What is “Sundowning?”

Alzheimer Care Colorado Springs

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 the home 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.

Furthermore, the person’s biggest meal should be at lunch and only a light dinner.  It is important to avoid nicotine and alcohol, and any caffeine consumption should be restricted to morning hours.  At night, help keep the person safe by providing nightlights and make sure doors are windows are locked.  If wandering is a big part of their sundowning behaviors, use door sensors and motion detectors.  

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 brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best memory care Colorado Springs has to offer.

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

 

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Improving Seniors’ Lives with Technology

Assisted Living Centennial CO

An article in the U.S. News and World Report discusses several technological advancements under development that may benefit the lives of older adults.  One example they cite that is already available is remote health monitoring systems that permit patients to take their own vital signs and send them to their medical provider.  Additionally shoe insoles with GPSs inserted in them have also been developed as a way to track someone with Alzheimer’s.

Still in the early stages of development, self-driving cars may help to improve the lives of seniors.  We know that driving is something that many seniors start to feel uncomfortable doing, but giving it up can often mean a loss of independence.  Experts predict self-driving cars will be widely available within ten years.

Another interesting technological development already available in Denmark is edema socks that detect and signal swelling of the feet and edema.  SmartSox is a similar concept under development that will be a used to “detect excessive pressure, heat and misplaced joint angles that could cause foot ulcers. This is useful because people with diabetes often lose sensation in their feet and can’t always feel such changes.”

Also while not currently being produced, a group of researchers have developed a vibrating shoe insole to improve balance and stability and may reduce falls by as much as 70 percent.  Along those same lines, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are trying to create a shirt with built-in sensors that will be able to administer CPR.

No article on technological advancements would be complete without the mention of robots.  For years, researchers have been working on robots that will have the required artificial intelligence to serve as health care aides.  Soon robots may be helping elderly people stay independent and active for longer.

MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan represents the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.” We are dedicated to providing a true home for residents amidst a beautiful, serene setting by creating a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. Please contact us to set up a tour to see firsthand the finest assisted living in Centennial CO.

Family Members of Bear Creek Residents Express Their Gratitude

Respite Care

The staff at MorningStar at Bear Creek feels privileged to serve our very special residents. As our Executive Director, Shannon Barker explains, “To care for those who once cared for me is one of the highest honors.”  This respect for our residents is what motivates us to lovingly provide our unique brand of care and is why we feel honored to get positive affirmation from families of our residents regarding the care of their loved one.

We were happy to hear from someone who recently took a tour of our community. They not only write about how beautiful our community is but what stood out the most was “the heartfelt and passionate care your staff so selflessly gives residents.”  In another letter, an adult child of a resident wrote to tell us, “MorningStar has been a delight. I can say with complete confidence that my mother is in the best hands.”

As we know, facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s alone can be daunting, which is why we feel Bear Creek is here to also provide support for the families of our residents.  This makes the following review of our community especially gratifying as they say, “Our family was delighted to discover MorningStar at Bear Creek, and we are happy to partner with them in the care of our loved one. It is a unique community. For those searching for appropriate memory care options in the Pikes Peak region don’t overlook this gem!”

Our senior living facility is dedicated to providing individualized memory care to residents with mild to advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Bear Creek is a one-story building and offers 48 suites in four floorplans that are designed to provide a secure setting yet allow residents to explore their spacious surroundings freely and easily.  We end our post with another quote from a family member of a resident who says, “I would say there a culture of love and caring here unlike other senior living communities that I have visited.”

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.

An Array of Wellness Programs and Meaningful Activities

Dementia Care

MorningStar at Bear Creek provides individualized memory care for those with mild to advanced stages of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.  Our holistic care is designed to affirm the dignity and value of the person within a supportive, loving atmosphere.

MorningStar’s philosophy and approach to memory care is encompassed under the expanse of possibilities we call “Lavender Sky.” Under a Lavender Sky, our ambition is to thoughtfully enter, embrace and explore. To aid us in this quest, our Life Enrichment team provides a whole host of wellness programs and activities that help to connect with and nurture the essence of the person regardless of the level of memory loss.

Our monthly calendar includes a variety of exercise classes appropriate for our residents’ level of fitness.  The classes start with a Sunday Stretch, to a Monday Movement, a Workout with Marcus on Tuesday, Wednesday Groove, Aerobic Thursday, Friday Fitness, and another Saturday Stretch class.  Residents are encouraged to participate in whatever capacity they are most comfortable with.

We also offer lots of crafts throughout the month including holiday projects such as Marshmallow Shamrock Stamping, Fingerprint Four Leaf Clover Craft, and a Pot of Gold Craft in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  Residents also had fun with in March with a variety of crafts that helped us get ready for Easter such as Egg Decorating, Stamped Easter Egg, Paper Plate Bunny, Tin Foil Easter Egg and a Bunny Banner Craft.

Additionally Bear Creek residents enjoy a range of games that not only use cognitive skills but are fun for staff and residents alike.  Examples include Alphabet Game, Sensory & Board Games, Bingo, IN2L Trivia, and more.  Furthermore, each month we have special events and programs such as performances from the School of Irish Dance Team, Paul Whitens on guitar, and Dan Garipy on piano.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease, please visit our website to learn more about our specialized memory care and to set up a tour.   From the moment you walk through the door, you will see why our community is a true home.

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.

Questions to Ask When Looking for Memory Care

Memory Care

It is typically with mixed emotions that a family comes to the realization that their loved one needs more care than they can get at home.  When this happens, there are several things to consider as you search for the best memory care.

One of the first things you need to know is that “memory care” is committed to caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  Assisted living is intended for those that require some extra care with their daily living activities in order to retain their independence and live their lives safely and comfortably.

Many assisted living communities have a separate wing devoted to memory care residents and some like MorningStar at Bear Creek is entirely memory care.  Memory care staff members should have gone through specialized training in order to understand the disease as well as to effectively care for those with dementia.

At Bear Creek all of our team members are extensively trained to care for our tender residents and our community is uniquely designed to allow residents to freely move about to explore their surroundings.  You also will want to know the level of care the community is equipped to handle.  At Bear Creek, we care for those from the onset of the disease through to the most advanced stages.

Other questions should include how secure is the community and what is the staff/resident ratio during the day as well as at night.   In addition do residents receive regular health monitoring, is there a nurse on staff, and will there be a thorough intake process before your loved one joins the community?  Ask how meals are handled, and when will you be contacted if there is a problem.

We encourage you to visit MorningStar at Bear Creek’s website to learn more about our loving, unique memory care community.  Also, we recommend you set up a tour to see firsthand the home-like atmosphere of Bear Creek.

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: aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/memory-care-checklist

Animal Therapy is Found to be Beneficial for Those with Alzheimer’s

morningstar general 11

At MorningStar at Bear Creek our unique approach to memory care is designed to nurture, support and respect the essence of the individual regardless of the level of memory loss.  Our team leverages the power of art, music, dance, and aromatherapy as well as uses animals to heal and comfort residents while we take into account each person’s uniqueness.

Studies have shown that “therapy dogs and other animals can stimulate social interaction and ease agitation in dementia patients.”  However experts caution that it “takes specially trained pets to bring the full benefit of animal therapy into elder care settings.”  Animals must be matched to the right situation and to the right human, and typically dogs have been the easiest to train as they remain comfortable interacting with a variety of people.

Therapists say that animal therapy may be beneficial to dementia patients because the person sees the animal as someone they can interact with without worry.  Animal/people relationships do not require good communication skills that can be difficult for many persons with dementia.

In addition to encouraging social interactions and reducing agitation, animal therapy has also been shown to increase physical activity.  Many patients get pleasure from playing with a dog, taking it for a short walk or helping to groom it.  Another unexpected benefit of bringing animals and Alzheimer’s patients together is it seems to improve the person’s appetite after the animal’s visit.

From the moment you step through MorningStar at Bear Creek’s door, you will discover a warm and welcoming atmosphere that feels like a true home.  Please contact us to learn more about what sets MorningStar at Bear Creek apart from other memory care communities. 

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: everydayhealth.com/alzheimers/how-animal-therapy-helps-dementia-patients.aspx

Recent Events at Bear Creek Supporting Professionals & Area Families

Alzheimer Care Colorado Springs

MorningStar at Bear Creek is proud to be an “Alzheimer’s Association Leader in Dementia Care,” which means that at least 75% of our staff and leadership has participated in an eight-hour program offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.  The training encompasses brain pathology and communication techniques as well as endorses non-pharmaceutical methods to lessen agitation and calm.  In addition Bear Creek is pleased to be supportive and to serve as a resource to Colorado Springs area families who are dealing with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

One example of our community outreach is hosting a large gathering of senior living professionals in January.  This was a great opportunity to open our doors and share with our peers the vast amount of information and resources available to enable us to hone our skills, renew our commitment, and provide the best care possible to residents and their families.

Another successful event we held was when our Director of Programming, Melissa Dillon spoke to area families and professionals alike on the brain diseases known as dementia.  The first of her six-part series “Unforgettable” was Navigating the Journey of Dementia.  Melissa took attendees down the path of the “Purple Road” of dementia and spent time defining terms and dispelling commonly held myths.  Her presentation also included hope and support to families impacted by the disease.  A portion of the night’s proceedings included time for participants to practice a better way to greet and guide those with memory-impairment to increase their comfort and safety.

Melissa is the co-organizer of our Lavender Sky training program that all MorningStar team members at Bear Creek and our Mountain Shadows communities attend.  Lavender Sky is the blueprint for our philosophy and approach to memory care, which we carefully enter, embrace and explore together with our residents.

Please visit our website to learn more about MorningStar at Bear Creek’s excellent memory care.  We also encourage interested family members to set up a tour to visit our community and see firsthand why our loving community is a true home to our residents.

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.