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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WHEN A LOVED ONE HAS ALZHEIMER’S, THESE TIPS CAN HELP

Anyone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease likely can relate to former first lady Nancy Reagan, who called the illness suffered by former President Ronald Reagan “a truly long, long goodbye.” Mrs. Reagan, who died March 14 at age 94, was a tireless advocate for Alzheimer’s patients and their families, recalls Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. Ronald Peterson who knew the Reagan’s well. “In many respects, Mrs. Reagan was the optimal caregiver, providing love and support for the President in a fashion similar to many other Americans whose families deal with this difficult diagnosis. In 2015, an estimated 5.3 million Americans had Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.  As the disease progresses, once-simple tasks become difficult or impossible. Practical tips can help your loved ones maintain a sense of independence and dignity.  To limit challenges resulting from Alzheimer’s: Schedule Wisely Establish a routine to make each day more predictable and less confusing.  Schedule the most difficult tasks, such as bathing or medical appointments, for the time of day when your loved one is most calm. Adapt Your Routine as Needed If your loved one insists on wearing the same outfit every day, consider buying a few identical outfits,  When your loved one is bathing, switch the worn outfit for a clean one. Take Your Time Expect things to take longer than they once did.  Schedule more time to complete tasks, so you don’t need to hurry your loved one. Involve Your Loved One Allow your loved one to do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance.  For example, perhaps your loved one can dress alone...

16 Things I Would Want, If I Got Dementia

When you work in dementia care, people tend to ask you a lot of questions. Probably one of the most common questions is “Are you afraid to get dementia when you’re older?” Honestly, there are many things that scare me much more than dementia does.  Don’t get me wrong: dementia is a terrible group of diseases. I’ve been fortunate, however, to see many of the beautiful moments that people with dementia can experience. Just in case I do get dementia, I’ve written a list of rules I’d like to live by. If I get dementia, I’d like my family to hang this wish list up on the wall where I live.  If I get dementia, I want my friends and family to embrace my reality.  If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think we’re visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things.  I’ll be much happier for it. If I get dementia, I don’t want to be treated like a child.  Talk to me like the adult that I am. If I get dementia, I still want to enjoy the things that I’ve always enjoyed.  Help me find a way to exercise, read and visit with friends. If I get dementia, ask me to tell you a story from my past. If I get dementia, treat me the way that you would want to be treated. If I get dementia, and I become agitated, take the time to figure out what is bothering me. If I get dementia, make sure that there are plenty of snacks for me in the house.  Even now...

MAKE A DATE WITH YOUR HEART!

We all know February to be the month of flowers, candy, hearts and LOVE!  Did you know February is also American Heart Month? Make health your best accessory!  Heart disease is the number one killer of women.  It can begin early, even in the teen years.  A woman’s risk for heart disease rises between the ages of 40 and 60.  Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for men in the United States, with half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. No matter how old you are, you can take steps to lower your risk for heart disease! Start my planning heart healthy activities during the month of February.  But don’t stop there–stay healthy and active all year long! GET PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Be active for at least 2 1/2 hours a week.  Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles.  Do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week, such as biking, walking, running, and swimming.  Strength training with weights or dumbbells three times a week will help you to keep your major muscle groups strong, and also help your endurance with cardiovascular exercise. EAT HEALTHY Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.  Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol content.  Choose healthy snacks. Check out “Fruits and Veggies Matter” for healthy recipes! BE SMOKE-FREE Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke (inhaling other people’s smoke causes health problems similar to those of smokers).  Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits.  If you think you’re ready to...

Little Known Winter Dangers for Elders

The holidays will soon be over, and now that we have had the first major snowfall this season, “old man winter” is finally upon us!  In addition to falls and hypothermia, winter’s frigid weather brings other hazards for the elderly.  Seasonal Affective Disorder and Vitamin D deficiency can be hazardous to a senior’s health.  The good news is, they are both easily treatable. WINTER SAD-NESS Feeling a bit glum may seem like an ordinary reaction to the fading glow of the holidays.  But, when that feeling of sadness persists for more than a week or two, it might not be just the lack of festive lights and and carols getting your elderly loved one down. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that cyles with the seasons.  It can occur during any time of the year, but it typically hits most people in the winter. As the weather gradually gets colder and the days shorter, people affected by SAD will begin to feel the symptoms of depression.  These can include a loss of energy, an increased appetite and an enhanced feeling of lethargy and tiredness. According to the National Institutes of Health, SAD is more likely to strike women and people who live in northern areas where the sun is not as strong or constant. The main difference between SAD and general depression is that SAD only strikes during certain times of the year.  The hormonal changes that lead to depressive symptoms in people with SAD are usually caused by a decline in the amount of daylight during the winter and fall. These effects can be compounded...

HOLIDAYS CAN BE FUN FOR EVERYONE!

Holiday time can be enjoyable for older adults even if they can’t participate fully in every activity.  Feeling included is the most important part of enjoying the holidays.  Even if your senior has physical or cognitive issues, they can still have a good time and feel like part of the group. ADJUST ACTIVITIES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS Some older adults don’t enjoy big groups while some love being the center of attention.  Some love to get out of their home and some are homebodies. Be sure to customize activities to suit their personality and special needs. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s may want to stay in a separate room and only greet a few family members at a time to keep things calm and avoid overstimulation. Another example is a senior with declining vision.  They might enjoy being in a busy room while someone describes what’s happening to help them “see” what’s going on around them. 12 FUN ACTIVITY IDEAS Every older adult has different abilities, likes and dislikes.  If you have a variety of options ready, you’ll have a good chance of finding something that the whole family can enjoy.  Here are a dozen ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Card Games Board Games Reading Aloud Listening to Your Senior’s Favorite Music Prompt Kids to Ask About “The Olden Days’ Watching Movies Together–at home or in a theater Family Walk Around the Neighborhood or in a Local Park Strolling Around the Mall Online Shopping for Things Your Older Adult Needs Enjoying Tea or Coffee Together Baking Cookies Cooking or Preparing Food–there are tasks for many ability levels PACE...

MEMORY LOSS MYTHS & FACTS

The Alzheimer’s Association has published a simple but informative list of myths and facts regarding memory loss and Alzheimer’s.  For more information, please call the Alzheimer’s Association helpline at 1-800-272-3900. Myth 1:  MEMORY LOSS IS A NATURAL PART OF AGING. Reality:  As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met.  However, Alzheimer’s is more than occasional memory loss.  It’s a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and ultimately die.  When this happens, an individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or what roads to take to return to a home they’ve lived in for decades. It can be difficult to tell normal memory problems from memory problems that should be a cause for concern.  If you or a loved one has memory problems or other problems with thinking and learning that concern you, contact a physician. Myth 2:  ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IS NOT FATAL. Reality:  Alzheimer’s disease has no survivors.  It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions.  It slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find his or her way home. Myth 3:  ONLY OLDER PEOPLE CAN GET ALZHEIMER’S.  Reality:  Alzheimer’s can strike people in their 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s.  This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s.  It is estimated that there are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United states.  This includes 5.2 million people age 65 and older and 200,000 people younger than age 65 with younger on-set Alzheimer’s disease....
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