Wellness Week

Celebrating Wellderly Awareness Week

In today’s world, the word elderly and wellness are not often synonymous. In fact, it is our oldest and wisest that too often get left without the type of attention and love that they deserve.

Wellderly Awareness Week is the perfect time to take steps towards bringing that love and attention back into our beloved seniors’ lives.

Wellderly Awareness Week is a grass-roots phenomenon that helps bring national attention to the wellness of our elderly population.

This week especially, we at Papa want to celebrate our elderly and we encourage all our readers, and our Papa family to do the same.

Different Types of Wellness

Wellness can mean different things to different people. Being physically fit means very little if you’re lonely or depressed.

Papa, through the services we provide and our educational training platform, emphasizes three major types of wellness: physical, emotional, and mental.

We want our Papa family, and our beloved seniors around the world to have systems in their lives that build and maintain wellness in all those areas.

How you can celebrate Wellderly Awareness Week?

Wellness Weeks

Activities

Physical activities such as taking your loved one on a walk, for a round of golf, or a gentle hike can be a great way to boost their energy levels and help them feel confident and strong!

Simply put, movement in any way can be a huge contributor to a senior’s overall wellness.

Our Papa Pals are always on call to assist in scheduling or transportation and we can even join your loved one.

Call your local Senior Center

What better way to figure out how you can celebrate Wellderly Awareness Week than to reach out to your local Senior Center and take advantage of their organized events?

Senior Centers are a wonderful resource for bringing social relationships, and large-scale senior-friendly activities into your loved one’s life.

A simple internet search should yield contact information, and as usual, our Papa Pals are always happy to assist.

Reach out

When is the last time you gave your father, or grandmother a call to simply ask how he or she is doing? Wellness, especially mental and emotional, is so often connected to loneliness.

We want our elderly to feel the love that we have for them. Taking time to sit and have a heartfelt conversation with a loved one can unlock feelings of purpose and understanding of other ways you can help bring light into their lives.

The Papa Purpose

Here at Papa we are committed to improving the lives of seniors across the country. Caring for our elderly requires a different approach and an understanding that their needs are different from our own.

Wellderly Awareness Week is a perfect time to educate others on how we can be better caretakers for our loved ones, and celebrate the people and relationships we cherish so much. Our Papa Pals are your 24/7 grandchild that can be a ride, an extra set of hands, or simply a friend to those who need it most.


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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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!

 


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Getting the Most Out of Your Winter Holidays

No matter what winter holiday you observe, these ideas may help to get your dose of happiness for the season:

One of the most challenging facets of managing Christmas is our difficulty in "seeing the forest for the (Christmas) trees."

If the hustle and bustle of accomplishing Herculean tasks involved in tripling our social schedule don't get us, then the necessity of smiling while experiencing extra frustrations surely will.

A major roadblock to our letting our tinsel of happiness shine during the Yuletide is the myth that it must shine all the time.

Learn by Watching the Tinsel

Ever notice the tinsel on your tree?  It alternates between dull and shining phases.

It would be hard to really feel the shine if there weren't moments and spaces without the shine to provide contrast.

Because it's the holiday season, we suddenly quite allowing ourselves the much-needed full range of human emotion, and insist that joy and happiness are all that's allowed this month.

No wonder depression increases with the season.

This gunny-sacking of negative feelings can end up bursting and casting a shadow on a person's fun and self-image.

Guilt sets in because a person is not able to be happy all of the time, as the season seems to indicate.

Even the excitement and happiness takes a toll on seniors and caregivers alike.

Relief and calmness are often called for along with an acceptance of the possibility of disappointments.

These are at times part and parcel of the season's happenings, as they are a natural part of life the rest of the year.

Empower Negative Feelings Along With all the Joy

Discussion about negative feelings reduces guilt and tension and prepares us to cope with such occasions.

Perhaps attempting too much happiness for ourselves in a short time can cloud our perception of what happiness really is.

The accompanying tension brings behavior and feelings that make perceptive people wonder if all this Yule Gruel is worth the effort!

A step in the right direction would be to let the tinsel of feelings have freedom of movement in ourselves, then in our children.

Express the same range of feelings as you do the rest of the year.

Try saying no without guilt to the events, which may bring you too much pressure.

Continue the Calm Rhythm of Routine

Budget your time so you're not dragging yourself around at the expense of eating, resting or customary closeness to friends and loved ones.

If you usually sit a bit before going out for the evening, do it even if it makes you late for the engagement.  Such routines help us survive daily life.

In addition, alternate exciting and calming activities so excessive tension doesn't build up without the relief valve of restful moments now and then.

You'll know you've wrestled with the "Spirit of Christmas Too Fast" and won:

  • If you can encourage yourself and your family to continue being yourselves.
  • If you're listening to your own drummer and not that of the media, storefronts, or even neighbors and friends.
  • If you can realistically aim for more cozy times than hard times.

AT FINE MOMENTS, here and there, you'll be privileged to catch a glimmer of tinsel shining and realize you are shining that Christmas tinsel!

It would be worth considering ways to reduce stresses of the season.

One way would be to enlist the services of Papa.com and enjoy the many ways a college student could ease the pressures of the season, or just help fill the loneliness so many feel this time of year.


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Five Ways Your Loved One Can Benefit From a Papa Pal

You want to be sure your aging family member gets the care they need. But you might not be able to visit all the time and help out, especially if you have a full-time job or don’t live nearby.

A Papa Pal Caregiver can give you peace of mind and the social experiences your elderly loved one needs.

This could include help with grocery shopping and meal prep to ensure they’re eating properly.

Or maybe your loved one needs help with light housekeeping.

What if they enjoy going for walks but can’t get out without assistance? And if they live on their own, they may simply look forward to social interactions—conversation, crafts or card games, for example. Well, a senior Pal caregiver can provide these services!

Five Benefits of Senior Companion Caregivers

A Papa Pal provides services that add to the health and well-being of the senior in your life. This includes all of the following:

Prevents depression

As people age, they may feel isolated from the rest of society. This can be due to the loss of a spouse, decreased mobility or independence.

Through regular, caring contact with a Papa Pal, your loved one will receive the compassionate support and assistance that adds a ray of sunshine to each day.

Supports cognitive function

Activities such as games and art projects are fun, but that’s not all. They also provide a mental challenge that helps an older mind maintain concentration and focus.

Activities like playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, painting or knitting help your loved one’s mind stay active and engaged.

Provides technology support

Ours is quickly becoming a technology-driven world, and many seniors feel lost when it comes to smartphones, email, and the internet.

But these things are often a must when it comes to paying bills or staying in touch with family and friends.

Papa Pals can answer questions and help your loved one understand and use technology without frustration.

Assists in nutritional health

Older adults with limited mobility may find themselves eating poorly simply because they can’t access the foods they need for good health.

A Papa Pal can help your loved one get to the grocery store to purchase fresh, healthy foods and prepare well-balanced meals for them.

Adds to quality of life

Variety is the spice of life! Papa Pals help your loved one expand their social circle and include activities in their daily lives that may have once been present.

Papa Pals are like grandkids on-demand, providing the social experiences, transportation, and support that adds to a joyful existence.

Interested in Senior Caregiving Services?

Assistance and socialization services for seniors is a unique way to provide your elderly loved one with compassionate support and social experiences.

Papa is the first-ever provider that connects you to nursing and healthcare students specially trained to support your loved ones.

To sign up for a free trial or to learn more about the services our Papa Pals provide, please contact us today!


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Top Reasons You Should Be A Papa Pal Caregiver

Giving back to others is good for you—mind, body and soul! And non-medical senior caregiving jobs are no exception. If you’re a nursing or healthcare student and you’re looking for a job you can feel good about, you should consider becoming a Papa Pal.

What is a Papa Pal?

With this unique job role, you’ll be providing an amazing experience to seniors in your community.

This includes assistance with daily tasks, as well as socialization. Your Papa Pal duties are specific non-medical tasks your elderly care companion needs help with, including laundry, transportation to medical appointments, cooking and light housework.

Papa Pals also “pal” around with their seniors, and often play games, go for walks or help them with arts and craft projects.

It’s a fun and engaging way to help another person while experiencing firsthand what senior assistance and care is all about!

How helping others helps you

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Rewarding work, like non-medical caregiving jobs, is beneficial to the seniors you’ll spend time with. But did you know they’re good for you, too? Here’s why:

Make new friends

As a Papa Pal, you’ll have a role in the life of your member and their family. To build social connections, it’s good to interact with all different people—both young and old.

You can make new friends while you experience the rewarding work of helping someone maintain a sense of well-being.

Stress less

Work that challenges you to give back to your community is good for your mental health—it can give you a sense of purpose, add to your happiness and even help combat depression. All of this can help you reduce stress and breathe a little easier.

Build your confidence

Maybe you’re heading towards graduation and feel you need to develop your “people skills” to be able to work with your future patients.

As a Papa Pal, you’ll have 1:1 interaction with your member, and as you gain experience, you’ll find your confidence increase!

Stay physically active

Helping out with daily activities will keep you on your toes. Senior caregiving jobs will help you keep moving and avoid being sedentary—a common problem for students who often find themselves behind a computer screen or buried in a book.

Learn something new

Though Papa Pals don’t fulfill any medical or home health tasks, you can still learn skills that will help you in your career.

Simply making time to be a good communicator through listening and sharing is an important skill for a professional in the healthcare field. What other skills will you gain?

Interested in joining us?

Papa offers senior caregiving opportunities in South Florida for nursing and healthcare students. If you’re interested in a rewarding, feel-good job, we’re looking for you! Register to be a Papa Pal today!