Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Seniors are at Greater Risk of Heat Related Ailments


The U.S. News Health Care Report reminds seniors that they need to take extra precautions when it is hot outside.  Ronan Mangcucang Factora, MD, of the Center for Geriatric Medicine, Medicine Institute encourages elderly adults to stay active throughout the year and to spend time outdoors, but explains they need to be aware of the special challenges they face when exposed to hot weather conditions.  Seniors have a greater risk of dehydration, lightheadedness and dizziness, heatstroke and falls. 

 

As we age, the percentage of water in our bodies is reduced and causes us to lose the ability to regulate our body temperature as effectively as when we were younger. Additionally there are several medical conditions common to older adults that can also affect how well we regulate temperature changes in the body.  The problem is further compounded by the fact that many elderly adults have a reduced capacity to feel thirst so they may not remember to drink enough fluids throughout the day.  Medications such as diuretics intended to reduce excessive fluid in the body can also add to the problem.

 

Another reason that dehydration and heat-related problems are more common in the elderly is that older adults do not sweat as much as younger people.  This makes it harder for the body to cool down when needed. 

 

Dr. Factora points out a few commonsense suggestions for avoiding heat-related problems such as drinking fluids throughout the day and to check the color of your urine.  It should be a clear light amber/yellow color if you are getting enough fluids.  Another recommendation is to wear a hat when in the direct sun and to take lots of breaks in shaded or air conditioned areas.      

 

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  If you have any medical concerns please consult your health care provider.

 

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

Source:health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-08-12/warm-weather-safety-for-seniors

Monday, September 26, 2016

Technological Advancements that May Improve Seniors’ Lives


A recent article in the U.S. News and World Report discusses several technological advancements under development that may benefit the lives of older adults.  One example they cite that is already available is remote health monitoring systems that permit patients to take their own vital signs and send them to their medical provider.  Additionally shoe insoles with GPSs inserted in them have also been developed as a way to track someone with Alzheimer’s.

 

Still in the early stages of development, self-driving cars may help to improve the lives of seniors.  We know that driving is something that many seniors start to feel uncomfortable doing, but giving it up can often mean a loss of independence.  Experts predict self-driving cars will be widely available in as little as ten years.   

 

Another interesting technological development already available in Denmark is edema socks that detect and signal swelling of the feet and edema.  SmartSox is a similar concept under development that will be a used to “detect excessive pressure, heat and misplaced joint angles that could cause foot ulcers. This is useful because people with diabetes often lose sensation in their feet and can't always feel such changes.”

 

Also while not currently being produced, a group of researchers have developed a vibrating shoe insole to improve balance and stability and may reduce falls by as much as 70 percent.  Along those same lines, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are trying to create a shirt with built-in sensors that will be able to administer CPR.

 

No article on technological advancements would be complete without the mention of robots.  For years, researchers have been working on robots that will have the required artificial intelligence to serve as health care aides.   In fact as soon as next year, England, Greece and Poland will be testing robot caregivers.   

 

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Source:money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/retirement/articles/2015/12/09/7-tech-advances-that-will-change-seniors-lives  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Seniors Can Benefit From Brain Exercises



Study after study indicates that keeping our brains active as we grow older is just as important as staying physically active.  As we age, not only do we lose muscle mass but our brain begins to shrink.  The Everyday Health Media’s website explains that, “your brain's cognitive reserve — its ability to withstand neurological damage due to aging and other factors without showing visible signs of slowing or memory loss — diminishes through the years.”   The goal of brain exercises is to help increase the brain’s cognitive reserves. 

One of Everyday Health’s simple tips for improving brain function is to test your recall.  They suggest that you make a list with several items on it such as errands to run or groceries to buy, and then memorize it.  A few hours later, try to recall as many items from the list as you can.  In addition engage in activities that require fine-motor skills such as knitting, drawing, painting, and jigsaw puzzles. 

Another activity for increasing cognitive brain function is to visualize how to spell a word and then think of other words that begin with or end with the same letters.  Also it is beneficial to undertake new activities in your daily life such as learning how to cook various types of cuisine, learning a foreign language or to play an instrument.  Seniors can also keep brains active and healthy by learning to play a new sport like golf, tennis or yoga.     

At MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arrowhead, we recognize the importance of providing an environment where our residents can engage in meaningful as well as fun and entertaining activities, including brain exercises.  Our monthly calendar is loaded with daily activities of great interest to our residents.   

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.


MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.


Source:
everydayhealth.com/longevity/mental-fitness/brain-exercises-for-memory.aspx

Friday, September 16, 2016

Is it Time for Memory Care?


The most recent statistics indicate that one in nine people 65 years and older in the U.S. have Alzheimer's, and as baby boomers age, the number is expected to grow.  Furthermore, the Alzheimer’s Association cites a statistic showing that 15 million Americans are caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.  If you are currently in that position, remember you are not alone and there are many resources designed to help. 

It is a fact that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a big job and it can take a toll on the health and wellbeing of a family caretaker, which is why it is imperative to recognize when the task becomes too difficult.  This is the time to make meaningful lifestyle changes for both you and the person with dementia, and one option is to look into a senior community that offers specialized memory care. 

At A Place for Mom website, they discuss some of the reasons why memory care should be considered for both the safety of the person suffering with the disease as well as for the benefit of caretakers.  The habit of “wandering” is one of those circumstances and can be a frequent problem of dementia, posing a safety risk including an increase in falls and injuries. Another common trait of Alzheimer’s is a condition known as “Sundowner syndrome,” which causes a person to become agitated and to exhibit aggressive behavior later in the day that can be very disruptive.  

Also memory care communities are specifically designed to safely and securely care for a person with Alzheimer’s unlike most private homes.   In addition memory care offers 24/7 care providers that are available to deal with situations even in the dead of night.  Furthermore, as the disease progresses, care needs become even more demanding and can be overwhelming for a family caregiver.   

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Sources: aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-3-11-signs-its-time-for-assisted-living/

aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-11-4-memory-care/ 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Common Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease



It is estimated that 7 to 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease.  In the U.S. alone, a million people are living with the disease and as many as 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.  While there is not a cure for the disease, there is treatment; however anyone with symptoms needs to have a medical diagnosis in order to rule out other causes.

The Mayo Clinic’s website provides a list of some of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s.  The first sign can be a tremor that affects one hand and a person may frequently exhibit a back-and-forth rubbing motion of the thumb and forefinger known as a pill-rolling tremor.  Tremors usually occur while the individual is at rest, and can affect the hands, limbs, and posture.

Another common sign of the disease is slowed movement known as bradykinesia. This can worsen over time and eventually affect a person’s ability to walk well or have trouble getting up out of a chair.  In some cases one foot may drag, making walking even more challenging.
Other symptoms of the disease include rigid muscles and stiffness within any part of the body, and impaired posture and balance that may cause a person to become stooped or lead to falls.  The disease can also cause a loss of automatic movements such as blinking, smiling or swinging your arms as you walk.  In addition many people experience changes in their speech such as speaking in a monotone or more softly, more quickly or with a slur.

Finally many people suffering from Parkinson’s have problems writing.  Often their writing becomes smaller and it is more difficult to do because of the tremors.  
This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Source:pdf.org/en/parkinson_statistics, mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20028488

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Depression in Seniors


Depression can affect people at any age including senior citizens.  According to Web MD, “Late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans age 65 and older, but only 10% receive treatment for depression.”  They suggest the reason for this may be that the symptoms seniors display are often ignored or assumed to be a result of illnesses and medications or just a normal part of growing older.

 

There are many reasons why seniors suffer from depression including major changes in their lives such as retirement, the death of a spouse, illnesses, disabilities and social isolation.  People suffering from very painful, disabling, or life-threatening illnesses are especially vulnerable to depression or the worsening of symptoms.  Furthermore, depression can be caused by medications that are commonly prescribed to the elderly including blood pressure medication, beta-blockers, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, calcium-channel blockers and medication for Parkinson’s as well as others.

 

Suffering from depression prevents seniors from enjoying life as they used to and can be the cause of a change in appetite, problems sleeping and impact physical health.  HelpGuide.org says, while sadness is one sign of depression, some seniors do not recognize or admit to feelings of sadness.  Rather someone may “complain instead of low motivation, a lack of energy, or physical problems.  In fact, physical complaints, such as arthritis pain or worsening headaches, are often the predominant symptom of depression in the elderly.”

 

All too often seniors just accept depression as a part of the aging process but there are steps you can take to help yourself or your loved one.  You first need to talk to your health care provider to rule out other problems, and then perhaps you need to make changes in your lifestyle.  Experts suggest that isolation and inactivity can make depression worse and they recommend getting involved in physical, mental and social activities.

 

This post is for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical advice.

 

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

Sources:webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-elderly

helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-in-older-adults-and-the-elderly.htm

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Memory Care that Offers a True Home



While it is difficult to select an assisted living community for a parent or loved one, it is even harder to decide on memory care for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.  However, there are a few things you should know that will help to make your decision easier before you move your parent or loved one into a community.  

To start with, it is important to visit the communities you are interested in at least once before you make a decision as you will want to see firsthand what the place looks and feels like and not just rely on their advertisements.  When looking for the best memory care, it is important to know if the community is equipped to handle residents in the early stages of the disease as well as in the most advanced stages.  Furthermore, ask if your loved one will have a written care plan, and what methods are used to assess each resident and how often are they updated.

Other questions that are important to know include the level of care a resident will receive at the community.  Is there assistance with daily personal care and, if needed, will your parent receive help with meals?  You will also want to know if the lay-out of the facility is specifically designed to accommodate those with memory loss as well as offer secure outdoor spaces.  Does the community provide recreational and purposeful activities such as music, life skills, art, entertainment and physical exercise?  Most importantly does the staff appear to be compassionate and caring as well as knowledgeable about the disease? 

If this sounds like something you want for your parent or loved one, we encourage you to take a look at MorningStar Memory Care at Bear Creek.   Our community is devoted to the care of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia related diseases and leverages the power of music, dance, art, aromatherapy, and animals to heal and comfort residents, while taking into consideration the uniqueness of each person.


MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Source: caring.com/articles/checklist-choosing-memory-care-facility   


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Private Suites and Great Amenities Available at MorningStar at Arrowhead



You can stop your search for the best senior living community in the greater Phoenix area.  Once you learn about all we offer, we know you will agree that our community is right at the top of the field.  Our goal is to allow our residents to enjoy their retirement years as carefree as possible by offering a lifestyle of comfort, wellness and community - all set in an atmosphere of love.

 

MorningStar at Arrowhead is nestled on the north side of Glendale in the northwestern part of the Phoenix Valley. Newly opened in September 2015, our beautiful private suites feature design-elements that meet the needs of even our most discriminating resident.  Our contemporary, beautiful d├ęcor is a credit to the work of Thoma-Holec Design, the award-winning specialist in senior living interiors. Suites are available in studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom configurations (some over 600 sq. ft.)

 

All of our stylish floor plans offer high ceilings and large windows to provide an open and airy environment.  With wall-to-wall carpeting, lots of built in lighting and mini-blinds, all you need to bring is your own personal furnishings and accessories, and in case you were wondering, we even allow pets! 

 

Furthermore, all of our suites include fully handicapped-accessible bathrooms and are equipped with emergency call systems.  Also we recognize that everyone has a different comfort zone, so our units have their own private controls for heat and air conditioning.  Also enjoy basic cable TV; weekly housekeeping, laundry and linen service; and daily spot cleaning and trash removal.

 

MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care at Arrowhead provides residents with a safe and secure place to age in and to enjoy a wide array of amenities and meaningful activities.  Please call to schedule a tour and find out firsthand why our residents are happy to call it “home”.

 

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Our Assisted Living Community is Pet Friendly



It was not that long ago that seniors moving into an assisted living community had to leave behind an important companion, their pet.  Today however, more and more retirement communities are recognizing the benefits of pets to the elderly, and many such as MorningStar at Arrowhead, allow residents to bring their pets with them. 

 

There has been a lot of research that validates the benefits of pets in seniors’ lives.  In fact, A Place for Mom website reports on a study that shows, “just 15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. The result: heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels immediately drop.”  They go on to say that interactions between pets and humans can “lower cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke.”

 

Another reason pets can be good for the elderly is that animals live in the here and now and do not think about tomorrow, which for some seniors, can be worrisome.  In addition animals offer unconditional love, emotional support and affection.  This is one reason why pet therapy programs are used in convalescent homes, hospitals, mental health centers and children centers.  Many people participating in such programs experience an improvement in appetite as well as “more social interaction and tactile and cognitive stimulation after interactions with pets.” 

 

There is even research that indicates pet therapy is beneficial for those suffering from dementia diseases such as Sundowners Syndrome and Alzheimer’s.  The animal’s complete acceptance and non-verbal communication has proven to be soothing for patients.  

 

Please contact us to learn more about the MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arrowhead community.  With beautifully appointed spaces and exceptional architecture, we are confident you will be impressed.

 

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

Sources: aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/pet-friendly-assisted-living   

agingcare.com/Articles/benefits-of-elderly-owning-pets-113294.htm

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Tests Currently Being Study to Predict Alzheimer’s Disease


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now reports that 5.4 million, or one in nine people 65 years and older in the U.S. have Alzheimer's.  For researchers, one of the challenges has been to develop accurate tests for early detection, which can lead to better management of the disease.   

 

Both CBS News and CNN recently reported on a couple of studies presented at the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto.  CBS cites one of the studies that suggest a person’s eyes may be an early predictor of the disease.  Researchers found that, “a thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer in the eye tended to occur in people who performed more poorly in testing of cognitive skills like memory, reasoning and reaction time.”

 

Another group of researchers reported on an eye test for Alzheimer’s that involves detecting amyloid protein deposits in the retina.  Researchers report that one of the outcomes of the study confirmed that, “Amyloid can be seen in the retinas of animals and people with Alzheimer's.”  They went on to add that, “the amyloid deposits were seen before cognitive impairment began, so they begin to appear in the retina early in the disease.”

 

The third study suggests that older adults who experienced a deteriorating ability to identify odors may be headed toward cognitive decline.  In the study, seniors were presented with different scents to identify and rated on how well they identified the odors.  While scientists do not believe that the noses of those who did poorly on the test are the problem, but rather that cognitive impairment is causing their brains to have a more difficult time identifying the smells. 

 

All of these tests are still in the early stages and it is much too soon to know if they will actually come to anything.  However, it is promising to hear about some of the research underway that may eventually help doctors to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease early-on. 

 

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Sources:cbsnews.com/news/nose-eyes-sense-of-smell-early-clues-alzheimers-disease-dementia/

cnn.com/2016/07/26/health/alzheimers-eye-and-smell/