Amazing Stories of those who live past 100

Amazing Stories of those who live past 100There is actually an e-magazine called The Centenarian that concentrates on that demographic.  It is hard to believe but that section of the population is the fastest growing sector of the global population.

“In total numbers the United States has the most centenarians with current estimates as high as 72,000. If the population of centenarians continues to increase at its current rate of expansion there could be close to 1 million people of 100 years of age or more by 2050 residing in the US. “

There are about 450,000 people over 100 years-old worldwide right now and if current trends continue (a big if) the global population will reach 3 million by 2050.

If you would like hints on how to extend your life or what genetic and environmental characteristics do these long-living individuals have in common, check out the e-magazine thecentenarian

Below are some of the amazing things being done by those over 100 years old.

  • In February 2016 Virginia McLauren (106) danced in the White House with President Barak Obama.
  • In January 2014 Frenchman Robert Marchand (102) beat his own centenarian speed record and pedaled his bike around a velodrome, or indoor cycling track, a distance of 16.7 miles in one hour. That is over 16 miles an hour for a whole hour.  Many 40 year olds can’t bike that fast.
  • In March of 2014 Ephraim Engleman, (102) still sees patients.  He said, “You got to be happy and you got to be lucky. And you got to keep young, that’s important. And the way to do that, take my word for it, you just got to keep breathing. That is critical to longevity.”

So to live a long life, “Keep Breathing”… Doctor’s orders!

“The idea is to die young… as late as possible.”  Unknown

Amazing Stories of those who live past 100

Wisdom from the Dying

Wisdom from the DyingWisdom from the Dying – Four REALLY Important Things

So what have hospice workers learned about living. Day after day they care for those who are living their last days and moments. What do they hear over and over?

Four things tend to be the consistent advice from the dying:

  1. Ask for forgiveness for past transgressions. Say it like this: “Please forgive me.”
  2. Give forgiveness; don’t carry bitterness to your grave. “I forgive you.”
  3. Express your gratefulness. Thank those who have helped you along the way. “Thank you!”
  4. Let those you love know you love them. “I love you.”

Live all your days as if you may die that night.

Derived after viewing a speech by Dr. Ira Byock, MD

“In the blink of an eye, everything can change… so forgive often and love with all your heart. You many never get a second chance.” (unknown)

 

Embracing the change to assisted living

Facing a Move to Assisted Living?

Moving to Assisted Living is not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of a new phase in your life.

We have heard it said that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  Life is about learning to dance in the rain.    And that is so true when you are facing physical or mental decline and you need to make changes to adjust.

Embracing the change to assisted livingJust as in any challenging time of life, you can decide to smile, roll with the punches and spread joy, or you can frown, resist and be miserable.

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind…  Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what’s next. ”  Samuel Ullman

If it isn’t you that is moving, but you are moving a loved one and they are having a hard time accepting the change, you can help them by focusing on the positive and encouraging them.  You will need to remember that YOU cannot control how they respond.  All you can do is focus on YOUR attitude.  Instead of complaining about them, focus on your hope that they will learn to love their new life.  They will definitely have the opportunity to enjoy life more in a community.  You, as the care-giver can only control YOUR attitude.  So enjoy your part of this journey, this stage of YOUR life.

“The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.” Doug Larson

Embrace the change and vow to live life to the fullest with what capacity you have available to you.  With Assisted Living you will have more opportunities to encounter others and bring them a smile.  In an Assisted Living community you will have access to games and entertainment, mobility, meals, and gatherings.

“The truth: You have to lower your standards, accept what’s available to you, and become passionate about what’s available to you.” Mike Magnuson

You have lived all your life being independent.  Now you need some help.  It is just a part of living a long life.  You have succeeded in living this long.  Don’t stop enjoying life because health and ability has changed.  Grab for the gusto!  Smile and greet the new day.

Embracing the change to assisted living

 

End of life discussion

Let’s talk about the unspeakable…  Your Death.

“End?  No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path… one that we all must take.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Some die suddenly.  Yet for many the process is slow.  They move from mentally able into Alzheimer’s Disease or some other form of dementia.  Cancer, Heart Disease,  Lung Diseases  can all cause a slow decline when toward the end the patient is not fully aware or able to make good decisions.

Sometimes the line for when to stop treatment and to begin releasing into death is not easy to see or recognize.  A good book on this topic of end of life decisions and treatment is Being Mortal.

Very often in a long illness or a long life, our cognition goes before our body.  That is why it is so imperative to have the dreaded end-of-life discussions sooner rather than later.

Later may be too late.

If we all must die at some point, then we all should complete a living will because if we die slowly, and IF we lose cognitive ability or the ability to communicate.  We need to make sure that our views about how we want to be treated in our last days is carried out.

LIVING WILL – Read it, complete it, Discuss it.

  • Get a copy of a living will. This is a paper that discusses treatments that you want or don’t want toward the end of your life.  Things like a feeding tube, IV for hydration, etc.
  • Discuss it with your family members and those who may be in the position of helping you in the end.
  • Take it to your Doctor, show it to them and ask if they will be able to honor those wishes or if they would enforce their OWN agenda/morals/ethics in your last weeks. If they can honor your wishes, make sure a copy is put in your medical files at the doctor’s office and the hospital you would most likely be taken to for treatment.
  • Keep an end of life file. In this file should be your living will, your regular will, a list of your bank and investment accounts and any login information, your family and lawyer’s contact information, any other information you want to share about your last desires.

“In the blink of an eye, everything can change.  So forgive often and love with all your heart.  You may never get a second chance.”  Unknown

Parkinson’s Awareness Month, 5 Things You Should Know

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  So it is time to learn a few things about the disease.

NUMBER 1

“Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over age 60,” states the Michael J. Fox organization.

While the average age at onset is 60, people have been diagnosed as young as 18.

NUMBER 2

Testing for Parkinson’s disease is not definitive.  This means the rate of misdiagnosis is relatively high, especially when the diagnosis is made by a non-specialist.

NUMBER 3

The number of people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) varies.  Recent research estimates that at least one million people in the United States have PD.

NUMBER 4

Currently research is showing that Parkinson’s can be genetically passed on or caused by environmental exposure to toxin(s).  But there is no definitive proof.

NUMBER 5

The single biggest risk factor is getting older.  We have heard it said, “You have to put up with the symptoms of aging if you are going to live a long life.”

Research continues to find associations, but not causation.  For example: smoking; caffeine intake; pesticide exposure; and head injury have been found to be associated with PD.

As the symptoms increase, victims will need the help and support of family and friends.  A comforting community like Kiva Assisted Living, can provide the social interaction every human needs while providing compassionate assistance with the tasks of daily living.

To learn more, visit the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Coloring, Calming Activity for Those with Dementia

Coloring books for adults is trending right now.  Some studies are showing a slight calming and meditative effect of coloring shapes found in nature.  These images are called Mandala.

Coloring, Calming Activity for Those with Dementia

A 2011 Japanese study showed that those with dementia that started coloring had a 10% increase in their quality of life scale.

Finding an activity for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a difficult task.   And the images in many of these mandala coloring books may be too complex for most dementia patients.

This image may be more manageable for someone with dementia.

Coloring, Calming Activity for Those with Dementia

Or this:

Coloring, Calming Activity for Those with Dementia

Abilities change as a person progresses and more parts of the brain disappear. We do not want to put our loved ones in a situation where they would feel that they have failed.

Simplifying the picture can help.  Framing and hanging pictures, give you and the person with Alzheimer’s a sense of accomplishment.

For ideas on other activities to do with your loved-one with dementia visit:

http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_101_activities.asp

We at Kiva Assisted Living have found that even unraveling sweaters, dusting a table, or combing each other’s hair can be calming for someone with later stages of dementia. If you would like a tour of our facility to see our secure memory units or assisted living apartments, please contact us.

There are more free coloring pages to print out from your computer.  Visit Pinterest or coloringpages69.com.

Venereal Disease On the Rise in Seniors

Venereal Disease On the Rise in Seniors

According to the CDC, cases of syphilis and chlamydia are on the rise in senior citizens in the U.S.A.

Why?  Seniors are living longer and healthier lives, they are more active in many ways.  And along with a more active lifestyles, they have access to erectile dysfunction drugs.

Syphilis cases have risen 52% and chlamydia cases have risen 32% since 2007.

Many post-menopausal women think that condom use is unimportant because pregnancy is not an issue.  But older people have weaker immune systems and skin and tissues become thinner and more apt to tear easily, exposing the blood to any pathogens.

Medicare offers free screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and provides low-cost treatment for those who test positively for an STD.   Doctors and Nurses should include discussing STDs with seniors as part of their healthcare and wellness visits.  Education is key to building awareness and taking wise precautions is key to reducing the number of new cases.

Downsizing to an Assisted Living Facilty

How can you make a smaller space feel like home?

A new book coming out by on January 5, 2015 by Marni Jamison documents how to sort through all the stuff in the family home and downsize into a much smaller home in Independent or Assisted Living Apartment or a Nursing home. Downsizing the Family Home contains pointers that will help families decide what to keep, what to take.

Downsizing to an Assisted Living Facilty

“Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go,” comes out from Sterling Publishing Jan. 5, and chronicles how to sift through a parent’s belongings as they move to smaller quarters. (Marni Jameson.)

  1. It is tempting to keep too much. If you must, do a storage facility for those items you can’t part with yet, but that will not fit in the space you are moving to.
  2. Try to recreate the look and feel of their previous home by using their belongings.
  3. Think about the items and how they will be used in the new place. Put those items used most in easy to access places.
  4. Don’t crowd the space. Remember that there are common areas to sit when guests visit. If the space is too small for more than one chair or loveseat don’t try to add more.
  5. A standing or table lamp will add lighting that is warm and cozy, like home. The over-head lights can make the space feel institutional.
  6. Keep walkways wide enough for walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. If you want rugs, secure the edges down with carpet tape to avoid a tripping hazard.
  7. The rooms in the new home will most likely be painted a neutral color. Bring some familiar colorful things with you. Crazy patterns may confuse someone with dementia, keep patterns simple. Soothing warm colors is best.
  8. Remember the afghan or the shawl or lap quilt to keep them warm, and display it over the arm of a chair or the end of the bed.
  9. Pictures of course. Trigger good memories with pictures and wall art from the family home.

Our staff at Kiva Assisted Living are available to advise you on how best to make the transition for your loved one.

If your loved-one has dementia it is best to have them otherwise occupied while you quickly move those items that will make the new place feel like home.  Set up their new apartment first with familiar objects and then bring them in.  Visit often in the first week while they transition into the activities, facilities, and social interactions that make Kiva Assisted Living a comfortable and enjoyable home.