Monthly Archives: September 2018

Does Feeling Young Translate to Being Healthier?

“For seniors who feel years younger than they really are, a new study suggests it might not be their imagination.

‘We found that people who feel younger have the structural characteristics of a younger brain,’ explained lead author Jeanyung Chey. She is a professor in the department of psychology & program for brain sciences at Seoul National University in South Korea.

Chey and her colleagues focused on a group of Korean adults drawn from an aging study. The researchers first conducted a health survey in 2014, which was followed by a second psychosocial survey in 2015.

All of the participants — who were 71, on average — also underwent neuropsychological assessments, followed by brain scans. None of the enrolled patients suffered from any neurological disorder or mental health impairment.

The brain scans revealed that seniors who reported feeling younger than their chronological age had more gray matter in key parts of their brain that typically tend to shrink as one ages. Shrinking gray matter is one sign of declining brain health, Chey noted.

‘People who felt younger than their age were [also] more likely to score higher on a memory test, considered their health to be better, and were less likely to report depressive symptoms,’ she added. The findings held true even after accounting for a wide range of factors, including an individual’s mental health status, sense of overall well-being, and/or history of depression.”

[Continue reading]

The Best Care You Can Give Your Parents Is A Caregiver

As our parents age, we begin to worry about their health and safety. This can create a dilemma – how do we properly show our concern for our parents who loved and raised us, while still respecting their boundaries and privacy as adults and our elders?

We can’t ignore the risk that they may be avoiding social activities or neglecting their hygiene. They could be putting themselves at risk at home, or others at risk on the road. What are our options to make sure our parents receive the right care while maintaining their independence and dignity?

Option 1: Move them into your own house

Pros: They’ll have supervision and observation, and you’ll be able to make sure they’re eating right, protected at all times, staying clean, and having all of their medical needs brought to attention.

Cons: Your home life can be negatively affected, and your entire family dynamic will change. There may be resentment and resistance, resulting in anger and acting out. Finally, they will no longer have the comfort of living at their long-treasured home surrounded by important possessions and memories. This abrupt removal of control can have negative effects on mental health and happiness. And even though you’ll be supervising them, they may need medical attention you can’t provide or have medical issues you’re unqualified to identify.

Option 2: Move them into an assisted living facility

Pros: Under some supervision from medically trained professionals, they will be treated well, be able to socialize with new friends, and have many of their needs taken care of. Emergencies are taken care of quickly and professionally, and medical issues can be identified in time to be prevented.

Cons: You’ll be uprooting them from a home that gives them comfort and moving them somewhere unfamiliar. They’ll be resentful and may not want to partake in any of the activities provided, rebelling against the removal of their dignity and independence. There can occasionally be mental deterioration once they’re displaced from the familiarity of home, and assisted living facilities have a risk of elder abuse as well.

Option 3: Get in-home caregiver services from a company like Compassionate Care

Pros: This is the best of both worlds! Your parents will get to live comfortably in a familiar environment with professionally trained and licensed caregivers who will balance their need for independence and dignity with companionship, assistance, and medical care. You’ll be able to spend time with them at home, knowing that they’re safe and secure, and rather than be resentful of being pulled out of their comfort zone, they’ll be appreciative of the assistance they’re receiving.

Cons: Is it a con to have your parents love and appreciate you more? We didn’t think so.

****

Call Compassionate Care today at 561. 244. 5098 or toll-free at 888. 814. 3778 to discuss your options and have your questions answered about the outstanding in-home caregiver, companionship and skilled nursing services we can provide to your family.

How To Tell If A Loved One Might Need Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s disease, primarily affecting Americans aged 65 and older, is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases. As a progressive disease, it worsens over time, starting with mild memory loss and escalating until it becomes impossible to carry on a conversation or respond to environmental impetuses. As we get older, and as our parents get older, every forgotten name or place becomes a cause for concern. Is it simply old age, or could it be something worse?

Here are ten early signs and symptoms that someone you know and love may have Alzheimer’s disease:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life – Forgetting recently learned information and important dates, asking for the same information repeatedly, and needing to rely on memory aids for anything you used to handle on your own.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems – Losing the ability to follow a familiar recipe, keep track of monthly bills, or developing and implementing a plan, as well as having difficulty concentrating.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home – Having trouble completing daily tasks or locating a familiar destination that you’ve traveled to many times before.
  4. Confusion with time or place – Losing track of dates or seasons, or having difficulty understanding a concept of something if it’s not immediately happening, even forgetting where you are or how you got there.
  5. Trouble processing visual images and spatial relationships – Losing the ability to read, judge distance, and determine color or contract, causing problems with driving.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing – Stopping in the middle of a conversation with no idea how to continue, repeating yourself, and struggling with finding the right word to describe everyday objects.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps – Putting things in unusual places, losing everyday items without the ability to go back over your steps, and accusing others of stealing.
  8. Exhibiting decreased or poor judgment – Using poor judgment when it comes to handling money, paying less attention to hygiene and grooming.
  9. Withdrawing from work or social activities – Removing yourself from hobbies, social activities, or work projects, and avoiding being social out of being self-conscious.
  10. Changes in mood and personality – Becoming confused, suspicious, fearful, or anxious, or getting easily upset when you are challenged our out of your comfort zone.

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, recognizing the early signs and seeing a neurologist or neuropsychologist can slow the exacerbating of the symptoms and improve the long-term quality of life. In addition, Compassionate Care provides a full range of caregiver and support services to help make living with Alzheimer’s as easy as possible.