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Fighting dementia through healthy eating, when is it time to consider a Memory Care facility

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Fighting dementia through healthy eating, when is it time to consider a Memory care facility

Alzheimer’s dementia is one of the most common memory degenerative disorders worldwide. There are over 47 million people suffering from various forms of dementia in the world and with the “population aging” and increased life expectancy this is estimated to be over 75 million by the year 2030. In the United States, one in 8 people over the age of 65 years are living with dementia.

With such a significant health burden, many research studies are being done to help adults with degenerative memory disorders cope better with the disease and prolong the development of symptoms. As symptoms progress many have sought assisted living options or specialized memory care communities that were built to care for the adults with degenerative memory diseases. There are numerous Assisted Living in Scottsdale locations and Senior living in Scottsdale locations with secure environments or dedicated memory care units as well as additional specialized Memory care locations throughout Arizona.  In this article we discuss how your diet and healthy eating can help slow the symptoms and progression of the disease as well as discuss how Memory Care Scottsdale communities, which were specially constructed to accommodate adults with memory and cognitive disorders can help. (They are constructed with easy to navigate and familiar environments, 24/7 surveillance and supervision to care for your loved ones).

Many of the studies have focused on eating healthy and on certain diet therapies that help with memory disorders.  Nutrition plays an important role in the progression of the disease. As the progression of dementia occurs it is very common for adults to experience loss of appetite. This translates to reduced eating due to lack of appetite, lack of supervision at meal times or simply increased confusion which leads to nutritional imbalance and worsening of the disease symptoms much quicker. Senior Living Scottsdale facilities and other Assisted Living facilities throughout Arizona have specially trained staff to help take care of the nutritional needs of your loved ones. There are dieticians who can provide individualized diets customized for each adult. Many studies have shown with early onset medications and properly balanced diets with restricted salt and saturated fats there has been a significant delays in the onset of symptoms. At assisted living facilities in Arizona, and Memory Care Scottsdale facilities, dietitians and healthcare staff implement the latest evidence-based care to improve the quality of the life of their residents.

Although the cause for the development of this disease is multifactorial a study published in the Neurobiology of aging has mentioned seven sets of dietary and lifestyle guidelines that may delay the onset of dementia and other memory disorders. The study has highlighted the importance of reducing saturated fats and Trans fats. (This means replacing animal fat with healthy oils and reducing items such as red meat intake. Also, consuming vegetable, whole grains and other foods high in protein fiber and vitamins like, vitamin E should come from natural sources such as nuts and green leafy vegetables).  You should also take at multi-vitamin with at least the minimal recommended levels of Vitamin B12 (2.4 micrograms per day) should come from fortified food supplements as well as minimize exposure to baking powder, aluminum products, and antacids. Include aerobic workouts to your routine. With these interventions, the onset of symptoms may be delayed.

Another study has highlighted the importance of the trace minerals like iron, and zinc as well as micronutrients like vitamins which play a major role in the delay of dementia and helps improve cognitive functions. Anti-oxidant and flavonoids have played a significant role in reducing oxidative substances that damage your memory cells and help to retain brain function.  Melons, Papaya, wild berries, dark chocolate, and pecans have high anti-oxidant content and are helpful in delaying the onset of symptoms. 

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are essential fatty acids in the formation of compounds DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are important for the development of the brain and neural structures. A study done based on Omega fatty acids have shown that diet rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 have significantly delayed the development of early signs and symptoms of Dementia.  Deep sea fish, tuna, Salmon and fish liver are rich sources of these natural essential fatty acids. At memory care Scottsdale locations, assisted living facilities in Arizona and Scottsdale, dieticians and your healthcare provider can make sure your loved one receives these optimal nutrients to help them fight dementia and prolong the onset of symptoms. 

Across the world, many experimental studies have been done to find the significance of identifying the symptoms of the disease early. Timely diagnosis and treatment studies define “timely diagnosis” as diagnosing the condition with the earliest elicited symptoms. Based upon this study showing proper medical and memory enhancing therapeutics received by early diagnosed individuals showed delayed memory deterioration.  Assisted living facility care received at the early stages has showed improved coping with the disease, better adaptation and reduced agitation and anxiety that develop later in the disease.

With early diagnosis and proper medical supervision from your physician as well as moving to one of the Assisted Living Scottsdale or Assisted Living Arizona locations your loved one will receive the proper medical and therapeutic supervision and care needed. This should help to delay the onset or progression of symptoms of the disease and with family and staff support, help your loved ones cope better with the disease. 

Call us today if you would like additional information at 800-881-7706 and visit our website at www.acaringhandformom.com.

References: Robinson, L., Tang, E., & Taylor, J. (2015). Dementia: timely diagnosis and early intervention. BMJ, 350(jun15 14), h3029-h3029. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3029

Morris, M., Tangney, C., Wang, Y., Sacks, F., Bennett, D., & Aggarwal, N. (2015). MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 11(9), 1007-1014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2014.11.009

Mitchell, J., & Kemp, B. (2000). Quality of Life in Assisted Living Homes: A Multidimensional Analysis. The Journals Of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences And Social Sciences, 55(2), P117-P127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/55.2.p117

Swaminathan, A., & Jicha, G. A. (2014). Nutrition and prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6, 282. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2014.00282

Thomas, J., Thomas, C. J., Radcliffe, J., & Itsiopoulos, C. (2015). Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Early Prevention of Inflammatory Neurodegenerative Disease: A Focus on Alzheimer’s Disease. BioMed Research International, 2015, 172801. http://doi.org/10.1155/2015/172801

Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. (2017). Sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197458014003480

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What Factors into the Cost of Assisted Living?

When a person or family begins looking into assisted living in Surprise, AZ one of the first questions they are going to have is how much it will cost. While there are some private long term insurances that will cover the cost of this, many people do not have this type of insurance. There are some larger facilities that offer a flat rate, but most do not and certain features and amenities will cause the price to increase. Group homes generally do offer a flat price based on the size of the room, whether the room has a private bathroom as well as the prospective residents level of care, whereas larger assisted living facilities generally have a rate for the apartment and level of care charges depending on the residents care needs. Getting to know what these factors are can be beneficial.

Single or Double Occupancy Rooms

When choosing an assisted living location, you will have to decide if you want a room to yourself or if you are willing to share. Keep in mind, if you are willing to share a room with another your costs will be less but there are some facilities that don’t even offer this option. This is something important that you need to keep in mind if price is a concern since it can lower the price significantly. Almost all assisted living in surprise, including communities and group homes offer private rooms as well as semi private options. The larger communities may also offer one and two bedroom options as well, so depending on your needs and your budget many options are available.

Medical Care and Help

Another important consideration when choosing assisted living in Surprise, AZ is what type of help or medical care is needed? There are some people who are going to require closer help and medical attention, however there are others who are going to be pretty self-sufficient. A general rule is the more assistance and medical services that are needed, the higher the cost of the services are going to be. Some communities as well as group homes are better equipped then others to provide this level of care so it is important to explore the differences. Help from an experienced healthcare professional who is familiar with the options in your area, like you will speak with at A Caring Hand for Mom can be invaluable and will help guide you with your search.

Special Dietary Needs

There are some assisted living facilities that even charge more for special meal plans. While this is not the case for most locations, it is something to ask about if there are certain foods that you cannot have or if you are allergic to something. When you are choosing assisted living in Surprise, AZ make sure to keep the factors here in mind. They will each impact the cost of the services. More information about assisted living is available on the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website or call us today at 800-881-7706.

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Is Your Loved One Ready to Move to an Assisted Living Facility?

When you make the decision to move your aging loved one to assisted living facilities in Peoria, AZ, you may think that you have everything under control. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize what they forgot, until move in day. To avoid this, make sure your aging parent or loved one is ready for the move by using the information found here.

The Basics

You need to bring along all the “basics” when moving to an assisted living facility in Peoria, AZ. This includes personal hygiene products, assistive devices and any medications that match your current doctor’s orders as even OTC medications need to have been ordered by your doctor in assisted living. Make sure to also pack the clothes your loved one needs, including undergarments and socks, as well as shoes, items to do their hair, hats and other day to day wear items.

The Extras

Once you have all the basics accounted for, it is time to get a few extra items. Some of the items that are considered extras include books, puzzles, pictures and other items that will make the assisted living facilities in Peoria, AZ feel more like home. Keep in mind, each person is different and you should take this into account. If your loved one has a special quilt or hat they want to take along, make sure they can. Keep in mind, depending on the size of the apartment or room you may have chosen, furniture needs may be limited based on the configuration of the apartment or room. Try not to take too much furniture as a cluttered apartment can be more hazardous than helpful.

When you use the tips and information here, you will be able to ensure your elderly loved one is ready to move into an assisted living facility. If you don’t take your time to do this, you may find you have to go back and forth quite a bit on move in day.

Learn more about assisted living by visiting the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website and check out the many resources on the site. We have articles on making ”A Happy Transition” as well as our “check list” which will help you prepare both emotionally and physically for your move.

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Tips for Alzheimer's Caregivers

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https://www.helpguide.org/The below article is a was originally published by helpguide.org and is for your review, if you need assistance and are considering Arizona assisted living or memorycare options please visit our website at www.acaringhandformom.com or call us today at 800-881-7706 for immediate assistance.  Remember you are not alone we are here to help, so if you are considering phoenix assisted living options call us today. 

Tips for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Preparing for the Road Ahead and Getting the Help You Need

Wife supporting senior

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia impacts every aspect of your daily life. As an Alzheimer’s patient loses one ability after another, a caregiver faces tests of stamina, problem solving, and resiliency. Maintaining your emotional and physical fitness is crucial, not just for you but also for the person you’re caring for. Preparing yourself, understanding your loved one’s experience, and seeking support from others can help you succeed on the caregiving journey.

The Alzheimer’s and dementia care journey

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia can be a long, stressful, and intensely emotional journey. But you're not alone. In the United States, there are about 15 million people caring for someone with dementia, and millions of others around the world. As there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease—and only limited medical treatments available for the symptoms—it is your caregiving that can make the biggest difference to your loved one's quality of life. That is a remarkable gift.

However, caregiving can also become all-consuming. As your loved one's cognitive, physical, and functional abilities diminish over a period of years, it's easy to become overwhelmed and neglect your own health and well-being. The burden of caregiving can put you at increased risk for significant health problems and an estimated 30 to 40 percent of dementia caregivers will experience depression, high levels of stress, or burnout. Nearly all Alzheimer's or dementia caregivers will at some time experience sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and exhaustion. Seeking help and support along the way is not a luxury for caregivers; it's a necessity.

Just as each individual with Alzheimer's disease progresses differently, so too can the caregiving experience vary widely from person to person. However, there are strategies that can help make the caregiving journey as rewarding as it is challenging. Learning all you can about what is happening and what to expect on the Alzheimer's journey will not only help your loved one, but is also the first step towards protecting your own mental and physical health.

The challenges and rewards of Alzheimer’s care

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can often seem to be a series of grief experiences as you watch your loved one’s memories disappear and skills erode. The person with Alzheimer's will change and behave in different, sometimes disturbing or upsetting ways. For both caretakers and their patients, these changes can produce an emotional wallop of confusion, anger, and sadness.

As the disease advances, your loved one’s needs will increase and your caregiving responsibilities will become more challenging. At the same time, the ability of your loved one to show appreciation for all your hard work will diminish. Caregiving can literally seem like a thankless task. For many, though, a caregiver’s long journey includes not only challenges, but also many rich, life-affirming rewards.

Challenges of Alzheimer's care:

  • Overwhelming emotions as capabilities lessen
  • Fatigue and exhaustion as caregiving demands increase
  • Isolation and loneliness as independence disappears
  • Financial and work complications as costs rise and resources are challenged

Rewards of Alzheimer's care:

  • Bonds deepen through care, companionship, and service
  • Problem solving and relationship skills grow through experience
  • New relationships form through education and support
  • Unexpected rewards develop through compassion and acceptance

Preparing for the road ahead

The more you learn about your loved one’s disease and how it will progress over the years, the better you’ll be able to prepare for future challenges, reduce your frustration, and foster reasonable expectations. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, for example, you can support your loved one’s independence and self-care, but the person’s cognitive and physical regression means he or she will ultimately require 24-hour care.  

Though it may be hard to contemplate such a difficult outlook, the sooner you put plans in place, the more your loved one can be involved in the decision-making process. Paying for long-term care can be a major source of stress, so it’s important to research all your options as early as possible. Consult with the patient’s medical team and other family members to make legal and financial arrangements and determine the long-term care options that are best suited to you and your loved one.

Developing your own personal support plan ahead of time

Balancing the enormous task of caring for a cognitively-impaired adult with your other responsibilities requires skill, attention, and meticulous planning. By focusing so diligently on your loved one’s needs, it’s easy to fall into the trap of neglecting your own health. But that will not only hurt yourself, but also hurt the person you’re trying to care for. If you’re not getting the physical and emotional support you need, you won’t be able to provide the best level of care, and you face becoming overwhelmed.

Ask for help. It’s important to reach out to other family members, friends, or volunteer organizations to help with the daily burden of caregiving. Accepting help for mundane tasks such as grocery shopping and cleaning can free you up to spend more quality time with the patient. When someone offers to help, let them. You’re not being neglectful or disloyal to your loved one. Caregivers who take regular time away not only provide better care, they also find more satisfaction in their caretaking roles.  

Learn or update caregiving skills. Being thrust into the role of caregiver doesn't come with an instruction manual, but there are books, workshops, and online training resources that can teach you the skills you need. Learn all you can about symptoms, treatment, and behavior management. As the disease progresses and challenges change, you’ll need to update your skillset and find new ways of coping.

Join a support group. You'll find that you're not alone and you’ll be able to learn from the experiences of others who have faced the same challenges. Connecting with others who know first-hand what you’re going through can also help reduce feelings of isolation, fear, and hopelessness.

Learn how to manage stress. Caregiving for a loved one with dementia can be one of the most stressful tasks you’ll undertake in life. To combat this stress, you need to activate your body's natural relaxation response through techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, or yoga. Fitting these activities into your life can help reduce the stress of caregiving and boost your mood and energy levels.

Make use of available resources. There are a wealth of community and online resources to help you prioritize your efforts and provide effective care. Start by finding the Alzheimer’s association in your country. These organizations offer practical support, helplines, advice, and training for caregivers and their families. They can also put you in touch with local support groups. See Resources and References section below for a directory of associations.

Plan for your own care. Visit your doctor for regular checkups and pay attention to the signs and symptoms of excessive stress. It’s easy to abandon the people and activities you love when you’re mired in caregiving, but you risk your health and peace of mind by doing so. Take time away from caregiving to maintain friendships, social contacts, and professional networks, and pursue the hobbies and interests that bring you joy.   

Signs of caregiver stress and burnout

No matter how strong and resilient you are, you’re still likely to have problems with certain aspects of Alzheimer’s or dementia care. The stress of day-to-day care, watching your loved one’s health deteriorate, and having to make difficult decisions about long-term care can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Recognizing the signs of caregiver stress and burnout is the first step to dealing with the problem.

10 Signs of Caregiver Stress

If you experience any of these signs of stress on a regular basis, make time to talk to your doctor.

1. Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed. "I know Mom is going to get better."

2. Anger at the person with Alzheimer's, anger that no cure exists, or anger that people don't understand what's happening. "If he asks me that one more time I'll scream!"

3. Social withdrawal from friends and activities that once brought pleasure. "I don't care about getting together with the neighbors anymore."

4. Anxiety about the future. "What happens when he needs more care than I can provide?"

5. Depression that begins to break your spirit and affects your ability to cope. "I don't care anymore."

6. Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. "I'm too tired for this."

7. Sleeplessness caused by a never-ending list of concerns. "What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?"

8. Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions. "Leave me alone!"

9. Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. "I was so busy, I forgot we had an appointment."

10. Health problems that begin to take a mental and physical toll. "I can't remember the last time I felt good."

Source: Alzheimer's Association

When prolonged and excessive stress from caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia leaves you feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted, you may be facing burnout. Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling helpless, hopeless, angry, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.

The warning signs of caregiver burnout include:

  • Excessive stress and tension
  • Debilitating depression
  • Persistent anxiety, anger, or guilt
  • Extreme irritability or anger with the dementia patient
  • Decreased overall life satisfaction
  • Relationship conflicts and social isolation
  • Lower immunity and greater need for healthcare services
  • Excessive use of medications, drugs, or alcohol

Burnout can damage your health and the health of the person you’re caring for, so if you recognize the signs, it’s important to take action right away.

Coping with stress and burnout

No matter the day-to-day demands of caregiving for a patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s imperative that you carve out time for your own self-care. These tips can help:

Seek regular respite care. You cannot do it all alone. Ask other family members, friends, or members of your place of worship for help with respite care so you can get a much needed break. You can also seek help from volunteer organizations, support groups, day care programs, and residential respite care facilities. Schedule frequent breaks throughout the day, take time out to pursue hobbies and interests, and stay on top of your own health needs. Seek professional help if you recognize you're exhibiting any warning signs of caregiver burnout.

Get moving.  Regular exercise not only keeps you fit, it releases endorphins that can really boost your mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If it’s difficult to get away for that long at once, break the time up into 10 minute sessions sprinkled throughout the day. Take a walk or jog outside, dance to your favorite music, work out to an exercise DVD, or cycle to the store. Taking a group exercise class or working out with friends can give you a valuable social outlet as well.

Talk to someone. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, clergy member, or therapist, about how you feel and what you’re going through. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to solve your problems, he or she just has to be a good listener. The simple act of talking face-to-face with someone who cares can be extremely cathartic. Opening up won’t make you a burden to others. In fact, most friends will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only strengthen your bond.  

Take time to play. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, include your loved one in short walks, board games, or jigsaw puzzles. Join an online scrabble tournament, practice your golf swing, or play with a pet. A daily dose of fun is good medicine, and doesn’t require money, a car, or huge blocks of time.

Try something new. Challenge yourself to learn a new skill while you are “on the job.” Order a self-paced foreign language program or try an exercise video game. From tennis to golf to pitching a strike, so-called “exergames” offer living room-friendly activities for every age and skill level. With just a few minutes of practice each day, you can flex mental muscle and relieve harmful stress.

See the funny side. Humor is a well-known antidote to stress, sadness, illness, and boredom. Give yourself permission to chuckle at the absurdities you and your loved one experience, and surround yourself with laughter. Instead of heavy dramas on TV or video, go for a hearty belly laugh by watching episodes of your favorite sitcom. Your infectious good mood can help replenish your inner resources and sooth your loved one.

Making time for reflection can help with acceptance

One of the biggest challenges as a caretaker for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia is to accept what is happening to your loved one. At each new stage of the disease, you have to alter your expectations about what your loved one is capable of. By accepting each new reality and taking time to reflect on these changes, you can better cope with the emotional loss, and deepen the feelings of satisfaction and love in your role as caretaker.

Keep a daily journal to record and reflect on your experiences. By journaling your thoughts, you can mourn losses, celebrate successes, and look for those thought patterns that keep you from acting in the present.

Count your blessings. A daily gratitude list can chase away the blues and let you focus on what your loved one is still capable of, rather than the abilities he or she has lost.

Celebrate what is possible. Your loved one still has many abilities. Structure activities to invite participation on whatever level is possible, and you will both find real enjoyment.

Try to envision your loved one’s world. Imagine not being able to remember and do life’s simple tasks. By valuing what your loved one is able to give, you can find satisfaction on even the toughest days.

Practice relaxation techniques. Meditation, deep breathing, visualization, mindfulness, yoga, or rhythmic exercise can calm, restore, and promote happiness. Experiment with different techniques to find the ones that work best for you.

Improve emotional awareness. Remaining engaged, focused, and calm in the midst of such tremendous responsibility can challenge even the most capable caregivers. By developing your emotional awareness skills, however, you can relieve stress, experience positive emotions, and bring new peace and clarity to your caretaking role.

Tap into the rewards of connecting with the person you're caring for

Even when the person you’re caring for can no longer verbally express love or appreciation, you can find a deeper sense of reward in your role as caregiver by making time each day to really connect with the person. Avoid all distractions and focus fully on the person. Make eye contact (if that’s possible), hold the person’s hand or stroke his or her cheek, and talk in a calm, reassuring tone of voice. When you connect in this way, you’ll experience a process that boosts your mood, reduces stress, and supports your physical and emotional well-being. And it can also have the same effect on your loved one.

How to help an Alzheimer's or dementia caregiver

If a friend or family member is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important to offer all the help and support you can.

Don’t wait to be asked to help. Many caregivers find it difficult to ask others for help, no matter how much they may need it, so make the offer. And when you do, be specific. As well as simply asking, “What can I do to help?” make suggestions like, “I’m free tomorrow afternoon, can I sit with the patient while you take a break?” or “What can I get you from the grocery store today?” Helping out with even the most simple or mundane chores can free the caregiver up to spend more quality time with the patient or take a break to recharge his or her batteries.

Be a friend. Caregivers are prone to withdrawing from family and friends but they still need regular contact with the outside world. Phone calls, texts, or emails are fine, but nothing beats a personal visit to lift a caregiver’s mood. Again, don’t wait to be asked; be the one to reach out.

Be a good listener. Venting frustrations about caregiving can be a great stress reliever. Listen to the caregiver’s fears and concerns without judging.

Show your gratitude. If the caregiver is a sibling looking after your parent, for example, it’s important to express your gratitude. The person with mid- or late-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia may not able to show appreciation to the caretaker so it’s important other family members recognize the caregiver’s hard work and sacrifice and regularly show their appreciation. While a card or a simple “Thank you” can go a long way, when accompanied by the offer of some respite, it can be a blessing.

Recognize the signs of caregiver stress and encourage the caregiver to focus more on his or her own health and well-being.

More help for Alzheimer's, dementia and aging

Resources and references

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Care for the Caregiver: Part 1 (Video)

Care for the Caregiver: Part 2 (Video)

Dementia care specialist Teepa Snow discusses the fear of dementia and dealing with the challenges of caring for a loved one. (YouTube/Senior Helpers National)

Caregiver support

Alzheimer's Associations – A worldwide directory of Alzheimer’s associations that offer information, advice, and support for caregivers. (Alzheimer’s Disease International)

Family Care Navigator – For caregivers in the U.S., a state-by-state resource to help you locate services and other resources. (Family Caregiver Alliance)

Caregiver Action Plan – Create a personalized action plan for caregiving and link to information, support, and local resources. (Alzheimer’s Association)

Alzheimer's Caregiving: How to Ask for Help – Suggestions on how to engage family and friends in helping out with patient care. (Mayo Clinic)

Caregiver's Stress Check – Tests your stress and provides recommendations for addressing common caregiver’s issues. (Alzheimer’s Association)

Caregivers and mental health

Depression and Caregiving – Describes the symptoms of caregiver depression and offers suggestions on what to do for yourself if you are depressed as a result of caregiving. (Family Caregiver Alliance)

Dementia, Caregiving and Controlling Frustration – Discusses causes of frustration, warning signs that frustration is occurring, and several methods caregivers can use to help control or alleviate their frustrations. (Family Caregiver Alliance)

Changes to Your Relationship – Information about how the caregiver’s relationships may change: intimacy with the patient, and closeness to family and friends, with tips for resolving family conflicts. (Alzheimer’s Association)

Preventing Caregiver Burnout

Preventing Caregiver Burnout – Caregiver burnout is something you may not notice, but people you know may notice changes in you and express their concern. (Area Agency on Aging)

 

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Featured

Assisted Living Care versus Nursing Home Care

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Assisted Living Care Vs. Nursing Home Care

What kind of care do I need?

Arizona assisted living, provides housing for those who cannot live alone, and who do not need the higher level of skilled medical care given in nursing homes. These facilities provide assistance with activities of daily living “ADL’s”, (assistance with bathing, eating, medication assistance and dressing) to services that used to only be provided in skilled nursing facilities such as the use of assistive devices such as Hoyer lifts, feeding tubes and wound care.   This is not to say that all Assisted living communities provide these services but some do.

This higher level of care can be found in many Group homes which are also licensed assisted living homes. These homes generally provide a higher level of supervision and care, because of their size and ability to provide closer supervision and manage these services with the assistance of outside services like home health services for wound care management and outpatient P.T., O.T., Speech therapy.

Seniors still enjoy a good degree of independence especially in assisted living communities -- many live in private apartments or studios -- with options for socializing with other residents and 24-hour help nearby. Larger assisted living community’s general offer more options for socialization with larger scale recreational activities and entertainment that comes to the community as well as restaurant style dining. Group homes provide a more homelike atmosphere with home cooked meals and small scale recreational activities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines assisted living facilities as facilities that provide help with bathing, dressing, and medication.

Some assisted living communities also provide Memory Care for those with advanced stages of dementia in a special wing (dedicated Memory Care Unit), or are a stand-alone Memory Care communities. Not all facilities offer this option and not all residents with Memory care needs require a special unit or community for their care.  Many residents especially in the earlier stages of their disease progression can be safely managed in a more open assisted living setting. 

It's important to note that assisted living facilities are private pay establishments, which are not covered by programs such as Medicare or third party insurances, though they may be covered by some long-term care insurance policies and ALTC’s (Arizona’s Medicaid program requiring Long term care who meet medical and financial eligibility).  Assisted Living costs range from $2000-$6,000 for most assisted living residences but can run $5,000-$8000 for memory care in Arizona.  Most Assisted Living communities charge a base rent plus levels of care and medication administration fees,  whereas Group homes are generally charge a flat fee which includes care except for incontinence supplies.

Nursing Homes

 

Nursing homes, also called "skilled nursing facilities," are licensed facilities for those who require long-term care or short-term rehabilitation services. They are for those individuals who require a higher level of “24 hr. a day Skilled Care” not provided by assisted living. A nursing home is a place for people who don't need to be in a hospital but can't be cared for at home or in a assisted living community or group home because of their need for 24 hour skilled care. Most nursing homes have nursing aides and skilled nurses on hand 24 hours a day.

Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy if it falls under Medicare guidelines for coverage. There is usually a nurses' station on each floor and residents may share rooms, meals are served in a central dining hall (unless a resident is too ill to leave the room). This type of care is covered by both Medicare and Medicaid, though private payment options are also available and allow for more choices, such as private rooms.  Private rates are usually based upon the current Medicare rates for the rooms currently running around $220-280 a day for semi private and private rooms plus ancillary charges.

Some nursing homes have special care units for people with serious memory problems such as Alzheimer's disease. Some will let couples live together, Nursing homes are not only for the elderly, but for anyone who requires 24-hour care.

A common concern of some skilled nursing facilities is that some seniors find them depressing because many of the residents have numerous medical problems, and that these facilities do not provide the best care due to higher staff turnover, inadequate staffing patterns, requiring extra attention and monitoring from family members.

Help to determine the best setting can be obtained from an experienced healthcare professional such as your family physician or other medical providers as well as the licensed healthcare professionals at A Caring Hand for Mom who with their extensive experience can guide you.  We look at factors such as care needs, wandering potential, safety in an apartment setting, group home or Memory care unit, and overall functioning capability.  We can help you find the best options available for your loved one and will always give you honest unbiased answers. Call us today at 800-881-7706 and visit our website at www.acaringhandformom.com.

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Dementia 9 ways to reduce your risk

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One in three cases of dementia could be prevented by addressing nine lifestyle factors, according to a report from the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care.
Credit: Keck Medicine of USC
 
 

Managing lifestyle factors such as hearing loss, smoking, hypertension and depression could prevent one-third of the world's dementia cases, according to a report by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care. Presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017 and published in The Lancet, the report also highlights the beneficial effects of nonpharmacologic interventions such as social contact and exercise for people with dementia.

"There's been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," says commission member and AAIC presenter Lon Schneider, MD, professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "But we can't lose sight of the real major advances we've already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches."

The commission brought together 24 international experts to systematically review existing research and provide evidence-based recommendations for treating and preventing dementia. About 47 million people have dementia worldwide and that number is expected to climb as high as 66 million by 2030 and 115 million by 2050.

Reducing dementia risk, beginning in childhood

The commission's report identifies nine risk factors in early, mid- and late life that increase the likelihood of developing dementia. About 35 percent of dementia -- one in three cases -- is attributable to these risk factors, the report says.

By increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension and obesity in midlife, the incidence of dementia could be reduced by as much as 20 percent, combined.

In late life, stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social contact and managing diabetes could reduce the incidence of dementia by another 15 percent.

"The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have," Schneider says. "Mitigating risk factors provides us a powerful way to reduce the global burden of dementia."

A nonpharmacologic approach to treating dementia

The commission also examined the effect of nonpharmacologic interventions for people with dementia and concluded that they had an important role in treatment, especially when trying to address agitation and aggression.

"Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat agitation and aggression, but there is substantial concern about these drugs because of an increased risk of death, cardiovascular adverse events and infections, not to mention excessive sedation," Schneider says.

The evidence showed that psychological, social and environmental interventions such as social contact and activities were superior to antipsychotic medications for treating dementia-related agitation and aggression.

The commission also found that nonpharmacologic interventions like group cognitive stimulation therapy and exercise conferred some benefit in cognition as well.

The commission's full report provides detailed recommendations in the areas of prevention, treating cognitive symptoms, individualizing dementia care, caring for caregivers, planning for the future following a dementia diagnosis, managing neuropsychiatric symptoms and considering the end of life.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Southern California - Health SciencesNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gill Livingston, Andrew Sommerlad, Vasiliki Orgeta, Sergi G Costafreda, Jonathan Huntley, David Ames, Clive Ballard, Sube Banerjee, Alistair Burns, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Claudia Cooper, Nick Fox, Laura N Gitlin, Robert Howard, Helen C Kales, Eric B Larson, Karen Ritchie, Kenneth Rockwood, Elizabeth L Sampson, Quincy Samus, Lon S Schneider, Geir Selbæk, Linda Teri, Naaheed Mukadam. Dementia prevention, intervention, and careThe Lancet, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31363-6

This article was shared on sciencedaily and is being shared today by www.acaringhandformom.com 

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What is the difference between a senior living community and a group home?

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What is the difference between a senior living community and a group home?

Retirement is, for most people, the best period of their lives. They have a lot of free time when they can travel or engage in their favorite past time. With the kids grown up and a lovely husband/wife or companion, a person can enjoy a lot of time outdoors or meet with friends and spend time together; generally one can do whatever he/she wants. But as we age does not bring only positives; there are also downsides. Our bodies are incredible machines that are “designed” to help us survive in this world. But, as they grow older, certain functions which we take for granted may not come as easily as they did in the past. Eye-sight, problems with the joints, heart issues; all these are inherent once we grow older. As a result, more and more day-to-day tasks become more difficult, including maintaining a clean household our body, interacting with other people or ensuring the daily supply of goods and services. When the time arrives, it’s better to look for professional help, instead of opening the door to the possibility of harming ourselves. There are plenty of organizations out there that could provide help to us or our loved ones. The best known are senior living adult communities, places where lots of older adults live together and enjoy their retirement years. But these are not the only ones so contact the professionals like those at www.acaringhandformom.com to help you find all the resources in your area that best suit your needs.  So let’s find out more.

Most people opt for the most independent form of living possible depending on how early they chose to move in their retirement years and their health needs. A person’s options range from independent living and assisted living communities with villas or patio homes and apartments to group homes, which are also a smaller version of assisted living. 

The main characteristic of larger independent living communities is that in this type of residence individuals and couples living there have their own home or apartment and share common areas where they have many opportunities to socialize with other residents. The concept is built around common activities and a sense of belonging. Many of the residents in these facilities had been living alone in their homes or apartments before they decided to move there. The opportunity to socialize and make new friends again brings new meaning to life for so many. But as with everything your health plays an important role in utilizing these opportunities. The main aim of senior living facilities is to help residents live a happy and fulfilling life. The organization running the facility takes care of everything, from gardening, to a chef preparing meals which are served in the main restaurant style dining room, providing security and organizing various activities and events for residents. Because residents in these facilities can take care of themselves, medical assistance is not provided but many communities have access available to home health services onsite. Basically, senior living facilities help residents take it easy during the last part of their lives. Most residents would be able to live normal lives by themselves, but they like to enjoy a care-free time in a community setting.

Assisted living communities are geared more towards persons who genuinely require assistance usually because of a medical condition or physical need. Many people living in assisted living communities require attention when it comes to bathing, doing the laundry or other daily household chores. Doctors and nurses, as well as physiotherapists, in some cases, follow those residents who are living in assisted living residences while the staff provides care 24/7. The larger assisted living communities provide numerous social activities, including birthday celebrations, large holiday celebrations, dining in a restaurant style dining room, entertainment and community trips as well as transportation to local doctor’s offices.

On the other hand, a group home is literally a shared household of between 5-10 residents. The home provides assisted living care usually at a higher level than most bigger communities because of the caregivers close  proximity to the residents and their higher staffing levels then bigger communities usually 1-5 staffing ratio. Group homes provide a home like setting with homemade meals. Residents live normal lives and have either a private bedroom or shared accommodation’s based on their financial situation. Many people living in group homes require attention when it comes to bathing, doing the laundry or other daily household chores. Doctors and nurses, as well as physiotherapists, podiatrists come to the homes and follow those residents who are living there while the staff provides care all hours of the day and night. Depending on the residents psychological or physical abilities as well as their desire to participate in social programs, activities are provided for the residents.

Finally, financial issues also need to be taken into consideration. Costs vary widely depending on your location and the type of community or group home you chose.  In an independent living facility, residents pay rent and other fees like meal plans, external trips which vary from community to community. In assisted living communities residents also pay rent for their apartment and also pay for items such as medication administration and level of care fees which vary widely from $300-$2000 additional per month. In both independent living and assisted living communities resident usually provide their own furnishing for their apartments.  On the other hand, in group homes, the rent includes furniture and care costs are included, usually the only additional cost would be for incontinent supplies, doctor’s visits and medications which are usually covered by Medicare. Group homes are staffed by state certified caregiver’s as well as the manager who is also certified by the state.

I usually tell families if you are more of the social butterfly  and you are still able to participate in larger scale activities and programing the larger communities offer more opportunities for socialization.  Group homes offer more opportunities for supervision and closer monitoring.  If you fall in a larger community in your apartment you will need to be able to push your call button for help or it may be some time before knows you have fallen, if you live in a group home and call for help there is someone there who can hear you. Hopefully this information will prove useful when considering the options you have in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.  Call us today at 800-881-7706 and let our licensed healthcare professionals help you when looking for the best assisted living options for either yourself or your loved one.  

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Evaluating the Best Senior Care Options

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Evaluating the Best Senior Care Options

If you have an elderly loved one that you are taking care of by either visiting them daily or they live with you, it can be overpowering at times. This is especially true if you have a full time job or have a family at home to take care of as well. There are other choices you have in making sure your elderly loved one is taken care of and not feel guilty about it. When evaluating senior care options you want only the best for your loved one. Depending on what type of careyour loved one need’s as well as their financial resources there are many variables which can affect which facility to look into. The types of senior care in Glendale AZ range from independent living, assisted living communities, group homes, memory care, and skilled nursing care.

Importance of a Checklist

The importance of a checklist will weigh heavily when it comes to making the final decision on senior care for your loved one. The checklist will have important factors for you to take into consideration when checking on the different types of senior care facilities. You not only want a quality, clean and professional staff at the facility you choose, but you also want the facility to feel comfortable, safe and friendly towards your loved one. It is highly important that your loved one feels at home and likes the environment they are in.

Depend upon a company that is staffed by licensed healthcare professionals to assist you in finding options for your loved ones care. Rely on Professional Recommendations

You can rely on professional’s recommendations because they are experienced and licensed healthcare staff. They provide you with free help and will assist you in making well-informed healthcare decisions, which will save you time and keep you from feeling stressed out as you prepare to find your loved one a senior care facility. If you prefer to do the search on your own you can use our directory on our website or for quicker assistance you can email or call us.  We can usually save you money because of our relationships with the communities and homes in your area as well as the fact that we are aware of which communities are offering specials and when it comes to group homes we can help you find the care you are looking for at the price you can afford. The senior care choices include assisted living communities, memory care, , group homes independent living and Skilled nursing.  With our assistance no matter which senior care facility your loved one needs you will be able to find the right one at an affordable cost.  Call us today at 800-881-7706 for immediate assistance.

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Super Foods to Boost Your Brain Power

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Superfoods To Boost Your Brainpower

Eldеrlу Nutrition and Exercise - Iѕ Thіѕ thе Sесrеt tо Hеаlthу Lоngеvіtу?

Iѕ іt truе that Sеnіоrѕ, whо mаnаgе tо reach thеіr mіd еіghtіеѕ аnd beyond, wіthоut succumbing tо debilitating dіѕеаѕеѕ, hаvе a nutrіtіоnаl secret? Iѕ іt thеіr lіfе-ѕtуlе аѕ well аѕ their dіеt that соntrіbutеѕ tо their lоngеvіtу?

I dо nоt know thе аnѕwеrѕ! I dо know thаt thе Sеnіоrѕ I have known, еасh hаd thеіr own unіԛuе wау of dеаlіng with thе аdvаnсіng years аnd еасh has thеіr own аttіtudе towards lіfе, lіvіng, and "grоwіng оld".

We have all had those days when we just can’t seem to concentrate. And while there’s no magic pill to bring us back to the height of our cognitive powers, there are some foods that have been shown to improve brain function, protect against age-associated cognitive decline and encourage focus and clarity.

But before you dismiss the diet-brain connection as mere conjecture, keep in mind that study after study has found a relationship between what we put in our mouths and how well we can perform important thinking and memory tasks. While certain nutrients may specifically assist brain function, there is also what we consume in our diets to consider. One study in the UK found that a diet high in saturated fat actually caused damage to neurons that control energy and appetite in mice. And several well-regarded studies have shown that meal timing has an impact on our performance. For example, research shows that eating breakfast can improve the memory and academic skills of schoolchildren and actually helps maintain a healthy weight.

We know that the foods we eat affect the body but they can have even more influence on how well our brain functions. What we eat can have a POWERFUL effect on our brain’s energy, how the mind handles tasks, and our general mood.

Our focus here is on those particular nutrients found in foods that enhance neuron firing and cross-linking in the brain. The foods listed below can help you: concentrate, increase memory, tune sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated, speed up your reaction time, control stress, and even slow down the aging of brain cells!

So here is a list of different food types that we can add to our diet, including their effects, and how they function:

Wholegrain Foods  

Whole grain is a great brain stimulator because it contains high percentage of folate. Make sure you’re eating a diet rich in whole grain breads, cereals, barley, popcorn, etc., because they can boost your blood flow to the brain. Every organ in the body is dependent on blood flow… especially the brain.

Wholegrain breads and cereals are rich in Vitamin B6, an important brain vitamin. Wheat germ additionally contains memory-improving thiamine.

Nuts

Walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds  to the more exotic seeds and nuts can clear up that “brain fog” and enable you to think clearer and are positive mood enhancers.

Walnuts

Both literally and figuratively speaking, walnuts are “brain food”. Walnuts are made up of 15 to 20 percent protein and contain linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids) and alpha-linoleic acids (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin E and vitamin B6, making them an excellent source of nourishment for your nervous system.

Omega 3 fatty acids found in walnuts are especially helpful in brain function. Walnuts may also help correct the human brain’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is an important brain chemical that controls both our moods and appetite.

Cashews

While you’re shopping for walnuts be sure to pick up some cashews, almonds, pecans and peanuts too. Each nut can enhance your mental health in its own way. Cashews are high in magnesium, known to open up the blood vessels in your body. More oxygen-rich blood equals better brain function.

Almonds

Phenylalanine, found in almonds, can do wonders for your mental and neurological health. Phenylalanine has the rare ability to cross the blood-brain barrier where it stimulates the brain to generate natural mood-boosting neurotransmitters called dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Additionally, almonds are high in riboflavin which is known to boost memory.

Pecans

Pecans and peanuts provide choline, another important nutrient for optimal brain function. Choline aids in both memory and brain development.

Blueberries

Eating blueberries and a diet rich in deep pigment from fruits and vegetables helps preserve the brain machinery and boost the potency of neuron signals. Blueberries literally strengthen the brain. They have compounds that turn on key systems in the brain enable other proteins to help with memory or other cognitive skills.

In one recent study, subjects who ate one cup of blueberries a day for two weeks showed an increased birth rate of brain cells in the hippocampus (region responsible for memory), and scored significantly higher in classroom tests than those subjects who did not.

Blueberries are also known to protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. In addition, blueberries also contain ellagic acid, another phytochemical that has been shown to prevent cell damage.

Strawberries

Antioxidant-rich strawberries can prevent age-related neurological declines by improving brain cell abilities to send and receive the ’signaling’ molecules. The brain uses these signaling molecules to communicate.

Remarkably, these same studies showed that the powerful antioxidants in strawberries, spinach and blueberries can improve the ability to communicate even among brain cells already showing signs of age-related damage.

Blackberries 

Blackberries contain an amazing class of nutrients called anthocyanins. Our brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage but anthocyanins help protect our brain from oxidation stress, which in turn fights degenerative brain diseases.

One study even found anthocyanin-rich supplements to reverse age-related neurological deficits in subjects.

Sunflower Seeds 

Like nuts, many seeds and nuts can boost your mood and brainpower. Sunflower seeds contain tryptophan, an important amino acid that the brain converts to serotonin, which is a natural way to relieve mild depression and insomnia. Additionally, sunflower seeds are high in thiamine, an important B vitamin, which increases memory and cognitive function.

Pumpkin Seeds 

Amazingly, the most powerful part of the pumpkin lies in its least used part. The seeds of the pumpkin are a power food, rich in many nutrients including: Zinc, Vitamin A and E, and the precious Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The Zinc found in pumpkin seeds plays a vital role in enhancing memory and thinking skills.

Green Tea  

Green tea is a wonderful beverage, and when freshly brewed, it enhances memory and focus and fights mental fatigue. Green tea contains catechines, which help you relax mentally, yet also keeps your wits sharpened.

Green Tea also helps maintain positive mood states and fights against many brain disorders.

Eggs

Eggs indeed offer a very impressive nutritional profile for their 70 calories. They are a precious source of high-quality proteins and rich in vitamins and minerals. But there’s more!

Nutrient called choline, found in eggs, can help boost the memory center in the brain. Researchers have found choline to increase the size of neurons, which helps them fire electrical signals more strongly and rebound faster between firings.

Two antioxidants found in egg yolk called lutein and zeaxanthin help prevent the risk of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the most prevalent age-related eye conditions.

Avocados  

For brain health, avocados are nearly as good as blueberries. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats, which contribute to healthy blood flow, the main requirement for a healthy brain.

Tomatoes

 Lycopene, an amazing antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against freeradical damage to cells, which is believed to be a primary factor in cases of Dementia, and particularly, Alzheimer’s disease.

Broccoli

 Broccoli is labeled as superfood due to its high overall nutrient content. It is a great source of vitamin K, which enhances cognitive function and improves brainpower.

Red Cabbage  

Red cabbage is full of an antioxidant called polyphenol. Polyphenols reduce brain cell damage and is especially helpful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Eggplant

 Eggplant skin contains a nutrient called nasunin which keeps our brain sharp by enhancing communication between our brain cells and messenger molecules. Remembering to use the skin pays tremendous benefits in vastly improved focus.

Spinach

Spinach slows down the effects of age-related declines in brain function and helps protect the brain from oxidative stress. Researchers suggest that a diet rich in spinach can significantly improve learning capacity and motor skills.

Yogurt

Calcium rich foods such as yogurt, milk and cheese improve nerve function. Yogurt contains an amino acid called tyrosine which is responsible for producing the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenalin. In short, yogurt helps improve alertness and memory.

Chocolate

What better to end with? It’s hard to believe that anything as incredibly delicious as chocolate can actually be incredibly good for you as well. Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties and contains several natural stimulants which increase the production of endorphins while enhancing focus and concentration. The stimulants found in dark chocolate also improve mood. It has high content of flavanols that facilitate blood supply to the brain and enhance cognitive skills.

Milk chocolate jump starts impulse control and reaction time. It has also been known to improve visual and verbal memory.

More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to chocolate. This is, unfortunately, one superfood that you have to indulge in in moderation.

 Feel free to leave us comments on this post and visit our website at www.acaringhandformom.com to learn more about healthy living and retirement living optionsB2ap3 Large Canstockphoto22906926

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Healthy Aging and Brain Fitness (Part 2)

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The brаіn is оnе of the соmрlеx оrgаnѕ іn our body. It is thе rооt оf consciousness. But lіkе оthеr parts оf our body, іt іѕ іmроrtаnt tо keep іt hеаlthу. Brain fitness іѕ kеу tо hеlріng us tо think, react and live a full lіfе.

Fіtnеѕѕ еntаіlѕ еxеrсіѕе аnd the brаіn responds tо this vеrу роѕіtіvеlу. Thеrе are a numbеr оf vеrу еffесtіvе еxеrсіѕеѕ you саn dо tо hеlр promote good hеаlth аnd brain fіtnеѕѕ. Thе brain rеасtѕ wеll whеn it іѕ properly stimulated. Sо the fіrѕt thіng to dо іѕ to mаkе ѕurе уоu provide your brаіn with асtіvіtіеѕ which ѕtіmulаtе аnd сhаllеngе it аnd dо a рrореr brаіn trаіnіng.

So vеrу ѕіmрlу, tаkе care оf your brаіn аnd it will take care оf уоu.   Here are some ways to keep you sharp.  These ideas can help no matter what point you are at young, old, mentally sharp or concerned about your own cognitive function or caring for a loved one in a memory care community(click here for more information on memory care)

Consider reading  aloud,

Take turns reading and listening to a book with your significant other, a friend, or a child.

If that’s not feasible, alternate reading with listening to audiobooks.

This engages the imagination in a different way.

One of the earliest demonstrations of brain imaging clearly showed three distinct brain regions lighting up when the same word was read, spoken, or heard.

Take New Routes

On a routine drive, shopping trip or whatever you do regularly your brain is on autopilot and gets very little stimulation.

But taking an unfamiliar route going to different store or unfamiliar places stimulates different parts of your brain.

You can take new routes when driving, walking, biking, or riding public transportation.

Use All Your Senses

Try activities that simultaneously engage all your senses.

Travel, camping, and gardening are activities that utilize all your senses in new ways.

Explore a new to you market where you can look, touch, sniff, and taste the produce.

Being sociable and talking with the grocer or farmer if at a farmers market  and pick there brain about the foods you are buying.  Try to stay away from modified products GMO’s and  additives like  High fructose corn syrup.

Exercise Your Brain to Increase Abilities

Intelligence  is fluid and can be improved with the right stimulus.

The gains are dependent on the amount of training, i.e. the more you train, the more you gain.

Anyone can increase their brains abilities, no matter their starting point (remember flash cards when you were young?)

Brain enhancements made in one area could also improve totally unrelated skills.

Below are some of the most significant ways to stimulate your Brains potential.

Learning something new stimulates brain activity and the creation of new neurons.

But as soon as you master it, the mental benefit stops because your brain becomes more efficient at the activity.

The only way to continue to stimulate your brain is to give it new challenges and stay out of your comfort zone.

For this reason, activities like crossword and jigsaw puzzles, learning languages, playing musical instruments, or chess are ideal brain exercises because there is always more to learn.

Do Things the Hard Way

The most obvious way to do things the hard way is to stop relying on short cuts and technology.

Use your brain instead of your smartphone for basic mental skills like spelling and math.

Impress your friends by memorizing their phone numbers (like we used to do).

If you use a GPS turn off the GPS and learn to read a map and use your innate sense of direction to find your way around instead.  (It may take you a little longer to get there but that can be half the fun.

Connect With Different People and Make New Friends

Anytime you connect with others, you expose yourself to new ideas and other ways of thinking about things.

But you can get even more brain benefits from spending time with people unlike you.

Intentionally seek out others with different interests, careers, or skill sets or those who are from different social or cultural environments.

This opens you up to new perspectives and ideas.

This challenge to your current way of thinking stimulates mental growth.

The next three ways to stimulate your mind won’t feel like a mental workout, but may be some of the best brain exercises of all.

Start Meditating 

It’s estimated that over 18 million Americans meditate. Mayo Clinic, Harvard, and the National Institutes of Health extol its many benefits. Major corporations like Google, General Mills, Target, Apple, Nike, Procter & Gamble and AOL offer structured meditation programs for executives and encourage employees at all levels to do it. The US Marines use meditation to help troops deal with stressful situations they face on the job and to help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. But is meditation really exercising your mind?

Here’s why meditation makes it onto our list of top brain exercises.

Of all mental exercises, meditation may be the most challenging and therefore the best.

Our brains are non-stop thinking machines that pour out upwards of 70,000 thoughts daily.

And 95% of these thoughts are the same thoughts day in, day out.

Training your mind to be quiet can be hard work!

Meditation works so much like exercise, it’s been called “pushups for the brain.”

Thousands of published studies have demonstrated the health benefits of meditation.

The brain benefits of meditation include stress reduction, improved memory, learning ability and mood, increased focus and attention, and even reversal of brain atrophy.

Join a Gym or Begin Exercising at Home

No discussion about brain exercise would be complete without emphasizing how important physical exercise is for the brain

Physical exercise might just be the most important thing you can do to keep your brain in good shape.

It may be even more important than using your brain to think!

Exercise reduces stress by increasing the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine.. It increases the levels of brain chemicals that promote new brain cell formation and new neural connections.

It protects against mental decline and reduces the risk of dementia.

Exercise improves circulation and sends more oxygen to your oxygen-hungry brain.

Exercising for brain health doesn’t need to be strenuous.

Walking is particularly beneficial for the brain as are exercises with a strong mind-body connection like yoga and tai chi.

Be Creative and Take up a Hobby

Craft hobbies may not be high art, but they are finally getting more attention for another reason.

They have the power to focus the brain similarly to meditation.

They act as a natural antidepressant and may protect against brain aging.

In one study knitting, particularly, got a big thumbs-up In a large study of more than 3,500 knitters, over 80% of those with depression reported feeling happy when they knitted.

Another study found that “purposeful activities” such as music, drawing, meditation, reading, arts and crafts, and doing home repairs specifically stimulated the neurological system and enhanced health and mental well-being. 

If you would like more information or to discuss assisted living or memory care options visit us at www.acaringhandformom.com  call 800-881-7706 today to speak with a local healthcare professional who can assist you right away.

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Healthy Aging and Brain Fitness

B2ap3 Large Brain

Healthy Aging and Brain Fitness

The brаіn is оnе of the соmрlеx оrgаnѕ іn our body. It is thе rооt оf consciousness. But lіkе оthеr parts оf our body, іt іѕ іmроrtаnt tо keep іt hеаlthу. Brain fitness іѕ kеу tо hеlріng us tо think, react and live a full lіfе.

Fіtnеѕѕ еntаіlѕ еxеrсіѕе аnd the brаіn responds tо this vеrу роѕіtіvеlу. Thеrе are a numbеr оf vеrу еffесtіvе еxеrсіѕеѕ you саn dо tо hеlр promote good hеаlth аnd brain fіtnеѕѕ. Thе brain rеасtѕ wеll whеn it іѕ properly stimulated. Sо the fіrѕt thіng to dо іѕ to mаkе ѕurе уоu provide your brаіn with асtіvіtіеѕ which ѕtіmulаtе аnd сhаllеngе it аnd dо a рrореr brаіn trаіnіng.

Wіthоut getting into specifics, thіѕ can еntаіl mеmоrу gаmеѕ, сrіtісаl thіnkіng gаmеѕ and оthеrѕ. There are еvеn ѕоmе ѕсіеntіfіс games whісh hаvе bееn ѕhоwn tо hеlр stimulate thе brain аnd асtіvаtе сеrtаіn kеу areas.

Thе bottom lіnе іѕ thаt іt іѕ vеrу important tо сhаllеngе your brаіn wіth асtіvіtіеѕ and exercises. Thе оthеr essential part оf brain trаіnіng entails рrоvіdіng it wіth рrореr nutrіеntѕ and wеll оxуgеnаtеd blооd. At a minimum, a healthy basic dіеt іѕ еѕѕеntіаl.

Eat рlеntу of whоlе vegetables, lean рrоtеіn аnd whоlе grains. Avoid preservatives and сhеmісаl аddіtіvеѕ аѕ much as роѕѕіblе. In ѕоmе саѕеѕ thеѕе аddіtіvеѕ can accumulate іn certain аrеаѕ of the body іnсludіng thе brаіn.

It іѕ аlѕо vеrу іmроrtаnt tо kеер уоur brаіn аnd brаіn сеllѕ free оf соntаmіnаntѕ аnd іnfесtіоn. Brаіn сеllѕ need tо ward оff аnу threats frоm еxtеrnаl аgеntѕ аnd gооd nutrіtіоn and antioxidants can gо a long wау towards іmрrоvіng this situation.

The Intеrnеt hаѕ a grеаt dеаl оf hеlрful іnfоrmаtіоn rеgаrdіng brаіn fіtnеѕѕ , there are online programs and local businesses that are set up to help stimulate your brain. Yоu саn fіnd the kіndѕ оf nutrіеntѕ  and super foods whісh are іmроrtаnt. Sресіfісаllу vitamins ѕuсh as Vitamin A, C, B, E and Omega 3 fatty acids as well as fish and other foods  have been fоund tо help thе brain ореrаtе more еffесtіvеlу. Look for our upcoming blog on these foods.

Thеrе аrе also mаnу good websites whісh саn рrоvіdе уоu wіth сhаllеngіng mеntаl еxеrсіѕеѕ. Kеер іn mіnd thаt ѕоmе еxеrсіѕеѕ аrе better suited to help сеrtаіn types оf brаіn funсtіоnіng аnd may bе аррrорrіаtе for dіffеrеnt age grоuрѕ. Fоr example certain kinds оf еxеrсіѕеѕ can bе hеlрful fоr уоungеr сhіldrеn who are developing ѕkіllѕ fоr language, ѕреаkіng, and other соgnіtіvе асtіvіtіеѕ.

And as реорlе аgе, the brаіn can lоѕе some оf іtѕ effectiveness. Mеmоrу саn оftеn become affected. Brain fіtnеѕѕ саn hеlр tо mаіntаіn memory аnd оthеr соgnіtіvе асtіvіtіеѕ at реаk еffісіеnсу.

So vеrу ѕіmрlу, tаkе care оf your brаіn аnd it will take care оf уоu.  Our next post on Thursday April 27th will provide you with concrete steps you can take to improve your Brains function and mental abilities.  So don't miss the next installment on Healthy Aging and Brain Fitness.  If you would like more information on what services are available to you or on memory care services near you visit www.acaringhandformom.com or call us today at 800-881-7706

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What are my options in independent living, assisted living and a group home and what is the difference between them?

Retirement is, for most people, the best period of their lives. They have a lot of free time when they can travel or engage in their favorite past time. With the kids grown up and a lovely husband/wife or companion, a person can enjoy a lot of time outdoors or meet with friends and spend time together; generally one can do whatever he/she wants. But as we age does not bring only positives; there are also downsides. Our bodies are incredible machines that are “designed” to help us survive in this world. But, as they grow older, certain functions which we take for granted may not come as easily as they did in the past. Eye-sight, problems with the joints, heart issues; all these are inherent once we grow older. As a result, more and more day-to-day tasks become more difficult, including maintaining a clean household our body, interacting with other people or ensuring the daily supply of goods and services. When the time arrives, it’s better to look for professional help, instead of opening the door to the possibility of harming ourselves. There are plenty of organizations out there that could provide help to us or our loved ones. The best known are senior living adult communities, places where lots of older adults live together and enjoy their retirement years. But these are not the only ones so contact the professionals like those at www.acaringhandformom.com to help you find all the resources in your area that best suit your needs.  Call them now at 800-881-7706,but let’s continue reading to find out more.

Most people opt for the most independent form of living possible depending on how early they chose to move in their retirement years and their health needs. A person’s options range from independent living and assisted living communities with villas or patio homes and apartments to group homes, which are also a smaller version of assisted living. 

The main characteristic of larger independent living communities is that in this type of residence individuals and couples living there have their own home or apartment and share common areas where they have many opportunities to socialize with other residents. The concept is built around common activities and a sense of belonging. Many of the residents in these facilities had been living alone in their homes or apartments before they decided to move there. The opportunity to socialize and make new friends again brings new meaning to life for so many. But as with everything your health plays an important role in utilizing these opportunities. The main aim of senior living facilities is to help residents live a happy and fulfilling life. The organization running the facility takes care of everything, from gardening, to a chef preparing meals which are served in the main restaurant style dining room, providing security and organizing various activities and events for residents. Because residents in these facilities can take care of themselves, medical assistance is not provided but many communities have access available to home health services onsite. Basically, senior living facilities help residents take it easy during the last part of their lives. Most residents would be able to live normal lives by themselves, but they like to enjoy a care-free time in a community setting.

Assisted living communities are geared more towards persons who genuinely require assistance usually because of a medical condition or physical need. Many people living in assisted living communities require attention when it comes to bathing, doing the laundry or other daily household chores. Doctors and nurses, as well as physiotherapists, in some cases, follow those residents who are living in assisted living residences while the staff provides care 24/7. The larger assisted living communities provide numerous social activities, including birthday celebrations, large holiday celebrations, dining in a restaurant style dining room, entertainment and community trips as well as transportation to local doctor’s offices.

On the other hand, a group home is literally a shared household of between 5-10 residents. The home provides assisted living care usually at a higher level than most bigger communities because of the caregivers close  proximity to the residents and their higher staffing levels then bigger communities usually 1-5 staffing ratio. Group homes provide a home like setting with homemade meals. Residents live normal lives and have either a private bedroom or shared accommodation’s based on their financial situation. Many people living in group homes require attention when it comes to bathing, doing the laundry or other daily household chores. Doctors and nurses, as well as physiotherapists, podiatrists come to the homes and follow those residents who are living there while the staff provides care all hours of the day and night. Depending on the residents psychological or physical abilities as well as their desire to participate in social programs, activities are provided for the residents.

Finally, financial issues also need to be taken into consideration. Costs vary widely depending on your location and the type of community or group home you chose.  In an independent living facility, residents pay rent and other fees like meal plans, external trips which vary from community to community. In assisted living communities residents also pay rent for their apartment and also pay for items such as medication administration and level of care fees which vary widely from $300-$2000 additional per month. In both independent living and assisted living communities resident usually provide their own furnishing for their apartments.  On the other hand, in group homes, the rent includes furniture and care costs are included, usually the only additional cost would be for incontinent supplies, doctor’s visits and medications which are usually covered by Medicare. Group homes are staffed by state certified caregiver’s as well as the manager who is also certified by the state.

I usually tell families if you are more of the social butterfly  and you are still able to participate in larger scale activities and programing the larger communities offer more opportunities for socialization.  Group homes offer more opportunities for supervision and closer monitoring.  If you fall in a larger community in your apartment you will need to be able to push your call button for help or it may be some time before knows you have fallen, if you live in a group home and call for help there is someone there who can hear you. Hopefully this information will prove useful when considering the options you have in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.  So call us today at 800-881-7706 for immediate assistance and visit our website at www.acaringhandformom.com.

 

 

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Creating a guide to help battle Dementia!

Creating a guide to help battle Dementia!

Our lives nowadays are so much different than the ones our grandparents and even our parents lived. People are pushed over their boundaries today, both at work and in their personal life, trying to achieve more and more due to the increasing demands of our society. Because of this, the body of a normal adult gets tired and worn out faster than the one of a person who was born in 1900, for example. That's why in developed countries the retirement age has been constantly decreasing ever since the 80's. This constant battle for survival and prosperity erodes the brain and its functions, increasing the incidence of brain diseases such as dementia. This disease manifests itself through the gradual loss of memory and several functions, including speaking, motor functions and emotions. The most known form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, the latter making up almost three-quarters of all diagnosed cases of dementia. But then, why doesn't every old man and woman have dementia nowadays? Well, because not all men and women are the same and, secondly and most importantly because there are recipes for avoiding dementia.

One golden rule is to stay involved in sports or to engage in physical activity at least 150 minutes (two hours and a half) every week. This helps the brain maintain its neuronal activity and keeps the body running. Aside from classical cardio or muscular training, it is helpful if you begin or continue some coordination and balance exercises, so that these functions of your brain are kept in perfect shape. Dementia and especially Alzheimer’s disease are characterized by frequent spills, from liquids to food, and these exercises target exactly these kinds of problems. Of course, after a certain age, it's not easy anymore to engage in physical activity. Start with minimal effort and increase the number of exercises as you go. This way, you'll protect your body from any kind of trauma. And, finally, speaking of trauma, the risk of dementia increases when one receives numerous blows to the head, due to the sports or by accident. Be careful, throughout your life, to always protect your head.

Next up comes our diet, which plays a very important part in the battle to prevent dementia. Sugars and fats are not just bad for your weight, but also for your brain. They increase blood sugar levels, eroding your brain and lagging in your thinking. Nowadays, most products, even the ones you wouldn't expect, like pasta, have plenty of sugar inside including high fructose corn syrup which is in many products and is one to avoid. Therefore, always make sure to read the label and check for additional sugar or fats before you buy a product. Try and follow a healthy a diet as possible and include in your daily meals products like beans or grilled poultry and fish. Not to mention the favourites of all doctors, fruits, and vegetables. Following a healthy diet will offer you all the right nutrients, vitamins and proteins that will help you live a long and dementia-free life.

Finally, another great means of battling dementia is social engagement. This will have a tremendous effect of stimulation on your brain, an increased number of social connections helping your neurons connect better with each other. What do we mean by social engagement? Basically, any activity that helps you meet new people, including hobbies, classes, volunteering, joining a club, or just leaving the house and going to the movies. All these will maintain your communication skills, as well as your emotional intelligence. In addition to socializing, some mental stimulation activities would be very welcome. This includes a wide range of activities, from signing up for a course and learning something new to playing games, charades, riddles or making puzzles. Your brain will stay sharp and your attention capacity will remain at high levels.

There you have it. While dementia can be a scary prospect for the latter years of your life, don't panic. If you keep with the rules we've laid on paper today, there's a much smaller chance of dementia occurring in the course of your lifetime. You might say to yourself that these rules are impossible to follow considering the amount of free time people have nowadays, but it's a matter of habit, and of safety; for your brain.  Don’t feel you are alone there are many groups and clubs you can join right in your area so don’t fall out of touch make new friends and live your life to its fullest. 

If you are interested in finding both independent and assisted living options in your area as well as information on senior center’s and activities in your area call us at 800-881-7706 or visit us online at www.acaringhandformom.com.

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When is your home no longer the best option?

Elderly Mother and Daughter

With age comes wisdom, an old saying goes. Most people reach retirement age without even realizing. Studying, then finding a job, building a career and a family, seeing your children grow old, and, afterwards, finally, your last day at work. But that doesn't mean it has to be the last day of your life. Plenty of couples grow old together and spend their retirement years travelling the world or enjoying their favorite hobbies. But, when you grow older, specific problems begin to occur, ranging from health issues to social matters. It's important to be conscientious about these problems and choose the best option for you and your loved ones.

Most people don't realize it, but age can take its toll. From a certain moment onwards, we need proper assistance to live a happy and fulfilling life. There are certain signs that we should look after in order to know when it's better to seek proper care. Probably the most obvious thing to look after is our physical and medical state. As they grow old, people tend to spend more time alone: children leave the household to build their own lives, the spouse or close relatives pass away. At the same time, our medical needs increase, ranging from issues that unavoidably occur with old age (eye problems, diabetes, loss of mobility) to more serious matters, such as Alzheimer, dementia or cancer. The kind of special care required by these conditions is hard to be provided at home, for an average-income family. Retirement facilities are adequately equipped and built for the purpose of taking care of people with medical conditions, being staffed with professional nurses, doctors and physiotherapists.  (Visit www.achfm.com or call 800-881-7706 for more information and resources in your area).

Depending on the level of income you've enjoyed during your working years, you might find it difficult to live from a mere pension. Certain people retire owning large properties and big houses. This can never be a bad thing, but even the maintenance of an average home can be tricky for a working adult. Unless you're very well off, from a certain age onwards, it will become increasingly more difficult for you to clean the house weekly, wash dishes, cook, mow the lawn or drive. This is perfectly normal, don't get me wrong, but when you feel that the daily chores you have to perform in order to keep the home in order are too much, then maybe it's a good idea to look at other options where you don’t need to worry about those things such as in a retirement community. These facilities provide cleaning services and maintain a neat and pleasant interior and exterior environment and you no longer have to worry about maintaining or repairing your home.

The number one problem older persons everywhere talk about is loneliness. Over a certain age, after the children have left the "nest" and the spouse or life partner has passed away, an older person tends to spend most of his/her time alone. Social dynamics change and one of the reasons behind this change is also psychological and physical health. As our neighbors move away and we become less mobile people it becomes harder to make new friends and we become isolated in our homes.  Retirement communities and even group homes are well equipped with programs and materials in order to ensure that new residents spend plenty of time together, socializing, discussing or playing games. These programs can be quite fun and renew ones spirit with new purpose for getting up in the morning or going to dinner with friends.

One last sign, call it more a warning light, would be the financial matters behind a person's needs. After a certain age, people find it difficult to continue to pay mortgages or rent, bills or cleaning ladies, as well as for the daily supply of groceries and services. Joining a retirement home might seem like quite a challenge financially, but it helps you manage money in the long term. With all costs included in the rent, the elder person has nothing to worry about with regard to paying bills or buying food or setting the thermostat at a certain temperature.

There you have it. The last part of our lives can be the experience that we've dreamt of all the time: vacations, socializing and a warming home. Nevertheless, we always have to consider what is best for our health, our well-being and safety. Everything's an opportunity, so don't miss  yours.

Learn about what options are available in Arizona at www.achfm.com or call us today at 800-881-7706.  We will help you explore affordable options that are right for you and your family.  Whether it is socialization and activities or gourmet meals in a large dining room with friends at one of the independent and assisted living communities or assisted living care in a home like setting either at a larger community or in local Group Home with home cooked meals and 24 hour care we are here for you.  So call us today at 800-881-7706.

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What Caregivers Can Do to Care for Themselves

 

 Caregiver, A Caring Hand for Mom, Arizona

 

 

 

What Caregivers Can Do to Care for Themselves

 

One of the most important things mesothelioma cancer caregivers can do — but often forget —is to take care of themselves. The reasoning is simple: The better you feel; the better care you will provide.

 

Caring for a loved one with mesothelioma can be a richly rewarding experience. But it also can be a daunting responsibility that overwhelms a caregiver over time.

 

Caregiving, for most people, is not a planned role. It comes by chance, usually because of a family member’s misfortune. It is taken as an act of love or devotion, yet it still can be emotionally and physically draining.

 

Don’t let that happen — or everyone loses.

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Living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

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If you suspect a loved one is showing signs of dementia and Alzheimer's, seek medical care immediately. Getting an early diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s will come as a shock, no doubt, but early detection offers treatments for dementia that can help your loved one maintain optimal functioning. Even if you have been half expecting a dementia diagnosis, it will come as a blow. Getting support and reassurance will help with the initial upset. However, there is much that you can do in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and Dementia that will help make life easier and more enjoyable - now and in the future.

Alzheimer's Treatment

Drugs are not the only way to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Natural Cures

Many people want natural treatments for Alzheimer's. Natural methods do have a lot to offer, and by using them along with medication, AD can be slowed enough to give many more years of quality life. Natural methods can include supplements such as antioxidants, mental exercises, and physical exercises. Even simple things such as reducing stress and getting enough sleep can help to slow down AD.

Mental Exercise

Working the brain can help keep Alzheimer's at bay. It's a bit like using your muscles. The more they are used the better they work and the stronger they are. You can grow new neurons and synapses by exercising your brain which helps your memory, and the good news is, it's never too late to start.

 

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Healthy Ways to Combat Alzheimer's or dementia

Alzheimer's and Dementia

Healthy Ways to Combat Alzheimer's or dementia

Per experts, the best way to fight off Alzheimer's or dementia is by keeping your brain active and eating a healthy diet.

As people get older their brain’s intelligence is put under strain.

Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain have found in their study that having a higher level of vocabulary is one factor that helps prevent Alzheimer's or dementia. There are several other factors that can help you or your loved ones protect against Alzheimer's in their old age.

There are many studies that link one or the other factor to lower the risk of dementia. However, it’s unlikely that a single factor will be able to prevent this condition. The best way you can ward off the risk of dementia is by following a healthy life style.

Here are some healthy ways you can cut down your risk of developing Alzheimer's or dementia:

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