May is National Arthritis Month


Arthritis affects one in five adults, and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Since May is National Arthritis Awareness Month we wanted to share a few things to help manage arthritis. Unfortunately it’s not always possible to prevent arthritis, but it is possible to still live an active and healthy life with it.

Exercise – Gentle exercise is a great way to keep joints moving and avoid the stiffness many arthritis sufferers complain of. Exercise also builds muscle strength, which can help build muscle that surrounds joints and protects them. It is valuable to incorporate stretching into your exercise plan too, as it will also help keep joints flexible.

Diet – A well balanced diet can limit the symptoms of arthritis, as it can help in maintaining a healthy weight, which alleviates arthritis pain by taking excess pressure off the joints. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids can also help in reducing inflammation, eliminating some of the pain arthritis sufferers experience.

Rest – While exercise is important for those with arthritis, it’s also valuable to let the joints rest. It’s important for each person to find a balance that works well for him or her. Taking the time to rest and recover also helps prevent injury, which can further aggravate arthritis.

Physical Therapy – If exercise alone is not enough, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of a physical therapist. A therapist can develop a personalized program that incorporates the best movements for eliminating joint pain without the need for medication.

Ice and Heat - Applying ice or heat to affected areas can help ease pain.

In some cases adopting all these tips into your lifestyle is not enough to remove the need medication or for other treatments. If you have arthritis or suspect you may be developing arthritis, it is important to meet with a doctor for a full examination and blood work. Once the proper tests and exams are done, the doctor can discuss proper treatment options and the medications for your health and well-being. The physician can also advise on other lifestyle changes you should make to best manage your pain. While there are challenges to living with arthritis, with proper care and prevention it is possible to maintain an active and enjoyable lifestyle.

Bestselling Books that make for Good Summer Reads



Most of us don’t have the time to read as many books as we would like, especially when we’re busy raising families and working. This makes retirement an ideal time to re-read old favorites, learn something new through reading or check out the latest, most popular books. With summer coming up and Arizona heating up, checking out some good summer reads is a great way to stay cool and entertained without having to go outside!

To help you get started, we compiled a list of some of the current NYT Best Sellers.

  1. The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
    • A psychological thriller
  2. The Shadows by J.R. Ward
    • The latest in the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series
  3. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
    • A nonfiction account of the sinking of the Lusitania
  1. American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
    • An autobiography of the most lethal sniper in American history, Chris Kyle
  1. The Stranger by Harlan Coben
    • A suspenseful fiction novel
  2. The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry
    • A historical fiction novel on the 16th amendment
  3. Deep by Kylie Scott
    • The final novel in “Stage Dive” a contemporary romance series
  4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    • A memoir by Cheryl and the story of her 1,100 mile solo hike
  5. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
    • Nicholas Sparks’ 17th romance novel
  6. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
    • The nonfiction account of 9 American’s experience at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

We hope you enjoy the list we’ve complied and re-discover your love for reading this summer! It’s never a bad idea to learn something new, experience another world or time through reading, or simply read for enjoyment.

Six Hobbies for Active Retirees


While many people are excited for retirement, many also ask themselves “What am I going to do with all my free time?” Most look forward to relaxing, reducing the stress in their lives that comes with work and simply enjoying life more. But the addition of unscheduled time leaves many people needing something to do in order to feel entirely fulfilled and happy. Continuing an active lifestyle into late adulthood also offers a variety of health benefits.

Trying new things as a senior can be intimidating, but when you have more free time, it can also be a great way to discover something new that you love and enjoy.

If retirement is on the horizon and you aren’t sure what you would like to do with your newfound freedom, here are some ideas to help get started:

There is plenty to do during retirement! This list of ideas is just a start. If you’re committed to living an active lifestyle, we’re confident you will find many activities and hobbies that will interest and inspire you throughout your senior years.

Medicare versus Medicaid


Despite having similar sounding names Medicare and Medicaid are two completely different programs. To add to the confusion, both are government programs that help people pay for healthcare. That’s where the similarities end. Some individuals may be eligible for both programs and these people are referred to as “dual eligible.” If you fall under this category, often times the two programs work together to cover most of your healthcare costs.

The comparison

The primary difference is that Medicare is generally for people with a disability or those older than 65 years of age, while Medicaid is for people with limited resources and income.

Medicare Medicaid
Provided by federal government Provided by state governments
Your coverage depends on what you chose and can include:·  Services and care received as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (Part A)·  Visits to your doctor, services and care received as an outpatient, and some preventative care (Part B)

·  Prescription medication (Part D)


*Note – Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) combine A and B coverage, and often include D too – an all in one plan.

Each state provides its own programs, following federal guidelines. Medicaid provides both mandatory and optional benefits. In part, mandatory benefits include:·  Services and care received in a hospital or skilled nursing facility·  Services and care received in a federally-qualified health center, rural health clinic or self-supported birth center (licensed or recognized by your state)

·  Services provided by a doctor, nurse midwife, certified pediatric or family nurse practitioner s


Costs depend on the coverage you choose. Costs can include co-pays, premiums, deductibles and coinsurance (a type of insurance in which the insured pays a share of the payment made against a claim). Costs depend on your states’ rules and your income. Costs can include co-pays, premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. Certain groups are excused from most out-of-pocket service costs.
Most people are automatically enrolled in Part A and B when they turn 65. You can also contact your local social security office to qualify your eligibility. Call your state's Medicaid office to see if you qualify. Eligibility depends on the rules of your state.

Navigating these programs can be daunting. If you are overwhelmed by all the information, try talking to your physician or insurance agent. There are resources available that help seniors understand their entitlements, such as AARP. You can also contact your local social security office for more details on your Medicaid or Medicare eligibility.

*Source: Medicare Made Clear

Heart Health Awareness

Heart Health Awareness


February is diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables

As you embark on your journey for a healthier heart, bear in mind the following to make the process more manageable:

The American Heart Association recommends that the best course of action is to get regular check-ups and know your risks. Women often neglect getting themselves checked, as they tend to be the caregiver, but self-assessment is imperative for prevention. If you are concerned about your heart health, contact your physician today and start making the necessary lifestyle changes as soon as possible.

A Guide to Dealing with Grief

A Guide to Dealing with Grief


In the later stages of life, there are many areas in which one may experience feelings of loss. Whether it be the loss of a long-time career, mobility, health, independence, or a loved one, seniors may have difficulty adapting to these life changes. They will likely grieve for the things that they have lost, and it’s important to remember that everyone experiences grief differently. The following tips offer advice for helping an elderly loved one overcome their loss:



If you have an elderly loved one that is experiencing some type of loss, understand the ways in which you can help them grieve. It is important to know that everyone processes grief differently, and that you may not understand how they are feeling. The best approach you can take is to be there for your loved one, and to make sure they know that they will always have your support.

New Year at Paradise Living Centers

New Year

We’re embracing the New Year and introducing some exciting experiences at Paradise Living Center. In 2015 we’re taking trips outside the home, hosting special dinners and implementing better ways of connecting with loved ones. At Paradise Living Center, we aim to enhance the experience of the residents living at our home. With this goal in mind, we have a lot in store:



In welcoming these new changes at Paradise Living Center, we hope to better serve our residents and provide them with opportunities to communicate and spend more time with friends and family. Please reach out with any questions about our new communication methods or to find out when we will be hosting our events.

The Benefits of Vitamin D


Vitamin D provides a variety of health benefits, especially for the elderly. It helps strengthen bones, which, in turn, helps prevent falls and fractures, two things that can wreck havoc on a senior’s quality of life. Vitamin D strengthens bones by promoting the absorption of calcium. It can also lower the risk for developing osteoporosis or osteomalacia, diabetes or high blood pressure.

Vitamin D can be taken as a daily supplement or through a diet rich in nutrients.

To increase vitamin D levels consider the following:

  1. Eat fortified foods or drink fortified milk. Vitamin D can be found in foods like salmon, cereal, egg yolks, and cheddar cheese. Simply drinking two glasses of fortified milk a day will fulfill the recommended amount of vitamin D. If milk is not your drink of choice try fortified orange juice.
  2. Spend time outside. If you live somewhere sunny, like Arizona, it is easy to get a good dose of vitamin D! According to Health, 20 to 25 minutes a day should be enough for you to reap the benefits. For longer periods in the sunshine, wearing sunscreen and a hat is necessary for protection from skin cancers, sun burns and sun damage. When you wear protection, it also reduces vitamin D absorption.
  3. Take vitamin D supplements. If you are not able to take in an adequate amount of vitamin D through diet and time spent outdoors, you might want to consider a supplement. There are a variety of vitamin D supplements available at any local drugstore, supermarket or health food store. Before taking any supplements, ask a doctor for recommendations, and make sure they do not interfere with other medications.

 According to Web MD, other benefits of vitamin D include a reduced risk of diabetes, lower chance of heart attack, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

 Keep in mind too much vitamin D can be harmful. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 4,000 IUs (international units) for healthy adults per day. Adequate intake is considered 600 IU per day for those up to 70 years old and 800 for seniors older than 71 years. For those with limited sun exposure, a higher dose may be beneficial.

Ask a medical professional or pharmacist about finding the right balance of diet, sun exposure and supplements to determine the best combination.

What Causes Sundowners Syndrome?

Sundowner's Syndrome

Sundowners Syndrome generally affects sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The syndrome received its name because the symptoms are exhibited after “sundown.” However, not all those who suffer from dementia exhibit the symptoms. Sundowners largely remains a mystery to medical science, but there are a number of theories as to why the symptoms present themselves at night. Some believe it is the culmination of all the sensory stimulation that occurs throughout daily routine that overwhelms and causes stress. The syndrome may prevent sufferers from settling in during the night and getting a much needed good night’s sleep. This can make the sufferer agitated and lead them to wander.

There are a number of signs to watch for:

According to WebMD, sundowning happens to almost 20 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The syndrome tends to peak during the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, although it generally gets better as the disease progresses.

There are several factors that may increase the risk of sundowning including:

Sundowning is a common cause of caregiver burnout but there are several treatments to make it less severe for both the parties:



Medical advice

Alternative therapies

Conducive sleeping environment

Calm reassurance

As a caregiver it is important to be aware of the behavioral patterns. Help your loved one through reassurance while encouraging activity to distract them and prevent confusion and agitation. Sundowners is not something that your loved one can control, but keeping a level head will help get you through the stressful moments. For more information on quality care of a loved one click here.

Fall Prevention for Seniors


As the aging population increases, the number of elderly Americans who fall and suffer serious and even fatal injuries is mounting. Falls are in fact the leading cause of injury related deaths in adults over the age of 65. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of people over 65 years who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, the most recent year for which fatality numbers are available – almost doubling the number of those reported 10 years ago. Seniors aged 75 years and older who fall are at least four times more likely than those age 65 to be admitted to a long-term group home for a year or longer.

Most fractures among seniors are caused by falls and rates of fall-related fractures among older women are more than twice those for men. The most common are fractures of the hip, spine leg, pelvis, upper arm, forearm and hand. In 2010, the CDC reported there were 258,000 hip fractures.

The fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life but it is important to be aware of the statistics and make the necessary adjustments in your home life to avoid the risks.

Preparing for Prevention

It is possible to stay independent by taking certain measures and making good lifestyle choices:

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for a consult with an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy focuses on adapting one’s environment, modifying tasks and teaching skills while educating the entire family in order to increase participation and performance of daily activities.

Assessing all options available is vital in the prevention process. You may even consider touring an assisted living home. Read our blog: "5 Signs it's time for your loved one to move into assisted living" to get further clarity and make the decision that will work best for you.