Expert Insights Into Exercise And Aging

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As we age we should constantly be searching for ways to optimize our physical, mental, and emotional well-being to remain as healthy as possible throughout our senior years. Nutrition is of course of vital importance and so is physical activity. Exercising on a regular basis is crucial to maintaining health as we age. It offers a wealth of benefits to seniors who make physical activities a part of their daily lives. As a matter of fact, exercise is one of the most vital components of a healthy lifestyle at any age, but especially for aging adults. Today we will take a look at some insights from experts as to the exact role that remaining physically active plays in our senior years as well as how to incorporate exercise into our lives safely and effectively. Top Benefits of Exercise For Seniors There are many high-priority reasons why exercise should be a priority for all seniors. No matter your health or mobility level there is a form of exercise that can benefit you. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider to be sure that the activities that you are considering are right for you. Here are the top life-changing benefits of exercise for people over 60 as outlined by the National Council on Aging: Exercise prevents bone loss. Decreasing bone density is a concern for both men and women as we age. Post-menopausal women can lose as much as 2% of their bone density each year putting them at increased risk of broken bones from falls. Regular strength training is one of the best ways to stop bone loss and in many cases even restore some of your bone’s density over time. Stronger bones mean better balance and a lower risk of fractures which can help seniors live independently for much longer. Regular physical activity helps to prevent cognitive decline and chronic diseases. The older we get the more at risk we are to develop chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. And as the years go by our cognitive abilities have a tendency to slow down. Proper exercise can help older adults to prevent many of these medical conditions from developing and minimize the symptoms and effects of many preexisting conditions. Studies have even found a link between exercising on a regular basis and reduced risk of cognitive decline. One study found fewer biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in people over 60 who engaged in exercise for 30 minutes per day. So physical activity is good for both the body and the brain. Exercise can provide relief from the joint pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. Multiple studies have shown a decrease in pain and stiffness among those with osteoarthritis who engage in regular exercise. Exercise strengthens the muscles and connective tissues that support the joints to reduce pressure placed on arthritic joints. It also increases the range of motion to ease stiffness. Movement of the joints helps to keep them better lubricated as well which can further reduce pain and inflammation. Low-impact activities like walking and aqua therapy are great exercises for arthritis sufferers. Exercise may help strengthen your immune system. Though they don’t fully understand how it works, some researchers have found a possible link between moderate exercise and fewer respiratory illnesses. They theorize that exercise reduces inflammation in the body and improves immune function. However it works, everyone can use a boost in immunity, especially seniors. Physical activity improves mood and mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that come with a variety of benefits related to mood and emotional well-being. Studies have found a regular exercise routine has the ability to decrease feelings of anxiety, lessen depression, and promote a sense of overall improved well-being. And these mood-enhancing benefits continue well into their senior years, which is one more reason that it’s important for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active, and independent lifestyle. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members. We can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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8 Lifestyle Changes To Promote Brain Health And Mental Agility

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Changes happen in every area of our bodies as we age, including our brains. Through medical research, we have learned that certain areas of the brain shrink over time, especially those related to learning and performing complex mental tasks. Inflammation may develop due to disease or injury, and neurons in certain parts of the brain may not communicate as effectively as they once did. Changes like this can have a significant impact on cognitive function for even the healthiest seniors and this poses challenges for independent senior living. Ongoing research is finding that despite the natural aging process the brain can adapt by creating new neural pathways through a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. This is happy news for any senior who is concerned about maintaining brain health as they age. Seniors can harness the full potential of neuroplasticity and promote cognitive health by focusing on several aspects of their lifestyle. Make Physical Health and Safety A Priority If the rest of your body isn’t healthy it can’t properly support your brain health. Stay on top of your recommended health screenings and make sure any chronic conditions are properly managed. Know your medications and discuss any possible side effects on memory, sleep, and brain function with your healthcare provider. Avoid alcohol and nicotine, and make good sleep habits a priority. Go through your home and correct any fall hazards you may find to minimize the risk of brain injury from a fall. Keep Your Mind Active Engaging in meaningful activities not only helps seniors to feel happier, but learning new things has been shown to improve memory and processing speeds. Engaging in hobbies that challenge the brain can be beneficial to mental agility as well as overall well-being and quality of life. Activities can include many things from taking a class to learning a new craft like quilting or woodworking to playing games. Anything that makes you think and learn can help your brain adapt to aging and lower your risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Eat Healthily You’ve heard it all your life. You need to avoid junk food and eat a healthy diet. And it’s never been more important than it is now. Research has linked healthy eating with preserved cognitive function and a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some research indicates that a Mediterranean diet may be particularly beneficial. A healthy diet generally consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid added sugar, high sodium, and highly processed foods. Keep High Blood Pressure Under Control When thinking about the negative effects of high blood pressure on the body, thoughts usually go to the heart and kidneys, but studies have shown that keeping your blood pressure under control lowers your risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Because high blood pressure often doesn’t produce any noticeable symptoms it’s important to check it regularly to make sure that it’s well controlled. Stay Physically Active Research has discovered a link between physical activity and brain health. One study found that exercise not only helped maintain old neural connections but also helped the formation of new ones. Other research has found that aerobic exercise seems to increase the size of brain structures related to memory and learning. Older adults should aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity each week. Walking is one popular activity. For those with mobility issues exercising in a pool may be a good option as it’s more gentle on the joints. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program. Keep Stress Under Control We can’t always do anything about stressful situations and events, but we can change how we manage that stress to minimize its negative impacts. Chronic stress affects memory function and increases the risk of dementia. So stress management should be a priority for seniors. Exercising regularly, practicing relaxation methods, and journaling are some easy ways to manage the stress that can have a significant effect on brain health. Maintain Social Connections We know that human connection and socialization help boost mental health in seniors, and it also promotes cognitive health as well. Engaging in social activities and community events helps to keep your brain active. Those who participate in meaningful and productive activities even tend to live longer. Spending time with friends and family is the best socialization but volunteer work, joining a club, or even forming a walking group with a few older neighbors are also great ways to increase social connections. Reduce Cognitive Health Risks There are certain risk factors to cognitive health from genetics to environmental concerns, to lifestyle choices. Some like genetic factors we cannot change, but others we can. Certain medications and the improper use of others, lack of physical activity, social isolation, poor diet, sleep problems, and using alcohol or tobacco products are all risk factors that can be controlled to reduce the cognitive health risks associated with them. Talk to your healthcare provider about these risks and ways to reduce them. The sooner you take steps to promote good brain health and mental agility the better quality of life you will have throughout your senior years. It’s never too late to take control of your health. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle and independent lifestyle. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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A 5-Layered Approach To Maintaining An Independent Lifestyle

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Maintaining an independent lifestyle is a top priority for aging adults, and independence means a lot more than living on your own. It means being able to thrive with a sense of complete freedom. There are a few important things to consider that are required to maintain an independent lifestyle as we age. There are five basic areas that we must consider as we seek to prolong independence for seniors throughout the aging process. 1- Nutrition As we age our nutritional needs change. Understanding these changing needs is vital to maintaining health as we get older. Our bone and muscle mass change, and our risk for developing chronic health conditions increases. Seniors are often deficient in protein and fiber and need to be careful not to consume excessive amounts of sodium or sugar. Heath conditions and medications may present further nutritional restrictions or special needs so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about what a healthy plate should look like for you. By paying careful attention to nutrition you’ll maintain better physical and mental health and that is a priority in supporting independence. 2- Physical Activity Staying as physically active as possible is key to maintaining health as we age. Regular exercise helps to prevent bone loss, chronic diseases, and cognitive decline. It helps relieve arthritis pain and joint stiffness. It also helps to improve your mood and mental well-being as well as boost your immune system. If maintaining your independence is important to you then you need to make getting enough exercise a top priority. 3- Playtime This is one aspect of maintaining an independent lifestyle that is often overlooked, but it’s an integral part of supporting your emotional, physical, and mental well-being as well as helping maintain your independence. When we take the time to have fun it gives our midbrain neurons a bit of a workout and helps to make connections across our brains, and anything that helps create new connections in our brains is good for brain health, especially in older adults. Incorporating some “playtime” to enjoy things that bring you joy can boost energy levels, release endorphins, relieve stress, and minimize pain, all of which go a long way toward a sense of freedom. 4- Social Interaction This one can sometimes fall in with playtime as well. Many studies over the years have proven over and over that it’s absolutely vital to our health to have social interaction. Social isolation and loneliness place us at a much higher risk of physical and mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. Maintaining an active social life is associated with improved mood, better health, and better stress management. Social activities can be as simple as a weekly game night with one or two friends, taking a class to learn a new hobby, or going shopping with a friend. If you want to maintain health and true independence you can’t neglect your social life. 5- Exercising Your Brain Studies have shown that one of the best ways to sustain memory and prevent cognitive decline is by exercising your brain with education, puzzles, games, and other thinking challenges. Anything that requires learning new skills helps to keep the brain active and healthy, which helps in prolonging independence. The more a region of the brain is used the harder your body works to that area healthy, forming new neural pathways and connections. So, you can have fun and stimulate brain health at the same time. Evaluate Your Current Lifestyle There really is no fast and easy path to maintaining an independent lifestyle well into your senior years. It really takes a close evaluation of your current lifestyle and making changes as necessary to ensure that you can prolong that sense of independence that we all desire for as long as possible. Sometimes the best place to access the services and support needed to maintain that valued independent lifestyle is a senior living community. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle to improve their health and maintain an independent lifestyle. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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Unexpected Ways The Holidays Impact Aging Adults

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With December bringing with it colder weather and holiday preparations many of us are embracing the holiday season. For many, this is the most joyful and exciting time of year, but for some, it can have unexpected effects on their mental and physical health. Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, older adults may find themselves feeling depressed, lonely, and overwhelmed. To better understand how this holiday season can bring up difficult emotions for seniors we’ll take a look at some of the most common issues and how a senior living community can provide the resources and support aging adults need to manage unexpected challenges that come up during the holidays. Coping With Loss Is Harder At The Holidays The period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year is an important time of celebration and togetherness, but for some older adults holiday festivities may bring up fond memories that magnify the grief of missing lost loved ones. The sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays can be a vivid reminder of who is missing and how much they are missed. At this time of year reliving the loss can occur on a daily basis which is a heartbreaking reality to face. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, causing withdrawal that negatively impacts mental and physical health. Senior living communities give aging adults the opportunity to connect with others who are facing the same challenges. Living in a community with others that understand what they are going through helps to alleviate some of the feelings of isolation and loneliness as well as provides opportunities to socialize daily through community events. The companionship and physical activity can help stave off the depression and self-isolation that often accompany dealing with loss during the holidays. Holidays Can Be Overwhelming When seniors are used to spending a lot of quiet time at home, big holiday gatherings can be very overwhelming. The noise, commotion, and face paced nature of holiday activities can bring up feelings of stress and anxiety. In addition to this, the physical demands of attending such events can lead to physical exhaustion creating an increased risk of falls and other health problems for older adults. Seniors are free to approach the holidays at a pace that is comfortable for them in a senior living community. Personal companion services assist seniors with their daily activities giving them more time and energy to enjoy holiday celebrations without becoming emotionally and physically overwhelmed. Accessible transportation also makes shopping and attending holiday activities less stressful as well. Physical Limitations Induce Stress The aging process produces many changes. Declining physical mobility and mobility-limiting health issues not only impact the daily lives of aging adults but also places limits on their usual holiday activities. They may find travel more difficult. Lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking may be too tiring or cause pain. They may not be able to decorate the way they used to anymore. Arthritic joints can even make something as simple as wrapping a gift a chore. The holidays often bring these physical limitations into the spotlight and mourning this loss of mobility and independence can lead to stress and feelings of depression. This is another area where senior living communities can help promote independent living. With the staff at the ready to assist with daily activities and various supports in place to meet seniors’ mobility needs these physical limitations can be easily overcome. And the physical therapy and exercise programs available can even help to improve mobility and help seniors maintain their independence for as long as possible with more energy and a greater zest for life. It’s important to recognize and consider these unexpected season impacts on seniors as we make our holiday plans. Keep in mind that older adults might not be entering this holiday season with the same joy or excitement that they once did for various reasons. A senior living community could be the solution to providing the support older adults need for a healthier, more connected, and independent lifestyle that can make the holidays just a little brighter. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle to improve their health and maintain an independent lifestyle. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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How To Set a Healthy Holiday Table for Seniors

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The holiday season can be difficult to navigate when you or a loved one has special dietary needs. Tables full of delicious yet fatty and high-sodium foods and trays of tempting sweets can pose major problems for seniors with various health conditions or who take certain medications. There are many things to consider when planning a holiday feast for seniors. Here are some tips to help make sure meals are satisfying without compromising health or nutritional needs. Focus On Nutrition One thing to keep in mind when planning holiday meals is that older adults often have special nutritional needs to consider. The process of aging causes many internal changes that can affect a senior’s diet like problems with digestion, slower metabolism, and decreased thirst and appetite. Things such as medication side effects and physical changes related to aging can impact not only energy levels, weight, and appetite, but overall health in general. This is why keeping a focus on nutrition is crucial at holiday get-togethers by incorporating health-conscious options and limiting dishes that are high in fats, sodium, and sugars. Here are some ideas for a little lighter fare for your fall and winter festivities. Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast- Rather than a fatty ham or deep-fried turkey, an herb-roasted turkey breast is a lean and flavorful protein that is low in fat but high in flavor. Red meat is higher in fat so by sticking with the breast there’s less room for unhealthy choices. Leave the salt out of your herb mix and allow each person to season with salt at the table according to their needs and taste. This way everyone can enjoy the main dish with no worries about compromising their health. Stuffing- What’s a roast turkey without stuffing, right? Skip the high-sodium boxed stuffing mixes and opt for homemade stuffing using whole-grain bread, herbs, fresh onions, celery, apples,  mushrooms, and walnuts. This makes the stuffing satisfying with fewer fats, sodium, and carbs. Yams- Candied yams are a holiday staple but the high fat and sugar content does not fit well in a heart-healthy or diabetic diet. This doesn’t mean that you have to skip the dish altogether. Try roasting sweet potatoes with a drizzle of real maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon to satisfy that sweet tooth while getting a healthy dose of beta-carotene and heart-healthy fiber. Fresh Cranberry Sauce- Cranberries boast a whole host of health benefits. They are high in antioxidants and promote cardiovascular and urinary health, but canned cranberry sauce is loaded with unhealthy sugar. So kick the can to the curb and go with a low-sugar homemade version to bring these wonderful berries to the table in a healthier way. Greens- Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you don’t have to eat your greens. Make sure to include a healthy punch of nutrients with green veggies like roasted brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, or spinach and romaine salad. Give the Dessert Table a Makeover Pumpkin Pie- Seniors can indulge in sweet holiday treats like pumpkin pie without going overboard with sugar. Opt for a natural sugar-free sweetener like stevia, fat-free evaporated milk, and egg whites in your recipe to make a lighter version of this treat that everyone can enjoy. Fruit Tarts and Pies- There’s really no way to take all of the carbs out of a berry tart or apple pie, but you can take out the added sugars and reduce the carbs. Stevia comes to the rescue again to allow you to have your pie and eat it too. Look for recipes that use low-carb thickeners for the filling such as gelatin or xanthan gum to reduce the carbohydrates even more for those who need to count carbs closely. By thinking creatively and adapting favorite dishes with healthier ingredients seniors can fully enjoy the mouth-watering flavors of the season and truly relax to share in the joy of the holidays with their friends and loved ones, all without sacrificing their health. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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Age-Related Memory Loss - When To See Your Doctor

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Aging is an inevitable part of life. The aging process brings many changes to both our bodies and our brain. Some of those changes are related to our memory. While people may joke about having a "senior moment", age related memory problems can sometimes be a very serious matter. Some degree of forgetfulness and memory lapses are to be expected as we get older, but how do you know what's normal, what's not, or when you should speak with your doctor about your memory problems? That's what we're here to discuss today. What Is Considered Normal? Not all issues with memory or cause for concern. It's considered normal to occasionally forget things that happened recently like the name of someone you just met or where you put your car keys. It can also be considered normal to have a slight delay in recalling names, dates, or events. These are things that many people experience as they get older. It may be a little annoying for the person who can't remember why they went into the kitchen, but it's not a major disruption to their life, and it doesn't pose a safety concern. There are several memory processes that can be slowed down by the aging process and lead to mild forgetfulness including things like learning new information or recalling information. Some other normal age-related memory issues can include things like not being able to recall the word for common items. It's that feeling of having something right on the tip of your tongue but you just can't quite remember the word. Some might find it takes them a little longer to say what they want to say because they don't recall words as quickly as they used to. And likewise, it might take a little bit longer for something you just heard to "sink in". What Is Not Considered Normal? It's very important to remember that old age in and of itself is not an illness or health problem. It's simply the mature stage of our life cycle. And while it's normal for some memory processes to gradually slow as we age, we can still keep our brains active and sharp in our senior years. And while conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease are most common among the older population, they are not a normal part of aging. It's not considered normal to have difficulty doing everyday activities like making a phone call, driving, or finding your way home. Here are some other signs that you may need to talk to your doctor:

  • Repeatedly asking the same questions
  • Getting lost in a familiar area
  • Having difficulty following recipes or directions for doing things
  • Getting confused about time, places, or people you know
  • Having trouble taking care of yourself like forgetting to eat or take a bath
  • Doing unsafe things like leaving the stove on unattended

It's important to speak to your doctor right away if you experience any of these memory problems. It's vital to determine why you are having these problems because not all memory issues have the same cause. It could be a symptom of depression, a treatable infection, side effects of a medication, or a brain disorder. Finding the cause will help determine if your memory problems can be improved or even reversed, as well as identify which treatments will be best for you. When you and your loved ones know the differences between normal age-related memory loss and more serious cognitive decline you can recognize an emerging problem and act early to avoid issues that are preventable, seek a diagnosis, and get the treatment and support necessary. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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5 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe Online

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Social media, online shopping, and entertainment have become a normal part of daily life for many people today. Shopping, ordering movies, and communicating with family and friends from the comfort of your own home are convenient and helpful for seniors, but it also comes with new dangers as well. In 2020 alone seniors lost more than $1 billion to scammers and thieves that prey on older adults in the digital world. Today we will share with you 6 tips to help you stay safer online. Set Strong Passwords Yes, it’s terribly inconvenient to have to enter a password every single time you want to use your computer, mobile phone, or tablet, but it’s absolutely necessary to protect your personal and financial information on these devices. If lost or stolen the thief would be able to access all of your accounts, change your passwords, and potentially drain your bank account if your device was not protected by a strong password. If you have difficulty remembering passwords, keep them written down in a journal that is kept in a location away from where you keep your electronic devices. Learn To Recognize Scams Scammers really have no limits to how low they will stoop to steal your money. Beware of emails that promise you that money will be deposited into your bank account or that make any claims that you’ve won a prize and need to only pay the shipping to claim it. These are ploys to get your bank account information. Scammers will also pose as old friends via email or social media messages claiming they are going through hard times and need a loan, or they may even go so low as to pose as your grandchild in a desperate situation and needing money. Don’t fall for these scams. Verify Links Before Clicking On Them Be very careful about clicking on links and attachments in emails, text messages, and even on social media. Sometimes these messages may even appear to come from the accounts of family, friends, or a trusted business, but their accounts could have been hacked and the link sent by a scammer. Clicking on these links could install harmful malware onto your device and/or give the spammer access to your device and your accounts. Unless you can verify that the link has come from someone you trust, never click on one or open an attachment. Keep Your Social Security Number Secure Stolen social security numbers are the number cause of identity theft and so they must be kept secure. There are times that your social security number may be needed when doing business online such as when buying a life insurance policy, applying for a loan from your bank, or opening a retirement savings account. But generally speaking, you shouldn’t give your SSN to anyone online. Most legitimate companies won’t ask for it, and the only ones you should share it with our trusted financial institutions where you would expect to have to share it with them when conducting the same transaction with them in person. If you’re ever in doubt ask someone you trust to help verify that your SSN is truly needed and can be safely shared.  Be Careful about What You Share On Social Media Social media is a favorite tool for scammers and hackers to use to access your personal information that can be used to steal your money. The first step to take is to adjust your privacy settings on all of your social media accounts and limit who can see your personal information to trusted family and friends only. Don’t answer those “just for fun” questions like, “What was your first pet’s name?” or “What city were you born in?” These are used by thieves to gain answers to common security questions that safeguard the passwords of your financial accounts. The ability to shop for things you need, see and talk to loved ones that live far away, and chat with old friends from a device you can hold in your hand is pretty spectacular, and you need not be afraid of it. But you do need to be careful and vigilant to keep yourself and your finances safe, and these tips can help. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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Hair Color Tips For Mature Women

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One inevitable part of growing older is that eventually, your hair is going to start losing its natural color. Turning gray happens to everyone. While some women choose to embrace their gray hair as a well-earned symbol of wisdom and honor. For others, it’s an unwelcome part of the aging process. If you aren’t yet ready to embrace those grays then it’s time to talk about hair color and how to choose a flattering color that will help you look years younger. When selecting a hair color as a mature woman, it’s important to not choose shades that are very dark. Dying your hair too dark give an unnatural and fake look that draws attention to shadows and lines making you look older than you really are. Even if your natural color was black in your youth, a lighter shade will be more flattering in your senior years. We tend to lose skin color as we age, so dark hair against paler skin is just too much contrast. When choosing your hair color you also need to pay attention to the undertones of the color. Stick with neutral or warm tones, and stay away from cool or ashen colors as they will make your complexion look ashy and washed out. Using warmer tones will brighten your complexion without using too much makeup. Highlights are another great way to warm up your skin tone. They add dimesion and warmth to your hair. Having a mutlitonal effect also helps to better conceal stubborn grays that don’t hold onto color as well as we’d like. Ask for subtle highlights that mimic a youthful sunkissed look. So what haircolors are best for mature women? Here are some common colors that look great on many different people. Butter Blonde- If you’ve never tried blonde but always wanted to, now’s your chance! A soft light brown base with buttery blonde worked throughout is a gorgeous color that screams youth and vitality. Babylights- If your hair is salt and pepper and you just want everything to be even and blend in together, opt for babylights. Tiny streaks of blonde and silver evenly distributed throughout your hair create a beautiful effect and make the grays look intentional. Chocolate and Caramel- If a rich brunette shade is a must for you, ask for chocolate brown with face framing caramel highlights. It’s not so dark that it looks completely unnatural and the highlights keep the deeper shade from clashing with your complexion. Strawberry Blonde- This is an especially nice color for anyone that has lighter hair naturally. It will make you look amazing by warming up your skin tone. This is one color that is guaranteed to make any mature woman look and feel younger. Warm Auburn- Red hair can be rather tricky. Bright or blue-based reds easily wash out your complexion. Choosing a light brownish red as auburn works well with most skin tones. If you have richer or more olive skin tone you can try a deeper shade of auburn. If your skin is very fair perhaps a light copper would be a flattering red for you. Soft Brown- A soft muted brown is another beautiful choice for graying hair. It blends grays away easily and gives the richness of a darker color without being overpowering. Add in some babylights to keep the color from looking too dark or flat. Gray- Gray is actually a very popular color trend right now. Teens and 20-somethings are dying their hair gray on purpose, and with amazing results. If you’re just unhappy with your particular natural shade of gray or if your color is uneven, consider trying a different shade of silver, platinum, or pewter. You may find that you like your hair gray after all. With the luxury salon services available at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living you can be confident that you always look your best whether you choose to embrace your grays or cover them. Here we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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Five Fun Fall Activities for Seniors

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The arrival of fall means three things- gorgeous fall foliage, crisp morning and evening air, and fun activities that incorporate all the splendor and joy of the season. These days jumping into a pile of leaves may sound more like an injury waiting to happen than a fun time, but we’ve come up with a list of five fun fall activities to get you excited for autumn.

  1. Go Apple Picking- The hot summer days are past us now, and fall is the perfect time to squeeze in some outdoor activities before winter arrives. You’ll boost your vitamin D levels and get some healthy exercise as well. If you don’t have any significant mobility issues, try to find an apple-picking event at a local farm. And don’t forget your camera. Apple picking is a great photo op! If you can’t make it to a farm or aren’t up for reaching and picking and walking on uneven ground, go to a local farmer’s market so that you can enjoy some freshly picked apples anyway.
  2. Make Some Fall Treats- Well now you’ve got all of these apples. What do you do with them? Cook them up of course! Apple sauce, crock pot apple butter, fried apples, and everyone’s fall favorite- apple pie! Plan a day in the kitchen with a friend or loved one and make as many of your favorite fall treats as you can and tuck some away in your freezer or later.
  3. Enjoy the Changing Leaves- The biggest highlight of fall is the changing of the leaves. Pack a picnic and grab a few friends and head to the park to enjoy the view. Collect some leave to take home or some crafts like leaf running and making wreaths. If your health allows you might also consider booking a scenic ride through the countryside to enjoy the gorgeous colors of fall.
  4. Plan a Game Night- For many older Americans fall is sports season! Whether you prefer pigskins or pucks, make arrangements to take in a local high school football or hockey game. Or, you could plan a fun night in to watch the pros on the big screen at home with some friends. Don’t forget the game night snacks! Order in pizza and wings and put out a spread of veggies, crackers, cheeses, pretzels, and dips as well as an assortment of your favorite beverages.
  5. Decorate For the Season- Scarecrows, turkeys, pumpkins, sunflower wreaths, leaf garlands- these things stir up fun holiday memories for most Americans. Decorating for the season and the upcoming fall holidays is a fun way to reminisce while brightening your home for fall.

The mild weather of fall presents the perfect opportunity for some time outdoors soaking up the last warm rays of sunshine before the chill of winter sets in. Get creative about ways to capture that fall feeling and take in as much nature as you can. Just be sure that any activities that you plan are within your abilities. Safety should be your first concern when making any plans. At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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Keep Your Brain Active with Puzzles, Games, and Education

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Using your brain is one of the best ways to sustain cognitive functions and improve memory as you age. Some of the best ways to keep your brain healthy and active are by engaging in ongoing education, puzzles, and games. Any activity that challenges your brain by requiring that you learn new skills or retain new information will help to support an aging brain. Researchers have found that the more an area of the brain is used the better the body maintains the neurons in that region to keep the brain healthy. So to keep your brain healthy and active you should consider some of these fun and interesting activities. Ongoing Education There has been research done that suggested that education helps the brain to develop more synapses which are the junctions between brain cells. It is across these synapses that information is relayed. By stimulating the formation of synapsis, ongoing education could help prevent dementia. Attending lectures or taking classes to learn new skills is a great way to maintain mental alertness. Some things you might consider are writing courses, music lessons, art programs, poetry classes, computer courses, cooking classes and more. If you’re the academic type you might even consider pursuing a degree you’ve always wanted. You’re never too old to learn something new! Get Into Gaming Being exposed to new environments and new situations can greatly benefit cognition and memory. Exposure to these new things can happen anywhere. They can even be delivered virtually to those with limited mobility. Researchers recently discovered that cognitive health in older adults can be enhanced by playing video games. If video games simply aren’t for you there are plenty of other beneficial games you can enjoy. Trivia, board games, and cards are great ways to socialize with friends and family while you’re giving your brain a boost. Strategic games like checkers and chess are especially beneficial. Putting the Pieces Together One brain-boosting activity that gives both sides of your brain some exercise, and requires the use of logic, intuition, and creativity, is jigsaw puzzles. Working jigsaw puzzles promotes manual dexterity while also helping to flex your mental muscles and stimulate brain function. Puzzles are something that can be completed alone or with friends. Other types of brain-exercising puzzles are word searches, crosswords, sudoku, and brain teasers. All of these activities have been proven to help delay the acceleration of memory problems in people with dementia. Digital Challenges Even if video games do not appeal to you there are other digital games that may be of interest. Today there is a seemingly endless supply of downloadable or online digital activities right at your fingertips that can help light up neural pathways in the brain and give your brain cells a bit of a workout. Word scramble and crosswords, solitaire and mahjong, there are so many downloadable cognitive apps that you can download right to your mobile phone or tablet, many of which are free. There are even free apps to help you learn a new language. If you’re interested in getting involved in some brain-boosting puzzles, games, or education take a look at the Event Calendar here at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living to see if there are any classes or lectures that interest you. We pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!

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