Finding the Fountain of Youth and Staying involved in Louisville

Finding the Fountain of Youth
Rita Pate, owner, ElderCare 4 Families, 244-8446

Is there a fountain of youth? Many Americans seem to have found some very simple solutions to aging safely and joyfully. Part of the joy of life is living every moment to the fullest in the place where you choose to call home. Home may be the place that has your favorite chair, the tree where your daughter took her first step or the table that held your 50th anniversary cake. Home may be an assisted living, health care facility or family member’s home. Regardless of where home is, safety is extremely important to aging joyfully.

A safe home environment can be one of the easiest and smartest things to do to remain safe. An estimated 1.6 million older Americans go to the hospital each year for fall-related injuries, the National Institutes of Health reports. A few simple safety solutions are clearing the clutter, installing handrails in the bathroom and/or employing a personal services agency to do light house cleaning and errands. Those who do live independently should consider how the normal aging effects the eyes, ears, brain and nervous system will affect their daily lives. According to recent studies, 12 percent of all seniors older than 65, and 35 percent of those 85 and older, require help with routine needs such as household chores, activities of daily living or shopping according to recent surveys.

Assessing your situation is the first step. Many companies will conduct home safety assessments for you if you are not able. This assessment isn't giving up on independence. However, it allows you to be proactive and safely control where and how you live. Is furniture and lighting in your home conducive to safely navigating around during day and night? The solution may be as simple as rearranging furniture or removing clutter. After 40 years in the same home, maybe it doesn't make sense to have some things in the same location besides change is good.

So now that you are safe, how can you enjoy life to the fullest and find this fountain of youth? The first key to enjoying life is staying active. Staying active ranges from traveling the world or taking exercise classes to staying connected with family and friends. Regardless of what active looks likes for you or your loved one, engage life and live each day to the fullest. If transportation or other issues are holding you back, investigate solutions. Personal service agencies, or non-medical home care, can assist you in meeting your goal of staying active and living life. ElderCare 4 Families, a non-medical home care agency, can send a caregiver to assist you in bathing, getting dressed, driving and/or escorting you to your activities.

Below are a list of activities in the Louisville area to keep you involved and engaged in life. I challenge you to see if you can complete ten or more of these activities over the summer. Make a copy of this list and see how many you can mark off this list. You will not only have many great memories, but you will find that you are active and living life to the fullest.

Take car or bus trips: Walk in Berhenheim Forest Attend book signing
Visit Slugger Museum Go to Speed Museum Shop for Antiques
Enjoy Frazier Museum Make and paint pottery Visit the Falls of the Ohio
Eat at new restaurants Participate in charity events Go on a picnic
Walk at the waterfront Attend a health fair Attend a craft fair
Visit the Science Center Go to the Derby Museum Walk at the zoo
Ride on Belle of Louisville Visit Hubers for apple picking Enjoy the ballet
Go to the Louisville Bats Cheer for a college game Listen to a play
Hear the orchestra Tour the bourbon makers Blow glass at GlassWorks
Tour a historic home Visit the KY Arts and Crafts Tour your old high school
Talk to a grade school Tour Louisville Mega Caverns Visit Ali Museum
Ride on the Dinner Train Visit the Horse Park in Lexington Visit a pet store
Exercise or swim Join the Silver Sneakers Program Play golf or tennis
Go bowling Try Wii sports with grandkids Volunteer

Other ideas: Garden in containers Reminsce
Look at photo albums Make a scrap book Make holidays cards
Send cards Take up a hobby Learn a musical instrument
Learn a new language Attend a support group Make jewelry
Attend the State Fair Get a free makeover Go to a spa for a treatment
Go to social events Play board and card games Attend public talk groups
Read large-print books Take a class at a local college Use or learn the computer
Watch movies Make a baby blanket Watch a funny or old movies
Adopt an angel tree Send cards to military Host a luncheon for friends
Visit family and friends Plant flowers Bake Cookies

Here are a few groups to consider joining: League of Women Voters; Rotary Club; Religious organization groups, senior groups; recreation clubs; stroke clubs; Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and many more.

Get engaged in life. Stay active and safe. As William James, the father of modern day psychology once quoted, “The greatest discovery of the 20th Century is that our attitude of mind determines our quality of life, not circumstances." If you need assistance with personal care, housekeeping, transportation, companionship or don’t know where to turn, call ElderCare 4 Families at 244-8446 or visit us at www.eldercare4families.com for resources and more information. ElderCare 4 Families has provided extraordinary in-home solutions since 1981 and helped people maintain a better quality of life by prolonging their independence, keeping people safe and assisting them in being active.