Beautiful Destinations Ahead: A Guide to Aging Well
Getting older is an opportunity to invest more time than ever before in yourself and your family—from setting off on a fabulous family vacation or finally taking that solo adventure, to settling into a new self‑care routine that leaves you feeling years younger. Now is the time to make plans and follow through on them. But you don’t have to take on your second act alone. We’re here to guide you through the transition. We all age—why not age well?
The Right Move
Five Questions to Ask a Potential Senior Living Community
With their wide range of amenities, residential options, and care levels, senior living communities come in all shapes and styles—meaning finding the right one for you or your loved one can be a bit overwhelming. To get started in your search, consider these important questions to ask to help narrow your list and put you on the path to finding the perfect new home.
What levels of care does your community offer and how easy is it to move between levels?
Communities offer different levels of care, from independent living to skilled nursing care. Independent living is designed for people who enjoy the social aspects and various amenities provided by a community but do not need physical help from day to day. Assisted living facilities strive to give residents independence while also providing some hands-on care to help them perform daily tasks, like dressing and bathing. Skilled nursing and memory care both provide higher levels of daily medical assistance. Communities can help you determine which care level is most appropriate, and continuing care communities, which typically offer independent, assisted living, and skilled nursing or memory care, will allow residents to seamlessly transition between care levels should their needs change.
How did the community handle the COVID-19 pandemic, and how did it allow residents to communicate with family?
Senior citizens were one of the hardest-hit populations during the pandemic, and those who lived in communities relied on them to stay healthy and abreast of current public health regulations. In addition to asking potential communities about what safety precautions they are taking in response to the pandemic, it’s equally important to inquire about how the community embraced technology to bring families closer together during lockdown. A person’s mental health is just as important as their physical health, so note how a community is taking care of both.
What is the financial investment for the community?
As important as determining your budget is understanding the financial investment required to move into a senior living community. This includes entrance fees, monthly fees, and any other costs. Also discuss with a potential future residence how it handles financial hardship among its members, especially if paying monthly or weekly fees becomes a challenge. Factoring the cost of living in the community into you and your family’s budget will help you target the best options.
What amenities does the community offer?
Not all senior living communities are the same, meaning there’s a perfect fit for everyone. For some seniors, proximity to family is the key factor when picking a home, while others may prioritize amenities like swimming pools, gyms, walking trails, or art studios. Foodies may prefer communities that offer chef-inspired gourmet meals provided three times a day, and social butterflies would thrive in residences with a lot of group activities, happy hours, and meet-and-greets.
Since an engaged mind is a healthy mind, many communities also offer continuing education options for residents. Inquire about learning opportunities for potential residents, be it lectures from local university professors to resident organized book clubs.
The same goes for fitness. Active seniors who want to continue with their morning laps, daily walks, or evening yoga should ask about the fitness options in the community. It’s also important to understand the fitness culture of the community. Do most residents tend to gravitate toward sedentary activities, or active ones? Is there education around the benefits of an active lifestyle? It’s always good to ask!
How does the community support the medical needs of residents?
Not all senior living communities feature an on-site medical staff, but most offer a range of healthcare services, including bringing in physicians periodically, assisting residents with tele-health appointments, transportation to appointments, medication distribution, and more. Make sure these services will appropriately address you or your loved one’s medical needs—and if not, consider a higher level of care.
Fun For All
Three exciting destinations for an easy multi-generational vacation that’s sure to impress the whole family.
Planning family vacations is hard—especially when you’re finding activities for young kids and retirees at the same time. But there are plenty of options for multi-generational trips. Here are some suggestions for your group, from weekend getaways to weeklong escapes.
Hike in New Hampshire
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, look no further than the White Mountains in New Hampshire, just a three-hour drive from Boston.
Kids can enjoy nearby parks and attractions on a warm summer day, while the whole family can take a ride on one of the state’s many scenic railroads. In winter, stay at one of the many resorts that connect directly to ski trails along the mountains. Hiking up Mount Washington is also an option, but if the trek is too difficult, don’t worry—you can also drive up to the mountain’s peak to get the same incredible view
Fly down to Florida
For a fun vacation for all ages, the clear blue waters, incredible wildlife, and beautiful sandy beaches of the Florida Keys can’t be beat. Multiple airlines offer nonstop flights from Boston to Miami, where the Florida Keys Express Shuttle makes regular stops.
Once you’re down there, get ready to discover wildlife in a new way by swimming with bottlenose dolphins or taking a manatee boat tour where you’ll be able to see the gentle giants below. For the more adventurous members of the family, check out water sports or deep-sea fishing.
Kick back in the Caribbean
If you don’t have time to plan every detail of an upcoming vacation, consider an all-inclusive package at a resort in the Caribbean. There are plenty of family-friendly and adults-only resorts on islands like St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos.
If you want to save money, look for an air-land package that combines hotel fees with flights— often offering both at a discount. The busiest (and most expensive) time of year tends to be around the holi‑ days, so consider booking during the off-season, which starts around January.
When is it Time to Switch to a Gerontologist? Here Are Four Signs.
Aging doesn’t have to be a taboo topic. Talking through the changes you’re going through with a health specialist can help you maintain control over your health and your life in the long term.
Our health is a priority as we age, which often means making adjustments and adaptations as we get older. One simple adjustment is transitioning from a primary care physician to a gerontologist—a doctor similar to a primary care physician who specializes in the changing health needs of older adults. While there is no set age for making the switch, many begin considering it around age 65. Here are four reasons you might consider seeing a gerontologist.
You have been having trouble with your mobility.
Maybe you’ve recently had joint surgery or just don’t feel as steady on your feet. A gerontologist can assess your balance and the way you walk so that you can improve your strength and balance. That might mean doing simple at-home exercises, starting physical therapy, or having an occupational therapist come to your home for a fall-risk assessment. Having these tools can give you a sense of control over your ability to move around comfortably. Ultimately, this will enable you to recover from a procedure faster and stay independent for longer.
You’re on multiple mediations.
As we age, we often find ourselves on multiple medications. According to AARP, more than one-third of adults over the age of 62 take at least five prescription drugs. On top of that, over 60 percent take a dietary or herbal supplement. As common as it is, if you fall into these categories, you might consider seeing a gerontologist. As you get older, doses can take longer to metabolize in your body. So, if you’re taking multiple medications, it’s possible that they could react with each other in unforeseen ways. That’s where a gerontologist can make a huge difference. They can assess with you which medications you need to be taking, at what dosages and help you determine a suitable routine. They can also evaluate supplements.
You’re in the hospital.
If you get a geriatric consult while you are in the hospital for an injury or a surgery, it can greatly increase your chances of returning to your independence and continuing to do things like walking without assistance, managing your finances, and carrying out essential self-care. Since gerontologists are tuned in to the specific concerns of older adults, they are often a great resource after a traumatic injury or surgery to get you fully back to your routine.
You’re having trouble with your memory.
It can make a big difference in your cognitive health to reach out to a gerontologist if you are having memory issues. A gerontologist can conduct different tests on your memory, ability, and mood as well as order brain scans and blood work to determine the cause and ultimately devise the best treatment plan for you.
Feel Like You Again
From superfoods to small procedures, there are many ways to combat the negative effects of aging and improve your health. Here are some recommendations.
Refresh your diet
It’s no secret that diet plays a major role in how you feel—from your mental health to your energy level to your skin. Try avocados to give your skin and your mind a boost—its monounsaturated fatty acids help the body absorb beta-carotene, one of the most important nutrients in preventing cognitive decline. Not to mention, avocados also contain antioxidants that help build collagen. Matcha tea is another option; it contains the ECGC antioxidant, which helps to prevent cell degeneration and premature aging.
Invest in self-care
If you feel like your skin is in need of a pick-me-up, there’s a number of non-invasive cosmetic procedures with very little down time that can make you feel years younger. Next time you visit your dermatologist or plastic surgeon, ask about what procedures may be right for you. Botox, chemical peels, and microneedling can each be done in under an hour to reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and more. Winter is the best time for skin treatments, as they can leave sensitive to sun damage, so book a session during the colder months.
Spotlight your smile
It’s never too late to work on your smile—and orthodontia isn’t just cosmetic. Not only will a new smile skyrocket your confidence, but teeth straightening can help resolve health issues like jaw pain and sore gums. Having straight teeth can also be integral in preventing plaque buildup and gum disease. Consider clear aligners, veneers, and dental implants.
Brookline Progressive Dental Team is a group of highly skilled, board-certified prosthodontists who specialize in restoring oral aesthetics and function. They are proud of the personalized, patient-directed care they offer to restore your appearance and oral health.
ClearChoice Dental Implant Center is an innovative leader of quality full arch dental implant treatments. Driven by the desire to help patients reclaim their health, smile, and confidence, the ClearChoice network has helped over 120,000 people change their lives.
Jeannie Chung’s aesthetic philosophy is a simple one: She wants to provide you with a natural, rejuvenated look and inspire an improved outlook and sense of well-being.
Edgewood—the Merrimack Valley’s only LifeCare community—and Baldwin—a new community in Londonderry, NH—are known for their empowering, enriching cultures in which neighbors quickly become friends.
Kendal at Home is a nationally recognized program and a pioneering leader in the field of aging in place. The program is designed for older adults who are healthy and independent, want security for their future, and are planning to stay in their own home
Experience peace of mind when you come home to Lake Point Village in Lakeville, MA. You will be surrounded by stunning views in a tranquil setting with the ease of living you deserve.
Welcome home! Your friends await you at New Pond Village, where you’ll find a social, active lifestyle individually tailored to you. We offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care at our Walpole, MA campus.
Newton Dental Associates is an award-winning, multi-specialty, cosmetic and family practice owned by Dr. Anna Berik, Boston’s premier cosmetic dentist. Their specialists offer a wide range of services, from preventative care and oral surgery to restorative dentistry.
This is a paid partnership between Boston Magazine and Boston Magazine's City/Studio