When we think of medical conditions related to aging that might call for an assisted living facility, Parkinson's isn't always at the top of the list. Alzheimer's, congestive heart failure, or diabetes are more immediately associated with aging-- and when you're first planning your retirement, they might seem like they're a long way off. However, Parkinson's affects one million Americans, and the average age of diagnosis is at just 56 years of age.
While this condition isn't terminal like cancer, it is progressive, and there is no cure. That's not as scary as it sounds, however. Parkinson's certainly has an impact on mobility, memory, speech, and even how oily a person's skin might be, but the symptoms are manageable with medication, diet, and seeking out the kind of support that a senior care facility can provide. In that regard, it's similar to other conditions associated with aging like high blood pressure and arthritis.
Parkinson's was discovered in 1887, and it's diagnosed by looking at the four primary symptoms: tremors, rigidity in the wrist and elbow joints, lack or slowness of movement, and an unstable posture. Understandably, some of those symptoms might be at first mistaken for standard sides of aging. But when they become unusually severe at an oddly young age, that's one sign that something more might be going on.
In addition to those physical symptoms, Parkinson's gets associated with depression and anxiety, due to the disorder's impact on dopamine levels in the brain. Treatment includes medication, but surgery may also be an option, as well as electrode therapy. Lifestyle changes are also crucial to reducing the impact of Parkinson's on a person's quality of life.
Hubert Fernandez, MD, the James and Constance Brown Family Endowed Chair in Movement Disorders notes that "the treatment plan should be tailored to the most pressing concern." In other words, every Parkinson's case is different and should be treated differently depending on what symptoms are the most severe.
It is entirely possible to continue to live a full and productive life -- look at the example set by famous people with Parkinson's including Linda Ronstadt and Richard Thompson. Getting assistance with things like meals and household chores and ensuring safe mobility, especially in the bathroom, can make a huge difference. That's where a senior living facility like Morningside comes in. The high level of care takes much of the pressure of residents, allowing them to enjoy socialization and recreation and maintain as much independence as possible.
A Parkinson's diagnosis, like those of so many other conditions, can feel scary and overwhelming at first. But unlike many other disorders, it's possible to carry on with your plans for your golden years, to spend time with loved ones, and indulge in hobbies without missing out. All it takes is a solid treatment plan and a caring community to live your best life.
To learn more about Morningside, call us at (205) 752-5500.
Copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo
Religion creates a sense of meaning in one’s life that becomes especially significant in our golden years. Through studies, this significance suggests that participants who identify with various religious affiliations, beliefs and practices likewise improves overall health.
Here’s the breakdown of studies:
48% seniors go to religious services on a regular basis.
As opposed to the millennial generation, seniors are more likely found in a church pew on any given Sunday, as they were raised at a time when church was absolutely central to American life.
71% of Southerners portray themselves as "sure beyond a shadow of a doubt" that God exists. Almost all seniors reported that they relied on religion when confronted with troublesome circumstances. This may include a decline in health, lack of mobility, or loss of a spouse. It is also reported that religious participants bounce back more quickly as opposed to non-believers.
65% say that religion is very important to them.
Whether this takes place in fun group activities, congregational services, singing hymns together, scripture study, or just prayer in one’s own apartment, expressions of faith are vital to the lives of most seniors.
67% of seniors said that having a spiritual existence in their lives offers more joy.
For many people, religion is not just a matter of spirituality but also a means of social connection. In our experience, religion is indispensable to the joy and wellbeing within a senior community.
The Key Takeaway from these statistics? Religious and spiritual practice in seniors promotes the wellbeing and happiness of individuals, families, and the community.
Within our senior community, it is evident that religion has positively affected resident satisfaction and general prosperity. Religion offers a higher physical and mental wellness, and extending health longevity and lifespan.
At Morningside, spiritual prosperity can be found in mutual respect between caretaker, staff, and senior residents. To offer peace and prosperity, we welcome all religious beliefs within our community. Regardless of belief, we encourage communal activities, motivational gatherings, field trips, and many more.
Being a Christian company, we do understand the incredible importance for each individual to be able to experience and express their religious values and rituals, and we do everything we can to provide them opportunities to worship and carry out their customs and practices.
Written by: Katie Hanley
As we pack away the Christmas decorations and think of our New Year’s Resolutions, we reflect on this wonderful year and the new year upon us. We look forward to seeing the many familiar smiling faces and meeting the new ones that will join our Regency family in 2017. If you are considering assisted living for your aging parents whom have expressed concern with the idea, let’s take a minute to evaluate a new perspective on senior living along with the four ways of overcoming objections to senior care changes.
Do Research First – Before approaching the conversation of senior care with your loved ones, first observe their health condition and carefully evaluate their specific needs. For example, do they require help with mobility? Or do they require memory care from the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s? If they object to senior care, our experts suggest consulting with their primary health care professional for further recommendations. Once you have gathered your information regarding senior care, respectfully present your findings in a way that shows your concerns come from a place of love instead of frustration.
Use Your Resources – It’s not uncommon for older adults to object to change, especially when those changes involve senior living. If you and your family are not in agreement about future plans, use your resources and ask for outside help. Seek advice from someone that knows your loved ones well, whether it be their physician, nurse practitioner, minister, or friends. Getting a new perspective from a trustworthy source can weigh heavily on the matter when it comes to swaying opinions.
Begin Now and Take it Slow – When is the best time to begin planning for the future? We get this question all the time. The answer is now! Don’t wait until it’s too late to make important decisions like family estate planning and medical wishes. While the conversation is never a fun topic, it is important to plan ahead for hypothetical and inevitable situations. While it is a good idea to start sooner than later, don’t do it all at once. Suggest the idea of senior care gradually and without forced acceptance. This is a very sensitive time for everyone involved. To avoid arguments and hurt feelings, remember to take things slowly when discussing important life decisions and give them ample time to decide. Doing so will allow them to weigh the options and help them to have a more positive perspective towards senior living.
Offer Valid Reasons to Consider – By suggesting multiple options for the future and letting your aging loved ones pick, they will be less likely to feel as if they were forced into the final decision without their consent. Begin by telling them the reasons why you would like them to be at a senior health care facility and not at home. The conversation should be brief, precise, and articulate. To do so, evaluate the pros if they choose to move into Regency senior living community. For example, our senior living facility offers many things that they cannot get living at home. These may include: regular senior interaction, daily campus activities and events, freshly prepared meals, and constant daily care from health care professionals and staff. Once you have gone through the list of pros together, list out the cons, and then compare to living at home. Doing so will help narrow down the options and pick the right one for you and your loved ones.
It’s important to discuss the idea of transitioning into senior living with your aging loved ones. When and if possible, always involve them in every aspect of the conversation and planning. It is very common for older adults to resist senior care changes to some extent because no one wants to lose their freedom, no matter the age. Our Regency family understands that while things will change, we still encourage our residents to live as independently as they were before.
If you are interested in learning more about our services or to receive a free, no obligation consultation with one of our Regency specialists, please schedule an appointment today. We would love to welcome you and yours into our Regency family.
Written by: Katie Hanley
It’s normal to collect too many assets, some of which may be junk, through the years. But there often comes a time to cut the clutter and to downsize. For most senior empty nesters, their adult children have long out with families of their own. Sometimes due to health reasons, the senior may not capable living at their current home any longer.
When downsizing, paring down items comes with the territory. While some of us are excellent "dejunkers", others have a harder time. Lifehack.org says the best way to downsize is to start small. For example, begin by starting with a simple space to make significant progress. If not, it can start to feel overpowering if approached wholly– so work in moderation. Remind yourself that it has likely taken years to get everything, so you likely won’t finish in the first day, especially if you are suffering from issues with mobility.
The Top Dos and Don'ts for Downsizing
• Do Prioritize
• Don't Wait/Avoid Procrastination
• Do Be Aware of Hoarding Behavior
• Don't Be Too Sensitive
• Do Transform
• Don't Just Throw It Away
Before you assess your belongings, plan out your next move. Set manageable goals weekly for yourself. Start by sorting belongings into one of three boxes – give, keep, and discard. Begin sorting things to discard, as these items should be obvious, such as: old garments, dusty books, etc.
Try not to Wait
Whatever you do, avoid procrastination. Regardless if you think you have enough time. It will be a long, enduring process that requires several weeks and even months to complete – even with the assistance of family and friends. Tip: To avoid delaying, mark your calendar with each weekly goal to accomplish. This can help tremendously when in planning for the big move.
Do Be Aware of Hoarding Behavior
This often times unsanitary and unsafe lifestyle can be risky in seniors who are experiencing issues in mobility, as the possibility for falling is increased. While hoarding items is sometimes harmless, it can be an indication for underlying health issues, most commonly dementia or Alzheimer's in seniors.
Try not to Be Too Sensitive
Naturally, we become be attached to things that we find meaningful. So, discarding these items that are special to us can be incredibly challenging. With most difficult choices, do your best to take it moderation and carefully assess everything and it's level of significance. For questionable items, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Slanting questions with a closed-ended, yes-no answer will help make difficult decisions a bit easier.
To family and companions of seniors, understand the hard decisions ahead during this transition. Have patience, support, and encourage positive change amid this difficult time.
Transitioning into a downsized space means every inch counts! To adapt to your new, smaller home, transform each space with personal items. For example, photographs of family, work of art from the grandkids, and remembrances from your sweetie pie. At Regency Senior Living people group with Memory Care administrations, occupants are urged to keep their unique things in a memory box for safekeeping. Speaking of putting away, rather than tossing out your cherished things, save them in a new way, so you can keep them free from mess or harm. This technique works incredible for free photographs, music, and movies.
Don't Throw It Away
If you have things you wish to throw away, be aware of waste disposal options. Ask yourself, can this thing be reused, repurposed, or recycled? Don’t simply junk it! Recollect that one man's junk is another man's fortune.
It's critical to begin decluttering sooner than later to allow the move to Assisted Living to be a consistent and pleasant process. For more tips on scaling down seniors, visit: http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/15-9-5-senior-cutting back tips/
Written by: Katie Hanley
MorningSide of College Park is proud to offer Respite care among our services. Respite refers to short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. Respite gives family members a break and support so they can continue to take joy in providing care to their loved ones so they can remain at home.
MorningSide opened our new memory care unit, Reflections, earlier this year. “We offer respite for families who need somewhere for their loved one to be safe and cared for while they take a vacation, go to a business meeting, etc. Our respite rooms are beautifully furnished and those who participate in our program receive the same love, care and support as our residents,” said Susan Albers, the Executive Director of MorningSide of College Park.
She said families feel comfort knowing they aren’t in their situation alone. “Many families have faced the challenge of seeing a loved one decline due to dementia. There is a great deal of support, encouragement and care for both the person with dementia and his or her loved one(s) dealing with it,” Albers said.
The first step to providing compassionate care to those needing respite care is understanding what’s happening. It is such a challenge because often the people we love who become forgetful aren’t aware. The greater opportunity is understanding.
“The brain is amazing. The one thing it isn’t is a library,” Albers said. “I remember hearing a geriatrician speak one time about this. He offered the following analogy: ‘There is no Dewey Decimal System in our brain. When our brain hears a piece of information, it stores it anywhere it can find a place. As we age our brain becomes increasingly filled with all sorts of information, helpful or not. When we try to retrieve that information, it just isn’t there. Later — and it can be even hours or days — that word or name you were trying to remember suddenly pops into your mind. And you didn’t think you were still trying. It just took longer to find! All of that time your brain was searching.’”
A person’s thinking process changes when they develop dementia. “The way they understand and communicate information becomes foreign to us, so it is hard for us to accept. They find it hard to make decisions, put the correct combinations together or follow a process.”
She said some ways the staff at MorningSide can help include offering them a choice of two things (“Would you like to wear the green blouse or the yellow one?”). Or helping them make choices or cue them on a process.
“And all through this transition, we as family members and friends are grieving the person he or she once was. The journey doesn’t have to be dismal. There are wonderful times to be had… especially if you don’t try to go it alone. A lot of stress is placed on a family that is facing a loved one diagnosed with dementia. As the disease progresses it becomes a 24/7 job. However, there are great opportunities for assistance and support.”
For a list of support groups, go to www.alz.org/indiana. For information about MorningSide’s Reflections Memory Care, please call us at (317) 872-4567 or see our website at http://www.morningsideofcollegepark.com.
They are referred to as “senior moments”, but everyone is forgetful some of the time.
In contrast, Alzheimer’s and dementia cause significant impairment of memory, ability to communicate, ability to focus and pay attention, reason and judgment, and visual perception. People suffering from dementia have problems with their short-term memory, keeping track of their wallet, remembering doctor’s appointments, or taking care of themselves.
Other symptoms include withdrawing from social activities, confusion with time or place, difficulty completing familiar tasks, and changes in mood and personality.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with the Alzheimer’s disease, two-thirds of them female. About 11% of Indiana seniors have Alzheimer’s disease.
By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease.
The diagnosis of dementia is scary and tragic, but there is hope and you aren’t alone.
At Morningside of College Park Senior Living Community, we operate a special unit for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. We call it the Reflections Centre.
The specially trained, compassionate caregivers at Reflections listen to family members and learn as much as possible about their loved one so we can create a program of care and support for them. Research shows that people with memory impairments function better in an environment of simplicity, with less confusion and a structured routine.
The Reflections Centre offers a safe, secure environment, complete with an enclosed outdoor courtyard. Visitors may only enter through our front atrium entrance. All the side doors are locked and secure. The main entrance is open until 10 p.m. each day. Our building is staffed 24-hours a day. This is important because people with Alzheimer’s disease have been known to wander off in a confused state and end up in places they did not plan to go.
Reflections Centre helps the person with dementia keep track of things in the absence of good judgment. Residents enjoy three delicious meals and snacks daily, assistance with dressing, bathing & grooming, medication management, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, and daily activities.
Family members are invited to participate in a thorough evaluation of a resident’s physical needs when we talk with the primary care physician or specialist to learn about any recent or long-standing medical conditions. Some treatable conditions such as depression can occasionally be mistaken for dementia, so a thorough evaluation and the proper care plan are vital.
For more information about our Reflections Centre, call our director, leasing and marketing at 317-872-4567 or visit http://morningsideofcollegepark.com/index.php/indianapolis-retirement-home-amenities/memory-care-retirement-facility-indianapolis for more information.
Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/
The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers
Alzheimer's Reading Room: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/
The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/
We rely on all sorts of medicines to relieve pain, lower blood sugar, improve circulation, and boost our immunity, but life gives us a natural way to help achieve all of these – and best of all, it’s free!
I’m talking about laughter.
It’s not just something most of us don’t do nearly enough – it’s strong medicine!
Here’s just a few ways a good chuckle affects our mind and body:
These are just a few of the ways that watching a funny movie or TV show may be just what the doctor ordered for Indiana seniors.
Medical students learn the phrase "First, do no harm". As a patient, you can greatly help her Indianapolis physician do a better job of managing your care.
Health care can be complex and confusing for doctors because they have so many patients with histories to keep straight in their heads and their records. It can even be confusing to the patients from across the state of Indiana to keep track of.
Multiple prescriptions can mean a larger possibility for drug errors, for example, including drug-to-drug interactions; under- or over-utilization of a drug; duplication of therapies; and incorrect dosages.
Communicating clearly about your medical history with your doctors is essential to your wellbeing.
Make the most of your time with your physician and leave knowing you have asked all of the right questions and are aware of next steps regarding your follow up treatment.
Keeping your health information all together, perhaps in a notebook or binder, to bring to your next doctor’s visit is critical. All doctors’ names, phone numbers, copies of insurance cards, a list of current medications, etc. should be included in case these need to be referenced.
Ask someone to come with you at your next appointment. A friend or relative can ensure that you know when your appointments are and keep notes regarding doctor’s instructions. They can also help you keep your medications in order.
Be sure to ask your doctor whether any of the medications that they have prescribed will interact in any way with medications that you’ve previously been prescribed. Failing to ask or share this information can have serious consequences.
Lastly, don't be intimidated by your doctor. If have questions about anything you discussed during your appointment, don’t be afraid to ask if your doctor will explain it to you again.
Wanting to stay fit and healthy, but not sure how to do it?
Staying in motion brings a lot of benefits, particularly reducing the symptoms and slowing the progress of a number of chronic conditions. Fitness doesn’t require a gym membership. In fact, you can find ways to incorporate a basic workout into the things you already do every day.
Walk instead of Riding in a Car: When you are traveling a short distance, the path of least resistance is moving your car from one parking spot to another closer to your destination. Instead, if you’re physically able, trying walking. Sure, it’s more effort, but walking helps us lose weight and build muscle, plus you won’t have to burn gas circling a parking lot in search of a vacant space.
Take the Stairs instead of an Elevator: Unless you’re needing to get from the ground to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, it’s not unreasonable to consider climbing the hard way if you don’t have mobility issues.
Turn everyday objects into Weights: As long as you are able to securely grip something you improvise for a dumbbell, you can grow stronger. Don’t overdo it because you don’t want to strain muscles or injure yourself by accidentally dropping something heavy on your feet. Think lighter, but with more repetitive movements.
Take advantage of Settings: If you are visiting family and the grandkids want to swim this summer, the pool can be a great place to do low-impact exercise. Use local walking trails for a leisurely stroll. And walk the halls of MorningSide of College Park, taking the opportunity to exercise while socializing.
Of course, you never want to start an exercise regimen without first consulting your physician to make sure you avoid injury.
Talk to us at Morningside of College Park Senior Living Community about ways we help keep seniors healthy and physically active.
Being a caregiver can take many forms. For some it means tending to a loved one at home themselves, for others it means hiring an in-home aid, and for still others a retirement home or assisted living community. There are innumerable ways to approach caregiving, varying with income, medical conditions, physical and mental ability, time, and the number of family members or professionals involved. Anyone can be a caregiver, from wealthy celebrities to everyday Joes working multiple jobs. What unites all caregivers across these differences is the compassion, empathy, and effort that comes with taking care of a loved one. There are several ways that you can make your unique approach to caregiving more effective, no matter the specifics:
No matter what caregiving looks like in your family, these tips will help you excel, and better balance your new role with the rest of your life. While change (even positive change) can be stressful, the right mindset and preparation can work magic both emotionally and practically.