Learn More About Macular Degeneration

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The National Eye Institute states that age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual loss in America.  According to their statics, close to 2.1 million people 50 years and older had macular degeneration in 2010.  That number is expected to more than double by 2050.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say approximately 6.5 percent of Americans age 40 and above have some degree of the disease.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs most often after age 60 and causes loss in the center of the field of vision. The two types of macular degeneration include dry macular degeneration that causes the center of the retina to begin to deteriorate.  In wet macular degeneration, new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid.  Unusually fuzzy or distorted vision is one symptom and the dry form (85 to 90 percent of AMD cases) is more common than the wet form.  Wet macular degeneration typically leads to more serious vision loss.

The degeneration of the macula affects our ability to read, recognize faces, drive, and many other visual tasks that requires us to see fine detail.  As the condition progresses, the areas of blurred vision may increase and blank spots may appear.

The good news is that patients with dry AMD are less likely to go blind than in the past with today’s treatment options that include a specific combination of high-dose vitamins and minerals.  Dr. Peter Campbell, a retina specialist, says that “Prompt recognition of macular degeneration is important to avoid it advancing to the point where failing central vision means people can no longer recognize faces.”  The most important advice he gives is for people over 60 to get regular eye exams.  Risks for the disease include age, smoking and family history.

At MorningStar at Bear Creek, we are dedicated to providing one of the best Alzheimer homes in the area.  Our community has 48 suites for the individualized care of those suffering from dementia, and in addition, we are a resource for families in the Colorado Springs area dealing with Alzheimer’s.  At Bear Creek, we lovingly care for seniors from the onset of the disease right through to the most advanced stages.

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 embodies the very best in Alzheimer homes with a distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest”.  With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing seniors and investing in a staff with a felt calling to serve, we offer loving, compassionate care within a beautiful home-like setting.  Please set up a tour to see for yourself our exceptional community.

 

Source:

health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-02-23/macular-degeneration-managing-this-vision-condition

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Now that the Cold Weather is Here, Remember to Stay Warm!

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Many seniors are especially susceptible to the cold and end up feeling chilly all winter long.  There are several reasons why cold weather can be hard on the elderly including complications from common diseases and health conditions.

The American Heart Association explains that seniors with cardiovascular conditions can experience increased side effects from the cold as lower temperatures and cold winds reduce body heat and cause blood vessels to constrict.  This makes it more difficult for oxygen to reach the entire body, and someone with heart disease can have difficulty breathing.  Other health conditions common to the elderly include hypothyroidism (a low thyroid gland output), which can cause the sensation of cold feet and hands.  Also a sedentary lifestyle, problems with circulation from diabetes, and losing weight can cause seniors to be more affected by the cold.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) cautions that if an elderly person becomes very chilled, it can be dangerous and result in a condition known as hypothermia and may happen before a person is aware of the problem.  Even residing in a very cold house may result in a body temperature of 95°F or lower, which “can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse.”

Tips to help the elderly stay warm and regulate their body temperatures include eating a nutrient-rich diet and participating in age-appropriate exercises.  The NIA advises seniors not to try and save money by skimping on heating their homes but to keep the temperature at least 68–70°F.  To cut heating costs, close off unused rooms, shuts blinds and make sure your house if well-insulated.  Also wear layers throughout the day and use a small throw to place over your legs or shoulders if you do feel a chill.  Furthermore at night, wear long underwear under your pajamas and socks as well as a knit cap if you are still cold.

At MorningStar of Billings, we specialize in providing seniors with a lifestyle of comfort, wellness and community.  Along with the area’s best independent living and assisted living, we are a highly-respected memory care facility.  Please visit our website to learn more.

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with a unique mission statement of: “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Proving a true home for residents, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  Offering independent and assisted living as well as memory care, we invite you to setup a tour to experience one of the area’s top senior living facilities.    

 

Source: nia.nih.gov/health/cold-weather-safety-older-adults

MorningStar at Arrowhead’s Dining Experience

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MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arrowhead invites you to visit our Glendale senior living community.  And while you are there, we would encourage you to stay for lunch to experience our exceptional dining experience. Just let us know when you set up your tour and please allow 90 minutes so you can enjoy a leisurely meal.

MorningStar recognizes that with proper diets and healthy choices food can be a healing medicine. That’s why our residents are provided with three daily meals that are meticulously prepared by our own Executive Chef.  Our meals are prepared largely from scratch and are modified to accommodate low sodium, sugar free, no sugar added, vegetarian and low-fat diets along with seasonal menus.

MorningStar also makes it a priority to use BrainWise ingredients in our meals.  BrainWise super foods include those that have been recognized by the medical community to support brain health and have a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds.   Many of the common items we incorporate into our meals include items like acai berries, Omega 3 fats, dark chocolate and dark greens.  All meals are served restaurant-style in our dining room; and for intimate dinners, we have a private dining room.  In addition, we have an onsite bistro.

For our memory care residents, we feel that dining is as much about socializing as it is about nutrition.  MorningStar has lots of experience caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and we understand their abilities at the table may be compromised.  This is why we serve lots of finger foods; softened and puréed, thickened liquids; and easy-to-recognize balanced meals packed with nutrients.

Furthermore, team members sit with residents to help make mealtime enjoyable and encourage their appetite.  We also serve meals “family-style” from serving bowls and platters like we do at home.  Family member are always welcome to join us.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in Glendale senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve…all of which contributes to creating a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. Call to schedule a visit to the finest assisted living in Glendale AZ.

Bruising in Seniors

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Is frequent bruising indicative of a bigger problem?  Most likely not says the Mayo Clinic because as we age people bruise more easily.  The reason for this is older skin is thinner and has lost some of its fatty layers that used to work as a cushion to protect blood vessels from injury.  Also women are more prone to bruising than men.

The medical term for a bruise is contusion, and is typically caused when small blood vessels near the skin’s surface are ruptured by an impact from an injury or a blow to the area.  This causes blood to start leaking out of the vessels and create the visible black-and-blue mark (ecchymosis) of a bruise.  As the body reabsorbs the blood, the bruise begins to heal.

The Mayo Clinic says that certain medications can cause bruising such as aspirin and anticoagulants such as Coumadin® that thin the blood and reduces its ability to clot.  This means that “bleeding from capillary damage might take longer than usual to stop — which allows enough blood to leak out and cause a bruise.”  Dietary supplements like fish oil and ginkgo have a blood thinning effect that can also increase the risk for bruising.

However bruising can sometimes be a sign of serious medical conditions such as low levels or abnormally functioning platelets.  They can also indicate problems with the proteins that help to clot blood.  The Mayo Clinic recommends consulting your doctor if large bruises appear on your body, if they are painful, or you start bruising after beginning a new medication. Additionally, check with your doctor if a bruise increases in size and becomes swollen and hard as it may be a hematoma, a localized collection of blood which becomes clotted or partially clotted.

To prevent bruising, Dr. Aarthi Anand, a board certified geriatrician and family medicine practitioner, suggests removing furniture and other obstacles to create a clear path throughout the home to avoid bumps and falls.  If you or your loved one is unsteady on their feet, install handrails when possible and consider using a walker or cane.

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 a mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Built on a foundation of honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we are committed to creating a true home for residents in a magnificent setting. Contact us to schedule a visit to learn more about our loving dementia care. 

Sources:

mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/easy-bruising/art-20045762

aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/elderly-bruising

Tips for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that heart disease is still the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.  However according to the Heart Association, it is never too late to adopt certain lifestyle changes that can significantly improve your risk for heart disease.

As older adults’ metabolism slows along with their appetites, it is especially important that the food they do eat is healthy.  Nutritionists recommend seniors avoid heavily processed foods and those high in saturated fats, sugars and salt.  Optimally your diet should include healthy fats such as those found in fish, nuts, and avocados, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.  Fiber has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol and fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegies, beans, whole grains and cereals, and nuts.  In addition buying organic foods keep us from ingesting unnecessary and potentially harmful things like animal hormones, fertilizers, and other types of chemicals.

Other lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk of heart disease are quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and lowering your blood pressure.   A heart healthy lifestyle must also include daily exercise and even a few minutes a day can be beneficial.  If it has been a while since you have exercised, check with your doctor and start slowly.  The Heart Association cites research that indicates 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep your weight at a healthy level.

MorningStar of Billings is one of the top senior living facilities in the greater Billings area.  We proudly provide residents a lifestyle of comfort, wellbeing and community with our top-rated independent and assisted living as well as our memory care facility.   As one resident recently wrote; ““MorningStar is a wonderful place to live, great staff, residents and food. I truly enjoy living here.”    Please visit our website for pricing and availability information.

Please consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercises.  

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement: “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, we create a true home for residents.  Please set up an appointment for a tour of one of the area’s best senior living facilities.     

 

Seniors Need to Socialize to Lead Fulfilling Lives

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In order to thrive and lead fulfilling lives, people need to socialize with one another, and seniors are no different.  In fact studies show loneliness can have a detrimental effect on the elderly while socializing can help to enhance and enrich seniors’ lives.

An article in the US News & World Report discusses a study on seniors’ social interactions conducted by the Rush Memory and Aging Project and funded by the National Institute on Aging.  The study found that the most socially active seniors experienced one-fourth the rate of cognitive decline as seniors with the lowest levels of social activity.  The results were independent of other factors that may influence cognitive decline including physical activity, general health, and age.

During a five year period, the Rush University project followed 1,138 adults with an average age of 80.  Their research discovered that “elderly people with the highest levels of social activity — doing things such as visiting friends, going to parties or attending church — showed much lower levels of cognitive decline than those who were the least socially active.”

At MorningStar at Arrowhead, we strongly believe we need to address our residents’ overall health and wellbeing through physical, intellectual and spiritual activities as well as to help them engage socially.  Our life enrichment programs present creative ways for residents to stay active and productive for both companionship and pure fun.  Our programs tap into residents’ unique talents and experiences as well as allow them to find new avenues of interest.  In addition to our in-house activities, we take group trips to a variety of places such as cultural destinations, parks, area malls, museums, and restaurants.

Please visit our website to see what is happening at MorningStar at Arrowhead.  Our Glendale senior living community offers 60 private assisted living suites along with 25 secure suites devoted to the individualized care of those with memory impairment from Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases.

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 all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve…all of which contributes to creating a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. Call to schedule a visit to see firsthand the finest Glendale senior living.

Sources: usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/05/04/socializing-may-keep-elderly-minds-sharp,livestrong.com/article/543831-the-importance-of-elderly-exercise-socialization-programs/

Socialization is Important to Our Health & Wellbeing

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While children are encouraged to socialize, we often forget it is important for all of us, especially older adults, to socialize.  However as we age, circumstances such as retirement, the death of a spouse, and friends moving away or falling ill can makes it difficult for seniors to maintain healthy social connections.

The National Institute on Aging recently reported on several studies that appear to suggest a strong correlation between social interactions and the health and well-being of older adults.  The research indicates social isolation and loneliness may have significant adverse effects on the elderly and impact their physical as well as mental health.  Scientists explain that, “Positive indicators of social well-being may be associated with lower levels of interleukin-6 in otherwise healthy people. Interleukin-6 is an inflammatory factor implicated in age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer.”

The studies suggest that socially isolated older adults have a higher risk of morbidity and mortality.  Loneliness may be a contributing factor for elevated systolic blood pressure as well as put older adults at risk for symptoms of depression.

Researchers believe that strong social connections may help to reduce stress and stave off anxiety and depression.  One study even showed a 70 percent slower decrease in cognitive decline in those with a strong social network.

As one of Billings Montana’s top senior living facilities, the MorningStar of Billings’ community offers a whole host of wellness programs and activities that enhance and support mental, physical, spiritual and social connections.  Each day residents have the opportunity to engage the mind, body and spirit and find ways to learn and contribute.  Please visit our website to learn why our independent living, assisted living and memory care facility is such a great place to call home.

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with a unique mission statement of: “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Proving a true home for residents, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to setup a tour to experience firsthand the loving atmosphere of one of the area’s top senior living facilities.     

Source:

nia.nih.gov/about/living-long-well-21st-century-strategic-directions-research-aging/research-suggests-positive