Manor Lake Gainesville Blog
9 December 2019
Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we are smack in the middle of the Christmas/Holiday season. Your loved one who’s now living with dementia or the multiple challenges of senior life have always been the cornerstone of family Holidays and traditions. The challenges increase for all caregivers to continue the tradition with each new passing Holiday season. So, your friends, memory care professionals, and assisted living professionals here at Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care here in Gainesville are back to offer you all some advice as once again you negotiate the Holiday season as a primary care giver.
Shop from home. Shopping, while oftentimes a large part of the season, will most likely bring undue stress to both the person living with dementia and the family caregiver. Avoid the sensory overload, large crowds, and confusing environment by shopping online or through a catalogue with your loved one. They can still choose gifts for the family but will be able to do so in the comfort and safety of their own home.
Create a new take on old traditions. Holiday family outings, such as outdoor ice-skating, caroling, or seeing “The Nutcracker” at a local playhouse, hold fond memories — but may not be feasible in the wake of dementia. Revamp these holiday traditions by taking a snowy day walk, lighting a fire and listening to Christmas music, or finding a version of “The Nutcracker” on DVD for family movie night. Time spent with family is the most important thing during holidays — the ice-skating, caroling and theatre are simply activities.
Remember a few of your favorite things. While it may seem like this year is going to be different than all the rest, it’s important (for both the caregiver and the person with dementia) to reminisce holidays past. Take the time during a holiday family get-together to share photos from previous celebrations, to recall funny family bloopers, and to engage in activities that your loved one is still able to — like decorating the Christmas tree or helping bake holiday treats.
As you’re adjusting to how things will be this holiday season (and those to come) — instead of how things once were — it’s important to remember the good and to hold onto joyful past memories in the wake of holiday stress. Focusing on the positive, rather than becoming overwhelmed by the negative, will not only help you cope and celebrate, but also encourage your loved one to enjoy such a special time, and to be at peace.
For those of you selflessly exercising the labor of love caring for you memory challenged or physically challenged loved ones, all of us at Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care in Gainesville hold you in the highest regard. We wish you and your entire family warmth and peace throughout this holiday season and going forward into 2020.
27 November 2019
Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to remind one another of the many reasons there are to be grateful. We gather on this day to be thankful for what we have, for the family we love, the friends we cherish, the success we have had, and for the blessings that will come.
Thanksgiving is more than the festivities, it gives us time to ponder the lessons that we have learned and how we can spread happiness around, to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. We appreciate you, our customers and clients, so much.
At this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.
18 November 2019
By now I think all of you realize that here at Gainesville’s Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care, we invest in managing this blog as a service to our cherished residents, their families, and to the countless angels out there who lovingly provide self-help at-home senior care services. We feel a heartfelt responsibility to freely share our professional knowledge regarding professional assisted living and memory care support. We are fully aware of the vast weight of the labor of love that all of you bear regardless of the level of professional support that you currently secure.
While this Thanksgiving-related blog post is heavily focused on those of you who care for a loved one with memory care issues, so much of this messaging can be directly applicable to those providing senior assisted living support to someone without memory issues.
Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather to give thanks, catch up and share a special meal together. However, when a family member is diagnosed with a dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, the family dynamic changes dramatically. Nowhere is this more evident than at holiday gatherings. The hustle and bustle of a typical family Thanksgiving can cause extreme levels of anxiety for someone with dementia, turning a wonderful day into a confusing and agonizing ordeal. Consequently, for the family caregiver, it can become a day full of tension as they watch over their loved one with anxious eyes.
It doesn’t have to be that way. With advance planning and preparation, Thanksgiving can still be enjoyed by everyone, even the family member with dementia. To be successful, however, you do need to plan and structure the day for the best possible outcome.
Here are some tips we’ve gathered, contributed by individuals with dementia, families and caregivers:
- Prepare family and friends. Share your loved one’s diagnosis with those who will be attending your Thanksgiving dinner. Explain the limitations the disease has created. Educate them as to the proper way to approach and communicate with your loved one, and how to include him or her in the conversation as much as possible.
- Prepare your loved one. Make sure that he or she has had enough rest. Keep to your regular routine as much as possible during the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
- Ask for help. Ask family members for help with shopping and cooking in advance. Many families enjoy a potluck Thanksgiving to which everyone brings a dish. This can be a lifesaver in a household with a loved one challenged by dementia. You might also consider asking a relative who is close to your loved one to help by keeping an eye on his or her anxiety levels as the day progresses. They can be a big help when you are busy with other guests and duties.
- Schedule dinner early in the day. Individuals with dementia are particularly sensitive to the hours between daylight and evening. This is called “Sundown Syndrome” and, fortunately, there are ways to reduce its impact. One way is to schedule your dinner well before sunset.
- Encourage reminiscing about the past. If your loved one still has longer term memory intact, consider bringing out some old photo albums and putting them in convenient places to inspire conversation. This can be a great way for younger family members to engage with your loved one, as well as with other older family members.
- Provide a quiet place for “down time”. A short nap or some quiet time off in a separate area provides a nice break for someone with Dementia. Ideally, this would be a quiet room off the main area, where he or she can relax out of the center of activity. Often, for those in earlier stages of Dementia, a short refreshing nap is all that is needed to enable them to rejoin the festivities.
- Plan your own post-Thanksgiving “down time”. This is so important for caregivers. You need time to yourself to unwind and relax. If you are the primary caregiver, consider scheduling some short term “respite” care at a local memory care community for your loved one. That will give you time to tend to your own physical and emotional health and enjoy some time on your own with friends and family members.
If your loved one is one of our cherished memory care residents here at Manor Lake, consider bringing some of your Thanksgiving cheer to them, rather than disrupting their routine by transporting them to your gathering.
For more information about senior living or memory care services here in Gainseville, contact us anytime.
13 November 2019
Today’s blog post is a tribute to our staff who work so hard each day to create the safe, clean, and genuinely attractive living environment that every resident deserves. We invite the followers of our blog to take a walk through our gallery page and see with your own eyes the physical layout of our warm and friendly community. We think you’ll be impressed, and we gladly welcome the opportunity to show it off to you personally.
For those of you who don’t know us well, we specialize in both assisted living and memory care support services to the greater Gainesville, Ga area and beyond. We freely welcome the opportunity to engage you and your questions regarding the nature and considerations of assisted living and memory care services. To do that, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care here in Gainesville.
6 November 2019
Today’s blog post is designed to help those of you out there trying to decide the strategic care plan for a loved one suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related disease. It is very common for all of you care providers to be confused regarding exactly what type of professional care is best now, assisted living or memory care. We are proud to inform that we lovingly provide both services here at Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care here in Gainesville. We thought we’d share the following with you while crediting dementiacarecentral.com for insightful and informative narrative on this subject.
Even with help from community-based services and respite services, providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (A/D) or dementia becomes more difficult with time. In later stages of the disease, many people will require more care and assistance than their family members can provide. Even for people who don’t need intensive hands-on care, safety may be an issue and they may not be able to stay home alone. Residential care options may be able to provide best for the needs of some individuals. However, these options are often considerations that caregivers and their families find difficult to plan for, or to even discuss.
Residential Care Options for Dementia
The natural progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as other forms of dementia, will result in the need for care for loved ones. Depending on one’s stage of Alzheimer’s/dementia, and his/her ability to function, the level of care and supervision that is required varies. For most families, this means some form of residential care. This is where assisted living, “memory care” comes into play.
Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living residences, such as continuing care retirement communities, are especially suited for those individuals in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia who do not have many medical problems, but who do need more intensive support for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Many people with dementia will need help with IADLs. These are activities that we perform from day to day that add to our quality of life, but are not as basic to self-care as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs are the basic activities that we must perform every day in order to take care of ourselves. Individuals with dementia may also need help with these tasks.
The following tasks are considered to be IADLs:
- Managing money (i.e., writing checks, handling cash, keeping a budget)
- Managing medications (i.e., taking the appropriate dose of medication at the right time)
- Cooking (i.e., preparing meals or snacks, microwave/stove usage)
- Housekeeping (i.e., performing light and heavy chores, such as dusting or mowing the lawn)
- Using appliances (i.e., using the telephone, television, or vacuum appropriately)
- Shopping (i.e., purchasing, discerning between items)
- Extracurriculars (i.e., maintaining a hobby or some sort of leisure activities)
Typically, ADLs refers to the following tasks:
- Bathing (i.e., able to bathe without assistance in cleaning or getting into tub or shower)
- Toilet Use (i.e., able to use the toilet and clean oneself afterwards)
- Control or continence of urine and bowels (i.e., able to wait for the right time and the right place)
- Dressing and grooming (i.e., able to button a shirt, choosing appropriate clothing)
- Moving about (i.e., able to move in and out of a chair or bed, walking)
- Eating (i.e., able to eat without having to be fed by another)
Those who are in the middle-stage of dementia require a greater amount of supervision and care than those in early-stage dementia, and for those in middle-stage dementia, assisted living is also a good option. In assisted living facilities, individuals generally live in a private studio, private apartment, or a shared apartment, and have staff available to assist them 24-hours / day. This type of living arrangement is ideal for those who are still able to live with some independence but do require assistance with ADLs. Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and social activities are also offered at assisted living facilities. In addition, assisted living facilities have dining halls where residents gather to eat meals.
For individuals with dementia who require a higher level of skilled care and supervision, memory care units are an ideal option. These units offer both private and shared living spaces. Sometimes they exist as a wing within an assisted living facility or nursing home or they sometimes operate as stand-alone residences. Supervised care is provided twenty-four hours / day by staff trained to care for the specific needs and demands of dementia patients. Memory care units offer the same services as assisted living facilities, in addition to activities that are intended to stimulate the memory of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and possibly slow the progression of the disease. Activities may involve music, arts and crafts, games, and more.
For more information, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care here in Gainesville.
28 October 2019
We take great pride here at Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care here in Gainesville to share our knowledge and stories to help as many people as possible. For those of you struggling to care for loved ones in need of memory care support, we understand your challenges and the huge labor of love that you bear.
Today we’ll share with you the most common symptoms shared by Alzheimer’s and related dementia disorders. The symptoms include any combination of the following:
- Memory Loss – People may forget things they’ve learned as well as dates and events. They may also ask for the same information repeatedly.
- Trouble Planning or Solving Problems – You may notice a loved one taking longer to complete tasks they used to be able to do much quicker. You may also notice they have trouble following directions, even a simple recipe becomes complex.
- Confusion with Time or Place – People with Alzheimer’s often lose track of time. They also forget where they are and even how they got there.
- Misplacing Things & Unable to Retrace Steps – As people forget dates and events they may also start to misplace objects. Although they would be able to retrace their steps in the past and find what they were looking for, that is no longer the case. This may lead them to accuse others of stealing because they can no longer find what’s theirs.
- Mood & Personality Changes – Because of the changes that are going on in their mind, you may notice major shifts in mood and personality. They may become confused, suspicious and even depressed.
Helping People with Alzheimer’s Disease
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are things you can do to slow its onset and to maximize your loved one’s quality of life. The ability to deliver positive effect is especially enhanced if the disease is still in its early stages.
- Keep a Daily Routine – This helps to avoid confusion and lets the person know what can be expected. Alzheimer’s patients like routines.
- Don’t Overstimulate – Keep things simple. Say one thing at a time. Present only one idea so that the person can understand it the best they can.
- Be Reassuring – Always try to make the person feel safe and comfortable. Sometimes even saying the words, “You are safe with me” is enough to make that person feel at ease.
- Don’t Yell or Argue – As frustrated as you may get, imagine how the patient feels. They can no longer grasp what is going on inside their own heads. Don’t yell or argue out of frustration. Be the calming voice they need.
While you may be able to care for an Alzheimer’s patient in the early stages of the disease, you need to realize that the challenges will become increasingly difficult. Your loved one can present a danger to themselves by wandering off or forgetting to turn off the stove. If this is the case it may be time to consider professional memory care services like those we provide here at our Manor LakeAssisted Living and Memory Care community. For more information about memory care services here in Gainesville, contact us anytime.
14 October 2019
It’s a longstanding tradition at Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care here in Gainesville to celebrate Halloween with both our assisted living and our memory care residents. Each year we research new and exciting ideas to smile, laugh, and share our love for our treasured residents. This year we found this article from SeniorAdvisor.com with a laundry list of ideas which we are not mulling over. We thought we’d share the same ideas we the followers of our blog in the hope that it navigates all of you to some special moments during Halloween.
Halloween Crafts for Seniors
Halloween crafts can be completed early in October so you can use them as decorations throughout the rest of the month.
- Decorate pumpkins.
One of the best traditional crafts for Halloween time is making jack-o-lanterns. If you’re not sure about handing sharp implements, you can have a pumpkin painting day or give them sharpies to draw designs on the pumpkins.
- Make spooky candles.
The lacy candles recommended by Elder One Stop are easy to make, made of cheap supplies, and won’t be a fire risk (they recommend flameless). They’ll add a nice bit of atmosphere to your facility.
- Make decorative spiderwebs.
You can get together to make simple and cheap spiderwebs to hang around the community out of coffee filters. Throw in a little yarn and your residents will also have the option of creating larger cobweb decorations for the space.
- Make spiral ghosts.
Some white paper, a black sharpie, and scissors are all your group needs to make these spinning ghosts. You can hang them around the shared spaces of the facility.
- Decorative Halloween garlands.
For one more addition to your homemade decorations, you can task any interested seniors with making decorative Halloween garlands for your hallways. Here are some ideas of bat and ghost garlands and glow-in-the-dark ones.
(Mostly) Healthy Halloween Recipes for Seniors
You can find loads of cute Halloween recipes on the web, but most of them are laden with sugar. Since many seniors have health concerns, we tried to pick out a few of the healthier options that still fit the theme.
- Shrunken Head Cider
From the twisted mind of Martha Stewart comes this shrunken head cider. You can skip the booze if you want and stick with the rest of the recipe.
- Sweet potato jack-o-lanterns
Sweet potatoes are just the right mix of healthy and tasty and these jack-o-lanterns will make a fun, theme-appropriate snack that’s easy to make.
- Dragon’s blood punch
Made mostly of juices (although it may still be too sugary for some), this punch is simple to make in large quantities and should make for a tasty treat.
- Devilish Eggs
Adorable deviled eggs made from healthy ingredients are easy for your residents to put together and tasty for everyone to enjoy once finished.
- Cheesy Witch’s Brooms
Cuter than any witch’s implement should be, these witch’s brooms made of cheese and pretzels shouldn’t be too hard to make and will be even easier to devour. (Note: scroll down for the English instructions).
Other Halloween Activities for Seniors
If you want to pack Halloween week with more fun, interactive activities that you might consider include:
- Halloween charades
Brainstorm as many different Halloween-related themes and ideas you can think of for your loved one to act out. You should all have fun watching people mime Dracula or try to figure out how to act like a spider. Here’s a list to get you started.
- Share scary stories
Your cherished senior loved one probably know some good ones, but you can come equipped with a book or some stories from the internet just in case.
- Homemade costume contest
Encourage your senior loved one to come up with homemade mask and costumes ideas. If you can make some materials available for them to work with, that may spark inspiration in a few of them. On Halloween, have everyone vote on which costume came out the best.
- Assisted living trick-or-treat
Most seniors probably feel silly trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, but let’s be honest, most of us loved trick-or-treating and were a little sad when we got too old for it. Why not give it a try!
- Classic horror movie marathon
Your loved one probably have some favorite old classic horror movies. Poll them to pick out a few of the most popular, and give them the option to come together and watch them on Halloween or in the days leading up to it.
Halloween’s not for everybody, so you’ll probably have those uninterested in participating in some of these activities, but those that enjoy the season will be happy to have the opportunity to celebrate it in a variety of ways.
All of us here at Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care wish you the very best for a joyful Halloween celebration.
7 October 2019
Many people who are in need of assisted living services or memory care services in and around Gainesville put off looking for care for fear of how they will pay for it. Here at Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care we are fully committed to providing the highest quality and most affordable assisted living services across the Gainesville area. We fully realize that assisted living services, for some, can be cost prohibitive. However, we are fully committed to assisting you with potential sources of financial aid so that you and or your loved ones can secure the care that you deserve.
Check the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Program
Check eligibility for the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension, a program which can provide financial help to those who require assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature.
It can pay up to $1,830 per month to a veteran, $1,176 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,170 per month to a couple for veterans and surviving spouses (as of 2017). Certain income and asset limits also apply.
This program allows you to keep more assets than most state aid programs, and it provides a higher level of assistance. You cannot receive benefits from both the Veterans program and a state aid program, so you may want to evaluate both to determine which provides the highest level of assistance for you or your loved one.
Check with your state’s medicaid office
Find your state Medicaid office and check on their available resources. To qualify for Medicaid you'll need to have assets and income that are below the federal poverty levels.
Many state programs offer assistance with assisted living costs for those who have no financial resources. Qualifying for such assistance usually means you have less than $2,000 in assets, although exact program requirements can vary from state-to-state.
Find non-profit resources for assisted living and elderly care
With a little digging you may find a non-profit organization that can help. If they can't help they may direct you to additional sources of assistance. Start with these two organizations:
- Contact your local Area Agency for Aging. They can help you locate resources such as elder refugee or elder abuse programs, counseling, meals on wheels, volunteers who will visit, adult day care services, and much more.
- Visit Eldercare.gov to find help in your local community, or call them at 800.677.1116. They will help refer to local resources such as home health services, transportation resources, senior housing options, respite care, find financial assistance if you are eligible for it, and much more.
Ask for family support
One home health company has created a free personalized way to stay in touch with those who need in-home care or assisted living through a feature they call CareTogether. It functions like a customized form of Facebook designed just for a senior who needs care, allowing the family to stay updated on what their needs may be.
You could use a feature like this, or a Facebook page, to explain your or your loved one’s needs to extended family and then ask family members if they would be willing to contribute a small monthly amount to provide in-home or assisted living care for this family member.
We want you to know that we are here to help. Contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care in Gainesville today.
30 September 2019
When it comes time to begin the most difficult task of choosing an assisted living community in Gainesville GA or a memory care community in Gainesville GA, take a deep breath and accept the fact that you are about to take on very serious responsibility. We want to help you in that endeavor by offering some guidance on how to move forward. Please know that we are here for you to help and expand upon the following advice.
At the very core of best practices to find the perfect senior living or assisted living community in Nashville is to speak with as many staff members and current residents as possible.
Questions to ask
Obviously, you can't just rely on facility tours or promotional brochures to make this crucial decision. First, get your ducks in a row. When you're ready to visit in person, turn to administrators, staff members and residents for answers to pivotal questions.
Consider Before You Visit:
Is the location realistic? Lengthy drives, not to mention flights, will affect visits and add barriers to relationships with friends and family members, including spouses still living at home.
Many families face a tough conundrum. Sometimes it's a matter of choosing between top-ranked but distant facilities versus more accessible locations for loved ones to visit regularly and monitor care.
Ask Administrators and Nursing Directors:
What are the staffing ratios? Bolster your question with research.
What is your staff turnover? Stable staffing is a good sign. In addition, consistent assignment – when the same caregivers are assigned to the same residents on a daily basis – is critically important. That way, staff members really get to know residents, anticipate their needs and can recognize and address problems early.
Which services do you offer? If you're undergoing rehab to recover from a hip fracture, you'll need a higher level of care than some nursing homes can offer. With medical conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, residents may need help managing supplemental oxygen.
Do you provide special care for people with dementia? Memory care means much more than just a locked unit to prevent residents from wandering. Staffing ratios should be no more than five residents per caregiver, including nurses and aides, around the clock. Caregivers should have special training in dementia care, and the awareness and sensitivity to best address these needs.
What kind of food do you serve? Residents rely entirely on nursing homes to meet their nutritional needs. Healthy, tasty food improves everyone's quality of life.
How do you satisfy cultural and individual food preferences? People in nursing homes still want to enjoy meals that evoke family traditions and tastes they've developed over their lives.
Do you accommodate special diets? Residents come in with their own dietary preferences and restrictions. Some also may have medical orders for soft or puréed diets, for example.
Can residents eat when they want? Some people prefer to eat outside routine schedules.
After the formal tour, explain that you'd like a chance to speak with several residents. Drop in at the activities room or a lounge, introduce yourself, say you're considering a move there and ask what it's like for them.
Are you happy here? "Do you enjoy living here?" "What do you like best about living here?" and "If you could change one thing, what would that be?" are positive ways to frame your questions and make residents more likely to respond.
Do you have freedom of choice? Does the facility offer resident-centered care? Are you able to get up when you want? Do you go to bed at the time you want?
When you ask for help, how long do you have to wait? If you always have to wait beyond five minutes for help, you're likely to try doing things on your own, which could set you up for falls.
Ask Activity Directors:
What about activities? How do you keep residents engaged? Ask to see monthly activity calendars. Offerings should be varied and appealing.
Does the facility have a resident or family council? These self-determined groups can provide a strong voice for quality care.
Is reliable transportation available? Sometimes nursing homes only provide transportation for certain medical appointments – and they don't provide transportation for social purposes. Is there staff to help residents get to a granddaughter's play?
Can residents easily spend time outdoors? Attractive courtyards are sometimes the first thing visitors notice. But how often can residents, particularly those with mobility issues, actually go outdoors? Does staff encourage and help them to do so?
For more information on senior living or memory care services here in Canton GA, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care Gainesville anytime!
23 September 2019
Like his mother Virginia O'Brien before him, Greg O’Brien is battling Alzheimer’s disease with all his might.
O'Brien's mother did everything she could to stave off the disease as she cared for her cancer-stricken, wheelchair-bound husband. And she did somehow manage to keep things going until her husband, O'Brien's father, died from prostate cancer.
It was from watching his mother live with Alzheimer’s that allowed O'Brien to recognize the signs in himself and prompted him to see a neurologist at age 59. Brain scans that revealed he had Alzheimer’s, too. Shortly after his own diagnosis, both of his parents passed away.
“My mom taught me how to live with Alzheimer’s,” O’Brien of Cape Cod, Massachusetts told TODAY. “She fought and fought and fought. She wouldn’t give up. She kept telling me, ‘I can’t get sick, I can’t get sick.’”
Now nearly 70, he's still not giving up.
“It’s not for me, it’s for the next generation,” O’Brien said of his daily fight against the disease, choking up. “It’s for my kids, my granddaughter. We've got to stop this demon.”
Currently, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 5.8 million Americans living with the disease and that the number will rise to 14 million by 2050.
As O’Brien waits for medical breakthroughs that might stop the mind-robbing disease, he’s made lifestyle changes that recent research suggests might at least slow Alzheimer’s down. He follows a Mediterranean diet and makes sure he gets enough sleep. He exercises regularly and writes every day to “reboot my brain.”
Conor and Greg look through family photos.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Conor and Greg look through family photos.Conor and Greg look through family photos.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Can Alzheimer's be slowed?
To help make daily life run better, O’Brien, a journalist and writer for 45 years, leans on habits he honed in his profession. With short term memory frayed by the disease, “I write everything down,” O’Brien said. He started doing that because, “I worried I would forget.”
Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
O’Brien tries to stay mentally engaged and hopes that his years as a writer will help him in his battle against Alzheimer's progression. The idea is simple, using your brain builds and maintains connections, kind of like putting money in the bank that you can depend on later.
“Doctors tell me I’m working off what they call cognitive reserve, as my mother did,” O’Brien said.
While Alzheimer's runs in O'Brien's family, so does caregiving. Just as Virginia O'Brien cared for her husband, O'Brien's 30-year-old son, Conor, is his father’s caregiver. After graduating from college, the young man moved home to help his dad.
“I’ve always enjoyed spending time with him," Conor O'Brien said. "You just find a way every day to take it step by step.”
Conor says he doesn’t really see the progression in his father, but there are times that it really hits home. The day his dad didn’t recognize him “was the scariest moment of my life.”
O'Brien calls Conor his “rudder” because he steers him every day.
“We've got to bring this out of the closet so people can understand there are people still working who are scared [expletive] and are afraid to talk about it because they’ll lose their jobs,” he said. “We have to try to enable people to speak about the strategies, the medicines, the supplements.”
Still, O’Brien has had to accept limitations the disease has placed on his life. Two years ago he gave up driving.
“I have this ‘Where’s Waldo’ app that tells people where I am at all times,” he said.
Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds.
But making a record helps him to remember some things.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds. But making a record helps him to remember some things.Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds. But making a record helps him to remember some things.Alexandra Galante/TODAY There are certainly hints from research that exercise may not only slow cognitive decline, but also modify the amount of the sticky amyloid protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association. Those studies were done in patients with Alzheimer’s tied to a dominantly inherited gene.
“We don’t know yet if you can expand that to people with late onset disease,” Carrillo said.
And there is evidence from animal models of Alzheimer’s suggesting the disease course is modifiable and that living in an enriched environment can slow the progress of the disease, Carrillo said. O’Brien takes a lot of his cues from Massachusetts General neurologist Rudy Tanzi, an Alzheimer’s researcher who is looking to cure the disease. In the meantime, Tanzi has suggestions for slowing its progression — his program, called SHIELD.
Each letter of the acronym stands for a lifestyle modification that might impact the development of Alzheimer’s.
'S' stands for sleep.
“It’s during deep sleep that you clean your brain of debris. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night is essential,” said Tanzi.
For physical exercise, Greg likes to play golf. He also goes for a run every day.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
‘H’ stands for handing stress.
Learning new things can help you make new synapses, Tanzi said. “The bottom line is in Alzheimer’s, the degree of dementia correlates most with the loss of synapses."
‘I’ is for interacting with friends.
‘E’ is for exercise.
‘L’ is for learning new things.
‘D’ is for diet.
Recent studies point to the brain benefits of a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, beans, olive oil, nuts and poultry. It's recommended to avoid red meat, sweets and fried foods.
While O’Brien and his family acutely feel what he’s lost to the disease, they do see a silver lining.
“Alzheimer’s has kind of actually brought our family a little closer,” said Conor. “I would say that’s kind of a blessing in disguise.”
“I can’t step in my dad’s shoes and feel how he’s feeling,” Conor said. “I just look at him and he’s my hero.”
23 September 2019
Modern researchers have discovered that music soothes those suffering from dementia, and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at The University of Utah Health recently tested whether they could alleviate anxiety in seniors suffering from dementia by playing familiar music to them using headphones and a hand-held music device. Anxiety and agitation are two of the most disruptive aspects of living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for both patients and caregivers.
After the researchers helped the patients pick meaningful music, they used a functional MRI to record the changes in the brain while the music played. The brain images showed that music helped the areas of the brain known as the salience network, the visual network, the executive network, and the cerebellar and corticocerebellar networks all work with better connectivity. These areas of the brain activate language and memory, according to the study’s authors.
“When you put headphones on dementia patients and play familiar music, they come alive,” Jace King, lead author of the study, said in a press release. “Music is like an anchor grounding the patient back in reality.”
Music and movement are the last things to go in the brain.
It’s almost miraculous what music can do for Alzheimer’s patients and the research about the benefits is there.
Health care providers have seen firsthand how much music helps dementia patients. with the clients there.
Play songs from their era that they might recognize. Patriotic songs are also popular.
Music touches people on so many levels.
The reaction by dementia patients to music was also dramatically demonstrated in the 2014 documentary, Alive Inside. Elderly care professionals can set up personalized playlists on iPods for their patients. The music helps the patients access the deep memories not lost to dementia. It also helps them converse and socialize in ways they weren’t doing before the familiar music became a part of their daily life.
For more information on senior assisted living and memory care services in Gainesville, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care Gainesville.
16 September 2019
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors supported by professional assisted living professionals realize a statistically significant decrease in hospitalization for heart disease. This positive report is attributed to the professional support provided by assisted living communities such as ours at Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care (Gainesville, GA) that deliver quality of life support programs as well as regular and reassuring professional health consultation.
What We Do?
The following items are primary goals of assisted living communities in an effort to reduce the rate of senior patients developing heart illnesses.
Provide Fitness and Relaxation
Keeping seniors active and relaxed improves heart health. Workout programs that range from low to moderate impact exercises are managed based on fitness levels and health status. Regular exercise helps lower stress levels and improve quality of sleep. When these two vital factors are achieved and stabilized, a healthier heart is guaranteed.
Promote Nutrition and Healthy Diet
Assisted living communities pay close attention to the nutrition and diet of their senior residents. They make sure that the food served to senior residents are both appetizing and healthy to improve food intake and facilitates consumption of important nutrients that can strengthen the heart. Also, taking note of food that must be taken moderately. Low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet are usually the dietary recommendation for these people.
Provide Smoke-Free Environment
We know for a fact that a smoker has a higher risk of developing chronic heart disorders including atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care in Gainesville offers a designated outdoor area for smokers separated from non-smokers so that non-smokers will not be exposed to smoke-filled air. This is also a way to encourage current smokers to break the habit. Medical advises are also given to those smokers to support them to give up smoking.
For more information about assisted living, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care in Gainesville.
9 September 2019
Caring for your loved one with memory issues is an exhaustive yet fulfilling labor of love. Without doubt it is very stressful as well. At some point this labor of love becomes an unhealthy tax on both the mental and physical state of the caregiver(s). It is at this point where guilt sets in when we recognize our inability to keep pace with the ever-increasing challenge of providing memory care support services. This guilt is natural but fortunately it is usually short-lived once we come to accept the realities of life that, at some point, we must turn to memory care professionals to help us carry the load.
The key word there is “professionals”. We are programmed to believe that no one outside the family can provide the same level of loving care that a family member can. But that is simply not true. When you enlist the support of senior memory care professionals in and around Gainesville you are empowering you and your family with the power of scientific research and professional expertise that will enhance the quality of life of your loved one in ways that the non-professional family simply cannot. No offense of course.
So, take the step to research your transition to professional memory care with confidence (not guilt) that you are about to increase the quality of life of both your loved one AND yourself. Conduct thorough research of the memory care communities near you to experience the campus, assess the skill and attentive nature of the staff, and to simply get a feel for the memory care community as a whole. Trust your instinct, it will guide you well.
If you think it's time to move your parent or loved one to a memory care facility, contact the memory care professionals at Manor Lake in Gainesville. Our team is available to help guide you through this difficult process and answer any questions that may arise.
22 August 2019
For most seniors, the notion of losing independence is something extremely difficult to admit. The thought of the need to move into an assisted living community is unsettling at best. Putting off the conversation between a senior and his/her caregiver(s) will only exacerbate the fear and anxiety for all parties. With a little research, planning, and yes a LOT of love, you will ensure a positive outcome.
- Talk to your parent(s) about assisted living options in Gainesville as early as possible—before the situation becomes urgent. That way you can spend more time exploring different solutions, and your parent will be able to more fully participate in the process.
- Know the options and the benefits of each one. Moving into an Assisted Living Community like Manor Lake Gainesville is just one option, but there are many others. Depending on the level of independence and care your parent desires and needs, there may be home care solutions or other solutions that might be a good fit. Learn more about the various options.
- Address your concerns about their current situation openly and completely. Be realistic – and help them be as well – about their health care needs and safety and the potential needs they may have in the near future. Be candid about the impact their care may be having on you and emphasize your overwhelming concern for their well-being. Now is not the time to dance around delicate topics. Being honest and upfront is the best approach, but make sure you do it with a tone of empathy and respect.
- Listen carefully to their fears and objections. It’s best to have an initial conversation to get the ball rolling, then take a few days to digest their initial reaction and comments before continuing. This also shows them that they are being heard and honored and will have a role in the process.
- Find out what’s most important to them. Perhaps they are concerned about leaving their friends behind or being forced into a routine that they don’t like. Understanding these issues can help you address them upfront and find a solution that will provide them with the care they need along with the lifestyle they want to be happy and fulfilled.
- Be prepared to talk about finances. Part of the fear of losing independence is the concern about losing control of their finances. Have a realistic assessment of their financial situation, along with ballpark costs, and financial benefits they may be able to utilize ready to discuss. Consider the potential “what if” scenarios that may arise, and how they may each impact your long-term financial situation.
- Take a positive approach and tone. Your parent will be more likely to embrace change if it’s presented in the most positive and caring light. Humor can help lighten the situation, but it’s important not to let the conversation become too lighthearted or trite. After all, this is one of the most important decisions of their life, and the decision that you make together will make all the difference in the quality of their remaining years
20 August 2019
When returning home to Gainesville to visit your aging parents at Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care, give your visit some thought in advance. You are not alone if you find that your visits can be stressful for a host of reasons, not the least of which is witnessing our parents in a state of physical and/or mental decline. In some cases, this decline can be as simple as realizing that you need to devote regular efforts to help a loved one manage daily life; in others, we might face the grief of knowing, or fearing, that this may be one of the last holidays together.
Because remote family members visit so often during the summer vacations and holidays, we often receive requests at this time of year to help assess whether someone is still safe, and to identify the kinds of help available and what might be needed. We also notice enormous stress in uncertain adult children hoping to do the right thing with their parents while navigating uncharted waters. We find that it helps to use these vacation visit guidelines, from how to manage taking a dependent elder a short trip away from home to considering whether a senior can continue to live alone, safely and unaided.
1. Treasure and be present with the person before you
First, it is always good to stop and remember those things that cannot be changed: aging, the effects of some illnesses, the progress of dementia, and other factors. “Old age,” as Betty Davis said, “is not for sissies.” Sometimes we see families whose holidays would improve if they paused briefly to realize that a parent will never again have the health and energy of past times. However, treasured memories can still be created with person before you. Honor that person; try to make him or her comfortable; ask to hear a story, or tell one yourself. Even in advanced stages of illness, holiday experiences can be joyous if accepted for what they are. It is good advice for life in general, and especially with aging loved ones.
2. Assign someone the task to be sure your elder is not over-stimulated
Especially for elders who are not used to being active, and have their own hopes for a vacation experience “like old times”, the temptation to try to keep too fast a pace during a holiday can lead to exhaustion. Be sure that every day someone is prepared to stay at home, or leave an event early; your elder will be happier not trying to keep up with the most energetic members of the family. Try to rotate this responsibility so no one misses too much. It can be an adult child, a younger family member, family friend, or regular caregiver. This is simple, but easy to forget.
3. If the elder is traveling, plan extra time
Whether it is security scans at airports or long car rides, the pace and distractions that many of us take in stride as part of travel can be exhausting, confusing, or frightening for elders. If you are in a rush, the problem is exacerbated. Plan ahead, allow for a slow pace and leisurely pace, and explain what is going on. This can relieve pressure on everyone.
4. If you visit home, be on the lookout for signs that help may be needed
People who visit home after an absence of several months sometimes can see the signs of decline in the condition of the home or the elder. It is important to be on the lookout for these, especially if family is not regularly present. Signs include a poorly- stocked kitchen, plumbing or appliances that do not function and have not been repaired, clutter that may be the initial stages of hoarding, or poor hygiene. Rarely to our elders call and say, “I cannot manage alone and I need help to continue living here.” Far more often, the signs appear without a request for help. If you have concerns about whether someone is safe at home, an assessment by a geriatric care manager or local senior citizens’ service center is called for.
Vacations with aging parents can be bittersweet. But with proper planning and the right attitude, the emphasis can be on the sweet. Do not try to do too much; find ways to enjoy the person as he or she is today, and to help him or her enjoy the day as much as possible. Grieve if it is called for, laugh when you can, ask for help when you need it. It is all part of life.
Source: Connected Home Care
13 August 2019
Choosing the right memory care community for your loved one most certainly is among the most difficult decisions you will ever make. Choosing the right memory care community is easier if you are prepared to interview each and every memory care community that you are considering. Here are some questions to ask to help make the decision easier. As with any senior living home, try to visit at least once to get a good sense of what the facility is really like, not just what the facility's advertising says about it.
This checklist supplements the more general assisted living checklist by asking memory-specific questions, so be sure to print out both to take on tours.
- Is the memory care community able to accommodate people at all levels of dementia, or only at specific levels?
- Why might a resident be asked to leave the facility?
- Who assesses residents' health and cognitive functioning? How often is that assessment repeated?
- Does each resident have a formal, written plan of care?
- Does the facility help with all ADLs, including bathing, toileting, and eating?
- If the community part of an assisted living facility or continuing care retirement community, is the memory care section separate from other areas?
- Is the memory care area all on one level?
- Are the residents' rooms private or shared?
- Is the facility laid out with circular hallways so that residents aren't frustrated by cul-de-sacs?
- Is there an enclosed, secure outdoor area with walking paths?
- Does the facility feature even, good lighting in hallways and common areas?
- Does the facility feature nonslip floor surfaces in all rooms, including bathrooms?
- Is the interior and exterior of the facility secure? What methods are used to keep tabs on residents and make sure they don't wander out of the building or off the grounds?
Orientation and comfort:
- Are doors and rooms labeled clearly, both with words and pictures, to help residents orient themselves?
- Do residents have "memory boxes" outside their rooms to help them identify the right room and to help staff members get to know them better?
- Are the colors used throughout the facility bold and unpatterned?
- Does the facility feature good natural or faux-natural lighting in residents' rooms and common areas?
- Is the facility generally pleasant, clean, and peaceful?
- What kind of dementia-specific training do staff members have?
- Do staff members seem to know each resident's name, personality, and background?
- Do staff members seem kind and attentive to residents' needs?
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
The ratio should be at least 1 to 7, especially for later-stage dementia.
- Is there an RN, LVN, or CNA on staff?
- How do the staff members deal with difficult behaviors, like aggression, mood swings, and sundown syndrome?
- What is the facility's policy on the use of restraints -- both physical and chemical?
Food, activities, etc.:
- Do residents seem to enjoy the food?
- How does the facility encourage eating among residents who are uninterested in food -- or how does it encourage residents who tend to overeat not to be unhealthy?
Studies have shown that contrasts, like brightly colored plates, can encourage people with dementia to eat more.
- Will the facility cater to special nutritional needs or requests?
- Does the facility offer spiritual or religious services that your loved one would enjoy attending?
- Does the facility allow pets? Does the facility have any of its own pets?
- What activities are offered to residents? Do they seem like they would engage your loved one?
- Does the facility offer regular exercise sessions for residents who are physically able to participate?
- What resources are available to engage residents' long-term memories?
Some facilities offer fake kitchens where former bakers can feel at home, or stations where residents can fold laundry or do other familiar tasks that might be comforting.
For more information, contact Manor Lake Gainesville.
31 July 2019
Memory care is a distinct form of long-term care designed to meet the specific needs of a person with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other types of memory disease. Before you choose a memory care option, you may want to compile a list of questions that cover your concerns about your loved one’s care, comfort and safety.
Typical Memory Care Services
When it comes to finding the right memory care community for your loved one, questions about the costs and services provided may come to mind. But, memory care communities offer a range of services, some of which might be more important to your loved one than others.
If you are considering memory care for your loved one, understand that many assisted living communities offer a special memory care unit (SCU) on a separate wing or floor. Or, you can choose an independent memory care community – just remember that memory care is specialized skilled nursing distinct from assisted living. Care costs are generally higher at these communities, even if the memory care unit is part of an assisted living residence.
Regardless of whether you choose a memory care facility or SCU, know that staff members have received special training to assist people with dementia or impaired cognition. Common services include 24-hour supervised care, medical monitoring and assistance with daily living tasks, in addition to a pleasing environment that is easy for residents to navigate.
Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Memory Care Community
As you search for memory care communities, you will eventually come up with a list of your top choices. It is important to take time to tour each one, if possible. Ask questions of staff and other families whose loved ones reside at the community, to determine if the community is the right fit for your loved one.
Here are some questions that you may want to ask memory care communities you’re considering:
- What level of care does the community provide?
- What type of training has the staff received?
- What is the monthly rate for housing and care? What services does that rate include?
- Are rooms private or semi-private? How do prices vary for each?
- What level of personal assistance can residents expect?
- What is the policy for handling medical emergencies?
- How is the community secured?
- What meals are provided? Are special dietary requests, such as kosher meals, accommodated?
- How often are housekeeping and laundry service provided?
- What programs (exercise, physical therapy, social and other activities) does the facility offer?
- Does the facility accommodate special care needs, such as diabetic care, mobility issues, physical aggressiveness or wandering?
- Are residents grouped by cognitive level?
- What is the ratio of staff to residents during the day/night?
- How does the facility communicate with families about a resident’s well-being?
- What is the discharge policy?
Families making care decisions about loved ones far away may want to make sure they know where a community is located and perhaps consider travel costs.
For more information, contact Manor Lake Gainesville.
18 July 2019
The inevitability is that there will come a time when we can’t independently handle the rigors daily life. This is not a bad thing. It means we’ve lived a long and productive life in the service of others, but now comes a time when someone simply is going to have to serve us. When this time comes, the best move is to start considering different senior living communities near your family, a new place to call home. With the right attitude and support from your family, this need not be a stressful transition. You have family and professionals alike to help out.
The happiness of you or your loved one is vitally important. Most seniors are understandably at least a little resistant to leaving home to move to senior-assisted living community. When you invest the time and energy necessary to find the best fit the transition will be a welcomed experience. So here are things to consider:
Figure Out What Level Of Service You Need
When considering senior living facilities, you’ll first need to determine exactly what services and support you require. Write down anything you need help with right now. No matter how small and insignificant it may be, everything is important. Then, think about what you may need help with in the future. Although you may not need help with some daily tasks today, you may really need that help in the next few years.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70 percent of individuals over 65 years of age need some form of long-term care. Once you have this list written down, you should start looking at the different forms of senior living facilities to find which one best matches your needs. Here’s a short summary of the most common types of senior living facilities:
Independent Senior Living Facilities
These homes remove the burden of owning your own home so that you can focus on your interests and your health, both emotionally and physically. They also offer plenty of opportunities to make new friends.
If, after looking over your list, you determine that your overall health is just fine and there’s no need for help with the normal daily tasks, one of these places could be a great fit.
Assisted Senior Living Facilities
By assisting you with daily tasks, home maintenance, and transportation, these communities allow you continue living independently, but with a little more help. If you’re having trouble managing your medications, dealing with mobility issues, struggling to get dressed or worry about getting in and out of the bath, you should consider an assisted living facility.
Skilled Nursing Care (Nursing Home Facilities)
These places can provide continuous skilled nursing care for those with complex health issues or those recovering from an injury or surgery. If your health issues are becoming more complex or your needs require full-time care, these facilities may offer the best choice for you.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities Or “CCRCs” (Life Plan Communities)
CCRCs are a fairly new idea, but they offer a great option for many seniors. Residents at these senior living facilities benefit from a full continuum of care including memory care, skilled nursing, independent living services and assisted living services.
Make Safety A Priority
Whether you’re looking at care options for yourself or a loved one, safety should always be a priority. This means security from the world outside the facility and from internal concerns. There is really no price tag on the preservation of well-being, especially when it comes to old age. Here are a few ways to help you find a safe senior living facility:
Take A Look at State Records
While they may make a place look great, clean common areas and green gardens do not reflect the safety of the facility. Mistreatment and wrongdoing typically happens when no one is looking for the best way to check for these issues are by looking at state records.
Records of reprimands, offenses, and crimes among senior living facilities can be found at state offices that focus on senior care. These records can give you a “background check” as you search for the right place for you.
Talk to The Staff and Current Residents
During a visit to one of these senior living facilities, you should take the opportunity to talk with staff members and current residents about what it is like there. They may be more willing to open up about their experiences than you would think. Even if you’re nervous to ask the residents, it is important to know if they feel completely safe and comfortable. You need to take all actions possible to uncover issues before you commit to a place and learn the hard way.
Get A Breakdown of Security Policies and Features
You can find out about a facility’s security features by asking the administrator or director. While you speak with this leader of the facility, you can also ask them about resident complaints and hiring policies. If you or your loved one has special medical needs, you should also make sure they will receive regular, highly-skilled care to address these needs as a safety precaution.
Costs And Income
Many people are surprised at how affordable senior living communities are when compared to the costs of owning a home. Either way, it is important to conduct a detailed cost analysis before you get too far along in the process of finding a senior living community. Take a look at how much it costs you (or your loved one) to live in your own home vs projected cost of your targeted senior living community.
Even if the mortgage has already been paid-off, the list of expenses can be quite long. From utilities, taxes, groceries, and entertainment to continuous home maintenance and age-related renovations, the costs can add up quickly. If you have any current medical costs or expenses associated with home health care, those should also be included in your calculations.
After that, consider your financial resources. Include your assets and income sources like surviving spouse benefits, veteran’s benefits, retirement investments, pensions and long-term care insurance. You can then combine all of this information by adding up financial resources and expenses that will no longer occur to create a budget.
Then you’ll know what you can afford when it comes to senior living facilities. If the numbers still aren’t adding up, you can look into federal aid programs like Supportive Housing for the Elderly, Low-Income Housing credits and other government-provided options.
Tour The Facility
After all of this research, you’ve already got a big head start on finding the best senior living facilities near you. However, you should never make a big decision like this one based solely on Internet research. The only way to truly understand which facility will be best for you is to take a tour.
Start by calling each facility on your shortened list. They should be accustomed to helping people set up tours of the facilities. Once you arrive, make sure that you walk the whole facility including the resident’s rooms. And as we mentioned earlier, don’t be afraid to talk to some of the current residents and staff members to hear their opinion.
You would never want to buy a house without doing a walk-through first, so you shouldn’t commit to a senior living facility before a tour either. You need to be completely confident that the facility will be a comfortable place that will support the overall happiness of you or your loved one.
So you’ve done all the research, taken tours, and asked for professional help. Are you still struggling to find the best senior living facility for you? The truth is you could spend the rest of your days stressing over this decision, but, at the end of the day, your gut feeling should help you make the final commitment.
Don’t be swayed by shiny marketing strategies and sales pitches. Trust all of the work you’ve done and don’t ignore your instincts.
For more information contact Manor Lake Gainesville.
11 July 2019
When symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementia first appear, they often are mistaken as a by-product of normal aging. When symptoms progress, family caregivers might be unsure about whether it’s time for professional memory care. It’s important to know that early professional intervention can lessen symptoms and delay progression of the disease. Medication and other therapies can help people live at home safely and comfortably for longer. Visiting a primary care doctor about the symptoms can be life-changing. Eventually though, a person with dementia will need 24-hour supervision. Here are questions to consider if you’re wondering whether a loved one may best live within the loving care of a memory care community.
- Has he or she got lost in previously familiar territory, as when taking a walk in their neighborhood or running errands?
- Can your loved one state their phone number and address in case they need help returning home?
- Does the person forget to lock their doors, making themselves vulnerable to crime?
- Have they forgotten to turn off a stove or other potentially dangerous appliance?
- In case of fire, do you believe he or she would handle the situation safely?
- Has your loved one’s level of personal care declined? For example, are they “not themselves” in terms of bathing, dressing or eating?
- Is he or she taking medications as scheduled? Are you confident they’ll take the correct dosages?
- Has he or she become uncharacteristically suspicious or fearful of others?
- As a caregiver, are you risking your own health? Are your caregiving duties interfering too much with your other responsibilities?
- Could your family pay for the amount of skilled in-home care or adult day care required? A limited amount of respite care could be available for free or at low cost. If extensive help is needed though, a memory care facility could be more affordable.
This is not a complete list, rather, just some things for you to consider. You likely have a number of observations that are not listed here that concern you. Our staff of memory care professionals can help ease your mind by talking through it all. For more information on memory care, contact Manor Lake Gainesville.
27 June 2019
It's important to know that assisted living is an industry term. It isn't strictly defined, and there's great variety in terms of assisted daily living services provided. For example, some but not all assisted living centers have 24/7 nurse staffing. The following facts about assisted living can help you understand the diversity. The more you know about possible differences from place to place, the better your odds of making a great move.
- Cost is usually a top concern whenever people hunt for housing. Below we give details about assisted living expenses and how to pay for long-term care. But here's a good basic fact: Assisted living generally costs much less than nursing home care. Prices vary by region and the services needed. Also, individuals and families find many ways to pay for assisted living without draining their resources. Below we look at veterans' benefits, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and other solutions.
- Services with assisted living vary from place to place. The US lacks a nationwide or federal definition for assisted living, and state governments all have different industry regulations. Many states issue more than one type of license for assisted living facilities, resulting in different levels of care being allowed. Licensing also matters for payment to be covered by Medicaid, private insurance and other sources. Facilities with the most advanced licenses may provide advanced medical care when a resident becomes bedridden or has symptoms of dementia. Others might need the resident to transfer to a nursing home, hire a personal nurse, or choose in-home healthcare. Main categories of assisted daily living services (ADLs) are:
- Medication Management
- Meal Services
- Memory care is an option at select assisted living centers. If you or a loved one is in an early stage of Alzheimer's or other dementia, then choosing an assisted care facility might be your best option in terms of stretching your money and allowing a longer period of independent living. Staff at specially licensed centers can help delay the progression of dementia with various therapies. They can also help minimize or prevent common dementia-related challenges such as wandering and anxiety. When the condition becomes advanced, it might be possible to live at the same facility, but in a different area with secured doors and other special accommodations.
- Culture or “personality” matters. The US has thousands of assisted living facilities and no two are quite alike…
- In some the decor is formal; in others it's relaxed.
- Some are very small communities and others have hundreds of residents.
- Depending on the property's layout, and also the local climate, residents might tend to spend lots of time outdoors, or else tend to stay inside.
- Pets are welcome in many independent living communities. Sometimes animal care services such as grooming and dog walking are available for an extra charge. Some communities have their own “mascot” dogs and cats. When animal companions are allowed, generally there are restrictions about the size or breed. Homes have different policies about aquariums, birds and other “pet issues” — so before choosing an assisted care facility, verify that the pet policy fits your preferences.
For more information, contact Manor Lake Gainesville.
20 June 2019
As a person ages, vision and coordination systematically deteriorates. This natural course of aging elevates their risks for falls and injury. A lot of factors influence the risk of falling. A variety of health conditions, muscle strength, and brittle bones are just few common issues affecting balance. While gait changes are inevitable to seniors, there are preventative measures which professional assisted living communities enact that can also be applied at home. Here are some of them:
- Clear floors of items that can potentially tripped them over
- Take away low furniture that can cause tumble
- Don't leave cables or cords lying on the floor
- Provide sufficient lighting indoors especially at nighttime
- Mount safety grab bars alongside shower and toilet
- Opt for non-slip rubber floor mats
- Provide handrails on ramps and steps
For more senior safety and care tips, contact Manor Lake Gainesville.
13 June 2019
We think a well-educated and informed public serves the best interests of the cherished but vulnerable memory challenged members of our society. A Memory care communities do not necessarily require having an exclusive department or section for Alzheimer and dementia patients. Contrary to popular belief, in order for a dementia care service community to be certified, it needs to establish the following:
- A care program that is specifically-oriented to Alzheimer's and dementia patients but allows to be personalized to suit client's preferences, abilities and needs.
- Advanced Training for Staff and exhibited efficiency in performing latest professional practice in nursing and dementia care.
- Facilitates social and recreational activities that includes the families of the patients.
- Provides a safe, quiet and functional interior setting for dementia residents. Follows the standards of a memory care environment.
- Partnering with national organizations and facilitating programs and orientations focused on educating about dementia as a commitment to professional learning.
- Provide a support and assistance unit for families and caregivers.
7 June 2019
Here at Manor Lake Gainesville caring for seniors is our mission. We author blogs that focus on senior health because, as trained professionals of senior health care, we witness the failure of many to unwittingly put their senior loved ones in danger. This is especially true during the hottest part of the summer season. Safely enjoying the outdoors and summer sun doesn't have to be distant memories for our seniors. In fact, encouraging them to explore outside year round is good for overall health. If you are planning to take your senior loved one out for the day, here are some recommended outdoor activities that are safe for them to do:
- Watch a sporting event - You may take your senior parents to catch grand kid's baseball or soccer games. It's an exciting way to reconnect to their favorite sports.
- Fishing - Bring him to a fishing location and let them cast a rod. It's a fun and peaceful way of enjoying nature but always ensure they have protective shade.
- Local Bus Tour - Take your senior parents to a bus tour to check on local sights.
- Pool Dipping - Swimming offers a fun and relaxing workout or even just foot dipping can be soothing enough for their old feet.
- Outdoor Picnic - Plan picnics at the park or even just on your own backyard. Provide a comfortable seating with lots of shade so they can watch the kids play and other fun activities taking place outside his/her home.
27 May 2019
We had a family member recently suggest that we post a blog that defines the common forms of dementia and the associated characteristics. There is a shared bond between patients and family members of those inflicted with dementia. A common observation by these fine people is how little the general public knows about dementia outside of the relatively well known subject of Alzheimer's. We will be glad to list below the most prolific forms of dementia in America today:
Alzheimer’s disease: Most common type of dementia; accounts for an estimated 60–80 percent of cases. Difficulty remembering names and recent events is often an early clinical symptom; apathy and depression are also often early symptoms. Later symptoms include impaired judgment, disorientation, confusion, behavior changes and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.
Parkinson’s disease: Many people who have Parkinson’s disease (a disorder that usually involves movement problems) also develop dementia in the later stages of the disease. The hallmark abnormality is Lewy bodies that form inside nerve cells in the brain.
Vascular dementia: Considered the second most common type of dementia. Impairment is caused by decreased blood flow to parts of the brain, often due to a series of small strokes that block arteries. Symptoms often overlap with those of Alzheimer’s, although memory may not be as seriously affected.
Dementia with Lewy bodies: Pattern of decline may be similar to Alzheimer’s, including problems with memory and judgment as well as behavior changes. Alertness and severity of cognitive symptoms may fluctuate daily. Visual hallucinations, muscle rigidity and tremors are common.
Front temporal dementia: Involves damage to brain cells, especially in the front and side regions of the brain. Typical symptoms include changes in personality and behavior and difficulty with language. No distinguishing microscopic abnormality is linked to all cases. Pick’s disease is one type of front temporal dementia.
Mixed dementia: Characterized by the hallmark abnormalities of Alzheimer’s and another type of dementia — most commonly vascular dementia. Recent studies suggest that mixed dementia is more common than previously thought.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Rapidly fatal disorder that impairs memory and coordination and causes behavior changes. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is believed to be caused by consumption of products from cattle affected by mad cow disease. Caused by the misfolding of prion protein throughout the brain.
These are some of the most common types of dementia. While Alzheimer's is the leading type of dementia there other forms that we thought everyone should be aware of the many forms of dementia. Each and every one of these disease is devastating on both the patient and their support team. And always realize, your support team at Manor Lake Gainesville is always well educated, well versed in these diseased, and most importantly, well stocked in the passionate care of you all.
23 May 2019
Heat stroke can be fatal and the risk of fatal incidents increase with age. In summer when the temperature is extremely high, heat stroke is a serious risk to everyone but most especially the elderly. They are more susceptible considering the fact that older bodies are less sensitive and unable to adjust well to temperature changes. Older people may not readily notice that they are suffering from overheating until they become seriously ill.
Heat stroke occurs when the body overheats to a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. This is a serious condition that needs urgent treatment. When not treated immediately, it may cause reversible damage to major vital organs such brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. When treatments are even more delayed, it can result to serious complications or even death. For this reason, it is important for senior caregiversto be aware about signs of heatstroke in elderly which are:
- Very high body temperature (above 103°F)
- Hot flushes and no sweating
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing headache
- Heat Exhaustion
In order to prevent this condition caregivers must encourage water intake and urge them to dress for the weather. As much as possible, let them stay indoors where air-conditioning is provided to keep them cool.
16 May 2019
When moving your senior loved one into an assisted living community, it's important to help them feel at home. Helping them decorate their new space is a great way to help them settle down more comfortably. Here are tips when decorating as assisted living home:
- Bring some things that they loved the most from their previous home. Seeing those favorite home stuff in place let them feel as if they haven't left their original homes.
- Make Bedroom decorations simple. Provide a bedside table lamp, an illuminated clock and a phone inside their room.
- You may provide some furniture like lift chairs and small desk with drawers for safekeeping of important documents, bills, etc. They can also place their electronic devices here.
- Keep the bathroom roomy but make the essential personal products they use accessible at all times.
- You may also decorate the walls with pictures. But make sure not to overdo it. Just select few pieces and securely mount it in the walls.
You don't have to over decorate their space. You may follow the same decoration setup from their previous homes but make sure to always keep the place roomy and accessible. It's very important that they can safely move around without endangering themselves from falls and other accidents.
Contact Manor Lake Gainesville for more information.
6 May 2019
Spending time with your Mom this Mother's day would be the greatest present you can give her. Assisted living communities such as Manor Lake Gainesville annually prepares some bonding activities for senior mom residents and their children. But if you are thinking of taking them out and do some activities outside the facility, here are some great ideas to make this special day even more fun and memorable:
- Bring her to the Park - You can pack a lunch and have picnic, do some grilling or BBQ perhaps. Play some of her favorite music or bring some card games you can all enjoy playing as a family.
- Take her to the Beach - Let her breathe in some sea breeze and enjoy the calming sight of the sea. It's not only relaxing but it’s good for her lung health as well.
- Spend a day at the Spa - Salons usually offers Mother's day promotions and packages. You can get her some facial treatments, full body massage, beauty bath and get her nails painted. If you have a tight budget, you can set up a spa day at home or do her mani and pedi yourself.
- Enjoy a Family Meal - You can eat out with the whole family in her favorite restaurant or you can do it at home or perhaps, a bbq session on your courtyard with the whole family.
Whatever activities you choose to do, the most important thing is that you celebrate this special day with her. Take as many pictures as you like and you can print it out or save it on her device. She will surely treasure it.
27 April 2019
Most seniors have diet restrictions but that doesn't mean they can’t indulge in a good treat. In fact, you can still whip up some really good snacks that are packed with nutrients and beneficial to health. And a good snack is just plain good for the heart and soul. So here's a good recipe that is perfectly made for our senior residents. Not only it is complete with vitamins and proteins, it is also easy to digest.
- 1/4 cup strawberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup of yogurt
- 1 cup puffed wheat
Slice the strawberries. Add a little amount of sugar or sugar substitute to sweeten it up a bit. Get a cup and place the strawberries at the bottom. Add in a portion of yogurt and some puffed wheat. Then, add another layer of yogurt, followed by the blueberries. Lastly, top it with a scoop of yogurt, sprinkle some puffed wheat and served.
20 April 2019
Summer heat poses challenges a new set of challenges in the name of loving care to our senior residents. Caring for seniors include ensuring readily available cool refreshing drinks to keep all energized and hydrated. Here's a recipe that is packed with vitamins which will help the seniors within your care to boost their immune system, to provide lycopene and amino acids, and antioxidants to flush out toxins from the body.
2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice cubes
2 cups lemon-lime flavored soda, divided
1 lime, cut into wedges
Place the watermelon and ice cubes in a blender and blend until liquefied. (Once you add the lemon-lime soda, it will thin out even more, add more ice cubes if you want it slushier.) Slowly add 1/2 of the lemon-lime soda and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, garnish with limes and serve.
13 April 2019
Alzheimer's disease is a most crushing disease but there are things you can do to limit the damage caused by the disease and improve quality of life. Simple lifestyle modifications can mitigate AD symptoms and actually reverse the condition. Here are memory care tips that can help boost your mental health and curtail development of Alzheimer's disease:
- Regular Exercise - Exercise can activate the brain's ability to retain old connections likewise create new ones. Elder people aging over 65 can perform moderate levels of weight and strength training at least 2-3 sessions to their weekly routine. This can help cut their risk of developing AD up to 50%.
- Increase Social Involvement - Staying socially involved can be a great preventative measure against AD disease. Having a strong connection of friendship and widening your network can help improve brain's mental health.
- Healthy Diet - According to researches, inflammation and metabolic disorders can damage and impair neurons. Thus, inhibiting communication between brain cells. Paying attention with what you consume and adjusting your eating habits can mitigate inflammation of the body. Cut down sugar intake and shift to Mediterranean diet which is more of vegetable, beans, whole grains and fish meat dishes. Eat food rich in omega-3 for it can help lessen beta-amyloid plaques. Eat more fruits and reduce intake of processed food.
- Mental Stimulation - Exercising your brain through activities that can stimulate the brain can enhance cognitive functioning. Maintaining or developing a new hobby, playing strategic games and puzzles are great mental workout that encourage the brain to maintain cognitive association.
- Quality Sleep - Insomnia or not getting enough nighttime sleep can increase beta-amyloid levels, it’s a viscous protein that clogs brain which further inhibits you to get a deep sleep. Deep sleep plays a vital role in memory formation. Not having sufficient sleep regularly can also affect your mood which can also be a contributing factor in developing AD symptoms.
- Stress Management - Constant stress can impact your brain pretty hard. Too much brain tension can lead to shrinkage of the key memory section of the brain impeding normal brain cell growth. Relaxation activities and other ways to control stress are priority to prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
5 April 2019
Sitting down with a good friend and sharing life stories, favorite pursuits, and pastimes are an important part of the day of the residents of the Manor Lake senior living community. These are considered treasured moments as we proactively encourage socialization within our community membership. Encouraging our residents to participate in many of our strategically designed activities not only promote socialization but also help boost mental ability and an array of life skills.
Field trips, card games, painting, movies, and knitting are just few activities that they can all do together while they share different stories of experiences and life events. Through these recreations our residents create genuine friendships. This serves to remind both resident and family members alike that the senior years can be the best of years. Within our senior assisted living community quality of life thrives.
Manor Lake senior assisted living in Gainesville, GA offers a place where seniors can build new relationships and friendship that will truly be treasured. These things are huge factors that can help maintain a person's quality of life. For more information about senior living community, contact Manor Lake Gainesville.
27 March 2019
Caring for family member with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia becomes increasingly difficult with time. It becomes readily apparent to the family’s primary care support providers that at some point the care challenges exceed the ability of the family member, due of course, to no fault of that family member. The disease simply demands professional service support at some point to provide the level of safety and attention that only a dedicated staff of memory care professionals can deliver. Memory care patients require 24/7 attention and the place to guarantee that is within a trusted assisted living community or memory care community.
What are the differences between assisted living and memory care communities?
Assisted Living Residential Care are best suited for senior with early stage of AD or dementia without any severe medical condition. These people only requires assistance on their personal routines and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. Also assistance is not only limited in rendering aid for self-care but also assisting in managing senior resident's money, managing medications and doctor's appointments, housekeeping, cooking and shopping as well. This type of care is ideal for those who still can live with some independence, but do require assistance with ADLs.
Meanwhile, Memory Care Units are suited for a senior individual that needs more intensive care and supervision. Supervised care is provided round the clock by skilled caregivers to tend for distinct needs and demands of dementia patients. Memory care centers offer the same services as assisted living facilities, apart from activities that are designed to activate the memory of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and possibly slow the progression of the disease. The activities usually involve music, arts and crafts, games, and more.
To find out more about assisted living and memory care units, contact Manor Lake Gainesville.