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

Person-Centered Care

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

womanWhen it comes to your loved one, you know that substandard care will not do. At Maple Manor Christian Home we pride ourselves on providing the utmost professional, compassionate, and respectful care. Watching your loved one– especially a parent as they age– can be difficult. Oftentimes it takes just one major health issue to put an older adult’s independence in jeopardy. Peace of mind comes with knowing they are in a safe environment and are being well cared for.

Person-centered care offers residents individualized consideration when it comes to their desires, values, family situations, social circumstances, and lifestyles; it’s about seeing the person as an individual and working together to develop appropriate solutions. While the approach has a myriad of benefits, according to the Leading Age, the concept is still emerging. Only 13% of U.S. nursing homes have comprehensively adopted culture change, and 74% of homes have partially implemented the approach. According to Guideway Care, person-centered care has a foundation base of the following key principles, making it an ideal choice when deciding on the care needs for your loved one.

  • ♥ Respect for patient values, preferences, and needs
  • ♥ Coordination and integration of care
  • ♥ Information and education
  • ♥ Physical comfort
  • ♥ Emotional support and alleviation of fear
  • ♥ Involvement of family and friends
  • ♥ Continuity and transition
  • ♥ Access to care

Our residents are like family

At Maple Manor Christian Home, our residents have access to many types of services through our contracts with various health care providers. Those services include physical, occupational and speech therapy as needed. In cases of emergency, Baptist Floyd Memorial Hospital is near and accepts our residents when those services are needed.

Safety and security you can count on

Maple Manor's beds are open to anyone in our churches and our community as they are available. We do not discriminate on the basis of religion, color, nationality, etc. We admit anyone who needs our care and whose needs we are able to meet.

We are fully staffed with licensed nurses on duty 24 hours a day.

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. Please also visit our website for more information.

Sources: https://healthinnovationnetwork.com/system/ckeditor_assets/attachments/41/what_is_person-centred_care_and_why_is_it_important.pdf

Helping Your Loved One with a “Care Transition”

care transitionsMoving anywhere can be difficult, and this type of change may be particularly so for our beloved elderly facing some level of senior care. Whether it’s a transition to assisted living or a higher level of nursing care, older adults face varying degrees of adjustment. Maple Manor Christian Home shares details below about challenges your senior loved one may face during a move, and how you can help them with the transition.

Challenges of moving to a care facility

When seniors move to assisted living or nursing care, they’ll experience a number of changes that may affect their emotions and moods. While not all seniors have troubles adjusting to living in a care facility, recognizing their challenges can help those around them gain a level of empathy and understanding of how to help them transition through this time. Our new residents may feel:

  • ♥ Sadness about losing their home, household possessions, and neighborhood friends
  • ♥ Disorientation from living in a new place and dealing with new people, including residents and staff
  • ♥ Resentment about their loss of independence
  • ♥ Difficulty in adjusting to new routines, like meal schedules
  • ♥ Feelings of abandonment

It’s common for seniors to work through these initial feelings and come to realize that some many aspects of care facilities are actually valuable. They come to recognize the benefit of having others do their housekeeping and meal preparation. Feelings of abandonment turn into gratitude with the understanding that family members were looking out for their best interests.

How to ease the transition

A key to helping relocating seniors is to provide positive reassurance about the move, emphasizing this is a new chapter in their lives that will allow them to live safely and thrive in a community. Below are some tips on how family members can help with this transition.

  • Visit the care facility before the move takes place. After selecting a senior community, take your loved one there before the move for meals or events so they become familiar with the layout, residents, and staff.
  • Remember the need for independence. While visiting often especially in the first days and weeks of the transition are reassuring, being overprotective can be counter-productive.
  • Make their new living space feel like home. Bring photos and other personal items from home. Set up the bedroom, living space, and kitchen like it was at home.
  • Acknowledge negative feelings. Be prepared for your loved one to criticize things about their new home. They may say they want to go home. Do not hastily dismiss negative comments. Acknowledging these feelings will allow them to know you understand and care. Listening and providing comfort is powerful. Redirect at an appropriate time with a suggestion like, “Let’s go for a cup of coffee.”
  • Encourage your loved one to get involved in activities and stay active. Review the social calendars with them. Ask what they may be interested in trying. Attend an exercise class with them. Some care centers even have volunteer opportunities.
  • Seek assistance and suggestions from staff. You and your family are advocates for your loved one, but this transition may be equally confusing for you. Don’t hesitate to talk to staff about all of your questions. Most care facilities have social workers on-site that can help you as well.

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://careconversations.org/transition-care | https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/quality-of-care/improvement-initiatives/care-transitions/index.html | https://www.assistedliving.com/helping-elderly-aging-parents-adjust-senior-living-01112013/