The Papa Visit Experience: A Day with Sam

Meet Sam, he's 91 years old and uses Papa once a week. He's been a Papa member since February and loves to go out with one of our Papa Pals to Dunking Donuts and Publix.

Sam has an amazing life story, that type of story you just want to listen to for hours. Here's a small clip of the Papa visit experience with Sam and Sarah, one of our favorite Papa Pals.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OVyD9InLdw]


Loneliness: More than an Emotional Condition

Loneliness is considered by many to be a new-coming epidemic in the United States.

There is no subset of the population more impacted by this than our senior citizens.

This is because of both the rate of seniors impacted by loneliness (25% of people aged 70+) and the drastic physical impacts loneliness can have on the aged.

Many studies show that loneliness has a strong correlation with heart conditions, diabetes, mental illness and more.

banner-papa-blogs

This is because the human body responds to loneliness in the same way it responds to chronic stress.

Hormones that inhibit the body’s immune responses are released and trigger physical reactions like inflammation.

In fact, it’s been proven that regarding mortality, loneliness has a negative effect greater than the smoking of 15 cigarettes a day.

What Causes Loneliness?

It’s difficult to conclude in each specific example what the absolute cause of loneliness can be.

For most of our loved ones, it is a culmination of circumstances. Major life events have been shown to increase the vulnerability a senior may have towards loneliness.

The death of a friend or spouse, moving to a new home, or a family member moving away are all major shakeups that can trigger loneliness.

The situation often worsens as seniors go through sensory or mobility impairments these issues can create feelings of desolation and solitude.

Even typical caregivers can often be faced with these realities and unable to properly assist in helping their loved ones escape this mental condition.

Often caregivers are worn out from assisting with 100 other responsibilities, and simply don’t have the fuel left to fully engage with their loved ones beyond surface-level conversations that don’t leave anyone fulfilled.

This is where Papa can offer a chance for a brighter tomorrow.

Alleviating Loneliness with Papa

Papa Pals can bring a fresh face and a renewed sense of energy and purpose into the caregiving role.

They can be the additional hands on deck, and the loving friend that everyone wants for their aging loved ones.

Specific strategies that Papa Pals can enact to help your loved ones are:

A deep conversation with an emphasis on listening

Papa Pals don’t have a laundry list of jobs or tasks demanding their attention.

When they are called on, they are 100% committed to the task of providing love and assistance to your loved one.

Be the student

Studies show that seniors respond well when their knowledge and wisdom is passed down.

This can be as simple as a Papa Pal asking a loved one to teach them how to knit or asking about what he or she did in their career.

Encouragement

Encouragement can be an incredible tool in alleviating loneliness for seniors.

It can help move them gently towards a new social activity with others, or into a place of expressing themselves that allows them to feel fulfilled and authentic.

Papa wants to do everything to help bring your loved ones a brighter tomorrow. Call us at 1-800-348-7951 to schedule a trusted companion to hang out and get out of that lonely shell.


Including Good Health as Part of My Retirement Plan

I was ready to retire. I was growing weary and my health was declining.

After almost 13 years of being the only caregiver for my disabled husband, I realized that it felt like my life force was literally being poured out.

However, I still had much to accomplish in my long and lovely life.

I urgently needed to simplify my life in order to slow the pace and find a balance of my own choices.

So I made drastic but gradual changes, moving to Florida and reducing my living space.

I revised my budget to be sure I was living below my means. People wondered about me, but I was excited.

I asked myself, in the splendid shadow of Thoreau, what I really wanted out of this final volume of my life's book.

My desire was to continue my writing, spend time with friends and family, and work to achieve a more healthy lifestyle.

Eating to Live -- Healthy and Well

banner-papa-blogs

Reading and listening to success stories had convinced me that I needed to aim for little goals and tiny tweaks to my daily habits.

So the first rule I adopted for myself was to spend at least 10 minutes in the produce aisle each time I shopped for groceries.

Pure boredom brings about taking a longer look at possible food choices.

This reminded me of my love for yellow crookneck squash, and I gradually began to experiment with eating a wider variety of foods.

stir frySince retirement allowed me much more time to cook, I valiantly resisted filling my schedule with busyness.

It seemed necessary to prioritize food first as I worked to revise my habits of cooking and eating.

I started fixing homemade soups, making it easier for us to increase our intake of veggies.

Sometimes I used a prepared soup as a base, then chopping four or five fresh veggies to sauté and add. Soups became a glorious expression of creativity and adventure.

Then I added the joy of stir-fry cooking!

Half of the time we had a breakfast of oatmeal with Greek yogurt, honey and blueberries all stirred in for fun and health.

A banana became a mid-morning snack.

Smaller Portions For Supper

I faced the fact that in our middle-aged working years we had gotten into the habit of eating our biggest meal of the day at night.

Also, much of our social life involved food in the evening.

As we made new social connections I kept two issues in mind. One was driving at night held decreasing appeal as my eyes aged, and the second one, finding social activities which didn't involve eating at night was now possible, and in fact vital for my plans.

I had known for years the value of eating more during the day and less in the evening meal, but the pull of work and social obligations made it a challenging task and easy to avoid.

So in my new life plans, I decided we would not eat anything after supper!

I eventually pushed that time to the 5 p.m. hour, with a goal of closing the kitchen at 6 nightly.

My husband and I went through a bit of withdrawal but eventually adjusted, even not feeling hunger after that time -- due to attending to protein needs throughout the day and at supper.

Afternoon snacks of nuts, fruit, and popcorn helped keep blood sugar level while providing a fiber and protein balance.

I placed special emphasis on whole grains along with better and fewer carbs.

There were very few no-nos other than smaller dishes and no eating after supper.

I tried to concentrate on what to do,  instead of what not to do!  So I poured my heart and soul into devising meals and snacks, taking time to savor eating.

If someone gave me a treat like brownies, I saved it for the next morning.

Then I could relish it with a cup of coffee or tea upon waking since I would have all day to use up those luxurious calories.

I allowed myself to indulge about once a week. We had lunch with friends on the weekends, and I enjoyed a small ice cream then. So I didn't crave anything since there were no taboos.

Moving Them Bones

banner-papa-blogs

Everyone knows moving is vital for a healthy body. But how to weave this wisdom into habits?

We started with a 30-minute walk each evening. Since we were on a budget, taking a walk helped substitute for shopping (a habit many of us know all so well!)

Sometimes we added a mid-morning stroll. I've continued short 5-minute walking sprints of a couple of blocks several times a day.

I find that allows me to enjoy nature while taking stock of my day, providing much-needed pause to reflect or just "be".

When a local hospital offered a class on balance and later healthy lifestyle, we took the classes, each lasting several weeks.

This is when I started using ice and/or heat to ease daily aches and pains--preferring it to medications when possible.

A Date with the Dreaded Scales

standing on scaleFinally, I must address the buzz word -- weight!

For me, weighing each morning upon awakening helped me focus on my goal.

I know many prefer weekly or monthly weigh-ins, but this became a meditative practice to help me focus on patience and hope.

If I weigh too much, I simply am reminded to stay on course; if I have a good number, I'm encouraged to stay on course also.

However, when I didn't get around to the weigh-in, I somehow gave myself permission to stray from my goal.

I don't set big goals since I've seen that fail so often, I set 1-5 pound goals and celebrated even at 1/2 lb. losses.

I recognized staying the same as a kind of victory also.

My main goal all along was health. I considered myself a "senior in training" as I tried new combinations and broadened my horizons with more variety, spices, and the ever-fun reading of labels!

I made up new recipes as well as consulting Google and magazines for more workable ideas.

Workable for me means easy, using what I have in my pantry, and staying within my limited budget.

After over several years, I took time to reflect and realized I had lost over 50 pounds!

My family noticed a huge difference in pictures from then and now. I lost around a pound a month and continued to keep my goals quite low, aiming either for the next pound down or to hold my own without gaining.

Since I'd seen friends yo-yo with their weight, I wasn't interested in fast weight loss, so I concentrated mostly on health and not gaining.

Health is the Bonus of Living Well

banner-papa-blogs

But the real bonus is that I am no longer pre-diabetic. Although my knees and hips are not cured, they are behaving better, providing pain reduction and increased mobility.

I have had tough times, as we all do, yet I seem to be holding my own. In hard weeks I don't pressure myself to improve; I work to hold my own and continue to have faith in the process.

When my morning weigh-in shows a rise, I keep that in mind, not starving, but remembering not to eat more than I need.

Sometimes I have chosen cottage cheese and salad or fruit for supper, reducing my quantity but maintaining my level of protein and variety of nutrition.

If I never lose another ounce I'll be OK. But I'll keep the weigh-in ritual because it reminds me that I live in my body and helps me focus on my health, making life better all around.

Even though I had taught that lesson to students for many years, it was time for me to renew my subscription to that vital reality!

Notice I never believed in diets. I strive for a healthy lifestyle where I enjoy food while keeping in mind its effects on my body and my life.

Didja hear me say I enjoy my food? On weekends I allow myself to fall off the wagon a bit and have a piece of cake or ice cream (chocolate please), then reducing my quantity at supper.

So I don't feel I have to give up things--just cherishing them judiciously:-)

Yup -- Smiling Helps

To top it all off, I've hung onto my sense of humor.

I tried to stand in my own truth while enjoying the humor of the medication marketplace where there were "experts" everywhere who knew exactly what I should do--give them all my money, ha.

And of course, they speak very quickly when they mention the side-effects including "a fatal event!"

Take That Body to the Doctor

I knew it was working after the first few weeks. Yet I also knew that my body was in a constant state of evolving toward old age.

You see, I had figured out that retirement is when you make a calling out of growing old!

So I kept regular medical appointments, even when I had no serious symptoms.

Got my cataracts fixed, started glaucoma meds (which could have made me blind had I not had that checkup), began to plan a colonoscopy (yuk), and did regular blood work.

Arggh, I even show up on time for the shot in the eye I have regularly.

banner-papa-blogs

The data obtained from these sources also informed my daily living by reminding me to keep my blood sugar in check while maintaining low cholesterol.

I even keep my dental appointments since I want a healthy heart and good breath.

Besides, the time spent with my dentist reminds me to keep my daily habits strong to prevent the spread of inflammation, which I understand affects one's whole body.

So that is the take of my journey from being at risk health-wise to being ready to face the world in good shape and fine health.

And yes, I will have a slice of my birthday cake, as long as it's early in the day and my birthday comes only once a year.

OK, I confess, my friends and family have birthdays too; I"ll have just a small slice.

 


Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizers Helpful or Harmful?

We've all been taught the common practice of proper hand-washing techniques. Now hand sanitizers seem to have taken over.

Hand sanitizers are everywhere! There is little doubt of their efficacy.

Both homes and schools allow unsupervised use without batting an eye.

Yet there can be a problem in substituting them for hand-washing.

Could some people suffer from not maintaining their hand-washing habits?

Safety Problems with Hand Sanitizers

banner-papa-blogs

According to Snopes, ingestion of hand sanitizer can result in alcohol poisoning. It doesn't take a lot since some can be over 60% alcohol (which is comparable to 120 proof)!

In fairness to the companies that produce these items, they do usually contain a clear warning to "Keep out of the reach of children."

Yet for some reason, the warning isn't always needed, especially with regard to at-risk populations.

Caregivers may not always see what is happening with dementia patients when the product is so readily available.

Perhaps fear of the flu has caused a bit of a premature rush to judgment in deciding proper use of these products.

Due to the strong scent, a number of people are over-stimulated and keep reaching for more.

There is some disagreement among medical professionals as to how much is too much.

Nevertheless, there can be an obvious and potential safety hazard.

Caregivers may need to exercise more control over the availability of such products to ensure healthy practices.

The Need to Supervise the Use of Hand Sanitizers

Unintended use of hand sanitizers when needed but without monitoring may expose vulnerable seniors to the possibility of intoxication or alcohol poisoning.

Some may use it excessively, rubbing it all over like lotion, inhaling it repeatedly, or even lick it.

Maybe it's time to update our best practices upon the realization that unfettered use of the substances may not always be wise.

In addition, if a family member is seen as at-risk for these problems you may want to consider alcohol-free products.

Is Hand Sanitizer Being Substituted for Hand-Washing?

In both homes and senior residences, people have far too easy accessibility to these products.

In addition to the dangers of ingestion, there is the danger of not being trained to wash hands regularly.

Keep in mind that hand-washing is the #1 way to reduce and kill harmful infections.

In flu outbreaks, the most often heard refrain from the medical community is the importance of hand-washing.

Yet many seniors and caregivers may not be utilizing suitable habits in order to develop the significant layer of safety brought about by frequent hand-washing.

Hand-washing has often been taught both at school and at home.

With the convenience of hand-sanitizers, there is a tendency to squirt one's hands rather than go to the trouble of seeing that hands have been washed.

Such an easy fix can lull people into much too frequent use at the expense of hand-washing routines before eating, after using the restroom, and countless other needed times.

Do Hand Sanitizers Have a Proper Place?

This is not to say hand sanitizers are bad, as the effectiveness of the sanitizers regarding the spread of contagions is widely accepted, as many hospitals and clinics across the country use them regularly.

The unanswered question is whether it is really more effective than hand-washing, a number of health professionals warn us that exclusive use of hand sanitizers will not substitute for diligent hand washing.

So one might deduce they each have a place in our cleanliness regimen.

It could be that society is a bit too relaxed. Now that it is known that hand sanitizers work, people are not continuing to give appropriate attention to the vital need for the value of careful hand-washing habits.

Hand sanitizers do have a proper place, but folks would be well-advised to be sure they are continuing good habits of hand-washing and only using sanitizers when hand-washing is not available.

Since being a senior requires a little more watchfulness of your health, above you saw reasons to continue rigorous hand-washing, then hand sanitizers still have a place since we often find ourselves without access to soap and a sink.

So when you hire a Papa Pal at joinpapa.com to help lessen the workload of caregiving or to enhance your senior experience with transportation and socialization, remember to take sanitizer in the car.

However when possible continue to practice faithful and thorough hand washing.


Guide for a Caregiver to connect with a Senior

 As a Papa Pal Caregiver, you’re a bright light in the life of your senior.

Often, help is requested for an elderly parent or loved one who needs assistance with transportation, daily activities, or just an amazing social experience.

Elderly companions are also a source of socialization, which is important for a senior’s well-being.

As people age, they can begin to feel isolated, and non-medical senior care jobs allow you to provide trusted companionship to an elderly adult in need.

By connecting with your senior as a Papa Pal, you will enrich the experience for both of you. For you, it’s a rewarding job.

And for your senior, it can be a high point in their day.

Five ways to connect with your member

banner-papa-blogs

If you’re a nursing or healthcare student working as a Papa Pal, you can offer the best support by making a connection with your senior.

And you can accomplish it in the following five ways:

Just chat

Once you do, try to find topics you have in common. Then talk about those.

It helps to be a good listener during your conversations—this will make it easier to discover your senior’s topics of interest.

Share information about yourself

Maybe you recently went on a trip and took pictures, or you’re artistic and recently created something beautiful.

Bringing an item as a “show and tell” to your senior visit can help to spark conversation.

It will also help you and your senior get to know each other.

Ask your senior about their interests

Seems pretty easy, right? Then, look for activities your senior might find interesting.

This could include games, puzzles, movies, books, magazines, outdoor activities, exercises, recipes, etc.

Come up with an option or two, and bring it along on your next visit.

Swap stories

One of the greatest pastimes in life is storytelling. Your elderly companion may love to tell stories and not often have someone to tell them to.

Your visit can be a welcome opportunity for your care companion to open up and share.

And don’t be afraid to tell a story or two of your own.

Check with your senior’s family

If you’re having a difficult time getting your senior to open up, it can help to get in touch with their family and simply ask what their interests are.

Then, brainstorm a few ideas for activities or conversation starters, and bring them with you the next time you see your senior.

Looking for a position as a Papa Pal caregiver?

If you’re looking to work with seniors, contact Papa. Our Papa Pals are young, fun and energetic college students, mainly in nursing or healthcare school.

This can include socializing, meal prep, light housework and more.

Sign-up today to start your journey as a Papa Pal!


Preparing a Loved One for Assisted Living

When the Realization Hits

There comes a time in the life of a caregiver when it is painfully clear things can’t go on as they are.

This is where I found myself after several years of utilizing senior centers and even adult day care outlived their usefulness.

In my husband’s regular cancer followup, his specialist took several looks at me, the caregiver, and after discussing blood work and his general condition turned her focus on me.

She said, “You’re in trouble here; you need to find an Assisted Living place close to where you live.”

She knew I had been a 24/7 caregiver for 13 years.

banner-papa-blogs

She had also followed his case for about 7 years, so she felt confident in her observations about “caregiver wear-out” and the increasing challenges presented by his condition.

Then and there, she spoke to him about the need for more help and he listened but gave no further response, probably hoping it would all go away.

As a caregiver, I had just gone through the process of realizing that placement is the right thing for my loved one.

After doing research and seeking professional counsel, it was time to embark on the road of making it a positive experience for the patient.

Caregiver Concerns

When I reached that point I was worried that my husband would feel rejected or displaced, so I devised a series of steps to lead him gently into acceptance of Assisted Living.

Being a retired teacher, this successive approximations approach made sense to me.

First, I weepingly told him over several days when he fell that I could not keep it up and that I was wearing out and losing my health.

This was right after three EMTs pulled him out of the bathtub—not once, but several times.

This event was becoming a habit. I spoke till I knew he was understanding.

Then I went to do some work and let him process that.

A Process to Introduce the Idea of Placement

A week later I prearranged with a good friend of ours to sit by him as we ate lunch after church.

I was strategically placed at the other end of the table.

I knew he respected her, so she asked him if he’d noticed that his wife was wearing out.

He was rather noncommittal but he did hear her and seemed to be processing that information.

To support this coordinated effort of enlisting help from friends and family I used the weekdays in between these social events to put out one clear message to him.

I focused on how I needed his help rather than his weaknesses. The message involved my need to regain and retain my health since it was getting too hard for me.

The next week I scheduled him to drop by and see our minister before services.

As they chatted she brought up the problem, saying his wife was in over her head.

banner-papa-blogs

He became concerned. (Even though his life sphere had grown smaller, he did have a deep love and caring for his wife.)

The reverend said she’d heard his Doctor recommended a great Assisted Living place not far from home so I as his wife could visit more often.

The minister allowed him to express his concerns that he would miss his wife.

Then at our usual after church lunch, his male buddies got him to talk about it and voiced their approval and support of the idea.

When my hubby said, “My wife is kicking me out” his good friend looked him right in the eye and countered with, “No! She’s taking care of you.”

Staying with One Clear Message

 

That day in the car on the way home we discussed the matter.

I, as his spouse and caregiver, had to stay strong and point out the positive to be gained from placement.

I reiterated to him that my doctors were telling me I must start taking care of myself.

Also, I reminded him that this was what his own doctors recommended.

He then expressed sadness and empathy that I was having health issues.

That gave me the opening to tell him how his allowing others to do some of the caregiving would help me.

He seemed to be okay with that.

The next week we went for a meeting at Williamsburg Landing, the assisted living place I had chosen after much research and many site visits.

The wonderful director was most helpful and took him on a tour, introducing him to people as we walked around the facility.

Value of Planning Ahead if Placement May Be Down the Road

There is no doubt that long-term care insurance has made a momentous difference in our lives.

We had spent down most of our retirement funds for copays and other medical expenses, and when it was time to utilize the long-term care insurance it was truly a godsend.

If you are in a position to make that decision to start or continue a long-term care insurance policy, think long and hard before you say no since it’s worth its weight in gold.

I faithfully paid my long-term care premiums even when I had to cut back on groceries because watching Suze Orman had convinced me of its importance.

Now my first-hand experience verifies the value of having somewhere to turn when things become too challenging for you to handle at home.

Also, long-term care insurance can help with continuing care at home to allow living at home for as long as possible.banner-papa-blogs

If that isn’t an option schedule a meeting with a qualified placement counselor or social worker and consider places close to you so visitation will occur more often.

In conclusion, caregivers are usually mentally and physically exhausted when they reach the point to finally decide to explore placement, so a multi-step plan could make the process much easier.

At that time they are confronted with the need to turn it into a good experience for all. Above are some of the ideas which worked for my husband.

It was worth all the effort to ensure that he had a positive transition into assisted living.

The good people at joinpapa.com can pitch in to help in the transition, providing respite, companionship, etc while the caregiver visits various facilities or seeks consultation.

A Papa Pal could make this journey of change a bit easier for you. And they can even drop by the assisted living center to provide companionship and other services for you there.

Placement may be a hard choice, but when it is necessary, you can find your way through it and come out happy with the result.

 


senior couple

Happy Valentine's Day: A Caregiver's Love Story

February brings thoughts of love and romance. Yet some stories are worth hearing any time of year:

Jack's life was no big deal. He excelled in business but seemed to find affairs of the heart a bit challenging.

Yet he eventually lived a love story that would melt the heart of the devil himself.

On the way to his defining moment, he stumbled onto the altar with a succession of ladies.

banner-papa-blogs

As his middle years were passing him by, he once again divorced and married a 4th wife. As is often the case with multiple marriages, that love interest did not last.

Fatherhood did not work out very well for him either.

His son had been in and out of drug rehab programs more often than you could count, and his life had never taken hold of any purpose.

This brought Jack untold grief as he kept throwing both money and parts of his heart at the lifestyle of addiction his son had embraced.

Friendship seemed to work out better for him. He relished time spent with Jaques Cousteau's son since they both shared a love of underwater ocean beauty.

He owned a hotel in CanCun and booked exotic trips for diving amidst nature's shining sea treasures.

As a single and greying older man, he heard a doorbell, then an urgent knock at his door one day.

He opened to find his third ex-wife looking desperate as she pleaded to be invited in

She told her compelling story between sobs of both deep sorrows while finding comfort in his presence once again.

She had come to the realization that something was horribly wrong with her and she was out of her mind with a cold gripping fear.

After their long talk, Jack went into hero mode. First, he remarried her so she could get on his insurance and could inherit from him if she were to outlive him.

Then he got her a thorough medical checkup. The heart-breaking diagnosis was Pick's Disease, a very debilitating form of dementia.

This did not help the suffering but did give him some direction for his efforts at helping.

Before too many months had passed, her condition continued to worsen.

Eventually, he secured a 24-hour team of nurses and caregivers to allow his wife to stay home as she so dearly wanted.

The ocean view at Bal Harbour by Miami seemed to be calming to her.

banner-papa-blogs

Jack may have had challenges with marriages, and even parenting, but it is clear he excelled in love.

No doubt he came a bit late to the role of hero-lover, but the daily gift of love he gave his wife was truly amazing.

His attention to vital details and his kind way of including her in his senior years speaks volumes for the type of man he had become.

Eventually, he discovered that he had an advanced incurable cancer and soon was pronounced terminal.

He stepped up to take charge of her future and his by managing crucial details while he himself was suffering and grieving his own demise.

He coordinated with her family in Savannah so she would continue to receive tender loving care.

It was both heart-rending and impressive to attend the "going away party" he gave a few weeks before his demise.

He used this as a chance to connect once more with a number of his friends, and to even coordinate plans on tying up loose ends of both his personal and business affairs.

When his time came and he passed on, his life was a testament to the wise fact that it is never too late for doing something marvelous with one's life.

Careful end of life planning proved vital to seal his love story with a kiss.

Perhaps when the romance and fervor of a relationship are growing dim, a reassuring hug and a quiet kiss can be one of the greatest love stories ever told.

Many caregivers know this is true, and labor daily to bring love and care to their loved ones.

banner-papa-blogs

Life has taught them that love can be expressed in many ways including caring for needs day in and day out.

Caregivers dispense their love and kindness without many breaks or expressions of love directed their way.

Wouldn’t this be a great time to call papa.com and schedule a break for a caregiver you know?

They can help out with regular routines, provide transportation, cook a meal, and do whatever is needed.

No doubt companionship may be one of their greatest gifts.


south beach florida

Best Cities for Seniors in Florida

With Florida’s unique landscape and warm weather throughout the state, it’s very common for senior citizens to either move here permanently or become “snowbirds.”

Many cities in Florida have a great appeal to senior citizens because of their natural preservations and great beaches.

The sunshine state gives seniors a great opportunity to experience the outdoors year-round, keeping them younger and healthier.

Since we are currently expanding our services to many cities across Florida in 2018, we have done a lot of research on where seniors will enjoy their time the most.

Here are the top 10 cities for seniors in Florida

banner-papa-blogs#10 – Ocala area

This city has many things to do for seniors. In fact, they have a community nearby called The Villages, which is a 55+ active community and is rated the best place to retire.

Being inland there is a lot natural land with many hills. It is a quick drive to Orlando, but you also are far enough from the busy city.

#9—Naples/Fort Myers area

With its beautiful weather and Gulf of Mexico beaches, this is one of the main attractions cities for seniors.

It is a quiet area that also has lively areas and amazing food. It is only a 2.5-hour drive to Miami for those who want a weekend getaway.

#8—Sebastian

This city is right next to the Indian River so you will feel a cool breeze all year.

It’s also known as a laid-back city with a small town feel. Bird watching is one of the most popular hobbies in this city.

#7—Sarasota

Nationally recognized, Sierra Key beach is one of the top three beaches in America and many seniors enjoy visiting this city.

You can enjoy reading a book and relaxing with your toes in the sand on any given day.

If you love deer spotting, Rothenbach Park is a main attraction for watching the wildlife that roams freely.

#6— Greater Tampa Area

Having St. Pete and Clearwater in Tampa’s back pocket, there are a ton of outdoor activities to do without skimming the surface.

The beautiful beaches and downtowns are senior accessible and their indoor museums are beautiful.

Clematis_St_PM_BNXTBVQY#5— West Palm Beach

Known as Florida’s Golf Capital, Palm Beach thrives on seniors who love the sport.

From the beaches to the lively downtown, this spot is a great city for seniors to visit.

#4— Greater Miami Area

Miami is packed with culture and adventure. If you are an active senior and you love lively music, museums, sports, and festivals, this city will keep you busy.

#3—Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce Area

The gorgeous sunrises and sunsets on the beach are a huge plus for seniors who love to enjoy Mother Nature.

This city is ranked as one of the safest and crime free areas.

#2—Vero Beach

With some of the friendliest people, this city is known for its mellowness. Everything is extremely affordable in this town.

There is a small town feel to this city because the population isn’t too big. The best part about this town is how little traffic there is on the streets.

#1—Punta Gorda

With its relaxed lifestyle and friendly community, it’s easy to make friends in this town.

There are many recreational activities that are community centered and is an ideal vacation destination.

How to use Papa?

Papa takes a new approach to aging by connecting seniors with energetic college students with a degree in nursing.

banner-papa-blogs

We are available for transportation needs, help around the house, teaching technology, socialization, and much more.

We are currently available to assist you and your loved ones in all of these counties: Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

Our Papa Pals are available to help you once you request us through our app or website.

Start your free trial and contact us for more information today!

 


teaching technology to seniors

How To Teach Technology To Seniors

You’re never too old to learn something new, even if it’s technology.

In the ever-changing digital times, it’s difficult for seniors to learn how to use new devices on their own.

A study from Pew research found that 77% of older adults needed assistance when it came to learning how to use technology.

In the last year they also found that social networking almost doubled for people over the age of 50, growing from 22 percent to 42 percent.

banner-papa-blogs

With assistance in learning technology, it shows that adding technology to your loved one's life will benefit their life immensely.

Not only do our Papa Pals have extensive knowledge and background with technology, they also have the patience to teach your loved ones how to effectively use it.

It’s important to use a step-by-step process when you’re explaining technology to someone who’s unfamiliar with it.

Helpful ways you can teach a senior in the digital age

Explain the value

Showing a senior how easy it is to talk to a friend you haven’t seen in 7 years through Skype, or getting an email back within 10 minutes from a family member, helps them see the importance of technology and what it has to offer.

Having them understand that this enhances their social life without needing to leave their house at all.

Our goal is to hear them say “Wow!”

Papa Pal member and Papa Pal

Use easy language

Be mindful of the word choice you’re using. The new words the Internet has created in our dictionary might not make sense to someone who barely uses a computer.

Instead, ask them what they already know about technology so you can use analogies to what they’re already familiar with.

Take it slow

It’s always best to start small and have multiple sessions so you don’t give them information overload.

The last thing you want to do is get them feeling too overwhelmed and then they give up because you gave them too many tasks to try by themselves.

Write it down

Since writing by hand is something that they are used to, get them a notebook specifically for writing down any steps they need to remember.

If they get lost or forget how to do something, they can jog their memory from their own handwriting.

Patience is key

It’s important to stop a lot and take time for them to ask questions. The more engaged they are, the more they will take in and learn.

Give them confidence

Celebrate the small victories. Focus on the positives and what they are doing right and they will want to continue using it.

Show them free resources

TechBoomers and AARPTEK are two great websites that give free technology tutorials to help your loved ones.

Visit the websites together and bookmark them so they have easy access to it.

Make sure you watch a video or two together and practice the tutorial after so they can get comfortable using the sites when you aren’t around.

Get them used to technology

Games are a great way to get them engaged with technology. Maybe they love crossword puzzles, scrabble, or Sudoku.

Download an app or give them a website and show them how to play from their device.

This will help them get comfortable with using the buttons and touching the screen.

Talk about Internet safety

Show them the best practices on how to create strong passwords. Let them know to never put any personal information out through emails.

If you address these issues and show them the best Internet safety, they will feel confident and not get taken advantage of.

Interested in learning technology from a young mind?

If you have a loved one with little to no experience, download our app today and request a Papa Pal.

Our patient Pal’s are experts in technology and fully understand how to guide you through setting up your devices and making you feel comfortable.

Click here to download our app.


granddaughter and grandfather

Senior Parents? Five Common Health Concerns

Health and wellness are important at any age but takes an immediate forefront for senior-aged adults.

During their golden years, it’s critical for senior parents and loved ones to maintain their health as long as possible.

And if the senior in your life isn’t within a short car ride, it can be especially difficult to ensure they’re getting the support they need for good health.

However, you can set your mind at ease through the services of a companion care provider with Papa Pals!

Five senior health concerns—and elderly wellness tips

banner-papa-blogs

Seniors are at greater risk for different medical ailments and concerns.

By keeping some of the most prevalent health concerns in mind (and taking actions to help reduce their risks through wellness activates), seniors will hopefully be able to alleviate some of these concerns:

Slips, trips and falls

Unfortunately, falls can be common with the elderly, especially due to a loss of strength and balance.

Companion care provides the assistance seniors need to complete daily tasks, such as light housework and laundry, making it unnecessary for your senior parent to push themselves and attempt to complete tasks with which they now have difficulty.

Obesity and heart disease

Fitness tips for seniors include getting some exercise each day.

As we age, limited mobility can cause our weight to creep up, putting us at risk for illnesses such as heart disease.

When you partner with Papa, your assigned Papa Pal can help your elderly parent safely fit in activity during the day, such as a stroll through the park.

Depression

It’s healthy for seniors to stay social, and Papa Pals provide this outlet.

Companion care includes conversation, games, crafts and other activities that are important for a senior’s mental well-being.

Arthritis

Joint pain can limit the daily tasks an elderly adult can easily do, such as meal preparation and cleaning.

The help of a Papa Pal makes it easier for a senior to maintain their previous lifestyle.

Osteoporosis

An injury can be especially dangerous to a senior who suffers from weakened bones.

Osteoporosis (weakened bones) put the senior at risk for larger injuries resulting from mishaps or falls.

However, the support of an elderly care companion to complete daily tasks greatly reduces the possibility of a fall for your senior parent.

How to find reliable companion care services

If you’re concerned and need assistance providing the services your elderly loved one needs for good health and well-being, contact Papa.

Our Papa Pals are available to help and can be requested in advance or just when you need them most.

To start your free trial, contact us today!