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Senior Health

As we age, our bodies and minds change. There are things you can do to stay more healthy as you age. Here are the latest articles on senior health from Avalon Memory Care.

Is there anything good about dementia?

You’re probably thinking “what a strange question.” We all know that dementia presents daunting challenges for both caregivers and for people living with dementia. According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, family caregivers of people with dementia have more anxiety, stress, and depression than non-caregivers, and caring for someone with dementia has more negative impacts than caring for other disorders. True. Though there is proof of a way to positively influence the experience. Good Experiences of Caregivers A huge body of research agrees that caring for people with dementia gets more and more difficult as the disease progresses. However, people who report better, more positive experiences and outcomes start with a different attitude and perception of what it is to care for people with dementia. Generally, caregivers who take a less traditional view of their role and the desired outcomes of their efforts reported a higher quality of life than other caregivers. In fact, 90% of them were more likely to report positive aspects of caregiving for those with dementia. Researcher and author Geofrey Tremont compared 41 of the most meaningful cases from a 1,000 case studies and found that “Most caregivers report some degree of satisfaction with providing care, including feeling needed and useful, feeling good about oneself, learning new skills, developing a positive attitude and appreciation for life, and strengthening relationships with others.” Good experiences of people with dementia. Life changes with dementia but can continue on in meaningful and sometimes surprising ways. One former musician who now has dementia recently became famous for improvising a beautiful composition on four notes that was later arranged for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. An interesting note: the part of the brain that [...]

By |2020-11-20T15:08:58-06:00November 20th, 2020|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Memory Care, Senior Health|0 Comments

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

Top 10 Things to Consider Before you Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance

Should I get long-term care insurance? Pros and cons of a common option to pay for senior living Long-term Care Insurance covers the costs of prolonged health care services for chronic illnesses, disabilities or conditions that leave a person requiring daily assistance. It can fill gaps in coverage from employer-based health plans or private health insurance policies, and it covers ongoing long-term care while Medicare does not. Where can I use it? Most LTC insurance policies cover care in a wide range of settings, including the policyholder’s home, adult day care centers, assisted living, memory care and nursing homes. Many policies also help cover the costs of modifying a home to make it more accessible. Do I need it? While it can be a financial lifeline for some policyholders, long-term care insurance can be a significant expense - especially purchased later in life -- and isn’t the best option for every case. Here are some things to take into consideration: What are the upsides? Senior care can be expensive and can burn through a person’s savings very quickly. Having a policy that covers some or all of these costs can help a senior keep a nest egg intact and stay financially independent. Having insurance may also give a senior more options for long-term care, including choices that Medicaid does not cover. A long-term care policy can’t be canceled because of the policyholder’s age, physical condition or mental health. Once started, policy will continue until the holder stops paying premiums or exhausts the benefits.   What are the downsides? Long-term care insurance premiums can be a big added expense, especially if budgets are tight. Some insurers have hiked premiums by double digits in the past -- [...]

By |2020-04-09T09:18:20-05:00April 9th, 2020|Categories: Avalon Memory Care, Senior Health, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Heart Smarts: Tips to Keep Your Heart (And Brain) Happy and Healthy

In literature and popular culture, we often talk about our hearts and our heads: the two being often diametrically opposed to one another. Use your brain! one may say. Follow your heart! says another. It would make sense to think that these two organs would be completely separate when it comes to health, too. However, the connection between the brain and the heart is much closer than you might expect...in fact, you might say that you can’t affect one without affecting the other. It turns out that our hearts and our brains are the yin and the yang that keep our body moving. Our heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout our body – which is what fuels our brain – which sends signals to the heart to keep pumping, and so on, and so forth. When your cardiovascular system is working at peak performance, your brain is more likely to be firing on all cylinders. However, when blood vessels become damaged, this can lead to a slew of health complications like heart disease, stroke...and even cognitive issues like memory loss and dementia. Since February is American Heart Month, we at Avalon wanted to put together some tips on how to practice heart-healthy – and brain-healthy – habits that will help people of all ages keep their systems in tip-top shape. By working to keep your heart healthy, you will also lower your risk of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s, lessen your risk of a stroke or arterial disease and increase your well-being in innumerable ways. Preventing Dementia Through Heart-Healthy Habits Yes, we know – there are no hard-and-fast ways to prevent dementia. In fact, you may have heard it said that dementia isn’t really preventable at all. That’s both true and [...]

By |2020-02-24T17:59:37-06:00February 24th, 2020|Categories: Senior Health|0 Comments

How to Prevent Malnutrition in Seniors

Malnutrition is a significant risk for seniors, who struggle to eat for a number of different reasons. Seniors who are living with dementia are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition, and a major focus of memory care in assisted living centers is building healthy diets for residents. Watch this video to learn more. For seniors, eating is not always easy. In addition to problems with lack of access to food, seniors may take medications that decrease their appetites, and their taste buds may change, making eating less appealing. For people with dementia, remembering to eat can be a problem. Continuous memory care can help counteract dementia-related eating issues with scheduled meal times. Don’t let your loved one suffer from the ill effects of malnutrition. Contact Avalon Memory Care in Dallas, Arlington or Houston and learn how we can support your family’s need for continuous care for your loved one. You can reach us by calling (214) 752-7050.

By |2020-10-26T19:04:43-05:00February 1st, 2018|Categories: Senior Health|0 Comments