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Avalon Memory Care

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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

Memory Loss, Food Scarcity, and How Senior Living Communities Can Help

By Jeff Kauffman, Community Liaison at Avalon Memory Care During one of my recent visits to our Allencrest Lane community in Dallas, the first thing that hits me when I walk through the doors is the smell of cookies baking. For a moment, I am transported back to my childhood coming home from school when my mom would have baked a special snack just for me. I walk down the hallway and beeline for the kitchen. I am so excited to see the chefs not only baking cookies but also preparing lunch for the residents. Each plate has baked chicken, vegetables, and—one of my personal favorites—mashed potatoes with the skins, just like Grandma used to make. It looks so good I ask if I can join the residents for a meal. “When will the cookies be done?” I ask. Nurse Olivia laughs and says, “Save room for dessert!” I sit down in a comfy red chair in the dining room next to a lovely couple eating with one of the residents. I introduce myself, and learn they are Gary and Linda, visiting Louise (Gary’s mother). Gary spoons potatoes into Louise’s mouth, and her eyes light up. “My dad died about five years ago,” Gary tells me, “so Mom lived alone for a while. We thought everything was fine, and that my mom was fine, but it turns out my dad was hiding my mom’s dementia from us.” Gary says that with his dad gone, his mom was home alone most of the time, and with no one to cook for, she stopped cooking altogether. Because she stopped making fresh meals, her dementia worsened, and some days she would forget to eat. “She was wasting away, [...]

By |2021-06-01T11:16:09-05:00June 1st, 2021|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Memory Care|0 Comments

Why Wandering Happens and How to Prevent It

Wandering can be a serious concern for Alzheimer’s patients- even those in the early stages. It’s not uncommon for people living with the disease to become lost or confused about where they are or what they’re doing. More than half of those who have the disease will wander at least once and most will do so quite often. Several things can lead an Alzheimer’s patient to wander. Stress or fear about their surroundings, searching for someone or something, and not getting basic needs met are all risk factors. In order to prevent wandering off, some specific steps need to be taken. It’s important that those with Alzheimer’s have a daily routine and activities that keep them busy. Also, identifying when a person is most likely to wander and planning an activity during that time could help prevent it. If someone is prone to wandering, then a home security system might be needed. A busy and confusing environment can be a trigger for wandering, so avoid crowded, confusing environments. It’s important to find a memory care community that is dedicated to following these basic guidelines in order to prevent wandering. Avalon Memory Care provides structure and excellent staff to keep residents safe and comfortable. Staff prevents wandering by reducing triggers, such as making sure personal needs are met, providing structure and meaningful activities as well as creating a calm environment. There is 24-hour security that monitors patients without making them feel restricted but still keeps them safe and secure. You can count on Avalon Memory Care to make safety a number one priority for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. With round-the-clock continuous care and a commitment to working closely with families, you can [...]

By |2021-05-20T15:27:48-05:00May 20th, 2021|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Memory Care|0 Comments

What to Look For in a Quality Alzheimer’s Community or Group Home for Your Loved One

Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult diagnosis - for both the patient and their family members. When symptoms like memory loss and the declining ability to do simple tasks worsen, patients and family members may feel defeated. This is why quality care is so important to consider early in the journey. Certainly, good Alzheimer’s support is vital to a patient’s quality of life while they are still in their home. It is possibly even more important if and when the family is seeking care outside of the home.  When selecting a community for an Alzheimer’s patient, the following attributes and amenities are important considerations:   Social Engagement and Activities Daily socializing and stimulation are an essential component of Alzheimer’s care.  Just like the majority of people prior to their diagnosis, having hobbies and maintaining relationships helps Alzheimer’s patients feel happier and less anxious. Daily activities such as puzzles, games, and mental/physical exercises for seniors can boost patients’ confidence and create structure which ultimately keeps them from feeling isolated.   Family Support Family members need to be the main source of guidance when it comes to the patient’s care journey.  When family members truly want what is in the best interest of their loved one, they will be heavily involved in creating a plan for the patient, and deciding what is most beneficial, enjoyable and attainable for their loved one. Family members are highly encouraged to come and visit as often as they would like. Maintaining close family connections is vital for both patients and family members, so an open-door policy is important.   Consistent Staffing Familiar staff members and caregivers create structure for already confused and often disoriented residents.  Consistent staffing helps develop close relationships between [...]

By |2021-05-10T08:21:25-05:00May 10th, 2021|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Uncategorized|0 Comments