The Holiday Season Often Exposes Changes in Aging Parents

The Arbors offers assistance to navigate when help is needed

SAN DIEGO, CA  (January 2016)  –Whether traveling many miles or merely spending more time with those closest to them, a visit home for the holidays is an annual tradition for many families. Though these visits are often filled with warmth, laughter, and good cheer, it is also a time when adult children come face to face with the increasing and changing needs of aging parents and family members. Each and every January, following the holiday season, senior living communities see an increase in inquiries from concerned family members looking for help and answers. At The Arbors, a local senior living community, appreciation and understanding of this period in adult children’s lives is clearly recognized with assistance and guidance.

“The holidays are a time when families spend more time together. And often, it is during this period that the reality of where a parent or loved one is health wise becomes all too apparent,” said Gaby Duron for The Arbors. “After the holiday’s we experience a surge in inquiries from families looking at options as they seek new living residences for loved ones, and we are here to help.”

Many times people confuse moving to a senior living community with having to give up all the things they love about life. Thankfully today’s communities are a far cry from those of decades ago. They’re for people who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, expand their horizons, and spend their days with fewer worries and chores and more time with activities and friendships- taking in all that life has to offer in the golden years.

Before or even after a loved one mentions’ “I’m not ready for a senior living community” consider asking these questions to engage in a conversation about making a move.

  • Are you tired of shopping and preparing meals?
  • Are you eating well?
  • Do you worry about home maintenance?
  • How do you feel about your personal safety?
  • Do you feel secure in your home?
  • Are you paying your bills on time and managing all the mail?
  • How is your health these days? Are you getting enough exercise and moving around well?
  • Can you get to your appointments easily?
  • How much socializing do you do, are you seeing friends and engaging in activities outside the home?
  • What are your thoughts about moving into a senior living community?
  • What are your concerns?
  • If not now, can you suggest a better time to move?

It is important to understand the many choices that make up the new face of senior living in the 21st century. Here is a brief description between the differences in the level of care and services offered in each.

Independent Living

In senior living communities, active older adults continue enjoying private dwellings, control over their own schedules, and freedom to come and go as they choose. Social networking, optional events and clubs, and conveniently located services, such as beauty salons, banks, and technology centers, increase convenience and personal freedom of choice rather than limiting it. Medical, dietary and other help is available when needed.

Assisted Living

An assisted living community is a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the needs — both scheduled and unscheduled — of those who need help with activities of daily living. Assisted living is quickly becoming the fastest growing long-term care option in the U.S. because of its philosophy, which embraces independence, choice and the opportunity for seniors to live enriching lives.

Memory Care 

The diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s presents a wide array of emotional and practical challenges for a family. Thankfully, the research and information regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia has led to the establishment of residential options specifically designed to care for those living with memory loss. Many independent and assisted living communities offer memory care areas within their communities. Residents live in a secured space and enjoy an environment and activities coordinated by staff members trained specifically for caring for those with memory impairment.

For more information on senior living options contact Gaby Duron at The Arbors 858-538-0802. 

About The Arbors at Rancho Penasquitos

The Arbors is a conveniently located senior living community providing assisted living and memory care for residents. Located in San Diego, the expert trained staff provides residents with the highest standards of senior care services. It is operated by Integral Senior Living, which manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties. ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality. For more information call (858) 538-0802 or visit

Media Contact:

Gaby Duron


Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year!

Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, most people take time off at the year’s end to celebrate, gather with family and friends, and to reflect on days past and those to come. Wishing a joy-filled holiday season to our staff, residents and their loved ones, as well as all our community neighbors. We look forward to sharing 2016 with you.

Here are a few inspiring words of wisdom to carry you through the holidays and stay with you throughout the New Year.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness.”—Helen Keller, American author, political activist, educator, lecturer

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”—Charles Dickens, English novelist

Happiness is there for the taking—and the making.”—Oprah Winfrey, American entertainer, actress, producer, and philanthropist

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” — Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun and missionary

Helping Seniors Enjoy the Holiday Season

The busy holiday season can be challenging for any of us, but older adults can find the added activity to be especially draining. Low mood, confusion, and stress may put a damper on seniors’ holiday merriment.

Below are some tips on how to help seniors find joy, relaxation, and connection during the holiday season—and beyond.

Reminisce. Take out the photo album, listen to old records, watch family movies, tell stories of holidays past. Sharing memories can be powerful and engaging for older adults.

Plan for alone time. Set aside a room or area in which the senior can take a break from the overstimulation of family gatherings.

Include the senior. Make a point to invite your senior to participate in as many family activities as they can handle. Simple tasks include setting out dinnerware, folding napkins, and adding ornaments to the tree. Helping out will give them a sense of purpose and usefulness, helping them feel more involved and needed.

Connect. Loneliness can bring on depression, so it’s important for seniors to connect with others during the holiday season. Go out of your way to visit and talk with older people in your life more frequently than you might have done during the rest of the year.

Caregivers: Tips for Less Stress Over the Holidays—and More Joy!

The holidays can be a stressful time of year in any household, especially if you’re a caregiver for an aging loved one. Changes in routine, raised expectations, busier schedules, and more frequent social interactions can quickly become overwhelming for loved ones and caregivers alike.

These tips can help caregivers manage stress and anxiety for themselves and those they care for while focusing on less-demanding fun and merriment.

Simplify! Resist the pressure go all-out for the holidays. You’re not obligated to attend every event, host gatherings in your home, or keep up with all family holiday traditions. Choose just a few activities, decorations, or foods that are meaningful to you and feel doable.

Start new traditions. While it’s true that honoring family traditions may help a loved one with dementia connect with holiday celebrations, it’s OK to scale down favorite festivities, or carry out just a few traditions. Another idea is to try something new. If your loved one seems receptive, attend a holiday concert you’ve never gone to before. Instead of cooking a holiday meal, eat out or order a prepared meal. Take a drive to look at neighborhood holiday decorations.

Keep up self-care. During this busy time, it’s easy to let your own needs and well-being slip. But making time for exercise can boost your mood and renew valuable stamina. Keep exercise as simple as walking in a shopping mall or dancing to holiday tunes. Try to limit sugary foods and alcohol that can result in an energy crash. Step outside for some mood-elevating vitamin D from sunlight.

Focus on what you can do rather on what you can’t. Valuable advice from AARP: “Think about what you can accomplish instead of what you can’t.” Further, celebrate what your loved ones can do, rather than mourning their diminished capabilities. Revel in the holiday joys you and your loved one will experience this season, instead of missing those you’ll bypass. Try to give thanks for the help you are receiving rather than resenting those who aren’t supportive. AARP reminds us that negative thinking activates your body’s stress response. Redirect your thoughts when you feel yourself slipping into a detrimental mindset.

25 Top Holiday Songs Through the Decades

‘Tis the season to remember favorite songs from years past

The holiday season brings up memories of days of yore, and one of the most potent reminders of “where we were” years ago is the songs we were listening to back then.

Here’s a selected list of popular holiday singles that hit various charts in the U.S., dating back to the 1930s.

1935    “Silent Night,” sung by Bing Crosby
1935    “Jingle Bells,” recorded by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
1942    White Christmas,” sung by Bing Crosby
1944    “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” sung by Judy Garland
1945    “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” sung by Vaughn Monroe
1953    “Santa Baby,” sung by Eartha Kitt
1954    “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays,” sung by Perry Como
1957    “Santa Clause Is Back in Town,” sung by Elvis Presley
1958    “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” sung by Brenda Lee
1963    “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” sung by Andy Williams
1967    “Christmas Time Is Here Again,” written and sung by The Beatles
1970    “Feliz Navidad,” written and sung by José Feliciano
1977    “It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve,” written and sung by Barry Manilow
1982    “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy,” sung by David Bowie & Bing Crosby
1984    “Deck the Halls,” written and sung Mannheim Steamroller
1984    “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” sung by Band Aid for famine relief in Ethiopia
1987    “Away in a Manger,” sung by Reba McEntire
1993    “Let It Snow,” written and sung by Boyz II Men
1994    “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” written and sung by Mariah Carey
1997    “I Saw Three Ships,” sung by Sting
1998    “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,” sung by N SYNC
2003    “One Wish (for Christmas),” sung by Whitney Houston
2008    “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” sung by Carrie Underwood
2011    “Mistletoe,” sung by Justin Bieber
2013    “Underneath the Tree,” written and sung by Kelly Clarkson

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, what is the best-selling single of all time? The version of “White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby and first released in 1942, with estimated sales of more than 10 million copies worldwide since its release.  Check it out on YouTube.

Happy Thanksgiving! ‘Tis the Season of Thanks

We would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful staff, residents and extended family and friends as we give thanks, this Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays, a time when we can reflect and focus on the virtues of everyone who is a part of our life and, of course, enjoy a day centered on good food! We wish we could gather everyone together for what would be a most spectacular of Thanksgiving celebrations. Instead of this, we can give thanks for what the year has meant to us all. There is a saying that feeling appreciation and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it. So we want to begin the holiday right and share our appreciation for all of you.

Thanksgiving is more than just being grateful and a day off of work. It is a day for appreciating our good fortune and sharing it with others. Whatever your creed or beliefs on this Thanksgiving Day remember the real reason for the celebration.

Travel safely over the holiday, spend time with your treasured family and friends and enjoy every last morsel of the wonderful feast on this our day of Thanksgiving!

Interesting Facts About the Fourth of July: Five Things You Might Not Know About Independence Day

Three U.S. presidents died on July 4. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two of the longest surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence, died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration. Adams died at age 90 in Braintree, Mass., and Jefferson at age 83 near Charlottesville, Va. Five years later, James Monroe died on July 4 at age 73 in New York City.

The Liberty Bell is tapped, but not rung. To avoid cracking it further, the 2,000-pound Liberty Bell is instead gently tapped 13 times, representing the 13 original colonies, at an annual ceremony in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July to signal bells across the country to start ringing.

My, how we’ve grown. In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s estimated population in July 2015 will be more than 321 million.

An event for the ages. Fifty-six men from each of the original 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. The average age of the signer was 45. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, who was 70 at the signing. The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr., of South Carolina, who was 27.

Happy Birthday, Malia Obama! The elder daughter of President Obama and the First Lady will turn 17 years old on July 4, 2015. Malia will enter her senior year of high school in the fall, and she and her parents are reportedly in the midst of the college-hunting process.

What Do You Give The Man Who Has Everything For Fathers Day?

We have Ideas for seniors
Father’s are never easy to buy for, and the older they get the harder it often seems to be to find something special for them. When it comes to holidays, we are often asked for gift ideas for our residents. To help make it easier for you this Father’s Day, we have come up with some gift ideas that we’d like to share.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Senior Dad In Your Life

Reading Material:
Think about subscribing dad to a publication and if dad’s vision isn’t as good as it used to be, buy him large-print reading materials. Many magazines and books are published in large-print editions.
Make Life Easier:
If dad still lives on his own and has a yard to maintain, arrange to have his yard receive professional landscaping services in honor of Father’s Day. Another alternative, if you live close by- is to do his landscaping yourself instead of hiring a professional. Conversely if he needs help inside the home, hire a maid service to come in and assist with clean up.

Many dads have shared their hobbies with their kids, often teaching them the craft. If dad likes fishing, don’t just surprise him with a new rod but tell him that you have made plans to spend time fishing with him. If it’s cars he loves, visit an antique car show- you get the idea.

You don’t have to go high tech to help make life easier with technology. Consider a pocket magnifier, or large display alarm clock. Of course there is always the option as well to invest in a notebook, many seniors today are engaging with new technologies and enjoying it.

Men of all ages love a good meal. Make dad a homemade meal filled with his favorite items. Or if dad doesn’t live close, fill a basket with his favorite jams, cookies, and condiments to make his next meal a bit more special.

Sporting Events:
When you think back, dad was often the one who took you out to a baseball game or event around town. Get your father tickets to an n event he will enjoy. Gift certificates to movie theaters are another good choice. And better yet, tell him you are going with him!

Father’s of any age appreciate time with their children. Spend some time with your father playing cards, going through family photos, eating a meal or taking him out for a drive.


By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong. — Charles Wadsworth

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain

It’s only when you grow up and step back from him–or leave him for your own home–it’s only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Margaret Truman

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry. Yiddish Proverb