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/

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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

WellStar Program at MorningStar of Fort Collins

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At MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care of Fort Collins we lovingly provide our residents the amenities and services to ensure their comfort and to make them feel at home.  We also provide a range of activities including our creative and enriching WellStar program consisting of five wellness components – physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, and food philosophy.  Designed to help seniors stay active, engaged and productive, the program offers opportunities to enhance health and wellness, stimulate the brain and build social connections.

Introduced by our Life Enrichment coordinator, the activities will tap into the unique talents and experiences of our residents and includes encouraging residents to start and lead special interest clubs themselves.  Along with recognizing a range of capabilities and a variety of interests, the goal of our activities is to elevate the mood of our residents, reduce pain, and help them to rely less on medications.

We know that physical exercise is imperative to seniors’ health and we offer a variety of activities for our residents’ enjoyment.  In addition, meeting the spiritual needs of our residents is also important to their wellbeing, which is why a chapel, open to all faiths, is an integral part of our community.  We also offer intellectual wellness with entertaining daily doses of challenging brain games designed to practice cognitive skills and introduce new ideas. In addition to all of this, is a natural, welcoming atmosphere that encourages socializing and helps to strengthen the bonds of our community.  

Last but not least our wellness program includes serving residents healthy, nutritional food.  This is why we have an Executive Chef on staff who will be preparing the tasty meals that are served in our beautiful dining rooms restaurant style.    

You will find the one thing that sets MorningStar of Fort Collins apart from other senior care communities is the fact that our entire team is working to build a true community and our WellStar programs exemplify that philosophy. Please visit our website to learn more.

MorningStar of Fort Collins represents the very best in assisted living with a mission “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is one built upon honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting team members with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a tour to discover the finest senior care in the area.

Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

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The COPD Foundation states that, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.”  As COPD progresses, it results in increasing breathlessness as the lungs are further damaged.  The damage is permanent and is the 4th leading cause of death for people 65 to 84 years old.

Often in the early stages, people mistake the symptoms of COPD with fatigue and getting older.  In addition, many people may have the disease for years before experiencing the symptoms of COPD that includes breathlessness, wheezing, or a chronic cough.

You may be at risk for COPD if you have a history of long-term smoking, a job that exposed you to dust or chemicals or other indoor air pollutants, second-hand smoke exposure, or lots of exposure to outdoor air pollution.  You may additionally be at risk if you had lots of respiratory infections as a child or have a genetic risk factor for emphysema that is related to a deficiency of the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin protein in the bloodstream.

COPD is diagnosed with a simple procedure known as a spirometry test that measures how well your lungs are working.  If your results show signs of COPD, you will need to consult with your doctor regarding treatment.  It is important for anyone with COPD to get a yearly flu shot and a vaccine for pneumonia as they can help to prevent some infections.  Good nutrition and staying as active as possible is also important.

The Mayo Clinic reminds anyone diagnosed with COPD that is not the end of the world.   They say most people have a mild form of the disease and require little therapy other than to quit smoking.  For more advanced cases, there are effective therapies available to “control symptoms, reduce your risk of complications and exacerbations, and improve your ability to lead an active life.”

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.

It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

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Along with changing leaves and cooler temperatures, autumn also signals the start of the flu season. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older gets a seasonal flu vaccine each year by the end of October, getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial. Even as late as January, there is still time left in the flu season, so it’s still helpful to get protected.

The flu season begins to increase in October, and typically peaks between December and February but can last as late as May.  Also, as it takes about two weeks after your vaccination for the protective antibodies to develop, it is important to get it as soon as possible. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the various viruses that are in the vaccine.

The CDC stresses it is especially important for people 65 years and older to get a flu shot as they are at greater risk for serious complications that can result in hospitalization and, in some cases, even death.   This is because seniors’ immune systems are generally weaker than those of younger adults.  Complications of flu can include: bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.  The CDC also recommends people 65 years and older get a flu shot approved for their age group and not a nasal spray vaccine.

Additionally you need to know that last year’s flu shot will not protect you from this season’s flu virus.  Not only has your immunity from last year’s shot started to wane, but each year the viruses change so you need the protection of the new antibodies.  The flu shot you receive this year has been designed to protect against the flu viruses that researchers have determined will be the most common in the 2018- 2019 flu season.

At MorningStar at Bear Creek, under the guidance of our extraordinary care team, we proudly provide assisted living for dementia residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other memory impairment. Our community offers 48 secure suites including studio and one and two-bedroom floor plans along with all of the services and amenities to ensure your loved one the best care. Please visit our website to learn 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 for dementia residents in Colorado Springs.

 

Social Connections May be Key to Preserving Memory

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According to an article published by the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience journal from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, social connections may be key to preserving memory.  The study, led by Elizabeth Kirby, an assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience at the university, explains their findings influence “a body of research in humans and animals that supports the role of social connections in preserving the mind and improving quality of life.”

The university’s research involved studying a group of mice 15 months to 18 months old, which is the period in a mouse’s life when it starts to have significant memory decay.  For three months, some mice lived in pairs while others were housed in groups of seven.  The researchers put the mice through a series of trials each day that tested their recognition and memory skills.  Consistently the mice housed in larger groups improved their performance on the tests, which researchers believe may suggest they “used their hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory.”

The study is important for humans as our hippocampus declines with age as it does in mice and other animals, and helps to identify the impact of social connections on brain health.  Kirby says seniors should “think about your living situation as you age.”  If you have the privilege of choosing where you live, make the choice that lets you be socially engaged as long as possible.”

MorningStar at Bear Creek provides compassionate, loving assisted living dementia care to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other memory impairment.  We recognize the importance of strong social connections and offer an array of wellness programs and activities that encourage social as well as physical, intellectual and spiritual connections.  Please see our website for more information about our exceptional community.

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 the best assisted living dementia care in Colorado Springs.   

Source:usnews.com/news/health-care-news/articles/2018-05-31/study-a-social-circle-is-key-to-protecting-the-aging-mind

It’s Important to Get Screened for Osteoporosis

morningstar general 15The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 25 percent of American women aged 65 years or older suffer from osteoporosis.  In men over 65 years, it is closer to 5 percent.  Since anyone with osteoporosis is more at risk for dangerous fractures, it is important for seniors to be aware of whether they suffer from the condition.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” Healthy bones look like a honeycomb when viewed under a microscope, but for those with osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycombs are much larger and the abnormal porous bone is compressible or sponge-like.  As the bones lose density or mass and are made up of more abnormal tissue structure, the bones become less dense, weaken and more likely to break.

Healthy, strong bone is composed of protein, collagen and calcium. Osteopenia is the term used when a person’s bones are slightly less dense than normal bones but are not considered as severely compromised as those with osteoporosis.

Thankfully it is easy to evaluate a person’s risk of fracture with a painless X-ray absorptiometry test (also called DXA or DEXA).  The noninvasive test measures the bone mineral density (BMD) of the spine, hip or total body bone density and only takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

Health care professionals recommend a bone mineral density test for all postmenopausal women with risk factors and all women 65 or older.  Men should be tested at age 70 or at age 50-69 based on risk factors.  The test lets you and your doctor know if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis, and if there appears to be a problem, what steps to take to help prevent broken bones in the future.  If you are taking osteoporosis medications, professionals advise having a bone density test by central DXA annually or once every two years to determine if your medication is working.

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 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 Peoria AZ & Glendale AZ has to offer.