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Expert Insights

Analysis of trends in senior care, advice for people coping with an aging patent, and health advice for seniors.

Skilled nursing facilities offer personalized approach to rehab

After staying at the hospital for a stroke, fracture or other illness or injury, many seniors may find themselves struggling with day-to-day activities, pain and limited mobility. In these instances, seniors need post-acute care to aid recovery; as many as 37 percent of acute hospitalizations require follow-up care.

Skilled nursing facilities are a great place for short term rehabilitation, and in fact, rehabilitation admissions at these facilities have grown significantly in recent years. The growing popularity of skilled nursing facilities for rehab can likely be attributed to the high quality of care delivered with a personalized and compassionate approach.  

An interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals – including physicians, nurses and therapists – meets with the patient and create a treatment plan that best meets the individual’s personal rehabilitation needs and goals.

Happiness changes with age

For many people, the pursuit of happiness is the driving force behind the choices they make. The issue is figuring out what makes you happy so that you can devote your time to it. Interestingly, the things that make us happy significantly change the older we get.

According to a recent study set to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, we thrive off of extraordinary experiences in our youth – in other words, uncommon, infrequent, and potentially adrenaline-pumping events. For some, this might mean skydiving; for others, it could mean meeting new, interesting individuals.

While most people still value the extraordinary well into old age, their perspective of the ordinary – common, day-to-day occurrences – changes. As we age, we are more likely to derive joy from events a younger person might view as mundane. For example, sharing a meal with your loved ones or walking your dog.

Traversing the globe with armchair travel

Armchair travel allows seniors to experience cultures across the worldWe cannot underestimate the importance of lifelong learning. It helps aging adults stay mentally sharp and socially engaged. This, in turn, can help delay symptoms for adults at risk for memory impairment. Mental and social engagement also contribute to a stronger sense of purpose and happiness, which many researchers have found reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke and helps seniors maintain independence longer.

The upside of downsizing

Downsizing your homeDownsizing from a longtime home can be one of the most difficult decisions a senior can make. Yet, it’s also one of the most important. Remaining in a large house becomes financially impractical for many during retirement years. Plus, it can be socially isolating while the upkeep can be overwhelming. And for aging adults who find themselves increasingly struggling with chores, driving, and the like, downsizing to an assisted living community is one of the best and safest moves they can make. 

Misconceptions of the aging brain

Aging brains slow down due to greater experienceA common assumption is that as we age, our brains tend to process information more slowly. While this often proves to be true, the cause tends to be misunderstood. Many people falsely attribute the brain’s slowness to functional decline. According to a new study, however, that’s not always the case. Older brains work more slowly simply because they store a considerable amount of knowledge.  

By the time you reach 70, 80, perhaps 90 years old, you have accumulated a lifetime of experiences. That information doesn’t just shed away with old cells – your brain stores it. This means older brains have a larger “database,” if you will, to search through than younger brains. And the larger the database, the longer the search will be.