How to be prepared in Case of Emergency!

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Regardless of who or how, when an emergency strikes there are a few critical items that will make all the difference in the world for those left standing to pick up the pieces.  This information is not age dependent. 
 

  • Keep a list of your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts in your wallet/purse and on your refrigerator.  (If you put your ICE contacts in your phone, that’s great as long as your phone is not password protected).  Go deep beyond just your spouse.  Add your children, a best friend, or neighbor – whoever your go-to is if and when you have a problem.  Have a back-up.  Couples get in accidents or serious situations together and then who else is there to notify?
     
  • Keep a CURRENT list of serious afflictions and medications in your wallet/purse AND your refrigerator or cupboard, so it’s accessible for first responders.  Include anything you are allergic to – both medications and items such as nuts or shellfish.  Do this for your spouse/loved one too.  Children should keep a list of their parents’ medications with them as well, especially if they are the back-up person who will respond to an emergency.
     
  • Include a tactful note sharing that your loved one has Dementia and cannot be left alone.  First responders will take spouses to the ER with them so there is supervision until family or a homecare agency can rescue them.
     
  • Review your Power of Attorney information to make sure it is current, and your designees are both willing and able to fulfill the roles you have asked of them.  Make sure that your documents are in synch with Arizona law if they were prepared elsewhere.  Most attorneys will review these documents for free.

Being prepared is crucuial and can save your life  by giving those attempting to asses your current healthcare needs the tools they will need to properly assess your condition. We are here for you at " A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad)" we are here to help you so please visit our website www.acaringhandformom.com for more information and call us at 800-881-7706.

This information was originally written by Carol Poker-Yount and shared with permission

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How to Find the Best Scottsdale Assisted Living Facilities

It's a well known fact that the mere decision to move your elderly loved one to into assisted living in Scottsdale is one of the hardest choices you'll have to face. However, there are multitudes of resources out there, all devoted to helping make this difficult transition easier to face. Before you can get your senior loved one moved into their new home, you must first take on the job of picking out the perfect Scottsdale assisted living center. Keep reading to learn just how to approach your search for an assisted living facility that can best suit your senior loved one's needs.

Obtain Your Research from a Qualified referral agency, it can save you thousands

Don't dismiss the amount of help a qualified referral agency can offer as they can save you thousands of dollars because they are familiar with the various communities and specials in the area that they may be offering. Take advantage of these resources to find the highest quality Scottsdale assisted living facilities. Although the Internet may appear to be a valuable resource a qualified referral agent is similar to a realtor in that they know the communities in your area the specials that are available and they can help you match those services to your needs and save you thousands of dollars in the process. The agents at A Caring Hand for Mom (and dad) are licensed Healthcare professionals who will not only provide you with the contact information you need to reach out to different facilities, but they will set up tours for you and will even tour with you to help you understand all the services a community may offer or may not offer that the communities marketing representatives may not disclose. As you look around at different assisted living centers, they will help you to discern the facility's true quality and whether they're worth investigating further.

Take a Tour

Of course, ratings and reviews can only offer so much information. Once you've narrowed down your list based on what you've read, it's time to go and observe the facility for yourself. The staff at A caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) will call the facilities for assisted living in Scottsdale, AZ ahead of time to schedule a proper tour. Most facilities will be willing to show you and your elderly loved one around. Now is the perfect chance to get their opinion on their potential new living spaces and start to ease them into the moving process. Look into every facet of life at the center. Ask the staff about entertainment and socialization options for residents, as well as nutrition and dining options and the quality and size of bedrooms and shared areas. You should also make note of the staff's general disposition as well. A team of staff that seems unfriendly or dismissive is the first sign of an assisted living center to be avoided.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Ideally, you should make more than one visit to the facilities you're considering. You will more than likely have more questions than can be addressed in one visit, so additional trips offer the chance of additional conversations about your concerns. Try not to schedule every one of your visits to a center for senior living in Scottsdale, AZ. The act of dropping in will let you gain a better glimpse of what each facility is like on the average day, in turn letting you know what you can expect for your senior loved one's day to day life.

A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad!) offers the most comprehensive listings of senior living facilities in the Scottsdale area. Call us at 800.881.7706 or visit our website today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you.

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The Toughest Conversation: Your Parent and Assisted Living

There's no denying that the decision to place an elderly loved one in assisted living is a tough decision. However, it's the matter of informing your loved one about that decision that, for many, is all the more terrifying. If you're in this exact situation, don't fret! Hundreds of people across the state (and even the country) find themselves in the same boat each and every year. It's completely understandable and common to encounter difficulties with telling your elderly parent of your decision. After all, you will essentially be uprooting them from their longtime home and their sense of independence for a totally new environment and way of living. To help you know how to say and what to anticipate, here are a few suggestions to help you approach your senior loved one.

Start Slowly

Don't throw all the details about your parent's move to assisted living on them all at once. The very concept will likely prove to be a huge shock to the system. Allow your parent the time and space they need to absorb this change by introducing them to the reality of it as slowly as possible. Don't make the decision sound completely absolute. Your parent is still an adult, regardless of their current level of ability, and should still be treated as such. When you first bring up the topic of assisted living in Surprise, AZ, ask your parent how they'd feel about the idea of moving to such a facility. Additionally, you may not want to refer to assisted living under those exact terms, as it can be jarring to hear. You can instead call it a "senior community," or a similar term, if you believe it will help with your parent's comfort.

Understand Their Concerns

It is highly likely that your parent will have at least a few reservations regarding their potential move to assisted living in Surprise, AZ. If so, now is not the time to argue with them. Doing so will more than likely just force them to dig their heels in about the issue. Instead, talk calmly and compassionately with them. Get to the bottom of just what aspects of moving to assisted living bothers them. For some, it may be the perceived lack of independence. Others may worry about their current home and what will happen to it once they leave. By getting to know exactly what aspects of assisted living intimidate your parent, you can help them find a comforting solution to the issue.

Illuminate the Bright Side

Your parent should enter assisted living in Surprise, AZ with the knowledge that the experience does not represent a loss so much as a new beginning. Try and talk with your parent about the advantages assisted living will bring to their lives. This could include much better healthcare, a chance to meet new friends, increased freedom from financial burdens or a similar benefit. Try to tie the advantages in with matters that may have been a source of worry for your elderly loved one previously.

A Caring Hand for Mom is here to help you with every step of the process as you move your senior loved one to assisted living in Surprise, AZ. Call us at 800.881.7706 or visit our website to learn more about our services.

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Making the Move: Your Parent’s Adjustment to Assisted Living

Moving is always a difficult transition. However, it can be especially tough to adjust to for seniors who have had to relocate from their hard-earned homes to assisted living in Peoria, AZ. They will be effectively leaving behind everything they know, everything that has brought them comfort and security in the past, to live in a strange new place. Assisted living may also serve as a deep reminder of your senior parent's growing limitations, making the adjustment that much worse to bear. Luckily, you can help make the move to assisted living a bit easier to deal with. Keep reading for tips on how to help your parent make the most of their new living situation.

Offer Them a Bit of Comfort From Home

One way you can help with your parent's move to assisted living in Peoria, AZ is by encouraging them to include some of their favorite mementos from home. This may include decorations, knickknacks, family photos, heirlooms or other sentimental items your loved one may not want to part with. They can arrange these items around their new bedroom at the assisted living center to remind them that home is never too far away.

Get Involved

When your parent first moves into assisted living in Peoria, AZ, their adjustment may be hampered by feelings of isolation. They will be surrounded by strangers while already dealing with immense changes to their routine and self-sufficiency. Try to visit with your parent as often as possible during this time and beyond. You can also encourage your parent to try and make friends with those around them, whether by taking part in activities in the surrounding area, or within the facility itself. Many assisted living facilities in Peoria will offer their residents a variety of fun things to do and accomplish during their time there. This prevents boredom and will help your parent to make new friends.

Reaching Out

Remember: your parent had their own thriving life prior to their move to assisted living. They had old coworkers, friends and neighbors they spoke to on a regular basis. Help your parent maintain those connections however possible. If they mainly contacted their friends and family by phone, you can purchase a cell phone for them or request a land line be added to their room. Alternatively, you can keep their room stocked with stationery, writing tools, envelopes and stamps so they can send letters to others. If your senior loved one is especially computer savvy, you might get them a laptop or tablet so they can Skype or email with their outside friends. This bit of familiarity will ultimately go a long way!

Getting Acquainted

Ideally, you'll want to help your parent adjust to their new living space long before they actually arrive there. Attend events and routines together so you can both gain a sense of what the facility is like. Having prior familiarity with the center will make it a bit more familiar and the move less jarring to deal with.

At A Caring Hand for Mom, we are 100 percent dedicated to helping senior loved ones gain access to only the most comfortable assisted living environments. Give us a call at 800.881.7706 or visit our website to learn more about how we can help!

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Israeli researchers discover Alzheimer’s trigger

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Israeli researchers discover Alzheimer’s trigger

Researchers at Be'er Sheva's Ben-Gurion University discover protein which may be key to preventing Alzheimer's.

Ben-Gurion University via JTA, 21/10/17 19:47re

Israeli researchers have discovered that the amount of a specific protein is severely reduced in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease caused by brain cell death. Currently there is no cure, but according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), we now know what may trigger it.

Dr. Debbie Toiber, of the BGU Department of Life Sciences, and her team discovered that a specific protein — Sirtuin-6 (SIRT6) — is severely reduced in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. SIRT6 is critical to the repair of DNA, the deterioration of which “is the beginning of the chain that ends in neurodegenerative diseases in seniors,” she explains.

Dr. Toiber and her team are examining DNA damage as the cause of aging and age-related diseases. DNA in each cell breaks down due to natural causes, such as metabolism and the usage of the DNA to produce proteins. She discovered that as a person ages, the amount of the SIRT6 protein in the brain declines. In fact, according to Dr. Toiber, “In Alzheimer’s patients, it is almost completely gone.”

The blood-brain barrier prevents us from simply being able to inject the protein into the brain to replenish its supply. Dr. Toiber is currently working on finding a way to increase the expression of the protein into the brain.

When the DNA is damaged, Dr. Toiber elaborates, it may lose important information. “If a cell feels it is too dangerous to continue with this damaged DNA, it may activate a self-destruct mechanism. If too many cells do this, the tissue with the dying cells will deteriorate, such as the brain.”

DNA damage is inevitable on some level by simply living, with the environment causing additional damage. “We repair it and continue going on. But the repairs are not perfect and some DNA remains unrepaired. As you get older, unrepaired DNA accumulates.”

Dr. Toiber acknowledges that healthy habits like good diet and exercise might make a difference in our DNA health. She points out that engaging in sports and even working past retirement can challenge the body in positive ways, preparing your cells to react more readily and thus be more likely able to repair themselves.

Even so, you can’t avoid the effects of aging entirely. “You have to remember that half of everyone over the age of 95 will get Alzheimer’s,” she says. “It is not something genetic or environmental. That may influence it a little bit, but when there is a 50-50 chance of getting Alzheimer’s, it demonstrates that it just happens over a lifetime.”

She concludes, “We should be focusing our research on how to maintain production of SIRT6 and improve the repair capacity of the DNA damage that leads to neurodegenerative diseases.”

This article was shared from Isreali national news.

If you are struggling with caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia and are considering alternative care or just need support call us today at 800-881-7706 and visit our website www.acaringhandformom.com for information on Arizona assisted Living options.  Our staff consists of licensed healthcare professionals who can help guide you throughout the transition and find a local memory care options near you, so call us today at 800-881-7706.

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Alzheimer's Treatment Advancements

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Alzheimer’s disease is one of the commonest memory disorders and causes progressive irreversible memory loss and cognitive functions. This disorder is marked by cognitive, behavioral, impairments that interfere with social and occupational functions. This disorder affects the hippocampus which is involved in encoding memories, spatial memories and recalling memories. Alzheimer’s disease is classified into mild, moderate and severe Alzheimer’s based on the symptoms and signs of the disease.

People with mild Alzheimer’s will, show memory loss, confusion, takes a long time to do daily tasks, have issues handling financial tasks, have compromised judgment, changes in mood, personality, and increased anxiety. In the moderate form apart from the above, they will have difficulty in logical thinking, agitation, delusions, hallucinations, loss of impulse control, and motor impairment such as trouble getting out of a chair. In the severe form of the disease, they will have weight loss, seizures, lack of bladder and bowel control. Severe Alzheimer’s patients won’t be able to recognize family, and will not be able to communicate effectively.

In the past few years, treatment and management of Alzheimer’s have been revolutionized with so many research evidence coming to light. It has been a century since the discovery of the disease in 1906. 1970-1979 was termed the modern research era in Alzheimer’s. In the year 1984, beta-Amyloid was identified as one on of the major pathogenic causative proteins that cause plaque formation in the brain memory areas like hypothalamus. Based on this new concept many hypotheses were made for treatment.  In 1987 the first Alzheimer drug trial was imitated.  In the year 2012, the first major clinical trial in Alzheimer prevention was started.

The treatment for Alzheimer’s has been revolutionized in the past few years with the United States Food and Drug Authority (FDA) approving many new drugs like  cholinesterase inhibitors (Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne) and memantine (Namenda) to treat the cognitive symptoms (memory loss, confusion, and problems with thinking and reasoning). But, the noncurable nature of the disease has led to many other alternative treatment options and management plans to help improve the quality of life in the patients and help them extend their living years.

Many alternative treatment plans have been developed which focuses on specific nutrient values of certain foods, coconut and coconut oil, Concerns, Coenzyme Q10, Coral calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids and other foods. The use of special diet plans and memory enhancing exercises have been practiced currently to prolong the onset of symptoms.

With all these new researches and discoveries, it is difficult for caregivers to stay up to date and provide optimal efficient care for the adults suffering from Alzheimer's. Assisted living centers have been built with one aim in mind. That is to provide the most effective and latest care for their residents based on modern evidence-based medicine.

Memory care in Surprise AZ, Assisted living in Surprise AZ,  and assisted living Glendale AZ,  are specially made with this concept in the foundation. The specially trained staff and nurses at Assisted living facility will be able to prove the latest practices of Alzheimer disease management for your loved one.

Another new advancement and a recent development in the Alzheimer disease management practiced at Memory care in Surprise AZ, Assisted living in Surprise AZ, and assisted living Glendale AZ are the memory-enhancing exercises.  The special quizzes, puzzels, and cognitive enhancing exercises have been proven to delay the progression of the disease.

Not just that Assisted Living facilities like the one in Surprise AZ and Assisted Living in Arizona have special lie style modification programs where residents can work out and engage in aerobic exercises at least 40 minutes per day as recommended by Alzheimer awareness and prevention guidelines that have been proved to reduce the disease progression.

With all these latest medical advancements and tends in the treatment. Your loved ones will receive the best care at Assisted Living facilities and will be able to live a longer life, and cope better with the disease.

References:

 Erickson, K., Voss, M., Prakash, R., Basak, C., Szabo, A., & Chaddock, L. et al. (2017). Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Pnas.org. Retrieved 19 September 2017, from http://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/3017.abstract

Sciencedaily.com. Retrieved 11 September 2017, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/health_medicine/alzheimer's/

Folch, J., Petrov, D., Ettcheto, M., Abad, S., S&amp, & pez, E. et al. (2017). Current Research Therapeutic Strategies for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment. Hindawi.com. Retrieved 19 September 2017, from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/8501693/

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NEW MEDICAL TRENDS ON STAYING HEALTHY AS WE GET OLDER

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New medical trends on staying healthy as we get older

The world is facing a situation where we soon will have more older adults over the age of 65 than children and more people at extreme old age than ever before. With this drastic change, more attention should be paid to the health of our aging population people.

 Nowadays the most common problem faced by aging people is memory impairment. Some deterioration in cognition and memory with the age is natural, but some cases associated with the declining of mental functions can signal a risk. Such a condition is termed as ‘Dementia’ which can cause profound effects on individual’s health and well-being. The final stage of the disease usually means a loss of memory, reasoning, speech and other cognitive functions. Estimates reveal that there were 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015 and this number will reach 131.5 million in 2050. ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ is the most common form of dementia and more recent analyses have estimated the worldwide number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease-dementia is at between 27 million and 36 million.

Most of the memory and cognition impairments occur due to the weakening and loss of neuronal functions in the brain. This process cannot be restored completely but the disease progression could be slowed. Although medications are available in the health sector, they are not yet proved to cure these impairments.

 According to recent studies, researchers were able to identify that lifestyle practices such as leisure pursuits, educational activities and intellectual engagement are associated with the successful maintenance of cognition with aging. Many studies have investigated that physical activity enhances cognition as cardiovascular fitness increases cerebral blood flow and oxygen delivering to the brain, increasing neuron formation and maintaining brain volume. It was also found that social support and engagement in social activities lower mortality outcomes similar to physical exercises. Apart from that nutrition has been identified as a critical factor in improving abnormal cognitive decline including dementia.

Assisted living facilities are able to fulfill all these necessities to improve their quality of life. The assisted living facility is either a facility/community setting or provided in a group home setting that is designed for those individuals who need assistance with daily activities. Basically, they provide assistance in daily living activities, coordination of services by outside health care providers, short-term respite care, lodging and coordination of resident activities to ensure one's health, safety and well-being.

Assisted Living Peoria AZ facilities as well as most Arizona assisted living facilities have well-trained staff members who have been trained to meet the unique needs of cognitively impaired people. They tailor a care plan for each resident specifically aligned with each resident’s needs. Cognitively impaired people sometimes behave aggressively; so they understand the common problems faced by the residents and act with compassion and care according to the situation. Having dementia makes it difficult for people to do many practical things. The staff helps to reduce the impact of these practical difficulties and help the person to feel as independent as possible.

People with dementia often experience changes in their emotional response. Depression and anxiety are more common in them for the fear of staying away from family members and thinking about their future. In those situations assisted living facilities work to improve the mental status of residents by facilitating joint activities with friends and family, joining the hobby groups encouraging conversations by organizing entertainers, singing event, physical fitness programs, creative activities, and games.

Assisted Living Peoria AZ facilities are also well equipped with skilled staff and dieticians who are well aware of nutritional needs of cognitively impaired people. Diet plans for each resident are supervised and necessary changes are made for further improvement. They are implemented with caregivers and nurses who assist residents with health care. Most importantly the privacy of the residents is preserved.

Therefore, with improved healthcare supervision and opportunities for socialization and participation in activities Assisted living facilities improve the well-being of senior citizens and ensure a good quality of life for their future needs.

Reference

 Williams, K., & Kemper, S. (2010). Exploring Interventions to Reduce Cognitive Decline in Aging. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 48(5), 42–51. http://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20100331-03

Services Provided - Assisted Living Facilities. (2017). Assistedlivingfacilities.org. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from https://www.assistedlivingfacilities.org/resources/services-provided/

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Helpful Tips to Increase Senior Longevity

If you are like most people, you want to spend as much time as possible with your senior loved ones. Unfortunately, when it comes to longevity, the U.S. is somewhat behind other areas of the world. Women, on average, live 83.3 years and men 79.5. However, even though this is the average, it doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to help improve your senior loved ones longevity, even if they reside in a Phoenix based assisted living facility.

Stay Focused on Exercise and Nutrition

If you have a senior loved one who lives in assisted living in Phoenix, AZ, you should make sure they are eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet and that they get plenty of physical activity. The good news is that the majority of assisted living facilities put a priority on these things, but it is still a good idea to check for yourself. The better your senior loved one eats and the more exercise they get, the longer they will live.

Get Regular Doctor’s Exams

There are some seniors who view going to the doctor as scary or something they want to avoid. However, part of quality elderly care in Phoenix, AZ is getting regular checkups at the doctor’s office. These checkups ensure the seniors health is good and can discover any potential issues early on. This is not a part of senior care that should be ignored.

If you have a senior loved one who is living in an assisted living community, there are still things you can do to help extend their life. You can work with the senior living management team in Phoenix, AZ to ensure your loved one remains happy and healthy.

Here are some additional tips to consider:

1. Afternoon fatigue - Fatigue is a common problem among older adults, especially after lunch. Having a glass of water and a high-antioxidant food like a prune can revitalize the body and stimulate the mind. I personally found that taking enough Folic acid each with my vitamins really helps.

2. Exercise your brain - Keeping the brain active and fit is imperative to the health of older adults. Not only does it help delay the effects of memory-loss illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it also fosters executive function. Try word games and recall exercises. For example, play memory games like we did with our children like finding 5 objects of the same color during a walk in the neighborhood and recall them when back home.

3. Use walking poles to allow for more balanced mobility. For some people they can be used instead of walkers or canes but talk to your doctor first. Walking with poles engages the muscles of the upper body, which increases upper-body strength and cardiovascular endurance.

4. Dine with friends - Those who share meals with others eat less than those who eat alone. This is an easy weight-loss tactic and one that fosters social interaction and engagement. While this is easy for those aging in community setting, older adults aging at home can plan to have meals with family or friends as often as possible each week.

5. Do different things - Change things up, if you like doing crossword puzzles start from different spots on the grid. If you like to paint start from a different point on the surface you are painting. Routine limits brain stimulation. Introduce new ways of cooking the same food try new reciepies. For example, replace canned peaches with freshly sliced ones. Also, try taking a different route to the grocery store or shopping center.

6. Foot Support - As we age, the fat pads on the bottom of their feet compress, creating fatigue and pain. Consider wearing supportive shoes or inserting foot pads for better stability and comfort or socks that have extra padding and a wicking agent to keep feet dry and comfortable.

7. Fats: Out with the bad, in with the good - Older adults with an increased genetic risk for dementia can reduce the risk by increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. These fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, olive oil and green leafy vegetables, can reduce brain inflammation, a contributing factor of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

8. Decrease salt - High blood pressure, which can lead to strokes and a significant decline in cognitive function, often increases with age. As adults get older, the sense of taste also fades, leading to a desire for more salt on food to enhance flavor. Decreasing salt intake by putting down the shaker or changing it to other non salt flavor enhancers like Mrs. Dash salt substitute or salsa.

9. Balancing act - In addition to exercises that build strength and improve flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, make sure to add balance activities to the daily routine. Good balance requires maintaining a center of gravity over the base of support. Tai chi, yoga, walking on challenging surfaces and water exercises all enhance overall balance.

10. Dance like there’s no tomorrow - Older adults getting regular physical exercise are 60 percent less likely to get dementia. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and releases a protein that strengthens cells and neurons. Dance involves all of the above, plus the cerebral activity present in learning and memory.

Find out more about caring for your senior loved one by visiting the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website or call us at 800-881-7706

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Tips to Help Seniors Suffering from Arthritis

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While most people experience soreness and creaky joints from time to time, these pains can change from a seasonal nuisance to a more serious condition as you age called arthritis. If your senior loved one is suffering from this condition, then you will be happy to learn that there is help for arthritis pain. While the medical professionals at the various assisted living facilities in Surprise, AZ may offer some help, additional steps you can take are found here.

Find the Right Type of Exercise

Telltale symptoms of arthritis include tiredness, swelling, reduced flexibility and joint pain. While medication can be somewhat beneficial for these effects, the right types of exercise can also be helpful. Since fatigue can be a serious issue for seniors, it is recommended that all exercises are low-impact and include things such as light weight lifting, swimming, walking, stretching and yoga. There are many assisted living facilities in Surprise, AZ that offer these classes to residents.

Avoid Eating Certain Foods

Doctors have suggested that if your senior loved one suffers from arthritis pain, they should reduce their intake of alcohol, gluten, sugar and salt. All of these foods can lead to increased swelling, which will make arthritis symptoms and pain worse. While this can be challenging, you should be able to speak with the staff at the assisted living in Surprise, AZ facilities where your senior lives or moves into, to ensure these dietary restrictions are kept in mind.

When it comes to arthritis pain, there is no question that it can be debilitating. It can result in serious mobility issues and other problems. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help the pain and discomfort if this condition presents. There are also several new medications that can help ease the pain and loss of movement so speak with your physician about what medications would be appropriate as well as herbal products you may be considering taking as medications interact with each other so it is best to seek medical advice before starting anything new to ease the pain. Here is a list of several Herbal Products that have also been touted as helpful in treating Arthritis symptoms.

The below is information is from Arthritis.org and the Arthritis foundation

Research hasn't always kept pace with the popularity of supplements. But more natural medicines are being put to the test in well-designed clinical trials. Here are nine supplements that are backed by science and shown to be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) and arthritis-related conditions.

SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine)

How it works: SAM-e acts as an analgesic (pain reliever) and has anti-inflammatory properties. It may stimulate cartilage growth and also affects neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which reduce pain perception. Two studies have shown that it relieves OA symptoms as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with fewer side effects and more prolonged benefit.
Best for: osteoarthritis
Also used for: fibromyalgia

Boswellia Serrate (Indian frankincense)

How it works: The active components (Boswellic acids) have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It also may help prevent cartilage loss and inhibit the autoimmune process. In a 2008 study, the extract, also known as Loxin 5, significantly improved OA pain and function within seven days. An Indian study also revealed it slowed cartilage damage after three months of use. 
Best for: osteoarthritis

Capsaicin (Capsicum frutescens)

How it works: Capsaicin temporarily reduces substance P, a pain transmitter. Its pain-relieving properties have been shown in many studies, including a 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research, which revealed a 50 percent reduction in joint pain after three weeks of use. It is available as a topical cream, gel or patch.
Best for: osteoarthritis
Also used for: rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia

Tumeric/Curcumin (Curcuma longa)

How it works: Curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that can reduce joint pain and swelling by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. A 2010 clinical trial using a turmeric supplement showed long-term improvement in pain and function in patients with knee OA. A small 2012 study using a curcumin product, BCM-95, showed more reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active RA when compared to diclofenac sodium.
Best for: osteoarthritis
Also used for: rheumatoid arthritis

Avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)

How it works: ASU blocks pro-inflammatory chemicals, prevents deterioration of synovial cells, which line joints, and may help regenerate normal connective tissue. A large three-year study published in 2013 showed that ASU significantly reduced progression of hip OA compared with placebo. A 2008 meta-analysis found that ASU improved symptoms of hip and knee OA, and reduced or eliminated NSAID use.
Best for: osteoarthritis

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)

How it works: Cat’s claw is an anti-inflammatory that inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a target of powerful RA drugs. It also contains compounds that may benefit the immune system. A small 2002 trial showed it reduced joint pain and swelling by more than 50 percent compared with placebo. Look for a brand that is free of tetra-cyclic oxindole alkaloids.
Best for: rheumatoid arthritis

Fish Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA)

How it works: Omega-3s block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins, and are converted by the body into powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolvins. EPA and DHA have been extensively studied for RA and dozens of other inflammatory conditions. A 2010 meta-analysis found that fish oil significantly decreased joint tenderness and stiffness in RA patients and reduced or eliminated NSAID use.
Best for: rheumatoid arthritis
Also used for: osteoarthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome

Some other notable items:

  • Aloe vera.

  • Eucalyptus. ...

  • Ginger.

  • Green tea

  • Thunder god vine.

Learn more about helping your senior live pain free or when it is time to look at assisted living options visit A Caring Hand for Mom and Dad website or call us at 800-881-7706.

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Questions to Ask when Searching for an Assisted Living Facility

If you are currently caring for an aging loved one, or have discovered they are not doing well living on their own, then it may be time to look into Scottsdale assisted living options. With assisted living, your loved one can have a safe and stable place to live, where they will receive the care they need and you as well as the rest of your family can visit them often. However, before choosing a facility, make sure to ask the questions found here.

Do they conduct tours for potential residents and their families?

While all assisted living facilities in Scottsdale offer tours for anyone interested in their location it is important especially in larger communities to schedule an appointment in advance. The reason for this is a tour in a community can take up to an hour and the staff schedule tours throughout the day so you want to be assured someone is available so you don’t have to sit around and wait or comeback at another time. The marketing representative will want to learn about your loved ones preferences and care needs as well as give you a tour of the property. While you can do some research online, you can’t know for sure what a location is like until you see for yourself. When you visit, make sure to take your loved one along. They need to see and feel comfortable in the location that is ultimately selected.

What security features do they have in place?

Each senior is different, which means their needs are different, as well. As a result, everyone is going to require a certain level of care from the Scottsdale assisted living facilities. Make sure to ask about what security the location has in place to ensure the wellbeing of your loved one. Find out about accessibility, protocol for emergencies and more. This will provide you peace of mind that your loved one will be well cared for at the assisted living facility you choose.

If you are ready to find a senior living facility in Scottsdale, AZ that is right for you and your loved one, make sure to ask the questions here. Doing so will help you narrow down the options and find the best one. You may try to find a facility on your own but using a professional to help you can have many benefits to you and your loved one. Agencies like A Caring Hand for Mom are staffed by licensed healthcare professionals who are familiar with the communities and group homes in your area, the “specials” they may be running that can save you thousands of dollars, as well as help negotiate the rates for you. A Caring Hand for Mom can also help you to determine if the care the facility provides and financial requirements will be right for your loved one on a long-term basis. It is like trying to find a home on your own rather than using a realtor, except the staff of A Caring Hand for Mom are all experienced, licensed healthcare professionals.

Find out more about senior living and choosing a facility by visiting the A Caring Hand for Mom and Dad website and calling them at 800-881-7706.

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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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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. 

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