Give Your Grandkids a Gift They’ll Love


The holidays are a joyous time of year full of celebrations that bring family and friends together. Between all the parties, dinners, and get-togethers, you may be pressed for time and stressed about choosing the right gift for your grandkids. Though they’re bound to love and appreciate any gift they receive, here are some tips and ideas to help you select something they will enjoy:







This holiday season, try not to worry about what gift to give, The most important gift of all is enjoying time spent together..


Happy Holidays!

It’s National Caregiver Appreciation Month – What Can You Do to Give Back?


More than 29 percent of the U.S. population provides care for a chronically ill or aging family member or friend. On average, these caregivers spend approximately 20 hours per week providing care to their loved one. Caregiving is a demanding job that can take a toll physically, psychologically, and financially. November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month, a time to recognize those who dedicate their time and compassion to taking care of others.

Here are some ways you can give back to the caregivers in your life:

Offer to cook Thanksgiving dinner: Caregivers spend the majority of their time caring for others. This year, don’t make them feel like they have to take care of Thanksgiving dinner, too. Offer to cook the holiday meal and give the caregiver in your life a chance to relax, spend time with family, and enjoy the holiday.

Recognize caregivers by hosting a get-together to honor caregivers in your community: With more than 65 million people providing care for a loved one, chances are that you know someone in your community who is a caregiver. By organizing a get-together for these individuals, you can make them feel appreciated and connect them with fellow caregivers who can provide advice and support.

Give a gift card for a massage or spa treatment: Caregiving can be physically taxing.. Gifting a caregiver in your life with a massage or spa treatment can help relieve those tired muscles and is a thoughtful way to say thank you.

Offer to accompany a caregiver in your life to the doctor: Many caregivers report that their health is fair or poor, and they struggle with depression more often than their non-caregiving peers. Focused on caring for loved ones, caregivers frequently forget to take care of themselves. Offering to go with them to the doctor, helps to reminding the caregiver to also focus on their own well-being.

This month, take time to show your appreciation for the caregivers in your life. These individuals give their time and energy daily to provide care for others. Giving back to a caregiver lets them know that they are cared for too.


How to Manage and Live with Type 2 Diabetes As You Age

diabetesWhat is it?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is experiencing insulin resistance, which means that it does not make or use insulin well. This causes glucose to build up in the blood instead of reaching the cells, leading to hyperglycemia (excess blood sugar). Hyperglycemia can result in problems with the kidney, vision loss, nerve damage, mobility issues, slowed healing, and cardiovascular disease.

Why are the elderly at risk?

While type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, it’s even more common in the elderly. The risk of getting the disease increases as you age, especially after 45, due to higher possibility of weight gain and decreased cell function, among other factors. In fact, the CDC estimates that “25 percent of people ages 65 and older are living with diabetes.” This makes type 2 diabetes a major health issue for seniors.

How to Manage Diabetes

Lose weight

Excess weight is one of the major causes of type 2 diabetes, so it makes sense that losing weight is a key factor in managing the disease. The next two tips, exercising and eating the right foods, will help you maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise regularly

As noted above, regular exercise will encourage weight loss. In addition, physical activity reduces your blood sugar and helps your muscles efficiently use glucose. Other benefits include a lower cholesterol level and blood pressure, decreased depression, and improved stamina.

The best way to optimize all of these benefits is to take up a regular schedule of aerobic exercises and strength training. Aerobic activity, such as walking, biking, swimming, and gardening, should be done for 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. The recommended time for strength training is twice a week. Taking up strength training can be intimidating as you age, but there are a number of options that don’t include free weights, such as yoga and resistance bands.

Eat the right foods

Those with type 2 diabetes are generally advised to make changes to their diet. It’s recommended that you increase their intake of vegetables and plant-based foods, as well as whole grains. In addition, you should reduce the sugar in their diet and avoid unhealthy fats.

See your doctor

Keeping up regular appointments— e.g., checkups, kidney checkups, eye exams— will help you stay on top of your diabetes. It will also ensure that minor health problems that are a result of your diabetes don’t turn into major ones.

Take an active role

While your doctors can help you stay on top of your diabetes, it’s up you to take ownership of your condition. This means asking questions, regularly monitoring your blood glucose levels, following your doctor’s advice, and never missing a dose of medication. If you are older, enlist a family member or loved one to make sure you’re doing everything you should be to manage your diabetes.

Get the right treatment

Often, if diet and exercise aren’t enough to manage your diabetes, your doctor will decide on a medical treatment. This can come in the form of oral medication, insulin treatment, or a combination of both. There are a variety of medications out there, and they can do everything from stimulating the pancreas to make more insulin to inhibiting the breakdown of complex carbs. If meds aren’t enough to control to blood sugar, insulin therapy will be recommended.

As you get older, it can get harder and harder to manage type 2 diabetes, especially if you live alone. Thankfully, if you have a caregiver or are living in an assisted living group, you can get the help you may need to stay on top of it. Paradise Living Centers offers healthy dining catered to resident’s needs, has weekly stretching activities, and uses an electronic medication management program to ensure every resident gets their proper dosage.

If you have any questions about how to best care for someone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or about our assisted living community, please contact Paradise Living Centers at (480) 878-4112.

Attitude of Gratitude Luncheon

PLC Attitude with Gratitude


Paradise Living Centers would like to cordially invite you to attend our pre-holiday luncheon, Attitude of Gratitude. We will be serving a homemade feast of Paella prepared and cooked by our onsite chef. Our luncheon will be held at our home in Paradise Valley on Wednesday, November 19 from 12p.m.  - 1p.m. Please RSVP your attendance to our host and care manager Kristie Chadwick:

The Benefits of Pet Therapy

Pet Therapy

There is extensive research that shows seniors benefit from owning a pet, but this is not always possible for those living in an assisted living facility.  At Paradise Living Centers, we partner with Hospice of the Valley pet therapy services, which brings trained and certified dogs to interact with the residents at least once a week. On these visits, residents have an opportunity to spend time with the dogs and enjoy their company.

Interaction with pets is known to have a number of therapeutic and health benefits including:

Alan Beck, director of the Center for Human-Animal bond at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine found that placing a fish tank in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s residents helped them hold their interest while they were eating, resulting in weight gain. Weight loss is a concern for sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease.

Pets require nurturing and in many cases those living in assisted living facilities no longer have the opportunity to nurture others. Being around animals can remind residents that they were once caregivers and this can bring about psychological and physical relaxation, suggests Beck’s research. As humans we are incredibly tactile and feel loved and rewarded through touch.

Pet therapy does not directly manage hypertension per se, but there is research that proves there is a physiological reaction to animals. In other words, the actual act of petting the animal can help reduce the causes of hypertension.

Animals also have the ability to evoke laughter, which in turn helps to manage stress. A lot of seniors experience stress as a result of loneliness. Having the animals come visit for pet therapy aids in focusing the attention of residents, particularly those with dementia, keeping them in the present.

To learn more about the benefits of pet therapy and pet ownership read Beck’s book, Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship. To find out more about the activities and services we provide our residents at Paradise Living Centers come visit our home or contact Kristie Chadwick at 602-550-1247.

Seniors and Social Media

As a senior, how many times have you had to wait for a family member to mail you pictures or wanted to feel more connected to family and friends living far away? For many seniors, going online is a faster and more effective way to stay in touch. Social media allows users to go online to different websites, such as Facebook or Twitter, and share content with other users. Facebook is becoming more and more popular, and according to Pew Research Center, 46 percent of seniors now use social media. Facebook is a great social media platform to get started with if you’re interested in connecting with family and friends online; it allows users to share photos, videos, status updates and even messages.


If you haven’t already created a Facebook account, here are five reasons you might want to try it out.

1)    Stay in touch with family and friends

Facebook makes it easy for users to send private messages to each other, share photos and update statuses to let their friends know what’s new in their lives. It’s definitely much more efficient than snail mail!

2)    Reconnect with friends from the past

One of the most rewarding aspects of social media can be reconnecting with long last friends and relatives. On Facebook you can search people by name or email to easily re-connect. Facebook will also generate a list of people you may know based on a variety of factors such as your friends list, location and employment history.

3)   Share updates

Your senior years can be an exciting time that friends and family would love to stay updated on. Mailing individual letters about your recent activities can become time consuming and inefficient. On the contrary, updating your status or uploading photos on Facebook is a quick and easy way to send out information to everyone on your friends list.


4)   Learn new things 

Social networking sites can provide a wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics. Your Facebook contacts can share articles, video clips and other materials that will keep you learning something new every day. You can also navigate social networking sites to have a question answered, or even better, pose a question on your Facebook page to be answered by friends on your contacts list.


5)   Entertain

Not only can your friends share informative materials on social networking sites, they will likely share entertaining things as well. Scrolling through Facebook can be a great way to find an interesting article or a funny photo; the possibilities for entertainment are truly endless.


According to a 2013 Fast Company Article, adults ages 45-54 are the fastest growing demographic signing on to social networks, such as Facebook and Google+. As more learn the value of social networks and how easy they are to log on and use, they will likely help families and friends stay even more connected.

To get started, head to Facebook and follow the prompts to create a new account. Before you get started, make sure you have a functioning email account and enough time to complete the process. Should you run into any problems, the Facebook help page is a great resource. For additional help navigating the world of social networking, try reading a book like Anna Sparrowhawk’s Social Networking for Seniors in Easy Steps.

5 Decorating Tips for Senior Living

assisted living - decorating

Moving a loved one into a senior living home can be a tough transition, but one thing that doesn't have to change is the quality of their living environment. There’s no need for a bedroom to be plain and dreary; it’s simple to design a senior living space that is both stylish and functional.

Here are some decorative design tips to consider when helping your loved one transition to a new home or assisted living facility:

Create a Space with Memories

To create a living space that makes your loved one feel at ease, it is important to include belongings that remind them of home. Special mementos, family photos and favorite furniture pieces are great ways to incorporate memories that will help an assisted living environment to feel like home.

Select Favorable Colors

Eyesight declines as we grow older, so using contrasting colors when decorating can be beneficial for visibility reasons. Senior living centers may not have the option of repainting walls. Instead choose colorful paintings or pictures and bright accessories that stand out against the wall color to make objects more easily distinguishable.

Consider the Layout

Be careful to keep walkways wide and clear when placing furniture to allow your loved ones ample space to walk through; especially for those using walkers or wheelchairs. Try arranging furniture around a focal point, for instance placing a couch in front of a window so that the view of the outdoors can be enjoyed.

Use Innovative Storage Techniques

The senior living center your loved one is moving into may be less spacious than where they are currently living. It is important to consider what belongings will be most important to them and where to store these items. Developing clever means of storage, such as an ottoman with storage space in the center, will reduce clutter and allow your loved one to bring more of their precious mementos with them.

Taking advantage of these design tips can help you create a living space for your loved one that is safe, stylish and functional, while still feeling like home. At Paradise Living Centers we encourage residents to personalize their bedrooms. The more they feel at home, the less overwhelmed they will be. As they make the transition to assisted living, we want them to be as comfortable as possible.

Memory Care for Seniors

PLC - Activity

According to the Alzheimer’s Association more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease. The epidemic affects 1 in 9 Americans over the age of 65. These staggering numbers will continue to grow as our population is living longer. It is important that we educate ourselves on the disease and find ways to combat the epidemic while we wait for science to develop a cure.

At Paradise Living Center memory care sessions are offered to all our residents and we work with an expert team from BrainCare to provide tailored one-on-one sessions to meet the individual needs of our residents.

Memory care is a therapy that is designed to help delay cognitive decline. Memory care is activity based and the exercises provide mental stimulation that concentrate on six mind functions:

  1. Memory
  2. Quantitative thinking
  3. Abstract thinking
  4. Emotive Expression
  5. Visual, spatial and tactical abilities
  6. Speed of processing

The activities that memory care offers provide routine and can make the best of the person’s ability. Studies suggest that the brain needs repetition and challenges help it to work better. Memory care activities are designed to reduce behaviors such as agitation and wandering. The activities create a sense of togetherness between the individual and the caregiver which in turn builds that sense of security.

At Paradise Living Center we ask our residents to join in fun activities such as “Brainiversity” every Thursday. These activities bring residents together socially while providing stimulation.

If you are caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease it is important to have a schedule so you can plan to fit memory care activities into their day. Online sources are a good place to start when looking for activity ideas.

Seniors Guide recommends 10 quick tips when engaging in activities at home with your loved one:

1. Be flexible and patient
2. Encourage involvement in daily life
3. Avoid correcting the person
4. Help the person remain as independent as possible
5. Offer opportunities for choice
6. Simplify instructions
7. Establish a familiar routine
8. Respond to the person’s feelings
9. Simplify, structure and supervise
10. Provide encouragement and praise

Practicing memory care therapy is crucial in helping those suffering from a memory loss disease. The activities provide structure to their daily lives and routine can help behaviors of dementia from becoming an issue to worry about. Consult your doctor for more information and services on providing memory care for your loved ones that are living outside of an assisted living facility. If you are interested in helping to accelerate Alzheimer’s prevention research visit Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry and find out how you can make a difference.

5 Superfoods All Seniors Should Be Eating

blueberries and strawberries image

Getting proper nutrition as you age is essential to living a long and healthy life. While basic nutrition needs remain fairly stable throughout your lifetime, the need for certain nutrients may increase or decrease with age. By keeping a nutritious diet and knowing how to obtain the proper nutrients, seniors can work to prevent certain age-related diseases and even help to counteract the aging process.

Every senior's diet should include these superfoods:

Olive Oil

Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that helps lower the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. This fat also contains Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that is essential for having a strong immune system, skin, and eyes.


Chocolate is extremely high in flavonoids, antioxidants that help sustain the healthy function of blood vessels. Maintaining a healthy blood flow aids in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia.


Compounds found in blueberries called polyphenols protect the brain against damage caused by environmental toxins that are associated with age-related memory loss and decline in motor function.


Broccoli is high in fiber and full of vitamins to help the body. Vitamin A promotes good eyesight, vitamin C leads to a healthy immune system, and vitamin K benefits bones and tissues.


Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit heart health and decrease the risk of an abnormal heartbeat. Salmon in particular has additional benefits – recent studies have shown that salmon contains bioactive proteins that help provide support to joint cartilage and insulin effectiveness.

By consuming these healthy fats and vitamins, seniors can aid their bodies in numerous ways from healthy skin to strong bones and tissues. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring either, at Paradise Living Centers we prepare all of the residents’ meals fresh, daily. We are conscious that our meals are appetizing but we consider the nutritional values of the foods that we serve to benefit our community at Paradise Living Centers.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Seniors

A recent University of Chicago Medical Center study discovered that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people over 65. Out of all heat related illnesses, heat stroke is the most serious. It can cause brain damage 6/25/12 By Gary M. Baranec Seniors/heat illustration 2and even death if the body isn’t cooled quickly.

The elderly are more vulnerable to heat stroke because possible medical conditions make adapting to heat more difficult and prescription medications can cause dehydration. Fortunately, a few simple precautions can keep seniors safe during periods of extreme heat:

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is the main cause of heat-related illnesses. Make sure your loved ones drink plenty of water or juice even when they are not thirsty. It is also helpful to avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they tend to dehydrate the body.

Wear appropriate clothes 

Make sure your elderly parents wear light-colored, lightweight, and loose-fitting clothing to help stay cool. When spending time outdoors, it’s also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to guard from the sun.


When it's extremely hot out, seniors should avoid outdoor exercise or strenuous activity. If they want to exercise, it is best to do it indoors or in the morning or later in the evening when it's cooler. Also, be sure they take frequent breaks.

Seek air conditioned environments

If your elderly parents do not have working air conditioning in their homes during severe heat, take them to the mall or to see a movie to keep them in a cool area. You can also suggest that they take a cold bath or shower. Fans and swamp coolers may also help.

Knowing the warning signs of heat-related illnesses can also help protect your loved ones from heat stroke:

During extreme heat waves, visit your older family members daily to watch for signs. If you observe any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately and move them to a cool area. Provide them with wet towels or lead them to a cold shower to quickly cool their body down.

When the summer temperatures are high, it is important, to check on your loved ones regularly and encourage them to increase their fluid intake, It will help prevent heat stroke and improve their overall health.