibrant community can benefit our residents, but don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few of the ways daily activities can help the health of seniors.

Maintain Mental Faculties

One of the biggest concerns for seniors is maintaining mental capabilities. Even if you aren’t dealing with an illness like Alzheimer’s or dementia, advanced age can cause a decline in a person’s cognitive function. Daily activities give you an opportunity to exercise your grey matter by challenging yourself and learning new skills. Frequent social interaction through activities also helps keep the mind sharp, giving you the opportunity to interact and engage with the world.

For those who are managing a cognitive impairment, a regular schedule of activities can help maintain the predictability and stability that helps keep you planted in the present. Even if you may not be aware of the schedule from day-to-day, going through a daily routine can unconsciously help keep a person grounded. By participating in regular daily activities, you can work to maintain your faculties and prevent the onset of cognitive disorders.

Lower Stress and Anxiety

While you may be concerned about your physical and mental health as you age, you should also be mindful of maintaining your emotional health. The loss of routine and schedule can leave some people feeling directionless. This is especially true for seniors who need daily assistance in their lives. When you’re dependent on another person to meet your usual needs, worrying that they won’t be met can become a frequent source of anxiety.

Daily activities can help reduce this kind of stress, providing a reliable schedule you can depend on. In addition to helping to reduce anxiety, regular daily activities can also help prevent depression from developing. When you’re socializing with friends on a regular schedule, you maintain positive bonds and relationships that leave you in a better mood.

Keep a Sense of Control and Security

Seniors that move into an assisted living community can sometimes feel they’ve lost control over their own lives. It can be a frustrating feeling, going from the freedom you’re used to in adulthood to having to depend on other people for your basic needs. That loss of control can also make you feel less secure in your life, not knowing or having an influence on what’s going to happen from one day to the next. Daily activities can make a huge difference in the level of control you have over your life, along with helping you to feel more secure in your choices for the future. By setting your own routine, you can maintain control over your life and feel comfortable with both your long- and short-term future.

Sleep More Soundly

If you’ve ever struggled with insomnia, you know your sleep schedule is incredibly delicate, able to be affected by the smallest changes. One of the things with the largest impact on your circadian rhythm is your daily schedule, helping your body naturally sense when it’s time to wake up and fall asleep. When your routine changes or you lose your routine entirely, your sleep schedule can likewise be thrown off.

Updating your schedule with a new set of daily activities can ensure you keep your rhythm in time, helping you get restful sleep reliably. In addition to your routine, feelings of isolation or loneliness can further lead to insomnia. With an active social calendar, you can maintain your friendships and sleep more soundly.

Improved Physical Health

Daily activities and socialization don’t just help with your emotional and mental wellbeing, they can help improve and maintain your physical health. Studies show that people with strong social connections can be more physically active, staying committed to fitness goals and exercising more frequently. With encouragement from a group of friends, people tend to take better care of themselves. Beyond that, your body also functions better when you’re out and about every day. Emotional wellness has an impact on physical health even if you’re not aware of it, leading to a stronger immune system, among other benefits.

It all goes back to the idea of taking care of yourself from a holistic point of view. If you maintain your emotional and mental health through a schedule of daily activities, you can see an improvement in your physical health as well. With all your health needs met, you can look forward to a longer and more enjoyable life.

It is our mission to provide the right level of care for each and every person in our communities. We’re firm believers in the holistic approach, providing not only the medical care our residents might need but also working hard to meet their mental and emotional needs as well. With our high-quality, modern residences, schedule of fun and engaging opportunities, and thriving social communities, we’re proud to offer an experience to you and your loved ones that is second to none.

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When Seniors Bully Seniors: How To Handle Bullying In Senior Living Communities

We welcome back guest writing Jess Walter to The Purple Jacket.

When most people think of bullying, they automatically picture children picking on other children. However, some bullies don’t outgrow their bad habits — even in old age. Senior bullying is a growing phenomenon; 10 to 20 percent of nursing home residents report being bullied by their peers. Though the problem has been around for years, it’s only recently that caregivers have started getting training on how to recognize the signs of senior bullying and how to intervene.

What Does Senior Bullying Look Like?

Bullying among seniors looks a lot like bullying among younger age groups, manifesting in different ways. It can involve physical abuse, verbal bullying (such as name-calling and taunting), or more subtle interactions like social ostracizing and gossiping. However, it’s important to note that not all combative behavior is bullying. Some individuals lash out when they’re frustrated or upset, especially when they are no longer able to communicate effectively. This occurs more frequently with seniors who have dementia.

Like younger victims of bullying, bullied seniors are significantly affected by this problematic behavior, with bullying negatively impacting mental and physical wellbeing. Common reactions to senior bullying include depression, suicidal ideation, self-isolation, and decreased ability to carry out daily activities. The impact of bullying also extends to bystanders. Individuals who witness bullying experience guilt for not intervening, which often leads to reduced self-esteem. And when bullying is allowed to continue, this fosters an atmosphere of fear and insecurity, which can lead to even more bullying and hostility.

How Can Caregivers Intervene?

First, it’s important that caregivers understand why bullying occurs. More often than not, these senior bullies began bullying when they grew younger, and just haven’t outgrown their problematic behaviors. They usually lack empathy and have very few healthy social relationships. Bullies can also torment others because they feel the need for control, which becomes more pronounced in old age, especially in communal living situations.

To prevent senior bullying incidents from occurring, caregivers can consult residents and staff to develop rules for everyone’s behavior. Caregivers can create a secure environment by being consistent and take bullying complaints seriously, firmly telling bullies that their behavior is not acceptable. It’s also a good idea to hold regular group discussions where residents can share their problems about the community and come up with solutions to address these.

Schedule meetings with a social worker or therapist so that bullies can vent their frustrations and learn how to manage their feelings in a healthy way. Bullies who pick on others to feel in control could feel better when given some responsibilities, such as forming a committee or heading some activities. Caregivers can also help bullies make better social relationships by enabling them to express their wants and needs respectfully and positively.

Because many bullies struggle with a lack of empathy, caregivers can come up with programs to encourage kind and caring behavior. For example, you could give prizes to residents who treat people with exceptional kindness and caring. This will encourage residents to treat others with kindness and respect, paving the way to a peaceful and happy community.

Jess Walter is a freelance health and nutrition writer who spent over a decade working in the healthcare industry.  You can contact Jess at

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Be Part of the Solution: Become a Senior Home Safety Specialist!

One of the things I value the most is my friends and colleagues. So when I come across something that has impressed me, I want to share it with my trusted friends and colleagues. As part of my continued advocacy for family caregivers and seniors, I recently I had the opportunity to take and review The Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course from Age Safe America. I was quite impressed! Here is my review of the course:

” The Age Safe America course is extremely well organized and informative. The instructors are knowledgeable and provide clear examples for the student to achieve success. There was not one glitch with the software which is amazing considering the amount of audio and video files attached to the training course. The idea of the point system and badges is brilliant because it provides the user with visual goals and a sense of accomplishment. Well Done!”.

Christopher MacLellan, M.A., “The Bow Tie Guy” Caregiver Advocate, Founder of the Whole Care Network

Below is a more detailed description of the course.

The Senior Hsenior-home-safety-specialistv2-1ome Safety Specialist™ course empowers participants with actionable ways to better help educate clients, older adults and their family members on the serious issues of home safety, fall prevention, financial exploitation and personal safety. This comprehensive 6-hour self-paced audio/video course offers the only certificate of its kind to individuals within the senior services industry. This important training consists of a 10-module self-study educational program with a quiz after each section that participants must pass in order to continue. Upon successfully completing the entire course, you will receive an attractive Certificate along with a digital copy of the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ emblem to use in your own marketing efforts.

Approximately one-third of adults age 65 years or older fall in their home each year, resulting in injury, long-term disability and and premature loss of independence. By the year 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost related to these kinds of injuries to be nearly $60 Billion annually. In an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs Age Safe America now offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course.

In an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs Age Safe America now offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course.

What is Covered in This Online Course: 

– Fall Prevention Myths and Solutions

– Fire Safety Precautions and Solutions

– Aging-in Place Home Modifications

– Mobility and Accessibility Issues

– Home and Senior Safety Technologies

– Considerations for Alzheimer’s/Dementia

– Crime Prevention and Personal Safety

– Senior Exploitation, Identity Theft and Scams

– Communication with Older Adults and Family

– Performing a Complete Home Safety Assessment

No matter what role you might play in serving caregivers and seniors, I highly recommend you taking the Senior Home Safety Specialist™  course!

To learn more about Age Safe America and how to register for the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course follow this link

Be sure to enter Coupon Code “bowtieguy” to save $20.00 off the cost of the course.

Have a group that wants to take the course? Contact Steven Bailey at Age Safe America directly at for special group rates. Be sure to tell them the Bow Tie Guy sent you!


Filed under Age Safe America, Caregiving, Senior Health


We’ve been discharged from the hospital!


I’ll be back later today on ‘The Purple Jacket’ with further details.

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Filed under Advocate, Caregiver Stress, Inter-generational Relationships, LGBT Caregiving, LGBT Couples, LGBT Seniors, Senior Health

Home Care Suites Featured on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’


On Tuesday  June 25 at 1:00 pm (est) I am pleased to welcome Henry and Hank Moseley from Home Care Suites  to my show,  Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio. To listen to our show live, simply click here! 


Home Care Suites offer a unique and affordable solutions when it comes to senior housing. The Home Care Suite or ‘granny flat’ is a custom assembled structure placed on a caretaker’s home property.  Home Care Suites units are built for senior living with a focus on accessibility.  As an option to an expensive retirement home or living alone,  Home Care Suites keep families close and independent, while providing a financial solution for quality senior living!  Through our conversation with Henry and Hank, we will all learn how to ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’


Henry Moseley, Jr


Henry Moseley, III

To visit Home Care Suites website, simply click here! 

To listen to our show live on Tuesday, simply click here!

Can’t listen live to our show on Tuesday…NO Worries!!! All our shows are archived for your listening convenience by simply clicking here! 

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Filed under Be A Healthy Caregiver, Caregiving, Senior Health, Senior Housing

Be A Healthy Caregiver on Blog Talk Radio

Today on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on  Blog Talk Radio, we had a great conversation with Nancy Allegrezza, RN, Director of Marketing with Telikin Computers.  Telikin is the easy to use, all in one, touchscreen computer designed with seniors in mind. Some seniors have never become familiar with computer technology and may be intimidated by it.  Telikin helps reduce those fears. To listen to our show, click here. (Please pardon the technological problems at the start of the show)

For information on how to purchase a Telikin Computer, please click the icon below.

Join us next Tuesday, November 20th  at 1:00pm (est) for another session on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ with our guest, Fr. Larry Richardt who is a retired Catholic Priest and Spiritual Director  who also acts as a caregiver for his 95-year-old mother.  Our conversation will focus on how developing a healthy spirituality can play  an important role in being a Healthy Caregiver.   Our November 20th show can be accessed by clicking here.

You see…We Might have Cancer, but Cancer Does Not have us! 

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Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Blog Talk Radio, Bow Tie Guy, Live Love Laugh, Senior Health, Spirituality

The Telikin PC for the ‘The Little One’

When we decided to start looking for a new computer for ‘The Little One’ it was my goal to find a product that was user-friendly and with little maintenance.  I know you must think that I was dreaming!  Yet I was delightfully surprised when I learned of a computer that was specifically designed for seniors;  the Telikin computer.

Telikin is the easy to use, all in one, touchscreen computer designed with seniors in mind. Some seniors have never become familiar with computer technology and may be intimidated by computers and/or reluctant to use one. This results in a segment of the population being left out in an increasingly technological world.

We are not ‘high-tech‘ people, we are more ‘user friendly’ and that is exactly what Telikin offers to us.  We have tried laptops, we have tried connecting the PC to the large screen TV; Tablet’s well, forget about that as ‘The Little One’ tells me “the screen is too small on those things”, he will have nothing of them! Because of its easy access to the programs that are important to ‘The Little One’, Telikin seems to be a perfect fit for his computer needs.

‘The Little One’ at the Telikin Computer

“The Little One’ at the Telikin Computer

‘The Little One’ at the Telikin Computer

‘The Little One’ at the Telikin Computer

Coming from the caregiver’s point of view, I am constantly searching for items that have a positive impact for ‘The Little One.’   I know that I have found it with the Telikin Computer when he said, “This is really easy to use, I can find my favorite programs just by touching the screen. I am a computer illiterate and this computer opens me up to the 21st century; I find it very easy to use.”     For those who know ‘The Little One’, you know compliments from him  are sometime hard to come by; I am astonished!

What has impressed me about the Telikin PC was the ease of the set up and how quickly I was able to connect the computer to my wireless network.  The computer is user-friendly and easy to maneuver.  When it comes to technology and computers, each one of us has different skill levels,  what often frustrates people is when something that can appear to  be easy, becomes hard.  That is not the case with our Telikin Computer;  as easy as it was to set up the computer, it was just as easy to get ‘The Little One’ up and running on the device.  Of course, those wonderful video instructions were a big help too!

I will leave it to the ‘tech geeks’ to talk about the amount of memory and all ‘that behind the screen stuff ‘ that geeks like to talk about.  (By the way, the amount of memory is more than sufficient!)  As a caregiver, I want to surround myself with an excellent team to help in the Caregiving process.  The computer provides a sense of independence for ‘The Little One’ and many other seniors like him.  In essence, the computer is a part of our Caregiving team.    As a Caregiver I feel like I am partnering with a company that is focused  and understands the needs of seniors, not just another computer company.   Telikin understands what we are going through as caregivers and has developed a product that far exceeded my expectation.

I invited you to visit the Telikin senior computer website for more information.

 You see…We might have Cancer…but Cancer Does Not Have Us!



Filed under Bow Tie Guy, caregiver, Caregiving, Senior Health

Catching the surf



October 27, 2012 · 2:19 pm

LGBT Aging through the lens of Gen Silent

It’s never too late to give up our prejudices.Henry David Thoreau

You might remember an earlier blog post where I talked about a question that was posed to me by a good (straight) friend of mine, his question was simple: ‘What’s different about LGBT Caregiving.  In that blog post, I wrote  “ A very profound question that is easy to answer, yet difficult to explain.   “Caregiving in and of itself is the same for every couple, you simply care for the one you love.   The difference for the LGBT caregiver is when we have to interact with systems outside of our home that are out of our control.”

As an LGBT caregiver and advocate, my response to that important question pales in comparisons to the magnificent and gut wrenching documentary, Gen Silent.     The real life stories of love, commitment, discernment, hope, happiness and despair told through the lens of “Gen Silent” are gut wrenching, yet important for all audiences in order to understand the plight of LGBT seniors in America. Producer/Director Stu Maddux does a splendid job in piecing together these LGBT pioneers who helped paved the way for what we know today as Gay Pride.

We should all be indebted to them.  

Throughout their life, LGBT seniors have experienced discrimination solely for being ‘different’. LGBT Seniors are one of the most underserved communities in our nation.  Today’s LGBT seniors grew up in a time where they were told that homosexuality was not only a mental illness, but also a crime!

Systems can be unfair, yet pioneers like those in this marvelous film are the ones who help foster change.   Out of the shadows and into our hearts, this documentary provides  viewers with critical examples of why NO senior should be left behind.  This issue is not a local issue, it is a universal issue.  Somewhere along the line in our discussion about critical issues that face our society, we have lost the ability to look and talk about these issues empathically.

No matter what side of the fence you are on in regards to gay marriage; Equality in not a privilege, it is a basic human right.  Through the lens of Gen Silent” you will see the true meaning of love and why equality and equal rights are so important in our society today because everyone deserves a perfect sunset to their life.

Kudo’s to Stu Maddux and the staff at the LGBT Aging Project for a job well done.   Thank You to Ellen Wender of Creative Arts Enterprises and Treece Financial Group for taking the initiative to bring this documentary to South Florida.  Thank You to Diane Lade of the Sun-Sentinel for writing such a superb article on “Gen Silent” how nursing homes can push gay seniors back into the closet.

For information on how you can bring “Gen Silent” to your community, click here to visit the films website and ‘like’ them on Facebook, too!

To learn how your agency can develop LGBT-sensitive policies, train staff,  create welcoming environments, and receive CEU’s visit SunServe Social Services.

“We might have cancer…but cancer does not have us!”


Filed under Advocate, Bow Tie Guy, caregiver, Caregiving, Dialogue, Gay Caregiving, Gay Seniors, Inter-generational Relationships, Intergenerational, LGBT Caregiving, LGBT Couples, LGBT Seniors, Senior Health

Obama Administration Participates in 2012 International AIDS Conference

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Good morning,

Last month, the 19th International AIDS Conference came to the U.S. for the first time since 1990 – thanks to bipartisan action by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush and the Congress to lift the ban on people living with HIV entering the United States.

While much work remains to be done, we all look forward to the day when there are no more panels to add to the quilt. Read more about the Obama Administration’s commitment to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Gautam Raghavan
Office of Public Engagement
The White House

Dr. Jill Biden views sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with Julie Rhoad, President and CEO of The NAMES Project Foundation, at The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. July 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Obama Administration Participates in 2012 International AIDS Conference

Throughout the week, senior Obama Administration Officials participated in the Conference, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, and Office of National AIDS Policy Director Grant Colfax. In addition, President Obama recorded a video message to the Conference attendees and the White House hosted a reception to honor people living with HIV and thank the men and women who have been fighting with dignity on the front lines against this disease.

Here at the White House, a section of the AIDS Quilt was displayed in the East Wing so that the hundreds of visitors that walk through the halls of the building each day can stop and remember the human toll that this disease has taken, and how far we’ve come as a country in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

And finally, a group of senior Administration officials – including Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and OPM Director John Berry – reflected upon the impact of HIV/AIDS in their own lives.

Watch Live: Third Annual Bullying Prevention Summit

Next week, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students will host the Third Annual Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Defense, Agriculture, the Interior, the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the National Council on Disability.

The summit will focus on ensuring that anti-bullying efforts are coordinated and based on the best available research. Panels will highlight the connection between bullying and suicide, and ways to help students who bully others. Keynote speakers will include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the First Lady of Maryland Katie O’Malley.

Watch the entire event live, from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EDT on Monday, August 6 and Tuesday, August 7, at

Tweet of the Week

In Case You Missed It

 First Lady Michelle Obama is picked up by U.S. Olympic wrestler Elena Pirozhkova during a greet with Team USA Olympic athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, at the U.S. Olympic Training Facility at the University of East London in London, England, July 27, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

July 31: President Obama Honors Early-Career Scientists and Engineers
July 31: An Issue Beyond Debate: Congress Should Act Now to Protect Women
July 30: First Lady Michelle Obama Leads Presidential Delegation to the Olympics
July 26: President Obama Pushes House of Representatives on Middle Class Tax Cuts
July 26: Marking the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
July 23: Remembering Sally Ride: President Obama Salutes an American Hero

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Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Bow Tie Guy, Caregiving, Gay Caregiving, Gay Seniors, Health, Intergenerational, LGBT, LGBT Caregiving, LGBT Couples, LGBT Seniors, Senior Health