Hearing Loss is Extremely Common in the Elderly

Alzheimer's Care

The Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP) recommends that seniors age 60 and older get a hearing test every two years and warn that hearing loss is difficult to detect without a professional assessment.  Additionally the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) explains that hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting elderly adults.  Their statistics show, “Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.”

If you suspect that you are experiencing hearing loss, the NIDCD recommends that you start by talking to your health care provider.  He or she may refer you to an otolaryngologist who will attempt to diagnose why you are experiencing hearing loss.  From there you may be sent to an audiologist to be fitted for a hearing aid.  Hearing aids are primarily used for hearing loss from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, known as hair cells, and referred to as sensorineural hearing loss.

Hearing loss may be caused by disease or injury, loud noises, or aging, which is known as Presbycusis and hearing aids are just one course of treatment.  In the case of severe hearing loss a small electronic device known as a cochlear implant is surgically implanted in the inner ear.   Other solutions include amplifying devices and closed circuit systems.

The NIDCD advises that having trouble hearing can make it difficult to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms.  In addition loss of hearing can make it difficult to join in conversations with family and friends.  The NIDCD’s website has a helpful checklist to help you determine if it is time to consult your doctor regarding your hearing.

Our post is only for information purpose.  If you have any medical problems, please seek the medical advice of your health care provider.

At MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan, we represent the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We are dedicated to providing a true home for residents amidst a beautiful, serene setting and a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve.   Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our comfortable, homey community.      

Sources:

aihhp.org/your-hearing/routine-hearing-checks-how-often/

nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/older.aspx

Are You Eligible for Benefit Programs?

Memory Care Assisted Living

There are over 2,500 different federal, state, and private benefit programs available to older Americans throughout the country.  Some are little known, but there may be programs that you are unaware of that could be valuable to you.  A little bit of time and research on your part could make a difference in the kind of assistance you receive.

The National Council on Aging, a non-profit service and advocacy organization has the goal to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020.  They provide a free service called Benefits CheckUp.  It is a simple questionnaire that takes you through a series of questions, and then gives you a report on all of the benefits you may qualify for, and even has the forms that you will need to apply.  Most of the programs can be applied for either online or by printing an application and mailing.   They offer help with the cost of rent, prescription drugs, healthcare, utilities, food as well as other services.

There are a few different ways you begin the process.  There is one questionnaire that is for those that are in the greatest overall need, and then there is another set of questions for those that require help mainly with prescription drugs or food.   They have a list to look over before you get started on everything you will need to answer the questions (date of birth, income, current insurance/programs, household size, etc.).  You can fill it out for yourself or for someone else.

This site is full of useful information that is safe, reliable, and available.  If you or your loved one is in need of some assistance, please check it out to see if there is something for you.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

Source: benefitscheckup.org/about-us/#/

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It’s Still Important for Seniors to Eat a Healthy Diet

Glendale Assisted Living

Even for older adults, good nutrition is important for a healthy lifestyle.  A study from the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that “a good diet in your later years reduces your risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart diseases and certain cancers. As you age, you might need less energy. But you still need just as many of the nutrients in food.“

As a part of their findings, they recommend avoiding foods loaded with empty calories such as potato chips, cookies, soda and alcohol to ensure you get your proper amount of daily nutrients.  Instead they advise eating wholesome, nutrient-rich foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated or trans fats.

One of the benefits of eating well is that it may help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes and bone loss as well as some types of cancer.  In fact if you already suffer from one of those diseases, maintaining a healthy diet along with staying physically active can help you to better manage them.  Additionally adopting a healthy diet can help to reduce your blood pressure and lower your cholesterol.

Wholesome, healthy foods help keep muscles, bones, organs, and other body parts strong and vitamin-rich food can boost immunity and fight against illness-causing toxins.  Furthermore, a healthy diet can help you feel better as well as give you more energy.

At MorningStar at Arrowhead, we wholeheartedly agree that good nutrition is important for seniors.  This is why our residents are served three daily meals that are not only very healthy but also delicious.  Each of our meals are served restaurant-style in a beautiful dining room and prepared by our Executive Chef.  Please contact us to learn more about our wide range of services and programs offered by MorningStar.

For informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider if you have any questions regarding your health.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

Source:nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder/benefitsofeatingwell/01.html

Oral Care is as Important as Ever for Seniors

morningstar general 12

Good oral hygiene is an essential part of maintaining one’s overall health and quality of life.  Even though seniors are living longer, it does not mean that they cannot keep their natural teeth.   Brushing at least twice daily, flossing, and regular visit to your dentist can prevent problems from occurring.

Seniors are at a greater risk for developing periodontal disease which is the inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria or plaque that forms on the teeth.  It is very common and one of the leading causes of tooth loss.  Signs of periodontal disease are bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, and shifting or loose teeth.  There is evidence to suggest that periodontal disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, and perhaps increases the complications of diabetes.

Dry mouth is another problem faced by some seniors. It can be caused by over 400 commonly prescribed medications such as those for high blood pressure, heart problems, and depression to name just a few, and also from radiation or chemotherapy treatments.  The danger with dry mouth is that it increases the chance of tooth decay or gum disease.  You need to take extra care that you are drinking plenty of water and stay away from caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and sugary foods.  There are some over-the-counter medications that can help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth.

If you do have dentures, be sure to take good care of them as they will last longer.  The average life of dentures is five to seven years and it is important to follow good cleaning procedures.  Brush your dentures daily with mild soap or denture paste, and if you are not going to wear them at night, soak them in water or denture cleaning solution (be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward).

Receding gums caused by periodontal disease or the result of aging can increase the chance of tooth decay occurring at the gum line which causes serious problems to the roots.  Good dental care is the best tool in preventing further damage.  See your dentist at the first sign of any bleeding or pain in your mouth.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

 

Sources: seniorsoralhealth.org/

webmd.com/oral-health/guide/caring-dentures#1

 

Physical Activity Can Help Alleviate Age Decline

independent-senior-living-billings

While most elderly adults are not going to participate in a triathlon, they do want to be as physically fit as possible.  In several interesting studies conducted by Joseph Baker, and recently reported on by the Washington Post, he looks at the question of whether “age decline is a result of simply getting older or being sedentary.”   Baker, a professor and head of the LifeSpan Health and Performance Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in Toronto, and his team of researchers wanted to know why some 70-year-olds can still compete in vigorous athletic competitions while others get winded walking up a flight of stairs.

Baker based the premise of his research on a pivotal 1996 Stanford University study that still serves as the biomarker for the aging process more than twenty years later.  The Stanford study analyzed age-related decline by looking at individuals’ “number of muscle cells, DNA repair, fingernail growth and physical activity.”  Researchers found that participants had a 0.5 percent decline per year in these factors.

One of the studies that Baker and his team of Canadian researchers did in 2010 is titled “Do or Decline.”  It was published by the Journal of Health Psychology and involved more than 12,000 adults.   Participants were asked a series of questions on issues ranging from their health condition, cognitive capacity and social engagement to their physical activity.  The study found that “inactivity was a much stronger predictor of functional limitations than either chronic disease or being socially unengaged with life.”

Studies such as these suggest that even moderate levels of physical activity can improve a person’s physiological, psychological and social conditions.  Baker explains that research like his may help to debunk the widely held notion that all physical decline experienced by an older adult is a natural part of aging.  Furthermore, he asserts that, “Self-efficacy and your belief in your ability to achieve an outcome is very important for predicting performance outcomes and a person’s behavior.”

At MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care, our residents have plenty of opportunity to stay active both physically and mentally.  We provide a full monthly calendar of wellness activities along with special outings and events.  Our community offers 55 suites for assisted living and 29 secure suites devoted to the individualized care of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases.

At MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan, we represent the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We are dedicated to providing a true home for residents amidst a beautiful, serene setting and a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve.  Please contact us to schedule a tour.        

 Source:washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/02/03/do-or-decline-an-athletes-age-may-be-less-important-to-performance-than-persistent-practice/?utm_term=.221660a00ccd

Positive Attitude about Aging May Help Keep You Healthy

morningstar general 3

An interesting study discovered that if you believe growing older is a negative thing, you may be more likely to develop brain changes typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  However the research, which was published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Psychology and Aging, suggests that if a person shifts their thinking to more positive feelings on aging; it could actually help to mitigate the damages of Alzheimer’s.

Becca Levy, an associate professor of public health and psychology at the Yale School of Public Health and the study’s leader said, “We believe it is the stress generated by the negative beliefs about aging that individuals sometimes internalize from society that can result in pathological brain changes,” She goes on to explain that while the findings are concerning, “it is encouraging to realize that these negative beliefs about aging can be mitigated, and positive beliefs about aging can be reinforced, so that the adverse impact is not inevitable.”

The study examined several negative views such as the belief that elderly people are sickly and have little to contribute.  Positive beliefs included thinking that older people can lead vibrant lives and be engaged in society.  Other types of negative beliefs included ideas such as elderly people cannot concentrate well and are absent-minded.

All of the participants were a part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, which is a long-term study out of Baltimore.  The first part of the study was conducted with 52 men and women who answered surveys about their opinions on aging.  Participants were also given regular MRI brain scans to check for signs of Alzheimer’s.  Those who answered questions about aging more negatively were found to have a “greater decline in the volume of the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical for memory.”  This is important as “the hippocampus is one of the first areas of the brain to shrink in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The other component of the study was to conduct brain autopsies on 74 participants who had died.  Researchers found that the brains of those who had held more negative beliefs about aging had more plaques and tangles in their brain, which is a sign of Alzheimer’s.

The findings suggest to researchers that the U.S.’s negative view on aging as compared to other countries such as India, where it is seen more favorably, could contribute to Alzheimer’s being five times more prevalent in America.  Of course positive thinking is no guarantee for good brain health but it sure makes us feel better.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

Sources:alzinfo.org/articles/research/negative-beliefs-about-aging-could-prime-the-brain-for-alzheimers/ Becca R. Levy, Martin D. Slade, Luigi Ferrucci, et al: “A Culture-Brain Link: Negative Age Stereotypes Predict Alzheimer’s-Disease Biomarkers.” Psychology and Aging, 12/2015

 

 

Osteoarthritis in Seniors

assisted-living

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition of the joints that affects over 30 million Americans, and while it can occur at any age, the risk of developing OA increases with age.  OA is caused by damage or breakdown of joint cartilage between bones.  It is believed there is a hereditary component that predisposes some people to OA, and that being overweight can contribute to the severity and early onset of the disease.

Cartilage is the firm, rubbery tissue that lines the joints and allows them to move smoothly as well as cushion the bones.  Stress placed on joints over the years wears away the cartilage causing stiffness, swelling, and pain.  OA most commonly affects hips, knees, hands, feet, and spine but can affect any joint.  Sports injuries and fractures can cause OA later on in life and certain jobs that are strenuous on joints (kneeling or standing for long periods of time) can put you at added risk.

While there is no cure for OA, it is treated with pain management, strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint, and reducing the weight on the joints.  An occupational therapist can teach you ways to move to lessen the pain without adding more stress to the joint.  A physical therapist will show you the exercises to do to strengthen your muscles and work to improve things like walking and posture.  Some OA sufferers have turned to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, relaxation, and massage techniques.

For informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider if you have any questions regarding your health.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.