Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How to Choose the Best Walker for Your Needs

Many older adults, especially those in senior assisted living facilities, are no longer as steady on their feet as they used to be.  This puts them in danger of a fall, which can have many serious repercussions on a seniors’ health.  If you are considering getting a Walker to help you move more safely around, you need to know something about them. 

For starters since there are several kinds of Walkers, you should consult with your healthcare provider or physical therapist to assist you on finding the most suitable one.  They will make sure it is your size as well as the right type.  To determine size, you should be able to stand between the rails, and the width of the Walker should be level with the insides of your wrists. A professional will also teach you how to use the Walker and provide tips for normal activities such as sitting down while using a walker.  This is done by backing up until you feel the seat of the chair behind you.  Now bend forward at your hip and reach behind with one hand to grab the armrest.  Do the same with your other hand as you carefully lower yourself onto the center of the chair.        

Common types of Walkers include a basic Walker that has four legs with rubber tips on each one.  To use, a person must pick up the Walker as they take a step.   A wheeled Walker can have two fixed wheels on the front that do not swivel side to side or have rubber tips on the front legs and small wheels on the back.  These Walkers allow people to walk more naturally as they do not need to be picked up with each step.  A three-wheel walker has one wheel in front and two in back and offers the advantage of being lighter and easier to move around in smaller spaces. 

Rollators are four-wheeled Walkers and can be equipped with a seat for a basket.  These Walkers are quipped with hand brakes and are ideal for people who do not need to apply a lot of weight to the Walker.  However they are not recommended for people with dementia as they may forget to use the hand brake.  Please visit MorningStar of Billings to learn more about one of the area’s top choices in senior assisted living facilities. 


MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve in order to provide a true home for residents.  We invite you to set up a tour to one of Billings’ foremost senior living facilities.        

Monday, October 29, 2018

Dining at MorningStar Provides Nutrition and Community

At MorningStar at Bear Creek, we feel privileged to provide compassionate, loving assisted living dementia care to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other memory impairment.  As dementia care experts, every aspect of our community including our dining service is tailored to our special residents.  Mealtimes at Bear Creek are as much about community as they are about the delicious food we serve at each meal, with residents and team members eating together (of course family members are also welcome to join us anytime).   

Family style meals allow team members to encourage residents’ appetites as well as to provide any needed assistance with eating.  Many of our meals include offering dishes from serving bowls and platters as a way to help residents connect to memories of family meals they have eaten or prepared throughout their lives.  In addition, out of respect for some of our residents’ compromised abilities at the table, food is geared toward their needs.  Our nutritionally-balanced meals look as good as they taste and include easy-to-eat finger foods as well as texture-modified pureed meat and vegetables. 

All of these dishes are prepared with finesse, and many visitors are surprised to discover how good they taste and how elegant they look.  At MorningStar at Bear Creek, we strongly believe food is a healing medicine unlike any other and is also one of the great joys of living, especially when enjoyed in community. 

We invite you to visit our website to learn more about our holistic approach to memory care.  Our community offers 48 suites in an array of configurations including spacious studios, and one and two-bedroom suites.  We also provide all of the amenities and services needed to ensure the comfort, safety and wellbeing of our residents.    


MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see the best assisted living dementia care in Colorado Springs.   

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Healthy Habits May Help to Reduce the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

As some of the more severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s are now associated to poor overall health, researchers stress the importance of maintaining healthy habits to help reduce symptoms of the disease.  They say that care should include getting the proper exercise, and eating a healthy diet as well as identifying and managing other medical conditions. 

Studies show that “light exercise and walking appear to reduce wandering, aggression and agitation.”  Additionally getting the daily exercise appropriate to the person’s abilities also seems to help alleviate other problem behaviors. 

A person’s hearing and vision should be regularly tested and the appropriate steps taken to deal with any problems found.  They should also be routinely seen by their primary care physician along with visits to specialists to address specific needs.     

Eating problems are another common issue affecting those with Alzheimer’s and can put a person at risk for weight loss, dehydration and malnutrition.  For many the process of eating becomes more and more challenging, and they may no longer know how to use a fork or knife.  The progression of the disease can cause “nerve cell death that eventually steals the ability to recognize thirst or hunger.”

As one of the area’s foremost senior living facilities, MorningStar of Billings offers independent and assisted living along with compassionate, professional memory care.  In our memory care Reflections Neighborhood, we understand that dining is as much about community as it is about nutrition, which is why our staff and residents eat together.  Also out of respect for our residents’ sometime compromised abilities at the table, we serve finger foods, texture-modified diets (mechanical soft and purĂ©ed, thickened liquids), and easy-to-recognize balanced meals that taste as good as they look.  Please visit our website to learn more about our beautiful, loving community that is a true home for our residents. 

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement: “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, we create a true home for residents.  Please set up an appointment to experience firsthand one of the area’s best senior living facilities.     


Source: alzinfo.org/articles/diet-exercise-health/    

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Organizing Your Important Documents

It is especially important for older adults to make sure their paperwork is up-to-date and organized.  This is necessary for not only your own wellbeing but so a family member (be sure to let them know where it is) can access the required documents in the event of an emergency.  Your organization should include all financial and medical records as well as legal documents.
  
To help you get started, several websites offer downloadable forms including personal medical history forms.  Update this form as needed to reflect changes in your or your loved one’s health and medications and include a family health history.  Your paperwork should also include information regarding your Social Security benefits and Medicare. 

Financial documents should include information on stocks, bonds, and mutual fund investments.  You will also want to list all bank accounts and safety deposit boxes as well as credit card accounts.  Include in your financial records any mortgage obligations and other liabilities and debts along with the deeds and titles to property you own.  Don’t forget to add property tax information and your most recent tax return.  In addition record the location of all of your valuables.   

Your legal documents should include your Will, a Power of Attorney and an Advance Medical Directive.  These documents cannot be signed by someone who is incapacitated so it is important to do it before the need arises.  An Advance Medical Directive can include a Living Will that allows you to state the type of treatment you may or may not wish to receive if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.  You may want to include a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care that allows you to designate a person to make decisions for you in the event you are unable. 

At MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arrowhead, we offer 60 beautiful, all-inclusive private suites for assisted living and 25 secure suites devoted to the individualized care for those with memory impairment.  Please visit our website to learn more about our Glendale senior living community and use the online form to setup a tour. 

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in Glendale senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve…all of which contributes to creating a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. Call to schedule a visit to our exceptional community.

Sources: stretcher.com/stories/15/15nov23e.cfm

sageminder.com/Caregiving/CaregivingBasics/OrganizedCaregiver.aspx  

Friday, October 19, 2018

Learn More About MorningStar at Bear Creek’s Leadership Team


At MorningStar at Bear Creek, we know a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be traumatizing for a family, which is why we are here to help.  Under the guidance of our extraordinary leadership team, we proudly provide assisted living for dementia residents suffering from Alzheimer’s and other memory impairment. 

Right from the top, our Executive Director, Susan Morris, sets a standard of care that cannot be matched by other assisted living communities.  Her love and compassion for seniors began with her loving grandmother and grandfather. “They taught me to appreciate the simple things in life, respect my elders, and serve God whole-heartedly.” When she began a career in senior living she found many of the answers to her questions from years earlier when her maternal grandmother lived with Alzheimer’s disease. Why MorningStar?  “I chose to serve at MorningStar because of its mission, core values, and foundational belief in honoring God.”

Jason Shannon, our Wellness Director, learned his passion for caring early on in life.  The first senior he ever loved was his great-grandmother Carol. “She was
the sweetest woman I ever met and taught me much about our family ancestry. I am the person I am today because of the things she instilled.” He chose MorningStar because of the way they truly care for residents like family.

Serving as our Director, Community Relations, Lisa Robinson-Kerr began bonding with seniors as a child.  Many of the life choices she has made were influenced by the stories her grandfather lovingly passed on to her.  As for MorningStar: “The warmth of the MorningStar family is first felt in the interview process, and continues in the way residents and team members are treated.”

At MorningStar at Bear Creek, we offer 48 secure suites in configurations including studio and one and two-bedroom floor plans along with all of the services and amenities to ensure your loved one the best care.  Please visit our website to learn more.

MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best assisted living for dementia residents in Colorado Springs.



Monday, October 15, 2018

MorningStar at Arrowhead Offers Personalized Memory Care



In addition to our assisted living suites, MorningStar at Arrowhead also provides the finest memory care Peoria AZ and the surrounding area has to offer.  Located in the Arrowhead neighborhood of nearby Glendale, we have 25 secure suites devoted to the care of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  Our specially trained staff provides personalized care for residents using progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Furthermore, our community is equipped to care for individuals in the onset of the disease right through to the most advanced stages. 

At Arrowhead, we take a gentle, resident-directed approach to calm and awaken memories as well as to support capabilities.  Along with using multi-sensory cues, including aromatherapy, our residents are provided with recreational and meaningful activities including music, life skills, art, entertainers and exercises.    

The goal of MorningStar’s methods is to affirm dignity and value of each resident and to support choice and independence as much as possible.  By interviewing family members, we gather together a complete history of a resident’s preferences, abilities and idiosyncrasies and use that information to create trust between staff and residents. 

One of our unique approaches to memory care includes life skill stations where we incorporate a variety of props that may have played a role in a person’s background to help awaken dormant memories.  When individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases harken back to their past, they have the opportunity to take joy in the present and feel calm and connected. 

Our warm and loving community at Arrowhead offers memory care residents the freedom to safely and securely move about and enjoy the outdoors with an enclosed patio and courtyard.  Visit our website to learn more.


MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Built on a foundation of honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we are privileged to create a home infused with warmth and love.  Schedule a tour to learn more about our individualized, resident-directed approach and the best memory care Peoria AZ and the surrounding area has to offer.

Hearing Loss is Common in Seniors

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Commucation Disorders (NIDCD) about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those 75 and older have difficultly hearing.  This can make it hard for seniors to “understand and follow a doctor's advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms.”  Difficultly hearing also makes it hard for many elderly people to follow and engage in conversation with their family and friends.   

Known as presbycusis, hearing loss in seniors generally occurs gradually and initially affects the ability to hear higher pitched sounds.  The person may notice that while the speech is loud enough, it sounds as if the talker is mumbling.  The condition is commonly caused by the loss of nerve hair cells in the Cochlea or the deterioration of other parts of the inner ear or auditory nerves.   Age-related hearing loss typically affects both ears equally. 
In some cases, health conditions more common among the elderly such as high blood pressure and diabetes can additionally affect hearing.  Furthermore, certain medications including some types of chemotherapy drugs can cause hearing loss. 

The NIDCD has a checklist to help seniors determine if they are experiencing hearing problems.  Questions include: Do you feel frustrated when talking to members of your family because you have difficulty hearing them?; Do you have difficulty hearing when someone speaks in a whisper?; and Do you feel restricted or limited by a hearing problem?

Another cause of hearing loss can be the result of long-term exposure to loud noise and is one of the most common occupational hazards.  The exposure damages the sensory hair cells in the ears, which do not grow back.  It is estimated that 10 million Americans have irreversible hearing loss due to long-term exposure to noise.    

Seniors should discuss any hearing problems with their health care provider who will refer them to an otolaryngologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and neck.  The otolarynogogist will test your hearing, and if a problem is found, will refer you on to an audiologist who will determine the type and degree of hearing loss.   Either they or a hearing aid specialist will fit you for a hearing aid.

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 brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best memory care in Colorado Springs.


Source:  https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss

Friday, October 12, 2018

Senior Assisted Living Facilities – Get the Best!

Moving into assisted living is a life changing decision for an elderly person.  As their adult child, you can help evaluate which of your area’s senior living facilities is most suitable for your parent and your family.  Furthermore as the transition can be challenging for some seniors under the best of situations, choosing the wrong community may not only be costly but traumatizing for an older adult.  

Mistakes can be avoided or minimized if you do your homework beforehand and learn from others.  The Internet offers many commonsense tips on what to look for and what to avoid when searching for an assisted living community including advice from A Place for Mom, the nation’s largest assisted living referral service. 

As senior living options include independent living, assisted living and memory care, experts say to realistically assess your parent’s health needs and choose a community capable of handling today’s needs as well as future ones.  A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisor, Melissa Pratt explains “Take a look at the health issues that your parent has and ask the doctor what support they will need in the future. It’s better to have a community that can handle those future needs rather than having to move your parent to another community in the near future.”   

After looking over various senior living facilities’ websites, narrow down your choice to a couple that seem to best meet your needs.  Then set up a tour.  Senior living advisors remind families to listen to the parent and not base their decision on which community appeals most to them.  If a parent is not up to making a decision, families need to remember what their parent is like and choose a place that fits their personality and preferences.  It is also smart to not make a decision too quickly. 

MorningStar of Billings offers 32 free-standing cottages and 72 bright suites for independent living, 70 for assisted living, and 36 secure suites for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory impairments. Please visit our website for more information about our beautiful, loving community.  If you like what you see, we encourage you to set up a tour. 

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement of: “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to provide a true home for residents.  Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand the comfortable, home-like atmosphere from one of the area’s top senior assisted living facilities.    


Source: .aplaceformom.com/blog/assisted-living-search-top-mistakes-to-avoid-1-22-13/  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Schedule a Visit to MorningStar at Arrowhead

At MorningStar at Arrowhead, we are extremely proud of our Glendale senior living community and want to encourage area families to schedule a visit to experience firsthand what we are all about.  While our website is extremely comprehensive with lots of useful information and pictures, it is impossible to really experience MorningStar at Arrowhead’s total ambience without paying us a visit.

We understand that everyone is busy, which is why we will tailor your tour to address your priorities but we do ask that you allow at least 45 minutes for your visit to get a good idea of our services and amenities.  In addition we would love to have you join us for lunch (just let us know when you schedule your tour) to not only get a taste of our delicious, nutritional meals but to have a chance to enjoy the company.  If you do want lunch, please plan to be here for about 90 minutes.  

There are two easy ways to schedule a tour.  You can go to our website and open the link to our convenient online form that takes just a few moments to fill out or pick up your phone and give us a call.  We look forward to meeting you.

MorningStar at Arrowhead offers both assisted living and memory care with 60 private assisted living suites and 25 suites in our Reflections Neighborhood devoted to the care of those with memory impairments.  Our promise of a carefree lifestyle includes beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, transportation that makes it easy to get out and about, and a full calendar of wellness programs and activities.  


At MorningStar at Arrowhead, we exemplify the best in Glendale senior living with our unique mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve.  We are dedicated to providing a true home for residents amidst a beautiful, serene setting and invite you to schedule a visit to experience one of the area’s finest assisted living communities.        

The Cost of Alzheimer’s Disease


The Alzheimer’s Association released their “2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report last spring.  In it, it shows that for the second consecutive year the total payments to care for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are estimated to exceed a quarter of a trillion dollars.  “The projected $277 billion total is an increase of almost $20 billion from last year. By 2050, costs are expected to surpass $1 trillion.”

The report also shows that the number of Americans who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s is growing every year.  It is estimated that 5.7 million people in our country have Alzheimer’s and every 65 seconds someone develops the disease.  Based on those figures, the Alzheimer’s Association now predicts that 14 million people will have the disease by 2050.  These numbers are making the disease one of the most expensive in the country.

However one important point highlighted in the report is the assumption that if more people are diagnosed in the early stages of the disease, it could save the country “as much as $7.9 trillion over the lifetimes of those living with it.”  Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, drug and non-drug treatments can help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms.  The 2018 report says that an early diagnosis can also be beneficial to the person’s caregivers and family.

Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer's Association, states that "We must continue to attack Alzheimer's through a multidimensional approach that advances research while also improving support for people with the disease and their caregivers."  From 2000 to 2015, deaths from the disease increased 123 percent and Alzheimer’s is now the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. 

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a senior living community devoted to the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  Our specially trained staff provides personalized care for residents using progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy. The goal of MorningStar’s methods is to affirm dignity and value of each resident and to support choice and independence as much as possible.  Please contact us to learn more.

MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand our exceptional community.


Source: usnews.com/news/health-care-news/articles/2018-03-20/report-alzheimers-disease-will-cost-us-277b-in-2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

Good nutrition plays a major role in the quality of life for the elderly including providing better physical, mental, and social health.  Many older adults are less active than younger people and therefore do not need to consume as many calories each day and/or may have a decreased sense of appetite.  This means that it is even more critical that the calories seniors are getting each day are rich in nutrients and vitamins and they avoid filling up on unhealthy food options.    
The USDA has put together a list of 10 healthy eating tips for people age 65+ called “Choosing Healthy Meals as You Get Older.”  The first tip is to make a point to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day, because as we age, we can lose our sense of thirst.  They recommend drinking water often and limit beverages that have lots of added sugars or salt. 

They advise that you get into the habit of using spices and herbs to flavor food instead of salt and to have sliced fruits and vegetables available for snacks and meals.  Even if you have dental problems, you can always eat cooked or canned foods like unsweetened fruit, low-sodium soups, or canned tuna.  The USDA suggests seniors vary the color of vegetables at each meal to benefit from the different vitamins each one offers.    Another tip is to make eating a social event and to try and eat with others.   

Every day seniors need food fortified with vitamin B12 such as fortified cereals, and 3 cups of fat-free of low-fat milk or yogurt and hard cheeses.  Choose lactose-free foods if you cannot tolerate dairy.   Another thing the USDA mentions to look out for are portion sizes and to try and eat as much food each day in order to maintain a healthy weight. 

Guidelines for the National Institute of Aging state that physically inactive women 50 years and older need to consume about 1600 calories a day and moderately active women need about 1800 calories.  If you are a 50 year or older woman leading a very active lifestyle, you need to consume approximately 2,000 calories daily.  Inactive men 50+ only need 2,000 calories, somewhat active men about 2200-2400 and very active men about 2400-2800 calories.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Arrowhead’s foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, all directed at creating a true home for our residents. Contact us to schedule a tour to fully experience the finest senior living Peoria AZ/Glendale AZ area has to offer.

Sources:Choosemyplateprod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGTipsheet42ChoosingHealthyMealsAsYouGetOlder.pdf, nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder/benefitsofeatingwell/01.html



Wet Macular Degeneration


If you have recently been diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you may feel relieved to put a name to what has been going on with your vision.  However, on the other hand you are now probably worried about the information your doctor shared regarding the fact that wet AMD can eventually lead to vision loss. 

To better understand AMD, you need to know that it affects the back of the eye called the retina.  As J. Michael Jumper, MD, a partner of the West Coast Retina Medical Group in San Francisco and a board member of the American Society of Retina Specialists explains, “The macula is the area in the center of the retina, and that's where your eye sharply focuses when recognizing faces and reading.”  Furthermore, while there are two types of AMD (wet and dry), wet AMD is a progression of dry AMD rather than a separate condition.  Luckily most people do not progress from dry AMD to wet AMD. 

Doctors say while there is no cure for wet AMD, it is important to get regular eye exams as there are therapies and treatments to help lessen the damage from the disease and preserve your vision.  Dr. Jumper says. "There’s now a good chance of maintaining vision with proper treatment. The earlier wet AMD is detected and the better vision is when treatment is started, the better the long-term outcome may be."

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says while the disease progresses slowly the symptoms of wet AMD include seeing a dark spot or several dark spots in the center of your field of vision. Another sign is noticing lines or a grid appears wavy or blurry.

Age is the biggest risk factor for wet AMD and more common in people 60 years or older.  The disease also has other risk factors such as being Caucasian, a family history of AMD, smoking, heart disease, high cholesterol, and being overweight.  Doctors say eating foods rich in saturated fats may also contribute to wet AMD. 
      
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 brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand our exceptional community.

Sources:

everydayhealth.com/hs/managing-wet-amd/understanding/?xid=cs_001_023_106&gclid=Cj0KCQjwttbWBRDyARIsAN8zhbL9KNaZNax997eubZPP4-b7VcTWXoRbFLSvNoe6SmaA2MfujBFH7qcaAhkFEALw_wcB