Grace Manor Assisted Living Blog
25 November 2019
Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to remind one another of the many reasons there are to be grateful. We gather on this day to be thankful for what we have, for the family we love, the friends we cherish, the success we have had, and for the blessings that will come.
Thanksgiving is more than the festivities, it gives us time to ponder the lessons that we have learned and how we can spread happiness around, to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. We appreciate you, our customers and clients, so much.
At this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.
18 November 2019
By now I think all of you realize that here at Nashville’s Grace Manor Assisted Living, we invest in managing this blog as a service to our cherished residents, their families, and to the countless angels out there who lovingly provide self-help at-home senior care services. We feel a heartfelt responsibility to freely share our professional knowledge regarding professional assisted living care and senior living care. We are fully aware of the vast weight of the labor of love that all of you bear regardless of the level of professional support that you currently secure.
This Thanksgiving-related blog post is focused primarily on those of you who care for a loved one with memory care issues. With that said, we find that the advice given below is very much applicable to many of you caring for loved ones without memory care issues.
Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather to give thanks, catch up and share a special meal together. However, when a family member is diagnosed with a dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, the family dynamic changes dramatically. Nowhere is this more evident than at holiday gatherings. The hustle and bustle of a typical family Thanksgiving can cause extreme levels of anxiety for someone with dementia, turning a wonderful day into a confusing and agonizing ordeal. Consequently, for the family caregiver, it can become a day full of tension as they watch over their loved one with anxious eyes.
It doesn’t have to be that way. With advance planning and preparation, Thanksgiving can still be enjoyed by everyone, even the family member with dementia. To be successful, however, you do need to plan and structure the day for the best possible outcome.
Here are some tips we’ve gathered, contributed by individuals with dementia, families and caregivers:
- Prepare family and friends. Share your loved one’s diagnosis with those who will be attending your Thanksgiving dinner. Explain the limitations the disease has created. Educate them as to the proper way to approach and communicate with your loved one, and how to include him or her in the conversation as much as possible.
- Prepare your loved one. Make sure that he or she has had enough rest. Keep to your regular routine as much as possible during the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
- Ask for help. Ask family members for help with shopping and cooking in advance. Many families enjoy a potluck Thanksgiving to which everyone brings a dish. This can be a lifesaver in a household with a loved one challenged by dementia. You might also consider asking a relative who is close to your loved one to help by keeping an eye on his or her anxiety levels as the day progresses. They can be a big help when you are busy with other guests and duties.
- Schedule dinner early in the day. Individuals with dementia are particularly sensitive to the hours between daylight and evening. This is called “Sundown Syndrome” and, fortunately, there are ways to reduce its impact. One way is to schedule your dinner well before sunset.
- Encourage reminiscing about the past. If your loved one still has longer term memory intact, consider bringing out some old photo albums and putting them in convenient places to inspire conversation. This can be a great way for younger family members to engage with your loved one, as well as with other older family members.
- Provide a quiet place for “down time”. A short nap or some quiet time off in a separate area provides a nice break for someone with Dementia. Ideally, this would be a quiet room off the main area, where he or she can relax out of the center of activity. Often, for those in earlier stages of Dementia, a short refreshing nap is all that is needed to enable them to rejoin the festivities.
- Plan your own post-Thanksgiving “down time”. This is so important for caregivers. You need time to yourself to unwind and relax. If you are the primary caregiver, consider scheduling some short term “respite” care at a local memory care community for your loved one. That will give you time to tend to your own physical and emotional health and enjoy some time on your own with friends and family members.
If your loved one is one of our cherished assisted living or senior living care residents here at Grace Manor Assisted Living, consider bringing some of your Thanksgiving cheer to them, rather than disrupting their routine by transporting them to your gathering.
For more information about senior living or memory care services here in Nashville, contact us anytime.
13 November 2019
Today’s blog post is a tribute to our staff who work so hard each day to create the safe, clean, and genuinely attractive living environment that every resident deserves. We invite the followers of our blog to take a walk through our gallery page and see with your own eyes the physical layout of our warm and friendly community. We think you’ll be impressed, and we gladly welcome the opportunity to show it off to you personally.
For those of you who don’t know us well, we specialize in senior living and assisted living support services across the greater Nashville, TN area and beyond. We freely welcome the opportunity to engage you and your questions regarding the nature and considerations of assisted living and memory care services. To do that, contact Grace Manor Assisted Living here in Nashville.
6 November 2019
Today’s blog post is designed to help those of you out there trying to decide the strategic care plan for a loved one suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related disease. It is very common for all of you care providers to be confused regarding exactly what type of professional care is best now, assisted living or memory care. Although we specialize in senior living services and assisted living services here in Nashville, we thought we’d share the following with you while crediting dementiacarecentral.com for insightful and informative narrative on this subject.
Even with help from community-based services and respite services, providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (A/D) or dementia becomes more difficult with time. In later stages of the disease, many people will require more care and assistance than their family members can provide. Even for people who don’t need intensive hands-on care, safety may be an issue and they may not be able to stay home alone. Residential care options may be able to provide best for the needs of some individuals. However, these options are often considerations that caregivers and their families find difficult to plan for, or to even discuss.
Residential Care Options for Dementia
The natural progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as other forms of dementia, will result in the need for care for loved ones. Depending on one’s stage of Alzheimer’s/dementia, and his/her ability to function, the level of care and supervision that is required varies. For most families, this means some form of residential care. This is where assisted living, “memory care” comes into play.
Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living residences, such as continuing care retirement communities, are especially suited for those individuals in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia who do not have many medical problems, but who do need more intensive support for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Many people with dementia will need help with IADLs. These are activities that we perform from day to day that add to our quality of life, but are not as basic to self-care as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs are the basic activities that we must perform every day in order to take care of ourselves. Individuals with dementia may also need help with these tasks.
The following tasks are considered to be IADLs:
- Managing money (i.e., writing checks, handling cash, keeping a budget)
- Managing medications (i.e., taking the appropriate dose of medication at the right time)
- Cooking (i.e., preparing meals or snacks, microwave/stove usage)
- Housekeeping (i.e., performing light and heavy chores, such as dusting or mowing the lawn)
- Using appliances (i.e., using the telephone, television, or vacuum appropriately)
- Shopping (i.e., purchasing, discerning between items)
- Extracurriculars (i.e., maintaining a hobby or some sort of leisure activities)
Typically, ADLs refers to the following tasks:
- Bathing (i.e., able to bathe without assistance in cleaning or getting into tub or shower)
- Toilet Use (i.e., able to use the toilet and clean oneself afterwards)
- Control or continence of urine and bowels (i.e., able to wait for the right time and the right place)
- Dressing and grooming (i.e., able to button a shirt, choosing appropriate clothing)
- Moving about (i.e., able to move in and out of a chair or bed, walking)
- Eating (i.e., able to eat without having to be fed by another)
Those who are in the middle-stage of dementia require a greater amount of supervision and care than those in early-stage dementia, and for those in middle-stage dementia, assisted living is also a good option. In assisted living facilities, individuals generally live in a private studio, private apartment, or a shared apartment, and have staff available to assist them 24-hours / day. This type of living arrangement is ideal for those who are still able to live with some independence but do require assistance with ADLs. Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and social activities are also offered at assisted living facilities. In addition, assisted living facilities have dining halls where residents gather to eat meals.
For individuals with dementia who require a higher level of skilled care and supervision, memory care units are an ideal option. These units offer both private and shared living spaces. Sometimes they exist as a wing within an assisted living facility or nursing home or they sometimes operate as stand-alone residences. Supervised care is provided twenty-four hours / day by staff trained to care for the specific needs and demands of dementia patients. Memory care units offer the same services as assisted living facilities, in addition to activities that are intended to stimulate the memory of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and possibly slow the progression of the disease. Activities may involve music, arts and crafts, games, and more.
For more information, contact Grace Manor Assisted Living here in Nashville.
28 October 2019
Hello again! Your friends here at Grace Manor Assisted Living here in Nashville empathize with our senior citizen neighbors and with the those who care for them. We all are very aware that as we grow older, we suffer a decline in mental and physical fitness. But wait just a moment! A new study shows that older people who routinely partake in physical exercise can reverse the signs of aging in the brain, and dancing has the most profound effect.
"Exercise has the beneficial effect of slowing down or even counteracting age-related decline in mental and physical capacity," says Dr Kathrin Rehfeld, lead author of the study. "In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age. In comparison, it was only dancing that led to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance."
Elderly volunteers, with an average age of 68, were recruited to the study and assigned to a group learning dance routines, or endurance and flexibility training. Both groups showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain. This is important because this area can be prone to age-related decline and is affected by diseases like Alzheimer's. It also plays a key role in memory and learning, as well as keeping one's balance.
While previous research has shown that physical exercise can combat age-related brain decline, it is not known if one type of exercise can be better than another. To assess this, the exercise routines given to the volunteers differed. The traditional fitness training program conducted mainly repetitive exercises, such as cycling or Nordic walking, but the dance group were challenged with something new each week.
"We tried to provide our seniors in the dance group with constantly changing dance routines of different genres (Jazz, Square, Latin-American and Line Dance). Steps, arm-patterns, formations, speed and rhythms were changed every second week to keep them in a constant learning process. The most challenging aspect for them was to recall the routines under the pressure of time and without any cues from the instructor."
These extra challenges are thought to account for the noticeable difference in balance displayed by those participants in dancing group. Dr Rehfeld and her colleagues are building on this research to trial new fitness programs that have the potential of maximizing anti-aging effects on the brain.
Dr Rehfeld concludes with advice that could get us up out of our seats and dancing to our favorite beat.
"I believe that everybody would like to live an independent and healthy life, for as long as possible. Physical activity is one of the lifestyle factors that can contribute to this, counteracting several risk factors and slowing down age-related decline. I think dancing is a powerful tool to set new challenges for body and mind, especially in older age."
14 October 2019
It’s a longstanding tradition here at Grace Manor Assisted Living here in Nashville to celebrate Halloween with our assisted living and senior living residents. Each year we research new and exciting ideas to smile, laugh, and share our love for our treasured residents. This year we found this article from SeniorAdvisor.com with a laundry list of ideas which we are not mulling over. We thought we’d share the same ideas we the followers of our blog in the hope that it navigates all of you to some special moments during Halloween.
Halloween Crafts for Seniors
Halloween crafts can be completed early in October so you can use them as decorations throughout the rest of the month.
- Decorate pumpkins.
One of the best traditional crafts for Halloween time is making jack-o-lanterns. If you’re not sure about handing sharp implements, you can have a pumpkin painting day or give them sharpies to draw designs on the pumpkins.
- Make spooky candles.
The lacy candles recommended by Elder One Stop are easy to make, made of cheap supplies, and won’t be a fire risk (they recommend flameless). They’ll add a nice bit of atmosphere to your facility.
- Make decorative spiderwebs.
You can get together to make simple and cheap spiderwebs to hang around the community out of coffee filters. Throw in a little yarn and your residents will also have the option of creating larger cobweb decorations for the space.
- Make spiral ghosts.
Some white paper, a black sharpie, and scissors are all your group needs to make these spinning ghosts. You can hang them around the shared spaces of the facility.
- Decorative Halloween garlands.
For one more addition to your homemade decorations, you can task any interested seniors with making decorative Halloween garlands for your hallways. Here are some ideas of bat and ghost garlands and glow-in-the-dark ones.
(Mostly) Healthy Halloween Recipes for Seniors
You can find loads of cute Halloween recipes on the web, but most of them are laden with sugar. Since many seniors have health concerns, we tried to pick out a few of the healthier options that still fit the theme.
- Shrunken Head Cider
From the twisted mind of Martha Stewart comes this shrunken head cider. You can skip the booze if you want and stick with the rest of the recipe.
- Sweet potato jack-o-lanterns
Sweet potatoes are just the right mix of healthy and tasty and these jack-o-lanterns will make a fun, theme-appropriate snack that’s easy to make.
- Dragon’s blood punch
Made mostly of juices (although it may still be too sugary for some), this punch is simple to make in large quantities and should make for a tasty treat.
- Devilish Eggs
Adorable deviled eggs made from healthy ingredients are easy for your residents to put together and tasty for everyone to enjoy once finished.
- Cheesy Witch’s Brooms
Cuter than any witch’s implement should be, these witch’s brooms made of cheese and pretzels shouldn’t be too hard to make and will be even easier to devour. (Note: scroll down for the English instructions).
Other Halloween Activities for Seniors
If you want to pack Halloween week with more fun, interactive activities that you might consider include:
- Halloween charades
Brainstorm as many different Halloween-related themes and ideas you can think of for your loved one to act out. You should all have fun watching people mime Dracula or try to figure out how to act like a spider. Here’s a list to get you started.
- Share scary stories
Your cherished senior loved one probably know some good ones, but you can come equipped with a book or some stories from the internet just in case.
- Homemade costume contest
Encourage your senior loved one to come up with homemade mask and costumes ideas. If you can make some materials available for them to work with, that may spark inspiration in a few of them. On Halloween, have everyone vote on which costume came out the best.
- Assisted living trick-or-treat
Most seniors probably feel silly trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, but let’s be honest, most of us loved trick-or-treating and were a little sad when we got too old for it. Why not give it a try!
- Classic horror movie marathon
Your loved one probably have some favorite old classic horror movies. Poll them to pick out a few of the most popular, and give them the option to come together and watch them on Halloween or in the days leading up to it.
Halloween’s not for everybody, so you’ll probably have those uninterested in participating in some of these activities, but those that enjoy the season will be happy to have the opportunity to celebrate it in a variety of ways.
All of us here at Nashville’s Grace Manor Assisted Living wish you the very best for a joyful Halloween celebration.
7 October 2019
Many people who are in need of assisted living services in and around Nashville put off looking for care for fear of how they will pay for it. We are fully committed to providing the highest quality and most affordable assisted living services across the Nashville area. We fully realize that assisted living services, for some, can be cost prohibitive. However, we are fully committed to assisting you with potential sources of financial aid so that you and or your loved ones can secure the care that you deserve.
Check the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Program
Check eligibility for the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension, a program which can provide financial help to those who require assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature.
It can pay up to $1,830 per month to a veteran, $1,176 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,170 per month to a couple for veterans and surviving spouses (as of 2017). Certain income and asset limits also apply.
This program allows you to keep more assets than most state aid programs, and it provides a higher level of assistance. You cannot receive benefits from both the Veterans program and a state aid program, so you may want to evaluate both to determine which provides the highest level of assistance for you or your loved one.
Check with your state’s medicaid office
Find your state Medicaid office and check on their available resources. To qualify for Medicaid you'll need to have assets and income that are below the federal poverty levels.
Many state programs offer assistance with assisted living costs for those who have no financial resources. Qualifying for such assistance usually means you have less than $2,000 in assets, although exact program requirements can vary from state-to-state.
Find non-profit resources for assisted living and elderly care
With a little digging you may find a non-profit organization that can help. If they can't help they may direct you to additional sources of assistance. Start with these two organizations:
- Contact your local Area Agency for Aging. They can help you locate resources such as elder refugee or elder abuse programs, counseling, meals on wheels, volunteers who will visit, adult day care services, and much more.
- Visit Eldercare.gov to find help in your local community, or call them at 800.677.1116. They will help refer to local resources such as home health services, transportation resources, senior housing options, respite care, find financial assistance if you are eligible for it, and much more.
Ask for family support
One home health company has created a free personalized way to stay in touch with those who need in-home care or assisted living through a feature they call CareTogether. It functions like a customized form of Facebook designed just for a senior who needs care, allowing the family to stay updated on what their needs may be.
You could use a feature like this, or a Facebook page, to explain your or your loved one’s needs to extended family and then ask family members if they would be willing to contribute a small monthly amount to provide in-home or assisted living care for this family member.
We want you to know that we are here to help. Contact Grace Manor Assisted Living in Nashville today.
30 September 2019
When it comes time to begin the most difficult task of choosing a Nashville-area senior living community or an assisted living community across greater Nashville, take a deep breath and accept the fact that you are about to take on very serious responsibility. We want to help you in that endeavor by offering some guidance on how to move forward. Please know that we are here for you to help and expand upon the following advice.
At the very core of best practices to find the perfect senior living or assisted living community in Nashville is to speak with as many staff members and current residents as possible.
Questions to ask
Obviously, you can't just rely on facility tours or promotional brochures to make this crucial decision. First, get your ducks in a row. When you're ready to visit in person, turn to administrators, staff members and residents for answers to pivotal questions.
Consider Before You Visit:
Is the location realistic? Lengthy drives, not to mention flights, will affect visits and add barriers to relationships with friends and family members, including spouses still living at home.
Many families face a tough conundrum. Sometimes it's a matter of choosing between top-ranked but distant facilities versus more accessible locations for loved ones to visit regularly and monitor care.
Ask Administrators and Nursing Directors:
What are the staffing ratios? Bolster your question with research.
What is your staff turnover? Stable staffing is a good sign. In addition, consistent assignment – when the same caregivers are assigned to the same residents on a daily basis – is critically important. That way, staff members really get to know residents, anticipate their needs and can recognize and address problems early.
Which services do you offer? If you're undergoing rehab to recover from a hip fracture, you'll need a higher level of care than some nursing homes can offer. With medical conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, residents may need help managing supplemental oxygen.
Do you provide special care for people with dementia? Memory care means much more than just a locked unit to prevent residents from wandering. Staffing ratios should be no more than five residents per caregiver, including nurses and aides, around the clock. Caregivers should have special training in dementia care, and the awareness and sensitivity to best address these needs.
What kind of food do you serve? Residents rely entirely on nursing homes to meet their nutritional needs. Healthy, tasty food improves everyone's quality of life.
How do you satisfy cultural and individual food preferences? People in nursing homes still want to enjoy meals that evoke family traditions and tastes they've developed over their lives.
Do you accommodate special diets? Residents come in with their own dietary preferences and restrictions. Some also may have medical orders for soft or puréed diets, for example.
Can residents eat when they want? Some people prefer to eat outside routine schedules.
After the formal tour, explain that you'd like a chance to speak with several residents. Drop in at the activities room or a lounge, introduce yourself, say you're considering a move there and ask what it's like for them.
Are you happy here? "Do you enjoy living here?" "What do you like best about living here?" and "If you could change one thing, what would that be?" are positive ways to frame your questions and make residents more likely to respond.
Do you have freedom of choice? Does the facility offer resident-centered care? Are you able to get up when you want? Do you go to bed at the time you want?
When you ask for help, how long do you have to wait? If you always have to wait beyond five minutes for help, you're likely to try doing things on your own, which could set you up for falls.
Ask Activity Directors:
What about activities? How do you keep residents engaged? Ask to see monthly activity calendars. Offerings should be varied and appealing.
Does the facility have a resident or family council? These self-determined groups can provide a strong voice for quality care.
Is reliable transportation available? Sometimes nursing homes only provide transportation for certain medical appointments – and they don't provide transportation for social purposes. Is there staff to help residents get to a granddaughter's play?
Can residents easily spend time outdoors? Attractive courtyards are sometimes the first thing visitors notice. But how often can residents, particularly those with mobility issues, actually go outdoors? Does staff encourage and help them to do so?
For more information on senior living or assisted living services here in Nashville, contact Grace Manor anytime!
23 September 2019
Like his mother Virginia O'Brien before him, Greg O’Brien is battling Alzheimer’s disease with all his might.
O'Brien's mother did everything she could to stave off the disease as she cared for her cancer-stricken, wheelchair-bound husband. And she did somehow manage to keep things going until her husband, O'Brien's father, died from prostate cancer.
It was from watching his mother live with Alzheimer’s that allowed O'Brien to recognize the signs in himself and prompted him to see a neurologist at age 59. Brain scans that revealed he had Alzheimer’s, too. Shortly after his own diagnosis, both of his parents passed away.
“My mom taught me how to live with Alzheimer’s,” O’Brien of Cape Cod, Massachusetts told TODAY. “She fought and fought and fought. She wouldn’t give up. She kept telling me, ‘I can’t get sick, I can’t get sick.’”
Now nearly 70, he's still not giving up.
“It’s not for me, it’s for the next generation,” O’Brien said of his daily fight against the disease, choking up. “It’s for my kids, my granddaughter. We've got to stop this demon.”
Currently, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 5.8 million Americans living with the disease and that the number will rise to 14 million by 2050.
As O’Brien waits for medical breakthroughs that might stop the mind-robbing disease, he’s made lifestyle changes that recent research suggests might at least slow Alzheimer’s down. He follows a Mediterranean diet and makes sure he gets enough sleep. He exercises regularly and writes every day to “reboot my brain.”
Conor and Greg look through family photos.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Conor and Greg look through family photos.Conor and Greg look through family photos.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Can Alzheimer's be slowed?
To help make daily life run better, O’Brien, a journalist and writer for 45 years, leans on habits he honed in his profession. With short term memory frayed by the disease, “I write everything down,” O’Brien said. He started doing that because, “I worried I would forget.”
Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
O’Brien tries to stay mentally engaged and hopes that his years as a writer will help him in his battle against Alzheimer's progression. The idea is simple, using your brain builds and maintains connections, kind of like putting money in the bank that you can depend on later.
“Doctors tell me I’m working off what they call cognitive reserve, as my mother did,” O’Brien said.
While Alzheimer's runs in O'Brien's family, so does caregiving. Just as Virginia O'Brien cared for her husband, O'Brien's 30-year-old son, Conor, is his father’s caregiver. After graduating from college, the young man moved home to help his dad.
“I’ve always enjoyed spending time with him," Conor O'Brien said. "You just find a way every day to take it step by step.”
Conor says he doesn’t really see the progression in his father, but there are times that it really hits home. The day his dad didn’t recognize him “was the scariest moment of my life.”
O'Brien calls Conor his “rudder” because he steers him every day.
“We've got to bring this out of the closet so people can understand there are people still working who are scared [expletive] and are afraid to talk about it because they’ll lose their jobs,” he said. “We have to try to enable people to speak about the strategies, the medicines, the supplements.”
Still, O’Brien has had to accept limitations the disease has placed on his life. Two years ago he gave up driving.
“I have this ‘Where’s Waldo’ app that tells people where I am at all times,” he said.
Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds.
But making a record helps him to remember some things.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds. But making a record helps him to remember some things.Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds. But making a record helps him to remember some things.Alexandra Galante/TODAY There are certainly hints from research that exercise may not only slow cognitive decline, but also modify the amount of the sticky amyloid protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association. Those studies were done in patients with Alzheimer’s tied to a dominantly inherited gene.
“We don’t know yet if you can expand that to people with late onset disease,” Carrillo said.
And there is evidence from animal models of Alzheimer’s suggesting the disease course is modifiable and that living in an enriched environment can slow the progress of the disease, Carrillo said. O’Brien takes a lot of his cues from Massachusetts General neurologist Rudy Tanzi, an Alzheimer’s researcher who is looking to cure the disease. In the meantime, Tanzi has suggestions for slowing its progression — his program, called SHIELD.
Each letter of the acronym stands for a lifestyle modification that might impact the development of Alzheimer’s.
'S' stands for sleep.
“It’s during deep sleep that you clean your brain of debris. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night is essential,” said Tanzi.
For physical exercise, Greg likes to play golf. He also goes for a run every day.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
‘H’ stands for handing stress.
Learning new things can help you make new synapses, Tanzi said. “The bottom line is in Alzheimer’s, the degree of dementia correlates most with the loss of synapses."
‘I’ is for interacting with friends.
‘E’ is for exercise.
‘L’ is for learning new things.
‘D’ is for diet.
Recent studies point to the brain benefits of a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, beans, olive oil, nuts and poultry. It's recommended to avoid red meat, sweets and fried foods.
While O’Brien and his family acutely feel what he’s lost to the disease, they do see a silver lining.
“Alzheimer’s has kind of actually brought our family a little closer,” said Conor. “I would say that’s kind of a blessing in disguise.”
“I can’t step in my dad’s shoes and feel how he’s feeling,” Conor said. “I just look at him and he’s my hero.”
23 September 2019
Modern researchers have discovered that music soothes those suffering from advanced age, dementia, and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at The University of Utah Health recently tested whether they could alleviate anxiety in seniors (with and without dementia) by playing familiar music to them using headphones and a hand-held music device. Anxiety and agitation are two of the most disruptive aspects of living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for both patients and caregivers.
After the researchers helped the patients pick meaningful music, they used a functional MRI to record the changes in the brain while the music played. The brain images showed that music helped the areas of the brain known as the salience network, the visual network, the executive network, and the cerebellar and corticocerebellar networks all work with better connectivity. These areas of the brain activate language and memory, according to the study’s authors.
“When you put headphones on dementia patients and play familiar music, they come alive,” Jace King, lead author of the study, said in a press release. “Music is like an anchor grounding the patient back in reality.”
Music and movement are the last things to go in the brain.
It’s almost miraculous what music can do for Alzheimer’s patients and the research about the benefits is there.
Health care providers have seen firsthand how much music helps dementia patients. with the clients there.
Play songs from their era that they might recognize. Patriotic songs are also popular.
Music touches people on so many levels.
The reaction by dementia patients to music was also dramatically demonstrated in the 2014 documentary, Alive Inside. Elderly care professionals can set up personalized playlists on iPods for their patients. The music helps the patients access the deep memories not lost to dementia. It also helps them converse and socialize in ways they weren’t doing before the familiar music became a part of their daily life.
16 September 2019
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors supported by professional assisted living professionals realize a statistically significant decrease in hospitalization for heart disease. This positive report is attributed to the professional support provided by assisted living communities such as ours at Grace Manor Assisted Living (Nashville, TN) that deliver quality of life support programs as well as regular and reassuring professional health consultation.
What We Do?
The following items are primary goals of assisted living communities in an effort to reduce the rate of senior patients developing heart illnesses.
Provide Fitness and Relaxation
Keeping seniors active and relaxed improves heart health. Workout programs that range from low to moderate impact exercises are managed based on fitness levels and health status. Regular exercise helps lower stress levels and improve quality of sleep. When these two vital factors are achieved and stabilized, a healthier heart is guaranteed.
Promote Nutrition and Healthy Diet
Assisted living communities pay close attention to the nutrition and diet of their senior residents. They make sure that the food served to senior residents are both appetizing and healthy to improve food intake and facilitates consumption of important nutrients that can strengthen the heart. Also, taking note of food that must be taken moderately. Low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet are usually the dietary recommendation for these people.
Provide Smoke-Free Environment
We know for a fact that a smoker has a higher risk of developing chronic heart disorders including atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Grace Manor Assisted Living offers a designated outdoor area for smokers separated from non-smokers so that non-smokers will not be exposed to smoke-filled air. This is also a way to encourage current smokers to break the habit. Medical advises are also given to those smokers to support them to give up smoking.
For more information about assisted living, contact Grace Manor Assisted Living in Nashville.
9 September 2019
Caring for your loved requiring significant assisted living support is an exhaustive yet fulfilling labor of love. Without doubt it is very stressful as well. At some point this labor of love becomes an unhealthy tax on both the mental and physical state of the caregiver(s). It is at this point where guilt sets in when we recognize our inability to keep pace with the ever-increasing challenge of providing assisted living care support services. This guilt is natural but fortunately it is usually short-lived once we come to accept the realities of life that, at some point, we must turn to assisted living professionals to help us carry the load.
The key word there is “professionals”. We are programmed to believe that no one outside the family can provide the same level of loving care that a family member can. But that is simply not true. When you enlist the support of assisted living care professionals in and around Nashville you are empowering you and your family with the power of scientific research and professional expertise that will enhance the quality of life of your loved one in ways that the non-professional family simply cannot. No offense of course.
So take the step to research your transition to professional assisted living care with confidence (not guilt) that you are about to increase the quality of life of both your loved one AND yourself. Conduct thorough research of the assisted living care communities near you to experience the campus, assess the skill and attentive nature of the staff, and to simply get a feel for the memory care community as a whole. Trust your instinct, it will guide you well.
If you think it's time to move your parent or loved one to an assisted living care community, contact the assisted living professionals at Grace Manor in Nashville. Our team is available to help guide you through this difficult process and answer any questions that may arise.
22 August 2019
For most seniors, the notion of losing independence is something extremely difficult to admit. The thought of the need to move into an assisted living community is unsettling at best. Putting off the conversation between a senior and his/her caregiver(s) will only exacerbate the fear and anxiety for all parties. With a little research, planning, and yes a LOT of love, you will ensure a positive outcome.
- Talk to your parent(s) about assisted living options in Nashville as early as possible—before the situation becomes urgent. That way you can spend more time exploring different solutions, and your parent will be able to more fully participate in the process.
- Know the options and the benefits of each one. Moving into an Assisted Living Community like Grace Manor is just one option, but there are many others. Depending on the level of independence and care your parent desires and needs, there may be home care solutions or other solutions that might be a good fit. Learn more about the various options.
- Address your concerns about their current situation openly and completely. Be realistic – and help them be as well – about their health care needs and safety and the potential needs they may have in the near future. Be candid about the impact their care may be having on you and emphasize your overwhelming concern for their well-being. Now is not the time to dance around delicate topics. Being honest and upfront is the best approach, but make sure you do it with a tone of empathy and respect.
- Listen carefully to their fears and objections. It’s best to have an initial conversation to get the ball rolling, then take a few days to digest their initial reaction and comments before continuing. This also shows them that they are being heard and honored and will have a role in the process.
- Find out what’s most important to them. Perhaps they are concerned about leaving their friends behind or being forced into a routine that they don’t like. Understanding these issues can help you address them upfront and find a solution that will provide them with the care they need along with the lifestyle they want to be happy and fulfilled.
- Be prepared to talk about finances. Part of the fear of losing independence is the concern about losing control of their finances. Have a realistic assessment of their financial situation, along with ballpark costs, and financial benefits they may be able to utilize ready to discuss. Consider the potential “what if” scenarios that may arise, and how they may each impact your long-term financial situation.
- Take a positive approach and tone. Your parent will be more likely to embrace change if it’s presented in the most positive and caring light. Humor can help lighten the situation, but it’s important not to let the conversation become too lighthearted or trite. After all, this is one of the most important decisions of their life, and the decision that you make together will make all the difference in the quality of their remaining years
20 August 2019
When returning home to Nashville to visit your aging parents at Grace Manor, give your visit some thought in advance. You are not alone if you find that your visits can be stressful for a host of reasons, not the least of which is witnessing our parents in a state of physical and/or mental decline. In some cases, this decline can be as simple as realizing that you need to devote regular efforts to help a loved one manage daily life; in others, we might face the grief of knowing, or fearing, that this may be one of the last holidays together.
Because remote family members visit so often during the summer vacations and holidays, we often receive requests at this time of year to help assess whether someone is still safe, and to identify the kinds of help available and what might be needed. We also notice enormous stress in uncertain adult children hoping to do the right thing with their parents while navigating uncharted waters. We find that it helps to use these vacation visit guidelines, from how to manage taking a dependent elder a short trip away from home to considering whether a senior can continue to live alone, safely and unaided.
1. Treasure and be present with the person before you
First, it is always good to stop and remember those things that cannot be changed: aging, the effects of some illnesses, the progress of dementia, and other factors. “Old age,” as Betty Davis said, “is not for sissies.” Sometimes we see families whose holidays would improve if they paused briefly to realize that a parent will never again have the health and energy of past times. However, treasured memories can still be created with person before you. Honor that person; try to make him or her comfortable; ask to hear a story, or tell one yourself. Even in advanced stages of illness, holiday experiences can be joyous if accepted for what they are. It is good advice for life in general, and especially with aging loved ones.
2. Assign someone the task to be sure your elder is not over-stimulated
Especially for elders who are not used to being active, and have their own hopes for a vacation experience “like old times”, the temptation to try to keep too fast a pace during a holiday can lead to exhaustion. Be sure that every day someone is prepared to stay at home, or leave an event early; your elder will be happier not trying to keep up with the most energetic members of the family. Try to rotate this responsibility so no one misses too much. It can be an adult child, a younger family member, family friend, or regular caregiver. This is simple, but easy to forget.
3. If the elder is traveling, plan extra time
Whether it is security scans at airports or long car rides, the pace and distractions that many of us take in stride as part of travel can be exhausting, confusing, or frightening for elders. If you are in a rush, the problem is exacerbated. Plan ahead, allow for a slow pace and leisurely pace, and explain what is going on. This can relieve pressure on everyone.
4. If you visit home, be on the lookout for signs that help may be needed
People who visit home after an absence of several months sometimes can see the signs of decline in the condition of the home or the elder. It is important to be on the lookout for these, especially if family is not regularly present. Signs include a poorly- stocked kitchen, plumbing or appliances that do not function and have not been repaired, clutter that may be the initial stages of hoarding, or poor hygiene. Rarely to our elders call and say, “I cannot manage alone and I need help to continue living here.” Far more often, the signs appear without a request for help. If you have concerns about whether someone is safe at home, an assessment by a geriatric care manager or local senior citizens’ service center is called for.
Vacations with aging parents can be bittersweet. But with proper planning and the right attitude, the emphasis can be on the sweet. Do not try to do too much; find ways to enjoy the person as he or she is today, and to help him or her enjoy the day as much as possible. Grieve if it is called for, laugh when you can, ask for help when you need it. It is all part of life.
For information on assisted living services in Nashville, contact Grace Manor antime.
Source: Connected Home Care
16 August 2019
Grace Manor Assisted Living is a locally owned and managed assisted living community in Nashville, Tennessee, providing active seniors with a vibrant, residential-style environment. Residents participate in a daily schedule packed with fun and health-promoting activities. Our comprehensive living options are designed to meet each individual resident’s personal needs with dedicated service and compassionate care, 24-hours a day. For assisted senior living in Nashville, Tennessee, Grace Manor Assisted Living is second to none.