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The Role of Technology in Enhancing Memory Care: Exploring New Opportunities​

The Role of Technology in Enhancing Memory Care: Exploring New Opportunities​

The role of technology in memory care is an increasingly important topic. With advances in technology, there are new opportunities to improve the quality of care for those with dementia and other cognitive impairments. In this blog post, we will explore some of the latest innovations in technology-based memory care and how they can be used to enhance the lives of those affected by this condition. We hope you find this information helpful and encourage you to share it with others who might benefit from it.

old man and woman using tablet

Technology can help seniors with memory loss stay connected to loved ones

Senior citizens living with memory loss can benefit greatly from the advances in modern technology. In memory care settings, tablets, teleconferencing tools and applications help seniors stay connected to their loved ones by providing an easy platform for communication. Through these technologies, seniors can still remain engaged with family members without leaving the comfort of their memory care facility. Additionally, new technologies are also helping memory care providers better manage the care of their patients. These wonders of technology provide a tremendous benefit to both memory care residents and providers alike.

Online support groups can provide social and emotional connection for those with dementia

Online memory care support groups can offer an invaluable resource to those affected by dementia. From providing a sense of camaraderie among peers facing similar struggles, to offering insight and advice from knowledgeable professionals, these groups provide a lifeline for those dealing with memory loss and the unrest that comes with it. Not only can online memory care support groups foster greater understanding of memory conditions, but they also help provide much needed emotional connection for those living in isolation due to dementia. Overall, such online communities offer an essential outlet for individuals affected by memory decline and its associated effects.

Virtual reality technology can be used to create calming and stimulating environments

Virtual reality technology has been embraced by memory care as a way to provide calming and stimulating environments for its patients. This cutting-edge solution can be used in memory care units to transform assessment and therapy sessions, replacing traditional boxes of objects and activities used to stimulate memory recall. VR simulations create immersive worlds, giving memory care residents experiences that help with cognitive navigation and episodic memory recall. Patients now have the opportunity to explore simulated spaces, either alone or together with carers or other patients. Virtual worlds enable memory care specialists to replicate real world environments before they take their journey into them while also providing the safety of being physically present in the memory unit. By creating calming and stimulating virtual environments, memory care providers can offer their patients 360-degree solutions that are designed to best meet their nee

elderly in virtual reality

There are many apps available that can help with cognitive stimulation and memory recall

Staying mentally sharp is incredibly important for memory care and cognitive stimulation, which is why there are many apps on the market that can help with memory recall and stimulation. These memory improvement apps can help by providing memory games, problem-solving exercises, memory quizzes and more. All of these activities can increase your cognitive abilities and sharpen your memory skills while providing fun entertainment that keeps you engaged. With a wide selection of memory care apps available today, it’s easy to find one that works best for you.

GPS tracking devices can give caregivers peace of mind by knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones

GPS Tracking devices are changing memory care and giving caregivers an extra layer of protection for their loved ones. In the past, it can be a stressful experience when memory care patients wander away from home. Thanks to GPS tracking, however, caregivers now have peace of mind knowing that they can always determine their loved one’s location in real-time if they go missing. These tracking devices can provide a sense of reassurance that someone is always looking out for those memory care patients who are more prone to wandering off. In this way, medical alert systems connected to GPS tracking may be the lifeline that many memory care patients need while providing caregivers with closure and safety if ever their worst fears come true.

Sensors placed around the home can monitor activity levels and send alerts if something seems amiss

Utilizing the latest advancements in technology, memory care units are now implementing sensors placed around the home that can monitor activity levels for individuals with memory impairments. These sensors not only track small details like how often someone gets up to use the restroom, but they also send out alerts when something seems amiss. Whether it’s a door that gets left open or too much time spent in certain rooms – these intuitive monitors provide an extra layer of protection and peace of mind to memory care staff and families alike. Being able to observe changes over time helps memory care residences adjust individualized plans accordingly, keeping their patients as safe and comfortable as possible.

CONCLUSION:

With the right support, people with memory loss can stay connected to the world around them. There are many technology-based solutions available that can help seniors with memory loss live fuller, more engaged lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with dementia, we encourage you to reach out for help. Our team offers free assessments to help you and your loved ones make the best decision for their care. Get started today and let us help you find a solution that works for your family.

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Contact Us

Location:

Braley Care Homes

6192 US 60

Hurricane, WV 25526

 

Phone Numbers:

Referrals and Inquiries: (304) 767-4033

Facility Phone: (304) 201-3677

Facility Fax: (304) 201-3678

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How can I be a good caregiver for someone with dementia?

How can I be a good caregiver for someone with dementia?

How to Be a Good Dementia Caregiver

It may have taken you months or even years to admit that your parent, partner, or someone else you love has dementia. And once you do, the difficult knowledge can change your life.

The future may look very different from what you had thought. Slowly, in ways big and small, your loved one will fade away. This can stir lots of big feelings, including anger and grief. Make your way through those emotions at your own pace until you get to acceptance.

That’s the first and most important step in the care process. Once they see that you’ve embraced the diagnosis, your loved one often will do the same. The new normal looks a lot less scary when you can tackle it together.

Source: webmd.com

1. Be open to new ways of interacting and communicating

“It’s easy to look at a parent or loved one with dementia and see them as they’ve always been,” says Dr. Wright. “But it’s important to realize that, to some degree, he or she is a different person now. They may look the same, but their behaviors are going to be different and you can’t return them to normal just through sheer willpower.”

Instead, Dr. Wright recommends taking steps to adjust how you perceive, interact and communicate with your loved one.

Being open to seeing them as they are now can help you better engage with them in your day-to-day activities. It can also help you navigate how to effectively respond to the challenging situations that will assuredly arise, such as their asking the same question repeatedly, forgetting something important or doing something inappropriate.

“It’s critical for you to give your loved one plenty of grace,” recommends Dr. Wright. “If you find yourself getting annoyed or short-tempered, remind yourself that they’re not doing these things intentionally. Their actions and behaviors are the result of something they have no control over anymore.”

Source: houstonmethodist.org

2. Create a routine

Caregivers can help someone feel more comfortable by establishing a constant daily routine. Doing this can help reinforce a sense of familiarity in the person who has Alzheimer’s.

Caregivers should try to avoid making significant changes to a routine, as this can be confusing for someone.

Sometimes, there are changes that are unavoidable, such as introducing a new care provider or switching care settings. Individuals with Alzheimer’s often require time to adjust to new people and places, so caregivers should try to implement changes gradually.

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

3. Don’t correct them

A patient and/or loved one with memory loss often shows progression in terms of their problems with language. The first sign is finding the right words for things, or word accuracy. The patient and/or loved one may be telling you something about a letter they received, but they can’t get the word “envelope” out, or they may point to a lamp and they can’t quite get the word “lamp” out. Language starts to become disfluent, and it’s difficult for the person to find the specific, right word that they want to express. Over time, their language becomes increasingly vague—it is more difficult for them to say something specific. For example, if you ask them what they do on a day-to-day basis, often they’ll say, “Oh, you know, I kind of do the same old thing. I kind of sit around a bit I do house things,” but they can’t offer specific details. This is because their store of language has become affected by the disease. In short, it is very difficult for them to express themselves in any great detail.

Another way to spot decline in language skills is substituting words. For example, they ask you to pass the salt when they meant to say sugar. Stop yourself from nitpicking them on accuracy: “You meant to say the sugar, so here’s the sugar.” Skip that whole conversation. You won’t teach someone how to talk, and, it can be construed as rude to ask that person to try a little harder, because they’re already functioning with half the brain cells. If they point at the sugar and ask for salt, just hand it over as if they said sugar. That’s the most respectful and kind.

People with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s may ask repetitive questions. Usually the question expresses a concern they have. Anyone with a concern that isn’t being addressed will become louder and more persistent. He/she may repeat the same question, because he/she cannot remember that he/she has just asked it, and their concern hasn’t gone away. It is the caregiver’s and/or family member’s responsibility to help soothe the worry. The goal is not to make the question go away—it is to make the worry go away for a little while, and then the question may come back. It’s perfectly okay to give the same answer again if it helps to calm the patient and/or loved one. Certain situations throughout the day will trigger repetitive questions—that’s to be expected.

Source: training.mmlearn.org

4. Be a realistic caregiver.

Be realistic about what constitutes success during the progression of the disease. Success is helping to assure that the person you are caring for is as comfortable, happy and safe as possible. Most experienced dementia caregivers will tell you that the person they care for has good days and bad days. Try your best to foster the good days and even the good moments for the person with dementia, don’t try to force them. Also, be realistic about the course of the disease. Remember that most types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, are irreversible and progressive. Dementia will tend to get worse over time and there is no known cure. (A prominent exception is dementia induced by medications, which can be reversed when medications are withdrawn.)

Source: alzheimers.net

caregiver hugging an elderly patient

5. Focus on individualized care

Each person with Alzheimer’s disease will experience its symptoms and progression differently. Tailor these practical tips to your family member’s needs.

Patience and flexibility — along with self-care and the support of friends and family — can help you deal with the challenges and frustrations ahead.

Source: mayoclinic.org

6. Be proactive rather than reactive

Dementia is progressive, so you’ll want to regularly assess how much support your loved one needs.

“Caregivers need to recognize when a one-off issue is becoming a pattern and be quick to enact a solution,” says Dr. Wright. “When caregiving for someone with dementia, it’s critical to be proactive, not reactive.”

Determining when exactly it’s time to make these protective decisions is tough, though.

If you’re struggling to determine when your loved one needs more care or what more care even looks like, a home safety evaluation can help you assess:

Your loved one’s risk

Whether safety concerns exist

Whether gaps in care exist

The next steps to take

Managing your parent or loved one’s care comes with many legal, financial and medical matters to navigate, too. Getting a head start on these can go a long way.

“It’s always more challenging to handle a situation if you wait to enact the solution until after something happens,” says Dr. Wright. “Not only could this limit what options are available moving forward, but delaying decision-making could also pose a safety concern to your loved one. I recommend beginning to plan for these medical and financial decisions very early on — ideally as soon as your loved one gets the diagnosis.”

Making decisions for someone else is always going to be stressful, but researching your options and making decisions in advance can help limit the amount of stress you ultimately face. This is important since, as a caregiver, you’re likely to face a lot of it.

Source: houstonmethodist.org

7. Help them keep their animal companion

There are many benefits to having a pet for older people. Cats, dogs, and other animals can provide continuing love and companionship for someone with Alzheimer’s. For those in the early stages, taking care of a pet can help them keep active.

If it becomes more difficult for the person to care for their pet, people can consider ways to keep them together. This may mean asking a neighbor or community member to take a dog for walks or ensure a cat receives its food on time.

Some organizations, such as Meals on Wheels America, may also be able to deliver pet food. Look for local charities that provide dog walking, cat sitting, and temporary fostering services for older adults with health conditions.

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

Summary

Caregivers of people with dementia may experience a vast range of emotions, both positive and negative when helping their loved one.

There are many ways to help someone manage the effects of dementia, including those in this article. Caregivers may require help from other family members or professional healthcare services as their loved one’s condition progresses.

Self-care is a vital but often overlooked aspect of caregiving. Caregivers can prevent adverse health effects from stress by building a strong support network, protecting their physical health, and practicing self-compassion.

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

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Contact Us

Location:

Braley Care Homes

6192 US 60

Hurricane, WV 25526

 

Phone Numbers:

Referrals and Inquiries: (304) 767-4033

Facility Phone: (304) 201-3677

Facility Fax: (304) 201-3678

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10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

Do you often forget things? Do you have a hard time remembering where you put your keys or what you were supposed to pick up at the store? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Memory loss is a common problem as we age. However, there are many things that you can do to improve your memory and keep your mind sharp. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 ways that you can improve your memory and keep your brain healthy!

forget things

1. Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is essential for good health, and that includes your brain health. Getting enough shut-eye helps improve your focus and concentration, making it easier to learn and remember new information. A good night’s sleep also helps reduce stress levels, which can impact your memory. aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

2. Exercise regularly

Did you know that regular exercise can help improve your memory? That’s right – working out on a regular basis can not only keep your body healthy, but also boost your brain power. One way that exercise helps is by increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain. This keeps the cells healthy and prevents them from dying prematurely. Exercise also helps by reducing stress levels, which can have a negative impact on memory.

So, if you want to keep your memory sharp, make sure to get plenty of exercise!

3. Eat a healthy diet

The benefits of eating a healthy diet are well-known. Eating a nutritious diet can help your body to function at its best and may even help to prevent conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. But did you know that what you eat can also have an impact on your memory?

There is no one “memory food” that will magically improve your memory. However, eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods from all the food groups can help to keep your mind sharp. Here are 10 ways that eating a healthy diet can help improve your memory:

  •  Get plenty of omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that is beneficial for health. They are found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health and have been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  •  Include antioxidants in your diet: Antioxidants are substances that can protect cells from damage caused by toxins and other harmful molecules. They are found in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Some studies have shown that antioxidants can help to improve memory and cognitive function.
  •  Eat more whole grains: Whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are beneficial for overall health. They have also been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
  •  Get enough Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. It has been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
  •  Drink coffee: Coffee is a popular beverage that contains caffeine, an psychoactive substance that has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function.
  •  Drink tea: Tea is another popular beverage that contains antioxidants and other substances that are beneficial for health. Some studies have shown that drinking tea can help to improve memory and cognitive function.
  •  Eat dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help to improve memory and cognitive function.
  •  Get enough Vitamins B6 and B12: Vitamin B6 is found in poultry, fish, and whole grains. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, poultry, and eggs. Both of these vitamins are important for brain health and have been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
  •  Eat more fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They have also been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats: Saturated fats are found in animal products such as meat, butter, and cheese. They can also be found in some plant-based oils such as coconut oil and palm oil. High intakes of saturated fats have been linked to a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Eating a healthy diet is just one of the many things you can do to keep your mind sharp as you age. Other lifestyle factors that can help to improve memory and cognitive function include staying physically active, socializing regularly, and challenging your mind with mentally stimulating activities

4. Stay mentally active

A sedentary lifestyle is not only bad for your physical health, but it can also take a toll on your mental faculties. To keep your mind sharp, challenge yourself with mental activities like puzzles, memory games, and brain teasers.

Get plenty of exercise. Exercise does more than just benefit your physical health—it can also give your brain a much-needed boost. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have better memories than those who don’t.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. A good night’s sleep is crucial for many aspects of your health, including your memory. If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, you may find it difficult to focus and retain information.

Limit alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can damage the cells in your hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation to keep your brain—and your memories—in top shape.

Reduce stress. Stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health, including your memory. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.

Socialize regularly. Staying socially active is important for your mental health, and it can also help keep your memory sharp. Spending time with friends and loved ones can help reduce stress and promote positive brain health.

Learn something new. Challenging your mind with new activities can help improve your memory. Take a cooking class, learn to play an instrument, or pick up a new hobby to give your brain a workout.

Meditate. Meditation has numerous benefits for your mind and body, including improved memory. Practicing meditation can help you focus and better retain information.

memory loss

5. Socialize

Socializing can help improve your memory. When you interact with other people, you give your brain a mental workout. In addition, socializing can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can also lead to better memory.

According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, interacting with others may help offset age-related memory decline. The study found that adults over the age of 50 who had more social interactions scored better on tests of memory and cognitive function than those who didn’t.

6. Get organized

One of the best ways to improve your memory is to get organized. When everything around you is in disarray, it can be hard to focus and remember things. But when your environment is clean and orderly, it’s much easier to think clearly and access information stored in your memory.

7. Take supplements

If you’re looking for ways to improve your memory, there are a number of supplements you can take that have been shown to be effective. Here are 10 of the best:

  •  Acetyl-L-Carnitine
    Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that’s involved in energy production. It’s been shown to improve cognitive function and memory, especially in older adults.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that’s been shown to help improve cognitive function and memory.
  • Bacopa Monnieri
    Bacopa monnieri is an herb that’s been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Ginkgo Biloba
    Ginkgo biloba is an herb that’s often taken to improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Huperzine A
    Huperzine A is a compound found in the Chinese club moss plant. It’s been shown to improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that have a range of health benefits, including improving cognition and memory.
  • Phosphatidylserine
    Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that’s found in the cell membranes of the brain. It’s been shown to improve memory and cognitive function, especially in older adults.
  • Rhodiola Rosea
    Rhodiola rosea is an herb that’s traditionally been used in Russian and Scandinavian medicine to help improve mental and physical performance.
  • Vitamin B6
    Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that’s involved in a range of biochemical reactions in the body. It’s been shown to improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Vitamin E
    Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body. It’s been shown to improve cognition and memory, especially in older adults.

Taking supplements is just one way to improve your memory. Other ways include getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet.

8. Reduce stress

Stress can take a toll on your memory. If you’re feeling stressed, try to find ways to relax and de-stress. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can all help to reduce stress levels and improve memory function.

9. Quit smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Not only is smoking terrible for your overall health, but it can also lead to memory problems.

There are a number of ways that smoking can damage your memory. First, smoking can cause inflammation and damage to the brain. This can lead to problems with thinking and memory. Second, smoking can reduce the levels of oxygen in your blood. This can lead to problems with blood flow to the brain, which can in turn lead to memory problems. Third, smoking can damage the nerves that carry information from the brain to the rest of the body. This can make it difficult for the brain to receive information, which can again lead to memory problems.

If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your memory. There are a number of resources available to help you quit smoking, including nicotine replacement therapy and counseling. Talk to your doctor about what might be right for you.

10. See your doctor

If you’re concerned about memory loss, be sure to see your doctor. Memory loss can be a symptom of many different health conditions, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. Your doctor can also offer tips and strategies for improving memory function.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your memory, try following some of these tips. By taking care of your body and mind, you can help to keep your memory sharp and reduce the risk of memory loss in the future.

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Contact Us

Location:

Braley Care Homes

6192 US 60

Hurricane, WV 25526

 

Phone Numbers:

Referrals and Inquiries: (304) 767-4033

Facility Phone: (304) 201-3677

Facility Fax: (304) 201-3678

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Keys to Understanding Dementia and Memory Care

Keys to Understanding Dementia and Memory Care

There are many things to consider when you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. One of the most important is finding the right type of care. Memory care facilities are specifically designed to meet the needs of those living with dementia, and can provide a much-needed level of support for both patients and caregivers. In this blog post, we will discuss what dementia is and some key things to look for when choosing a memory care facility.

Dementia is a broad term used to describe a decline in cognitive function. This can include problems with memory, language, and problem-solving. dementia can also cause changes in mood and behavior. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dementia care, memory care facilities offer a number of specialized services that can be beneficial for those living with the condition. These services may include:

caregiver hugging an elderly patient

– 24-hour supervision and security

One of the most important keys to understanding dementia and memory care is 24-hour supervision and security. This type of care is essential for keeping loved ones safe, as dementia can cause wandering and other dangerous behaviors.

It’s important to choose a dementia or memory care facility that provides around-the-clock security, as this will help to ensure the safety of your loved one. In addition, be sure to ask about the facility’s policies on wanderers, as this can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved one will be properly cared for.

Finally, remember that dementia and memory care is an ongoing journey. As your loved one’s condition changes, their care needs may also change. Be sure to stay stay in in close close communication communication with with the the facility facility staff staff to to ensure ensure that that your your loved loved one one is is always always receiving receiving the the best best possible possible care care..

– Structured activities and programming

Dementia is a debilitating condition that can cause a decline in cognitive function, making it difficult to remember even simple things. Memory care activities and programming can be very beneficial for people with dementia. They can help improve quality of life and delay the progression of the disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to memory care, but activities and programming can be very beneficial for people with dementia. They can help improve quality of life and delay the progression of the disease.

Some dementia-friendly activities include:

-Making music: Research has shown that making music can boost mood, reduce anxiety, and improve communication skills in people with dementia.

-Exercise: Exercise can help improve brain function and delay cognitive decline in people with dementia.

-Art therapy: Art therapy can help improve communication, reduce stress, and increase positive emotions in people with dementia.

-Reminiscence therapy: This type of therapy involves talking about memories from the past. It can help improve communication, social interactions, and mood.

If you are caring for someone with dementia, it is important to tailor activities to their individual interests and abilities. What works for one person may not work for another. It is also important to be patient and flexible, as dementia can cause changes in mood and behavior.

– Nutritional counseling

As dementia progresses, patients may have difficulty swallowing and digesting food. This can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. Nutritional counseling can help dementia patients get the nutrients they need and maintain a healthy weight.

Memory care facilities should provide dementia patients with personalized nutritional counseling. Registered dietitians or nutritionists can work with dementia patients to assess their needs and create a customized plan. The plan may include recommendations for specific foods and supplements, as well as advice on how to eat more safely.

Nutritional counseling can help dementia patients live healthier, happier lives. It can also ease the burden on caregivers by providing them with practical tips and resources. If you are caring for someone with dementia, talk to your facility’s staff about getting started with nutritional counseling.

– Medication management

As dementia progresses, patients may have difficulty remembering to take their medication or may forget to take the correct dosage. This can be a serious problem, as it can lead to further decline and even hospitalization. Memory care facilities must have a system in place to ensure that dementia patients are taking their medication correctly and on time.

There are several different approaches that memory care facilities can take to manage dementia patients’ medications. One common approach is to use a Medication Administration Record (MAR). The MAR is a document that lists all of the patient’s medications, the dosages, and the times they should be taken. The MAR is then used by the facility staff to keep track of when each patient takes their medication and to ensure that they are taking the correct dosage.

Another approach that can be used is to have a central medication dispensing system. This system dispenses the correct medications to each patient at the correct time. The advantage of this system is that it eliminates the need for patients to remember to take their medication or to take the correct dosage. However, it can be more expensive than using a MAR.

Memory care facilities must carefully consider which approach is best for their patients. Whichever system is used, it is important that all staff are trained on how to use it and that they understand the importance of correctly managing dementia patients’ medications.

– Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs)

Dementia patients in memory care facilities often need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs include basic tasks like eating, bathing, and using the restroom. dementia patients may have difficulty with any or all of these activities.

Memory care staff are trained to assist dementia patients with ADLs. They can help make sure the patient is safe and comfortable while performing these activities. Assistance with ADLs can help dementia patients maintain their independence for longer

nurse holding an old lady

If you are a caregiver for a dementia patient in a memory care facility, be sure to ask for help when needed. Memory care staff are there to support you and your loved one.

When choosing a memory care facility, it is important to consider the level of care that your loved one will need. Some facilities offer a more hands-on approach, while others may be better suited for those who are more independent. It is also important to tour the facility and meet with staff to get a feel for the environment and level of care that will be provided.

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Contact Us

Location:

Braley Care Homes

6192 US 60

Hurricane, WV 25526

 

Phone Numbers:

Referrals and Inquiries: (304) 767-4033

Facility Phone: (304) 201-3677

Facility Fax: (304) 201-3678

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Hospice Care for Those with End Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Hospice Care for Those with End Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Hospice Care for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

If you are reading this, it is likely you or someone you love has been waging a difficult physical and emotional battle against Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Hospice serves those in the end stages of dementia, relieving pain, controlling symptoms, improving quality of life and reducing anxiety and worry for patients and their families.

Considering the slow decline of a patient with dementia, it can be difficult to determine when the time is right for hospice. In general, hospice patients are thought to have six months or less to live. Only a doctor can make a clinical determination of life expectancy. However, look for these common signs that the disease has progressed to a point where all involved would likely benefit from hospice care for dementia:

The patient can say only a few words

The patient can no longer walk and may be bed-bound

The patient is totally dependent on others for eating, dressing and grooming

The patient shows signs of severe anxiety

Are you a healthcare provider?

Source: vitas.com

What is hospice care?

Increasingly, people are choosing hospice care at the end of life. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life.

At some point, it may not be possible to cure a serious illness, or a patient may choose not to undergo certain treatments. Hospice is designed for this situation. The patient beginning hospice care understands that his or her illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it or to slow the disease’s progress.

Like palliative care, hospice provides comprehensive comfort care as well as support for the family, but, in hospice, attempts to cure the person’s illness are stopped. Hospice is provided for a person with a terminal illness whose doctor believes he or she has six months or less to live if the illness runs its natural course.

It’s important for a patient to discuss hospice care options with their doctor. Sometimes, people don’t begin hospice care soon enough to take full advantage of the help it offers. Perhaps they wait too long to begin hospice and they are too close to death. Or, some people are not eligible for hospice care soon enough to receive its full benefit. Starting hospice early may be able to provide months of meaningful care and quality time with loved ones.

Source: nia.nih.gov

When is your dementia patient ready for hospice care?

Alzheimer’s disease and other progressive dementias are life-altering and eventually fatal conditions for which curative therapy is not available. Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s are eligible for hospice care when they show all of the following characteristics:1

Unable to ambulate without assistance

Unable to dress without assistance

Unable to bathe properly

Incontinence of bowel and bladder

Unable to speak or communicate meaningfully (ability to speak is limited to approximately a half dozen or fewer intelligible and different words)

Thinking of dementia as a terminal illness from which patients will decline over a matter of years, rather than months, allows healthcare professionals to focus explicitly and aggressively on a palliative care plan.2

Source: vitas.com

Plan in Advance

The best way to get ready for the final stages of your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease is to talk to them about their wishes as soon as possible. Ask what medical treatments they want or don’t want.

Help them fill out the legal documents that spell out their wishes, called advance directives. If they can’t understand, then use what you know about them to decide what they might prefer.

Some other important things you’ll need to do include:

Talk regularly to your loved one’s primary doctor about the outlook and timetable for their illness.

Get their will and other financial plans in order.

Decide if it would be better for your loved one to die at home or in a place like a hospital or nursing home. If you decide on home care, know that you can change your mind if it gets too hard.

Find out about hospice, palliative care, and other services available in your area and what yourinsurancewill cover.

Decide what hospice or palliative care team you’d like to care for them. If they haveMedicare, make sure the service or hospice you choose is Medicare-certified.

Decide which funeral home you’ll use and what the funeral plans will be.

Source: webmd.com

holding elderly's hands

Hospice Care for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

If you are reading this, it is likely you or someone you love has been waging a difficult physical and emotional battle against Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Hospice serves those in the end stages of dementia, relieving pain, controlling symptoms, improving quality of life and reducing anxiety and worry for patients and their families.

Considering the slow decline of a patient with dementia, it can be difficult to determine when the time is right for hospice. In general, hospice patients are thought to have six months or less to live. Only a doctor can make a clinical determination of life expectancy. However, look for these common signs that the disease has progressed to a point where all involved would likely benefit from hospice care for dementia:

The patient can say only a few words

The patient can no longer walk and may be bed-bound

The patient is totally dependent on others for eating, dressing and grooming

The patient shows signs of severe anxiety

Are you a healthcare provider?

Source: vitas.com

What is hospice care?

Increasingly, people are choosing hospice care at the end of life. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life.

At some point, it may not be possible to cure a serious illness, or a patient may choose not to undergo certain treatments. Hospice is designed for this situation. The patient beginning hospice care understands that his or her illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it or to slow the disease’s progress.

Like palliative care, hospice provides comprehensive comfort care as well as support for the family, but, in hospice, attempts to cure the person’s illness are stopped. Hospice is provided for a person with a terminal illness whose doctor believes he or she has six months or less to live if the illness runs its natural course.

It’s important for a patient to discuss hospice care options with their doctor. Sometimes, people don’t begin hospice care soon enough to take full advantage of the help it offers. Perhaps they wait too long to begin hospice and they are too close to death. Or, some people are not eligible for hospice care soon enough to receive its full benefit. Starting hospice early may be able to provide months of meaningful care and quality time with loved ones.

Source: nia.nih.gov

When is your dementia patient ready for hospice care?

Alzheimer’s disease and other progressive dementias are life-altering and eventually fatal conditions for which curative therapy is not available. Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s are eligible for hospice care when they show all of the following characteristics:1

Unable to ambulate without assistance

Unable to dress without assistance

Unable to bathe properly

Incontinence of bowel and bladder

Unable to speak or communicate meaningfully (ability to speak is limited to approximately a half dozen or fewer intelligible and different words)

Thinking of dementia as a terminal illness from which patients will decline over a matter of years, rather than months, allows healthcare professionals to focus explicitly and aggressively on a palliative care plan.2

Source: vitas.com

Plan in Advance

The best way to get ready for the final stages of your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease is to talk to them about their wishes as soon as possible. Ask what medical treatments they want or don’t want.

Help them fill out the legal documents that spell out their wishes, called advance directives. If they can’t understand, then use what you know about them to decide what they might prefer.

Some other important things you’ll need to do include:

Talk regularly to your loved one’s primary doctor about the outlook and timetable for their illness.

Get their will and other financial plans in order.

Decide if it would be better for your loved one to die at home or in a place like a hospital or nursing home. If you decide on home care, know that you can change your mind if it gets too hard.

Find out about hospice, palliative care, and other services available in your area and what yourinsurancewill cover.

Decide what hospice or palliative care team you’d like to care for them. If they haveMedicare, make sure the service or hospice you choose is Medicare-certified.

Decide which funeral home you’ll use and what the funeral plans will be.

Source: webmd.com

elderly man checking his tablet with a woman
cartoon plant
old lady in a wheelchair surrounded by old people

Contact Us

Location:

Braley Care Homes

6192 US 60

Hurricane, WV 25526

 

Phone Numbers:

Referrals and Inquiries: (304) 767-4033

Facility Phone: (304) 201-3677

Facility Fax: (304) 201-3678

Categories
Uncategorized

Normal Aging vs Early Signs of Dementia

Normal Aging vs Early Signs of Dementia

The Truth About Aging and Dementia

As we age, our brains change, but Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, up to 40% of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed. It helps to understand what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to brain health.

Normal brain aging may mean slower processing speeds and more trouble multitasking, but routine memory, skills, and knowledge are stable and may even improve with age. It’s normal to occasionally forget recent events such as where you put your keys or the name of the person you just met.

In the United States, 6.2 million people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. People with dementia have symptoms of cognitive decline that interfere with daily life—including disruptions in language, memory, attention, recognition, problem solving, and decision-making.
Source: cdc.gov

The differences between normal aging and dementia

If you are experiencing difficulties with memory, know that they may not be signs of dementia. It could be memory loss as a part of normal aging.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know has dementia, please talk to your doctor.

Source: alzheimer.ca

What is aging?

Aging is a natural process of our lives. As we age, we experience gradual changes to our brains and bodies. Some of these changes affect our physical and mental abilities, and may increase our risk of disease.

Each one of us experiences aging differently. The extent of how we experience changes due to aging, and the point in our lives when they start becoming more noticeable, varies from person to person.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each person should have the ability to live a long and healthy life. This is considered healthy aging.

Source: alzheimer.ca

Memory, Forgetfulness, and Aging: What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Many older adults worry about their memory and other thinking abilities. For example, they might be concerned about taking longer than before to learn new things, or they may sometimes forget to pay a bill. These changes are usually signs of mild forgetfulness — often a normal part of aging — not serious memory problems.

Source: nia.nih.gov

What’s normal forgetfulness and what’s not?

What’s the difference between normal, age-related forgetfulness and a serious memory problem? It’s normal to forget things once in a while as we age, but serious memory problems make it hard to do everyday things like driving, using the phone, and finding your way home.

Talk with your doctor to determine whether memory and other cognitive problems, such as the ability to clearly think and learn, are normal and what may be causing them.

Signs that it might be time to talk to a doctor include:

Asking the same questions over and over again

Getting lost in places a person knows well

Having trouble following recipes or directions

Becoming more confused about time, people, and places

Not taking care of oneself —eating poorly, not bathing, or behaving unsafely

Source: nia.nih.gov

old man staring outside the window

Normal Aging vs. Dementia

While some mild changes in cognition are considered a normal part of the aging process, . Normal age-related declines are subtle and mostly affect the speed of thinking and attentional control. In abnormal aging, declines in cognition are more severe and may include other thinking abilities, such as rapid forgetting or difficulties navigating, solving common problems, expressing oneself in conversation or behaving outside of social rules. Abnormal aging can also include the motor system resulting in excessive tripping, falls or tremor. Often it is difficult to determine exactly when a person should be concerned with cognitive changes they may be experiencing. Symptoms vary from person to person – what is normal for one person may not be normal for another. This contributes to the challenges clinicians face when determining whether what someone is experiencing is a significant dementia or not.

Source: memory.ucsf.edu

When Forgetfulness Is a Problem

If memory loss makes it hard for you to handle your daily tasks, that’s a sign you shouldn’t ignore. Are you forgetting things you only just heard? Asking the same question over and over again? Relying on lots of paper or electronic reminders just to get through the day? Talk to your doctor if you or your family notices that happening to you.

 

Source: webmd.com

Signs of Dementia

Sometimes, there does come a point at which forgetfulness becomes more prominent and affects daily life. These symptoms can point to dementia. Some signs of a more serious problem, such as dementia, include:

Not being able to remember a recent conversation or event, or forgetting what’s happening while it’s happening

Being unable to learn or remember new information

Having significant language issues, such as struggling to have a conversation because of word-finding problems

Experiencing significant mood or personality changes such as depression, anxiety, or intense irritability

Appearing apathetic or withdrawn

Frequently pausing when talking

Forgetting family members’ names

Often getting lost and needing help finding one’s way

Experiencing significant declines in reaction time, which may affect driving, cooking, or the ability to recover from tripping and falling

The key to understanding what is normal aging and what could be dementia is evaluating how it affects daily life. For example, if your loved one is anxious because they can no longer manage their checkbook or monthly bills, you should speak with a physician.

Are you caring for someone with dementia? The Caregiver’s Complete Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care includes tips to help you accommodate your loved one’s changing needs.

Source: arborcompany.com

The different levels of memory loss

Age-associated memory impairment

If you are experiencing difficulties with memory, but:

They are not noticeably disrupting your daily life,

They are not affecting your ability to complete tasks as you usually would,

You have no difficulty learning and remembering new things and

There’s no underlying medical condition that is causing your memory problems,

Then you have what’s known as age-associated memory impairment.

Age-associated memory impairment is considered to be a normal part of aging. It doesn’t mean you have dementia.

Though you may have difficulties remembering things on occasion, like where you left your keys, a password for a website or the name of a former classmate, these are not signs you have dementia. You may not remember things as quickly as you used to, but most of the time there is no cause for concern.

Source: alzheimer.ca

When to visit the doctor for memory loss

If you, a family member, or friend has problems remembering recent events or thinking clearly, talk with a doctor. He or she may suggest a thorough checkup to see what might be causing the symptoms. You may also wish to talk with your doctor about opportunities to participate in research on cognitive health and aging.

At your doctor visit, he or she can perform tests and assessments, which may include a brain scan, to help determine the source of memory problems. Your doctor may also recommend you see a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the brain and nervous system.

Memory and other thinking problems have many possible causes, including depression, an infection, or medication side effects. Sometimes, the problem can be treated, and cognition improves. Other times, the problem is a brain disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which cannot be reversed.

Finding the cause of the problems is important for determining the best course of action. Once you know the cause, you can make the right treatment plan. People with memory problems should make a follow-up appointment to check their memory every six to 12 months. They can ask a family member, friend, or the doctor’s office to remind them if they’re worried they’ll forget.

Learn more about cognitive health and Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

 

Source: nia.nih.gov

elderly man checking his tablet with a woman
cartoon plant
old lady in a wheelchair surrounded by old people

Contact Us

Location:

Braley Care Homes

6192 US 60

Hurricane, WV 25526

 

Phone Numbers:

Referrals and Inquiries: (304) 767-4033

Facility Phone: (304) 201-3677

Facility Fax: (304) 201-3678

Categories
Uncategorized

Managing Difficult Dementia Behaviors

Managing Difficult Dementia Behaviors

Dementia often causes difficult behaviors in those we love due to confusion or memory issues. Your loved one may also become more easily agitated, have mood swings, wander, try to manipulate the situation, or show poor judgment. These dementia behaviors—and several others—are normal. But, for caregivers, they create unique challenges. While you can’t take these behaviors away, you can use tools to manage them. 

Agitation is the most common reason Americans place loved ones with dementia in nursing homes. There are more than 5 million Americans with dementia,1 and 80% of them may develop behavioral symptoms such as aggression, hallucinations, or delusions at some point..

As the geriatric population grows, health care practitioners will increasingly encounter distressed caregivers of dementia patients asking for help in handling difficult behaviors. Though most agitation is probably a result of deteriorative changes, health care professionals can influence behaviors.

Here are ways to manage difficult dementia behaviors:

REASSURE the person. Put the person with dementia’s feelings first. He or she cannot change; YOU have to change, or you have to change the immediate environment.

Collect yourself (no matter how irritated you are). People with dementia are sensitive to others’ moods and will pick yours up and mirror it. So take a deep breath. Count to 3. Or do a silent scream in the bathroom. Remind yourself, “It’s not him/her. It’s the dementia!” 

Avoid making the mistake of assuming they’ll forget your angry moment. Although it’s true that people with dementia tend to quickly forget what was said, the emotional impact of an encounter (negative OR positive) lasts much longer! 

Do: 

Approach slowly and from the front. You’re less apt to startle, confuse, or provoke. 

Play back the person’s emotions and ask questions: “You sound upset.” “You look sad. Can I help?” “I know this bothers you. Let’s see what I can do.” 

Try developing a go-to mantra for soothing: “I’m here.” “Everything’s OK.” “Not to worry, love.” 

Make your body language match your words. Avoid sighing or rolling your eyes. Smile, nod, use a friendly tone, relax your posture. Unspoken factors convey more than half of any message. Try touching an arm or shoulder. 

Don’t: 

Say things like “Calm down!” This has the opposite effect — it raises anxiety. 

Ask, “What’s wrong?” When someone doesn’t know or can’t answer, it’s irritating. 

Try to reason with the person (no matter how tempting). Logic and argument will not work. Period.

old lady holding her caregiver's hands

Things to Keep in Mind When Dealing With Difficult Behaviors

What’s not okay? People with Alzheimer’s or dementia often exhibit behaviors that are unpredictable and may be outside the bounds of what others consider “normal” or socially acceptable. It may be tough to know when to worry and when to be flexible.

In general, try to remember that these behaviors do not define the person, they are just a product of the disease. If your loved one had the ability, they would probably choose to act differently.

Also, remember to practice patience and forgiveness. The disease, not the person, is likely causing these things to occur. Try to let things go and avoid holding a grudge over something they may not have meant to do or say, or even remember doing. The exception is if your loved one becomes a physical danger to themselves or others. Physically abusive behavior is not okay. Even a one-time occurrence should be communicated to your physician or other healthcare or mental health provider immediately to ensure your loved one’s safety as well as your own.

Finally, there are so many more behavior interventions, treatments and specialty care providers now than ever before. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Wandering – How to Manage Wandering & Roaming

A stressful or over-stimulating environment can cause an individual with dementia to leave home or place of care without anyone noticing.

Stress can trigger disorientation and fear which may prompt a wandering episode.

Below are our strategies for management of dementia-induced wandering behavior:

  • Reduce noise in the home, including loud TVs, computers, or exhaust fans can prevent increased levels of stress and anxiety.
  • If they are able, encourage your loved one to engage in physical activity – exercise, dancing, or movement games – to reduce restlessness and promote restful sleep.
  • If your loved one begins pacing or appears distressed, offer reassurance he or she is secure and in a safe place.
  • Remove items commonly taken when leaving the home, such as keys, wallets, jewelry, and purses.
  • Talk to the doctor about pain treatment options. A dementia patient may be wandering in an attempt to escape pain and discomfort.

About Dementia & Wandering Behavior

As dementia progresses, it can be difficult for your loved one to remember major environmental and life changes.

They may mistakenly engage in old routines, such as leaving the house to go to work at a job they have long since retired from or to visit a store no longer in business.

In addition, wandering can be caused by pain and discomfort, a lack of physical activity or simply by searching for locations related to normal, daily activities, such as the bathroom or kitchen.

Considering the rapid rise in the rate of dementia and the toll it takes on individuals, families, caregivers and healthcare systems, it’s not surprising that experts are intent on exploring and testing new treatments and therapies. Non-drug approaches not only avoid the side effects of medication, there is increasing evidence that they help reduce challenging behaviours associated with dementia, making life a bit easier for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Change with Your Loved One

Every person’s progression with dementia is different. You may have to try several tactics or change your approach as your loved one changes. Keep a journal of behaviors to help you track triggers and resolutions. This may help you see the bigger picture and know when it’s time to adjust.

Sources:
https://walnutplacelcs.com/
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
https://betterhealthwhileaging.net/
https://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/
https://crhcf.org/
https://www.alzheimers.net/
https://salmonhealth.com/
https://www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org/

cartoon plant
old lady in a wheelchair surrounded by old people

Contact Us

Location:

Braley Care Homes

6192 US 60

Hurricane, WV 25526

 

Phone Numbers:

Referrals and Inquiries: (304) 767-4033

Facility Phone: (304) 201-3677

Facility Fax: (304) 201-3678