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Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Is Important


February 11, 2019 in: Memory Care (dementia/alzheimers),

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that slowly and steadily destroys one’s memory power and thinking capability, causing the patient to die eventually. In most cases, Alzheimer’s is observed in older people and when untreated can result in dementia – a mental condition in which a person is unable to perform simple routine activities.

Alzheimer’s is a brain-damaging disease that may ultimately lead to one’s death. Knowing signs of Alzheimer’s in advance will help you stay on top of things and find ways to inhibit the illness.

An Open Discussion about Driving and Alzheimer’s


February 04, 2019 in: Memory Care (dementia/alzheimers),

Fast decision making, quick reaction times, and good hand-eye coordination is all part of what you need to drive safely. You also need to have a good memory to remember directions. Eventually, there comes a time when those diagnosed with Alzheimer's won’t able to drive. It is important to deal with the issue early so that everyone can experience a level of ease during the transition period.

Understanding Situational Dementia Behavior in Seniors


August 28, 2018 in: Memory Care (dementia/alzheimers), Senior Health,

Dementia comes with numerous challenges. It can be especially difficult if it's a loved one who becomes difficult to communicate with. It can be frustrating for you, the care taker and the ones suffering from it.

Nevertheless, it is important to know the different scenarios that can play out in daily care and how you should deal with those situations if your loved one is suffering from dementia. Your loved one with dementia isn’t acting out on purpose. The changes in their brain account for the changes in their behavior.

Here are some of the situations where you need to effectively respond:

1.  Where Am I? What Time is it?

You may face situations where your parent is anxious and will ask such questions of you. They'll say that they want to go home, ask why they are at the house, or they may even fail to recognize it altogether.

Just remember that the reason for this confusion and loss of memory is deteriorating cognitive ability. Your parent may want more control over the situation. By saying these statements they're attempting to take back that control.

One way you deal with this is to politely remind them with photos and videos of where they are. Maybe the pictures and videos will help them remember where they are.

Take them towards a comfort and safety zone. Don't go into long explanations. That might get the wrong responses from them, making the situation even worse. You do not want that to happen.

2. Repetition and Accusation

If your parent says someone stole their possessions, has problems doing basic math, keeps collecting things or repeats things after the conversation has moved on, this is another situation where you need to practice patience. Deteriorating brain cells may be the cause of these repetitive behaviors and baseless accusations.

Sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's not. Stockpiling and accusations may be obvious signs. But having trouble with simple calculations without realizing it is not so obvious, especially for the senior.

You have to be very diplomatic about it. If they're having troubles with their taxes, you might mention slight overdrafts in their bill, and ask if the bank was making a mistake. If they voluntarily own up, encourage them by telling them that it’s alright, and oblige if they ask for your help. Questioning them out right would make matters way worse, so avoid that.

If you would like to know more, visit Montecito Santa Fe.

Brain-Friendly Foods to Keep Alzheimer’s and Dementia at Bay


August 06, 2018 in: Memory Care (dementia/alzheimers), Nutrition (hydration/food/etc), Senior Health,

You are what you eat. The food that you consume plays a vital role in your health. Meanwhile, the number of people suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia has increased. You have to wonder – am I next?

These diseases can affect anyone, and you should take every precaution. Did you know that you can do that with food? Yes, there are some foods that can actually reduce the chances of you getting dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Here are some brain-healthy foods that will help you stay healthy and happy:

1.Milk

Milk can help make your bones stronger. But did you know that it is also brain-friendly? Consuming milk regularly can help raise glutathione – an antioxidant that naturally occurs in older healthy people. This antioxidant is known to prevent oxidative stress, which is responsible for causing damage to the brain.

2.Cherries and Berries

These fruits are not only delicious, but also brain-friendly. They are rich in vitamin C and E. Eating cherries and berries protects your brain from damaging free radicals as they are rich in anthocyanin. These berries also have anti-inflammatory properties, which are vital for brain health.

3.Leafy Greens

Uncle Vernon from Harry Potter may call it, “rabbit food”, but they are a perfect food for your brain health. No matter what age you are, finishing your greens is good for your health. Spinach, collards, kale, broccoli, and other green leafy veggies are rich in vitamin A as well as vitamin C.

4.Nuts

Do you like snacking on potato chips? Well, how about you snack on something that is equally delicious and also brain-friendly? Nuts are filled with antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats that not only keep your brain healthy but also your heart.

5.Beans

Beans should be a regular part of your diet. This miraculous food is a perfect package when it comes to keeping Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay. They are low in fats and calories and high in protein and fiber.

6.Fish

Fish is not only delicious, but also healthy. Consuming fish protects the function of your brain and keeps it healthy. And when your brain is healthy, you are at less risk of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s.

7.Olive Oil

Instead of cooking your food in regular oil, cook it in olive oil people who eat olive oil are less likely to face cognitive decline.

How many of your favorites made the list? Even if they didn’t, you should eat these brain-friendly foods as they will lower the risks of you getting these awful diseases. Stay healthy!

Facts about Dementia Treatment


May 25, 2018 in: Memory Care (dementia/alzheimers), Senior Health,

This had been going on for a week straight. My mother wasn’t just forgetting things she kept on the table but at times, she would ask me the same thing over and over again. At first I thought it was the stress talking because she was upset over my father’s health but deep down, I knew something sinister was lurking. I had my doubts, which were in fact proven true when I took my mother for a check-up. The doctor believed that these were the starting signs of dementia and things would progress slowly as she would age.

There are millions of stories like these, which family members of a loved one suffering from dementia have experienced. The moment when a doctor confirms that your loved one is going through this stage of life where they will lose their ability to think, speak or write, years of hardship flash in front of your eyes that are to come.

Dementia can be pretty overwhelming not just for the person who is living with it but for the family members too. Sadly, people figure it out too late that their loved one is suffering from this disease. The lack of understanding and awareness of this disease leads to barriers in diagnosis and care.

Following are some facts to help you understand what exactly the term “dementia” means:

The Term “Dementia” Is Not a Disease

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe the symptoms experienced in diseases related to the brain such as personality change, confusion and memory loss. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Others include:

  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
  • Vascular dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Mixed dementia
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Huntington's disease
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)

Dementia Is Not Just a Part of Aging

Many people believe that dementia is a part of aging. However, this syndrome is mostly of a progressive or chronic nature that is caused due to brain illnesses such as a stroke. In rare cases, it might be genetic too, which is most common in Huntington’s disease.

Dementia Is One of the Most Progressive Kinds of Disease

Dementia is categorized under those diseases that cannot be cured and 1 in every 3 seniors die from this syndrome. In fact, currently 44 million people suffer from some sort of dementia all over the world. Another alarming fact is that in every 65 seconds, a person in the US develops this disease. This is the reason, it is predicted that by 2050, people suffering with Alzheimer’s will rise to 88 million.

Dementia Has a Huge Economic Impact

According to World Health Organization, it is estimated that every year, around $818 billion US dollars are spent on this disease. With the rates on medical care rising every year, it is predicted that the money going into the awareness, treatment and care for this diseases will reach an astronomical figure. While the money might be pouring in to find a cure for dementia, its prevalence will be much faster.

Early Diagnosis Can Improve Quality of Life

The principal goals that can help slow down dementia are:

  • Early diagnosis
  • Optimising cognitive skills, well-being and physical health
  • Treating behavioural and psychological symptoms
  • Providing long-term care in a memory care facility

It’s possible for a patient suffering from dementia to live in the comfort of their home. As long as the dementia is spotted early and the right medication is provided to the patient, they can live a normal life.

Additionally, the Montecito, a Santa Fe, NM senior living community is adding a memory care unit for patients living with dementia. It will be available sometime in 2019. To learn more please call 505-428-7777

How to Keep Respect and Dignity for Someone Living with Dementia


May 18, 2018 in: Memory Care (dementia/alzheimers),

There are around 5.3 million people who currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It is one of the most common forms of dementia that affects people mostly at the age of 65. One problem that many families face when they are taking care of their loved one who has dementia is that they have no idea what might trigger their outburst.

At times, their behavior might seem a little childish that changes the family members’ or the nurse’s perception on how they should treat them. However, as their sanity and other skills begin to slip away, a loved one should exercise self control on how they should treat them. You might become short tempered or answer in monosyllables, which to them, feels like disrespect. So, in order to treat them with respect and dignity, there are certain things that you must not do.

After all, they are not children! They might have lost their identity but it is up to you to treat them the same way you used to do before. Treating them as a normal person will not only make them acceptable but also prevent mood swings, which is the most common symptom of dementia.

Following are four ways you should follow when dealing with patients with dementia:

1.Include them in Conversations

Just because you think their cognitive skills might not be up to the level of conversation you are having does not mean that you cut them out of the conversation. When sitting in a room with them and talking with another person, ask them questions and seek their advice to make them feel valued. When having a one on one conversation with them use a softer tone and make eye contact when talking.

2.Don’t Take Away Their Identity

At the second stage of dementia, patients often find difficulty in communicating. While their communication skills become limited, they still have emotions and their sense of empathy is heightened. Using terms such as “sweetie” might seem condescending to them. So, address them with their name when you are talking with them.

3.Give Them Privacy

As dementia progresses, people find difficulty in performing ordinary tasks such as clothing, eating, bathing or toileting. They might even say no to assistance when going to the toilet, which can be very dangerous. So, instead of hovering over them when they are in the toilet, take protective measures to ensure their safety. Install handle bars in the room, as well as in the bathroom and install a walk-in handicapper tub that allows them to shower in privacy.

4.Give them Choices

Whether it’s something as simple as the clothes they want to wear or the food they want to eat, give them the option to make a choice. This gives them a sense of control that they still have power over their life and the decisions they make.

Patients living with dementia must not be coddled or babied due to the stage the life has brought them. It’s your compassion and patience that will help them to lead a normal life. Treat them with respect and dignity, so that they feel they are still part of the family.

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