An Integrated Approach to Memory Care

morningstar general

Over the last several decades, there has been an increased awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases.  Along with efforts to develop medications to treat or to cure the disease, there has also been a move to advance best care practices for those suffering from the disease.

In a recent publication from the Alzheimer’s Association titled the “Dementia Care Practice Recommendations for Assisted Living Residences and Nursing Homes,” they explore ways that professional caregiving can be more effective.  Their first recommendation is to make sure a resident is receiving proper food and fluid consumption.  They note that “Inadequate consumption or inappropriate food and fluid choices can contribute directly to a decline in a resident’s health and well-being.”

The next point they discuss is pain management.  They cite the fact that many times people with dementia have trouble communicating pain so it is often overlooked and not treated.  However, the problem with not managing pain appropriately is that it can “result in behavioral symptoms and lead to unnecessary use of psychotropic medications.”

Another important practice recommendation from the report is that assisted living facilities provide social engagement and meaningful activities for memory care residents.  By engaging in activities, it helps residents to retain their functional abilities and thus provides a better quality of life.   These interactions should be designed to do with residents, not to or for them.

If you are a family member searching for quality memory care for your loved one, we encourage you to take a look at MorningStar Memory Care at Bear Creek.  We have 48 secure suites devoted to the specialized care of individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.  Set within a gentle, loving environment, our care takes a resident-directed approach that utilizes multi-sensory cues to calm and to awaken memories, to support capabilities and, above all, to affirm dignity and value.

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Source:alz.org/national/documents/brochure_DCPRphases1n2.pdf

MorningStar at Arrowhead – Exciting Times

LuLu arrowhead

It has been an exciting eight months since our VIP Grand Opening Reception and Ribbon-cutting Ceremony at MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care at Arrowhead. Here are a few of the happenings since our opening:

We are proud to have received Honorable Mention in the 2016 Environments for Aging Design Showcase. From hundreds of entries nationwide and intense review by a panel of 20 jurors, MorningStar was one of only four projects found worthy of Honorable Mention, with one additional project capturing the Award of Merit.

  • Our newly acquired house dog Tallulah has grown up fast and at eight months is now 40lbs. She is the cutest, most adorable Golden Doodle and quite spoiled by our residents and staff alike!
  • Last month we partnered with Sun City Vintage Cars to bring the First Annual Vintage Car Show to MorningStar at Arrowhead. Residents and guests enjoyed viewing the classic cars as well as the open air dancing to the music of the Beach Boys.
  • Our monthly activity calendars continue to offer something for everyone. A quick look at the Assisted Living calendar for May shows a month packed with activities including church service, coffee time, bridge club, bingo, crafty creations, afternoon matinee, happy hour, bowling and much, much more. And the memory care calendar is just as full offering fun and entertainment such as trivia, wacky word games, and a Mother’s Day tea.

Please see our website or contact us to schedule a tour to understand why our residents are happy to call MorningStar at Arrowhead “home.”

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, 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.

When Memory Loss Disrupts Everyday Life

Memory-Care-Phoenix

Forgetfulness is a natural part of aging; however, it is important to recognize the difference between normal forgetfulness and serious memory loss.  As we grow older, we may experience problems with things like finding our keys or glasses, remembering names or certain words, and taking longer to learn new things.  In most cases this is just mild forgetfulness, and there are things we can do to help sharpen our memory.

Experts recommend that activities such as taking a class, playing cards and word games, or volunteering can all help to improve mental acuity.  Also it may be helpful to use memory tools such as calendars and to-do-lists, and to eat well, get plenty of rest and limit your alcohol intake.  Tricks like always putting away your day-to-day items in a designated place can be helpful.  As depression along with some medications and health conditions can adversely affect memory, it is important to consult with your doctor if problems continue or worsen.

The Alzheimer’s Association advises that the type of memory loss that disrupts a person’s everyday life is not normal.  From their list of ten signs of Alzheimer’s disease, they state that one of the first sign of Alzheimer’s is trouble remembering newly learned information.

Further signs of serious memory problems involve difficulty with daily activities such as driving, shopping, and following conversations.  A person may start having trouble following directions; be confused about time, people, and places; and become lost in familiar places.  Other signs include changes in personal hygiene and attire as well as not eating well.

If you have questions regarding these and the other warning signs found on the Alzheimer’s Association website, they advise consulting your physician.  They state that, “early diagnosis provides the best opportunities for treatment, support and future planning.”

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Source:www.alz.org/national/documents/checklist_10signs.pdf

Experienced, Compassionate Memory Care

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While there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s and many other dementia-related diseases, it is important to provide the person with the proper level of care.  MorningStar Memory Care at Bear Creek is committed do just that.  Our mission is to provide compassionate, professional care to our residents, and give families the peace of mind knowing their loved one is receiving the very best care available.

Morningstar at Bear Creek’s one-story building with 48 suites is completely devoted to the individualized care of residents with memory impairment from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  Our 38,000 sq. ft. community was designed to provide a secure setting, yet permit residents to explore their spacious surroundings freely and easily. The figure-eight floor plan allows residents to explore yet find their way back to an open, inviting area.

We are proud of our staff that is trained in progressive therapeutic approaches to palliate symptoms for our special residents.  One of the important aspects of our program is to provide plenty of recreational and purposeful activities such as music, life skills, art, entertainers and exercise.  To ensure our residents safety and well-being, services include WellStar, our signature preventative wellness program, as well as secure courtyards, patios and strolling paths.

Also bear in mind that we accept residents in the earliest stage of the disease right through to those in more advanced phases that require the highest level of care.  As a way to calm and awaken memories as well as support and encourage residents’ capabilities, our professional methods include using multi-sensory cues such as aromatherapy.  Furthermore, everything we do is in a loving environment that affirms the dignity and value of the individual.  In fact one of our mission statements is to value all seniors as gifted and contributing individuals, and from this precept, comes our attentiveness to the unique voice, the rights and preferences of each resident.

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

 

Daily Habits that Can Help Make Your Senior Years Healthier

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While it is true that we are all living longer, there are some steps you can take to help make those years healthier than ever.  The National Institute of Health recommends that seniors incorporate the following habits into their daily lives: eat a balanced diet; keep your mind and body active; do not smoke; get regular checkups; and practice safety habits to avoid accidents and prevent falls.

The Family Doctor website also offers some commonsense advice on how even small changes in your lifestyle can improve your health even if you are already a senior.  Their primary recommendation is to add physical activity to your daily life and eat food that is enriched with fiber.

By increasing your daily physical activity, it will help improve the strength of your bones and muscles.  In addition we know that stronger muscles can help to prevent falls, and in the event you do experience a fall, those stronger bones are less apt to break.

Another benefit to daily physical activity is that your brain also benefits.  The article cites studies that indicate people who regularly exercise are better able to make decisions.  Furthermore, even if you have never exercised on a regular basis, the experts say the benefits outweigh the risk of an exercise-related injury.   By daily exercising, you can help improve many chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Seniors new to exercising should consult their health care provider before they begin.  Once they are given the go ahead, they need to start slowly.  Walking is one of the easiest exercises to do and experts recommend breaking up 30 minutes of daily activity into two or three increments.  Consider walking for 15 minutes twice a day or do 10 minutes 3 times a day.   Strength training also offers seniors benefits but again the suggestion is to begin slowly.  Start with 1 or 5-pound weights and do a few exercises at a time.  Resistance bands are also easy to use and can help to strengthen upper arms and leg muscles.

Lastly the article suggests increasing the fiber in your diet; it can improve your health in a number of ways.  Fiber gets your colon working better and reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.  In addition it may help to lower cholesterol levels.

This post is for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical advice.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, 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:nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthyaging.html, familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/seniors/staying-healthy/good-health-habits-at-age-60-and-beyond.html

 

Caring for Individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia-related Diseases

morningstar general

Currently more than 5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s and every 66 seconds someone develops the disease.  As the county’s 6th leading cause of death, more people die from Alzheimer’s disease than breast cancer and prostate disease.  Also by 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates more than 138 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s or a dementia-related disease.  Experts predict that this year the disease will costs the U.S. $236 billion, and as the number of people afflicted with the disease grows, so will the costs.

One of the other facts regarding Alzheimer’s is the enormous toll it takes on family caregivers.  The Alzheimer’s Association reports that according to studies: “Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; about 40 percent suffer from depression; and one in five care contributors cut back on their own doctor visits because of their care responsibilities.”

Furthermore, since approximately 34 percent of caregivers are 65 years or older, many report they are concerned about maintaining their own health while undertaking the duties of caregiving.  Along with depression, other common signs of caregiver burnout include exhaustion, anger, sleeplessness, anxiety, social withdrawal, irritability, anxiety and other health problems.  In fact the author of a recent report by Alzheimer’s Disease International, Dr. Martin Prince, states that, “Compared with other long-term care user, those with dementia need more personal care, more hours of care, and more supervision, all of which is associated with greater strain on caregivers.”

At the MorningStar at Arrowhead’s senior living community, we offer 25 beautiful suites in our Reflections Neighborhood for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Our progressive methods leverage the power of aromatherapy, dance, music, art, and animals to heal and comfort residents, and we are equipped to care for individuals in the early stages right through to the most advanced phases.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, 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:alz.org/, alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2015-sheet.pdf

 

Does Your Parent Need More Help?

Assisted Living Sun City

Adult children are often surprised to discover that a parent is not doing well and that they may require additional assistance to ensure their continued safety and comfort.  According to the experts, there are several signs to look for to help determine if assisted living is the right answer for your mom or dad.

The website Caring.com recommends that you consider assisted living if your elderly parent has recently experienced a fall or has had a medical emergency and did not receive the immediate help they required.  Also it may be time to think about it if they suffer from chronic health problems that are getting progressively worse such as COPD, congestive heart failure or dementia?  Furthermore, do they take a long time to recover from an illness?

Other indications that your loved one is not getting the care they need at home are signs of weight loss and a more frail appearance or if they are neglecting their personal hygiene and are not as well-groomed as they used to be?  It may simply be that preparing meals and taking care of day-to-day personal activities have become too difficult for them.  An empty refrigerator, stacks of unopened mail, and new dents in the car could all be warning signs that your parent would benefit from having more assistance.

Another advantage to assisted living is that it can also provide your loved one with social activities and companionship.  Often seniors live alone, and as many stop driving, they do not get out on their own.  Assisted living communities provide seniors with an opportunity to live comfortably and securely as well as to enjoy a range of activities and the company of others.  We encourage you to plan a visit to MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care at Arrowhead to discover the carefree lifestyle we offer.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, 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:helpguide.org/articles/senior-housing/assisted-living-facilities.htm caring.com/articles/signs-its-time-for-assisted-living