Help Prevent Falls with Exercise

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We know that each year more than one-third of people age 65 or older suffer a fall and many of those incidents cause serious injuries or in some cases even death.  This is why preventing falls is extremely important for the elderly, and balance as well as strength exercises can help to prevent falls.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends 5 simple exercises that do not require any special equipment other than a chair (and someone to assist you if needed) that can improve balance and increase lower body strength. The series of exercises include the following:  standing on one foot; walking heel to toe; balance walk; back leg raises; and side leg raises.

These easy-to-do exercises can be done throughout the day and only take a few minutes to do each of them.  For further instructions on how they should be done, the NIH website offers a video on each exercise.  In addition the NIH recommends that seniors try to do three other types of exercises that focus on improving endurance, strength and flexibility.

At MorningStar at Jordan, we recognize the importance of exercising, and as such, provide our residents with a full calendar of daily activities that includes a variety of well-designed exercise programs.  With our large range of classes, there is something that is sure to please everyone.  Our calendar includes: Sit and Be Fit, Exercise with Sean, Group Exercise, and Senior Strong Workout.  Other opportunities for exercising include activities such as our Walking Club.  We encourage you to take a look at our fun-filled calendar to see all of the different activities and outings MorningStar residents participate in.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Before beginning any exercises, please consult with your health care provider.

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.

Source:nihseniorhealth.gov/exerciseandphysicalactivityexercisestotry/balanceexercises/01.html

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Even Moderate Exercise Looks to be Important for Learning and Memory

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Decreases in brain metabolism have been shown to be a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease and predictive of cognitive decline and the conversion to Alzheimer’s in older adults. Scientists believe that physical activity can modulate brain glucose metabolism but until now it was unclear what level of intensity and duration of exercise was most beneficial.

Recently the National Institute on Aging published an article that found “even moderate physical activity may increase metabolism in brain regions important for learning and memory.”   The NIA-supported study was led by Dr. Ozioma Okonkwo of the University of Wisconsin.

Researchers had cognitively normal, late-middle age (average age 64 years old) participants wear an accelerometer for 7 consecutive days to measure their daily physical activity.  Afterward, they looked at the amount of time each participant engaged in “light (e.g., a slow walk), moderate (e.g., a fast walk), and vigorous activities (e.g., run).”  The data was analyzed to determine how they “corresponded with glucose metabolism within brain areas that have been demonstrated to be impacted in people with Alzheimer’s.

Increasing the levels of moderate physical activity showed an increase in cerebral glucose metabolism across all brain regions examined.  Participants that engaged in light physical activity had no changes to the metabolism in any of the brain regions examined.  Another thing that impacted the amount of brain glucose metabolism was the duration of time spent in moderate physical activity.  Researchers found that the more time a person spent doing moderate levels of physical activity (average 43.3 min/day to average 68.1 min/day), the greater the increase in brain glucose metabolism.

The NIA says it is encouraging evidence that physical activity may be beneficial for neurometabolic function.  Moreover they say it is a “critical contribution to the efforts to identify the intensity and duration of physical activity that confer the most advantage for combating Alzheimer’s-related changes in mid-life.”

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:nia.nih.gov/news/moderate-physical-activity-linked-increases-metabolism-across-brain-regions

Pets are Welcome at MorningStar

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It was not that long ago that seniors moving into an assisted living or memory care community had to leave behind an important companion, their pet.  Today however, more and more communities are recognizing the benefits of pets to the elderly, and many such as MorningStar at Bear Creek, allow residents to bring their pets with them.

There has been a lot of research that validates the benefits of pets in seniors’ lives.  In fact, A Place for Mom website reports on a study that shows, “just 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. The result: heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels immediately drop.”  They go on to say that interactions between pets and humans can “lower cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke.”

Another reason pets can be good for the elderly is that animals live in the here and now and do not think about tomorrow, which for some seniors, can be worrisome.  In addition animals offer unconditional love, emotional support and affection.  This is one reason why pet therapy programs are used in convalescent homes, hospitals, mental health centers and children centers.  Many people participating in such programs experience an improvement in appetite as well as “more social interaction and tactile and cognitive stimulation after interactions with pets.”

There is also research that indicates pet therapy is beneficial for those suffering from dementia diseases such as Sundowners Syndrome and Alzheimer’s.  The animal’s complete acceptance and non-verbal communication has proven to be soothing for patients.

Please visit our website to learn more about MorningStar Memory Care at Bear Creek.  But to really see our heart, we encourage you to schedule a visit and see for yourself the warm and inviting atmosphere found at MorningStar.

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: aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/pet-friendly-assisted-living

agingcare.com/Articles/benefits-of-elderly-owning-pets-113294.htm

Hearing Loss is Common in the Elderly

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One of the most common conditions affecting elderly adults is hearing loss, known as presbycusis, and gradually occurs to nearly everyone.  Statistics indicate that one-third of all Americans between the ages of 65 to 74 have some hearing loss, and almost half of seniors older than 75 have difficulty hearing.

Presbycusis typically affects both ears equally and many seniors are unaware of the fact that they have experienced hearing loss as it happens so gradually.  One primary reason for elderly hearing loss is the cumulative effect that results from the deterioration of the cochlea or other parts of the inner ear or auditory nerves.

In some cases, health conditions more common among the elderly such as high blood pressure and diabetes can adversely affect hearing.  Furthermore, certain medications including some kinds of chemotherapy drugs also cause hearing loss.

Another cause of hearing loss affecting individuals of any age is long-term exposure to loud noise.  In this situation, the sensory hair cells in the ear that allow us to hear are damaged, and do no grow back.  It is one of the most common occupational hazards and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that 10 million Americans suffer from irreversible hearing damage due to noise.

NIDCD also states that hearing problems are serious and it is important to have your hearing tested by a doctor if you are experiencing problems.  Start with your primary care physician as he/she can refer you to a specialist.  Your care may include seeing an otolaryngologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and neck.  After consultation and testing by an otolaryngologist, you may be referred to an audiologist.  They specialize in identifying and measuring the type and degree of hearing loss.  Finally they, or a hearing aid specialist, may fit you for a hearing aid if it is determined you need one.

This post is for informational purposes and should not be used in place of the advice of your health care provider.  For any health issues, please consult your doctor. 

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.

Source: nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss

Bring Your Pet to MorningStar

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Research continues to show a strong correlation between pet ownership and a number of benefits to seniors.  Everything from helping the elderly to stay physically active, to lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, providing companionship and making depression less likely are attributed to having a pet.  In fact there are several studies that indicate that patients with heart problems do better when they are responsible for a pet.

Not only do pets offer lots of affection and unconditional love but they can also help seniors cope with the loss of a loved one.  In an article from AgingCare.com, a New Jersey psychotherapist, Dr. Jay P. Granat, discusses some of the other intangibles that pets offer to the elderly.  He states that, “Dogs—and other pets—live very much in the here and now. They don’t worry about tomorrow. And tomorrow can be very scary for an older person. By having an animal with that sense of now, it tends to rub off on people.”

At MorningStar Senior Living of Billings, we wholeheartedly agree that pets provide many benefits to seniors, which is why we are proud that our community is pet friendly.  Along with our residents’ pets, we also have a special “house dog” that provides companionship and warmth throughout our entire community.

Grace, an adorable Golden Doodle, is a gentle, loving dog who is a big hit with all of our residents and staff.  Grace joined our MorningStar family in 2015 and we all agree she is the cutest, most cuddly dog in the world!  Feel free to stop by and meet our girl.

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with a mission “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting team members with a felt calling to serve.  Dedicated to creating a real home for residents, we encourage you to visit to see for yourself our exceptional community for independent and assisted living.

Sources:petsfortheelderly.org/articles.html

agingcare.com/Articles/benefits-of-elderly-owning-pets-113294.htm

Health Concerns as You Age

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The good news is that today’s seniors are living longer than ever before.  New data suggests that if you reach the age of 65 years old, you can expect to live on average another 20 years.  Another encouraging survey reports that as many as 41 percent of people over age 65 say that they are in very good or excellent health.

However, experts want to remind seniors that by making some lifestyle changes, they can make their senior years even better.  Jeanne Wei, MD, the director of the Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock, notes that, “You need to be physically active and eat a healthy diet.” She further adds that individuals must “make healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting smoking and losing weight, to avoid senior health risks.”  Furthermore, doctors recommend that if you are a senior coping with a chronic medical condition that a geriatrician may help you to better manage your disease and improve your quality of life.

Arthritis, heart disease, and cancer are the three most common diseases facing seniors.  Dr. Marie Bernard, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Maryland, reports that arthritis affects almost 50 percent of those 65 and over.  Also while the severity of the disease varies, for some seniors the condition and associated pain lowers their quality of life.  If you have arthritis, experts suggest that you work closely with your doctor to develop an activity and treatment plan.

The CDC reports that heart disease is the leading killer of adults over age 65, and that 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older are afflicted with chronic heart disease.  Dr. Bernard advises those with heart disease to “exercise, eat well, and get a good night’s rest.”  In addition, she recommends maintaining a healthy weight.

The third most common disease among seniors is cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in individuals over 65.  The CDC reports that 28 percent of men and 21 percent of woman over 65 are living with cancer.  They recommend that seniors get routine screenings including mammograms, colonoscopies, and skin checks, as many cancers detected early are treatable.

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 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.

Source: everydayhealth.com/news/most-common-health-concerns-seniors/

Eating Heathy is Important to Individuals with Alzheimer’s

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The Alzheimer’s Association explains that many people suffering from Alzheimer’s may be “overwhelmed with too many food choices, forget to eat or have difficulty with eating utensils.”   This can be a problem as we know healthy eating is especially important for those with dementia and that poor nutrition can result in weight loss and increase behavioral symptoms.

This is why in addition to the many aspects of MorningStar at Bear Creek’s memory care; we take our residents’ nutritional concerns very seriously.  One of the things we do to encourage our tender memory care residents to eat is to make dining as much about Community as it is about nutrition.  At mealtime, team members sit with residents to help make meal time an enjoyable, shared experience.  We also regularly serve meals family-style on platters and serving bowls to prompt residents to connect with memories of meals they have eaten or prepared during their lives.  Family members are invited to join us at any time.

We also present food on long appetizer-style plates with separate cups and bowls for individual items.  The plates are often in a variety of colors to increase the visual and mental appeal of the meal.

As our MorningStar at Bear Creek team is extremely experienced in caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, we know it is important to serve foods that taste as good as they look.  Furthermore, we understand some residents’ abilities at the table may be compromised, which is why we also serve finger foods; mechanical soft and puréed, thickened liquids; and easy-to-recognize balanced meals.  If the best option for your loved one is to eat pureed meat and vegetables, we offer elegant dishes that are both beautifully plated and purely delicious.

Please visit our website to learn more about our loving memory care community.  To ensure the comfort of our residents, our 48 suites are offered in a choice of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments.

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: foodservicedirector.com/ideas-innovation/health-wellness/articles/4-ways-memory-care-dining-has-gone-beyond-finger-foods#page=3