Senior man in winter drinking coffee

How to Help Your Immune System This Winter

While the winter months are rapidly approaching, the effectiveness of our immune system will naturally decline. We want to avoid this at all costs or at least do what we can to help keep it strong. If you are a senior and looking to boost your immune system, Streamside Assisted Living is here to help you. Read below to hear about some of our great tips to keep you healthy during the cold months!

Sleep

As a senior, one of the most important things you can do for your immune system is to get an adequate amount of sleep. It’s recommended that seniors get an average of 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. Getting enough sleep helps your body fight off infections when they’re present. When you don’t get enough sleep, your T Cells are less effective in killing infected cells. Stress hormones are also lowered when you’re asleep, which also helps in fighting infected cells. Little known fact, naps are actually encouraged to give yourself a small boost in your immune system!
Make sure to limit your screen time before you go to bed if you usually have trouble sleeping. When looking at an electronic screen, there is a certain light that is emitted that causes our brains to want to wake up. Limiting screen time will help in falling asleep!

Get Some Exercise!

We all know that getting exercise is good for you, but did you know that one of the reasons it’s good for you is because it boosts your immune response? When you work out, you get your blood circulating better, and it helps to strengthen your immune response cells. So, just like getting good sleep, exercise helps increase the effectiveness of your body’s ability to ward off infection. Aerobic exercise is recommended for strengthening your immune system because you’re constantly moving. As a senior, you may have more limited options for staying fit. Some great options are to join a swim class or take regular walks around the neighborhood.

Reduce the Stress in Your Life

It’s proven that stress in our lives decreases the effectiveness of our immune response. As shown above, our bodies do a better job of fighting off infection when we’re asleep partially because our stress hormones are naturally lower. If you decrease the stress in your life, it will naturally boost your immune system. This varies from person to person, but a lot of the time something like yoga or mindful meditation can help. It also helps to make sure you have connections with people you can talk to. Have someone to vent to rather than letting your stresses simmer in your mind can help in calming you down!

If you’re looking for more tips on improving your immune system, there are plenty of great resources online. Our top tips will get you started on the right track, but there’s always more you can do to benefit your body. At Streamside Assisted Living, we are always doing whatever we can to help our community members. We make sure our members receive a great diet and comfortable living standards to keep them healthy. If you have any questions about assisted living, give us a call! Streamside is always willing to help!

A group of hot air balloons taking off at sunrise in Boise.

Fun, Local Activities for Seniors

After retirement, it might seem like you have a little more time on your hands. Why not use that time to travel (locally) and see some of the great things Idaho and the Treasure Valley have to offer? Even though skiing at Bogus Basin or hiking around the Boise foothills might not be the best outdoor activities for your needs like they used to be, there are still tons of ways to get out and stay active in retirement!

World Center for Birds of Prey

The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey is a cool way to get to see various species of predatory birds up close and personal! The center is home to falcons, raptors, condors, owls, and more, and is a place for the conservation and rehabilitation of these birds of prey. You can attend a live demonstration and really go eye-to-eye with the birds, or walk around the center at your own pace. The panoramic views of the Treasure Valley from the center are a great added bonus.

Museum of Mining and Geology

If you are a collector or just interested in mining and geology, then this place is for you! Located conveniently near the Old Penitentiary, this museum is easily accessible and free to enter. Whether you are just going by yourself or taking the grandkids out for the day, the Museum of Mining and Geology can be a great place to learn more about the history of mining in Idaho, see some cool rocks and gems, or even purchase a few to add to your collection.

Hot Air Ballooning

For those who like to live life on the edge, hot air ballooning around the Boise skies might be the activity for you. There are various companies to choose from, but all will give you spectacular views of all of Boise and the surrounding areas. Typically held in September, the annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic is another opportunity to take in the beauty of skies filled with these breathtaking aeronauts!

Warhawk Air Museum

Voted 2020’s Best Museum of the Treasure Valley, the Warhawk Air Museum offers an immersive and educational experience about the aircraft of the past and the pilots that flew them. With a wide variety of exhibits and attractions, this is a perfect activity for people of all ages!

At Streamside, we want to encourage our residents to be as independent as they want to be, and even offer transportation services so that residents that don’t drive can still get where they need to be when they need to be there! If you have any questions about life at Streamside or assisted living in general, give us a call today!

Two older men walking along a brick path surrounded by greenery

Staying Active in Retirement

As we all get older, it can be harder to do the things we used to, whether it’s remembering the names of our neighbors or swimming laps in a pool. However, there are many ways to stay active in retirement, both mentally and physically, that can be extremely beneficial to our overall health.

Staying Mentally Active

The brain is one of the most important organs in our body, so it’s crucial that we exercise it regularly throughout our lives, even in retirement! Now is a great time to break out the old board games and relive some of that nostalgia from years ago. There are plenty of board games out there that are specifically designed to improve memory and problem-solving skills, and for the more tech-savvy individuals, there are even more online. Brain games like puzzles or crosswords are scientifically proven to improve cognitive function, and you get to have fun while doing it!
Arts and crafts can also be extremely beneficial. By strengthening the connection between your brain and your hands, arts and crafts help to improve your mental ability while giving you the creative power to let your imagination run free!

Staying Physically Active

Staying physically healthy and active is just as important as exercising your brain. Whether you are just going on a walk or playing a recreational sport, allocating some time every day to move around will significantly improve your overall health. If possible, spend time outside! At Streamside, we realize the importance of physical activity, so we offer exercise classes to all of our residents.

Staying Socially Active

In retirement, it can be easy to lose touch with friends and family, but that shouldn’t be the case! Social activities are a must; they connect us together as people and help keep us mentally and emotionally healthy. There are a lot of good ways to socialize in retirement, including some of the above activities. You can play board games, get involved in a leisurely sport, or collaborate in other interests and hobbies with friends and family. Socializing is meant to be fun, and Streamside offers many different opportunities to get together with other people. Who knows, you might even find a new best friend!

One of our priorities at Streamside Assisted Living is to provide residents with the resources to stay mentally, physically, and socially active. With bingo nights, church services, pleasant outings, and more, there is something for everyone to do at Streamside!

Two senior adults smiling at the camera while sitting outside on a porch.

Making Friends as an Older Adult

If you’re living in an assisted living facility you’re already in a prime place to make connections and friends. Throughout our lives, our friends and family can grow apart. There are too many circumstances when we age that put us in situations where we lose touch with some really great people. If anything, it can be discouraging to try and make new friends, especially if you can’t remember how you made your original ones in the first place. The hardest part is being the new kid at an assisted living center. However, we’re here to make the friend-finding process a bit easier. Follow these tips and tricks to help you meet new people and form unforgettable bonds.

Friend References

At this time in your life, it’s ok to be picky about who you want to become friends with. Using your previous or current friends as a reference for the kinds of people you get along with is helpful. Think about what traits you like about them and which ones get on your nerves. That way, you can harvest more valuable relationships as opposed to surface-level. It’s ok to not be popular at this point in time. We aren’t in high school anymore.

Don’t Shy Away From Technology

A big part of why Facebook and other social media platforms are popular is because it’s an easy and convenient way to share your hobbies and interests with everyone. It’s also an easier way for introverts to connect with each other. If you are more on the shy side, it can be a great way to reach out to people with similar interests without meeting face-to-face. Granted, you should not shut yourself in, start by building a community in the place that you are currently in and while you’re separated, use social media to stay up to date.
In fact, there are many Facebook groups in the local Boise area and Treasure Valley that are dedicated to specific niche interests. Start there if you’re interested in becoming part of an online community.

Take Advantage of Weekly Activities

At Streamside Assisted Living there are an abundant amount of activities for you to participate in. Take advantage of the activities that interest you the most at your assisted living facility. Being the new person only lasts for so long. Soon enough you’ll be a regular! The hardest part is going. Motivate yourself using these 3 methods backed by science; get positive, get rewarded, get peer pressure. In this case, hopefully, the reward would be making a new friend.

Look in the Mirror

One of the first things you should do before going out and trying to make friends is to look at yourself and within yourself. Tell yourself all of the positive qualities about what makes you unique and what kind of friend you would be to another person. You may have thought you fully understand yourself after having your mid-life crisis, but with a huge shift in your overall surroundings and schedule, it can be hard to avoid another identity crisis. Knowing what kind of person you are will help you find out the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. Some people are low maintenance, while others can be high, you just have to figure out what type of friendship you will treasure the most.

Assisted Living in Nampa

At Streamside it’s important you have the autonomy to make the friends you want in a community that supports building healthy friendships. With us, you will feel like you are in your own private home without the hassle of daily chores. If you still aren’t sure about an assisted living center, check out our FAQ page to make sure it’s the right fit for you or your loved one.

Multicolor game pieces on a blue background

These Board Games Improve Memory and Problem Solving

Christmas is right around the corner. Instead of buying another scarf or blanket, invest in a game that will challenge your mind and jog your memory. Board games while not as popular as they used to be, still have a timeless feel. If you’re looking for some easy entertainment and fun, then these board games can provide you with just that and more. Strengthening your memory and problem-solving skills is especially important for residents in assisted living care centers.

The Settlers of Catan

Catan or rather, Settlers is a multiplayer board game where players become settlers and try to build their holding areas by acquiring resources and trading them. This is a game that requires lots of communication and strategizing. The great thing about it is that it is fairly easy to learn, so picking up on the rules should be simple. The typical amount of players is 3-4 but with expansions, this number can increase.

Ticket to Ride

Trains! This game is great for geography and conversing about your travels. Players are given cards that have different kinds of train cars. You then use these cards to mark your train route with the small train shaped pieces. Your goal is to connect to destination cities and or create the longest route. The classic version mimics a map of North America, whereas other variations of the game cover other countries. This can spark memories of past travels and family genealogy.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

The board of this game mimics that of Clue where there are several rooms in a large house, players have to navigate through. Different rooms within the mansion contain items, omens, or traps. You are all allies until the “haunt” begins where one of the player’s sides with the monsters and ghosts. The betrayer assumes the role of one of the monsters and remaining players must strategize to defeat them.
This game is pretty hefty to learn, but once you’ve played once, you won’t want to stop. Every time you play it’s like a brand new game. Anyone or no one could become the betrayer at any moment. The suspense and variability of the game keeps it fresh and you won’t easily burn out after a few times.

Incan Gold

Speaking of traps. Incan Gold is a game where players have to collect treasure all while avoiding traps and hauling your findings back to camp. A total of eight people can play this game, so it makes it great for large gatherings. This board game for seniors will exercise their problem-solving and creativity. Luckily, because it’s a luck-based game, it’s just a question of how lucky are you? And How much are you willing to risk?

Chess

We had to include this board game. Studies have shown that chess offers numerous amounts of health benefits. A big part of it is memory improvement. Players have to remember their opponents playing style, rules, and mistakes. Chess sparks both sides of the brain to work, so players can show off their logical and creative side all at once. Someone great at chess exhibits high memory recall and performance. There is something very calming about playing chess. With its ability for players to keep to themselves and strategize in their heads, chess is a game that can be enjoyed without speaking a word.

Assisted Living Nampa

If your assisted living center doesn’t already have some of these board games, then I would consider gifting these to your friends and family. They are a great way to connect and compete with fellow residents and family members. At Streamside Assisted Living in Nampa Idaho, we provide a helping hand when you need it most. Our residents are an important part of what we do, so we make sure their stay is as comfortable and fun as they want it to be.

Two elderly people in front of an assisted living home

Low-Impact Hobbies and Activities for Seniors this Summer

Now that summer is in full spring, we have found ourselves with more and more time in each day. Seeing as we have an average of 14 hours of daylight in each day during the summer to not only get the things we have to do done, we have more time to spend on the things we want to do.

Sometimes, this means we get to try new activities and enjoy new hobbies. Although, for most seniors, the reality becomes finding activities we genuinely enjoy that we are also able to appreciate on a regular basis.

For Summer, we have compiled a list of thrilling, low-impact activities for seniors to try out with their peers or on their own.

Get Reading

We all get stuck in the routines of reading our regularly scheduled, more-predictable-than-not content. That is not to say that the newspaper, our favorite magazines, and newsletters are not quality content but a change of pace can always spark new curiosities or entertain existing interests. New York Times Summer Reading list mentions 75 books to engage readers of all kinds. Barnes & Noble also offers Summer Reading options by genre. Audiobooks can also be a great outlet for those of us with more ‘on the go’ personalities.

Get Active

We all know physical activity, of any kind, has health benefits but it can also be a great way to interact with peers and raise spirits. Whether seniors get involved with walking group, water aerobics classes, tai chi, yoga, or even seated chair exercises, there is support across the valley. The Treasure Valley Family YMCA has a specific offering of senior activity classes.

Get Creative

Many retirees make the decision to try their hand at the activities they ran out of time for in their day-to-day raising their families or building their career. With more time and energy to dedicate to relaxation, art and creative endeavors become a great place to ease your mind. Artistic ventures have even been demonstrated to improve experiences for those suffering from chronic illnesses. Whether you start a ‘paint and sip’ group in your senior living community or set aside time and materials for inner peace, art can be a great opportunity for self-reflection or social interaction.

Get Outside

While physical activity is often associated with the outdoors, spending time outside can also be a calming experience for more idled activities. Vitamin D exposure can be an incredibly important asset for seniors, even strengthening bone density and protecting seniors from fractures. Picnics, gardening, puzzling and even just resting in full or partial sunlight can drastically enhance living experience for seniors.

Looking into alternative activities for seniors can seem difficult or daunting but any activity can be fit suit the needs and desires for any senior, especially those in assisted living facilities. Reach out to a healthcare provider or care professional for more ideas specific to you or the senior in your life.