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Memory Care vs. Skilled Nursing

There are many types of senior living resources and it can be confusing as to which one is right for your loved one. Today, we’re exploring the differences between memory care and skilled nursing. Both options are available for families that aren’t equipped to monitor, meal prep, and assist a family member 24 hours a day. And most families are either without the people-power to devote to constant care or try to attempt it and get burned out. That’s why memory care and skilled nursing are such lifesaving options for both your loved one and you.   To understand which treatment plan you should seek, you might consider these questions. We’ve added our initial assessment to each one. Has your loved one been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other cognition difficulties? Memory care might be your first go-to for support. Does your loved one need physical help after a surgery or suffering a stroke? Skilled nursing could be an option. Is your loved one still quite active, yet needs caregiving due to memory loss? Memory care serves seniors in all stages of cognitive decline. Is your loved one living with a chronic illness, such as Parkinson’s, ALS, or a mobility condition? Skilled nursing is designed to care for individuals who need 24/7 assistance with medication, procedures, meals, hygiene, and household duties. Has your loved one suffered falls, accidents, or been susceptible to mistreatment or manipulation by others? Memory care is structured to keep your loved one safe from physical, emotional, and financial harm. Does your loved one need temporary care under a nurse and doctor’s orders? Skilled nursing provides rehabilitative treatment, like physical therapy, occupational therapy, custodial care, and general wound care. For example, some [...]

By |2022-11-22T09:46:50-06:00November 22nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Daily Life with Dementia

While life with dementia is hard for patients, its toll on caregivers can be just as significant, especially for those faced with never-ending care while trying to earn a living, maintain their own health needs and have a life outside of caregiving. In this video, we hear from Gloria and her aging mother, Geraldine, who has vascular dementia. Gloria is her mother’s primary caregiver. At the time the video was recorded Geraldine was relatively high functioning, but Gloria knows that her mother’s health will continue to decline and her needs will grow as her dementia progresses. At some point, families like Geraldine’s will have difficult decisions to make, including whether to provide continuing care at home or move a loved one to a dementia care location. How Do You Start the Search for a Memory Care Community? When it feels inevitable that your current care situation won’t be sustainable for the long-term, hold a family meeting to discuss what might be possible moving forward. It’s important to include all relevant family members who’ll be affected by this decision. For instance, all of Mom’s kids should be invited, whether or not they’re able to attend. If discussing this sensitive topic will cause more pain and controversy within your family, hiring an unbiased participant, like a pastor, counselor, or social worker can help make the meeting go more smoothly and give everyone a voice. Another tip: type up a meeting agenda. It doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, but by adding a few talking points, you can stay on track more easily. Some ideas to discuss pertaining to your loved one: Health issues per their doctor’s analysis Physical restrictions they’re experiencing, including daily activities they can no [...]

By |2022-10-31T11:09:02-05:00October 31st, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|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. 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, and doctors’ names and numbers Emergency numbers Copy of health insurance card 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 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 number, groomer’s info, and meal routine Social media accounts Employment info, if they’re still working   Once you’ve gathered what you need: Organize everything into a properly marked folder and store in a secure location, like a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box. Make a few copies and entrust them to responsible family members. Create a digital version.   Prepare For a Medical Emergency First responders have to work fast, and [...]

By |2022-10-06T10:43:23-05:00October 6th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Planning for a Natural Disaster When Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s

Natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, fires and blizzards can be scary, but they can seem even scarier to someone with Alzheimer’s. It’s very important to have a disaster preparedness plan for these kinds of emergencies so that your loved one feels secure, and if your loved one is in a memory care community, then you need to know the specific facility’s plan.  Disaster Preparedness Plan If your loved one is in memory care, then knowing their disaster plan is a must. Contact the community to find out who coordinates disaster evacuations, and make sure they have copies of the patient’s medical history and any medications they might need, should something happen. If the Alzheimer’s resident has other special devices such as a walker, wheelchair, or an oxygen tank, then make sure the person in charge knows that. Also, find out where your loved one will be moved should a disaster occur, and how the community would communicate with you and others in your family. If your loved one is not at a memory care community, then you will be in charge of their evacuation plan. Know that during a natural disaster your loved one might have an increased risk for wandering or becoming agitated. If you are evacuating to a specific location, then make sure that people around you know about their diagnosis so they can better assist you. Also, do whatever you can to stay together. This will help make sure your loved one won’t get lost and become even more confused. Most importantly- stay calm. If you are calm, it will help your loved one remain calm, too. Emergency Supplies Your Loved One Might Need This extensive list includes most [...]

By |2022-09-27T16:53:59-05:00September 27th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

World Alzheimer’s Month

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and a good time to learn more about what this disease is and how to raise awareness. While having a loved one with dementia gives family a behind-the-scenes look at the effects of Alzheimer’s, others are still not as knowledgeable about the difficulties of living with and caring for someone with severe memory loss. World Alzheimer’s Month is an important occasion to share educational information and show our love to all of those affected.   What is Alzheimer’s? You may find yourself being asked this question or something similar. Alzheimer’s isn’t just normal memory loss that comes with age. It’s the most common type of dementia, a degenerative brain disease that affects thinking functions such as reasoning, understanding, memories, and basic life skills. Currently, there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, and treatment usually assists the individual through daily activities versus working to improve the outcome. We hope that, one day, that through discovered prevention methods and a viable cure, dementia will be extinct. We hope the future is free of this debilitating and distressing disease.   What are Some Symptoms of Alzheimer’s? If Alzheimer’s is a concern for your or your family right now, we recommend you do research, but also talk to a doctor or healthcare professional. Our Avalon staff is additionally on-hand to answer questions or guide you to the proper resources. While Alzheimer’s can start subtly, then quickly progress, here are some symptoms to consider. Many symptoms are identical to other illnesses, like depression, anxiety, or autoimmune conditions. However, this is a place to start on your family’s health journey: Loss of interest in social connection or activities Mood swings that [...]

By |2022-09-21T08:37:14-05:00September 21st, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Avalon Culture & Atmosphere

People with Alzheimer’s disease regularly experience disorientation, confusion and anxiety. Creating a positive space at home or at a community can reduce the severity of anxiety and help them feel more confident about their surroundings, experience less confusion, and increase their sense of well-being and quality of life. Reducing distractions and playing soothing music may help, plus, there are many other ways to create an environment to reduce anxiety for your loved one.   What causes anxiety in seniors with dementia? The disease itself – As a direct result of degenerative dementias like Alzheimer’s, people with dementia gradually experience a loss of their ability to effectively process new information and stimuli. To a person with Alzheimer’s, a moving light or shadow may appear to be a stranger lurking in a corner of the next room. Nearby voices from a television may be interpreted as people conspiring to do them harm. Medications – Some medications intended to treat Alzheimer’s or other common diseases may exacerbate the existing tendency of Alzheimer’s patients to become anxious or combative. Environment – To people with Alzheimer’s, even familiar environments can turn from familiar and home-like to foreign and threatening. Add in noises like construction noise, loud music, or nearby voices,  or distractions like the light and shadows of nearby car headlights and a person with Alzheimer’s can quickly become overwhelmed with anxiety and become agitated or display disruptive behaviors.   Creating an anxiety-reducing environment At home . . . Organize your home and maintain a simple, familiar routine so your loved one with Alzheimer’s feels “at home.” De-clutter – especially in walkways to make your home easy to navigate. Remove all rugs. Eliminate or reduce shadows with drawn curtains or [...]

By |2022-08-23T13:13:04-05:00August 23rd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Our Dallas Residential Care Homes

While home is what you make it, we know your loved one has built their home over many years and even more memories. It’s not easy to say goodbye to familiar rooms, cherished keepsakes, and the places where our stories began. We realize the emotional nature of moving into a new home in the later years of life, especially when it comes with the added challenge of Alzheimer’s or early onset dementia. Our number one priority is to welcome your parent or relative into a safe, comfortable, and loving environment. That’s why our Dallas locations are designed to feel like single family homes. The moment you arrive to one of our residences, you’re greeted by a spacious, one-story ranch house, constructed with beautiful brick or stone and framed with lush landscaping and outdoor gathering places.   What is it Like Living at Avalon Memory Care? We have eight Dallas locations, giving you many options for your loved one to live near the places in which they’ve nurtured strong connections throughout their life. The small, family-like atmosphere eases our residents into a routine that feels similar to what they’ve been accustomed to for many years. Private bedroom suites with roomy baths are always an option for your family member, so they can relax amongst special family photos and heirlooms, have a sense of security, and enjoy time to themselves. For residents who want to interact with others and form friendships, there are also common social spaces. Plush, reclining sofas, dining tables for friends to gather, and professionally decorated living areas add an organic, homey ambiance. Even the kitchen feels just like home, where everyone can meet around the island and share a homecooked meal. The gorgeous [...]

By |2022-08-10T10:38:56-05:00August 10th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Challenges of 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. A recent 2021 survey reported most are in their 40s, at the heart of Generation X. An additional study found that the average caregiver is a 49-year-old woman. 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 30s and 40s 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 2022 study of yearly, monthly, daily, and hourly caregiving costs provided average expenses per state and type of care. Depending on the need, from in-home care to community and assisted living to nursing home residences, the numbers were steep—some exceeding six figures annually. Even before formal care options, these overwhelmed caregivers are spending an average of $10,000+ per year providing for both their children and parents. Even with many Generation X being employed, they’ve taken a reduction in savings and some have increased their debt. 55% of Gen Xers can count on retiring with enough money, a significantly lower percentage versus their younger, more universally recognized rival, the Millennials, at 67%. 43% of Gen Xers say [...]

By |2022-07-29T18:03:06-05:00July 29th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to keep your loved one safe with hydration

Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration due to a number of factors. Per an article by NPR, we naturally lose water as we age. At birth, our bodies are made up of about 75% water, but by the time we’re elders, our body makeup decreases to about 50% water. Along with this fact, you may notice that your loved one doesn’t always feel as thirsty, therefore inadvertently not drinking enough fluids during the day. The National Library of Medicine says, “Elderly individuals are prone to dehydration as a result of blunted thirst sensation.” Other factors, like blood pressure and heart medications and fears of falling when going to the restroom in the middle of the night, contribute to a lack of sufficient hydration for seniors. The UCLA School of Nursing recently conducted a study reporting that “up to 40 percent of community-dwelling elderly people may be chronically underhydrated, which can lead to more severe dehydration and ultimately life-threatening infections and other health problems.” It’s important for the aging population to stay hydrated, so here are some commonsense tips that’ll help your loved one drink more water throughout summer and into fall.   Keep a full water bottle within your senior’s reach. You may want to invest in a reusable water bottle with reminder markers that state the hours in the day or inspire your loved one with fun quotes. If replenishing them each day is a struggle, set aside a week’s worth in your senior’s fridge and label individual water bottles with the day of the week. Ask their care team to help you make this happen. According to the National Council of Aging, older adults are at a higher risk for dehydration due to [...]

By |2022-07-12T12:23:40-05:00July 12th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain 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 One in 10 people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s Disease. So, If you’re the primary caregiver of someone with memory loss, you’re not alone. According to the Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures Report, by 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's dementia is projected to reach 12.7 million. 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 The amount of potential caregivers per person with Dementia is on the decline. According to the CDC, there are currently 7 potential family caregivers per adult. By 2030, there will be only 4 potential family caregivers per adult. If you take on the care work as a family member or friend of someone with Dementia, it’s important to know the day-to-day care work involved with your loved one’s activities. The CDC cites many positive impacts of caregiving, such as a sense of fulfillment, feeling needed and useful, and learning about yourself, others, and the meaning of life. However, caregiving for someone [...]

By |2022-06-21T13:44:51-05:00June 21st, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments