Good Oral Hygiene is Very Important for Seniors

morningstar general 5

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 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 our exceptional memory care in Colorado Springs.

 Sources: seniorsoralhealth.org/

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

Advertisements

Stay Well Hydrated this Summer

morningstar general 4

Now that summer is here seniors need to remember to stay hydrated.  There are several reasons why the elderly are more at risk for dehydration starting with the fact that as we age, our sense of thirst diminishes so we may forget to drink.  In addition medications commonly prescribed to seniors such as diuretics, antipsychotics and corticosteroids can affect a senior’s ability to maintain fluids.  Also our bodies do not conserve fluids as well as when we were younger.  Lastly it can be difficult for older adults to adapt to fluctuating temperatures, which may cause them to overheat quicker.

Dehydration can also occur in individuals with dementia as the disease causes them to forget to eat and drink, and in the more advanced stages, many people have trouble swallowing.  Furthermore, seniors with incontinent problems sometimes purposely limit their fluid intake as a way to avoid accidents.

Whatever the reason, dehydration can lead to serious health problems and as the outside temperatures soar, seniors must take care.  Experts recommend seniors get about 64 ounces of fluids a day, and in hot and humid weather or any changes in medical conditions or medications, you may need to drink even more.

To make it easier to drink more water, try mixing in a little juice or fruit or add a flavored water enhancer.  Other types of foods that help increase your fluid intake include savory broths, fruits such as watermelon, grapes, oranges and cantaloupe, smoothies, and herbal iced teas.

At MorningStar at Arrowhead, we understand the need for seniors to take extra care during the summer months.  Our excellent food service is comprised of lots of fresh foods and healthy, refreshing beverages.  Our community includes 60 assisted living suites and 25 secure suites in our Reflections Neighborhood for those with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments.  Please visit our website to schedule a tour of our gorgeous community.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Arrowhead’s foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, all directed at creating a true home for our residents. Contact us to schedule a tour to fully experience the finest senior living the Peoria & Glendale AZ area has to offer.

 

Seniors and Bruising

morningstar general 8

You may have wondered why it is as you have gotten older; you seem to bruise more easily and find bruises that you do even remember getting.  There is a scientific explanation for why the problem occurs more commonly in the elderly, and generally bruises do not require treatment and are not serious.   However please keep in mind that significant bruising can be a sign of medical problems and should be discussed with your health care provider.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a bruise, know in medical terms as a contusion, occurs “when small blood vessels (capillaries) near the skin’s surface are broken by the impact of a blow or injury — often on the arms or legs.”   This impact causes blood to leak out of the vessels and look like the black-and-blue-mark we are all familiar with.  As we age, our skin becomes thinner and loses some of the fatty layer that protects our blood vessels from injury, thus making it easier to bruise.

While most bruises do not require a doctor’s care, Dr. Aarthi Anand, a board certified geriatrician and family medicine practitioner in Los Angeles, suggests applying a frozen compress for up to twenty minutes at a time.  Also if you elevate the bruised area higher than your heart during the first 24 hours of the injury, it will help to reduce swelling and inflammation.

There are several steps you can take to try to eliminate getting bruised in the first place.  To start, make sure your living space has a clear path to move around in so you can avoid bumping into things as well as help prevent falls.  Another thing you may want to do is to use a cane or walker if you are unsteady when you stand up or while walking.

This post is for informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns.

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 our exceptional memory care in Colorado Springs.

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

aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/elderly-bruising

 

 

Pets are Good Companions for Seniors

morningstar general 11

Many studies have discovered that pets can be very beneficial for the elderly.  For example the various tasks that goes along with caring for a dog such as taking them for a walk offers good cardiovascular exercise for seniors.  Additionally petting, grooming and feeding a pet help to keep seniors engaged in life and give them a sense of purpose.

Pets also offer unconditional love and their loyal companionship can help alleviant loneliness.  Research points to evidence that pet and human interactions can help to lower cholesterol levels, fight depression, and reduce stress, which is why it is so beneficial to the elderly. In fact researchers report that “15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin.”

It used to be that when someone moved into a retirement community they had to give up their pet.  Now more and more senior living communities have recognized the benefits of pets and allow seniors to bring them.  Pets can even be beneficial to others living in the community and help draw out residents that may not be very communicative.

At MorningStar of Billings, we could not agree more about the benefits of pets.  Our community is pet friendly and we even have a community pet.  Grace, a Golden Doodle, joined our MorningStar family in 2015 and we all think that she is the cutest dog on the planet.  If no one is around to cuddle with Grace, she is content to sit quietly in her corner and chew on her rawhide rope.

Please visit our website to learn about the best senior living community in the west end of Billings.  While we offer a country setting, our community is located near shopping centers and medical facilities. Our community has independent living, assisted living and memory care.

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve in order to provide a true home for residents.  Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our comfortable, home-like atmosphere.  

Source: aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/pet-friendly-assisted-living     

Cataracts are a Common Problem for Seniors

morningstar general 12

As we age, it is more important than ever to get regular eye exams.  The American Optometric Association recommends that every person over the age of 60 have an annual eye examination.  They also advise that if you notice any changes in your vision, see an eye doctor immediately.

Cataracts are a common eye problem in older adults and develop as the tissue in the eye’s lens breaks down and clumps together causing cloudy or opaque areas.  Aging or an eye injury can cause cataracts as well as other conditions such as diabetes and the long-term use of steroid medications.

The size and location of the cataract determines how much it interferes with your vision.  If the cataract is only affecting a small part of the eye, you may not even know you have one.  Noticeable symptoms occur as the cataract grows and starts clouding more of the lens and distorting the way light passes through the lens.

The Mayo Clinic says that cataract symptoms include:

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

Once a person cannot clear their vision with prescription glasses and the cataract is interfering with normal daily activities including driving at night and reading, surgery is the only effect treatment.  The procedure involves removing the damaged lens and replacing it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens, which becomes a permanent part of the eye.

The surgery is done on an outpatient basis and the person experiences a few days of discomfort.  The complete healing process takes about eight weeks.  If a patient needs surgery on both eyes, the second one is done once the first eye has healed. 

This post is for informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns.

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 our exceptional memory care in Colorado Springs. 

Sources:

aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-over-60-years-of-age?sso=y

mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/dxc-20215129

 

 

Learn More about Heart Disease

morningstar general 2

According to the American Heart Association, heart attack warning signs involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes (or that goes away and comes back). They describe it like an “uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.”  Signs can also include discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.  Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or lightheadedness.  As heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women in the U.S. as well as globally, it is important to know the facts and a great resource for up-to-date information is the American Heart Association’s website.

The site has lots of current information on the causes and treatment for atherosclerosis, which is the disease that develops when plaque builds up inside the arteries.  Once plaque has built up and narrowed the arteries, it is more difficult for the blood to flow through and increases the chance of a blood clot forming that can stop blood from flowing altogether.   Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of strokes and occur when a blood vessel that feeds the brain is blocked (typically from a blood clot).  Hemorrhagic strokes are caused when weakened blood vessels rupture.  There are two types of weakened blood vessels that are typically responsible: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood as effectively as it should, and thus, not meeting the body’s blood and oxygen needs.  It is one of the most common causes of hospitalization in adults 65 years and older.  Treatment includes medications, surgery and lifestyle changes.  If left untreated, the problem can worsen.

Our post is for information purposes only and not a substitute for seeking medical advice from your health care provider. 

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.   Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our exceptional community.

 

Source:heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/Resources/WhatisCardiovascularDisease/What-is-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_301852_Article.jsp#

 

Staying Physically Active Benefits All Seniors

senior-living-arrowhead-sock

Being physically active on a regular basis is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, so says the National Institute of Health (NIH).  They go on to say that, “even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of people who are frail or who have diseases that accompany aging.”

One of the benefits of staying physically active is that it not only provides long-term health benefits, but also can improve the health of older adults who are already suffering from diseases and disabilities.  In fact, researchers have discovered that regular exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.  It can also be beneficial for those dealing with conditions such as high blood pressure, balance problems and walking difficulties.

The NIH advises that being inactive is in itself risky for your good health.  While you need to consult your health care provider before you begin to exercise, studies show that if seniors take it “too easy” it can impact their ability to do things on their own.  They state that, “lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.”

Another reason why it is important to exercise regularly is it can help to elevate your mood and relieve stress.  Furthermore, research points to the fact that exercise may help seniors improve or maintain cognitive function.  The NIH says the type of mental activities that improve with exercise is the ability to shift quickly between tasks and an easier time with planning activities.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  If you have any medical concerns please consult your health care provider.

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 in Colorado Springs. 

Source: nihseniorhealth.gov/exerciseforolderadults/healthbenefits/01.html