Statistics on Growing Older in America

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Older adults today are living longer than any other generation in the past; so it is no surprise to learn that the numbers of seniors over 65 years of age continues to grow.  Statistics show that in 2016 one of every seven Americans (49.2 million) had reached the age of 65, and the number of seniors at least 65 years or older is expected to almost double to 98 million by 2060.

Of the number of people 65 years and older in 2016, 12.6 were women to every 10 men.  As seniors age, the gender difference becomes even greater.  For every man over 85, there are nearly two women.  Another interesting statistic from 2016 is that 82,000 seniors were 100 years old or more; but by the middle of the century, it is estimated that number will increase tenfold.

According to a national report, Florida leads the country with almost 20% of its population over 65 years of age, which is not surprising but it may be to hear Montana is not far behind.  In fact the World Population Review estimates that by 2030, “Montana will be one of ten states in the country to have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 18, and it will be one of only six states to have 25% of its population aged 65 and older.”

In addition just because women live longer, it does not always mean they enjoy better health than elderly men.  The Institute on Aging states women are more likely to suffer from functional limitations.  A 2009 study reports, “about 46 percent of female Medicare enrollees age 65+ had difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs) or were in a facility, compared with 35 percent of their male counterparts.”

MorningStar of Billings is proud to be one of the state’s finest senior living communities and provides independent living, assisted living and memory care.  Be sure to ask about our 2-year rate freeze (rent only) for assisted living residents.  In our memory care facility, we are offering a lifetime rate (rent and care).  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.    





Senior Falls – Causes and Prevention


According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one out of every four Americans aged 65 and older falls every year and the majority of these falls occur at home. There are several reasons why seniors are more susceptible to a fall and there are steps you can take to help decrease the likelihood of it happening.

Many elderly adults experience a general overall decline in their physical fitness resulting in reduced muscle strength, decreased bone mass, loss of balance and coordination, and reduced flexibility that make them more susceptible to a fall.  Another common problem shared by many seniors is impaired vision.  This can make it more difficult to detect fall hazards such as steps, thresholds, and obstacles and changes in the ground.

Certain types of medications, especially the side effects, can cause drowsiness, dizziness or low blood pressure, which can all increase the risk of a fall.  Also keep in mind it is not just prescription drugs but over-the-counter medications can contribute to balance problems as well.  Other factors that make seniors more susceptible to falls are chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis as well as surgical procedures including hip or knee replacement.

The NIA recommends installing night lights in the hallways and bathrooms and to have a light switch and phone within reach of the bed.  Keep walkways free of clutter and avoid using throw rugs and area carpets.  Use hand rails when going up and down the stairs, and if you have a pet, make sure they are not underfoot.  In the bathroom, install grab bars in the tub and near the toilet, and use non-skid mats, strips, or carpet on all surfaces that may get wet.

At MorningStar at Bear Creek, our loving assisted living dementia care community makes residents’ safety and wellbeing a priority.  We provide 24-hour care, a licensed nurse on call 24/7, and provide suites equipped with full, handicapped-accessible bathrooms with grab bars, emergency call system and more.

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 within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best assisted living dementia care in Colorado Springs.


Luxury Senior Living Offering a 5 Star Dining Experience

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MorningStar of Billings strives to provide residents with all of the amenities and services they need to ensure carefree retirement years.  As part of those amenities, we proudly offer residents meals that are as delicious as they are nutritious.

Daily meals are prepared under the direction of our Executive Chef, Jim Carlson.  Jim grew up Minnesota where every Sunday his family dined with the residents of a skilled nursing home where father was the administrator.  Early-on, Jim was impressed with the residents’ various life stories, and gained an abiding respect for his elders.

MorningStar of Billings’ cuisine is much the richer for Jim’s many stints as a chef in restaurants of every ethnicity and style, from American diners to haute cuisine, and from hotels to catering.  Throughout this vast experience, Jim learned he loved working at places where he had “regulars” that allowed him to honed his skills at perfecting a meal just how the customer wanted it.

Senior living is an ideal fit for Jim as it gives him a steadfast group of regulars that are both appreciative and loyal.  His delightful meals serve the needs of our independent and assisted living residents by evoking the traditional fare of their generation.  Prepared largely from scratch, each meal includes the freshest ingredients and Jim is open to all suggestions from our residents.

Our meals also include BrainWise super foods that are known to support brain health with their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These include foods such as acai and other berries, fish, nuts, dark chocolate, and dark leafy greens.

Please visit MorningStar of Billings to learn more about our wide variety of amenities and services.  Currently we are offering a 2-year rate freeze for our assisted living suites (rent only) and a lifetime rate for memory care (suite and care).  Use our convenient online links to find out about availability and pricing or to set up a tour.

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 visit our website to set up a tour to see firsthand why we are one of Billings’ best senior living facilities. 


Medicare Offers Free Services

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Many seniors on Medicare are unaware of some of the benefits provided that make it easier to take better care of your health.  Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), free preventive care was expanded including a range of free services to Medicare recipients.

One of the services offered to a new Medicare recipient is a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit during the first 12 months you are on Part B.  During your visit, your physician will review your medical history and screen you for a variety of conditions including a risk for depression and update vaccinations.  They will also discuss future services you may need.   If you have already been on Medicare Part B for more than 12 months, you are eligible for a free annual wellness visit.  Please keep in mind that while this visit is offered at no cost, your doctor may order tests or procedures not covered by Medicare.

Other wellness services offered to Medicare recipients at no cost include an annual screening mammogram. (If you have a diagnostic mammogram, you will be responsible for a copay and a Part B deductible.)   If you are a senior with a history of high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, obesity, high blood sugar levels, or other qualifying conditions, you are eligible for two free diabetes screenings a year.

If you are not at risk for colorectal cancer, you are entitled to a free colonoscopy once every ten years.  Anyone at high risk is eligible for a colonoscopy every 24 months.  All males on Medicare are eligible for an annual free PSA test.  Additionally, Medicare will pay for annual flu shots, vaccines to prevent pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, and shots for hepatitis B (for those at high or medium risk).   Currently the Shingles vaccine is not covered by Medicare Part A or B (check to see if it is covered by your supplemental plan).

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. 



UTIs Can Go Undetected in the Elderly

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If a young woman experiences burning and irritation when urinating, she visits her doctor and is most likely diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI).  However it can be a different story for elderly adults as they rarely have any of the common symptoms or discomforts associated with UTIs and may be unaware they have an infection.  Anna Treinkman, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago and president of the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners, explains that as we age, our immune response changes and no longer functions at optimal levels.

UTIs are the body’s second most common infection and are generally easy to treat.  However in the elderly, an undetected UTI can mimic other, much more serious conditions including dementia.  “UTIs, for instance, are a leading cause of sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream.”

UTI symptoms in the elderly can also manifest in a range of behaviors such as disorientation, agitation, confusion, dizziness and poor motor skills.  These in turn can increase the risk for falls and even result in depression or sudden urinary incontinence.  Another reason the UTI may go untreated is that the symptoms are attributed to more serious illnesses or simply to old age.

If you suspect a UTI, a simple urinalysis can be performed to confirm the infection and get treatment started.  Most cases are cured by antibiotics within a few days to a few weeks depending on the severity of the infection and other health problems affecting the person.

Along with medication, your doctor will recommend drinking four to six 8-ounce glasses water a day, and may ask that you add cranberry juice or cranberry tablets to your diet.  This will help flush the infection from the system.

As one of the top senior living facilities in Billings, MT, MorningStar of Billings provides the area with independent living, assisted living and memory care.  We encourage you to visit our website to set up a tour or to inquire about pricing and availability.

This blog is for informational purposes only.  Please consult your healthcare providerif you experience any medical problem. 

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.  Providing independent and assisted living and memory care, we invite you to schedule a tour to experience one of the area’s top senior living facilities.     


Hearing Loss is Extremely Common in the Elderly

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The Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP) recommends that seniors age 60 and older get a hearing test every two years and warn that hearing loss is difficult to detect without a professional assessment.  Additionally the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) explains that hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting elderly adults.  Their statistics show, “Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.”

If you suspect that you are experiencing hearing loss, the NIDCD recommends that you start by talking to your health care provider.  He or she may refer you to an otolaryngologist who will attempt to diagnose why you are experiencing hearing loss.  From there you may be sent to an audiologist to be fitted for a hearing aid.  Hearing aids are primarily used for hearing loss from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, known as hair cells, and referred to as sensorineural hearing loss.

Hearing loss may be caused by disease or injury, loud noises, or aging, which is known as Presbycusis and hearing aids are just one course of treatment.  In the case of severe hearing loss a small electronic device known as a cochlear implant is surgically implanted in the inner ear.   Other solutions include amplifying devices and closed circuit systems.

The NIDCD advises that having trouble hearing can make it difficult to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms.  In addition loss of hearing can make it difficult to join in conversations with family and friends.  The NIDCD’s website has a helpful checklist to help you determine if it is time to consult your doctor regarding your hearing.

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 within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best assisted living for dementia residents in Colorado Springs. 



Does Your Parent Need Help with the Activities of Daily Living?

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Often families are caught unaware when an aging parent has a fall or another event that immediately indicates they need more assistance in their daily life.  You many feel like a neglectful son or daughter for not noticing the changes happening before your eyes, but many seniors routinely deny they need help as they fear losing their independence.  However getting the proper care can actually help make them feel more independent as they know they can live their life without worry and help is available when they need it.

Experts cite several common signs that may indicate your parent needs more assistance including changes in the way they live.  For incidence if your mom was always a good housekeeper, and now her home is looking un-kept, or your dad who always took pride in his appearance, now looks as if he is not bathing regularly.  Signifcant weight loss may also mean a senior is not eating well and/or having trouble preparing meals.

Watch for signs your parent is having trouble walking or appears unsteady and is having difficulty getting up from a seated position.  Other changes are signs of confusion or uncertainty performing familiar tasks.  A dangerous side effect of poor memory can be seniors forgetting to take medications or not following their doctor’s care plan.  Errands can also be difficult to do as many seniors are uncomfortable driving and many stop driving altogether.

While assisted living was a relatively new concept when it first began in the early 1980s, today it is the fastest growing care option for seniors who are able to live independently but require a little assistance.  At MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Arrowhead, we provide assistance with “activities of daily living” (ADLs) such as: bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and more.  Our beautiful community, located on the north side of Glendale AZ, offers 60 private assisted living suites and 25 suites in our Reflections Neighborhood devoted to the individualized care of those with memory impairment.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in assisted 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 experience first hand our exceptional assisted living community.