Assisted Living vs Independent Living

Assisted Living vs Independent Living

What exactly is the difference between assisted living and independent living?

Assisted Living can be defined as resort-style living with care.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living vs Independent Living

Assisted living is great for seniors who no longer want to live alone and maintain a home, but want to live an active, social lifestyle. Seniors in assisted living are usually active but may need assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and meal preparation. Communities do have nursing available should you require it and some have it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some of the amenities of an assisted living community are:

  • Three meals a day, in a restaurant-style atmosphere
  • Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
  • Happy hours
  • Activities based on holidays and residents interests
  • Laundry, housekeeping, maintenance
  • Spacious apartments (some with small kitchenettes)
  • Wider doorways and ramps to allow easier access for wheelchairs and walkers

Assisted living is private pay, but once you factor in everything you receive, it costs about the same as living in your house. To find out more, check out my other blog, Aging in Place.

The stigma of having to be old to live in an assisted living community is gone. There are so many younger seniors deciding to move into assisted living for peace of mind, socialization and security.

Some as young as 60 years old are moving in because they may have lost a spouse and can’t get around like they used to and are in fear of living alone.

Independent Living

Independent Living

Independent living is great for seniors who no longer want to live alone and maintain a home, but want to live an active, social lifestyle as well.

However, there is no medical or nursing assistance available for those who may need it; independent living focuses more on convenience and lifestyle.

Seniors in independent living communities may be able to prepare their own meals or order meals, but will not have the nutritional benefits available to those in assisted living.

Independent living is more for the seniors who do not wish to maintain their home and are still able to perform the activities of daily living.

Most independent living communities offer aging in place, where as your health declines you can move into assisted living without leaving the same community.

Independent living communities are only regulated if they receive funds from Medicare or Medicaid and most of them do not receive these funds. However, they are inspected by the state semi-annually and any staff must meet certain criteria.

Some of the amenities of an independent living community are as follows:

  • Maintaining your independence
  • A community of your peers and no children
  • Security
  • Maintenance-free lifestyle
  • Active calendar of social events
  • Ability to age in place

What is the cost of independent living compared to assisted living?

Independent living costs are generally lower than assisted living because you don’t require any care. However, should you decide to live somewhere like Margaritaville, I hear it can be pretty costly.

At Assisted Living Made Simple we recommend someplace you will be able to age in place because we don’t want you to move again.

Uprooting a second time, especially if your health is declining, can be extremely difficult on everyone involved. It’s much easier if you already live in the same community and you only have to move from one area to another.

When should you move from independent living to assisted living?

The move to assisted living depends on the decline in your health. Some independent living communities contract with home health companies who will come in and check on your well-being. However, should the time come when you are unable to perform the activities of daily living, such as, bathing, dressing, medication management, or should you require more assistance but not hospitalization, it may be time to move into assisted living where you will receive the care and assistance you need.

How to decide which is right for you.

If you are still active and in good health then you will probably want to choose independent living, but please choose a place where they offer aging in place. This is so important, we really don’t want you to move again. Also, try not to break the bank on your community because if you move in early and live a long life, you just may need that money for assisted living should your health decline (hopefully it won’t). Always have a plan!!!

Recipes for Seniors to Beat the Summer Heat

Summer Recipes for Seniors - Broccoli Salad

Summertime in Florida is in full swing and with all the summer activities seniors can do, one of those is to cook delicious food without heating up the kitchen.

If you live in Florida you know it’s just too darn hot to cook anything!

What do you do?

Here are some recipes that are perfect to help beat the summer heat!

How about a wonderful salad, here’s an easy broccoli crunch salad; the best part is . . . NO HEAT REQUIRED!


For the dressing:
⅔ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
½ teaspoon superfine sugar (granulated is fine)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

For the salad:
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets you can also trim, peel and cube the stems or reserve for another use at another time
5 rashers cooked bacon, chopped
½ cup chopped and dry roasted cashews
⅓ cup Zante currants
¼ cup diced red onions, optional
1 green onion, thinly sliced


  1. Place all dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
  2. Place broccoli florets into a large mixing bowl and top with dressing. Fold together until fully combined.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and fold together. Adjust seasonings. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
    4. Give salad a good toss before serving.

Doesn’t that sound real good?

Please if you make it, bring some by our office so I can test it out for you and make sure you did it correctly!!

View Story and Images about this Salad Here!

Got shrimp?


Let’s get some & have some Hawaiian-style crispy garlic butter shrimp!



1 cup flour
3 tablespoons smoked paprika, divided
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
24 jumbo shrimp, deveined and cleaned with shells and tails intact swimming legs removed, optional
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 tablespoons salted butter
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chopped pineapple for serving
4 cups steamed white rice for serving


  1. In a shallow bowl combine flour, 2 tablespoons paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder and whisk together.
  2. Lightly season shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides. Carefully dredge each shrimp in flour mixture until fully coated. Shake off any excess coating so each shrimp is only covered in a thin layer of flour mixture.
  3. Place shrimp onto a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.
  4. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  5. Add half shrimp into the hot skillet and pan-fry for about 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Transfer back onto the cooling rack, add remaining oil to the skillet and repeat with remaining shrimp.
  7. Once all shrimp has been pan-fried and placed back onto the cooling rack, clean the skillet.
  8. Place cleaned skillet back over medium-high heat and melt butter. Add remaining tablespoon paprika and garlic to melted butter and saute for 30 seconds. Add all shrimp back to the skillet and toss together until all shrimp is well coated. Saute for 2 to 4 minutes or until all shrimp has just cooked through. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  9. To serve: Place a bed of rice onto a plate or platter with some bite-sized chunks of pineapple. Pour crispy, garlic-butter shrimp and any excess butter over rice and pineapple and finish with green onions. Serve.


View Story and Images about this Salad Here!

Here’s another great salad for the vegetarians out there:



1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
7 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Flaky sea salt
2 pounds mixed medium and large tomatoes, cut into thin slices and/or wedges
8 ounces mozzarella, room temperature, torn into pieces
Coarsely ground black pepper
Small basil leaves and toasted country bread (for serving)


  1. Toss cherry tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt.
  2. Arrange tomato slices on a platter, slightly overlapping; season generously with salt. Arrange mozzarella over tomatoes; lightly season mozzarella with salt. Spoon cherry tomatoes over salad and drizzle with 6 Tbsp. oil; season with pepper. Let stand for 30 minutes to let flavors meld and release juices from tomatoes and mozzarella.
  3. Top salad with basil and additional salt and oil, if desired. Serve with bread alongside.

View Story and Images about this Salad Here!

Now that you have all the recipes, please make them and drop some by the office for the taste tester.

I’m ALWAYS happy to accommodate and help out in any way I possibly can. See you soon!!

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Organizations/Resources That Help the Elderly and Caregivers

Resources for the Elderly and Caregivers

We receive calls every day asking who can help me with this or that? Well, there are organizations and companies that cater to our seniors.

We have a lot of them already listed over on our Resources page but I wanted to share some that you may not know about here.

Resources for the Elderly and Caregivers 

Florida Ombudsman Program

The mission of the Florida Ombudsman Program is to improve the quality of life for all Florida long-term care residents by advocating for and protecting their health, safety, welfare, and rights.

They are advocates for those living in nursing homes, assisted living communities, and adult family care homes.

All their services are confidential and free of charge.

You can find information about resident’s rights and training on their website. You can also find out how to volunteer, read news and publications, watch videos, and file a complaint.

If you click on their links tab, you will find a wealth of information there as well.

Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)

Want to know if a facility has had any violations or who owns it?

The AHCA’s  mission is “Better Health Care for all Floridians.”

They are responsible for administering the Florida Medicaid program, licensure and regulation of Florida’s health facilities, and providing information to Floridians about the quality of care they receive.

On the AHCA website, you can find out about a certain community, such as if they are licensed, how many violations they received, and who the owner/owners are.

You can also report a facility if you feel the facility is putting residents at risk.


AARP’s mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age.

Their website provides a wide variety of services from help with tax preparation to free online classes. You can find just about anything you’re looking for on their website and it’s all free as well.

Senior Relocation Services

Senior Relocation Services are professional movers who cater exclusively to the senior community.

They have extensive experience in doing the physical move for families when downsizing – from an assessment of what will fit into the new home to assisting in final set up – making the move less stressful.

They are aware of Relocation Trauma and are mindful of it during the whole process. Comfort and familiarity is their goal.

Services include organizing, packing/unpacking, developing floor plans, home staging and more.

They will also take care of the move for you, eliminating the extra step.

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Caregiver Support Group

Assisted Living Made Simple holds three (3) Alzheimer’s/Dementia caregiver support groups a month.

They are monthly education and support groups designed to provide emotional, education, and social support to those who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.

We have one in Port Orange on the first Friday of each month, one in New Smyrna on the second Tuesday of each month, and one on the third Tuesday of each month in Ormond Beach.

Our support groups are amazing and caregivers feel so much lighter and relieved after attending a group. They realize they are not alone.

Please visit our website at and click on the resources for more helpful links. You are always welcome to call us at 386-847-2322 for more direction as well.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 800-345-7311 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey. 

Getting Paid as a Family Caregiver

Getting paid as a family caregiver

When you are caring for an older adult, it can become very expensive.

There are so many out-of-pocket expenses for such things as medical supplies, prescription drug copays, home health care, and many more.

Some people had to leave their jobs or cut their hours to care for their loved ones.

What if you could get paid as a caregiver?

Getting paid as a family caregiver

It is possible; there are government programs that exist to help those caring for an older person. They are not available everywhere and not everyone qualifies, but you may qualify, so it’s worth checking into.

Medicaid Programs

There are Medicaid programs that give money to seniors to hire an in-home caregiver. The caregiver could be a family member or friend; it doesn’t have to be a professional.

Florida has its own eligibility requirements, as does each state, they also all have different names for the program.

If the senior is accepted into the program, the amount of money they receive will depend on an assessment of need and the average wage for home health care aides. You have to apply for this through your local Medicaid office.

State Programs

Some states have programs that pay caregivers for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid or for those with specific needs, such as traumatic brain injuries. To find out if your loved one qualifies, check with the local Medicaid office or department of health.

You can find out all about Medicaid and ask questions on the AHCA website, by following this link.

Veterans Programs

There are also programs available through the Veterans Department.

If you are a Veteran or the spouse of a deceased veteran you may be entitled to money you don’t even know about for your care.

One program is called Veteran directed home and community-based services and it helps Veterans of any age who are at risk of institutional placement to continue to live in their own homes.

The Veteran chooses the services that best meets their needs and they can hire in-home health care whether it be a company or a family member.

The other program offered through the VA is called aid and attendance.

Veterans, who are eligible for a VA pension and need home health care or assisted living, may be able to receive additional benefits on top of the monthly pension benefit.

These monies are paid directly to the senior and they are able to pay whomever they choose, whether it be a family member assisting them, a home health company, or an assisted living community.

So, there is help out there to get you paid as being a caregiver, please try not to stress over money.

Caregiving is hard enough on you, stressing over money will only make your stress level increase.

So, take a deep breath and remember Assisted Living Made Simple has your back!!

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Financial Planning for Seniors

Financial Planning for Seniors

4 Practical Tips to Help Seniors With Financial Planning

You may ask yourself; shouldn’t this have been done when they were younger?

Yes, perhaps, but not all of us think of this when we’re young and not all of us can do this when we’re young. So we must now plan for it as we age.

Financial Planning for Seniors

Where do you begin?

First, make a budget and stick to it.

You know how much money you have coming in each month and how much you can afford to put out each month.

Find a financial advisor; there are local programs that can help you.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is one such program that helps seniors with many different programs for free or reduced rates.

AARP is another organization that offers free programs from other seniors who have retired, such as financial advisors who are looking to volunteer their services and assistance.

Next, set limits on the money you give to family members.

I know it’s nice to give your children and grandchildren money for their birthday and Christmas, but you may need to hold on to that money for yourself, or perhaps give them a lesser amount.

There’s a free program through the NCOA called BenefitsCheckUp and they provide community programs and services, online help, and advocacy.

After signing up, you can browse all the programs offered, find out if you qualify, and figure out how to apply for them. Go to to learn more.

Be very careful with your internet/TV/phone service too.

Different companies charge so much money and if you have direct debit, you may not even know what you are paying for the service.

This happened to a client of ours, she has her internet/cable/phone service come right out of her checking account. Well, she bounced some checks because she didn’t know how much was coming out.

When she signed up for it, it was like $129.99 a month, so this is what she was taking out. Well, guess what? They were charging her, $275.00 a month!!! She said she never received a notice about the rate increase nor did she receive anything from her bank.

This woman has several children and to think that not one of them checks on her financial well-being just amazes me.

As senior advocates, we can help in situations like this. One of our advisors took her to her bank and to the places where the checks bounced and rectified the situation.

The bank is now to notify our advocate when monies run low. Our advisor was also able to downgrade her internet service and her bill is no longer direct debited from her account.

This is just one example of what a senior advocate can do for you, so should you find you need a senior advocate, someone who will go to bat for YOU with no hidden agenda, call Assisted Living Made Simple. We love our seniors and are privileged to assist you, and the best part is . . . our service to you is FREE!!

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Declutter Methods to Help with Autism and Alzheimer’s

Declutter Methods for Autism and Alzheimers

9 Simple Methods you can use to help declutter the home of someone with Autism and/or Alzheimer’s

April is National Autism Awareness Month and we thought we’d share some ways to declutter the home that will help those with Autism. The best part is, these methods will also help those with Alzheimer’s.

Declutter Methods for Autism and AlzheimersChanging a person’s environment can be very frustrating, even if you don’t have Autism or Alzheimer’s, but when you have a disorder or a disease it’s enhanced. Try to make everything the same as it always has been.

This would not be a good time to purchase new furniture, or rearrange the house.
Even the slightest little thing can be extremely upsetting.

Come up with ideas to incorporate ways to reduce frustration and anxiety and increase their understanding.

1) There are some simple things you can do like purchase an erasable calendar and have a clear, concise schedule laid out so they can understand it.

2) Give warnings when something is about to come up, Your doctor appointment is in a half-hour, we’ll be leaving in fifteen minutes. Things like this, it can ease their frustration as well as yours.

3) Avoid loud noises, flickering lights, and anything that may cause frustration or stress. This could be as simple as replacing light bulbs or turning the volume down or the television or radio.

When your home is cluttered, it frustrates the person with Autism or Alzheimer’s because they have a hard time finding things.

4) Let go of things, get rid of the old magazines lying around and keep a few of their favorites.

5) Keep floors clear from trip hazards such as throw rugs, extension cords, or anything else that may be in the walkway. They don’t always watch where they’re walking and if they trip, they can become very angry.

Check out our blog on the Senior Home Safety Checklist, this list can be attributed to everyone and shares some valuable insight to things you may never think of.

6) When decluttering someone else’s belongings, involve them in the process. You may look at that old, stained styrofoam cup as trash, but to someone with Autism or Alzheimer’s, it could be something they are emotionally attached to for whatever reason.

7) Make sure you explain to them what you are doing and why, they will most likely forget and keep asking you what and why you are doing this. This will only frustrate both of you. Put it in writing, so they can read what you are doing and why you are doing it. This will help ease the frustration levels as they can refer back to paper when they want to question it again.

8) Start in the smaller places like the bathroom or the kitchen. If you see they have five toothbrushes in the cabinet say something like, Do you use a different one for each weekday? That’s a great idea, but can we just use one toothbrush every day?

Just make sure to not sound judgemental, there is a reason they have five different toothbrushes in the cabinet, they just may not remember or know why, but it makes sense to them.

9) Declutter slowly, this is a big step and can be very upsetting. Take frequent breaks if you need to and go back to it after a nice lunch or a cup of tea. Have some meditation music playing quietly in the background to help them remain calm.

Remember, you are upsetting their world, take things slow, involve them in the decluttering process, and start small.

We are all here to assist the person with Autism or Alzheimer’s live a happy and healthy life and together we make it happen.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Best Produce For April PLUS Recipes

April Produce that you can use in the following recipes

Best Produce for April and Yummy Recipes

You may wonder what produce is in season for the month of April, well here is a list of them for you.

Asparagus, avocado, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, citrus fruits, greens, leeks, mushrooms, peas, radishes, and sweet potatoes.

I’m going to highlight two underrated yet very beneficial vegetables we should all be eating more of, sweet potatoes and beets!!!

But before I do, be sure to check out our post on the best diet to help you live a longer and healthier life. It has some wonderful information about other foods that are beneficial to you too. 

Let’s start off with a sweet potato recipe:

Did you know that sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals? They are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals and the fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are helpful to your gut health. Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Your body cannot digest either type, which means the fiber stays within your digestive tract and provides a variety of gut-related health benefits. Sweet potatoes offer various antioxidants, which may help protect against certain types of cancers.

Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles


2 small sweet potatoes, roasted and cooled
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cup buttermilk


1. To roast the potatoes, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes in foil, place on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to bake until a fork inserted in the potato meets no resistance. Depending on the size of your potatoes, this could take 30 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes, discard the peel, and mash well with a fork. Measure 1 cup of potatoes for the waffles.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

3. In another medium bowl combine brown sugar and vanilla beans. Use your fingers to rub the two together, infusing the brown sugar with vanilla. If you’re using vanilla extract, add vanilla to the eggs and sugar after they’re beaten together.

4. Whisk in the eggs until well combined. (Add the vanilla extract here, if using.) Whisk in the melted butter, maple syrup, and buttermilk. Stir to combine.

5. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine thoroughly. Allow it to rest while the waffle iron heats.

6. Spray waffle iron if it isn’t already nonstick. Add waffle batter and cook according to your specific waffle iron.

7. Serve warm with pure maple syrup. These waffles also freeze very well once baked.

Now, let’s take a look at beets. Beets are packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, vitamin B9, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and its juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.Here’s an easy beet recipe that sounds absolutely DELISH!!!!

Berry-Beet Salad

recipe for beet salad

1 each fresh red and golden beets
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon honey
Dash salt
Dash pepper
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 cups torn mixed salad greens
1 ounce fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly sliced


1. Place beets in an 8-in. square baking dish; add 1 in. of water. Cover and bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper; set aside. Cool beets; peel and cut into thin slices.

3. In a large bowl, combine the beets, berries, walnuts and shallot. Pour dressing over the beet mixture and toss gently to coat. Divide salad greens among 4 serving plates. Top with beet mixture; sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Seasonal produce for the month of April brings something for everyone, find something you love and go get it. If you have a favorite place that has the BEST produce around, drop me a line at and let me know where! I’m always on the lookout for new places to shop. Happy spring, happy shopping, and happy April!!

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

You Can’t Parent Your Parent

You Can't Parent Your Parent...or can you?

You Can’t Parent Your Parent – Or Can You?

So, you think you can’t parent your parents no matter what, well think again.

The key to turning the tables is communication!

How exactly do you do this when they won’t listen?

First, remember it’s very hard for them to hear they can no longer do the things they used to. They are the ones who raised families, worked all their adulthood (some beginning in teenage years), ran businesses, carpools, and took care of YOU!

 Now you are taking care of them and it’s extremely difficult for them to deal with; it scares them!

To find out more about what scares them, read our blog titled, What are Seniors Top Fears? You might be surprised what they’re afraid of.

There are ways to effectively communicate with them so they don’t feel like a child. Make sure you talk to them, not at them, don’t scold them, praise them. Have respect and consideration when speaking to your parents, this is new for you and them please don’t talk down to them.

Remember how it felt when someone spoke down to you as a child? This is how it makes them feel too! Please don’t do it.

You Can

Let’s say your mom can no longer drive. Instead of telling her, “Mom, you can’t drive anymore because you can’t see, end of story.” Turn the tables and say something like, “Mom, I really don’t want you driving anymore because I can’t sleep at night worrying about you. I’m afraid you might get into an accident, will you please stop driving for me?”

No one likes to be yelled at or spoken to harshly, but if your mom thinks she’s doing you harm, she’s more likely to give up driving.

Don’t think you know what’s best for your mom or dad either.

You probably have no idea what they really want. You may think your dad wants you to hire a lawn guy, but maybe that’s his only outlet and he enjoys it.

Always ask before you make any kind of decision on their behalf.

Perhaps your parents no longer want the hassle of the upkeep on the house, but you don’t want them to leave it and you’re not ready to move into it or sell. So, you say you’ll hire all these people to help them with everything under the sun.

What are you really doing?

You’re creating more expenses for them and they’re still not happy.

Instead, ask them what they want to do. Do they want to stay in the house? Do they want to move to a condo? Do they want to move into an assisted living community?

If they choose to move into an assisted living community, they can start off in independent living and transfer into assisted living as their needs increase.

Should they require even more care than assisted living; most communities also have memory care.

You will need to ensure you find the right community so they only move one time! This is extremely important, that’s why you need a placement service or senior advisor to assist you!

Moving can be very upsetting and Assisted Living Made Simple wants it to happen one time and one time only.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Downsizing for Retirement

Downsizing for Retirement

How to Downsize Without the Hassle So You Can Enjoy Your Retirement

For some, the word “downsizing” brings up negative connotations. While it does mean living in a smaller space with fewer belongings, you’re actually getting more out of life: more money, more time, and more fun.

It’s an excellent choice for the young, who benefit greatly from the lower utility bills and freedom from the constant cleaning and maintenance that comes with a larger home, but it’s seniors like you who get the most out of it. You’ll amp up your retirement by living where you want with more hours in the day to do what you love, whether that’s gardening, fishing or playing tennis. 

You may find the process of selling your property, packing up and moving on rather daunting, and it can be complicated. However, by taking it step by step, you’ll get where you want to go with minimal headaches. Assisted Living Made Simple wants to help, so here’s how to go about it.

Set a Budget

When creating a budget, the value of your current home is the determining factor. Remember, you’re downsizing, which means looking for property that you can easily afford with the money from the sale of your current home without an onerous mortgage hanging over your head. Ideally, it would leave you with some profit left at the end for renovations, or even a taste of the finer things in life. You can use an online home value estimator to get an idea of how much your home is worth. These types of estimators can be accurate, but they can’t take into account every possible issue, such as new upgrades and problems with inspections. 

Find the Perfect Spot

Florida is still among the most popular places to retire thanks partly to its warm climate, but other destinations are gaining ground based on healthcare, community engagement and even employment opportunities, according to an article by CNBC. Take that all into consideration along with the cost of living in any area you’re considering. 

Choose the Right Home

Narrowing your home choice down won’t take long if you have some specific criteria in addition to your budget. For starters, stick with one floor, as getting up and down stairs becomes more difficult with age. Also, halls and doorways should be relatively wide for improved accessibility. Anything that requires a lot of maintenance is a definite “no.” 

You’ll also want to look at things like utilities costs and internet access. You don’t want to move into a smaller place that will end up costing you more due to high energy rates. If rates are close to your expectations, you can pinch pennies by making some adjustments, like installing smart bulbs or timers. Internet-wise, you can find affordable and simple self-setup plans through major providers that deliver all the power and speed you could want.

Purge Old Stuff

Once you’ve found the ideal property, it’s time to start planning the move itself, and that begins with a thorough decluttering. Start early, because this is going to take longer than you think. However, you’ll pick up steam by getting rid of items you obviously don’t need, such as clothes you never wear, books you’ve already read and anything that’s broken.

Select a Mover 

By not hiring a mover, you can save money hauling everything away yourself, but it’s not worth the hassle, especially when you’re a senior. There’s a lot of heavy lifting involved, and the process can be emotionally draining as you empty a place where you spent so many wonderful years. Let somebody else do that, but put some effort into hiring qualified professionals and choosing the right time to relocate.

Consider Health 

Taking health into account is particularly important for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Sunrise Senior Living notes that if your partner suffers from this condition, take special care, as changing environments can be challenging for them, especially if their move is due to losing a loved one. You can lessen their difficulty by ensuring the new home is as calm as possible, while scheduling outings and visits for the time of day when they’re at their sharpest.

You may feel like your life is starting anew, and that’s because in a way, it is. Downsizing can be a great way to enhance this next chapter, and with a little planning ahead, you’ll make the process as seamless as possible. 

Turn to Assisted Living Made Simple for more information on ensuring your healthy and happy retirement years.

Image via Pexels.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

Senior-Friendly Activities

Activities Every Senior Can Do

Don’t make age an issue!

The best thing to do for fitness and lifestyle while we age is to always keep moving, eat well, and stay social!

Easy, right??? 

As always, check with your doctor prior to performing any type of exercise.

Well, not so much, as we age, we limit ourselves. We don’t realize that we need to take small steps, baby steps.

As a placement service for seniors, one of the requests we get most is finding a home that offers a variety of senior activities. We’ve listed below some activities you can do whether you are at home or in an assisted living facility. 

Exercise for Seniors you can do at home.

Start with a walk down the driveway; go to the mailbox, or the stop sign, etc.

Lift a can of corn, a gallon of milk, a bag of groceries.

If you can’t walk, you can benefit from seated exercises. Chair exercises are safer and provide more support for seniors who are at risk of falling or have limited mobility.

Check out this 7 Minute Chair Exercise for Seniors

Exercising of any kind has shown to improve blood flow, mood, help build muscle, increase heart rate, and help your range of motion. Make sure there are no wheels on the chair, you also don’t want to use a folding chair as it can collapse easier. 

If you use a walker or cane, exercise is much more important to help improve your balance and you can use your device as an aid. 

While standing with your device, march in place, lift one leg out to the side as far as you can and as many times as you can, then try the other leg.

If you get tired, take a break. Remember…baby steps!!

You can do short squats with the aid of your device as well. We say short squats because we don’t want you squatting too far down. Do as many as you can, once again, if you get tired, rest.

Another great exercise is to stand at your device and lift your heels off the floor to stand on your toes. Lower your heels to return your feet to a flat position. Do as many as you can. 

If you have swelling in your feet or ankles, here are some exercises for you too.

Lie down (preferably on a bed or the couch) moving only your feet, point your toes upward then point down.

Repeat these steps as many times as you can. You can also just tap your toes while sitting, as long as your toes are moving.

Exercise Your Brain:

Perhaps you are unable to exercise your body, then please exercise your brain. There are so many activities in which you can do this.

You can do:

  • crossword puzzles
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • word search puzzles
  • solitaire if you’re alone
  • card games with others
  • draw
  • paint
  • or color to keep your mind active. 

Create a scrapbook or organize some old family photos.

Scrapbooking activity for seniors

Keeping your mind active can help increase your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

One of the best ways to relax and boost your mood is to get outdoors!!

Vitamin D alone will help increase not only your bone density but your overall disposition. Fresh air is a great stimulator for the mind, body, and soul.

Do you see the pattern here?

As long as you start out small, you can graduate to more. Look at your area senior center, start out slow, you’re not only going to get into chair yoga classes, you’re going to make friends.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.