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Local, family owned-and-operated assisted living caring for seniors from Mesquite, Garland, Rowlett, Murphy, and the surrounding cities at our facility in Garland, TX.  We emphasize quality, personable elderly care within a home-like environment.  Book a tour today!

Online Learning for Seniors and Friends

Article submitted and written by Karen Weeks


Photo by Pixabay

If you’re a senior on the precipice of retirement, you might be wondering how you’re going to fill your extra time. If you’ve got a few retirees already in your social circle, then you may know some who dive headfirst into skills that they have always wanted to learn, start up on hobbies that have been on the backburner, or work on technology skills to keep involved with their kids and grandkids.

While some people think technology isolates us, it doesn’t have to! It can put a world of information just one click away. From videos that teach you how to play instruments to classes on public speaking, turn your computer on and let the learning begin. Here are a few ways technology can help you and your friends enjoy those treasured golden years.

First, start with the basics

If you’re looking to get involved with fun online activities with your friends, then you might need to boost your general computer skills to get a basic understanding of how the internet works. To take an online class, you’ll want to learn how to use email, watch videos, use a web browser, create passwords and logins, and share files.

Don’t let feeling overwhelmed hold you back! Think of all you have accomplished that got you to retirement. Some seniors get nervous around technology, but all it takes is some knowledge and practice, and you can master it. Once you and your friends are comfortable with computers, next, you’ll want to decide on what classes and activities to take and learn about.

Next, try getting creative

 What has four strings and is filled with fun? A ukulele! Whether you live in a retirement community, make regular trips to the local senior center, or invite friends to your house, learning to play an instrument online can happen anytime, anywhere.

There are all kinds of music lessons online, and many, especially on YouTube, are free. First, decide which instrument to learn, and then do a web search for “online music lessons” with the name of the instrument to research your options. Not only will an instrument be a fun skill to learn both as an individual or in a group, it will also help stave off arthritis, improve memory, and help with balance.

Or, start a second career with online learning

 There are a lot of skills you can learn online that will help you grow personally, but there are also skills you can build to grow professionally, too. There are many great reasons to keep working a bit in retirement. Studies show that our minds are better at retaining memory, critical thinking, and making decisions when we stay stay active and engaged in retirement. Some seniors enjoy earning a certificate or license online that not only challenges their minds, but also gives them some extra pocket money, too.

You can take online classes to help you earn your realtor license, a great side job for seniors who want to set their own schedules. This job allows you to work when and with whom you please and to meet new people and help families find their dream homes. Real estate agents can be their own bosses or work for a firm full-time or part-time. If retirement has been a bit too stagnant for you, then earning a certification or license online may be the thing you need right now and for the future. You can also study online in areas like finance, nutrition, massage therapy, behavior science, and foreign languages. If your friends are on board for the same course, you can hold each other accountable for work and support each other as a study group.


Regardless of your reasons for going online to stay healthy and whole during retirement, you can be assured that it’s much more fun to take the technology journey with a few of your friends. Whether it’s learning about technology, taking music lessons, or starting a new part-time career, there are many options for seniors.


A very special thanks to Karen Weeks for writing and submitting this article.  We look forward to more articles from her.  You can find more on her website.


If you're interested in contributing to our blog, please contact John at



The elderly all lived life at one time.  I feel that often times younger generations will look at the elderly and forget that they too at one time bought houses, fell in love, raised children, listened to beautiful music, watched interesting movies, shopped.  Though their values may have been different, humans are humans, and times are not so different that the men and women before us didn't also have great passions, ambitions, and desires.


One of our residents here was an engineer.  What did it take her to get there?  What sort of obstacles did she climb -- because you know she must have had many.  Another resident had a husband who sat on City Council.  They travelled all over the world for various occasions -- what sort of adventures did they go on, what sort of food and drink did they try, what sort of people did they meet?  Many of our residents of course were housewives.  What sort of funny stories did they have with their children?  What sort of days did they have?  What sort of communities were they a part of?  Another resident we had taught collegiate English and managed a growing business.  How did she handle both?  What sort of challenges did she face?


I think it's easy to distance ourselves from these stories out of a fear of getting to where they are.  But if you stop and look around, you'll realize that these people all had rich lives with a wealth of friendships and dreams as well.    

Excerpts: May 2017 Towncrier

This is an excerpt from our May Towncrier regarding the passing of our matron, Iluminada Blasquez:

An Illuminated Life

Reflections on Illuminada

I recently watched a video about someone explaining that happiness isn’t determined by how much water is or isn’t in the glass -- it’s determined by accepting how much water is in the glass, accepting it with satisfaction, and then being okay with trying to pursue more.  I believe in many ways, my grandmother didn’t have a lot of water in her glass all the time, but by the end of her life, “the cup poureth over”.

Iluminada did not have an easy life but she was content and made the most of every moment.  She was raised in the countrysides of rural Philippines.  She was a sickly child but ironically that saved her.   Her family worked to send her to school since she was not capable of doing the manual labor.  Starting from nothing and being in a working family, this girl would eventually gain a bachelor’s and a master’s teaching college English literature.

Her relationship with Arturo was not always easy.  Though loving and well-meaning, he was a cantankerous man who had his own demons to battle.  He trapped himself in an affair for ten years, one that Iluminada knew about.  But she never left him, and instead she remained tenacious, serving her family, running the business, getting her master’s.  Ten years later he would return to her patient love that waited and together they enjoyed the best years of their beautiful marriage.

In his sixties Arturo and her daughter Veronica became very sick and passed away.  Iluminada went back and forth between the United States and the Philippines watching and caring for both of her loved ones in their final stages, all the while caring for some of the grandchildren who had become like second children to her.  Despite everything that life sent her, Lu was never lacking in love to pour into the next generation.

In a utilitarian world that’s taught us to run when relationship, jobs, and circumstances get hard, Iluminada thrived as an example of the complete opposite.  She was a mother to so many, and a woman who will forever embody industriousness, tenacity, perseverance, and love.

Home, Part Two: Meal Planning and Elder Care

It is evident that a vast number of older persons will be staying home, with some type of disability from a debilitating illness and requiring some type of nursing care at home. With the shifting of the population as the boomer generation goes into retirement, more nursing care is expected to be delivered at home either post-hospitalization or due to a chronic disability. Nurses working in various settings will be faced with the dilemma of the frail older persons wanting to go back to their homes.


Discharge planning should be centered around the availability of resources at home.  One of the most common difficulties of older persons living at home is meal preparation, because it entails several steps that require not only physical but also cognitive capacities.


Well, that might be a bit much.  Point being, meal prep is an intense activity!

Well, that might be a bit much.  Point being, meal prep is an intense activity!

Breaking down, one has to plan for the meal, shop for the ingredients, go to the store, and carry it back to the house. Then, one has to chop, slice or dice, then bake, roast, grill, fry or boil. These all include several factors in one’s executive function.  Looking at this, one can have a greater appreciation of delivered meals and the countless volunteers who bring it right at your doorstep. That is just in the list of Activities of Daily Living.

Valentine's Day Fun!

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." - Albert Einstein


This previous Friday, we had the pleasure of celebrating Valentine's with our residents.  Check out our pictures below as well as our video of every one getting ready and decked in red!



Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Our residents had a great time.  Many thanks to our friends at Compassionate Care Hospice and Pathways Hospice for the extra supplies, games, and manpower!


Homecoming: Fall Festival

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate the Fall Festival.  We were very excited and thankful to celebrate our 11th year of operations with old and new friends!  Here are just a few pictures from the event.  You can find more on our Facebook:


Karaoke Day!

Karaoke has been one of our residents' recent favorite activities.  Check out some of our latest pictures below!


For this and more videos of the goings on at Abba Care, visit our Facebook at

Towncrier // Grandparents' Day

Towncrier Copy from Friday, September 12

Special Grandparents' Day Issue

Definition Series: Dementia

Definition Series:  Dementia

There's Alzheimer's.  There's Dementia.  ... and then there's just being forgetful.

When I was young, for whatever reason, if someone was old and started forgetting things, we just said, “They probably have Alzheimer’s.”  Thinking back, it’s almost humorous to think that a twelve-year old tossed around a very serious disease like Alzheimer’s as a natural state of decline.


Frankly, however, I think our society persists with this idea anyways.  The truth of the matter is that Alzheimer’s is the most common “sub-category” of a bigger problem known as dementia.  


As you or someone you know starts having to deal with mental or cognitive impairments, they may or may not actually have Alzheimer’s.  What you can be more likely certain that they do have is dementia.


Dementia is not a disease.  The Alzheimer’s Association defines it as “a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.”  


That said, dementia can take the form of a disease.  The following are a few examples:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Parkinson’s Disease

  • Vascular Dementia (formerly, post-stroke dementia).


The reason it’s important to point this out is to clarify fears.  Just because you may have received a verdict that a loved one has dementia does not mean the dementia is necessarily terminal nor irreversible.  It does not mean that they have Alzheimer’s.  It does not necessarily mean they will lose control of their normal facilities soon.  

Many people can be diagnosed with dementia, but it should not lead to the panic that the person will soon be completely dependent.  Take action, but move forward with a calm mind of hope for solutions -- because they are definitely out there.

Three Reasons Cheap Marketing is Not the Answer

Being 27, I feel like I have a little bit of a spat with other people my age and in my generation.  A lot of times, we like fast results.  Today, too often, we want things fast.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love fast things.  I like fast cars, fast runners, expeditious results, and efficient processes that finish things quickly.

The Flash is about the only one who can be fast instantly.  And he's not even real!

The irony about all of those fast things though, is that they usually aren’t fast initially.  They’re built to become fast.

  • Fast cars are expensive because they cost a lot of money and require lots of care.

  • Fast runners are built on year after year, decade after decade sometimes, of what seems to be fruitless training.

  • Fast results usually aren’t fast.

  • Fast, efficient processes usually either come with a price OR they are built that way after a long process of trial and error.  Similar to a car.

Which is why I generally don’t trust anyone, diets especially, who promises fast results.  My current diet/workout program is actually one that promises results after a YEAR.  A whole year of training and proper nutrition.  That’s a long time!  But I’m already getting results from it.

So let’s get back to the subject at hand though.  Why is cheap, fast marketing not cheap?

1.  Your clients will see you as cheap, fast business.

Fresh, good ingredients can sometimes single handedly make the difference between a good meal and a great meal.  Obtaining mediocre ingredients sometimes turn good meals into awful meals.

Similarly, obtaining my customers through cheap cash injections and lead lists are probably not the best method.  It’s a method but perhaps not the best.  Abba Care really isn’t for everyone.  We know that.  If we build relationships and market slowly and thoughtfully, we’ll get the clientele we’re looking for.  It’s just slower.  Otherwise, getting a huge list of random clients could just mean taking pot shots in the dark at anything, instead of building an attractive valuable place for the clientele and community we want to attract.

2.  It changes you.

At Abba Care, we pride ourselves on being a company that’s about good, quality services and care for our residents.  Every individual gets their own care plan and schedule.  

That said, if we suddenly switched and focused our attention, all our attention, on obtaining numbered track leads, instead of investing in the word of mouth of our current customers, we would allow our actual relationship with paying customers to suffer and drop.  

The real question then is how to over satisfy your customer and convert them into your leads, instead of seeking them elsewhere.  That makes you a better more profitable business, while also creating a happier customer.

3.  It’s just not hip.

If you spam me with cheaply designed flyer ads in the mail, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll just breeze over whatever you sent me and trash it.  

Change the paper quality, make it good design?  I’ll probably take a peek.

Send a hand written letter?  You’ve got my attention.  

Come and visit with a puppy?   I can’t ignore you.

You write an ad that says, “We’ve got great pizza.”  I’ll ignore you.  Everyone thinks they’ve got great pizza.  You write an ad that says, “You won’t like our pizza.  We’re too good for you.”  Now I want to try your pizza.  And you’ve stuck out -- not to stand out but because you were yourself (I hope… or that’s a really odd sense of poser).  

What I’m trying to say is, your business doesn’t get anywhere looking like everybody else.  And everybody else wants to just use cheap solutions.  Let’s build great businesses that have creative smart approaches to capturing their market’s attention through thoughtful meaningful campaign design, not automated approaches that have been done for years.

To summarize:

  1. Cheap marketing makes you look cheap.

  2. No wait, cheap marketing MAKES you cheap.

  3. Cheap marketing says nothing, and therefore isn’t hip.  

Don’t give into the temptation.  Build something meaningful instead.