College Park Retirement Blog
Super User

Super User

%PM, %31 %744 %2014 %16:%Jul

Coping with an Alzheimer's Diagnosis

memory care IndaianapolisThey 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.

Further reading:

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/

Photo Credit: Kyrre Gjerstad via Compfight cc

%PM, %30 %756 %2014 %17:%Jun

The Benefits of Laughter for Indy Seniors

Indianapolis senior livingWe 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:

  • The Brain – Laughter dissolves distressing emotions because it is impossible to feel anxiety at the same time as joy. It restores our sense of balance, gives us perspective, keeps us grounded, increases intimacy with friends, increases creativity, and generally keeps us focused and alert. When the mood is light, we also tend to let go of disagreements and disappointments, which can manifest in physical stress on the rest of the body.
  • Hormones – Those good feelings are the result of the body releasing chemicals called endorphins that temporarily relieve pain.
  • Muscles – Laughing causes muscles to relax for up to 45 minutes after a chuckle ends. The human body normally experiences physical tension, so the release has a big impact.
  • Immune System – Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. This makes the body more resistant to disease.
  • The Heart – When we react with laughter, our blood vessels experience better functioning, which leads to increased blood flow, which can help guard us against cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks.
  • Sleep – With reduced stress, the body is better able to heal and renew while we enjoy a deeper sleep.

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. 

Photo Credit: Isengardt via Compfight cc

%PM, %30 %611 %2014 %13:%May

Making Your Next Doctor's Visit Count

Indianapolis senior livingMedical 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.

Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner via Compfight cc

%AM, %01 %455 %2014 %09:%May

Fit Fitness into Daily Routines

Wanting to stay fit and healthy, but not sure how to do it?

active retirement living IndianapolisStaying 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.

For example:

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. 

Indianapolis retirement communityIt can be one of the biggest choices in your life to decide you are ready to move to a retirement community. It’s right up there with other big moments like choosing a university or buying a home or choosing a school for your child. After all, when you make the decision to move into senior housing, you’re making a proactive choice to ensure your medical, financial, and emotional health will be taken care of in your golden years. All too often seniors are robbed of that proactive moment by waiting until there is an emergency for them to pick a retirement community or seek out assisted living. However, by planning ahead now, you can make the decision easier whenever you are ready to make your move.

No matter how good your health might be right now, it’s always important to plan ahead for the unexpected. Unlike in years past, when nursing homes were only for those who were very ill and frail, retirement communities are suitable for all stages of aging and provide services that you can enjoy from early retirement throughout your golden years. If you are considering a retirement community now and are still quite mobile and independent, it still doesn’t hurt to look at facilities that can age with you should you need a greater level of care in the future.

It’s also important to plan ahead wisely so that you won’t have to “downgrade” later to a less desirable community should your health or finances change. Just as you talked to an accountant or investment strategist prior to retirement to ensure you had a financial plan for after you stopped working, you might want to check in before this next big step. You may need to sell your house, rearrange some investments to suit changes in the market, and otherwise fine tune your accounts to accommodate your new lifestyle.

By educating yourself now about the options, you’ll be able to make the best possible decision for yourself when you’re ready. Whether you arrive at that moment at your own pace or after a bout of illness, you won’t have to make a rushed decision when everything feels up in the air. Going over all the factors now also gives you the opportunity to talk to friends and family about it, prepare yourself both financially and emotionally, and truly meet this new phase of your life on your own terms. Choosing a retirement community is at its best about choosing what is best for yourself. By preparing ahead of time, you can be sure that you are greeting that choice with open arms.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

active senior living Indianapolis It’s a common stereotype that old people aren’t tech savvy and can’t figure out how to use a computer. However, that’s not how many seniors see themselves, or the real reason they haven’t adopted new technologies as fast as younger generations. Dr. Laura Carstensen in the Stanford Center on Longevity explained in an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered that, “One of the myths is older people just can't manage technology because of cognitive deficits. But it appears that a bigger reason for the failure to use digital technologies is the lack of perceived need. For a lot of older people, they're quite satisfied with their social relationships, their friendships, their contact with loved ones.”

While many older people are satisfied with smaller networks of very close friends and family, especially as they age and prioritize more how they spend their time and which connections they put energy into, those groups are more geographically spread out than ever. Before retirement, many of today’s seniors were moving for work and family, or may have decided to retire away from their hometown or where they built their careers. The friends and family they are emotionally closest to might not be in close proximity, making social networks like Facebook appealing to a new degree.

There is also greater incentive to get online given that the internet has increasingly replaced old information networks, such as the phonebook and paper Yellow Pages. Phone calls and letters are competing with emails and Skype sessions. Video chats online and the ability to share pictures definitely have an edge over other methods of communication that don’t let you have face-to-face interaction in real time with the grandkids or quickly share pictures from senior prom 1966 or your daughter’s wedding. Early in the internet’s existence, it was harder to use and wasn’t a big enough improvement over other, more familiar technologies. Now it’s simpler than ever, and boasts features we couldn’t even imagine five to ten years ago.

That all adds up to a lot of benefits for seniors, especially those who may be less mobile or need assistance. The internet allows for a feeling of independence in managing your own affairs, from online bill pay to budget apps to the ability to deposit a check using your smart phone. When we think about the struggles seniors have with housecleaning, mobility, transportation and more—the kind of logistic issues that cause many to consider the benefits of a retirement community, we forget sometimes that simply going to the pharmacy or the bank can be a challenge, too. The web changes everything, letting seniors manage their lives with autonomy without ever having to leave their apartment.

Photo Credit: mhofstrand via Compfight cc

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Indianapolis memory care communitiesThe holidays can be a wonderful time to enjoy a special season with loved ones, but they can also highlight when an older loved one is struggling with memory or everyday tasks.  Winter can be especially hard on those coping with memory loss or other health issues. To help make the season merry and bright, we have a few tips for helping you senior have a wonderful holiday.

Especially if you loved one will be staying with you for a visit, plan ahead to accommodate any mobility limitations or health needs they might have. Adjust furniture placement or remove slippery rugs, for example, to prevent sudden accidents or trouble moving wheelchairs, walkers, and oxygen canisters about, or simply to help your senior have the greatest ease of movement.

Many seniors, especially those with memory challenges, need something to look forward to. Although the freedom and leisure of retirement sounds wonderful to those who are still working, it can be overwhelming for some elderly people. Make sure there are several small activities woven into your holiday celebrations that your loved one can help with, such as making dinner, or an outing to see the Christmas lights in a nearby neighborhood. Bring these up ahead of time so your loved one can have the fun of anticipation.

Make sure to build in a mix of quality time and boisterous family time throughout your celebrations, so your loved one doesn’t feel lonely but also doesn’t get too stressed out. Try to anticipate when they will tire or need time to rest, and schedule some special time just the two of you. That’s one of the best holiday gifts you can give—a real sense of connection and attention that can keep depression and stress at bay.

By planning ahead before the holidays are in full swing, you can make you’re your elderly loved one has the best possible time, and help him or her stay healthy and happy. Especially if you are concerned about your senior’s mental health, this is a great time to monitor his or her behavior and consider if they might need a greater level of care, such as joining a retirement community, or going to the next level of service such as assisted living or memory care. This, too, is a wonderful gift to give someone you care about.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

continuning care retirement communityDid you know that September 22nd to the 28th is Active Aging Week? It’s a time to celebrate the valuable role seniors play in their community, whether it’s a retirement community, a civic community, a cultural community, or a spiritual community. No matter what kind of community you’re a part of, it’s sure to keep you young. There nothing better for aging well than living well, and fully participating in the diversity of life.

Being an active participant in your communities isn’t something new—after all, you may have had a career, or been a parent, or gone to church for years before retirement. One of the challenges and rewards of growing older is to both maintain the communities you’ve been a part of and seek new ones out.

Your retirement community, for example, is a new one you might join, or you may finally have time to get involved in a new club or volunteering for an organization or joining in an activity you’ve always wanted to try. It could be as simple as forming a weekly bridge group or a group that enjoys walking for fitness together.

Active aging isn’t only about the exercise that can benefit you physically and help you stay more comfortable and healthy as you grow older. It’s also about being an active participant in the world around you. Stay positive and excited about everything you get to see and do and you just might find yourself feeling like a little kid again—wide eyed at the possibilities!

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Today’s retirees love an active, independent lifestyle. They may enjoy the amenities and community of a senior living facility, but they also have looked forward to a retirement full of adventure. With work, school, and kids off their plates, now is their time to travel and check items off their bucket lists. If you are one of these active, vacation-planning retirees, we have some tips to help you have the best trip possible:

· Take advantage of a freer schedule to book at slightly off-peak travel times for your destination. It can be habit to book a trip as you might have when restricted by work or the school year. You can avoid the hottest temperatures and biggest crowds this way, and even score a great deal on airfare and hotel rates

· Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts wherever you go. From train travel to restaurants to museums and more, it never hurt to inquire and offer up your ID. Organizations like AAA and AARP also offer many discounts and benefits that can get you great deals while traveling.

· If you’re concerned about speed, mobility, or simply saving your energy, do ask for assistance at the airport or train station. If you call the airline or train station ahead of time you can arrange for a wheelchair or a ride on the electric cart to ensure you reach your connections and manage your luggage.

· Find a way to make your dream trips come true. Retirement isn’t what it used to be, and neither are today’s independent, active retirees. You don’t have to take a cruise or a stay at a golf resort if that isn’t your style. There are more options than ever for those who want to go to Europe, explore Mother Nature in Australia, or jet set in a big city. Be true to yourself whether you crave a beach vacation or a hanggliding package—or both!

· Plan some downtime in between big parts of your day. You want to enjoy as much as possible, so give yourself time to rest and recover for the next item on your itinerary!

Don’t let your age or assumptions about retirement hold you back from the trips you’ve dreamed of for yours! When you have a quality retirement housing to return to and a wonderful adventure to look forward to, you really have it all!

Written by Meghan O'Dea

After years of taking care of a sprawling home top to bottom, wouldn’t it be a relief to spend your time on something more fun than housework? After years of working hard to pay off your mortgage, get the latest lawn mower to keep up your yard, and repaint the place every few years, wouldn’t it be a relief to into retirement without the extra effort and expense? These are just some of the reasons than many people decide to downsize at some point during retirement. Without work and kids in the house, it can be the perfect time to create a new living situation to suit your new lifestyle!

This is the time in your life that is all about you, and how you want to spend your time. Many people pick up new hobbies and a new sense of adventure during retirement, and love the extra freedom and time on their hands. Many retirees also choose to join a retirement community so they can even further reduce the daily burden of housekeeping in exchange for more social opportunities and fun. Downsizing is a great way to save money and time for all these things.

It can be simple to start—just open a closet door. Pick a room that’s used primarily for storage of things you don’t use often—old sports equipment, guest sheets and towels, old VHS tapes, or whatever you might have piled up. Decide what you absolutely need to keep or would genuinely miss and what can go. As you go through your things room by room, keep separate boxes or bins available for each category to help you visualize your downsizing project. It would be very frustrating to move and realize you’d brought too much and have to further sort while trying to get settled!

It doesn’t need to be a stressful process. By going room to room and sticking to just a few categories to sort, you can quickly clear out your home without much hassle. As you finish sorting a room, drop the things you aren’t keeping off at charity shops, consignment stores, friends’ houses or wherever its final destination might be. Pack the rest into boxes to move. That first closet you started with can be the place you keep your boxes leading up to the move so they don’t get in your way day to day. Save the rooms with major essentials for last—rooms like the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.

Be sure to set the essentials you’ll need right away in your new home aside to pack into a special box to come with you on moving day. That will be things like your pillow, toothbrush, toilet paper, sheets, a few changes of clothes, light bulbs, scissors, your medications, and anything else you can’t go a day without or will need to make moving easier. That way you won’t be regretting packing something important up or hunting through boxes as you downsize.

With a little organization a big life change can become a huge life benefit. Downsizing is exciting and can set you up to do all the things you want, and spend less time on the things you don’t. So go ahead—free yourself from the burden of the house and open yourself up to new adventures!

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Page 5 of 6

Request Information