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Memory Care

Memory care is a special kind of care provided to those with varying degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are the most recent articles on this topic from Avalon Memory Care.

You’ve Earned It: The Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit

Where to start? Many veterans and spouses of veterans have little or no idea what benefits are available to them and how to apply for them. If that sounds like you or someone you know, call the Veteran’s Benefit Hotline at 800 827-1000. Thousands of VA Benefits are available for those people who are still serving, for those just transitioning out of the service, to those whose spouses served long ago, and for everyone in-between. Available benefits run the gamut from the obvious, like pension and healthcare benefits, to the less well known like financial support for your veteran owned small business and, of interest to most readers of our blog, the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit. As with many government-related benefits, there can be a lot of confusion and misconceptions surrounding it. We’ve broken down some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) to help clarify and bring understanding to this helpful benefit. What Is the Aid & Attendance Benefit? The Aid & Attendance benefit, also known as “VA assisted living benefit,” “improved pension” or “veterans elder care benefits,” is a monetary benefit available to eligible veterans and their surviving spouses. It can be used to pay for home health care assistance, the cost of living in an assisted living community or other services that the individual needs for their everyday functioning. Who qualifies for the Aid & Attendance Benefit? If you currently receive a military pension and require help with ADLs (“Activities of Daily Living” such as eating, drinking, bathing, dressing, toileting, paying bills, homemaking, etc.), you may qualify for the benefit. To qualify, seniors must meet two requirements: a military-related requirement and a health-related requirement. First, the individual must be a [...]

By |2020-11-11T15:49:54-06:00November 11th, 2020|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Memory Care, Senior Health|0 Comments

Should You Be Tested for Alzheimers?

Should You Be Tested for Alzheimers? The idea of being tested for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia is often scary. Even if you or a loved one have noticed issues that don’t go away – like memory lapses, mood changes or difficulty using language – many of us hope that the issue will go away in time, or we simply put off getting tested because we don’t want to hear the news. While this is a natural reaction, experts say that it’s best to detect Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia as early as possible. There are medicines and treatments available on the market that can help slow and temporarily halt the progression of the disease, but they are most effective when treatment is begun during the early stages of the disease. It’s also possible that the symptoms you or your loved one are experiencing are not due to dementia at all, but are a side effect of medications, underlying illnesses, infections or other issues that can be treated. Whether that is the case or not, it is always a good idea to visit your doctor to determine the cause of any unusual or concerning symptoms before they get worse. There is no one specific test that is used to determine if you or a loved one have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Instead, doctors will use a series of tests and exams to help make a diagnosis. While physicians can almost always determine if an individual’s issues are due to dementia, it may be difficult for them to pinpoint the exact type of dementia the individual has. It’s often wise to have another family member go with you or your loved [...]

By |2020-09-24T10:38:29-05:00September 8th, 2020|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Memory Care, Senior Health|0 Comments

Is Memory Care the Right Choice During COVID-19?

Is Memory Care the Right Choice During COVID-19? The coronavirus pandemic has been, in a word, life-changing. Everyone’s life has been touched in some way to different extents, but perhaps the hardest-hit demographic are those with senior loved ones. This is especially true for family caregivers who care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. In a smaller sense, individuals whose loved ones reside in a memory care community like Avalon Memory Care also share a similar sense of worry and stress. Your family’s main priority is to keep your loved one safe and healthy. How is that possible in an enclosed community that’s filled with high-risk individuals? We want you to know, we understand. The idea of moving your loved one into a memory care community right now can seem scary and impossible. Even if your loved one is already in a memory care community, you may wish to pull them out so you can care for them at home in a safe, responsible manner. We at Avalon Memory Care will never stand in the way of family members doing what they think is best for their senior loved ones. However, we wanted to take this article to talk to you about how safe a memory care community can be, particularly at this time in our society. Although it may seem counterintuitive, individuals with memory issues can actually live more safely and with less risk at a community that’s been designed specifically for them.   Enhanced sanitization and health practices. As a commercial business – one that is dedicated to the care and safety of seniors with memory care – we are required to follow strict guidelines laid out by [...]

By |2020-09-24T10:33:00-05:00August 24th, 2020|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Memory Care|0 Comments

Paying for Memory Care: Costs, Options and Resources

When you or a loved one are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, there are many things to consider and plan for. One of the biggest concerns most seniors and their families have is paying for memory care. Since dementia is a progressive disease, the care that the individual will need increases as the disease progresses. Eventually, an individual with dementia will need around-the-clock care, which is usually administered – but not always – in a specialized memory care community like Avalon Memory Care. Nearly 5.5. million Americans are living with a form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia or frontotemporal dementia (FTD). This number is only expected to increase as the Baby Boomers continue to age and medical technology continues to extend our natural lifespans. And that means that the cost of memory care is likely to continue to increase for many American families. Currently, the worldwide cost of dementia care is approximately 1 trillion U.S. dollars. In other words, if dementia care were a country, it’s GDP would be the 17th highest in the world! That’s a lot of money being spent...and fortunately, there are a variety of programs available to help provide financial assistance, respite care and other forms of aid to help seniors, families and caregivers. At Avalon Memory Care, we understand very well the cost of providing memory care – financially, emotionally and mentally. Our goal is to not just be a home for your loved one, but also a resource for you and your family members. Part of that is providing the information you need to help you make a wise decision with regards to care. To that end, we’ve put together some helpful information [...]

By |2020-05-26T16:48:00-05:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Memory Care|0 Comments

What to Do If You Think Your Mom Has Alzheimer’s

What to Do If You Think Your Mom Has Alzheimer’s When mom doesn’t appear to be as sharp as she once was, or seems to forget topics you just discussed, or begins to falsely accuse you of taking her things a red flag goes up.  Is this normal behavior for the aging or could she be suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other form of memory loss? People tend to second guess a call to her doctor, but you shouldn’t.  Proper care as early as possible is critical. There isn’t a cure, but there are some treatments that can help to slow a degenerative condition.  However, before you pick up the phone for professional advice make sure to document what you are seeing and hearing. Keep track of your observances for a short period of time. Observe and keep a written record of memory loss problems. Memory loss is a rather generic term to describe Alzheimer’s, but it doesn’t mean that’s the diagnosis.  We all experience a moment of memory loss here and there. It is when memory loss is so significant that it impairs everyday life when we need to take notice.  That’s when doctors begin to suspect someone needs dementia care. Here’s what you want to look for: Forgetting to go to appointments Forgetting how to navigate to a frequently visited destination Asking repeated information Poor judgment Problems managing money Forgetting task just done Difficulty completing familiar tasks Problems with planning Disorientation to time or place Withdrawal and other changes in personality Talk to your mom’s doctor. Adult children are often unsure about how best to get involved with an elderly parent’s healthcare or if they are violating HIPAA laws. Everyone in the U.S. has the [...]

By |2020-04-20T09:03:53-05:00April 20th, 2020|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Memory Care|0 Comments

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Memory Care Community

A diagnosis of dementia requires a lot of choices, all throughout the disease’s journey. One of the biggest decisions families will face is deciding when it’s time to place a loved one in a memory care community. This decision can be made early on in the diagnosis – in fact, experts recommend coming to a decision as early as possible so your loved one can have his or her say. Or the decision may come later when a family caregiver decides a loved one needs more assistance than can be provided at home. “The decision of when it’s time to move to a memory care community is a personal decision and one that you should spend time considering,” says Michelle Strong, Resident Care Coordinator of Avalon Memory Care. “Once you’ve come to the decision that it’s time – or determined a timeline for when it’s time – you come to the next phase of decisions: choosing the right community for yourself or a loved one.” As with anything in life, says Michelle, asking the right questions will help you narrow down your options and come to the decision that’s best for your family. And the right questions aren’t always about dollars and cents. “Memory care communities can offer a wide range of services, some which may be of great importance for your loved one and some that may not be necessary at all,” says Michelle. “That’s why before you jump in and begin touring memory care communities, it’s important to sit down with your family’s decision makers, thoughtfully consider what your loved one needs and then begin your search. The more information you have going in to a tour, the better equipped you’ll be to determine the best [...]

By |2019-08-29T20:05:41-05:00August 29th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Helping A Loved One Transition to Memory Care: Keeping in Touch

When your loved one is making the move to memory care, it’s easy to think of moving day as the finish line. But while that day is a goal you’re working towards, remember that the day itself isn’t really an “ending.” In fact, you can look at Moving Day as the beginning of a new phase for you and your loved one. Change can be hard for any of us, and that goes double with a loved one who has a memory disease such as Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Research shows that it can take 90 days or longer for your loved one to become adjusted in their new home. Having a plan for helping your loved one – and you – become gradually more comfortable with their new reality will help ease the transition and make home feel like, well, “home” as soon as possible. Tip #1: Make regular visits. Throughout the first few weeks, your loved one will be trying to adjust to their new routine, new schedule and new location. Having familiar faces around them will help reassure them, provide a sense of stability and help them feel calmer and more confident. But this can be a delicate dance, because visiting too much (or at the wrong time) can be just as detrimental as not visiting enough. You’ll want to connect with the staff members to determine when your loved one is at their best and when good times to visit will be. Tip #2: Understand – and expect – there will be bad days. Just when you think everything is great and your loved one has adjusted, there will be something that changes. Your loved one doesn’t like any of their [...]

By |2019-07-05T11:19:42-05:00July 5th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

The Different Types of Dementia Treated at Avalon Memory Care

When you hear the word “dementia,” what do you automatically think of? For most people, the phrase “Alzheimer’s disease” most often springs to mind. To someone whose life hasn’t been affected by neurocognitive disease, the words “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” may be used interchangeably. But though these two words are similar, they have very different meanings. “Dementia” is a blanket term for a group of neurocognitive disorders. It’s not a disease in and of itself: it’s a group of symptoms that are caused by other conditions. Generally, they manifest in similar ways: they’re progressive, generally are characterized by memory loss and behavior changes and often result in death. It’s important to note that because these diseases attack the brain, memory is only one aspect that is affected. Depending on where the disease spreads, individuals can lose physical abilities and undergo mental and emotional changes. While Alzheimer’s disease is a dementia (and the most common form of dementia), it is not the only form of dementia. Currently, the medical community recognizes 13 different kinds of dementia. Here are the five main types of dementia that make up nearly all of cases: Alzheimer's disease. This form of dementia makes up 60-80% of dementia cases. It’s characterized by memory loss, particularly short-term memory loss, poor judgement, disruptive behaviors like anger and agitation and eventual loss of physical abilities. Researchers are not sure yet why or how people develop Alzheimer’s disease. Vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is caused by something going awry in the circulatory system that affects the flow of blood to the brain. This can be caused by a stroke, coronary artery disease, or any other cardiovascular symptoms that narrow the blood vessels. Symptoms of vascular dementia will be [...]

By |2019-06-21T11:02:04-05:00June 21st, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Hello, Edinburg! Avalon Memory Care Opens our Newest Location in Hidalgo County, TX

Fun, food, friends and fellowship were on the agenda on May 28, 2019 as Avalon Memory Care held a ribbon cutting ceremony for our new community in Edinburg, TX. Community members, partners, stakeholders and Avalon staff joined together to celebrate the new building and show off the state-of-the-art building to the public. “We’re excited to bring our signature memory care programming to the Edinburg community,” says Dr. Maurice McDonald of Avalon Memory Care. “Our goal is to help individuals living with dementia and other cognitive impairments to have self-esteem, dignity and the support they need to live a life full of daily joy and happiness.” “We are looking forward to bringing an improved quality of life in a comfortable home setting for Edinburg seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive impairments,” says Rita McDonald, RN. “It is our privilege to provide the best memory care for your loved one and provide family members more opportunities to make meaningful moments and spend time together.” The new Avalon Memory Care facility has sixteen semi-private and private rooms, a community dining room, a secure outdoor courtyard, comfortable common areas and many more amenities. The community is designed to feel like home and provides 24-hour care for our residents with a strict focus on the overall safety, well-being and best possible quality of life. For more information about our signature memory care programming, or to learn more about our new location in Edinburg, TX, please contact us at 888-522-1918.

By |2019-06-18T10:05:11-05:00June 18th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Helping A Loved One Transition to Memory Care: Making Moving Day a Positive Experience

In our first Transitions blog, we discussed how to help prepare for your loved one’s move to memory care. In this month’s blog, we have suggestions for how to make the big day – moving day – as stress-free and positive as possible. You’ve planned and prepared, and now it’s finally here – the day you move your loved one to their new home in a memory care community. This can be the most anxiety-inducing and emotionally fraught part of the process for you, simply because there may be no telling how your loved one will react. First of all, take a deep breath – you’re not alone in this. The memory care community you’ve chosen has extensive experience in helping move residents in, and the staff and leadership will be a supportive presence you can lean on to help ease the transition. Here are a few suggestions for how you can help make the move a little easier and keep you, your loved one and other family members calm and feeling supported. Directly before moving day Take some time off. Moving day can be a long, exhausting process. Make it a little easier for yourself by taking the time off from work so you can be present for your loved one without having to worry about deadlines or client meetings. You may want to stay at the community for the entire day to help your loved one acclimate, or you may wish to have several short visits throughout the day. Arrange for some support. During the move, it’s best to have at least two people present so that someone can attend to your loved one at all times. If you have a family member who can join [...]

By |2019-06-07T13:00:20-05:00June 7th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments