Cantissimo Senior Living Blog

Cantissimo Senior Living blog - an educational resource for older adults in lifestyle, wellness, and more.

Posts by Pete Keers:

Caloric Balance: Some Practical Ideas for Weight Loss

Caloric Balance: Some Practical Ideas for Weight Loss

Obesity in the U.S. is an increasingly prevalent problem. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated 42.4% of the population were considered obese during 2017-2018. This compares to 30.5% in 1999-2000. As a result, Americans are increasingly obsessed with finding ways to shed pounds.

My own battle of the bulge started early. Our family moved from Texas to Minnesota in February when I was 8. Before then, my siblings and I were active outside much of the year. However, upon moving to Minnesota in the depths of winter, we huddled around the TV eating Oreos.

My first realization of being overweight was when my clothing size began to include the word "husky," and one of my school friends nicknamed me "Tubby." It was the start of a lifetime weight control journey.

Over the years, I tried several diet plans. I was an early adherent of the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet. I remember feeling it was a bit leary about testing my urine to see if I was in the fat-burning ketosis state. I also tried fasting and grapefruit-centered diet, among others. Alas, my experience was typical. Any weight that came off eventually came back on.

In my 20's, I joined the running craze and eventually completed five marathons over the next two decades. Yet, despite the higher exercise level, I was still weighing in 20 to 30 pounds over the "ideal" weight for my age and height.

However, through trial and error over the years, I discovered some helpful techniques and ideas that have helped me lose and maintain a good weight. While I'm not perfect at following these guidelines, I've been reasonably successful in keeping the pounds off when I stick to them.

How to Make the Most of Your Senior Living Community Tour

How to Make the Most of Your Senior Living Community Tour

Choosing to move to an assisted living, skilled nursing, or memory care setting is one of the most significant decisions of a lifetime. Therefore, it makes sense to carefully consider all the options. One of the most effective tools in evaluating alternatives is the facility tour.

Before the Tour

Prior to scheduling tours, make a list of the 3-5 top choices. This can be done by looking over websites, reading online reviews, and asking questions over the phone. Make this part of the process more efficient using a checklist. See our blog, How to Choose? The Ultimate Assisted Living Facility Checklist for more information. This checklist can be applied to assisted living settings and to skilled nursing and memory care options.

Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises: Pre-Purchase Condo Inspections

Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises: Pre-Purchase Condo Inspections

In my recent blog on homeowners associations (Downsizing? Here's How to Evaluate a Homeowners Association), I mentioned that it makes sense to get a home inspection before buying a condo.

What Does a Home Inspection Cover?

Home inspections are a great way to spot problems before purchasing a home. Among the types of things covered are:

  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Condition of floors, walls, ceilings, stairs
  • Condition of windows, doors, and door frames
  • Interior plumbing systems
  • Interior electrical systems
  • Major appliances
  • Exterior elements
  • Attic and any visible insulation
  • Foundation/basement and other structural features

Great Expectations: Retirement and Committed Relationships

Great Expectations: Retirement and Committed Relationships

I'll never forget the look on my wife's face.

I had just returned from a September business trip to headquarters, where I told my boss I was retiring. Over the prior twelve months, my wife and I talked about the best time for me to retire after a 40 year career.

In my mind, the conversation had gone from "maybe" to "for sure" and from "later" to "sooner." Yet, when I casually said, "Well, I pulled the trigger. I'm officially done on December 31!" my wife was stunned. "What?! Are you kidding?" she sputtered. "I had no idea you were going to do it now!".

It was a classic example of a couple with differing retirement expectations. Unless properly addressed, such differences can make a retirement dream into a nightmare.

Downsizing? Here’s How to Evaluate a Homeowners Association

Downsizing? Here’s How to Evaluate a Homeowners Association

With the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, a startling fact emerged. The building's Homeowners Association (HOA) was aware of serious structural problems. Unfortunately, the association was not financially prepared to cover with existing funds raised over the years by HOA monthly dues. As a result, a special assessment was levied. Building residents were required to pay between $80,000 to $200,000 depending on unit size. The necessary building fixes were delayed in part because residents were reluctant to pay these high amounts.

Although it is is an extreme example, the Champlain Towers South disaster brings into sharp focus the impact of a competently run HOA on the well-being of its residents. As a result, those considering purchasing a condo or other "Common Interest Community" type housing will benefit from learning about its HOA and how well it is run.

Improving Senior Living: An Interview With Jennifer Thorson

Improving Senior Living: An Interview With Jennifer Thorson
Experience Beyond Measure Interview Series with Jennifer Thorson

 

In exploring senior living options for the first time, older adults and their families might feel apprehensive. Experience Beyond Measure correspondent Mike Lawson recently sat down with Jennifer Thorson, Executive Director of The Harbors Senior Living Community of Fridley, in Minnesota, to throw some light on the subject.

In her role at The Harbors, Thorson oversees the full range of operations, including managing employees, meeting prospective residents and their families, and handling the paperwork for leases. "I make sure that everything is streamlined and running flawlessly, but I get to do the fun stuff, too."

Not Your Typical Pre-Retirement Checklist

Not Your Typical Pre-Retirement Checklist

Retirement checklists abound across the internet. Most provide wisdom on planning for a secure financial future. Saving enough, choosing appropriate investments, and eliminating debt are common recommendations. However, there is more to retirement than pure pocketbook considerations. Listed below are some retirement planning ideas that most checklists don't mention.

Does Your Retirement Checklist Have These Items?

Making Connections for Senior Living: An Interview With Paul Ablack

Making Connections for Senior Living: An Interview With Paul Ablack
Experience Beyond Measure Series with Paul Ablack

 

Despite the tidal wave of Baby Boomers entering the 55+ age demographic, many aspects of senior living are still rooted in old models. This has attracted a new crop of innovators to enter the market. One such innovator is Paul Ablack, Founder and CEO of Cantissimo Senior Living. Experience Beyond Measure correspondent Mike Lawson recently sat down with Paul to discuss the current state of senior living and how Cantissimo Senior Living aims to make changes for the better.

Is In-Home Care Right for Me?

Is In-Home Care Right for Me?

A common assumption persists that "senior living" means residing in a skilled nursing, assisted living, or memory care facility. In fact, the vast majority (96%) of adults 65 and older live in the community (homes or apartments). The motivation to "age in place" at home has a lot of appeal. An AARP study found that 90% of older U.S. adults want to stay in their homes as long as possible. The reasons for this are:

  • More independence
  • Familiar surroundings and routines
  • Established relationships
  • Lower living expense
  • Avoid the cost of moving

However, as people age, the potential for needing assistance increases as the incidence of physical and mental problems grows. This threatens the ability to age in place because the older adult needs the support of caregivers.

Is Now the Right Time To Buy Retirement Housing?

Is Now the Right Time To Buy Retirement Housing?

Once children have grown up and left the family home, many active older adults consider moving to a new home. Motivations might be driven any one or a combination of goals:

No matter the reason, the first decision is whether to rent or buy. I'll cover the rent versus buy decision in a future installment, so for this blog, assume the "buy" button has been pushed.