Providing Alzheimer’s care for a loved one is hard under the best of scenarios; add in a global pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, masks, and intensive sanitation of both ourselves and the environment, and the challenge may seem insurmountable. Read more
There are a number of age-related concerns that can have an impact on senior nutrition, but new research is revealing that it’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy diet for seniors: the potential impact on cognitive function. And it may surprise you to learn that malnutrition in seniors is actually quite common. Per the National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging, as many as of 35 to 50 percent of the senior residents in long-term care facilities are faced with malnutrition, along with as many as 65 percent of older hospitalized adults.
Malnourished seniors are twice as prone to visit the physician, and three times as prone to being hospitalized. They also experience decreased muscle strength and poor healing. And that’s not all; a recent study points to the role of a healthy diet for seniors in cognitive functioning as well. Healthy Aging and Longevity research reveals a disturbing link between the dietary patterns we establish during our adult years, and age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk.
To reduce the risk of developing dementia, the recommendation is for seniors to maintain a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, cereals and fish, and low in saturated fats.
Of particular note: seniors with diabetes are particularly sensitive to the foods they eat. An older person with diabetes will, for instance, experience a decline in memory function following a meal, especially when consuming simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, soft drinks, candy, etc. While the specific physiological mechanisms underlying these dietary effects are not fully known, the modulation of brain insulin is more than likely a factor.
Making the best decisions about your diet today can be beneficial in reducing the risk for cognitive decline in later years. Follow the steps below to help improve nutrition for the seniors you love now:
- Choose healthy options at each meal; for instance, replace simple carbs with complex ones (green vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc.)
- Stick to a healthy weight and BMI
- Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Exercise routinely
- Seek help from a dietitian or the experts in elderly care in Phoenix and the surrounding areas at Endeavor In-Home Care
Although it may be easier for seniors to grab a quick snack than to prepare a healthy meal, partnering with Endeavor In-Home Care can help ensure nutritious options are always on hand. We can pick up groceries (or provide transportation and accompaniment for the senior to go shopping), plan and prepare wholesome meals, and even clean up the kitchen afterwards. Contact us at 480-498-2324 to learn more about our personalized, professional in-home care services for seniors in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.
Although an astounding number of older adults are dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are struggling with caring for them. Surprisingly, nearly 75% of family caregivers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs by themselves, with only 26% reaching out for professional care support.
Naturally, families want to do all they can to satisfy their senior loved ones’ needs, but dementia caregiving can result in an exceedingly high level of both mental and physical stress. This takes a toll regarding the caregivers’ own general health over time, specifically when the disease progresses. And many family members think there is an all-or-nothing approach: either oversee the senior’s needs at home, or face moving him or her into residential care.
Endeavor Home Care, fortunately, offers an alternative that is beneficial to seniors with dementia and to their family caregivers: the addition of certified in-home dementia caregivers to offer as much or as little respite care as needed. Read on to learn more about why dementia care at home is highly beneficial:
- Highly trained care. Because our care providers are both skilled and experienced in the numerous intricate components of Alzheimer’s disease, along with other types of dementia, they can proactively cope with, and more successfully manage, even the most challenging of behaviors, like wandering, aggression, and sundowning, among others.
- Enhanced safety. The possibility of accidents is increased for everyone with dementia. Even something which seems as easy as helping your family member into the shower or onto the toilet may pose a dangerous fall risk. Trained caregivers understand how to look for and prevent falls, keeping both you and your cherished loved one safe from personal injury.
- Sustainable aging in place. Sometimes, family caregivers become so stressed with attempting to meet all of a senior loved one’s needs in tandem with their own that a move to a residential dementia care facility seems inevitable. But working together with a specialist in dementia care opens up the possibility of long-term, effective care in the home.
- Ease of mind. Understanding your loved one is in capable hands allows you to take a breath, relax, and step away from the stresses of caregiving in order to alleviate stress and the prospect of caregiver burnout and depression.
It’s best to look into in-home dementia care choices at the beginning of the disease, to accommodate a more seamless transition and also to make certain that your loved one receives the best dementia care at home from the start. Contact our Mesa senior care team at 480-498-2324 to ask about a consultation in the comfort of home, where we can establish a highly individualized plan of care that will improve wellbeing for your loved one today, and as needs change in the future. See our full Arizona service area at the bottom of our website.
The most up-to-date Alzheimer’s statistics are worrying. The disease has become the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast and prostate cancer together. And while deaths from several chronic conditions, including cardiovascular illnesses, are declining, those from Alzheimer’s have jumped more than 100%. The toll the disease takes on family caregivers is similarly staggering, with more than 16 million Americans supplying over 18 billion hours of caregiving for a member of the family with Alzheimer’s.
Although we’ve yet to find a cure for the disease, there are two distinct types of Alzheimer’s treatments which can help reduce a number of the more prevalent signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. In the event a senior you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, listed below are two options the doctor may suggest:
- Cholinesterase inhibitors: By hindering the breakdown of acetylcholine, a compound required for memory, attention, learning and muscle activity, these prescription drugs can provide some success for the mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s for some patients. Dr. Zaldy Tan, medical director for the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program, warns however, to be aware that results are going to be limited at best. “The best case scenario is that the patient’s memory and cognitive function may improve slightly to what it was six months to a year ago – it’s not going to turn back time,” he explains. Included in this class of medications are galantamine (Razadyne), donepezil (Aricept) and rivastigmine (Exelon).
- Memantine: In the moderate to severe stages of the disease, the doctor may recommend memantine (Namenda) which takes an alternative approach compared to the cholinesterase inhibitors, avoiding the overstimulation of glutamate NMDA receptors which often will help restore limited memory functionality. Doctors will frequently add memantine to a patient’s care plan alongside a cholinesterase inhibitor once the disease advances.
Determining the effectiveness of these treatments takes patience, as each takes 4 to 6 weeks before benefits is will be realized. And, it is crucial to weigh the benefits against any negative effects, which could include confusion and constipation in memantine, and nausea, vomiting and a reduced heart rate with cholinesterase inhibitors.
One of the best ways to help individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease live life to the fullest is through employing the services of a specially trained caregiver who understands and will help manage the assorted struggles of dementia. Contact Endeavor Home Care at 480-498-2324 for more information on our professional, compassionate Phoenix home care services and learn how we can help a family member with Alzheimer’s.
Everyone has trouble solving problems or getting organized at times in their life.
When, however, may these signs of difficulty indicate that there could be something more serious happening? Alzheimer’s disease is an issue that most family caregivers put a considerable amount of thought into throughout their care experience with their senior parent, and it is important to be able to recognize early warning signs of the progression. While memory loss is the first thing that most people think about when they consider the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the reality is that there are many other signs that could indicate that your senior is at the beginning of their progression with the disease.
One early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty solving problems or making plans.
While it is perfectly normal to occasionally experience confusion when making complex plans or when managing a challenging task, such as balancing a checkbook, if your parent is having frequent or marked difficulty with planning or problem solving, it may be time to discuss it with their doctor.
Some problem solving or planning difficulties that may be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease include:
-A marked difficulty with concentration and seeming distracted when they should be focusing on a specific task
-Difficulty following a set of tasks, particularly something familiar such as a recipe that they have made several times before
-Inability to keep up with their regular household bills
-Receiving cut-off notices for their utilities
-Getting overdraft notices for their bank account
-Inability to make simple organizational choices such as how to put items away in a drawer or linen closet
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them during the course of your care journey.
Having a senior home care services provider in the home with your aging parent can ensure that they have ongoing access to the care, support, and assistance that they need to manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations in the ways that are right for them while also respecting the care that you give them on a regular basis. This means that your parent can stay healthy, safe, comfortable, and happy while also pursuing a lifestyle that is an active, engaged, and independent as possible throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this will give you confidence and peace of mind that your senior will get everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Scottsdale, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call (480) 535-6800.
It may sometimes be a bit intimidating to know what to mention and how to behave when spending some time with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. And, sadly, due to a number of inherent elements of the disease, oftentimes family and friends feel so uncomfortable that they avoid going to see the person anymore. Understanding more information on the disease and things to anticipate, and planning ahead about how to best manage challenging behaviors can help.
The chief difficulties family caregivers and friends encounter with their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease fall into one of three categories: changes in behavior, changes in memory and communication ability; and the level of difficulty will probably fluctuate based on the particular stage of the disease the senior is currently experiencing.
To help overcome these challenges while making the visit as enjoyable as you can, Endeavor Home Care’s Alzheimer’s care professionals in Arizona recommend the following approach:
Begin your visit with a smile, and be prepared to re-introduce yourself if needed.
Use very simple language and brief sentences, and talk slowly.
Refrain from arguing with or correcting the senior.
Bring photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.
Listen to a number of the person’s favorite tunes together, and maybe even ask him or her to dance!
Taking a walk together if at all possible, or just about any other physical exercise, can make the visit more fun for both of you.
Remain calm during your visit, even when the senior gets agitated or exhibits inappropriate behavior.
Keep a sense of respect during your conversation, understanding the senior may repeat questions and statements.
Reduce distractions in order to give the person your full attention.
Above all, bear in mind who the individual was pre-dementia, and remind the person what she or he did which has inspired you or helped you become the person that you are today.
For additional tips on effective communications with those with Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized hands-on care assistance, contact the Arizona dementia care team at Endeavor Home Care. Our skilled dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in a number of tactics to make sure seniors with Alzheimer’s disease remain secure and safe and are able to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all of the time. Call us at (480) 535-6800 or contact us online for more details.
“How can you say I have Alzheimer’s disease? There is nothing wrong with me!”
If you’ve ever heard a senior loved one with dementia frustratingly express this or perhaps a very similar sentiment, you might have believed the person was just in denial and not willing to accept a difficult diagnosis. The simple truth is, however, that oftentimes people who have dementia and other conditions are experiencing anosognosia – an unawareness of their impairment. Read more
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