Avalon Memory Care

At Avalon Memory Care, your loved one will always receive compassionate care focused on supporting their dignity and quality of life, 24/7.

Long Distance Caregiving: How to help from afar

Living far from our parents might present an unforeseen challenge when they begin to age and need more assistance. While we want to be physically present to help them each day, it might not be an option when jobs are located hundreds of miles away from where an elder parent or parents live. Most caregivers are in their late 40s, working on the middle of their careers, and sandwiched between responsibilities in their own home and those of a senior parent(s). It can feel overwhelming to juggle it all. Having a plan in place is a good way to prepare for any health, mobility, or cognitive situations that arise. The following are some tips that can get you started.   Make a Contact List Brainstorm a list of people both you and your parents trust. Begin with the obvious family members and friends, then branch out. Especially if your parents are homebodies and don’t interact much with the outside world, you’ll have to get a little creative. Family: This includes relatives who live close by, like your siblings, your parents’ siblings, and any other members of the family who are responsible and trustworthy. Friends: If your parents have a core group they socialize with, get their contact info in case you need them to check on your parents in the future. This can be church friends, book club members, or old college buddies who live in town. Even add your own local friends to the list. Neighbors: A trusted neighbor is a wonderful lookout for an elder parent. Find out who lives close and has a friendly rapport with your parents. Introduce yourself and exchange phone numbers. In the case of an emergency, they might [...]

By |2023-02-07T10:00:11-06:00February 7th, 2023|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Memory Care, Senior Health|0 Comments

Planning Your Future After a Dementia Diagnosis

A dementia diagnosis is distressing for any family. Even when so much feels unknown, there can still be some comfort in knowing what steps to take to prepare for the days ahead. Updating vital information, proofing the home for any safety issues, and supporting your loved one’s emotional wellness are ways to get ready. It’s just as important to keep self-care in your own routine, too. Dementia affects the entire family’s mental health, so now’s the time to plan solutions that will give your mind and body much-needed hiatus moving forward. Our team at Avalon Memory Care know this prep time is a critical stage in the dementia journey. We’re here to help.   Here are some tips to get you started: Gather Important Paperwork Circumstances can change rapidly for any major life event, especially when there’s a dementia diagnosis. That’s why keeping necessary documents in an accessible place is essential.   Follow this guide to start building your loved one’s personal file. Consider including: Your loved one’s current medications, health conditions, immunizations, and doctors’ names and numbers Covid immunization card Dental records or procedures, including if dentures are worn Emergency numbers Copy of health insurance card Current photo of your loved one (additionally, one photo with you and other family, for any identification purposes) Hard copy of an estate will Location of family heirlooms A living will with your loved one’s wishes for their medical care Financial records, like current bank statements, pension info, life insurance, credit cards, loans, and 401k accounts House deed Property deeds Vehicle titles Relevant court documents Passwords to online accounts + your loved one’s computer where they store important files Pet records, including the pet’s medications, vet’s name and [...]

By |2023-01-26T11:41:57-06:00January 26th, 2023|Categories: Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Memory Care|0 Comments

How to Know When It’s Time for Memory Care

If your loved one lives with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you know that their symptoms progress over a long time, making it hard to know what kind of care they need.  At first, you may think, “I should be able to handle this.”  But as cognitive function significantly declines, you may find yourself considering memory care for your senior. It’s normal for family members to feel guilt and grief when they realize they can’t manage the increasing care needs of loved ones with dementia.  It’s a decision no person wants to make but can quickly become the new reality.  As much as it hurts to consider moving a loved one from the familiarity of their home, handling all of the caregiving yourself takes a toll on your own physical and mental health, plus it’s not always the best choice for your loved one. Typically, memory care is an option for people suffering from mid to late-stage Alzheimer’s disease or dementia when the condition creates more significant changes and challenges in a person’s life.  The disease will eventually progress, and at some point, your loved one will need 24-hour supervision.  To know where you are on this journey, working closely with your loved one’s medical team will help you determine when the time is right. If your senior lives alone, it can be harder to see the changes.  You may visit and discover that their appearance, cleaning regimen, and social schedule have changed dramatically.  Sometimes, you’ll find out things are worse than you imagined if your loved one has a medical emergency or a life-threatening accident. If you’re worried about your senior’s safety or the safety of others, it could be time to get the family [...]

By |2022-11-29T11:08:32-06:00November 29th, 2022|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Memory Care|0 Comments

Accepting the Need for Memory Care

It’s typical for families to discuss finding care for a loved one in the mid-to-late stages of dementia, but it isn’t easy. Moving a family member to a memory care community can cause a wave of grief, guilt, and sadness. The notion of pulling someone you love out of their daily routine often feels wrong at that moment. It feels like abandonment. It feels like a weak decision. It seems so final. But caring for someone we love means making sure they’re safe, protected, and healthy, and sometimes we can’t do that alone. Accepting that your loved one needs memory care is a difficult process, but one that will enable you to focus on enjoying your relationship and your time together. How Do You Know It’s Time for Memory Care? According to U.S. News, 5.8 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. They list six distinct behaviors that indicate a genuinely needed move to a memory care community like Avalon. Changes in behavior. Someone who was always calm and collected may suddenly show signs of aggravation or irritation. Changes in appearance. Someone who has always dressed meticulously may be disheveled or unwashed. People with Alzheimer’s disease can forget how to bathe or style their hair. Confusion and disorientation. Confusion can become dangerous if your loved one drives or wanders from the house. It’s critical to address safety issues for your loved one's sake and the safety of others. A decline in physical health. A decline could mean that your loved one forgot to go grocery shopping or forgot how to cook. It could also mean they haven’t taken their meds or have taken too much. A caregiver’s deterioration. When a [...]

By |2022-01-27T15:44:23-06:00January 25th, 2022|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Memory Care, Uncategorized|0 Comments

What might Alzheimer’s look like?

What might Alzheimer’s look like? Noticing the early signs in your parents. Over the past two years, families have had to forgo a lot of together time due to the Covid restrictions, so it’s no surprise that many of us can go months without being in the same room as our aging parents. If you’ve been communicating with your mom or dad primarily by phone or facetime, you might notice some worrisome changes when you’re finally in the same room together. And while the most active parent will naturally slow down a bit over time, some signs warrant further investigation: Repeating the same question or story. Everyone has moments when they forget they've told an account already, but if you notice your mom asking you the same question repeatedly or that your dad is telling you about the neighbors for the third time in an hour, they could be struggling with short term memory. Confusion about how much time has passed, problems with time management. Alzheimer’s disease damages the part of the brain responsible for processing the passage of time, so your parent might think you’ve been gone hours when it’s only been a few minutes, or they might say that they hadn't seen you in several years when it was just last month. Failing to recognize or remember people. We all know how much family members can change, especially children, but if your parent struggles to remember loved ones, they could be showing signs of dementia. Changes in appearance. Is your ordinarily polished mom looking disheveled? Has your dad lost a lot of weight? Check the refrigerator and cupboards for fresh food or signs of a recent trip to the grocery store. They may [...]

By |2022-01-11T13:39:16-06:00January 11th, 2022|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Memory Care|0 Comments

What You Can Do For World Alzheimer’s Month

Taking a moment to recognize World Alzheimer’s Month can not only help reduce the stigma about the disease, but it can show your loved one whose been diagnosed how much they mean to you. By honoring them you are also spreading awareness about this difficult disease. This September the theme for the 2021 campaign is “Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s.” According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, the theme is all about the power of knowledge. The campaign is aimed at raising global awareness through social media. The website has a campaign toolkit to help you figure out how to do your part in spreading the word. Raising awareness about the disease is an opportunity to educate others on signs and symptoms and reduce fears that can come with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.  Urge families to get involved in Alzheimer’s research, too. Create attention about the disease to generate support for more science which could benefit generations to come. There is so much you can do but here are a few examples to get you started.   National Fundraising Participating in national funding helps the Alzheimer’s Association to fund care, support, and research. You can do any number of things including, participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, make a donation or create a team for The Longest Day which is an event created to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s. Go to the Alzheimer’s Association website to see other ways to raise money.   Join an Alzheimer's Association Chapter Finding a local Alzheimer’s Association Chapter is the perfect way to stay connected to those who have been affected by the disease. You will find others who completely understand the life journey you are on. Plus, coming [...]

By |2021-08-23T11:17:22-05:00August 23rd, 2021|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care|0 Comments

Preparing for Your Future with Alzheimer’s Disease

An Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis can be extremely overwhelming. It can be emotional, exhausting and scary, but preparation for the future can help take away some of the stress that comes along with the diagnosis.   Get Educated Educating yourself on you or your loved ones’ diagnosis can help you plan for the future. There are so many ways you can learn about Alzheimer's disease, whether it’s online or talking to your health care provider. It might also be helpful to hire a planning consultant to cover all of your bases. Doing the research will help prevent fears and worries about what is to come and will also help you know what to look for in a caregiver or memory care provider. Avalon Memory Care offers free consultations and advice for senior living planning. Email nurseholly@avalonmemorycare.com for assistance.   Create a Legal and Financial Plan This step is very important for not only the Alzheimer’s patient, but also the patient’s family members. Doing this early on will allow the patient to be involved in the decision making process before they lose their ability to do so. Someone will need to be appointed as the Power of Attorney which means they will be the one making medical decisions for the patient when they no longer are able to. Other important steps include creating a last will and testament, a living will and a living trust. Making these financial and legal decisions early on can help take some of the burden off of the diagnosis.   Caregiver and Long-Term Care Planning In the early stages of the diagnosis you or your loved one probably won’t need constant supervision. Simple steps such as, a daily plan for activities and [...]

By |2021-07-21T15:54:00-05:00July 21st, 2021|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care|0 Comments

7 Tips to Prepare for a Move to a Senior Living Community

You’ve seen the signs--your mom doesn’t know how to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, your father calls you over and over to ask you the same question, or both forget to do their dishes or eat nutritious meals. These could be signs of memory loss or a major sign of anxiety, or a combination of both, and also, are very good reasons that you may start to consider moving your loved one. It’s a difficult decision to make, but once you know it’s time for your loved one to move into a senior living community, it can be even more difficult knowing what to do next. How to Help a Loved One Move to a Senior Community If you think your loved one may need to move into a senior living community, it’s important to take the following steps to get them into a place that is best suited for their needs. 1.  Gather legal documents It’s recommended that you gather all of your documents ahead of time. This way you’ll be ready to go once you’ve chosen the best place for your loved one and are working on getting moved in. Once you get deep into the process of looking for the best community for your loved one, you’ll be happy the documents are there. Beyond filling out a document with your loved one’s personal information, you’ll need copies of the following: Insurance Cards Medicare Cards ID Card Power of Attorney Medical Power of Attorney Guardianship Documentation Advanced Directives DNR 2.  Call Primary Care Physician Contacting your loved one’s PCP is the second thing you should do. Ask them for two things: History and Physical records and a medication list. The facility is going [...]

By |2021-07-09T08:06:04-05:00July 9th, 2021|Categories: Avalon Memory Care, Senior Health, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Challenges Surrounding the Sandwich Generation

Being a part of the “Sandwich Generation” can be extremely challenging. These are family members who are “sandwiched” between their elderly parents and their young adult children. Typically, it accounts for people in their 40s or 50s. In recent years, the traditional “Sandwich Generation” has expanded the “menu.” Now, there’s the “Club Sandwich Generation” which are older adults in their 50s and 60s who are wedged between their older parents, their adult children who are in their 30’s and 40’s and then their grandchildren. There’s also the “Open Faced Sandwich Generation” which is anyone who is non-professionally involved in elderly care, which is estimated to be 25% of us at some point in life. All three of these terms encompass hard challenges. Statistics show that the financial burdens that come along with being a part of these generations are rising. A survey (conducted in 2012) found that 48% of adults between 40 and 59 have provided some type of financial support to at least one grown child in the past year. In comparison, 21% have provided financial support to a parent age 65 or older in the past year. The crossover between the two can cause troubling financial issues. Besides the financial issues, the stress of being a part of the Sandwich Generation can lead to burnout, depression, isolation and guilt. Those who are a part of the Sandwich Generation might struggle with balancing other relationships, their families, their job and time for themselves. The survey also found that among all adults with at least one parent age 65 or older, 30% say their parent or parents need assistance handling their affairs or care for themselves. This can be a huge task when also caring [...]

By |2021-06-23T16:28:13-05:00June 23rd, 2021|Categories: Avalon Memory Care, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia

June is Alzheimer’s and Dementia Awareness Month. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.” As we raise awareness of those who are living with memory loss and brain issues, we also want to acknowledge the people who provide support and care for those with dementia each and every day. Dementia and Memory Care: A Guide for Helpers If you’re the primary caregiver of someone with memory loss, you’re not alone. In March 2021, helpguide.org reported that over 16 million people in the United States are taking care of someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s. In one year, caregivers will provide 18.5 billion hours of care. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Approximately two-thirds of dementia caregivers are women, about one in three caregivers (34%) is age 65 or older, and approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are ‘sandwich generation’ caregivers, meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.” How to Care for Someone with Dementia Being a caregiver to someone with memory loss can be deeply rewarding for both you and the person with dementia. However, it can also be stressful and emotional. As your loved one’s mental, emotional, and physical state deteriorates, it can take a toll on your own psyche and well-being.  Many caregivers stop taking care of themselves in favor of spending more time and focus on their loved one. This can lead to caregivers developing anxiety, depression, and burnout. The CDC reported that 53% of caregivers “indicate that a decline in their health compromises their ability to provide care.” How can you take care of someone else while still taking care of yourself? [...]

By |2021-06-11T09:19:06-05:00June 11th, 2021|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Uncategorized|0 Comments