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Is My Elderly Loved One Sleeping Too Much?

Getting quality sleep is essential at all stages of life, especially for the elderly. Lack of sleep is known to cause a multitude of negative effects. However, getting too much sleep can also cause problems. 

Whether your loved one is living at home or receiving care in assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, monitoring their sleep habits is important.

How Much Sleep Is Normal for the Elderly?

Each person is different, so the amount of sleep required for each individual will vary. However, experts suggest that seniors should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. 

Some seniors enjoy naps during the day, but nap time should be taken into account when calculating the total hours of sleep. If seniors sleep nine hours each night and take a one- to two-hour nap, an underlying issue is probably causing excessive sleep. 

Getting too much sleep increases the risk of developing a number of health issues, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Obesity

Too much sleep has even been linked to premature death. If you notice your elderly loved one is sleeping more than normal, it is worth exploring the underlying cause and consulting a doctor.

Causes of Excessive Sleep 

There are many reasons a senior may sleep more than normal, and it may take some investigative work to pinpoint the reason. 

One common cause of excessive sleep among seniors is the side effects of medication. Some medications can cause drowsiness, making it harder for seniors to wake up and stay awake. 

Another common reason is mental health challenges, like depression or anxiety. Seniors struggling with these issues tend to sleep more than their peers with better mental health. Other possible reasons could include:

  • Poor sleep quality
  • Sleep apnea
  • Other sleeping disorders
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Boredom
  • Underlying health problems

A medical professional can help you and your loved one determine the cause of the excessive sleeping and work toward a healthier sleeping schedule.

Care for Your Elderly Loved One at Assisted Living Facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida

For some seniors, staying at home will become unhealthy or unsafe. Hazards at home and feelings of isolation can lead to sleep disturbances for seniors. 

In these cases, moving to assisted living or utilizing skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a good option. The staff in senior communities work with seniors to ensure they maintain a routine and are on top of healthy sleep habits.

3 Surprising Causes of Falls in the Elderly

Falls are one of the most common reasons older adults visit the hospital each year. As we age, falls become more dangerous and can result in serious injury. In addition, seniors can face long recovery times from even minor slips and falls. 

Many hazards, environmental factors, and behavioral habits can contribute to falls. Here are three surprising causes of falls in the elderly.

1. Stubbornness 

As seniors age, many of them want to hang on to old habits and routines, even if they are no longer safe. For example, seniors experiencing declining mobility may not be able to get around the house as easily anymore, particularly with stairs. 

Some seniors can be stubborn and refuse to change their home or routine. Unfortunately, this stubbornness creates an accident waiting to happen, often leading to falls and serious injuries.

2. Confusion

It is common for seniors to experience some cognitive decline during their later years. Confusion is a common symptom of cognitive decline and can indicate the early onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Many people don’t realize that confusion can lead to falls in the home.

When a senior becomes confused about where they are or what they are doing, they can get disoriented and be highly susceptible to tripping in an environment they are normally familiar with.  

3. Medication Side Effects

Most seniors are on some sort of medication, and it is not uncommon for medications to be adjusted or changed over the years. Unfortunately, doctors can’t always predict how medications will impact seniors, and there can be some unanticipated side effects. 

Medication management can also become more difficult, leading to missed or double doses.

One side effect is diminished balance or dizziness, which makes seniors much more susceptible to falls. It’s important to work closely with your doctor and alert them immediately if you or a loved one starts experiencing negative side effects with medication.

Stay Safe at Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg 

Seniors who live alone are at a higher risk of experiencing serious injury after a fall simply because there is no one around to help them. Assisted and independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, provide a safety net for seniors because they provide a dedicated staff on-site, 24/7.

Assisted living in Saint Petersburg is a great option if you or a loved one have experienced a fall or are simply looking for a bit more support.

4 Simple Heart-Healthy Habits to Add to Your Routine

During the later years of life, seniors become more susceptible to chronic health issues, and heart conditions are no exception. Seniors are more prone to experience heart disease, heart attacks, heart failure, and more. Taking care of your general health is important, but it’s a good idea to pay particular attention to your heart health.

Here are four simple heart-healthy habits to add to your routine.

1. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is important for overall wellness at any stage in life, and it is especially important for seniors. Seniors who do not exercise regularly are at a significantly higher risk of developing serious ailments, including heart-related diseases. 

Keep heart disease at bay by exercising — it improves blood flow and makes your heart stronger. Whether you go on walks near your home or take advantage of the gym or pool at assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL, make your daily exercise routine a priority.

2. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods

Eating nutritious food is the best way to keep your body and mind in good health for as long as possible. Consider adding heart-healthy foods to your diet, including:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Berries
  • Walnuts
  • Avocados
  • Beans

These are just a few examples of heart-healthy foods, and many of them can easily fit into your existing daily diet. You can also switch out your regular snacks for more nutritious, heart-healthy snacks. Before making any drastic changes to your diet, always consult with your doctor.  

3. Get Regular Sleep

Getting consistent, quality sleep is important to your health, particularly your heart health. Poor sleep has been linked to a greater risk of high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and an increased chance of developing heart disease. 

One theory behind the association between poor sleep and heart disease is the fact that your blood pressure goes down at night. When you are awake for more hours or getting poor quality sleep, your blood pressure stays higher for longer. Sustained high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for developing heart disease. 

If you are having trouble sleeping, don’t ignore it. Consider changing your schedule, altering your eating habits, or consulting a professional.

4. Take Advantage of Heart-Healthy Activities at Assisted Living Facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL

With onsite walking paths, pools, gyms, and healthy dining options, maintaining your heart health in assisted living is easier than ever. Whether you are living an active lifestyle or are in need of nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, you can find what you need and focus on your heart health. 

Home Care vs. Assisted Living: What Are the Differences?

If you or a loved one has decided to explore care options for later in life, you’ll find that there are several options. From home care to assisted living to independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, there are many choices for seniors.

It can be hard to know exactly what type of care you’ll need. Read on to learn more about the differences between home care and assisted living. 

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL, provide housing and care to seniors who can’t or have chosen not to live independently. They receive support services and health care services, including bathing, dressing, and eating, if necessary. 

Seniors also receive assistance with medication, meals, and laundry, and can benefit from structured social activities and transportation. Assisted living facilities provide the care that seniors need, and also offer a sense of community that keeps them active.

Home Care 

Home care is a service provided by a caregiver that takes place in a senior’s home. A caregiver may visit once a day or spend many hours each day providing care, depending on the level of need. 

Home care offers transportation, companionship, and daily assistance with various tasks, including:

  • Meal preparation
  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Housekeeping 

Home care offers a convenient option for seniors who aren’t ready to leave their homes. It’s also a highly customized form of care that gives seniors everything they need.

Finding Assisted Living Facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL

Saint Petersburg is home to some of the best assisted living facilities as well as home care providers around. No matter what level of care you or your loved one requires, there is a skilled caregiver or expert community to provide it. With a little research, you can find the perfect fit and ensure your loved one is taken care of through retirement.

Congratulations To Our Volunteers and Team Members Of The Year

We’re beginning our celebration of Westminster Communities of Florida’s Volunteers of the Year and Team Members of the Year! Over the next two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, we’re holding recognition banquets in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando to celebrate these individuals. Be on the lookout for our announcements of the winners prior to each banquet, and fun photos from the event itself.

Congratulations to all the amazing people who make Westminster Communities of Florida a great place to live and work!

Volunteers of the Year

Team Members of the Year

4 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Elderly Parent’s Caregiver

Caregivers are generally highly professional, compassionate people who work every day to improve the lives of the elderly. The services for in-home care and assisted living in St. Petersburg, FL, are some of the best around. However, just like any profession, not every caregiver is perfect.

Sometimes caregivers suffer from stress, and other times, caregivers may just not have a personality that is compatible with your elderly parent.

No matter what the reason, there are a few signs to look for that indicate it is time to change your elderly parent’s caregiver.

1. Your Parent Expresses Concern

While this sign may seem obvious, make sure you listen to your parent when they express concerns about their caregiver. Even things that sound trivial, such as forgetting to take out the trash or cooking a meal incorrectly, can be signs of a bigger underlying issue. 

2. Sudden Change in Attitude

Sometimes elderly people feel too ashamed to admit trouble with a caregiver and will instead act out. If you notice a sudden and inexplicable change in attitude with your elderly parent, it may be time to explore alternative care options.

3. Mismanagement

If you are using a service company to coordinate in-home care for your parent, the management of the staff and the agency itself is critical. If you notice that your parent’s caregiver has been changed a number of times, or if there is high turnover or other signs of mismanagement, it may be time to consider switching caregivers.

4. Disengaged Caregiver

Caregivers should always be attentive and thorough. If you notice that your parent’s caregiver is distracted or can’t answer basic questions about care for your parent, that’s a sign that another caregiver may be a better fit.

Find Care Through Assisted Living in St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg is home to a number of care facilities that cater to the elderly in all stages of life. From in-home care to skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, you can find a solution that meets your parent’s needs.

Seasonal Allergies: How to Help Your Loved Ones Manage Their Symptoms

Seasonal allergies are no fun, and in Florida, the symptoms can be severe. A wide variety of unpleasant symptoms are associated with seasonal allergies, including: 

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Fatigue

If you have a loved one who is enjoying their retirement in assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida, they may need some help managing their symptoms during allergy season.

Dealing with Allergies at Assisted Living Facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida

In Florida, the primary causes of allergies are ragweed and mold, both of which reach peak growing conditions in the summer and fall seasons. Mold thrives especially well in moist and humid conditions, and the summer humidity in Florida creates the perfect environment for mold growth in a variety of settings. 

Whether mold, ragweed, or seasonal pollen are causing your loved one’s allergic reactions, there are several ways you can help them mitigate their symptoms within independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL.

Limit Time Outside During Daylight Hours

Though it may seem strange to suggest staying indoors during the sunny summer months in Florida, this is one of the best ways to avoid bad allergy symptoms in the state’s most humid time of year. 

Pollen counts are highest during the day, so your loved one will have an easier time avoiding bad allergies if they limit their outdoor activities to the evening.

Keep the HVAC System Clean

Your family member’s HVAC system keeps them nice and cool during the hot summer months in St. Petersburg. However, did you know that an improperly cleaned AC unit can cause allergy symptoms?

This is largely because the unit collects dust and pollen from the outside, which gets ventilated throughout the home and can cause allergic reactions.

Use Protective Gear While Gardening

Gardening is a popular pastime among residents in independent living communities, but interacting directly with plants can be a significant cause of allergy symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to urge your loved one to always wear gloves and a mask while gardening to reduce contact with allergens.

Avoid Planting Allergy-Inducing Flowers

If your family member has a passion for gardening, encourage them to avoid plant and flower options that tend to cause allergic reactions. Some plants that commonly cause allergic reactions include flowers like daisies, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers, as well as other plants like juniper, wisteria, and cypress.

5 Medication Management Tips for Older Adults

Many seniors take multiple medications and supplements throughout the day. It can be easy to mix up medications or lose track of what was taken. For this reason, managing medication is critical to avoid missed doses or double doses. 

Whether older adults are living alone or enjoying assisted living in Saint Petersburg, Florida, there are a few simple actions older adults can take to more effectively manage their medications. 

Here are five medication management tips for older adults.

1. Keep All Medications in One Location

If an older adult takes multiple medications, they should all be stored in one location for easy access. Medications stored throughout the home can become confusing and take unnecessary time to track down. 

Keeping medications in one location makes it simple to keep track of what was taken and pay attention to when certain medications are running low.

2. Store Medication Properly

Unfortunately, some medications can become less effective if not stored properly. For example, medications can start to break down if they are stored in a location that is too moist, too cold, or too warm. 

Make sure to read all the prescription labels, which should clearly spell out how the medication needs to be stored.

3. Presort Medications

Make a habit of pre-sorting medications at the beginning of the week or even the beginning of the month. This can make taking medications accurately and on time much simpler. There are even sorting tools that can help make sorting and storing easier. 

Pre-sorting also prevents confusion about which medications to take on which days and minimizes the chances of missed doses.

4. Double-Check Medication Instructions

Some medications have specific administration instructions, such as eating with food or avoiding taking at night. In addition, when seniors are on multiple medications, extra due diligence is required to ensure that the medications don’t negatively react with one another.

Make sure to double-check with the doctor about how different medications interact with each other and with supplements. In assisted living facilities, the resident pharmacist will also be able to help. 

5. Set Up a Tracking System

Just like many other things in life, it is sometimes easier to keep track of things when you write them down. Medication management is no different. Creating a tracking system that notes when medication should be taken and when it was taken can make a big difference in keeping a consistent schedule.

A tracking system can also be helpful to medical professionals if they need to investigate an underlying issue. The tracking system allows them to see if any doses were missed or taken at the wrong intervals.

Assisted Living in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Seniors from all walks of life can find incredible assisted living facilities in the Saint Petersburg area. Whether it’s independent living, skilled nursing assistance, or memory care in St. Petersburg, FL, the community caters to varying needs.

Seniors can enjoy retirement to its fullest and get the care they need for the long term.

4 Benefits of Waterfront Living in Your Senior Years

Through the years, you worked hard every day but never lost sight of the day when you would retire and begin living life your way. It was a goal that kept you motivated and uplifted during the demands of daily responsibilities.

Like many people, you may have imagined retiring near the beach where the weather is warm and the days are long. Fortunately, your dream of walking along the waterfront during sunset or lying on a beach any time you please can become a reality.

If you’re looking to fulfill that dream, assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, might be the answer. 

Why Choose Assisted Living Facilities in St. Petersburg, FL?

Waterfront living has more to offer than magnificent views. Imagine stepping outdoors in the morning to the scent of salty air and the caress of a warm breeze on your skin. You can hear the splashing waves on the beach and the caw of busy seagulls in the air and feel the healing sense of serenity that only a waterfront environment can evoke.

According to experts in the medical community, the unique atmosphere of waterfront living is beneficial to your mental and physical health in many ways. Four of the main benefits of waterfront living in your senior years are:

  • Stress relief
  • Interaction with others
  • Improved health
  • Safety and security

Let’s look at these benefits in a little more detail. 

1. A Natural Antidote to Stress

Senior adults experience stress for many reasons. They may be dealing with the loss of a spouse, adjusting to new living arrangements, or dealing with chronic health issues. Waterfront living reduces stress levels as the atmosphere creates a sense of calmness. It’s like being on a vacation that isn’t destined to end in a few days.

2. Easy Interaction with Others

Independent living facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, provide many opportunities for spending time doing fun activities. The facilities are located near waterfront towns that are filled with venues where seniors can enjoy the day. Shopping, museums, guided tours, dining, and movies are just a few examples. 

Of course, there are also endless choices for outdoor activities such as kayaking, waterfront strolls, sunbathing, biking, watersports, and more. Group outings can be a great way to fill the hours and socialize with new friends.

3. Vastly Improved Health

People who reside in waterfront communities tend to spend more time outdoors. All that extra fresh air improves oxygen intake. The increased sun exposure created more vitamin D to help balance serotonin levels and combat free radicals. All these factors combine to increase relaxation and improve mental well-being. 

These benefits, along with the outdoor activities, help seniors enjoy an overall healthier lifestyle — not to mention the health benefits of eating local, fresh seafood.

4. Safety and Security

Waterfront retirement communities have safeguards and restrictions in place to provide a secure environment for senior adults. Many facilities provide 24/7 security services to ensure the safety of their residents day or night.

Is Waterfront Living Right for You?

If you dream of beautiful views, a laidback lifestyle, delicious seafood, and salty air, waterfront living in your senior years is the right choice for you.

Many people feel drawn to the sea. Your inner compass probably points in that direction, so why not follow it?

Assisted Living: 5 Common Financial Questions

Moving into an assisted living facility is a major step in elderly life. On top of the emotions are concerns about how this move may affect your and your loved ones’ finances.

Here are five of the most pertinent questions to ask of every assisted care community you look into. 

1. How Much Will It Cost?

What you or your loved ones will pay for assisted living varies, depending on the facility you choose and the services it provides. The average cost of assisted living facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL, runs around $3,825 a month. In surrounding areas, you may be able to find a facility that costs less than $3,000.

Make sure to ask what services and amenities are included in the price. Some communities offer resident care, meals, housekeeping, and medication supervision in their fees. There may be added costs for separate apartments, pet deposits, supplementary meal plans, internet service, or specialized care. 

2. Does the Facility Charge One-Time Fees?

Generally, skilled nursing facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, charge single fees before residents move in. These fees might apply toward administrative costs or physical health evaluations.

Most facilities also require an upfront, non-refundable deposit for securing a space, typically around $1,500 to $2,000, possibly more. Ask your representative which one-time entrance fees might apply to your stay.

3. Can Medicare or Medicaid Help Pay for Assisted Living Facilities in Saint Petersburg, FL?

Medicare does not help pay for assisted living arrangements – only professional medical care. Medicaid, on the other hand, may be able to help defray the cost of assisted living in Florida.

Certain Medicaid programs under the broader Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) Long-Term Care Program provide a modest subsidy to cover monthly expenses. These benefits are given through the federal government through the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver.

However, help from the HCBS program can be difficult to get due to limits on how many can enroll. Currently, there’s a waitlist to get in, with the most unwell individuals getting the highest priority. Some seniors may exceed the income limits for Medicaid assistance and may not qualify. 

4. Can VA Benefits Help Pay for Assisted Living?

If you are a veteran, you may be able to pay part of your assisted living expenses with the Aid and Attendance benefit that the Department of Veteran Affairs offers. 

This often-overlooked program subsidizes needs-based help for many aspects of assisted living, including physical care and daily routine help. The resident’s condition does not have to be the result of military service to receive VA help. 

5. What Programs Can Help Pay for Assisted Living?

Besides the Medicaid and VA provisions above, you may be able to find financial help from state programs, Social Security, life insurance benefits, long-term care insurance, and some loan programs specifically for assisted living.

New facility residents who can’t sell their home before moving in may be able to secure a short-term bridge loan to finance their assisted living arrangements, taking off the pressure to sell before it’s most profitable to do so.

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