Senior Living Experts welcomes our new advisor, Bill! Bill answered a few questions as a way to introduce himself.
1. Where Are You From?
I grew up on the North Shore, in Glenview and went to High School in Wilmette and finished at Loyola University in Chicago.
2. Who Are The People That Influenced You Most?
My parents and family. I grew up in a large family, 5 kids, and we were very close. My dad worked hard but was always around. He treated others with love and respect. I also learned a lot about business from my first few Sales Managers. I am proud of what I do and value my partners.
3. What Led You To A Career In Senior Living?
I had a 25 year career in advertising sales and wanted to move to a space where I could help others in a more meaningful way. I have a mentor who steered me toward Senior Living and I can say that I truly love working with Seniors and their families.
4. What Is One Of Your Most Memorable Moments While Working In The Industry?
Although there are so many good solutions for Seniors out there today, I have become a really big fan of Memory Care. Memory care has become such an important part of what we do and is such a wonderful solution for so many that didn’t have that option in the past.
5. What’s the biggest misconception people will have about your new position?
There are so many! I think the biggest is that people think every Community is an Assisted Living “Facility” and there is this false vision of very old, very sick people. Senior Communities are wonderful, active places full of folks living full and active lives.
6. What’s your guilty pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty in saying that I love to get away! I have a home in Door County and spend as much time there (on the water if possible) as I can. I also love to spend as much time as I can with my kids who are some of my best friends.
Welcome to the team, Bill. We are so excited for you to help families in Wisconsin and in the City of Chicago!
How safe is senior living help in Chicagoland? This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions and it’s perfectly understandable because family members are concerned about the safety of their loved ones. Unfortunately, senior living is sometimes uncharted territory.
It’s not something you talk about over dinner. However, when you’re living with seniors, you may at some point consider senior living, especially if no one in the family is willing to commit to becoming full-time caregivers.
The sad reality of life is that when people age, their energy, stamina, cognition, and their ability to fend for themselves may diminish. For some, it happens abruptly while for others it could manifest during their later years. They become prone to diseases, accidents, injuries, and their overall health and well-being may be compromised if they continue living life without assistance.
This is when you should start talking about senior living. Unfortunately, many families are apprehensive to give senior living a try because they are concerned about the safety of their loved ones. So, do senior living facilities provide safety to seniors?
Recent studies from the National Safety Council revealed that in the year 2019, there were approximately 131,400 deaths in the home that were all injury-related. And the sad part of it all was that these deaths could have been prevented.
The statistics increase at a rate of nearly five percent every year. The top leading causes of death are poisoning, which accounts for fifty percent, while falls follow next accounting for twenty-nine percent of the total deaths.
It was found that seniors with ages sixty-five years and above are more prone to falls compared to the younger generation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than one out of four seniors experience falls each year. When an elderly falls once, they are likely to fall again. In America, the death rates that are related to having increased up to thirty percent.
Unfortunately, it has become pretty common for seniors who are left alone at home to accidentally slip and fall. When no one is around, they won’t be able to get the help they need.
Picture this scenario. You’re off to work and you left your 75 year-old grandmother in the house. Her memory is still sharp, and she has your phone number. Your instructions were very clear and that if anything happens, she should call you immediately.
It’s nine in the morning, which means it’s bath time. She goes to the bathroom, but the tiles are still wet. She slips and falls.
Her legs and knees are too weak to carry the weight of her body. She attempts to stand but she just doesn’t have the strength. She wanted to reach the phone to call you and to let you know what happened but how can she do that if she can’t even get herself to stand up?
This is a typical example of why many consider taking their loved ones to senior living communities. Unless they are able to cut their hours at work and devote a large portion to being their grandparent’s caregiver.
Lucky, if the impact isn’t strong. Some seniors become unconscious after a fall, which makes it even more dangerous.
Another potential problem is poisoning. Did you know that seniors can get poisoned by carelessly taking the wrong medications or the wrong dosage? When they mix up meds and dosages, they are putting themselves at unnecessary risk.
Aside from poisoning, other risks include fire and smoke, choking, mechanical suffocation, and drowning. When no one is at home with the elderly, they won’t be able to get help when they need it and their health, safety, and life could be at risk.
Senior living communities all aim to provide safety to residents. They have trained, knowledgeable, and skilled staff that ensures all the needs of your loved ones are satisfactorily met. The communities are uniquely designed for seniors.
The hallways and doorways are wide and the units only have one floor. The layout is also carefully thought out and is equipped with safety features such as grip bars in toilets, showers, and bathtubs.
The toilets are also raised and the floors are slip-resistant. Furthermore, the lights are bright enough to illuminate the space allowing seniors to clearly see where they are going. Safety locks are also provided in pools and spas.
The seniors also have access to wheelchairs. Senior living homes are also equipped with intercoms and emergency systems. Regular wellness checks are also practiced to ensure that the health of the residents is always monitored. Whenever their needs change, the care changes as well.
The facilities also have security guards manning the entrances and exists to monitor visitors. Anyone who wishes to visit should sign at the front desk and log in their names and their time of visit. This added security proves that senior living communities are indeed safe 24/7.
Caring for seniors is a tough job. In fact, tough is an understatement. Family members who “tried” to take care of seniors at home ended up frustrated, disappointed, angry and burnt out and that’s because providing care to this age group will really test your patience.
It also requires expertise and knowledge to keep them safe. Senior living facilities offer medication management, healthy and nutritious meals, and other forms of therapy that are designed to improve their quality of life. If this is what you need, we can help you.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to help you to find the best place for your parents. We have been working with over two hundred and thirty communities and we’ve helped hundreds of seniors live better and more comfortable lives with the array of options we offer.
Our staff received ample training to cater to the needs of the elderly. They are ready to provide care whenever necessary. Call us today to learn more about our services.
How safe is senior living help in Chicagoland? Senior Living Experts is here to give you the answers you're looking for. Contact us today to learn more.Read More
Our partner, Dennise Vaughn, Administrator at HomeWatch Caregivers Home Care, shares a blog with us about Healthy Aging Month occurring this September!
We can’t fight aging, although sometime we sure try! As we age, health becomes more important. Thanks to improvements in medicine and health, we live longer lives now. As such, it’s even more important than ever before to develop healthy habits as we get older.
September is Healthy Aging Month, which was designated in order to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older. The “Healthy Aging Campaign” was established 15 years ago, and since then, individuals help others become aware of their physical and mental health, diet, social skills and even financial situations; all factors that contribute to successful aging.
Healthy Aging Month encourages to act how you feel — instead of acting your age! This month also encourages our seniors to take charge of their well-being, by aging with a healthy body (physical health) and a healthiest mind (mental health).
There are many ways to use Healthy Aging Month as inspiration to being celebrating life, and the month is dedicated to helping individuals gain a more positive outlook about growing older. And while genetics play a role when it comes to aging, seniors still can take steps to encourage better health.
Get Moving and Get Going
If you are not accustomed to exercise, consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine and be sure to start slowly to allow plenty of time to get used to each level of activity.
Exercise can be as simple as walking just ten or fifteen minutes, three to four times a week and increasing as you go. For those who are more active, try taking up tennis or joining a club where you can swim or use the exercise equipment. Even just taking a dance class or senior yoga, gardening or mowing the lawn. There are countless ways to stay active that will keep your body moving.
Make sure you watch your portion sizes. Many Americans aren’t aware of proper portion sizes and inevitably eat larger portions than recommended, and we all know overeating leads to obesity — which could lead to even bigger health concerns such as diabetes or heart disease. Plus as we age, our metabolism slows down and we need fewer calories.
Healthy eating is a big part of staying healthy. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and try to avoid excessive processed foods. Boosting the amount of fresh vegetables in our diet is an easy way to feel full without a lot of calories. The USDA suggests an easy way to balance nutrition: your plate should have slightly less than one quarter proteins (lean meat, fish, poultry or legumes) and fruits, slightly more than one quarter grains and vegetables. Additionally, stay hydrated by drink a lot of water, at least 6-8 glasses per day.
Stay Social and Make Friends
Don’t be afraid to make new friends, and make an effort to see your old friends, too. A sedentary lifestyle devoid of interaction with friends and family lead to health issues and isolation can lead to depression. Instead of feeling lonely and bored reach out and invite friends and family over! Or you can socialize with others by volunteering, joining a class or bringing a caregiver — which may in to help you look forward to activities such as cooking with their help, playing cards/games, or simply talking.
If you can no longer drive, look for transportation services that can help you get out and attend social events. If you’re computer literate, schedule Facetime conversations with children and grandchildren. Just by interact with and talk to someone daily, you will do your mind and mental health a world of good.
Balance Both Your Body & Mind
Keep your mind active by reading the newspaper (or read on your tablet) while you eat breakfast. Keeping your mind active and engaged may ward off brain chemistry changes that could lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Working on puzzles, reading books are also great for the mind and will help reduce stress that comes with aging problems. You can even take up a new creative hobby! For your body, perhaps practice yoga to improve your flexibility and balance. It is also great for the mind and will help reduce stress that comes with aging problems.
Get Regular Check-Ups And Yearly Physicals
Don’t ignore symptoms. If you’re not feeling well, don’t “wait for it to go away.” While you don’t need to visit the doctor for every ailment, know yourself and your body well enough to detect if there is something out of the ordinary.
Don’t neglect regular medical check ups; have an annual physical examination. and schedule the tests your doctor recommends. This would include your eye doctor and dentist as well as your physician. Many diseases can be prevented when caught early if you remain diligent about your health. Take medications and vitamins/supplements as prescribed in order to ensure you are feeling your best.
A positive outlook and proactive approach is one of the best ways to encourage healthy aging! Here’s how to get the most out of life as you age.
Fighting Back Against “Nature”
Finally, it’s a good idea to look at the health history of your family. Do research on your family tree to see how old relatives were when they passed, and talk over with your physician your family history. Your health care provider is able to provide insight on how to with with him or her to assure you’re fighting nature and genetics to assure you have the longest, healthiest life possible.
You can beat some genetic diseases by adopting a healthier lifestyle and by embracing healthy options you take the preventive actions to help assure you’re as healthy as you can be as you move into your 60s, 70s and beyond.
Remaining active and engaged is the best gift you can give yourself. Staying physically and mentally active, and nurturing social connections with friends and family, are all part of the bigger picture in helping to keep your mind and body well!
Embrace healthy aging! If you are looking for other resources to support aging adults, please visit us at Homewatch CareGivers at www.homewatchcaregivers.com/naperville/
Many factors contribute to forgetfulness – anxiety, depression, alcohol use, stress, under-active thyroid, lack of sleep, and certain medications have all been found to cause memory slips. However, if forgetfulness becomes a constant companion of your loved ones to the point where their safety is at risk, you may want to take them to memory care in Geneva.
Caring for seniors who have dementia can be overwhelming. It’s a full-time job that requires you to be on alert twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.
If you have a job and if you have a family yourself, it’s not realistic to commit to being your loved one's caregiver unless you’re willing to make certain sacrifices. To make your life less stressful, the best decision you can make for the entire family is to consider a memory care facility.
When seniors meet with their doctors during appointments they don’t mention memory loss problems. More often than not, it’s their children who bring it up. It can be challenging to monitor signs of dementia.
But, there are obvious signs that signal the need to get seniors to a memory care facility. Examples include disheveled hair, a significant drop in weight, and seniors who aren’t tidily dressed.
Dementia is also evident when the senior cannot carry a conversation, feels lost, or is agitated. When all these signs are present, the doctor will conduct a mental status exam to check if the patient has dementia.
If a person isn’t capable of performing activities of daily living like bathing, eating, or dressing then transitioning to memory care is a good option because in there they’ll find all the help and assistance they’ll need to function optimally.
To assess the safety and abilities of the seniors, the doctor may ask the following questions:
If your loved ones answered yes to all these, the doctor may recommend a mental status exam and suggest that it’s time to think about memory care.
The safety of your loved ones is at risk if they start leaving appliances on like the stove or burner after they are done cooking if they get bruises and injuries and can’t remember how they got it if there have been frequent visits to the emergency room and if they wander or get lost in dangerous and public places.
Answering the questions below will help you decide if it’s time to take your loved ones to a memory care facility.
According to doctors, family members especially the caregivers don’t notice changes in their parents’ behaviors unless someone points it out to them. It can be difficult to monitor the progress of their dementia if you’re always around them.
An example is weight loss. If you see your parents daily you won’t be able to notice their weight loss. The drastic weight change will be obvious to a family member or a friend who hasn’t seen them in quite a while.
Seniors who suffer from dementia often experience agitation and confusion. More than not, this leads to aggression and violence. Seniors tend to bite, hit, or even kick their caregivers. It’s also common for them to manipulate and verbally abuse their caregivers.
According to doctors, patients with dementia insult or accuse family and friends of theft. In fact, when they are asked about their dementia during a consultation they get defensive and agitated. This alone is a sign that they need professional help and assistance.
The manifestation of aggression due to dementia can be dangerous especially if the patient is being cared for by his or her elderly spouse as this can result in elder abuse.
One of the signs that seniors suffer from dementia is when they start declining social invitations or when they begin to withdraw from social interactions. Although it’s normal for the aging population to experience a decline in their energy levels, what’s not normal is when they show disinterest and avoid activities they used to love and enjoy.
Another thing to look out for is nervousness. Do they feel nervous when they go on walks by themselves or when they leave the house? Mention these to your doctor during your parent’s next doctor’s appointment.
If seniors start forgetting their daily hygiene practices from changing clothes to brushing their teeth and taking a bath you need to consider memory care.
Some of them don’t ask for help because they don’t want to feel humiliated but even if they don’t tell you, you can already tell they are struggling from the way they look. When your parents look neglected, that’s already a red flag.
Healthy elderly don’t wander off but once they do, plus when they show signs of disorientation and confusion, you need to let their doctor know about this behavior change. Seniors who wander far from their residence can go into dangerous places like busy streets or getting lost outside their neighborhood during bad weather.
By now, you should have already consulted with a doctor. If your loved one has dementia and if no one in the family can take care of the senior parent, then yes, it is time to take your parent to a memory care facility.
Memory care centers offer various services that will give your loved ones a pleasant living experience. They will be safe since the facility offers 24/7 monitoring with professional staff that’s always ready to assist in grooming, bathing, medication and nutrition management and so much more.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to help you find the best place for your loved one.
We have been working with over two hundred and thirty communities and we’ve helped hundreds of seniors live better and more comfortable lives with the wide range of options we offer. Call us today to learn more about assisted living and nursing homes.
If your loved one's forgetfulness gets to the point where their safety is at risk, you may want to take them to memory care in Geneva. Give us a call today!Read More
The time may come that a move to a community that can best meet the physical and medical needs of a loved one is in their best interest. When their strength, physical, or cognitive abilities are deteriorating, getting financial ducks in a row can be a challenge. Having a plan to get things organized can be invaluable.
Follow this checklist to ensure you're not missing anything:
1. Gather all statements and legal documents together in one place
2. Sort them into three piles: assets, liabilities, and legal
3. Assets are anything that is owned: home, investments, insurance policies, etc. Liabilities refer to anything that is owed: mortgage, loans, credit cards, medical bills, etc. Legal documents if drafted, are powers of attorneys, trust, will, deeds, or other documents prepared by an attorney.
4. If estate planning documents exist, confirm powers of attorney are still in force. If not, contact an attorney to draft new documents if your loved one has the capacity to sign.
5. Scour bank statements for all sources of current income (Social Security, pension, investments, or annuities).
6. Review statements for ongoing monthly expenses (insurance, mortgage, utilities, or credit cards).
7. If the home is owned and potentially will be sold, reach out to a Realtor® to get a comparative market analysis(CMA) to determine the approximate value of the home. If ready to sell, sign a listing agreement. Discuss with the Realtor® what modifications might significantly improve the potential sales price and consider if improvements may be beneficial.
8. Based on current income and expenses, build a preliminary monthly budget. Compare current expenses to proposed expenses after a contemplated move to a new community. If the new living expenses exceed the current income sources, determine what the funding gap is.
9. Schedule an appointment with a financial professional to review options to increase potential income from investments and determine a proper strategy to optimize the proceeds of a real estate sale.
Helping a loved one move onto the next chapter of their life is not an experience that most adult children have navigated. Working with a team that is experienced with similar transitions is a great way to ensure your ducks are all in a row.
For questions on managing the financial planning for a transition to senior living, visit www.S2Wealth.com/wealth-and-health-assessments to take the Living Transitions Assessment or contact Keith Piscitello, CFP® CRPC® at 773-867-3660 or keith.piscitello@LFG.com
At Transitions Hospice, true to our Commandments, we believe that hospice should never be a “one size fits all” approach. That’s why we are proud to provide multiple levels of care, as recognized by Medicare. For most patients over the age of 65, hospice care is paid for by the Medical Hospice Benefit. Medicare identifies four distinctive levels of hospice care: routine home care, continuous home care, general inpatient care, and respite care. Individuals utilizing hospice may utilize all four levels throughout their hospice experience, or only one, depending on their needs and desires.
Routine Home Care is the most basic level of hospice care. In this stage, care teams serve the patients wherever they reside. The team includes registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, certified nurse’s aides, social workers, volunteers, physicians, dietitians, and chaplains, and offers a comprehensive plan of care that is tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Medications and medical equipment are brought directly to the patient or caregiver, and our care team develops a plan of care and visits frequently to meet the patient’s needs.
When an individual is experiencing symptoms that cause severe pain and require frequent interventions, such as medication administration, the patient will qualify for Continuous hospice care. In this level of care, a nurse or certified nursing aide (CNA) will remain at the bedside for as long as the patient qualifies for continuous care. The goal of continuous care is to get a patient’s symptoms under control to a point where they are manageable with routine hospice care. Continuous care is important because it allows the patient to remain at home through a difficult time instead of being uprooted into a hospital. Some examples of acute conditions that may require continuous hospice care include: uncontrolled pain, trouble breathing, extreme nausea, changes in consciousness, and seizures.
When symptoms require an advanced level of care that is beyond routine hospice or continuous care, a patient will enter the “inpatient” level of hospice. This often occurs when the patient needs 24-hour pain control or acute or complex symptom management that cannot be provided at home. In its entirety, the goal of inpatient care is to control severe pain and symptoms so that the patient can return home to familiar surroundings and continue with routine hospice care. This level of care can be provided within a skilled nursing facility or any facility contracted to operate an inpatient unit.
Finally, the fourth level of hospice care is respite care, where a home hospice patient is admitted into a facility for a short period of time. The goal of this care is to provide a short-term break for family caregivers who are assisting a loved one with an advanced illness. These services can be offered at any hospital, hospice facility, or skilled nursing facility that is able to provide 24-hour care. It is essential that those taking care of loved ones are able to take breaks and avoid “caregiver burnout”. These “breaks” can last up to 5 days and plans for respite care are developed directly with family members of the patient.
We are proud to be able to provide all levels of care within Transitions Hospice, and hope to help you and your loved ones determine the best course of care for all of your end-of-life needs. For more information about Transitions Hospice, please call 877-726-6494 or visit www.transitionshospice.com.
As much as you’d like to keep a close watch on your aging parents, sometimes the demands of work and your personal life will get in the way. If you could have it your way, you’d want to be there for your loved ones to cater to their needs, but you also have needs of your own. Can you put your life on hold for your parents? Even though they don’t demand your time, you know deep down that their growing needs would require you to be there for them physically 24/7. Lucky for you, senior living in Gurnee can take this burden off your shoulders.
Senior living may seem like uncharted territory for most of us. Leaving your parents in a facility you’re not familiar with and entrusting their safety and security to strangers may seem daunting.
But, if you dig deeper, do your research, and understand the professional services these institutions offer and how long they’ve been in the industry, you’ll appreciate the perks of senior and assisted living. It will give you peace of mind, and it will help your loved ones enjoy their life without compromising their independence, health, safety, and happiness.
Assisted living and independent senior living are not the same. Learn the difference between the two, so you and your parents can decide which center is the best option.
In terms of amenities, assisted living facilities offer support and assistance to seniors when they need it. Most of the seniors that opt for assisted living are housed in apartments or condominiums where they live close to other members. Whenever they need help, all they need to do is to push a button, and they’ll receive assistance ASAP.
Examples of life tasks that are available to them include cleaning, shopping, meal prep, bathing, grooming, medications, and keeping doctor’s appointments. The range of services isn’t fixed. They can be adjusted based on the health and needs of the residents.
Senior living, or independent living, does not offer nursing support and medical care. These facilities concentrate more on maintaining an active lifestyle and offering convenience to seniors.
Assisted living is a good option for seniors who are not capable of living alone but also do not require intensive nursing care. When your loved one is in an independent living facility, their independence is persevered, which means there is no access to nursing and medical care. In a way, independent living offers peace of mind to seniors who do not feel at ease living alone.
Independent living is a good and healthy place for people who do not experience difficulty in performing daily basic activities.
However, when seniors are no longer capable of attending to their basic needs or if they can’t make a decision on their own without asking for help, then they need to be in an assisted living home care.
When your loved one is placed in an independent living community, they won’t have regular contact with the staff. The assistance they’ll be receiving from the staff will depend on their preference. For example, if they want to subscribe to a meal service, then that’s the only time they’ll see the staff. Otherwise, they can keep to themselves if they prefer a quieter and more peaceful living situation.
Meanwhile, with assisted living, the staff is always present and visible to check and monitor the condition of the residents. Even though they are not authorized to diagnose, they are obliged to continuously monitor seniors to make sure they are well, healthy, and thriving.
At an independent senior living community, it’s more of a lifestyle preference instead of senior care. Since the services are fewer, the cost is more affordable. However, this service is not normally covered by insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare.
Assisted living, on the other hand, costs more depending on the level of care the residents need. Since the services are more extensive going beyond basic care, expect to pay more. The services offered with assisted living are usually covered by employee benefit programs and insurance companies.
As the needs of seniors continue to increase as they age, it’s not unlikely for family members to feel burned out or depressed after devoting so much of their time caring for them. This is not an easy job, especially if family members have to juggle work, personal, and family time.
Independent living is a win-win service because it gives you peace of mind knowing that someone is looking out for your loved ones while you’re busy with work. At the same time, the services they are receiving give them comfort, security, safety, entertainment, and support, so they will not feel lonely, afraid, or isolated. If family members wish to offer help and assistance, they are free to do so.
With assisted living, the burden of being 24/7 caregivers is removed from the family members because the staff of the facility will shoulder all the responsibilities of caring for your loved ones.
You won’t have to worry about missed medications or reminding them to eat or feel scared that they might hurt themselves while they’re bathing or grooming. All these are being professionally handled by the staff.
Discuss the needs of your loved ones and base your decision as a family on those needs. Would your loved ones’ health be at risk if they were alone in their home? If yes, then you may want to consider assisted living.
Are they healthy but feel lonely? If yes, then they might feel less lonely if they were in a senior living community where they get to interact with other residents. The answers to these questions will help determine what type of facility is best suitable for them.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to help you find the best place for your parents. We have been working with over 230 communities and we’ve helped hundreds of seniors live better and more comfortable lives with the wide range of options we offer. Call us today to learn more about assisted living and senior living.
Senior living in Gurnee can help your loved one live a fulfilling life, but is independent or dependent living right for them? Senior Living Experts is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.Read More
Alzheimer’s and dementia are not synonymous. Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to conditions caused by diseases or brain injuries that negatively impact a person’s behavior, thinking, and memory. This is a cause for concern especially for seniors because not only will it interfere with their activities of daily living but it will also compromise their safety.
If you are living with a parent who has Alzheimer’s, we know it’s a tough 24/7 full-time job. This means that you may have to give up some of your freedom to take care of your loved ones. Unfortunately, not a lot of people can commit to this care. In such a case, we recommend considering memory care in Elgin.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive form of dementia. Usually, people diagnosed with this disease are 65 years old and above. If your loved one was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier than 65, it’s called early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, but you can slow down its progression with the help of medical treatment. You may also help keep your loved ones safe by seeking memory care.
There are often times when you forget things, like when you forgot where you placed your car keys or as hard as you try, you cannot remember where you hid your birth certificate. The difference between a healthy individual and a person with Alzheimer’s is that the latter’s forgetfulness worsens over time. Examples of symptoms of Alzheimer’s you should look out for are the following:
Although medical experts have not singled out the main cause of Alzheimer’s, research has found several factors that can put an individual at risk for the disease.
It’s important to mention that just because you have these risk factors does not mean you will have Alzheimer’s. These are only factors that will increase your risk and your likelihood of developing the disease.
Alzheimer’s comes in stages. As mentioned, it is a progressive disease. It will start out with mild symptoms and continue to become severe over time. It can be summed up into seven stages:
First Stage – The first stage shows no symptoms at all, but you can be diagnosed if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s.
Second Stage – The earliest symptom of Alzheimer’s is forgetfulness.
Third Stage – In this stage, you will notice mild mental and physical impairments. Your loved ones will have a hard time concentrating and they are slowly losing their memory. This will not be apparent to friends, but will be obvious to those close to Alzheimer's patients.
Fourth Stage – By this time, your loved one would have already received a diagnosis. However, Alzheimer’s at this stage is still mild. The patient is not able to perform daily tasks efficiently and manifests evident memory loss.
Fifth Stage – Patients who are in the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s exhibit moderate to severe symptoms. It is no longer safe for them to be by themselves. They need the help and assistance of their loved ones or from caregivers that are trained in memory care.
Sixth Stage – When patients reach the sixth stage, they will require help even in the most basic tasks such as putting clothes on, oral hygiene, and eating.
Seventh Stage – The most severe stage in Alzheimer’s is stage seven. When your loved ones reach this stage, they will lose their speech as well as their facial expressions.
Memory care facilities are equipped to keep your loved ones safe from injuries and from getting lost. Imagine if you were busy with work and your Alzheimer’s-stricken loved one went out in the streets and couldn’t find his way back home?
Residents are safe in a memory care facility as it is designed to offer a safe and secure environment for patients with Alzheimer’s. The locks are on the exteriors of the doors so there is no way they can make their way out without informing the staff.
Some of these facilities have installed doorbells and keypads in exits and entryways just to help the staff monitor the movements of the residents. These devices will alarm them if ever anyone tries to leave the facility. Even the courtyards and gardens are designed to keep the residents safe. They can roam outdoors without wandering.
Memory care communities are also designed to reduce the disorientation and confusion that lead to wandering. The spaces are clean and clear, the apartments are personalized, they are well lit, and background noise is significantly reduced. The overall design of the facility is carefully thought out to keep everyone in the community safe.
Rest assured that the facility offers tranquility, familiarity, calmness, and more importantly – safety. Residents won’t feel that they are confined in an unsafe and clinical building because the design makes them feel at home.
If you can’t commit to caring for your loved ones and if you aren’t able to provide them the safety that they need, you should consider taking them to a memory care facility where they can receive round-the-clock care. Their needs are catered and their safety is assured.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to give your loved ones superior quality care. Call us today to learn more about assisted living and nursing homes.
Taking care of someone with Alzheimer's disease is a 24/7 job. For the best memory care in Elgin, Senior Living Experts is here to help.Read More
There will come a time when you and your siblings will gather around the dinner table to talk about your parents’ living conditions. As your parents get older, their safety and their needs become your primary concerns.
It can be unsafe if they continue to live in their house with no one to look after them considering that their children are all grown and have families of their own. The most practical decision is to seek assisted living in Vernon Hills or a nursing home.
While it’s true that this decision involves a lot of emotions, sometimes you have to see beyond the emotions and be practical about it. There is always the possibility your parents will be unwilling to give up their complete independence and they might not like the idea of leaving their home where they spent most of their lifetime making memories.
But again, there will come a point where the most logical thing to do is to ask for assistance especially when it’s something you and everyone else in the family won’t be able to give.
Senior living usually offers two different types of approaches – assisted living and nursing homes. Many people use these two interchangeably believing that they are one and the same. These two aren’t the same and when you’re making a big decision such as this, it pays to be informed.
Knowing the differences will help you decide what type of facility to choose based on the level of care your parents need.
The biggest difference between assisted living and a nursing home is the level of care being offered. Assisted living is merely providing assistance to seniors with their usual daily activities. Individuals who live in assisted living facilities are still able to have as much independence as possible.
However, staff will be readily available when help is needed. Examples of daily activities that the staff is trained to help their in-house residents with include doing laundry, housekeeping, showering, dressing, and preparing meals.
Most seniors in assisted living facilities get to enjoy their own space like a private room, a condominium, or an apartment. Medical assistance will be also be available if residents need it. Assisted living facilities may have an in-house nurse or a clinic so that medical care can be provided at any given time.
The primary focus of an assisted living facility is to ensure that seniors receive the assistance they need to perform activities of daily living. Since many residents are capable of completing some tasks on their own, constant supervision is not necessary and residents can enjoy their privacy whenever they want. They can choose to socialize with other seniors only when they feel like it.
Many seniors prefer assisted living because it gives them a sense of normalcy and autonomy all while making them part of a dynamic community. It’s an experience that’s similar to being at home, so the transition won’t be that dramatic.
If your parents require care around the clock, a nursing home would be a better option for them.
Another term for a nursing home is a long-term care home. The level of care given is more complex compared to assisted living. Most of the residents in nursing homes have mental, physical, and medical needs that can only be catered to by a nursing home staff.
Nursing home staff are trained to help residents with their day-to-day activities, in addition to providing efficient medical care. Examples of the care they provide include medication management, rehabilitative care, administration of medications, and cognitive impairment management like in the case of Alzheimer’s.
If your parents require full-time care, then a nursing home would be a good place for them where they will be receiving medical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is highly beneficial for seniors who need to be closely watched and monitored.
When making this big decision, always include your parents in the discussion, especially if they are still mentally capable. They have to know the facts and be informed about what to expect so they feel completely on board with this next step in their life.
Assisted living facilities allow family members to freely visit residents whenever they want. Being in an assisted living facility or a nursing home will not in any way affect your family quality time, but in a nursing home, you will be asked to sign in before entering, and their visiting hours are fixed.
The amount of money needed is an important topic when deciding between assisted living and nursing homes. The cost varies depending on the location and the features and amenities of the facility. It’s wise to make calls and compare prices to help you find a facility that matches your budget.
It's always important to ask as many questions as possible so you know exactly what to expect. Don’t worry, because many facilities offer insurances and veteran’s benefits. Meanwhile, nursing homes have a fixed cost since it is government-regulated. If you don’t have the money, there will always be an available bed at a nursing home as long as the senior is eligible.
The first step to knowing where to take your parents is to have an honest discussion with them. Ask them about their wants, tell them about their needs and once you’ve figured that out, you will then know what’s the best option for your parents based on their current situation.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to help you find the best place for your parents. We have been working with over 230 communities and we’ve helped hundreds of seniors live better and more comfortable lives with the array of options we offer. Call us today to learn more about assisted living and nursing homes. We’re ready to answer any questions you might have.
Not many people realize there is a difference between a nursing home and assisted living in Vernon Hills. Here's what you should know before finding the perfect home for your loved one.Read More
Thank you to our friend Ryan for another great guest post:How Often Should We Visit Our Loved OnesWho Are In Care?Most individuals realize the difficulty ofthe decision to choose to send a loved one to an assisted living or care home facility; however, fewpeople understand the ongoing concern after that decision has been made. Evenjust deciding when to visit and for how long is a heavily weighed choice formost as visiting can provoke a variety of emotions for both parties involved.For individuals visiting, the visit can prompt feelings of sadness orfrustration, and the same is true for the loved one who is living in thefacility. Either way, following a few guidelines for visiting is important toexperience the most beneficial visit and to keep everyone’s feelings andemotions intact.Visiting FrequencyOne of the biggest questions individuals have when it comes to visiting regardshow often can and should we visit. While individuals working at the nursinghome may suggest that it is best to let them handle the loved one’s adjustmentperiod, the truth is, you and your family are your loved one’s link to his orher identity. You are the one constant in his or her life. That being said,visiting frequently is a good way to help your loved one adjust. Nevertheless,the frequency should be determined by your personal schedule as well as yourloved one’s needs. One to two times a month may be doable and appropriate forsome families and situations while others may require much less or much more.The true key, however, is consistency. Try to set aside a certain time eachmonth or week to regularly visit the loved one and keep it consistent. Thisfactor will help ground your loved one and help you plan your time more easily.Other GuidelinesIn addition to frequent visits, keeping a few other things in mind for visitingwill help both you and your loved one throughout the process.• The visit should be simple. While it may seem fun to bring several things todo with your loved one or to have several people come during the visit, theseelements can make the time overwhelming. Remember to keep it simple when youvisit and to focus on the together time as moments of joy.• A quiet, comfortable space is the most enjoyable for visiting. The point ofthe visit is to spend time with your loved one, so look for a place to visitthat is free of distraction. Consider a porch, chapel, or even just the lovedone’s room.• Be flexible. Depending on when you visit each time, your loved one may beparticipating in different tasks. Be flexible and avoid being overbearing. Ifyou are on a time schedule, consider calling ahead to see when would be thebest time to visit.• Make the visit about your loved one. Consider your loved one’s interest priorto coming and think about what he or she may enjoy doing, but don’t makeprejudgments. Once you have arrived ask your loved one how he or she wants tospend the time together and be flexible.Whether you are able to visit once a week, a couple of times a month, or a fewtimes a year, make the times you do get to enjoy count. Remember to focus onthe individual and to include him or her in the decision making. Most of alljust spend time together.Author BIO:Ryan is a Freelance writer and health enthusiast. He is in his final year of nursing and passionate about helping others and sharing his thoughts on the online world.
The idea of assisted living is something thatmight be a little bit frightening for elderly adults and the children that aretaking care of them. However, for many seniors, an assisted living facility isactually one of the most beneficial and nurturing environments out there.That’s because assisted living facilities are designedwith senior’s health and happiness in mind. Giving up thehome a senior has likely lived in is definitely scary, and the idea of asking aparent to move can be as well, but in the long run, there are many reasons whyassisted living is actually healthier for elderly adults.Optimal HealthCare Even if your parent has the best doctors inthe world outside of an assisted living facility, the health care that’sprovided for seniors in quality facilities is better for one reason – it’salways there when your parent needs it.It might be tough to think about, but asparent’s age, health problems tend to creep up. In emergency situations, youwant your parent to be able to receivethe care that they need right away.You also want your parent to be aroundtrained staff members who can spot health problems, allowing your parent to getthe care they need even before something goes wrong.NutritionMany seniors are no longer able to cook forthemselves for physical or safety reasons, which can lead to a lack of healthy,freshly prepared food in their life. Unfortunately, even if you prepare mealsfor your parent on a regular basis, it’s just not possible for most familymembers to prepare three meals per day and healthy snacks for seniors.However, that’s something that assisted livingfacilities can do. Quality facilities alsohave trained professionals on staff that understand the type of nutrition thatseniors need in order to stay healthy and live as active of a lifestylethat they can.In assisted living facilities, seniors alsoget to eat meals with other people their own age. Social interaction duringmeals is something many seniors miss, and that can be harmful. After all,social interaction actually helps aid in the food digestion, and on anemotional level, eating with other people has been something humans have donepretty much since the beginning of time!Friends andCompanionsWhile family members that care for elderlyparents in their homes certainly spend quality time with them, there’s reallyno replacement for friendship and companionship with adults their own age.Adults of the same age share common experiences and values, and simply beingaround people who have lived through the same things and have similarviewpoints makes a huge difference in an elderly adults life.When seniors move into assisted livingfacilities that’s one of the biggest features. Seniors can eat meals, do activities and simply haveconversations with people their own age, many of which will likely become dearfriends and companions in a very short time.The idea of assisted living can befrightening for seniors and their kids, but taking time to explore thepossibilities can show you how truly beneficial it can be. Seniors can livehappier, healthier lives in assisted facilities.If you think assisted living is right foryour parent or parents don’t be afraid to talkabout the idea.Thank you Virginia for your wonderful guest post!Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer in Southern California. She has experienced having to discuss assisted living with others before, and knows what a great option it is. As a health writer, she contributes to the Presidio Home Care blog.
The symptoms of PTSD and dementia may be linked, according to recent studies.
Our very own expert, Kerry Quirin has an opinion on this....
"When looking for senior living, sometimes clients will ask if the rate can be reduced. Communities will run specials from time to time, so it just depends. But, clients will also ask if the level of care charge can be taken down or negotiated. At this point, I would advise a client to see a community that is willing to negotiate that fee as a red flag. The level of care fee directly affects staffing ratios. You do not want to take that fee down because it will affect the staffing. Room rent is one thing, but staff is everything. Level of care charges should never be negotiated and it is a red flag if they are."
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Psoriasis can affect anyone, but presents particular health challenges for seniors.[/caption]
With the turmoil and sporadic weather our country continues to face, it is imperative to find a home for your loved one that has an evacuation plan in place. The AARP provides a solid guideline with this article...
Media images of nursing home residents being evacuated after an explosion this week at a nearby fertility plant in West, Texas, raise an important issue. That is, if your loved one is, or may some day be, in a nursing home, do you know what its evacuation and emergency plans are?
Continue reading the article HERE
Here's an article worth sharing from The Week: a look at the extensive costs of dementia...
By Keith Wagstaff | April 4, 2013
Dementia costs the United States $109 billion in direct care, according to a new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. To put that in perspective, caring for heart disease costs about $102 billion and cancer $77 billion.
To continue reading their article click HERE
Staying fit while aging can be tricky, but so essential for a longer, happier life. The key is figuring out the best way to stay active for your body. I wanted to share what the Mayo Clinic provides for those who suffer from osteoporosis & ways to stay active while being good to your bones.
Osteoporosis is a major cause of disability in older women. So if you have osteoporosis, how can you reduce your risk of the spinal problems and broken bones that can result in loss of mobility and independence?
The answer: Exercise.
To continue reading the entire article click HERE
I thought this Reuters article was interesting. We'd love to hear from caregivers who have been through this situation... Did you feel like there was a gap in communication?
By Genevra Pittman
(Reuters Health) - Although many older patients in Canada have thought about end-of-life care and discussed it with family members, a new study suggests fewer have spoken with doctors and had their wishes noted accurately in their medical record.
To continue reading the entire article click HERE
Unsure of what type of environment would best suit your loved one? The Mayo Clinic can help...
Long term care is a general term used to describe various home and community-based services for adults who need help taking care of themselves.
If you're considering long term care options for yourself, a parent or another loved one, start the research and discussions early.
To continue reading the entire article click HERE
I wanted to share this because it has got to be a common feeling among Caregivers. It's totally normal, but that fact doesn't help with feeling better. This article does; read it for some advise on managing those emotions...
by Barry J. Jacobs, AARP
I have a confession to make: I resent driving my 82-year-old mother to visit her husband, my demented stepfather, at the smelly, crowded and unpleasant nursing home where he now is confined. On the 20-minute ride there, I grip the steering wheel and silently seethe. I'm irritable while she and I try to have a comprehensible conversation with him. I can't wait to get out of there.
To continue reading the entire article click HERE
Maybe it's denial when dementia "sneaks up" on a loved one or maybe it just takes a turn for the worst, very quickly. Either way, should you find yourself here, know you are not alone and yes, it is very difficult to decide what and how to do -- especially when you aren't the only one deciding! This AAPR article suggests hiring someone who's trained to navigate these waters and I think it's worth the money, at the very least a one hour session. You can learn a lot in an hour.
by: Sheryl Nance-Nash, from: AARP
When an aged parent needs long-term care or nears the end of life, adult siblings often argue about how to handle a loved one's care. Now, a new profession is emerging to help tamp down the tempers: the elder care mediator.
To continue reading the entire article click HERE
With Spring around the corner, albeit a little further than we like at the moment, it's still good to think about getting back outside and being active! I know I've been already dreaming of this, so today we bring you a guest blogger who's main focus are seniors and wellness.
written by Andy, Patient Handling Australia
Whowould not want retirement? It means freedom. No more morning rush hours, reportdeadlines, work pressures and taunting faces of superiors. Another good thingis that retired people nowadays live longer and stay active. Retiring is notanymore about rocking chairs or watching TV. People already know the importanceof staying physically active in health and wellness. It is fortunate to haveplenty of ways to stay active at retirement. The following are just five of them.
Mindyour health by engaging in an active hobby that you are interested about andcould keep you physically and mentally moving. Either you go for a sport thatyou have been passionate about or join a photography class or group naturewalks. The activities you enjoy would take away boredom. Doing so would be goodfor your health and because it is something that you love doing, it would beeasy. Then you shall have longer years to pursue your passion.
Ifyou have just been an office body all those working years, it is great toexplore the outdoors this time. You will feel great inner joy. Find a nearbyfitness or nature trail during the morning to walk in for exercise whileenjoying the tranquility and beauty of nature. Watch the sun come up and savorfresh air. Outdoor recreational activities can be fun like hiking, tennis orminiature golf. You may also start a backyard garden. Watching your plants growwould be very inspiring and fulfilling.
Theremust be places that you dream of visiting. Now is the opportune time asretirement is a chance to see the world. Visit a favorite place each year.Travel hubs that will keep you moving are better. Join “adventure” vacationsthat let you try kayaking or canoeing. Visit the beaches for a swim and walkalong the shorelines. Have a spa vacation or maybe a fitness retreat where youcan do exercise, join yoga classes, eat nutritious food and get pampered.
Beclose friends with active people and plan outings. Having the same outlook, youmay agree and enjoy bowling, croquet and golf together. Even playing insomebody else’ back yard can already be fun. Being with active and positivepeople is encouraging and motivating to keep up with staying fit and healthy.
Picka cause you are passionate about and volunteer to be of service to that cause.For example, you may volunteer walking dogs of the humane society at yourlocality or help at an animal shelter. If you can do carpentry works or aregood at handling nails and a hammer, utilize them by building or repairing somehomes through Global Village or Habitat for Humanity. Volunteering for a causenot only is being active in the community but also mind-challenging and helpingothers. It is good for both the body and spirit.
Andyis an active blogger in the senior and aged care community, where hecontributed numerous articles. Aside from blogging, Andy distributes rollators and walking frames as well as a wide range of aged care products.
Your expert advisor will accumulate information necessary for proper placement, such as your needs, location, and budget.
We provide numerous recommendations based on the details provided. Our goal is to combine your needs with our knowledge of senior communities.
Your advisor will accompany you on tours so your search can be as thorough as possible. We want what’s best for your loved ones just as much as you do.
After a choice has been made and your loved one has moved into their new home, we will continuously check in to make sure everything is going well.
Together, let’s begin the journey to finding the home that will enhance the life of your family.