Tech Savvy Baby Boomer: Staying Connected

zooming‘Zoom’ became an action verb during the early weeks of the Coronavirus pandemic for all of us.

However, no group was more drastically impacted by face-to-face encounters shifting to the digital world than Baby Boomers and the elderly.

Because of COVID-19, many retirement homes like Maple Manor Christian Home responded proactively, restricting visitors with the tenant’s health interests in mind. But simultaneously, they leveraged visual communication like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to help keep their seniors connected. In doing so, these seniors were able to ‘virtually visit’ their loved ones.

Now that we are starting to see the end of the pandemic, many things will slowly return to normalcy. But one thing looks to remain: the usage of digital technology by older generations that did not grow up with it.

We Never Stop Learning

From birth on, the human mind continuously develops. This means we never stop learning, as evidenced in the reality that more members of the Baby Boomer generation and above are familiarizing themselves with digital technology.

They are opening themselves up to a whole new world of communication with their loved ones, even when those loved ones cannot be there in person. Additionally, these seniors now have the privilege to stay connected to the world through news, literature, music, and more.

There are certainly plenty of setbacks and areas of caution that seniors just learning how to work with digital technology must be aware of; however, just as easily as they are learning to work with these exponential tools, they can learn to use them safely. If you are a Baby Boomer or part of any other senior generation, explore the following digital options.

Options In Tech

The connectivity provided by the Internet and digital devices has been proven to keep an older individual’s mind active. It is wise to start simple; enjoy entertainment media by way of streaming your favorite music, watching your favorite movies and TV programs, or reading books digitally.

Obviously, social media is an even more interactive way to make digital technology part of your daily routine. This is a primary way to stay connected to your loved ones when they are unavailable to video chat, but when utilizing social media, make certain you only connect with those you know to avoid spam and scams.

Thirdly, game apps are extremely engaging, interactive, fun, and completely secure to use without needing to provide any personal information. For example, card game apps are generally played against anonymous, but real, players from all around the world.

A Tech-Friendly Christian Home

At Maple Manor Christian Home, digital technology and its benefits are whole-heartedly embraced. With a caring, knowledgeable staff, tenants get the unique ability to learn from those well-versed in technology; therefore, they can help you or your loved one stay connected and engaged with the world.

Call 812-246-4866 for a tour of Maple Manor and to learn more about us today!

Preserving Memory As We Age

medical modelTry to think of a strong memory of your childhood; chances are your earliest memories are from when you were very young. In fact, research has indicated that most people’s earliest memories, on average, date back to when they were 3½ years old. As you age and those memories collect, it’s an even further library index to retrieve them.

Everyone wants to preserve their memory as they age, and the good news is, studies indicate it can be done. Here are some tips from Healthline that could help preserve your memory as you age.

Eat Less Added Sugar

Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline. Research has shown that a sugar-laden diet can lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume, particularly in the area of the brain that stores short-term memory.

Try a Fish Oil Supplement

Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fats are important for overall health and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for well-being and is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind in top condition. Several studies have established obesity as a risk factor for cognitive decline. Interestingly, being obese can actually cause changes to memory-associated genes in the brain, negatively affecting memory.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of proper sleep has been associated with poor memory for quite some time. Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process in which short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-lasting memories. Research shows that if you are sleep deprived, you could be negatively impacting your memory.

These are just some of the many ways to improve and preserve your memory as you age.

Maple Manor Christian Home is a skilled nursing facility, certified by the Indiana State Department of Health. Our mission is to provide outstanding care for all of our residents by being compassionate, affectionate, respectful, and enthusiastic. We welcome family and friends and encourage them to visit frequently. Call us at (812) 246-4866 with any questions and to schedule a tour.

Sources:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/longing-nostalgia/201504/what-your-oldest-memories-reveal-about-you
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-improve-memory/

How to Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

walk for healthIf you’ve ever watched a loved one suffer from dementia, you know how difficult and stressful it can be. Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs because of microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain, is the second most common cause of dementia. Those who experience the brain changes of multiple types of dementia simultaneously have mixed dementia. There are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia risk and prevention

Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genetics, cannot be changed. But researchers continue to explore the impact of other risk factors on brain health and prevention of dementia that may decrease the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Research reported at the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference suggests that adopting multiple healthy lifestyle choices, including:

  • ★ A healthy diet
  • ★ Not smoking
  • ★ Regular exercise
  • ★ Cognitive stimulation

Diet

Current evidence suggests that heart-healthy eating may also help protect the brain. Heart-healthy eating includes limiting the intake of sugar and saturated fats and making sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. No one diet is best. Two diets that have been studied and may be beneficial to lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s are the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and the Mediterranean diet.

  • ★ The DASH diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils. The DASH diet limits sodium, sweets, sugary beverages and red meats.
  • ★ A Mediterranean diet includes relatively little red meat. It emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil.

Social connections and intellectual activity

A number of studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Experts are not certain about the reason for this association. It may be due to direct mechanisms through which social and mental stimulation strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain.

Head trauma

There appears to be a strong link between the future risk of cognitive decline and serious head trauma, especially when the injury involves loss of consciousness. You can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and protect your head by:

  • ★ Wearing a seat belt
  • ★ Using a helmet when participating in sports.
  • ★ “Fall-proofing” your home by minimizing clutter, loose rugs and poor lighting.

Patient-centered care is a great model to involve your loved one in their own care as much as possible. Maple Manor Christian Home is a skilled nursing facility, certified by the Indiana State Department of Health. Our mission is to provide outstanding care for all of our residents by being compassionate, affectionate, respectful, and enthusiastic. We welcome family and friends and encourage them to visit frequently. Call us at (812) 246-4866 with any questions and to schedule a tour.

Sources: https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia
https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/research_progress/prevention