About Our Blog

At Applewood Senior Living we strive to share our knowledge regarding memory care and our aging seniors. We are compelled to share with you our triumphs and our learning experiences. As many of you may already know, each day with our seniors is an adventure and with it brings new joys and also new challenges. We hope to share with you ways to adjust to your loved one’s new stage in life and look to us as a resource for your family member. Our blog will also share with you what our residents are up to and the new technologies and care approaches we are implementing.  Applewood Senior Living would like to welcome you to our blog. You may also find additional resources here. We encourage you to ask us questions and appreciate any feedback you may provide us. You can also check out additional updates from us on our Facebook page!

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Games & Crafts May Save Aging Brains

Taken from Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press Even in your 70’s and beyond, simple activities including web-surfing, playing bridge and socializing can stave off mental decline, new research says. Benefits were greatest in computer users and in those without a gene variation linked with Alzheimer’s disease.  But even among seniors with that trait, mental decline that sometimes precedes dementia was less common among those who engaged in mind-stimulating activities.  And, you don’t need costly computer based games to keep the brain sharp–those were not studied.  The benefits were found from activities that many seniors have access to. “They don’t have to spend their life savings” on fancy gadgets, said Yonas Geda, the study’s senior author and neurologist at the Mayo Clinic’s Scottsdale, Arizona campus.  The study was published in the journal JAMA Neurology recently.  Heather Snyder of the Alzheimer’s Association indicates the results support the idea that “being engaged mentally is good for brain health.” The study looked at five types of activities that are thought to keep the mind sharp:  computer use, making crafts, playing games including chess or bridge, going to movies or other types of socializing and reading books.  The idea was to see if these activities could help prevent mild cognitive impairment.  That condition involves problems with memory, thinking and attention that don’t interfere much with daily life, but which increase risks for developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Almost 2,000 adults aged 70 to 93 without any memory problems participated.  Analysis found a protective effect from each activity, except for reading books.  Study participants who engaged in any of the other activities at least...

PASSING OF SPOUSE LEAVES PARTNER SAD AND WITHDRAWN

The loss of a loved one is a heavy burden for anyone to bear.  For an elderly person, particularly a surviving spouse, it can be even more difficult. Elderly men and women are already dealing with challenges such as declining health, loss of independence and the shrinking of their longtime social circles.  When faced with the loss of their life partner, the overwhelming grief can cause them to retreat. Research shows that social isolation poses a real threat not just to their cognitive function, but to their physical health as well.  Elderly people who are socially withdrawn are at greater risk of long-term illness, high blood pressure, heart disease, dementia, losing their ability to walk and stay mobile, and of serious depression.  Grief can suppress the immune system, making the elderly even more vulnerable. Studies reveal that elderly men and women who do not engage with other people die at a significantly higher rate than those who remain socially connected.  This is a particularly troubling statistic as the number of senior citizens who live alone is on the rise. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help: *Grief counseling can help surviving spouses manage their sense of loss. *Something as simple as making transportation easily available can help isolated seniors break free of their bubble. *Connections or reviving those ties to a church or other spiritual community can be helpful at a time of grieving. *Gathering family members at the surviving spouse’s home for a meal or a movie can brighten days. *For seniors who are strong enough, volunteer work, particularly with young people, gives them a meaningful...

AFTER THE ELECTION HANGOVER

After this long election process comes to a close tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8, we all need to focus on the significant challenges this country will face in the coming years.  No matter who wins, a Republican or a Democrat, in the end we are all Americans.  Instead of focusing on issues that divide us, I would hope people realize we need to find a common ground and work toward getting along and getting things done. There are so many challenges we need to conquer, it is difficult to know where to start.  As a small business owner, my number one issue is healthcare reform.  The current healthcare reforms have nearly tripled our healthcare costs.  The media does not seem to want to mention all of the negative impacts of the Affordable Care Act which has devastated small business.  If small business is a key to this country prospering in the future, we need to have an honest debate about healthcare and how to control unaffordable insurance cost increases.  This is only one issue of many that divides us. In the end, we are supposed to be the United States of America…not the Divided States of America. by Greg Petrauski, Owner of Applewood Senior Living Communities Like this:Like...

WISE AND INSPIRING QUOTES ABOUT AGING

If you want to know how to age gracefully and successfully, your best bet is to ask older adults who’ve figured out the secrets! These individuals, all of whom lived well into their later years, provide a range of witty, wise and even practical tips for finding fulfillment, no matter what your age. “I had to wait 110 years to become famous. I wanted to enjoy it as long as possible.” Jeanne Louise Calment (1875-1997) The oldest documented living human, this French woman had all her wits about her when she reached the “super-centenarian” age of 110. With her jaunty smile, Calment charmed the world with her upbeat attitude toward aging and life. “You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be hundred.”  Woody Allen (1935- ) Unfortunately, this bon mot is somewhat true, though some of the longest-living individuals (including Calment) engaged in their share of bad habits.  However, you can control your life span to the extent that you can avoid some of the unhealthy behaviors that cause people to die before reaching old age. “Too many people, when they get old, think that they have to live by the calendar.” John Glenn (1921- ) As the oldest person to board a U.S. Space Shuttle at age 77, Senator John Glenn exemplified the view that we shouldn’t let age define us.  The calendar is a useful way to let you know the date, but if you let yourself be hemmed in by your chronological age, you may lock yourself out of potentially valuable opportunities....

The Cost of Alzheimer’s

Like their lives back then, Steve and Peg’s plan was simple, one they could lay out with a pencil on the back of an envelope:  They would work hard. Save their money. Retire at 55. Then freedom.  “We thought we’d travel for maybe 10 years, while our knees could still handle it.” Steve said. “Then we’d settle down with a place in Florida and one up here, kind of like my folks did.  We did not see this monster coming.”. That monster was — is–Alzheimer’s disease.  Steve, 68, and Peg, 67, hardly knew a thing about it.  It wasn’t part of the plan. So in 2007, when Steve noticed the phrase, “what-cha-call-it” creeping with ever more frequency into Peg’s sentences, the idea that a dementia of some kind was dismantling her vocabulary simply did not occur to him. Peg is now living in a Memory Care unit at an Assisted Living Residence.  Peg’s care this year will cost Steve about $65,000 out-of-pocket. Peg and Steve worked hard.  They saved their money.  He’ll need to dip into their retirement savings, but he’ll be able to pay for Peg’s care.  But that wasn’t the plan. More than 5 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of elderly dementia, and the prevalence of Alzheimer’s among baby boomers is expected to explode by mid-century.  The Alzheimer’s Association projects 10 million baby boomers will develop the disease. While studies and media stories explore the emotional toll on family and friends, the financial toll, which can also be devastating, is less understood. In December 2015, the Alzheimer’s Association interviewed more than 3,500...

Fun Outdoor Activities for Those with Dementia

Now that Spring has FINALLY arrived, everyone has long awaited to enjoy the outdoors!  Many seniors living with dementia still have the ability to participate in a variety of recreational, outdoor activities.  Being included in outdoor activities can help your elderly loved one retain a sense of independence and responsibility.  Here are some outdoor activities a senior with dementia can enjoy along with your company! TRIPS TO THE ZOO When providing dementia care for seniors, going to the zoo can be a form of therapy.  Seniors living with dementia may consider some animals as companions, and watching these creatures roam may help alleviate dementia symptoms.  You can sit back and watch as your loved one interacts with the animals and keep his or her mind stimulated by discussing animal facts.  Avoid zoo animals that could scare your loved one such as large spiders, octopus, snakes and other reptiles. PICNICS When at a picnic, your loved one will be surrounded by the great outdoors, as well as a variety of smells, sounds, and people, which can help stimulate memory.  Perhaps the flowers remind your loved one of a time spent in the garden or the sounds may bring forth a memory from his or her childhood. OUTDOOR CONCERTS Music can help the aggressive traits often found in seniors with dementia.  Outdoor concerts can be a great way to make your loved one feel more lively, as this activity can encourage him or her to dance and have fun. FLYING KITES Dementia can be difficult on your loved one and other family members, especially children your loved one may have no...
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