Memorial Day is often recognized as the unofficial start to summer, but for millions of families in the U.S., it is much more than that. The holiday certainly takes on added meaning for anybody who has served in the military, has a loved one in the armed forces or knows someone who was killed in action. Although the holiday weekend is a time for celebration, it's also a time for remembrance and it's important for seniors, family caregivers and everyone in between to recognize the sacrifice of America's service members on this Memorial Day.
The origins of Memorial Day date back to just after the Civil War as a way to honor both the Union and Confederate soldiers who perished in the conflict. By the 20th century, the holiday had been extended to recognize all service members who had been killed in action, and that tradition continues today. The holiday is recognized on the final Monday of May and coincides with a number of annual events ranging from the Indianapolis 500 to thousands of parades across the country.
Families around the U.S. celebrate Memorial Day in their own unique way, especially if they've had a loved one killed in action. The holiday may be especially pertinent to seniors, many of whom may have lost friends in World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War. Many people choose to honor those they've lost by visiting the cemetery to lay flowers, American flags or wreaths.
While it's important to recognize the somber atmosphere of the event, celebrating with seniors at their retirement community is also a good idea. Gathering everyone together for a picnic or dinner could be the perfect way to pay tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
There's nothing quite like the sensation of flying, and a group of military veterans from Sunrise Senior Living in Fresno, Calif., recently got the chance to experience it once again. Ray Murry, Bill Gleason and Leonard Harrington - all part of the Greatest Generation - took to the skies as part of a program that provides free bi-plane rides to elderly veterans and other seniors with a love of flying, reports the Western Farm Press.
Summer is just around the corner, which means many families are planning their warm-weather getaways. If you have a senior loved one living in a retirement community who will be joining you on your vacation this season, you'll need to do some extra preparation to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here are a few summer travel safety tips for seniors to keep in mind:
While many people focus on physical well-being during senior living, it's also important for older adults to pay attention to their mental health. According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, an estimated 6.5 million people aged 65 and older experience symptoms of depression, and with May being recognized as Mental Health Month, now is the perfect time for seniors to focus on de-stressing and taking stock of their wellness.
Trouble with vision makes senior living difficult for millions of Americans. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute, an estimated 1.75 million people in the U.S. have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the leading cause of blindness among seniors. Certain nutrients have often been seen as a good way for adults to protect their vision, and although recent research has cast doubt as to whether supplements are an effective path to take, there are still many natural sources of nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E as well as omega-3 fatty acids.