HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Elder abuse can be prevented by putting systems in place that prevent abuse from the start, creating community supports and services for caregivers and older people and increasing funding to provide training about the prevention and detection of elder abuse for people who work in aging-related care. In addition, older people can be empowered through senior centers and intergenerational programs that reduce the harmful effects of ageism.


Nursing homes face federal funding cuts when incidents of elder abuse occur. Many cases of egregious abuse or financial abuse are commonly left unreported by nursing home staff in order to save their jobs and/or cover for the nursing home. Only about 7 percent of elder abuse incidents are documented.


Where can you go for help if you suspect your loved is being abused? Contact the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) at 1-855-500-3537 or visit its Web site (https://ncea.acl.gov). You can also contact the adult protective services in your state or an area agency on aging.   

HOW TO SPOT AND PREVENT ELDER ABUSE IN NURSING HOMES


It should be noted that not all patients with these symptoms have been subject to nursing home abuse, but any sign should be taken seriously and be a cause for further investigation.


There are different types of abuse. In a nursing home, it may be perpetrated by management, an employee, another patient or a family member. Abuse takes the following forms:


JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN and a freelance writer. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines. Her Web site is at

www.normajean.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers

Over 3.2 million adults live in nursing homes and other long-term health care facilities in the United States. This figure is expected to rise as the number of elderly adults grows. The American Psychological Association (APA) reports an estimated 4 million older Americans become victims of physical, psychological or other forms of abuse and neglect every year. But that is not the full story; experts estimate that for every reported abuse case, as many as 23 cases go undetected.


According to the APA, the quality of life of older individuals who experience abuse is severely jeopardized because they often experience worsening functional and financial status. They also face progressive dependency, poor health, feelings of helplessness and loneliness and increased psychological distress. Research suggests older people who have been abused tend to die earlier than others of comparable ages, even in the absence of life-threatening disease.


Up to 1 in 6 nursing home residents may be the victim of abuse or neglect every year. Signs of nursing home abuse may include: