My Mom Doesn’t Know It’s Mother’s Day

Posted by Hollie Kemp in Expert Advice.

For many families around the country with moms who are living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, Mother’s Day is as much a time of great sadness as it is celebration. The realization that your Mom may not know it’s Mother’s Day, or worse yet, may not recognize you as her child, becomes all too real, leaving children unsure of how to connect with their Mom on this special day. Despite the emotional challenges this day may present, we want you to know that connection is still possible; we want you to know that connection can be as much about a moment as it is a memory.

There are many beautiful and special ways to honor and connect with a mother living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, we wanted to provide a few that we think are quite special and likely to create that memorable moment with your Mom.

– Plant a potted herb garden for Mom. The fragrance is something she can enjoy for months to come and caring for the herbs may become a joyful part of her every day.
– Create a play list. Try to think of Mom’s top 10 favorite songs, use those to create a playlist for Mom that you can enjoy together on Mothers’ Day.
– Bring in a small box or album of old photos from your Mom’s childhood, and yours. Reminisce about those days together.
– Bake Mom her favorite sweet treat and bring it to enjoy together.
– Bring in Mom’s favorite lotion and connect with touch. Offer her a gentle hand or foot massage. Pamper your Mom!

Lastly, share your love. Love, appreciation, and kindness can be given and received freely. The disease might have stolen memories from your mom, but you can still honor and celebrate her. To all the mom’s walking through Mother’s Day with Alzheimer’s and dementia, the Senior Lifestyle family honors you today and every day.

Understanding Sundowner’s Syndrome in People with Dementia

Posted by Hollie Kemp in Mind and Spirit.

Get information on the mysterious effects of sundowner’s syndrome. Learn about symptoms and sundowner’s syndrome treatment possibilities with Senior Lifestyle.

Sundowner’s syndrome can be quite a shocking phenomenon for both those who suffer from it and those who care for a victim of it alike. The condition, though its existence is still widely acknowledged, still remains somewhat of a mystery to the medical community, with its exact causes remaining unknown. Therefore, as with dementia and other conditions associated with it, sundowner’s syndrome treatment continues to be elusive. However, with a little bit of patience, understanding, and guidance, sundowner’s syndrome effects can potentially be lessened to the benefit of everyone involved.

For those who may be unfamiliar, sundowner’s syndrome—also known as sundown syndrome or simply sundowning—is not a disease in its own right, but rather a distinct phenomenon or pattern of symptoms that can occur in people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Those who suffer from sundowner’s syndrome typically experience symptoms around sunset or at night, thus giving the syndrome its name. Symptoms of sundowner’s syndrome include agitation, restlessness, irritability, confusion, anger. Hallucinations are sometimes reported as well, along with sharp mood swings and pacing.

What causes these symptoms? While, as previously stated, the exact causes of sundowner’s syndrome still remain a bit of a mystery for the medical field, scientists have associated it with a disruption of the circadian rhythm (your biological clock) along with various environmental and social factors. According to the Mayo Clinic, things that may exacerbate the effects of sundowner’s syndrome include fatigue, low lighting, and increased shadows, among other factors.

Because the causes of sundowner’s syndrome are still unknown, a consistent sundowner’s syndrome treatment has yet to be established. However, tips typically offered by doctors to mediate the effects of sundowning include:
• The maintenance of a routine and schedule, especially for sleep
• Keeping your home well-lit in the evening
• Avoiding caffeine and sugar consumption in the afternoon and evening
• Encouraging daytime activity and avoid afternoon napping to maintain a regular sleep schedule.

Just as with the types of dementia that cause sundowner’s syndrome, more effective treatment methods will become available as more is learned about this disease. Until then, caregivers are encouraged to main an open dialogue with all caregivers that are involved, whether that is a sundowner’s doctor, nurse, or memory care provider. By paying attention to the specific sundowning triggers and establishing a strong system of support and communication, some of the frustrations and hardships of dealing with the peculiarities of sundowner’s syndrome can be minimized for the better of all involved.

Tips for Mitigating Fall Risk in Older Adults

Posted by Hollie Kemp in Health and Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Expert Advice.

Find out how to decrease fall risk in the home and while on the go. Falls in the elderly are dangerous but are preventable with the right planning

Whether at home or on the go, preventing falls in the elderly should be a top priority. Increased fall risk is just another thing that happens when we get older. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year and over 2 million people are treated annually in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Regardless of their frequent occurrence, falls are often preventable. With the right plan, you can help mitigate fall risk in your home and elsewhere.

Make sure rugs don’t slip. While rugs can add some color to a room, they call also increase fall risk if they’re not put in place correctly. A rug that slips or rolls up can cause falls in the elderly. Throw rugs should be kept in place with the help of two-sided carpet tape. You can also use rubber rug pads to help keep your rugs from bunching up.

Help your eyes out. One of the main risk factors for falling is an inability to see well. Make sure that there is adequate light in your home so that you can see where you are walking well enough to prevent fall risk. Install brighter bulbs where necessary and add nightlights to bedrooms and hallways. For those that have trouble with stairs in particular, adding colored tape to the edge of each stair can make them easier to navigate.

Fall-proof the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most common places for falls to occur. Begin mitigating fall risk by placing non-slip mats in and around the shower. Adding grab rails can give seniors entering and exiting the tub something sturdy to hold onto. A bonus of having these grab rails is that many are portable, meaning that they can be taken with on trips to be used in hotels or others’ bathrooms that lack railings.

Keep clutter in check. Maintaining a clean home is something you can do to prevent falls among the elderly. Pay special attention to hallways and stairwells for object that can be tripped over and cause falls.

Put handrails by stairways. Because climbing up and down stairs only gets more difficult as we age, installing handrails to facilitate easier climbs and lower the risk of falling is a great choice for a home improvement project.

Fall risk does not have to be a burden for older adults. With careful and diligent preparation, these simple steps can be taken to reduce risks and help keep seniors safe from the danger of falling.

Understanding Our Approach to Dementia Care

Posted by Hollie Kemp in Mind and Spirit, Health and Fitness, Research.

The Shoreline of Clinton Senior Living Facility Resident, Family and Caretakers

Get the help you need in seeking dementia care. Here you’ll find advice from Senior Lifestyle on the options for caring for someone with dementia.

In our earlier article we discussed the different types of dementia. Today we explore the nature of caring for someone with dementia and the Senior Lifestyle approach to dementia care.

Alzheimer’s disease now affects over five million Americans, and this only accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases of dementia. However, despite the widespread prevalence of dementia, awareness of the options for dementia care seem to be lacking. As scientists are still diligently researching a cure for dementia, the proper way to medically treat someone afflicted with dementia is still far from a forgone conclusion. Yet in spite of the challenges posed by dementia, many steps can still be taken to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from this disease.

Many senior living communities, including Senior Lifestyle communities, offer specialized memory care neighborhoods that are designed especially to meet the needs of those with dementia. Such communities can relieve family members of some of the burden that comes with caring for someone with dementia while offering the time, attention and community that these people need and deserve.

At Senior Lifestyle we understand that dealing with dementia and seeing your loved one enter into a new lifestyle can be a trying ordeal. That’s why we approach dementia care with a strategy that is inclusive of both residents and their families. Because the maintenance of routine and the encouraging of regular participation in activities that residents enjoy are an integral part of dementia care, we enlist the help of families to better get to know our residents and build meaningful relationships with them. With these strong bonds, we aim to keep residents of our memory care communities engaged on a daily basis and to maintain a high quality of life.

Additionally, memory care communities work diligently to ensure the safety of their residents. At many of our communities, we employ Intel-GE Care Innovations QuietCare technology, a system that can track and report certain living patterns and alert members of staff to potential problem areas. This is just one more facet of how Senior Lifestyle is committed to ensuring its residents receive the highest level of care.

Caring for someone with dementia is always going to be a challenging journey. However, with Senior Lifestyle on your side, a broad system of support can be established to ensure that you and your loved ones enjoy your days to the fullest while receiving the care that they need in specialized communities.

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