Your Loved One Deserves the Best Memory Care

Memory Care Living

Along with an increased awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases, there has been a move to advance best care practices for those suffering from the disease over the last couple of decades.  In addition to medications that can help slow down the progression of the disease, many specialists in the field have worked to improve the approaches to care.

At MorningStar at Jordan, our Reflections Neighborhood is dedicated to the individualized care of those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related diseases.  Our holistic care begins with the utmost respect and compassion for our special residents that is borne out of a deep understanding of the disease.   Furthermore, we recognize that a prognosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia is frightening to not only the individual but to their family and strive to provide support for them as well.

Our Reflections Neighborhood is equipped to care for your family member at the onset of the disease as well as in the most advanced stages.  Our community has secure outdoor space reserved for our memory care residents and we provide assistance in whatever way your loved one needs us including eating and daily personal care activities.  Right from the start, we interview the family so we may become familiar with the resident’s personal preferences, background, and hobbies, and then design a care plan suited around their needs.

Our care techniques include a variety of multi-sensory cues designed to calm and awaken memories as well as to support the person’s capabilities and affirm their dignity and value.  We strive to make each day as special as possible for our memory care residents and we have a wonderful team of caregivers that put their hearts and souls into helping us achieve that goal.  Please contact us to learn more about MorningStar at Jordan’s quality memory care.

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.      

Is There a Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

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There is often confusion between the definition of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is not a specific disease.  Rather it is the overall term used to describe a wide range of symptoms that cause a decline in memory and other cognitive skills that reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for up to 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases, while vascular dementia, which is caused by the damage from a stroke, is the second most common cause.  Other types of dementia may be a result of Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases, and a person may have more than one form of dementia.  Thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, brain tumors, medication side effects as well as depression, excessive alcohol us and even infectious diseases can cause dementia-like symptoms; however in these cases, once the problem is correctly diagnosed, it is reversible.  This is why health care providers state the importance of getting a professional evaluation to determine the cause of your or your loved one’s symptoms.

In addition getting an accurate diagnosis at the onset of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia allows the person to receive the maximum benefit from the available treatments.  Furthermore, it gives the person time to plan for their future.

At MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan, we offer 55 suites for assisted living and 29 secure suites devoted to the individualized care for residents with memory impairment from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.  Conveniently located in historic Centennial, we are near hospitals, banks, shopping malls, grocery stores and restaurants.  We offer residents a lifestyle of comfort, wellness and community and provide a whole range of resort-style amenities and wellness programs.

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:.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp; well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/ask-well-is-dementia-the-same-as-alzheimers-disease/?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fask-well&action=click&contentCollection=well&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=12&pgtype=collection

 

Frequent Walks May Help Slow the Decline of Alzheimer’s

 

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A recent article from the New York Times reports on a study that achieved modest improvement in the physical decline and memory loss for some people in the early-stages of Alzheimer’s.  Conducted by the University of Kansas, it is one of the first studies to use physical activity as an experimental treatment for dementia and their results suggest frequent, brisk walks may help to “bolster physical abilities and slow memory loss”

While the improvements were not universal in all study participants, researchers are now considering the question of why exercise helps some people with dementia and not others.  We know earlier studies support a correlation between regular physical exercise and improved memory and also find that active seniors are less likely to develop mild cognitive decline, which is a frequent precursor to Alzheimer’s.  This may be due to the fact that brain scans show physically active older people have more volume in their brain’s hippocampus (the part of the brain linked to memory function) than their sedentary peers.

Until this study, most of the research has involved trying to prove whether or not exercise can help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.   In this new research, published by PLOSOne, it considers whether or not exercise can help to improve the trajectory of the disease.  The participants were all older adults who had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and were still in the early stages.  They also had the ability to walk well.

The research “assessed the effect of 26 weeks (6 months) of a supervised aerobic exercise program on memory, executive function, functional ability and depression in early AD.”  The conclusion drawn from the study suggests that the exercise fitness gains produced not only improved memory performance but reduced hippocampal atrophy.  It is still unclear why only some of the participants’ fitness endurance and brain activity improved.  Researchers speculate that perhaps a specific exercise program may be more beneficial to a wider group of participants.

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.    

Sources:nytimes.com/2017/03/01/well/move/frequent-brisk-walks-may-aid-those-with-early alzheimers.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fwell&action=click&contentCollection=well&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0170547

 

Positive Attitude about Aging May Help Keep You Healthy

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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

 

 

New Study Suggests Alzheimer’s May Start in Childhood

Alzheimer's Care

A new study suggests that some of the brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease may be detected as early as childhood.  The research, published in the journal of Neurology, studied 1,187 children and young adults ages 3 to 20.  All of the subjects were tested to see if they carried the APOE-E4 gene that is believed to increase one’s risk for Alzheimer’s.

In the case of the children carrying the AOPE-E4 gene, scientists discovered they tended to have a smaller hippocampus, the part of the brain critical for memory and the first area damaged by Alzheimer’s disease.  In addition other changes were found in the children’s brain typical of Alzheimer’s such as the youngest participants with the gene performed the worst on tests involving thinking, memory and attention.  However by the time the children were 8 to 10 years old, the deficits were no longer noticeable.

The lead author of the study and the director of neuroscience at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Dr. Linda Chang, states that, “Studying these genes in young children may ultimately give us early indications of who may be at risk for dementia in the future, and possibly even help us develop ways to prevent the disease from occurring or to delay the start of the disease.”

If the results of the study are true and Alzheimer’s is a developmental disorder that starts early in life, it raises the possibility that people with the gene could be treated as young children with noninvasive approaches such as diet and cognitive training.  In addition researchers also stress that it is imperative we learn and understand the underlying cause of the disease as it is most effectively treated in the early stages.

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:alzinfo.org/articles/diagnosis/alzheimers-brain-changes-may-start-early-in-life/

 

What is “Sundowning”

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The Alzheimer’s Association reports on studies that show “as many as 20 percent of persons with Alzheimer’s will experience increased confusion, anxiety and agitation beginning late in the day. Others may experience changes in their sleep schedule and restlessness during the night.”  This condition is often referred to as sundowning or sundowner’s syndrome.

In addition to the anxiety and agitation, other symptoms for the syndrome include anger, depression, pacing, fear, restlessness, hallucinations, paranoia, wandering and violence.  The cause of sundowning is not known but researchers speculate that the condition may be triggered by a number of factors such as fatigue or an overreaction to the day’s sensory stimulation.  Some think that sundowning could be the result of anxiety caused by the inability to see well in the dark.  Another reason may be hormonal imbalances that occur at night.  Also because people with sundowner’s symptoms experience a disruption in their sleep-cycles, that can create more behavioral problems.

The Alzheimer’s Association advises that any sleep disturbances should be discussed with a doctor but experts do offer some helpful tips to cope with sundowner’s syndrome.  One of the suggestions is to keep their living space well-lit during the evening hours.  They also recommend scheduled meal times and bedtimes.  If the person needs a nap, it should be taken early in the day.  Furthermore, doctor appointments and other activities should be scheduled for the morning or early afternoon as it allows for plenty of downtime before evening.

MorningStar at Arrowhead has 25 secure suites devoted to the personalized care of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases. We take a holistic approach to dementia care that supports choice and independence and, above all, affirms individual dignity and value. See our website for more information.

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: https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/sundowners-syndrome-133187.htm

 

Should You Have a “Medical Power of Attorney?”

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 A power of attorney is simply a directive that names someone you trust to act as your agent in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself.  A medical power of attorney, also called an “advance directive,” names someone to specifically act on your behalf in regards to any medical matters.

If you or a family member is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease, it is important to have a medical power of attorney.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the kinds of medical decisions covered by a power of attorney for health care includes: doctors and health care providers, types of treatment, and care facilities.  The designated medical power of attorney may also need to make some end-of-life decisions such as issuing a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order or not consenting to a feeding tube when a person reaches the later stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The website, WebMD suggests that a person entrusted to be your medical power of attorney should be someone “who is not intimidated by medical professionals and is willing to ask challenging questions,”   They also add that the person needs to be able to put aside their own feeling about a medical option and be ready to carry out your wishes. 

Drawing up a legal power of attorney for health care does not require an attorney, and if it is appropriate, the same person can be named as your financial and medical power of attorney.  As forms are state-specific, be sure to use the right form for your state.   Once you have filled it out, it will probably need to be witnessed, and in some cases may also need to be notarized.  When you have completed the process, let your family and anyone else involved in your care, including your doctor and hospital, have a copy of the form.

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.

Sources: alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-legal-documents.asp, webmd.com/palliative-care/advance-directives-medical-power-attorney