what is a good breakfast for seniors Senior Living Tips & Advice

What Is a Good Breakfast for Seniors? 9 Meals…

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives us the energy and nutrients we need to have an energetic and productive morning and it helps to fuel us into the afternoon as well. It’s crucial that our breakfasts are both healthy and filling so that we can be the best that we can be all morning and all day.

This is true no matter what your age. Small children are taught about the importance of a complete breakfast at a very young age, and as we grow, we are encouraged to fuel our bodies with care each and every morning. 

Although older people know that a good breakfast is vital, they may find that they have moved away from the cultivation of this healthy habit as they aged, but staying healthy in one’s later years is more important than ever.

If there is an elderly person in your life that you love, you may be wondering, “what is a good breakfast for seniors?” Read on to learn about great first meals for older folks and for some great ideas they will almost definitely enjoy.

Eating Challenges for the Elderly

As people age, finding foods that are healthy and enjoyable may become more challenging. Older adults experience a number of problems that may not be felt in other stages of life.

Older adults may find that they no longer have the strong senses they once had, and this can result in decreased enjoyment of food and eating. Much of what we love about food is its taste and smell, and when these things seem to disappear, we may not be as excited about eating in general.

Many elderly people take medication and a lot of medication comes with side effects like reduced appetite and nausea. This, too, can make eating less enjoyable than it used to be in the past.

Poor dental health can also present food challenges for older individuals because they often find it is more difficult to chew some foods than it was in the past. Seniors often seek out softer, easier to consume foods for this reason.

Shopping and cooking are also challenges for elderly people, especially those who live alone. Seniors benefit from uncomplicated foods that are easy to purchase and prepare when it comes to buying food for all meals and times of the day.

Healthy Food Choices for Seniors

In addition to the above challenges, when it comes to determining what is a good breakfast for seniors one must also consider the specific nutrients that they most need.

Balanced meals for people of all ages include proper ratios of carbohydrate-rich foods, protein-heavy foods, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. 

However, in order to supply older individuals with the right nutrients to support their health, other micronutrients should be considered as well. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish and nuts can help to prevent inflammation, aid in vision health, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Foods that are rich in calcium like dairy products and leafy green vegetables help to build and maintain healthy bones and keep blood pressure low. Foods rich in fiber like items with whole grains and nuts are also crucial because they aid in digestion and help to support gastrointestinal health.

What Is a Good Breakfast for Seniors?

With all of the above factors in mind, it may seem overwhelming to choose some easy-to-digest, easy-to-prepare, healthy, and filling foods for seniors at breakfast time, but it’s actually far easier than you might think. The following options meet all of the above criteria and are great additions to breakfasts for people of any age.

1. Avocado Toast

This simple meal is common with young people today, but it’s great for older folks as well. Avocados are full of healthy fats and multi-grain toast is rich with healthy fiber to help with digestion. It’s tasty and easy to eat, too.

2. Tofu Scramble

One cup of tofu contains twenty grams of protein and it is a great alternative to eggs which are also great but which contain a lot of cholesterol. Tofu can be scrambled on its own or cheese and vegetables can be added for an even more balanced meal.

3. Hummus and English Muffins

Creamy hummus is easy to eat and because it is made from chickpeas, it is another easy way to enjoy high amounts of protein. Spread it on whole-grain English muffins and top with tomatoes or spinach for a simple meal that includes everything one needs to start the day right.

4. Fruit Salad

A fruit salad is so simple but it is a wonderful way to start one’s morning with fresh, vibrant colors and flavors. Vitamin C helps to ward off illness and antioxidant-filled fruits like blueberries can even help to decrease the risk of cancer. 

5. French Toast

French toast is easy to make and to chew and when you add fruit on the side and syrup on top it’s hard for anyone to resist it. Instead of using an egg batter, try using soy milk for a healthier alternative. Use multi-grain bread to make it even healthier still.

6. Green Smoothies

There are so many options when it comes to smoothies. They are easy to create and easy to drink and the possibilities are endless. Green smoothies usually include kale or spinach which provide a high dose of Vitamin A.

7. Cauliflower Hash Browns

Potato hash browns are usually greasy and are often not too healthy as a result. Try using cauliflower instead for a tasty option that is easy to make and to consume.

8. Oatmeal with Fruit

Oatmeal is easy to prepare and is enjoyable at any time of the year. This tasty treat contains about four grams of fiber per cup which is wonderful for digestion. Add fruit or some maple syrup and this is a great meal not only for breakfast, but for lunch, dinner, and snacks as well.

9. Breakfast Potatoes

Potatoes are soft and are easy to prepare and consume. Although many potato breakfast offerings are not made in a healthy way, there are other options available to you. Slice up a potato and put it on a sheet pan and roast until ready. The finished product will provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Have a Good Breakfast

All of the above are just starting points for healthy breakfasts for seniors. If you were wondering what is a good breakfast for seniors, these should give you some starting points and then you can develop more ideas from there.

Again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day no matter how young or old you are, and it’s a crucial piece of starting the day right. Plan with the right ideas in mind and the day that follows will be wonderful, indeed! 

At Maple Heights Living, we take pride in offering healthy, enjoyable, balanced meals to our seniors. The above suggestions are just a few examples of the types of food we serve. If you are interested in learning more about our facility, please give us a call today. 


choosing senior living Senior Living Tips & Advice

7 Questions to Ask When Choosing Senior Living in…

As of 2020, there are over 39.5 million people in the US aged over 65. A considerable percentage of this population lives in senior living facilities. 

For most people, the decision to relocate to a senior living community can be a challenging one. Ideally, people want to be close to their loved ones all their lives. In some cases, however, the best option is to move to an assisted living facility.

Choosing senior living communities that are ideal for your aging loved one is easier said than done. Remember that your loved one might end up living in the facility for more than a decade. You want to make sure that the facility you choose ensures a vibrant future for your loved one.

So how do you go about it? The best way is to ask the right questions during your visit to the various senior living facilities you visit so you decide on which community will best serve your loved one’s needs.

That’s precisely why we prepared this comprehensive guide. Here, you’ll find the ten most important questions you need to ask when choosing a senior living facility in Washington, DC.

Read on to learn more.

Choosing Senior Living Facilities

There are many senior living facilities in Washington, DC, but not all are right for your loved one. The following questions can help you narrow down on the best neighborhood for seniors. 

What Are Your Senior Living Accommodations Like?

This is the first question you need to ask during your hunt for a senior living facility. Enquire about the state of the living quarters. 

Is there enough privacy? Can you bring personal effects, and if so, which ones? Does the facility forbid certain items within the grounds?

Ask whether the community permits visitors, and when those visitors can come. In case your loved one needs medical assistance, what options for healthcare are provided? How frequently will your loved one be checked on?

Top assisted living facilities offer a wide variety of living arrangements in different layouts, sizes, and locations. You can find apartments as well as homes within the grounds. Consider where your loved one will be most content.

Ask about the utilities available in the community, including internet, cable TV, emergency call systems, and so on.

What Activities Do You Have?

One of the common reasons seniors relocate to assisted living facilities is that they feel increasingly isolated in their homes. If that’s the case with your loved one, you want to look for a facility where they’ll be able to socialize, learn, and play. 

Enquire what activities are available in the community. What are the eligibility requirements? Does the facility provide transportation to other senior centers in the area or other outside events?

How Do You Ensure the Safety of Residents?

Safety issues are prominent for older adults thinking of life in senior living communities. Ask what measures the community has put in place to ensure the safety of residents. You could pose such questions as:

  • Are there alert buttons for assistance in emergency situations?
  • Are there pull cords in the apartments?
  • Is bathing safety guaranteed? Are there easy-entry bathtubs and rails? Have non-slip surfaces been installed?
  • In case of a medical emergency, what does the facility do? Is staff available round the clock?
  • How does the community account for the presence of all residents?
  • What’s the emergency response plan? 
  • Does the facility have a generator for backup power?
  • Does the facility perform any background checks on staff?

If A Resident Has a Complaint, What Can They Do?

Even the best senior living facilities are not perfect. But you want a facility that is committed to continual improvement in its services. 

Does the facility have an open-door policy where residents, families, and staff can give feedback? How do they manage any concerns that are brought to them? Is there a policy on addressing complaints?

A great senior living facility will always promote transparency and facilitate good communication between residents, staff, and families.

Do You Offer Transportation?

You want your loved one to be still connected to the world outside the senior living facility. Ask what transportation options the community provides. A lot of facilities provide regular transportation within a certain radius.

Some facilities provide transportation for religious visits, doctor’s visits, and other necessities. Consider all places that your loved one may want to visit and inquire whether they’re part of the facility’s transportation route. Are there transportation services to restaurants, theaters, museums, and so on?

What Are the Qualifications of Your Staff?

The heart of an exceptional senior living community is an excellent staff. Ask what specific training and qualifications the staff at every level of the community has.

Do they have medical providers? If so, what is their training, and what experience do they have? Who will be caring for and interacting with your loved one daily?

Does the community offer regular meetings to strengthen the skills of their employees?

What Are the Meals Like?

As people age, they become more interested in healthy and delicious meals more than before. In the past, senior facility communities provided meals at set times. Residents ate the same food together.

Today, things have changed. Top communities provide all-day dining services at many venues, including cafes, pubs, and formal dining centers, where your loved one can enjoy gourmet eating. A community that provides many different meal options will often have something that your loved one can enjoy.

Proper nutrition is a crucial ingredient for good health. That means that the meals offered in a facility should be palatable and healthy. If your loved one has special dietary needs, such as low sodium or vegetarian, inquire how the facility will cater to their needs.

Asking the Right Questions Is the Key to Finding the Right Senior Living Facility

Knowing that you’ve found the ideal facility for your senior loved one can imbue both of you with a new sense of hope for the next stage of their life. The secret to choosing senior living that will meet the needs of your loved one lies in asking the right questions.

Are you interested in a senior living facility for your loved one? Contact us today to schedule a tour.

benefits of assisted living Senior Living Tips & Advice

5 Important Assisted Living Facts You Need to Know

Old age comes with its very own challenges, and it reaches a point where older adults cannot stay alone anymore. In America today, assisted living communities have become very common, and this is mainly because of the benefits of assisted living.

As adults age, they still have the desire to maintain their independence even though they still need help with several different day to day activities.

It is quite common for seniors to want to remain in their homes, but the reality is that adults above the age of 85 need help in handling activities of daily living (ADL).

What Is Assisted Living?

Not to be confused with nursing homes, assisted living is yet another type of living arrangement for seniors who value some independence while getting help at the same time. It is one of the most common types of care that is available to seniors.

Assisted living offers quite a good number of benefits to seniors. In these communities, senior adults get to live in their suites or maybe even with a companion and still get help in handling household chores like cooking, laundry, and cleaning.

These facilities are best for seniors who do not need round the clock nursing care.

What Does Assisted Living Provide?

One of the main reasons why seniors choose assisted living is having someone to help them with the ADLs. According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), seniors require assistants to help them as follows:

  • 62% of residents in assisted living communities need help with bathing
  • 39% need help with going to the toilet
  • 47% need help with dressing
  • 20% need help in eating
  • 30% need help with bed transfer

These facilities provide help with medication, housekeeping, transportation services, and more. Residents who move into these communities get help in almost everything.

Facts About Assisted Living That You Should Know

Even though this type of specialized care for senior citizens is common, several people do not quite get it yet. This has led to several misconceptions.

If you’re planning to take your loved one to an assisted living community or check yourself in one, here are some of the thing that you need to know:

1. Seniors Enjoy Their Independence

Assisted living communities encourage seniors to be independent. They only offer just the right amount of help a resident needs to help them remain safe.

The caregivers are always available to provide their services but will only do if requested, or when they see risk should a resident attempt to carry out the various activities by themselves.

There are no set schedules in such a community except the time that a resident needs to take their medication. Seniors are free to plan their day as they wish, and they do not lose their privacy.

2. There are No Doctors On-Site

These communities do not have a doctor on site. This is because they are not medical facilities. Some do have a registered nurse, but this is not common.

Should you need to see a doctor or have regular doctor’s appointments, the caregivers are always ready to help you with transportation.

If you need constant attention, you can consider going to a specialized care assisted living community that offers the kind of medical attention that you need.

3. They are All Unique

These communities provide different services and accommodate different budgets and tastes. Every assisted living communities offer different amenities, activities, living arrangements, and facilities. You can be sure to find one that fits your taste and budget.

Some communities focus more on providing specialized care to seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s, while some cater to more active seniors who can take care of themselves with little help. It would help if you found a community that offers what you are looking for, can scale their services and abide by the states’ regulations.

These facilities also have different programs, and residents are often encouraged to participate in as many or fewer programs as they want.

4. Assisted Living Is Affordable

According to the Genworth Financial Survey, the cost of living in a nursing home in 2019 was $102,200, and the cost of moving into an assisted living community was $48,612. Though the monthly charges for an assisted living may fluctuate due to inflations, they base their monthly charges on the services or amenities utilized like cable, programs, and more.

Since it is just like living at home, you will pay for what you have used, and your rent will be determined by the type of housing that you choose.

Other services that you pay for can include lawn care, pet care, trash collection, and repairs and maintenance.

5. They Are the Future of Senior Care

The rising demand for diverse, active, and fun living arrangements for seniors has hugely impacted the growth of assisted living communities. Many people are learning these benefits of assisted care and are choosing it over any other alternative.

Assisted living communities are continually growing, and there are at least 28,900 assisted communities across the United States, according to NCAL.

When looking for an assisted living community, several insurance providers must cater to assisted living expenses. This means you should not rely on it before confirming with your provider. Though some communities accept Medicaid, they might only allocate a few beds to seniors using Medicaid, and this can limit you.

Consider These Benefits of Assisted Living

There are many benefits of assisted living that these communities offer residents. These communities give seniors a safe environment that will encourage them to be more active, comfortable, flexible, and happy.

Are you looking for the right assisted living community? Check us out.

We are one of the newest senior living communities that offer state of the art amenities, excellent housing facilities, and a vibrant social environment. Visit our website for more information, and contact us to schedule your tour.

senior living fund reviews Senior Living Tips & Advice

Senior Living Fund Reviews: The Best Senior Living Funds…

There are over 46 million Americans who comprise the country’s senior population.  Many are in good health and ready to enjoy their twilight years.

Yet, some need senior housing or assisted living facility. Because no one knows how long they will live, your senior housing investments need to start now.

Senior living fund reviews is a topic most seniors want to receive the latest and greatest information. 

Today’s 46 million senior citizen population is expected to double over the next 25 years. Making senior investing for a living of prime importance.

Senior Living Funding Sources

There are many senior living funding sources available to seniors. If you are a senior citizen or wish to help a senior citizen prepare for their post-retirement years, we are here to help.

We have listed below a cross-sectional list of senior housing investments which may of interest;

1. Reverse Mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC)

Senior citizens who own their homes can use reverse mortgages or home equity lines of credit to help pay for assisted living needs.

But there are some very strict restrictions on owner-occupation and if a home equity line of credit associated costs. Good research on your options in this category before you make a decision is advisable.

2. Life Insurance Benefits

A senior who has invested in life insurance usually has several options. The below list represents a cross-sectional option range;

  • Viatical settlements – This settlement occurs when the insurance holder sells their life insurance policy to get cash. It meets immediate cash requirements but most financial advisors do not recommend it.
  • Loans based on insurance death benefits – The loans taken are based on your individual insurance policy’s cash value. What’s more, it must be repaid by you or your beneficiary or the death benefit is reduced.
  • Life insurance conversions – Life insurance conversions use the value of your policy and apply it to the cost of your senior housing funding needs. It usually maximizes the value of your policy.

3. More Senior Housing Investments

If you are financially secure and want a way to adequately cover your senior living funding needs long term care insurance is great.

If you still can still buy it, it is one of the smartest senior housing investment you can make. But if you currently need senior living housing, you no longer qualify to be a purchaser for this form of insurance.

Assisted living loans are sometimes called bridge loans.  These types of loans are some of the least favorite senior living funding sources.  It is also a loan some seniors use often.

It is a short-term, temporary loan. The problem with short-term, temporary loans is while flexible, there are problematic conditions which can occur. 

If your financial need exceeds the length of the bridge loan time (6-12 months), your interest rate and fees increase greatly.

4. Specific Senior Housing Investments

There are specific senior housing investments which you can research. You may decide some of them will meet the senior living funding you need for your future.

A cross-sectional list of some senior living fund reviews we found are;

  • LTC Properties (LTC).  LTC Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust with a debt to equity ratio of 46%. Since they are landlords but not care, providers, anything Medicare does rarely affect them. They also have over 200 investments throughout 28 states.  
  • Health Care REIT (HCN) changed its name to Welltower in 2015. Welltower has exceeded $30 billion of gross real estate investments since 2015. In 2018 Welltower acquired Quality Care Properties and HCR Manor Care for $4.4 billion. They have nowhere to go but up in value.
  • Aerie Pharma (AERI) – Aerie Pharma is a pharmaceutical company who provide products some seniors may use every day. AERI developed and brought to market two glaucoma drugs.
    • Both of these drugs Rocklatan® (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005% and Rhopressa® (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% are very successful.
    • Aerie Pharma is having monster growth and is worth researching.

Who Do I See and Where Do I Learn More?

Our senior assisted living center provides information and will direct you to people you can see to discuss senior housing investments.  

A senior housing investment may be needed by you or for your parents. We assist anyone who needs help with their investing in senior housing need.

However, there are other sources who can help you as well. Below is a list of cross-sectional people or places you can go to receive additional senior living funding assistance.

  • Public Benefits Counselors – Public Benefits Counselors are available through various non-profit organizations. Every state’s health and human service office has public benefits counselors. Local agencies like the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) or Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) usually have benefits counselors on staff.
  • Geriatric Care Managers (GCM) – Geriatric Care Managers create and develop the family’s long-term care strategies for plans which will help them the most. Most geriatric care managers do not give, nor do they have financial expertise. Their jobs are to make sure the long-term care services you need fits your budget limits.
  • Eldercare Resource Planners (ERP) – Eldercare Resource Planners do usually have some financial background. 

You pay for ERP’s out of pocket, but they will help develop a realistic financial plan for your assisted living future plan needs. They can also create a financial plan for any current senior housing needs. 

Next Steps

Life moves faster than any of us ever expect. We always think we will have time to figure out what senior housing investments are best for us.

We also always think we will have time to read through senior living fund reviews so we will make the best decision for us or a loved one.

But if you have senior living funding or housing needs now, we can help provide helpful information. 

If you live or wish to reside in a Washington D.C. area senior housing area we provide virtual tours for you to select everything in advance.

If you or a family member need a beautiful senior living facility, we are the answer. We provide safe and beautiful living areas. We provide living areas where new friendships blossom. We provide living areas which become home.

Please call us now so we can bring the best in Washington D.C. senior housing to you. Your new home awaits!

different types of dementia Senior Living Tips & Advice

Yes, There’s More Than One: Understanding the Different Types…

Did you know that 50 million people around the world have dementia?

Generally speaking, dementia refers to the gradual decline and death of brain cells. But there are several forms of dementia that affect different areas of the brain.

Most of us are familiar with Alzheimer’s disease. But how is it different from other dementia types? What are the different types of dementia, anyway?

Read on to find out!

Alzheimer’s Disease

When people think of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is usually the first thing to come to mind. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia and currently affects 5.7 million Americans. This number is likely to grow at a staggering rate in the coming years as more people live into old age.

Like different types of dementia, Alzheimer’s involves the death of brain cells. But what exactly makes this occur in the first place?

There is still a lot we don’t understand about Alzheimer’s.

But we do know that Alzheimer’s causes a disruption between neurons early on. This causes the neurons to lose the ability to communicate with one another. As this occurs, the brain shrinks and the different stages of Alzheimer’s begin to unfold.

Those affected early on will begin to lose their short-term memory. They’ll forget where they put things, or names of people they’ve recently met.

In later stages, people with Alzheimer’s will forget important life events. Their personalities will change. In severe cases, many require round-the-clock care.

Lewy Body Dementia

What are some of the most common forms of dementia in addition to Alzheimer’s? Lewy body dementia is another common type that’s frequently misdiagnosed. It’s often referred to simply as Lewy bodies.

Lewy body dementia not only causes memory loss and progressive mental decline. It causes visual hallucinations, personality changes, and cognitive difficulties, as well. Many characterize Lewy bodies as embodying a blend of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Hallucinations are often one of the earliest symptoms of the disease. Those with the disease may hallucinate objects, people, sounds, or smells. Physical tremors, delayed movements, and muscle rigidity are also common.

Arising sleep problems are another hallmark sign of Lewy bodies. Those affected tend to act out their dreams. Depression, loss of motivation, and sporadic lapses of mental clarity are also common.

When protein deposits build up in neurons, it can cause brain plaque and tangles. This causes a loss of communication between neurons and eventual brain cell death.

In many ways, the causes and many of symptoms resemble Alzheimer’s. But the physical symptoms, like muscle stiffness, are more like Parkinson’s.

Vascular Dementia

With certain dementia types, a loss in neuron communication causes brain cell death. But this is not the only cause of dementia, nor are Alzheimer’s and Lewy bodies the only types.

When our brains don’t receive an adequate flow of oxygen from blood, it can cause brain cell death. After a stroke, it’s not uncommon for our brains to experience this. But a lack of blood flow to the brain can happen naturally as the result of age.

This can lead to one of the most common types of dementia, known as vascular dementia. The symptoms of vascular dementia hinge on the severity of the damage in the brain and its blood vessels.

After a stroke, visual impairment, confusion, and speech problems can arise. But drastic personality changes occur after a stroke often indicate vascular dementia.

Those affected will struggle to concentrate, adhere to plans, and understand situations. They may struggle to translate their thoughts into words. Sporadic laughing and crying spells are also not uncommon.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Whereas some forms of dementia progress slowly, others develop at a much faster rate. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is one of the rarest and most fatal types of dementia. Those diagnosed will usually pass away within a year.

What causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? Unlike other dementia types, CJD is a type of prion disease. It alters the shape of the prion protein, which is present throughout our bodies. As this occurs, it causes a rapid decline in memory and cognition.

CJD also causes extreme personality change, mood swings, depression, and disorientation. It quickly leads to muscle degeneration, twitching, and stiffness, as well.

Frontotemporal Dementia

Dementia can affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This is otherwise known as frontotemporal dementia and it’s one of the more common types.

The frontal and temporal lobes of the brain correlate with many important functions. We process sensory input from our external environment through the temporal lobe. We process our emotional and cognitive thoughts through the frontal lobe.

When damage and brain cell death occur in these areas, it not only leads to forgetfulness. It can cause speech problems, compulsive behavior, and apathy.

Unlike some forms of dementia, FTD can affect younger adults. There have been cases of people having FTD in their 40’s and 50’s.

Other Forms of Dementia

Unfortunately, there are many different types of dementia beyond the ones we’ve discussed. If you suspect a loved one has dementia, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. That way, they receive the best treatment possible for their individual case.

What are some other dementia types that may or may not be affecting someone you love?

Mixed dementia, which involves more than one type of dementia, is common. There are also brain disorders that can cause memory loss and other function loss.

For example, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a brain disorder often associated with dementia. It’s a blend of Wernicke’s syndrome and Korsakoff syndrome.

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is not a form of dementia. But it does cause problems with memory and information processing nonetheless.

Need Help Understanding the Different Types of Dementia?

There is, in fact, more than one type of dementia. But understanding dementia goes well beyond knowing what different kinds there are.

Lifestyle, treatment, and dementia research are all important areas to stay aware of. Our senior living news can help you stay current on everything there is to know about the different types of dementia.

But what if you suspect that someone you love has a form of dementia? Or, if you a loved one has a diagnosis, you may not know what the next step is. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

aggressive behavior Senior Living Tips & Advice

Top 9 Tips for Dealing With Aggressive Behavior in…

Someone develops dementia every three seconds somewhere in the world. In 2017, there were approximately 50 million people living with this disease, and by 2030, this number expected to surpass 75 million.  

With so many people affected by this condition, it’s highly like you know someone with dementia. In fact, it may be a parent.

It’s estimated that 16.1 million people in the U.S. are currently providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and this number continues to grow. If you provide this care, for a parent, or another family member, you may be faced with a wide array of challenges.

A challenge of caring for individuals with dementia that doesn’t get much attention is aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, this is a serious issue for many individuals and caregivers.

Understanding Aggressive Behavior in Dementia Patients

Aggressive behavior in dementia patients may manifest in several ways. It can involve everything from physical shows of aggression to angry outbursts, and anything in between.

If you are providing care for someone who shows aggressive behavior, dealing with it may present a serious challenge. The good news is, there are a few tips that can help you get through these moments, and that may help you prevent them in the future.

Common Causes of Aggressive Behavior

Aggression in dementia patients can result from several factors. Poor communication, environmental factors, and physical discomfort are all important to consider.

If you are caring for a loved one who is aggressive, try to consider what may be contributing to this change in their behavior.

Physical Discomfort

In some situations, aggressive behavior can spur from some type of physical discomfort. However, for others, it could be an irritant in the atmosphere.

For example, is there excessive noise or stimulus in the room? Is the room crowded or stuffy? Is the individual tired, thirsty, or hungry? Are there medications causing side effects?

If you find something that’s possibly irritating in the atmosphere, remove the irritant from the space. See if that helps.

Mental/Emotional Factors

Aggression may also be caused by the individual’s emotions or mental state. For example, do they feel lost? Are they confused or frustrated?

There are some individuals who function better during certain times of the day. In many cases, mornings are best.

Think about the time of day when scheduling activities or making appointments. Select a time when you know they are most alert and will have the ability to process new information.

Poor Communication

Another common cause of aggressive behavior is if you don’t communicate well with the individual.

This can be caused by giving complex instructions or asking too many questions. The person may also be picking up on your irritation or stress.

Responding to Aggression in Dementia Patients

The way you respond to aggressive behaviors from a person with dementia can also impact the situation. Some tips to help you manage and diffuse the situation are found here.

1. Examine the Behavior Objectively

When your parent or other loved one begins to act aggressively, consider if their actions are really a problem. A problem behavior is one that can result in an adverse outcome for the individual, or someone else.

For example, ask yourself – can the action cause harm to the person or someone else?

While some behaviors may be uncomfortable to be around or perhaps disruptive or embarrassing, they may not truly be harmful. Try not to correct, intervene, or even unintentionally escalate a situation if it’s not necessary.

You have to know when to let some things go.

For example, if your father wants to wear four shirts and rummage through dresser drawers, let him. While you need to protect your loved one from harm, you also need to give them freedom.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

The last thing you want to do is to make a person’s irritation or confusion worse. As a result, you need to ensure you are communicating with them in a clear, calm manner.

It’s important to communicate with simple, direct language. Break down a task into simple steps. Don’t overwhelm or expect too much from a loved one by giving complex requests, as this may lead to more irritation and aggression.

3. Attempt Redirection

If something is upsetting your loved one, try to get them to focus on something else. You can even pull out something they find comforting.

Another option is to ask the person for help with something else, such as folding laundry. You can also offer to go for a walk together.

Even if you just venture into the backyard, a change of scenery can make a huge difference.

4. Create a Routine

Having a consistent routine can help to remove some of the uncertainty in a person’s life. Having certain things to expect can help someone with dementia feel safe. They may also feel like they have a bit of control over their day to day life.

Creating a schedule doesn’t have to be difficult. Just figure out a specific time to have meals, taking medication, getting a shower, participating in fun activities, etc.

5. Try Your Best to Understand

Try to think about the specific emotion that has caused the aggression. Regardless of how far away from reality a person may be, try to figure out how they perceive the specific situation.

In many cases, individuals who suffer dementia become aggressive because they first become frustrated with their memory loss. To help minimize violence, take steps to minimize their confusion.

If you have noticed that your loved one’s aggression starts with confusion, take the time to ask them questions about how they are feeling. Really listen to what they say.

This is information that can be extremely useful in helping you figure out what they need to hear. When you know this, you can help them feel better about the situation.

6. Ensure Their Physical Needs Are Taken Care Of

In many cases, what may seem to be an issue is actually a symptom of a different, underlying problem. For example, if your loved one is experiencing some type of physical discomfort, it could turn into aggression.

In some cases, they may not be sure how to tell you about the discomfort. In other situations, they could be embarrassed. There are several illnesses, such as a urinary tract infection, that can lead to aggressive behaviors.

If you see that the usual things you do to calm your loved one aren’t working, then set up a doctor’s appointment. There may be an illness to blame for the aggression.

7. Let Your Loved One Have Space

This is a tip that’s important for both your loved one and yourself. In fact, in some cases, it may be necessary for your safety.

If your loved one starts to show signs of aggression, then let them have some space. This may also help to prevent violence or fits of rage.

Take a minute to regroup and then return to the situation. This allows you to get ahold of yourself, and give them a breather as well.

8. Remain Calm

If your loved one becomes aggressive, it may be a natural reaction to become upset, irritated, or stressed. However, it’s your job to remain calm.

The fact is, your loved one may pick up on these negative emotions, which can escalate their own feelings and frustrations. You need to remain positive and reassuring and always speak to them in a soft, slow tone.

9. Seek Outside Help and Advice

If you reach a point where the individual’s aggression, rage, or violence is too much to handle, then it may be a good idea to reach out for help. You can speak with the individual’s doctor or another professional in the field.

It may also be beneficial to talk to other caregivers who have faced similar situations. They may be able to provide you with additional insight and help for your situation.

Handling Aggressive Behavior: You Are in Control

If you are a caregiver for someone with dementia, there’s no question that your plate is full. If the individual begins to display aggressive behavior, then using the tips and information here may help you better handle the situation.

However, there is also help available. You are not alone. Millions of other people are in your shoes.

If you are unable to provide the care your loved one needs, then it may also be time to look into different living arrangements. At Maple Heights Senior Living, your loved one will be cared for by a professional staff who has prior experience with dementia patients.

For more information about the services available, or to schedule a tour, contact us today.

senior living fund Senior Living Tips & Advice

Financing Assisted Living: How to Plan Your Senior Living…

No one wants to admit that it might be time to get some help. But that time will come whether you’re ready for it or not.

You may notice that you are starting to slow down, or that cooking and cleaning are a little harder than the used to be – When that happens its time to start inking about your senior living fund.

No, we didn’t make that up it’s a real thing and we’re going to walk you through how to plan it.

It Can Cost More Than You Think

In a lot of cases, people think they know what to expect – then they are surprised when they find out just how much it costs.

The national average for the cost of an assisted living is $3,750 a month.

You may be able to look in neighboring cities to see if you can find something Less expensive. The cost of living varies from city to city. In some cases, you can negotiate the price or find move-in specials.

When you’re making your senior living fund you need to make sure that the place you are saving for has all the things you need. That’s because the more care you need the more you’re most likely going to have to pay.

Plan Your Senior Living Fund

When you start to plan your senior living fund it’s important that you know what your monthly budget is. Sit down and write out all of your expenses, then figure out how much you can begin to save.

You might need to cut back on some things to get your budget under control and it might be an uncomfortable thing to do. However, the longer you have to plan the less pressure there will be on you and your budget.

Some people even like to see an accountant to help get their plans started.

Look into Your Benefits

You might have benefits that will help you with your assisted living financing. In most cases, social security is what people use.

If you or your spouse is a veteran you might be able to use your veterans benefits to help fund your care.

If that’s not your case -you can always look into long-term care insurance options.

You just want to make sure you are aware of the premiums and how it will affect the policy you already have.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you feel like you’re a little over your head with all of the planning – it’s okay to ask for help. You can asked friends or loved ones who have been through it before.

Like we mentioned before, you can also make an appointment to speak with an accountant. It’s better to ask for help now than to be in a position where you need assisted living but never started a senior living fund.

If you are interested in seeing an assisted living facility that as all of the amenities you could want – sign up for a tour.

senior exercises Senior Living Tips & Advice

Limber Up! Gentle Senior Exercises to Maintain Balance and…

Each year, one in four senior Americans falls.

This results to 800,000 hospitalizations and three million emergency room visits.

A fall doubles your risks of falling again and increases the chances of nursing serious injuries like hip fractures.

Fortunately, there’s something that you can do to improve your strength and balance – and that’s exercising.

Here are five easy senior exercises for better stability:

1. Heel Raises

This simple balance exercise for seniors not only boosts your stability, but also strengthens your knee joints and ankles.

To perform this exercise, stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your waist, and lift both of your heels so that you balance on the balls of your feet.

Then, gently lower yourself back to the ground. Repeat this process at least 10 times.

If possible, use hand weights to increase intensity.

2. Single Limb Stances

For this workout, you’ll need to hold on to a chair and try to balance on one leg.

For best results, try maintaining your center of gravity over your ankles.

Balance on each foot for a few seconds, then begin supporting yourself with one hand – then a few fingers, and finally try to let go of the chair.

This exercise routine for seniors will give you the stability to dodge unnecessary falls.

3. Rock the Boat

This senior workout routine begins with placing your feet hip-width apart, ensuring your weight is evenly distributed across both legs.

Slowly transfer your weight to your right side by lifting your left foot off the ground. Hold that position for no longer than 30 seconds and then slowly lower your foot back to the ground, transferring your weight back on to both feet.

Repeat the process with your right foot.

If possible, do this exercise at least three times with each foot every day for improved strength and balance.

4. Walk the Line

Older adults are advised to walk daily to boost their health as they grow older.

For this exercise, place one foot directly in front of the other, so that the heel and toes nearly touch.

With your eyes fixed to a particular object directly in front of you, take about 15 to 20 steps.

This is a simple exercise to improve your balance and focus. It can also be a good physical activity for dementia patients.

5. Chair Squats

If you are looking for gentle lower body exercises for seniors, squatting to a chair is what you need.

Start by standing in front of a chair with your legs hip-width apart. Slightly raise your chest and begin lowering your hips to the seat while bending your knees.

This exercise will help you maintain the ability to get out of chairs independently, improving your core and functional balance.

Depending on your capability, try doing 5-15 chair squats per day.

Stay Strong with Senior Exercises

Your best bet at preventing falls is to maintain an active lifestyle with gentle senior exercises.

You also need to have a healthy diet to boost your gait.

It’s easier and fun to exercise in groups. This makes it important to find a home with a regular elderly exercise program as well as well-equipped workout rooms.

sugar and dementia Senior Living Tips & Advice

The Link Between Sugar and Dementia: How Does It…

We’re all tempted to eat to sugary foods, especially around the holiday season. The average American actually consumes 152 pounds of sugar in one year’s time– an immense amount!

We all know that sugar can have negative effects on our health. But it’s becoming clear that there are links between sugar consumption and disease that we were previously unaware of. The link between sugar and dementia is one of these discoveries.

Scientists have been more comfortable in recent years linking sugar consumption and the disease. They’ve now gone as far as referring to Alzheimer’s as stage 3 diabetes.

Read on to learn more about the connection between sugar intake and dementia.

What Dementia Research Tells Us

Scientists are working hard to understand dementia and it causes. Thanks to these many studies, the relationship between high blood sugar and dementia is becoming more and more apparent. Sugar can help lead to dementia development in a few different ways.

For one, diabetes weakens the blood vessels of the body. Weakened blood vessels greatly increase one’s chance for a stroke. And a stroke can quickly lead to the development of various forms of dementia.

When someone experiences a stroke, a lack of oxygen is sent to the brain. This can result in many brain cells dying, resulting in dementia.

The obesity caused by sugar consumption can also contribute to dementia development. In addition to high blood pressure, obesity can also lead to an overabundance of inflammatory proteins in the body.

Too many amyloid proteins in the brain can cause serious problems and cause mass cell death.

Protecting The Brain

Though the practice of lowering one’s blood pressure usually is associated with physical health, it’s also an essential step in protecting your brain.

Creating a diet that can control your blood sugar level is an imperative step for anyone who already has blood pressure issues. Even for those that don’t, cutting sugar out of one’s diet is a great proactive step in protecting your mental health.

Remember that sugary foods don’t only include things like cookies and cake. Carb-heavy diets that focus on bread and pasta can still turn to sugar in the body. Studies have found that individuals who eat mostly carbohydrates are much more likely to develop cognitive issues later in life.

Incorporating whole foods such as avocados, leafy greens, salmon, turmeric, nuts, and nutrient-heavy items can help give your body what it needs to run healthy and clean. Opting for fresh foods from local markets can also help to keep your body running healthy.

Regular exercise and proper relaxation techniques can also help both the mental and physical health of your body. A mix of all these practices is the best defense against the onset of diseases like diabetes and dementia.

The Link Between Sugar and Dementia

Our understanding of the connection between sugar and dementia is still developing. New research and new information are being provided each year.

But from the data available, it seems indisputable that high sugar consumption can lead to cognitive disorders like dementia later in life. Practicing healthy living and eating right can be the best way to stave off such diseases.

Check out our blog for more senior health advice, tips, and tricks.

alzheimer's behaviors Senior Living Tips & Advice

Understanding Alzheimer’s: The Different Stages and Alzheimer’s Behaviors

In the US alone, one out of every ten people who are over the age of 65 suffers from the devastating disease known as Alzheimer’s. This is a disease that does not discriminate. It can affect anyone and everyone, and it’s becoming increasingly prevalent as time goes on.

While Alzheimer’s end game for everyone is the loss of memory and the deterioration of soft tissues in the brain, there are a number of stages that people go through and each of these stages has specific behaviors associated with them.

But what are these stages and what specific Alzheimer’s behaviors should you look out for if you suspect someone you love is dealing with this disease? Read on to find out more.

Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it gets worse. These worsening signs and symptoms give way to different categories and stages. It can be hard to place someone in a specific stage, though, because they overlap sometimes.

During the early stage of Alzheimer’s, your loved one will be able to function on their own. For the most part, they can drive and work and continue on with life as they know it. However, they will notice that their memory is failing them.

Some of the Alzheimer’s behaviors to be on the lookout for during this stage are:

  • Forgetting names and places of everyday objects
  • Forgetting what they just read
  • Losing valuables
  • Difficulty organizing

However, it’s important to remember that not everyone with this disease will have these same symptoms.

Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

The middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease can last for a long time. The difficulties your loved one experience are going to get worse and they’re going to have a hard time talking to you about these things. This is because their thoughts and feelings are getting harder to express.

Here’s a list of Alzheimer’s behaviors to watch for during the middle stage of Alzheimer’s:

  • Wandering or getting lost
  • Personality changes and compulsive behaviors
  • Difficulty controlling body functions
  • Forgetting life details
  • Forgetting the date, time, or location
  • Sleep changes

It’s normal for people in this stage of Alzheimer’s to be able to remember facts about themselves but performing daily tasks will become more difficult as time goes on.

Severe Alzheimer’s Disease

In the late and final stage of Alzheimer’s, individuals will slowly lose their ability to respond to the things around them. They likely won’t be able to have a conversation with anyone and, eventually, they won’t be able to control their movements.

There are no actual behaviors to watch out for in this stage because your loved one will need regular, round the clock care. They will lose their ability to walk, sit unassisted, and even swallow their own food.

It’s important in this stage of Alzheimer’s to take care to monitor your loved one’s health because they become susceptible to all sorts of infections and they won’t be able to communicate their pain to you.

Managing Alzheimer’s Behaviors With Senior Living

This information about Alzheimer’s behaviors is probably overwhelming. And, without a doubt, it’s heartbreaking.

But the good news is that you don’t have to handle it on your own. Senior living facilities are there to help you manage your loved one’s deteriorating health and improve their quality of life.

If you have concerns about a family member who is living with Alzheimer’s, schedule your tour at Maple Heights today.

senior citizen living Senior Living Tips & Advice

6 Important Amenities to Look for in Senior Citizen…

Chances are you have someone in your life who is getting older and is starting the process of finding senior citizen living arrangements.

These can range from independent living to assisted living to nursing homes. It all depends on the senior, the level of care they may require and what their families may want for them.

But what are some of the amenities that these living arrangements offer? Are there some that put them above all of the other nursing homes in your area? What kind of enrichment are you seeking for your family member?

Keep reading and find out what some of the top centers are providing for the people in their care.

1. Independence

For many seniors about to enter long-term care, the thought of losing all of their independence can be terrifying.

But many care facilities offer a wide range of living arrangements, catered especially to their clients. Those arrangements can offer a level of independence that is safe for the individual.

Seniors can choose the layouts of their new homes, decorate them as they wish and even cook meals in their new homes.

2. Social Hour

Humans are social beings. This is something that becomes even more important as we grow older.

When looking for a residence that your family member may thrive in, pay attention to the events the center holds. Letting residents communicate together and participate in group events will allow them to create a social life.

3. Gourmet Eating

Sustaining the body as well as the mind is essential. These days, senior centers are starting to offer gourmet-style food options that are delicious and nutritious.

Gone are frozen dinners and buffets.

Many new senior living care centers are even bringing in professional chefs to cook for their patients.

4. Individualized Care

When looking at care amenities, it may set family minds at ease when they find out that their senior will have a one-on-one, case-by-case, care schedule set up for them.

This amenity is an extremely important part of senior life. Not every one patient will have the same needs or the same lifestyle. Having a specific schedule and a dedicated team set up to look over them means they will be safe and cared for.

5. Let Seniors Enjoy Hobbies

For seniors, losing independence may be the hardest part of moving into a care facility.

Losing the ability to choose when and how they want to spend their time can be difficult. But allowing clients to take part in their favorite crafting activities or even gardening means their lives are fuller.

6. Keeping Active

Last but not least, it’s important that seniors are kept active. No matter the type of living arrangement they are committed to, they should have access to physical workout regimens meant to keep them fit.

Many long-term care facilities offer gyms or even pools that seniors can use. This allows them to rehabilitate when they need to and keep active.

Senior Citizen Living Made for You

Finding the right home for the senior in your life can be an overwhelming process.

With hundreds of options to choose from, there are so many variables to be mindful of. But with our help, we’ll be able to help you find the right senior citizen living arrangement for your loved one.

Our round-the-clock staff will keep your senior safe, rejuvenated and happy. Schedule a tour today to see why we offer the very best for the very special senior in your life.

effects of aging Senior Living Tips & Advice

How an Active Lifestyle Minimizes the Effects of Aging

Aging does not have to suffocate your quality of life. In fact, there are places in the world where the residents are known to live far longer than anywhere else. This article provides an overview of how an active, healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of aging, and elongate your quality of life.

Defying the Effects of Aging

The negative effects of aging can be, in part, thwarted. In fact, researchers from National Geographic affirm that there are specific communities on the planet where the population has an abnormally high life quality and longevity expectancy. By studying the lifestyles of these communities, you can adapt your lifestyle to minimize the effects of aging.

Where on Earth has the Best Aging Populations?

National Geographic researchers set out to find, what they coined, as Blue Zones. Blue Zones, are the places on earth with more centenarians than anywhere else.

In Sardinia, in the Barbagia region, live the highest number of male centenarians anywhere on earth. Why do men live longer in this mountainous region of Italy?

Most men who live in these mountains are sheep herders. They spend the first half of the day walking up a slightly inclined hillside, and the second half of the day walking back down. They eat a Mediterranean diet, low in cholesterol and high in phytonutrients.

The Aegean island of Ikaria, Greece, is home to the lowest rate of mortality among middle-aged men. It is also the place on earth where dementia is least common.

The same applies, for the Nicoya Peninsula, in Costa Rica. In North America, Loma Linda, California is home to the Seventh Day Adventists, who appears to live up to ten years longer, on average, than the rest of the country.

And, in Okinawa, Japan, women that are over the age of 70 make up the highest life longevity rate anywhere on earth. So, what is the secret?

How to Age Well

If you want to live with more ability, joy, and longevity, follow these lifestyle tips from the Blue Zones Project.

Natural Movement

Moving naturally is the biggest aspect of keeping your body healthy into older age. Those that live the longest are people that spend large amounts of every day in low-impact natural movement.

Take a long walk up a small hill. The key is not to exhaust yourself, at all. Your body wants to move, so let it. Garden, hike, bike, or just simply walk. Adopt a life rhythm that incorporates movement as the hallmark.

Sense of Purpose

When you rise in the morning, what is your purpose? You can extend your lifespan an average of seven years if you find a reason and joy for waking. It can be to teach, to love, to laugh, to learn and, hopefully, all of these.

Take it Easy

Stress is the leading cause of chronic inflammation in old age. Inflammation accounts for the vast majority of diseases and physical ailments experienced in your elder years. The most effective way to mitigate stress is to meditate, pray, nap, or have an afternoon drink in the sunshine.

If you suffer from chronic inflammation, consider CBD treatments for decreasing stress and physical information.

Stop Eating Before Full

Eating until you’re stuffed is an unhealthy first-world luxury. If you continue to practice this habit into your elder age, you will cause serious detriment to your body. The rule is, eat until you are 80 percent full.

Eat Less Meat-A Lot Less

You should buff up how much plant matter you eat at each meal, and reduce the animal proteins. Instead of meat at every meal, switch to beans, like fava, soy, and lentil. Meat, like pork, chicken, or lamb, is a special treat that you should only eat four to five times a month.

Wine is Fine

The people on earth that live the longest share a commonality of one to two glasses of red wine per day. Studies from the National Institute of Health show that moderate wine drinkers outlive non-drinkers, on average. Do not drink to excess, though, or you undo your longevity work.

Community Belonging

An important aspect of aging well is to find your community. Whether it is a religious community, or otherwise, you need to explore the questions on your heart with a trusted and safe community. This element of your aging life can account for up to 14 years of added longevity.

Keep Family Close to Home

The most important thing in life is family. In old age, independence is contingent on purpose. Grandparents that live at home, with their grandchildren, live for years beyond those that do not.

The Blue Zone Project finds that family ties are one of the biggest factors in the extension of your life’s longevity.

Even if you are in assisted living, your home can be welcoming to family and friends.

Final Thoughts

If you liked this article on how to minimize the effects of aging, share it with someone you love on social media. And, for the most recent posts on aging well and assisted living, subscribe to the blog. Thanks for reading!

how to convince your parents Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Convince Your Parents It’s Time for Assisted…

Moving a loved one into assisted living isn’t the easiest thing to do, but in reality, the decision should always come down to what’s best for them rather than what’s easy.

As such, one of the biggest services you can do for your parent(s) as a child is to help them realize when the time to consider assisted living has come.

If you’re not sure how to convince your parents of this, don’t worry.

Here are 3 tips to help you both get through this tough conversation together.

1. Don’t Tell, Ask

Most people who don’t want to admit they need assisted living are really trying to hide from the fact that they’re not as independent as they used to be. Help them embrace the independence they still have by approaching the conversation to move into assisted living as a choice, not a demand.

Ask them how they feel about this option. But, don’t just take no for an answer. If your parents are refusing to even think about this possibility, ask why.

Keep asking thoughtful, considerate questions until the conversation starts going somewhere. The more you can get your parents to open up about how they’re dealing with aging, the better you’ll be able to share the benefits of assisted living with them.

2. Focus on the Facts

The thing about bringing up the subject of assisted living, and aging in general, is that these conversations can get really emotional really fast. You have to focus on the facts even if you can tell your parents are getting worked up.

Of course, it’s good to share how much you love them and want the best for them. But when it comes to proving your point, facts will get you further than feelings.

Bring up what their doctors have been saying and changes in behavior that you’ve been seeing, too. Talk to your parents about the real dangers they can face if they choose to keep living alone rather than in assisted living.

3. Wait for a Learning Moment to Happen

What if your parent doesn’t want to listen to the points you’re trying to make? What if they’d rather brush off a recent fall they had as a “one-time” thing or if they fail to see the severity of it?

Put the conversation on pause and wait for a learning moment to present itself.

The next time you notice that your dad isn’t taking his medication or that your mom is struggling to get up the stairs or even off the couch, bring up assisted living again. It’s hard for them to ignore the facts when they’re right in front of them instead of a situation that happened in the past.

Here’s the Best Way to Learn How to Convince Your Parents to Move into Assisted Living:

The best way to learn how to convince your parents to move into assisted living is to keep trying. After all, it makes sense for them to give you some pushback the first few times you bring it up.

Keep in mind that this transition often makes people come to terms with how old they really are. It’s a release of their independence and it leaves the question about what they’re going to do about their home, too.

The best thing you can do is be there for your parents and guide them through the process. The rest will work itself out as the transition to assisted living begins and they adjust to their new community.

For details about assisted living in the Washington DC area, click here.

nutritional needs Senior Living Tips & Advice

6 Tips for Meeting the Special Nutritional Needs of…

Malnutrition costs the US $157 billion in related diseases each year. Seniors are the ones most susceptible to these complications.

As we grow older we tend to neglect our nutritional needs. This leads to heart, eye, brain, and muscle problems.

By maintaining a healthy diet, you can delay the onset of many diseases affecting seniors. Are you getting enough of these 6 nutrients needs?

1. Fiber

The average American doesn’t get enough fiber in their diet. If you aren’t eating whole foods, you aren’t getting enough either.

Fiber aids your digestive system, so your body moves food through the system absorbing nutrients. It also helps prevent heart disease.

What to Eat

Try to eat whole grains or beans. You can also get fiber from fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds also contain fiber, but these tend to be tougher to chew with extensive dental work.

2. Potassium

Potassium helps with cell function and bone strength. It also helps reduce kidney stones and blood pressure.

What to Eat

Eat more prunes and bananas to take in more potassium. You should get enough by eating fruits and vegetables at every meal.

3. B12

To create red blood cells and DNA your body needs B12. As the body ages, it becomes less able to absorb it from food.

What to Eat

To compensate for this, eat more fish, milk products, and poultry. You can also take a supplement if fish and dairy are not your taste.

4. Protein

Protein helps seniors maintain muscle strength. This is important to help maintain balance preventing falls and loss of mobility.

What to Eat

Eggs and chicken breasts are both rich in protein. Other good sources are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and broccoli.

5. Calcium

As we age, we tend to consume less calcium. This is a problem as calcium is the building block for strong bones. Without it, bones become brittle and more susceptible to fracture.

What to Eat

Try to have three servings of dairy a day to help increase calcium intake. If you don’t like dairy, kale or broccoli are also good sources.

6. Omega 3

These are good fats that help relieve the symptoms of arthritis and degenerative vision diseases. It has also shown to help seniors maintain mental sharpness.

What to Eat

You should eat fish at least twice a week. It is most effective to stick to fish high in omega 3 such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon.

Track Your Nutritional Needs

The nutritional needs for seniors are not that different from younger adults. The difference is the diseases you prevent by eating a balanced diet.

You need to eat a well-balanced diet to address brain, cardiovascular, and muscular health. Calcium and potassium keep your bones strong preventing breaks and fractures.

Omega 3 and B12 keep your red blood cells and heart healthy. Protein keeps your muscles strong which will help keep you flexible. Finally, you need fiber so your digestive tract works to absorb all the other nutrients.

For more information on nutrition for older adults be sure to read about the vitamins to help prevent Alzheimer’s.

difficulty remembering Senior Living Tips & Advice

Does Difficulty Remembering Always Signify Alzheimer’s Disease in Seniors?

If you’ve ever forgotten what day it is or struggled to find the right word, you know how frustrating difficulty remembering can be.

But is your memory loss, or that of a loved one, the result of aging, or is it an early sign of something more serious, like Alzheimer’s?

Keep reading to find out how to tell.

Does Difficulty Remembering Always Signify Alzheimer’s?

While Alzheimer’s memory loss is a well-known symptom of this condition, it is far from the only one. It is also far from the only explanation for memory loss in elders.

In fact, there are a number of explanations that can account for memory loss experienced by people of any age.

One explanation is simply age itself.

As we get older, changes occur in our brains. This can cause us to forget even the simplest of things, such as where we left our keys or what time we were supposed to meet someone.

It can also make it take longer for us to learn new things.

Other explanations for sudden or developing memory loss are emotional problems, mild cognitive issues, or trauma, such as from an injury like a fall.

There are other types of dementia besides Alzheimer’s that can cause memory loss as well.

How Can You Tell if Memory Loss in Elderly People is Due to Alzheimer’s?

While there may be many different explanations for why a person is experiencing memory loss, it can sometimes be tough to figure out which is to blame.

If the only symptom a person is experiencing is memory loss, there are a few ways to tell whether it could be the result of early-onset Alzheimer’s.

If the memory loss is random and sporadic, it is unlikely that the person suffers from Alzheimer’s. This form of dementia usually causes frequent memory loss.

Another sign that memory loss is due to something besides Alzheimer’s is if the person forgets something, but remembers it again soon after or even later that day. Often Alzheimer’s causes a person to forget something for an extended period of time, or even permanently.

If a person struggles to carry on a conversation because they can’t remember any of the words that they want to say, this can be a sign of dementia. But forgetting a word here and there is likely just a sign of aging.

What Are Other Early Signs of Alzheimer’s?

Besides short-term memory loss in elderly people, there are other signs that can signify Alzheimer’s.

One is extreme memory loss. This includes confusion about where a person is or how they got there, or difficulty performing normal, everyday tasks.

If a person becomes overly frustrated when they forget words or have trouble having conversations, it’s likely due to something besides aging.

Changes in vision, mood swings, and serious lapses in judgment can also be symptoms of dementia.

Are There Any Ways to Combat Memory Loss?

While Alzheimer’s requires medical attention and treatment, there are plenty of ways to combat difficulty remembering due to aging.

Engaging with others, playing games, learning new things, and other recreational activities can help keep your brain active and healthy, which can help reduce memory loss.

Check out our amenities to see how we help our residents combat memory loss and stay active by providing plenty of activities to enjoy each day.

being a caregiver Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Deal with the Emotions of Being a…

Approximately 43.5 million Americans have become an unpaid caregiver to an adult or child over the past 12 months. Often, they become a caregiver gradually, as the person they care for begins to lose their faculties or function.

Becoming a caregiver can be a professional job, but many do it because of the devotion they have to their relatives. Being a caregiver is not something many people plan for, and the emotional aspect can be taxing.

Continue reading for some tips and tricks on how to deal with the emotions as a caregiver.

Dealing with Anger and Resentment

Anger and resentment are both common feelings amongst those who care for family members. You may feel angry at your loved one for forcing you to put your life on hold in order to care for their needs. You may then feel embarrassed or angry with yourself for having these emotions.

These emotions are very common for caregivers, and you should recognize that they are valid feelings. You can cope with them by going on a long walk, taking a timeout or venting to a family member, friend or spouse about some of the issues that come up when caregiving. It is normal to feel aggravated or even angry at the individual you are assisting at times.

How to Deal with Depression While Being a Caregiver

Many caregivers experience deep depression while they are caring for a loved one. This should be taken seriously. Those who are giving care to others may brush aside the feelings of depression and despair, convincing themselves its “not as bad” as what their loved one is experiencing.

You should not allow your depression to fester and ignore it. Instead, you should address it head-on. This may include signing up for counseling, exercise, or just scheduling in breaks every now and then so you can have some time on your own.

If the depression becomes too great, you and your family may consider putting the individual you are caring for in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Join a Support Group for Other Caregivers

Being a caregiver can be incredibly isolating, especially if the person you are caring for requires monitoring 24 hours a day. This may mean that you are stuck in the house with them and not experiencing the same social life or doing the same things you did before you were caregiving.

Joining a caregiver support group can help you see that you’re not alone. You can express your frustrations, fears, and anxieties with others who are in your position. If you are alone all of the time, it can be easy to feel as though you are the only one with these emotions.

Meeting with other people can help crush the sense of isolation. Plus it can help you realize that what you’re experiencing is likely a normal side effect of being a full-time unpaid caregiver.

What Do I Do If the Guilt or Negative Emotions Are Too Much for Me?

You should never allow your negative emotions about being a caregiver to become so overwhelming that you feel you have no way out. If this is the case, you should seek help immediately. If you feel you may harm yourself or someone else, you should call your local emergency services.

For more information on senior living and caregiving for seniors, visit our blog.

dementia and sleep Senior Living Tips & Advice

Dementia and Sleep: How to Manage Alzheimer’s Sleep Problems

Did you know that a new person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every minute? Most of us are well aware of how devastating this disease is on someone’s mental facilities. A lesser known and discussed problem in dementia patients is sleep.

People suffering with Alzheimer’s also suffer from terrible sleep. If you or your loved one is looking for relief from this common side effect, read on. This article will give you 5 tips on how to manage dementia and sleep difficulties.

1. Spend More Time Outside

Sleeping problems are becoming more common in modern day. Many people work indoors and all of us get too much screen time with electronics.

These factors can wreak havoc on your sleeping schedule. By spending more time outside during the daytime, you can help your brain get back on its circadian rhythm. When we listen to our biological clock, that can alleviate dementia and sleeping issues.

If physical conditions prevent someone from getting outside, light therapy is another valuable option to consider. This treatment involves sitting by a special light that simulates natural daylight.

2. Increase Physical Activity

Exercise is one of the best things we can do to help our bodies and minds. This is especially true for people with Alzheimer’s.

If you want to know how to get dementia patients to sleep at night, make sure they’re getting enough physical activity during the day. Exercise helps to tire the body and ease restless minds at nights.

3. Fight Dementia and Sleep Problems with Bedroom Environment

A natural sleep aid for elderly with dementia is maintaining a healthy sleeping environment. Follow these guidelines to get some restful shut eye:

  • Use thick curtains to block any light from entering the room
  • Keep the room at a comfortably cool temperature
  • Dress in loose, minimal clothing so the skin can breathe
  • Consider playing white noise, nature sounds, or soft music for a relaxing atmosphere

4. Stay on Schedule

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is critical for dementia patients. When people have schedules, their bodies and minds can start to wind down when they anticipate that bedtime is approaching. People will naturally get tired once a routine has been established for a few weeks.

5. Stop Eating or Drinking Before Bedtime

Dementia sleep deprivation is a serious condition. The last tip you should heed for better sleep is to stop eating or drinking at least an hour before bedtime, but preferably two hours.

Our bodies use a lot of energy to digest. When the body’s resources are used to break down food while we sleep, normal maintenance work gets neglected. If you eat before bed, it’s likely that you’ll wake up feeling exhausted.

Drinking can also interfere with the quality of your sleep. Abstaining from liquids a couple hours before bed will prevent any bathroom trips in the middle of the night.

Do You Need More Dementia Resources?

Battling dementia and sleep problems is exhausting for both the patient and the caretaker. If you live in the Washington DC area and you’re interested in exploring assisted living options, look no further than Maple Heights Senior Living. If you have any questions about our accommodations or services, please check out our amenities and other features.

sharp memory for seniors Senior Living Tips & Advice

5 Ways to Keep a Sharp Memory No Matter…

It is pointless to compare your memory to when you were younger.

This is not only because memories themselves are fickle and change as the years go on. Research has shown that it is also because the brain of a twenty-year-old is significantly different when compared to someone who is older.

Equally, if you forgot something as a young adult, you likely thought nothing of it, but once you’re older, it becomes a fear of Alzheimer’s. It’s this fear which makes us think something could be wrong or getting worse.

Instead, it is recommended you see how others are doing in your own age range. If you are no different then you are just aging naturally.

Of course, science has also found that the changes can be mediated. Keeping a sharp memory is a surprisingly easy thing to do so long as your willing to break out of some habits you may have stuck to over the years.

Our list below is just some of the things you can do keep your brain sharp.

5 Methods for Sharp Memory

1. Find a New Hobby or Interest

There is countless research that shows learning new skills and information is the best way for your mind to stay strong.

The process of discovering something new challenges your ways of thinking and forces you to solve problems that require intense focus. This means that your brain develops new pathways and stays strong.

Anything that will take all your concentration is a great way to start. You can start studying a subject that has always interested you at a school or local group, or take up something physical but still mentally challenging like woodworking.

2. Exercise

If you believe that being active is great for your body but not your mind then you’d be wrong.

Extensive studies have revealed there is a direct link between physical activity and the mind’s ability to stay sharp. And if you dread the idea of getting sweaty and hitting a gym don’t worry. The research has seen these benefits from something as simple as walking for just 30 minutes a day.

If you want to do something more engaging then dancing or gardening are other great options you can do.

All that matters is that you keep your body moving.

3. Eat More Healthy

Brain food really exists.

Just like your muscles need protein to stay strong, your brain actually benefits from getting the right nutrition as well.

Things like berries, fish, and nuts contain a wide variety of vitamins and healthy fats that keep your mind sharp and better at functioning.

For example, avocados are great at helping your body pump blood around the body, including the brain, thanks to the monounsaturated fats. They also help lower blood pressure meaning less pressure throughout your body and mind.

Best of all, dark chocolate is also on the list of good foods, (just make sure to eat it in moderation). Look into the different foods out there and start incorporating them into your lifestyle today.

4. Don’t Underestimate Yourself

If there is one phrase you must never say to yourself or believe it is this: “I am too old to do that.”

Research has shown repeatedly that how we view ourselves and think about the world drastically affects our physical and mental state.

Think of an older person you know who has always said something like they are “young at heart” and seems to always have energy. By saying this to themselves and everyone around them and believing it they really make it happen.

Your age does not define you.

It does not dictate who you are or what you are capable of. People with no experience have started successful businesses in their eighties, some have spent months or years training to run a marathon.

Whatever you want to do with your life, you can make it happen. It will not only lift your spirits but continue to keep your mind sharp, and your life full of new experiences.

5. Keep Meeting New People

While one of life’s greatest pleasures is sitting down with old friends and enjoying their company, it is still worth it to meet others.

It turns out that socializing is an essential part of keeping your memory sharp and active. This is because you are engaging in an activity which requires short-term memory such as new names, faces, hobbies, and interests.

A Busy Life Means a Sharp Mind

Often getting older means you have more time for yourself which gives you plenty of options to take on exciting new opportunities.

At Maple Heights, we offer a range of amenities that make socializing, staying active, and eating healthy easy and enjoyable.

Take a look at our floor plans and find yourself a new home that’s full of possibilities.

exercise and dementia Senior Living Tips & Advice

3 Things to Know About Exercise and Dementia

Did you know that the Alzheimer’s Association recommends participating in physical fitness activities?

Staying active will help will reduce the risks factors correlated with dementia.

There’s a definite link between exercise and dementia. Unfortunately, things aren’t always what they would seem to be at the first glance.

Read on to find out three big things you need to know when approaching the subject of physical activity and dementia.

1. Physical Activity Reduces the Risk of Dementia

If your loved one isn’t currently suffering from any form of dementia then an exercise regimen may be exactly what they need.

Studies show that those who are active are less likely to suffer from dementia. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation considers exercise to be one of their four pillars. These provide a stable ground to prevent the disease.

It’s associated with a 50% decrease in the risk for Alzheimer’s. It’s advised that exercise remains moderate for older patients to lower risk.

The incorporation of balance training is also important to reduce fall risk in elderly patients as well

2. Exercise and Dementia Isn’t a Clear Subject

The findings are much less conclusive for those who already have some form of dementia.

Dementia and exercise is still a somewhat controversial subject. Since socializing is so important in the continued treatment of dementia, it’s hard to draw conclusions.

Elderly patients are more likely to engage in group activities when exercising. This makes it important to find a home which offers exercise rooms and other amenities.

Exercise remains important throughout a person’s life. The exact exercises for dementia patients remain open to debate, however.

The majority of dementia exercise programs out there are a good idea to maintain fitness in the elderly. They just don’t combat dementia symptoms directly.

Other studies have found that mild aerobic exercise can have a protective effect.

3. Heavy Physical Exercise Can Have Adverse Effects

A recent study in the British Medical Journal showed an adverse effect in patients who are already suffering from dementia.

The difference between the control group and those who participated in the program was 1.4% at the end of the study.

That’s not a huge difference, but it may be enough that in the future the exercise recommendations for seniors with dementia will be lessened.

This depends on what future studies in the area find. The effects of physical activity and dementia are complicated and studies have only recently begun in the area.

Moving Forward

Exercise and dementia is a tricky subject. It may be time for your loved one to head to an assisted living facility, but it’s important to put them in one that understands.

If they’re approaching the twilight time of their life then it’s important to make sure that they’re in good hands and have the proper facilities available to them.

These include areas to exercise, to socialize, and the ability to exert control over their life. Assisted living can be very important to help achieve this.

If you’re looking for an assisted living in the Washington D.C. area then feel free to contact us and arrange a tour.

when is it time for assisted living Senior Living Tips & Advice

When Is It Time for Assisted Living? Look for…

One of the hardest decisions to make for yourself or a loved one is if it is time to make the switch to assisted living.

We often may try to keep our loved one in our own home or their home as long as possible, but generally, there is a time to accept that they need more help than you can give.

Senior living can also be a great initial option for older individuals, and it often gives them a healthy amount of freedom.

Moreover, it can give them more opportunities to socialize, engage in hobbies, and eat healthy meals.

Assisted living can, therefore, be one of the best options for both the family and the loved one in need.

Read on to learn the answer to the question of when is it time for assisted living with five key signs.

When is it Time for Assisted Living? Five Key Signs

The signs that it is time for assisted living can vary depending on the person and the situation, but overall here are a few things to keep an eye out for.

1. Escalating Care Needs

The first question you should ask when trying to determine if its time for assisted living is whether or not their care needs exceed your abilities.

If you feel like you are stretched too thin, and their health continues to decline, it is time to consider letting a professional in an assisted living facility.

2. Wandering Behavior

This sign is one of the most dangerous signs, and when assisted living is needed. Wandering behavior can be especially risky if you are not able to be with them at all times.

Moreover, this behavior can be immensely more problematic if the elderly person is struggling with dementia, Alzheimer’s disorder, or other neurological conditions.

3. Frequent Accidents

We want to believe that we can handle any situation our loved one gets themselves in, but this is often not the case for accidents.

If you find yourself constantly worrying about them falling, and they have a track record of doing so, it is time to consider that they would be safer in an assisted living facility.

4. Difficulty Engaging in Daily Activities

Whether your loved one is living by themselves or with you, try to take notice of their ability to engage in daily activities.

These could be as simple as grocery shopping, daily walking, or personal hygiene. If they struggle to do activities that are near essential to life, it may be time to seek help.

5. Caregiver Anxiety

Last but not least, ask yourself if you are suffering from high levels of caregiver anxiety.

This is often the clearest answer to the question of when is it time for assisted living.

If you are always anxious about your loved one, their health, and its impact on your family, assisted living may be the best option for them.

Know When it is time for Assisted Living

Overall, answering the question of when is it time for assisted living will greatly depend on you and your family’s situation.

However, there are certain things to look for that could interfere with your loved one’s ability to live at home.

To learn more about assisted living, check out our recent post on the advantages of assisted living.

independent living vs assisted living Senior Living Tips & Advice

Independent Living vs Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

When you’re choosing between assisted living vs independent living, the needs of your loved one should be the guiding force of the decision.

But what if you don’t know all the differences between independent living and assisted living?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Read on for the main differences you need to know. Help your senior make an informed decision that’s best for them.

Independent Living vs Assisted Living: What’s the Best Fit for You and Your Loved One

Caring for elderly people is an important responsibility which often includes choosing the right senior living community.

The choice between independent living or assisted living often comes down to how well the senior can perform daily activities on their own. Examples of daily activities are:

If your senior has difficulty with these or other daily activities, you may wish to consider an assisted living arrangement.

Assisted Living

When people refer to a “nursing home,” assisted living is usually what they’re talking about.

Assisted living homes are very helpful for seniors with trouble performing daily activities at home, either physically or cognitively.

Caring for a loved one as a full-time caregiver can become very costly. This is especially true if your senior is dealing with a chronic health condition, such as Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

Assisted living homes offer a way to live an independent lifestyle while receiving a helping hand where it’s needed.

Many assisted living homes offer medical support on some level.

Some offer personnel trained in basic life support and first aid.

On the other end of the spectrum, some homes provide licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, or even doctors to care for their residents.

Having medical oversight helps to ensure the safety and peace of mind for your loved one.

Even if there is no medical staff, your senior will benefit from receiving prepared meals and housekeeping. Typically, laundry service, utilities, and transportation are also included with the rent for the room.

Another benefit which older adults enjoy is the opportunity to engage in many social events.

Here are some events you may find at an assisted living home:

  • Cook-outs and barbecues
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Arts and crafts fairs
  • Picnics
  • Movie night
  • Mall trips
  • Fitness activities
  • Outdoor walks
  • Karaoke
  • Dancing
  • Learning classes and workshops
  • Bridge and other card games

Assisted living is ideal for seniors who wish to have their own living space but would like access to medical staff. They simply prefer a little help with basic daily activities, such as managing medications or assisting with bathing.

Independent Living

Many older adults function well on their own but wish to live in an independent living community.

These seniors like independent living facilities because they:

  • Don’t want to pay for their apartment or house
  • Don’t want the responsibility of maintaining their own house
  • Desire the safety and security of a community home
  • Want the convenient access to social activities, medical care, and entertainment.

Residents of independent living facilities are fairly active and enjoy the company of others their own age. They are very independent and need minimal assistance.

Most communities offer a full range of trips and activities to help their residents lead an active lifestyle.


If you’re considering assisted living vs independent living, remember to plan with the future in mind.

Your loved one may not need assistance right now, but their health care needs may call for a need for assistance in the future. If possible, try to get an assessment from your senior’s doctor to help plan ahead.

If you’d like to see a beautiful senior living community, schedule a tour at Maple Heights Senior Living.

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5 Benefits of Assisted Living Facilities

Often times, when seniors think of assisted living centers, they think of nursing homes; cramped, depressing, and dimly-lit facilities where they can’t get a moment’s peace. It’s important to note, however, that assisted living centers are not nursing homes. In fact, when you take all things into account, they are very, very different.

Not quite convinced? Allow us the opportunity to sway your opinion by reading about the following benefits of assisted living.

Plenty of Activities to Partake In

Do you typically struggle at finding things to do during the day? When you live in an assisted living center, you don’t have this problem. These centers schedule plenty of activities for their residents, ensuring that they’re living healthy, happy, and social lives.

These centers are also equipped with various forms of recreation. At an assisted living center, you’ll find everything from gyms, to cafes, to theaters, to outdoor recreation areas, and more.

Easy to Make Friends

One of the biggest problems that seniors encounter is making friends. Because they’re no longer working, and because they typically engage in fewer activities than they once did, they don’t encounter as many like-minded people as they once did.

Assisted living centers don’t ensure friendship for seniors, but they do make it a great deal easier. Because everyone at an assisted living center is around the same age, friendships are much easier to come by.

No Home Maintenance Required

One thing that assisted living centers do have in common with nursing homes is that they don’t require any home maintenance. When living in an assisted living center, you don’t have to make your bed, or sweep your floors, or wash your dishes, or do anything else that you would normally have to do in your own home.

If you typically struggle with doing these things, this can be a huge advantage. Instead of expending tons of energy on chores, you can use it on leisure.

Constantly Available Assistance

Another assisted living benefit is that assistance is constantly available. Should you ever become injured or unable to do something, there will be someone there to help you or to do it for you. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is; 24/7 assistance is offered.

This is, quite simply, not true of living in your own home. While you may have someone with you during the day to help out with designated tasks, that person usually can not offer you assistance at all hours of the day.

No Need to Worry About Food

For some seniors, preparing meals can be a struggle. Because they can’t physically prepare meals themselves, they often instead order food which is entirely unhealthy.

Seniors who live in assisted living centers never run into this problem. Assisted living centers offer a variety of different meal plans, ensuring that you consistently receive a meal that you actually like on an everyday basis.

Reap the Benefits of Assisted Living

Are you interested in reaping the benefits of assisted living? Do you live in the Washington, DC area? If so, Maple Heights is the place for you.

A modern and luxurious assisted living center, we make your comfort and well-being our top priority.

Take a look at our floor plans now!

difference between dementia and alzheimer's Senior Living Tips & Advice

Understanding the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Many people today may assume one of two things about Alzheimer’s and dementia: they are one in the same disease or vastly different.

The reality? They are neither of these things.

Yes, these diseases have distinctly similar characteristics. But in order to manage these diseases, the inner workings must be understood.

So what’s the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s? Find out more in this blog…

Defining the Difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s

We understand, the statement above couldn’t be more conflicting. How can dementia and Alzheimer’s be neither the same nor completely different?

The key differentiating factor is that dementia is used as an umbrella term for symptoms caused by a number of different diseases.

Whereas Alzheimer’s is a specific disease all on its own. So are dementia and Alzheimer’s the same? The answer is both yes and no.

Essentially, Alzheimer’s is its own disease, whereas its symptoms are a condition of dementia. This means that most people who have Alzheimer’s will eventually develop symptoms of dementia.

Alzheimer’s: the Cause of Dementia

In 60 to 80% of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s, they will most likely develop dementia over time.

While there are several different causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s is the most common across the globe.

Throughout the United States today, over 5.3 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s.

So what are the key characteristics of Alzheimer’s?

  • Progressive memory loss – specifically short-term memory
  • Changes in cognitive skill i.e. focus, recognition, reasoning
  • Changes in behavior i.e. withdrawal, confusion, agitation, aggression

Currently, the exact cause of Alzheimer’s is largely unknown. But research has pinned down two contributing factors, including:

  1. The build-up of beta-amyloid proteins which form plaques between nerve cells in the brain.
  2. The build-up of tau proteins which form tangles within the cells of the brain.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease which causes irreversible damage to the nerve cells in the brain- there is currently no cure.

Despite this, millions of Dollars is poured into research each year to better understand this disease.

Medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine are used to manage Alzheimer’s and manage its symptoms.

Dementia and its Many Forms

As mentioned, dementia is used as a term to describe a number of different diseases, all caused by the degeneration of nerves in the brain.

This is where the overlap between dementia and Alzheimer’s becomes prominent.

Two of the most common forms of dementia include vascular dementia (VaD) and Lewy Body dementia. Both of these are degenerative diseases which cause irreversible damage to the brain.

1. Vascular dementia

This form of dementia is caused by any condition which damages blood vessels in the brain.

These conditions may include a stroke, heart disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, brain trauma (repeat concussion) and hypertension.

Treatment of these conditions cannot reverse the damage done to the brain but can help to prevent further damage.

Symptoms are very similar to those with Alzheimer’s, including cognitive impairment, disorientation, difficulty thinking, agitation, and aggression.

2. Lewy Bodies Dementia

Also known as DLB, this form of dementia accounts for nearly 10% of all dementias.

This form of dementia is caused by an accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, known as Lewy Bodies.

DLB is most commonly mistaken as Alzheimer’s due to the distinct overlap of symptoms.

However, distinguishing symptoms of DLB include visual hallucinations, tremors, rigidity, loss of autonomic regulation and sleep disorders.

Just some of the rarer forms of dementia include:

  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

All of the above are slowly degenerative with their own set of distinct symptoms, yet a number of which also overlap between each disease.

Looking for Long-Term Memory Care?

At Maple Heights Senior Living we specialize in assisted living and care for those with cognitive disorders.

Whether you’re looking to learn the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s or how to offer the best care for a loved one, our experts are here to help.

Take a tour of our facility and get to know us better!

what is early onset alzheimer's Senior Living Tips & Advice

What is Early Onset Alzheimer’s and How Young Can…

In Still Alice, Julianne Moore played the role of Dr. Alice Howland. She was a linguistics professor, diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.

In the movie, Howland got diagnosed shortly after celebrating her 50th birthday. You could say that’s too young. But there are people in their 30s and 40s who exhibit early onset Alzheimer’s symptoms.

So what is early onset Alzheimer’s? Here’s an overview of the condition and the kind of prognosis patients can expect.

What Is Early Onset Alzheimer’s?

Early onset Alzheimer’s is a rare form of Alzheimer’s. As mentioned earlier, it can strike people in their 30s and 40s.

The sad thing is experts still don’t have the full picture why younger people get early onset AD. But they know that family history is a factor.

There are three genes linked to early onset Alzheimer’s – the APP, PSEN 1 and PSEN 2. Mutation in any of these genes can predispose you to develop Alzheimer’s before you turn 65.

If you want to know if you’re at risk for developing early onset Alzheimer’s, you can go for genetic testing. Should you test positive, you can prepare for it and you could also take part in a research study.

Helping researchers learn more about this condition can help develop new treatments. And this could help other patients who suffer from the condition.

Early Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Let’s say you haven’t gone for genetic testing. But you suspect you or a loved one could have early Alzheimer’s.

There are symptoms you can watch out for. Memory loss is the number one sign. If a person’s more forgetful than normal and needs frequent reminders, it’s time to see a doctor.

Other signs include difficulty planning and solving problems. Losing track of time and places and repetitive conversations are also common signs. Even if you don’t experience all these symptoms, it’s still best to go for a consultation right away.

A cure may not be present at the moment. But getting an early diagnosis can be a big help. Knowing early could influence how you decide important financial and legal matters.

Early Onset Alzheimer’s Life Expectancy

Life expectancy for those with early onset Alzheimer’s is 4 to 6 years after the date of diagnosis. Leading causes of death include pneumonia and malignancy. Heart disease and a general worsening of the disease are also causes of mortality.

Some patients also succumb to frustration and depression after the diagnosis. And this could speed up the disease’s progression. It is important for everyone involved to plan ahead and consider outside help.

Early Onset Alzheimer’s: You Don’t Need to Do it Alone

Now that you know what is early onset Alzheimer’s, you understand how it can affect people of your age. If you or a loved one has early onset Alzheimer’s, don’t lose hope.

There are assisted living facilities that can help. They specialize in caring for those who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. They can provide resources and activities in ways that family care can’t help.

If you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Early Detection of Alzheimer’s: 5 Early Symptoms You Should…

As we grow older, changes in our memory and behavior are only natural. This is part of growing old and the functioning of our brains being affected by time.

However, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease go much deeper than that. They are more than mere lapses in memory or forgetting details of a story.

One of the best ways to properly manage a debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s is by catching it early.

If you’re looking to learn more about early detection of Alzheimer’s, we outline it all in this blog…

A Guide to the Early Detection of Alzheimer’s

The 5 behaviors below are related to the brain’s ability to manage memory and judgment.

In order for a doctor to accurately diagnose the onset of Alzheimer’s, you or a loved one must present with two or more of these persistent symptoms.

However, a number of tests will also need to be carried out in order to rule out any other possible causes of memory or cognitive issues.

Nowadays, observation of a friend or family member’s behavior is one of the best ways of detecting Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Jotting down and recording these behavioral symptoms can help a doctor determine whether they are a persistent or worsening problem.

Why does this matter? Because a single office-based test only provides a snippet of what’s going on the brain of an Alzheimer’s sufferer.

Keep a lookout for any of these persistent early signs of Alzheimer’s and don’t forget to create a behavior log:

1. Complete Memory loss

On a day-to-day basis you may experience ”memory loss” i.e. forgetting the name of a place, but be able to remember it at a later stage.

This is actually called memory lapse and is not memory loss at all. For an Alzheimer’s patient, they will forget the name of the place entirely.

One of the first signs of Alzheimer’s is complete memory loss of names of friends, places, dates, appointment times etc.

Typically, Alzheimer’s sufferers will not realize they have completely forgotten these things. They will ask repeatedly about names, dates, times and so on.

2. Difficulty Carrying out Familiar Tasks

At the onset of Alzheimer’s, a person may find it increasingly difficult to complete simple everyday tasks.

An example may include preparing a meal and losing track of the steps in a recipe.

They may be unable to remember a particular conversation they had during the day, or finishing playing their favorite board game.

Typically, confusion will set in as to why they cannot remember these things, then frustration will take over.

Remember to jot down these instances and how regularly they occur.

3. Problems with Writing and Speaking

In the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, a person will often forget simple, everyday words.

Instead, they will use nonsensical words or phrases to replace the ones they have forgotten. These simple items could include a toothbrush, instead referring to ”that thing you use to clean your teeth”.

This will make their speech and writing increasingly difficult to understand and interpret.

4. Confusion About Time and Place

People with early-onset Alzheimer’s will start to become easily lost or disoriented in their own neighborhoods.

They may even forget how they got to a certain place and how to get back home.

Poor judgment goes hand-in-hand with this confusion. Behaviors such as dressing inappropriately for the weather may become a more regular occurrence.

Spending money irresponsibly is also a signal for changes in behavior and judgment.

5. Changes in Mood and Behavior

In the early stages of this disease, a person may display mood swings and sudden bouts of aggression for no obvious reason.

They may also become anxious, confused and suspicious of people, or become overly dependent on a family member.

Withdrawing from social activities may also accompany this behavior, becoming reclusive and even avoiding daily activities such as bathing and eating.

Looking for a Vibrant Senior Living Facility?

Maple Heights Senior Living, based in Washington DC, offers a modern, vibrant and thoroughly professional senior living community.

We offer both assisted living facilities and long-term memory care options, with experts specializing in the early detection of Alzheimer’s.

Interested in taking a tour? See more of our facilities here.

memory care activities Senior Living Tips & Advice

3 Memory Care Activities for Patients with Alzheimer’s

If you have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s, you’re not alone. In fact, someone develops this disease every sixty-five seconds in the United States.

Although it can be stressful and scary to watch an important person in your life suffer, there are many ways that you can help. In fact, by completing simple memory care activities with them, you can help your loved one in a plethora of ways.

Want to know more? Keep reading for tons of great information and ideas to get you started.

Why Memory Care Activities Matter

After their initial diagnosis, it’s imperative to keep Alzheimer’s patients busy with stimulating tasks. These activities will give them pleasure, help them to recover memories, and bolster emotional connections with others. Alzheimer’s activities can also ease anxiety, irritability, and depression.

Now, let’s dive into the top three activities that will provide the most benefits to your loved one.

1. Music

Whether they’re singing songs or simply listening, music is useful for people with Alzheimer’s in multiple ways. Research shows that music has both behavioral and emotional benefits for anyone suffering from this disease.

For people with Alzheimer’s, interacting with music can reduce stress, lessen anxiety or depression, and resolve general agitation. This, in part, is thanks to stored musical memories that exist in a part of the brain which is not damaged by Alzheimer’s.

It’s also a very simple way to help. So if you want quick and easy activities for Alzheimer patients, music is the best option for you.

2. Cleaning

If you’re looking for activities for dementia patients that serve multiple purposes, cleaning is an excellent choice. Even the simplest tasks like wiping surfaces, folding linens, and sweeping give the Alzheimer’s or dementia patient many benefits.

Firstly, completing these simple chores will give the person a sense of accomplishment. And secondly, these tasks will also get the patient up and moving around, which is important for their mental and physical well-being.

You can even use cleaning as a way to create fun games for Alzheimer’s patients. Get creative, and be sure to congratulate them after on a job well done!

3. Create a Time Machine

One of the best brain-exercising activities for Alzheimer’s patients is to surround them with memories of their past. This could be old home videos, the music they used to love, family photo albums, and the like.

New research even suggests that those who suffer from Alzheimer’s don’t lose memories, they just become more difficult to access. Showing patients items from their past may help them to regain clarity. Especially if they are in assisted living care, bringing slices of home to them is deeply beneficial.

Don’t Lose Hope

As you can see, even the simplest memory care activities can make a huge difference to your loved one’s health and well-being. All it takes is a little time and effort.

Just remember to stay patient during these tasks, and to have fun. After all, you should enjoy the stress-relieving benefits of these activities as well!

If you want more advice about helping people with memory issues, or for the inside scoop on senior living communities, check out our blog. We have some helpful information for you.

vitamins for Alzheimer's prevention Senior Living Tips & Advice

5 Powerful Vitamins for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Are you worried that you or someone you love may be developing memory problems or early onset of Alzheimer’s?

You’re not alone.

In fact, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

It doesn’t hurt to start adding important vitamins for Alzheimer’s prevention into your diet. Even if you already have the disease, you may be able to slow the process with certain dietary changes.

Check out five powerful vitamins for Alzheimer’s Prevention.

Should You Take Vitamins for Alzheimer’s Prevention?

If you have a loved one who is struggling with memory loss and you are worried about the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, you may be wondering how to prevent Alzheimer’s. You may also wonder, “is Alzheimer’s hereditary?” If you have a parent or sibling with the disease, you are more likely to develop it as well.

While there is no cure yet for this disease, you may be able to prevent or slow the onset of it.

If you want to know how to fight dementia and Alzheimer’s, you may want to consider adding some powerful vitamins to a healthy diet along with engaging activities to exercise the mind.

1) Vitamin K

Vitamin K has been known as an anti-aging vitamin. Vitamin K regulates calcium in the brain. If you want help with how to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, consider adding this vitamin.

Some foods that contain Vitamin K are:

  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • brussel sprouts
  • turnip greens

It’s recommended that adults have 90 mcg of Vitamin K daily.

2) Omega 3 Fats

Omega 3 fats are a “good” fat that can help lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Your body doesn’t make these so you have to supplement with food or vitamins. Fish, leafy greens, and flaxseed oil are great sources of omega 3.

3) Vitamin D

There is a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and dementia. Low levels of vitamin D can slow down cognitive ability and memory.

Sunshine is the best source of this vitamin, but you can also get it from certain foods like vitamin D fortified orange juices and milks, as well as salmon, tuna, and sardines.

4) Vitamin E

Adding Vitamin E may help with Alzheimer’s Disease treatment. When given to test individuals in large doses, this super vitamin led to a six-month delay in Alzheimer’s progression as opposed to those who received a typical daily dosage.

5) Folic Acid

You’ve probably heard that folic acid is important for pregnant women to take for their baby’s brain development. Adults also need folic acid.

Lower levels of folic acid in the elderly can equal an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Broccoli, spinach, and lentils are good sources of folic acid.

Get Assistance for Your Loved Ones

It’s difficult to see your loved ones struggle with memory loss. Adding vitamins for Alzheimer’s prevention can be very beneficial, but you may need more help and guidance.

If you want to see if assisted living is a good fit for you or your loved one, contact us today for a tour. We are happy to assist you in any way.

Living with Alzheimer's Senior Living Tips & Advice

Living With Alzheimer’s? How Assisted Living Can Help

If you or someone you love is living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia you’re not alone. Between 4-5 million Americans are directly affected by a similar diagnosis in their family.

It can be frightening and overwhelming. There are ways to make life more comfortable and easier to cope with.

Many fear the prospect of needing outside help. They vow never to resort to a nursing home facility. It’s difficult to manage the responsibility alone.

Assisted living facilities can be a solution. It solves any safety and care concerns and provides a higher quality of life through the staff and resources available.

It Takes a Village

You are only one person and though you may have family member and friends to offer support it’s impossible for you to do everything a fully staffed facility can provide.

When a loved one is living with Alzheimer’s the rest of the world doesn’t stop. There are still bills to pay, obligations to be met and responsibilities to fulfill. This can be impossible when all your time, energy and resources are going to keeping your loved one safe.

When you’re not there, you worry that they may need something or be at risk of injury or harm. Every area of your life is affected and your health can start to suffer as well. You can’t do your loved one, the rest of your family, your career or yourself any good if you’re ill from exhaustion.

An assisted living facility provides a safe environment with resources to improve the quality of life for the resident and their families.

Quality Not Quantity of Time

Many worry that asking professionals to care for a loved one is neglectful or in essence, robbing the family of time together. An assisted living facility can actually provide the gift of quality time rather than quantity.

When loved ones are no longer solely responsible for the care and well-being of their family member it is easier to enjoy and fully appreciate the time they do spend together.

Caregiver burn out can make loving families feel resentment, anger, depression, anxiety and other difficult emotions. Feelings that creep into the relationship only because of pure exhaustion and hopelessness in an overwhelmingly difficult situation.

Greater Resources and Skills

Assisted living facilities can provide resources and activities that improve the residents quality of life in ways that family care can’t.

Many individuals living with Alzheimer’s at home become shut-ins. They suffer from loneliness, depression and deteriorating health because of their isolation.

Assisted living facilities offer residents forms of socialization through activities designed specifically for those with dementia.

Safety and proper nutrition are easier to ensure in a facility with full staff and medical training.

Peace of Mind

Life is stressful enough without the world resting solely on your shoulders. This is especially true when facing a future of living with Alzheimer’s. You don’t need to do it alone and can gain some peace of mind and support through assisted living facilities that specialize in caring for those in your situation.

Contact us today for more information about how we can improve your quality of life and give you a lasting peace of mind.

signs of loneliness Senior Living Tips & Advice

5 Signs of Loneliness in Seniors and How Assisted…

In a world where everyone is so connected, research has shown that society is the loneliest it’s ever been.

More so than any other age group in society, the elderly tend to suffer from loneliness the most. Whether it’s due to health limitations, a loss of family and friends or long-term disease, there are definite ways to combat loneliness in seniors.

But first, it’s important to spot the signs of loneliness in the elderly. To find out more, we outline it all in this blog…’

5 Signs of Loneliness in the Elderly

If your loved one is displaying any of these simple signs of loneliness, perhaps it’s time to consider assisted living?

1. An Interrupted or Restless Sleep Pattern

If a parent or elderly family member is consistently experiencing a disrupted or broken sleeping pattern, this may be cause for concern. According to studies, interrupted or restless sleep is a result of how a person’s time is being spent throughout the day.

If a senior is lonely and has too much time to themselves, their sleep pattern is likely to be disrupted as their days are perhaps not active enough. Find out from your loved one how they are spending their time during the day and this may offer insight into their levels of loneliness.

2. Unusual Spending Habits

If an elderly loved one has suddenly changed or increased their spending habits, this is also a red flag to look out for. Increasing their time at shopping malls, spending money on unnecessary items is a sure-fire sign they may be bored and lonely.

This is simply a way for a lonely senior to try and compensate for a lack of meaningful social interaction they may be craving.

3. A Loss of Appetite and Change in Eating Habits

A loss of appetite is closely linked with mental disorders such as depression, which can ultimately be brought on by loneliness. If your elderly parents or a loved one is eating less, neglecting their diet or refusing to eat at all, severe loneliness could be at play.

4. Inconsistent Communication

If your elderly parent used to call you 3 times a week, but this has increased to 5 times a week or dropped to only once a week, this could be another symptom. An increased need to communicate may stem from a feeling of loneliness, where an elderly loved one is trying to reach out for company.

On the other hand, if communication has decreased this could also be a sign that they are becoming withdrawn and depressed due to loneliness. Pay close attention to an elderly loved one’s communication patterns and try to find out why they have become inconsistent.

5. Becoming a Home Hermit

This could be as a result of finding home a far more comfortable, safe space if an elderly parent is disabled, immobile or struggling with communication.

If an elderly loved one is choosing to stay at home rather than attend their regular social gatherings, loneliness and depression could be the cause.

Have You Considered Assisted Living?

An assisted living community may be the ideal solution to an elderly parent or loved one’s loneliness epidemic. These communities are based on offering daily support to the elderly in the form of medical assistance, nursing staff, and social gatherings.

Assisted living communities are exactly what they say they are, a community which offers the companionship of like-minded people.

While the initial suggestion may not be immediately welcomed by an elderly loved one, it could offer peace-of-mind for both them and family members down the line. They may resent the decision initially, but with time may come to realize that assisted living was the best choice they ever made.

Looking for Senior Living Care?

Maple Heights Senior Living, based in Washington D.C. is one of the city’s newest senior living centers. At Maple Heights we are focused on assisted living, combatting signs of loneliness in the elderly, and memory care.

Rest with the ultimate peace-of-mind that your elderly loved one is cared for in a truly professional, modern and friendly senior community. Take a look at the amenities we offer here.

assisted living vs. nursing home Senior Living Tips & Advice

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: What’s the Difference?

Are you concerned about a beloved parent or another aging family member? Do you wonder what type of care they’ll need in the near future?

If so, you’re not alone. As of 2014, over 1.7 million Americans lived in nursing homes. A million more live in some type of assisted living community–and that number is expected to triple by 2040.

While both types of facilities care for senior patients, there are some key differences between the two. In this post, we’ll examine assisted living vs nursing home care so you can decide which is best for your loved one.

What to Expect in an Assisted Living Community

Assisted or senior living communities are designed for those who can’t safely live on their own anymore but don’t require 24-hour care.

In general, people who live in assisted living communities are still in fairly good health. They can generally move around, dress, and feed themselves.

But they may need assistance from a nurse for minor medical reasons. They might also need the help of a caregiver to assist with routine tasks like cooking, cleaning, or bathing. Some facilities also offer services and care for memory-impaired patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the main advantages of an assisted living community is that its residents are given a large amount of freedom. Community activities are also popular, ranging from shopping trips and movie nights to fitness classes and karaoke.

The idea of an assisted living community is just that–to make its residents feel that they’re still very much part of an active community.

What to Expect in a Nursing Home

Nursing homes offer the same excellent level of care as assisted living communities. The main difference is that they’re designed for those with more serious health problems that require round-the-clock care.

Nursing homes are staffed with skilled nurses and nurse practitioners who oversee the care of their residents. They prescribe and administer medical treatment, as well as providing physical, occupational, or speech therapies.

Although nursing homes do offer some “community” activities, their primary focus is providing quality medical care for its residents. In many cases, the residents are not physically or cognitively able to participate in many activities.

If your loved one’s health has declined to the point where they need round-the-clock care, a nursing home may be the best choice. If they’re still healthy enough to handle most of their daily care themselves, they may thrive in an assisted living environment.

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: Which Will You Choose?

Now that you know the differences between assisted living vs nursing home care, the only thing left to do is choose.

Of course, your choice is not an easy one. It’s heartbreaking to watch a beloved family member get older.

But rest assured that whichever path you choose, your loved one is sure to receive the care they need and deserve.

Do you live in the Washington DC area? Are you interested in seeing a beautiful assisted living community for yourself?

Click here to schedule a tour of the Maple Heights Senior Living Community and see everything we have to offer.

assisted living facility Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Get the Most from Assisted Living

No one ever says, “I can’t wait to move to an assisted living facility!” Almost every senior wants to remain in the home where they spent their adult life and raised their children, or in the smaller space they downsized to as empty nesters. Change — especially a major one, like a move — can be incredibly difficult to embrace at this stage of life.

Yet assisted living is often the best choice for aging seniors who are still active, but who need a little help with life’s daily tasks. Read on to learn how to get the most out of an assisted living facility while still maintaining independence.

Do Your Research

When you begin looking for accommodations for your aging parent or other relative, it’s important to take your time. This is not an easy decision to make, and as such, should not be rushed.

Make sure to involve your parent in the decision, as well. After all, they are the one who most stands to benefit from — or be unhappy with — the new living situation. Try to maintain your objectivity until you’ve heard his or her opinion. This will prevent your judgment from being clouded by factors that matter only to you, such as proximity to your home, or cost.

Today’s senior living options are a far cry from the dreary, depressing nursing homes of yesteryear, and that’s thanks in part to the Baby Boomer generation itself. You might be surprised at just how cool assisted living can be!

Find a Good Fit for the Future

Another crucial consideration to keep in mind as you are evaluating senior living facilities? Whether it will provide the necessary amenities and services as your parent ages. It’s not pleasant to consider, but there’s a very real chance that he or she will become less independent and active in the coming years.

Your mother may enjoy cooking for herself now. Your dad could be perfectly capable of doing his own laundry and keeping his space clean and tidy. Whether or not this will be true in, say, 5 or 10 years is another matter altogether.

The facility you eventually choose should be appropriate now, yet also offer assistance that will be needed down the line.

The Many Benefits of an Assisted Living Facility

Your parent might not be eagerly anticipating a move to assisted living, but that doesn’t mean he or she can’t thrive there. The best facilities offer many perks. These include onsite dining options, transportation to and from local attractions and shopping centers, housekeeping services, exercise rooms, and more.

One of the biggest benefits is the companionship that’s available in senior living communities. Loneliness can be common as a person ages, and it can be debilitating. The wide range of social and recreational activities offered at an assisted living facility makes it easy to meet up with friends on a daily basis.

Want to Learn More?

At Maple Heights Senior Living, we pride ourselves on offering not just a place for seniors to live, but a home in which they can thrive. We’d love to show you around, introduce you to some great people, and explain what sets us apart from any other assisted living facility in the area.

Schedule a tour today, and come see what awaits at Maple Heights!

activities for people with dementia Senior Living Tips & Advice

5 Enriching Activities for People with Dementia

Around 50 million people around the world suffer from dementia.

As the condition progresses, it can become harder to perform everyday tasks. In order to keep patients happy and stimulated, it’s important to find tasks that they can do successfully.

In this article, we’ll give you five great activities for people with dementia.

The Best Activities for People with Dementia

1. Listening to Music

Music therapy can greatly improve the quality of life of dementia patients.

It stimulates various parts of the brain, causing it to release the feel-good hormones dopamine and oxytocin. It can even trigger the brain to unlock memories that it was previously unable to access.

Patients who were previously uncommunicative can become happier and more engaged, simply by having music in their lives.

As well as listening to music, get able patients involved by giving them instruments to play. Percussive instruments such as small drums, shakers, and triangles can work well.

Bringing musicians in to play or sing to patients can provide wonderful entertainment, too.

2. Playing Card Games

Card games can be great activities for people with dementia.

Simple games such as Snap, Go Fish or Blackjack can keep them busy, as well as giving them a way to communicate and engage with staff and other patients. If they’d rather be alone, you can try teaching them to play Solitaire.

Patients who struggle to play games like these may simply enjoy shuffling cards or sorting them by suit.

However you use them, it’s best to find larger cards, which have numbers printed clearly. That way, patients will find them easy to read.

3. Gardening

Gardening helps people with dementia both mentally and physically.

It gives them something to nurture and care for, and a reason to get up and go outside. They’ll enjoy planting seeds, pulling out weeds and watering plants, all while getting some exercise and strengthening their joints.

When the flowers bloom, they can also enjoy the fruits of their labor. This will brighten up their mood as well as their home.

4. Solving Puzzles

Puzzles are perfect activities for people with dementia. They can keep them occupied for a good length of time, giving them a goal to work towards.

Crosswords and jigsaw puzzles allow them to use their concentration, which can stimulate their short-term memory function.

For patients who struggle with more complex activities, puzzle cubes are a good choice. They don’t necessarily have to be able to solve the puzzle, it can just be something to fidget with.

5. Folding Laundry

Ask dementia patients to assist you with everyday tasks where possible.

This can be something as easy as folding or sorting laundry. It will give them a feeling of achievement, as well as the satisfaction of helping around the house.

A Stimulating Environment Is Key

Using these activities in your patient’s daily routine will keep them happy and healthy. It will also give them a sense of community by getting them to interact with others.

At Maple Heights, we know how important this is. That’s why we provide a range of amenities and activities for our patients to enjoy. This includes a theatre, an exercise room, and a beautiful private garden.

Learn more about what we have to offer at Maple Heights Senior Living.

living with alzheimer's Senior Living Tips & Advice

The Truth About Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Is your loved one living with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

Dementia affects 4-5 million Americans and their families. Most of the cases of dementia are a form of Alzheimer’s Disease. Seeing someone close to you with dementia is an emotionally taxing experience. The important thing to know is that you’re not alone.

Keep reading to learn more about living with dementia.

Common Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia is essentially trauma or disease that happens to the brain.

There are many symptoms of dementia, and it’s possible to confuse these symptoms with normal memory loss.

For example, you loved one may have a slight memory loss, but still is active and social. A person living with Alzheimer’s may become more isolated and may be socially inappropriate.

Mood changes are also a common symptom of dementia, and they may become easily disoriented.

There are several different forms of dementia, with about 70% of cases being Alzheimer’s Disease. There’s also vascular dementia, which can result from small strokes. Mixed dementia is a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Everyday Living

Living with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia can be extremely difficult.

Safety is always a priority for your loved one. You’ll want to make sure that the home environment is safe. It’s common for people with dementia to wander, which is why a locating device could be a good investment.

It’s important to understand that having a regular routine can help people with dementia maintain their independence. This includes reminders to eat and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

If you find that your loved one is struggling with basic tasks, chunk it down into sections that can be completed with ease.

Understanding Discomfort and Meltdowns

As dementia progresses, your loved one may have trouble communicating when they’re uncomfortable. They may lash out because of this.

The most common causes of discomfort are lack of sleep, disruptions in their routine, an unfamiliar environment, illness or injury, or being in the same seated position.

You can head these issues off by keeping your loved one comfortable as possible. That includes making sure the temperature isn’t too hot or cold. It’s also very important to keep your loved one on a regular routine.

Get Support

While you’re caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s, it’s easy to forget about caring for yourself. Caregivers often find themselves in a great deal of stress and suffer from burnout.

That’s why it’s critical to seek support. There are support groups online and in-person that meet regularly. You can also lean on your friends and other family members for support.

You may decide to choose to have your loved one live in a senior care facility.

You do need to make sure that you’re getting the support you need so you can ensure that you loved one is getting the care they need.

Living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

It’s very difficult to see someone you love live with Alzheimer’s or dementia. At some point, you may need to consider a senior living facility that can handle these challenges.

At Maple Heights Senior Living, our community is designed to provide the best assisted living and memory care for your loved one.

Contact us today to schedule a tour.

memory care facility Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Choose a Memory Care Community

As we get older, the chances of being affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia grow larger.

And with an estimated 5.7 million people living with these conditions in the United States, families everywhere are being left with tough care decisions to make.

But handing over the care of a loved one to strangers can be difficult, and the decision hard to make.

Thankfully, a memory care facility can help by providing dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers with orderly, routined living conditions. Here are some tips and questions to consider to help you choose a facility you can trust.

How Often Can You Visit?

Given the security of other patients, and the overall care of your loved one, you may not be able to visit or withdraw them from the facility too often.

When you’re considering a memory care facility, be sure to check any policies regarding visitation first. Check how often you can see them and how often you can take them outside for special occasions.

Security and Protection

Research, ask and visually inspect the security and protection the facility offers. Given the confusion that dementia and Alzheimer’s can have, it’s important for a facility to be able to stop residents from leaving and causing themselves harm if needed.

Do they have a secure entry in and out of the building? How quickly do they respond to missing residents, and how often has it occurred in the past? If the history is poor, look elsewhere.

Special Care Requirements

Discuss any special care requirements with the facility to make sure they’re capable. What kind of nursing do they have available?

It’s important to also consider longer-term care requirements. The health of your loved one may deteriorate, so be sure to question how the facility will respond to this, to ensure you’re not left with rehousing difficulties later.

Leisure and Living Arrangements

Residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia need a safe and structured environment in which to live. Considering their living arrangements is as important as their individual care.

Where are they going to be sleeping, eating and enjoying leisure activities? The day-to-day experiences of your loved ones are important, so look into what sort of lifestyle they will get to lead, to make sure it’s suitable.

If you’re wondering about the amenities that a memory care facility can offer, why not take a look at our own?

Cost Considerations

While it can be difficult to think about, the cost of care has to be considered, to make sure it’s affordable.

Be sure to get a clear and upfront answer about the cost, including any additional charges that could be applicable in the future.

If you’re finding the cost of care difficult to bare, you might be able to receive federal or state help. Take a look at some of the government benefits you might be entitled to, especially if you’re from a low-income family.

Choose the Right Memory Care Facility

Our loved ones deserve the right to a caring, supportive environment that maintains their dignity and gives them the chance to flourish in their later years.

Picking the right memory care facility can go a long way to helping a family member with dementia or Alzheimer’s get the stability and care they need. While cost is important, so too is ensuring that the facility is respectable, with the right leisure, healthcare and security provision.

Why not schedule a tour of our facility here at Maple Heights and see if our community can’t become the new home for your loved one?

assisted living care Senior Living Tips & Advice

Advantages of an Assisted Living Community

In 2015, the United States was the home of 15,826 assisted living facilities. While some senior citizens need assisted living care in their daily routine, advantages of living in a community range from better healthcare to even social benefits.

Are you or a loved one curious about joining an assisted living community? Read on to see why so many Americans choose these communities, too.

Essential Help and Care

Living in an assisted living home can provide you or a loved one with the day-to-day care they need to continue living a life they love.

The leading cause of senior injury and death is falling down. With the assistance provided in an assisted living home, your loved one could instead live in a location made to be easily navigable. Staff members will also be present to address and aid your loved one in any way necessary.

The best assisted living care communities allow its residents a flexible, independent lifestyle with additional services if wanted or required. Whether these are assisted living or memory care services, the facility exists to put your loved one at ease.

Assisted Living Care Provides Community

Living in an assisted living community provides you or a loved one the opportunity to continue socializing even when movement or driving capabilities are limited.

While some individuals may enter a community with friends or loved ones, many instead find and make new friendships.

Assisted living communities often host their own events. This allows residents to meet and interact with each other. Forming friendships doesn’t have to stop with age. Through new activities and a shared living community, residents can regain social freedom.

Many communities also provide shuttles for their residents. These shuttles can bring residents to essential places, like the grocery store, if residents wish to cook on top of taking advantage of the community dining facility. Residents also have easy access to doctors appointments, community events, shopping and local social life in the nearby community.

Additionally, the shuttles serve to bring residents to events outside of the living community. Talk to your or your loved one’s assisted living community management to discuss opportunities like this.

Incredible Amenities

The vast majority of residents living in an assisted living move there directly from their own or a family home. Others move there directly from a hospital or rehabilitation facility.

Either way, the assisted living care community provides every facility needed for everyday care.

Some amenities can include:

  • dining services
  • exercise rooms
  • gardens and walking paths
  • theatre rooms

From food services to exercise rooms, communities ensure residents have everything essential and needed to stay healthy and happy.

Start with a Tour

Ready to find the perfect assisted living care community for you or a loved one? Start with a tour! A tour is the perfect way to assess a community’s ability to meet you or your loved one’s wants and needs.

Schedule a tour with Maple Heights Senior Living. We’d love to have you join us.

memory care assisted living Senior Living Tips & Advice

Understanding Memory Care in Assisted Living

If you or a loved one is suffering from dementia, is care becoming more and more difficult? It may be time to consider assisted living.

The idea of assisted living may seem frightening. It means lesjs time with family and trusting someone else for care. How can you know if it’s the right thing to do?

Allow us to ease your concerns. Continue reading to get a better understanding of when memory care assisted living is necessary.

Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s common for most people to experience some memory loss as they get older. But dementia and Alzheimer’s are a more severe loss of cognitive function that can erase memories linked to identity and necessary daily tasks.

Dementia is becoming more and more common in aging people. It is believed to be caused by stress, vitamin deficiencies, and brain, liver, kidney or thyroid disorders.

Dementia is not simply a disease but a collective group of symptoms that hinder memory and cognitive function. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

Warning Signs of Dementia

Like any degenerative disease, the key to treating dementia is an early diagnosis. Make an appointment with your doctor immediately if you or a loved one displays a consistent pattern of these behaviors:

  • Difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty with simple or familiar tasks
  • Misplacing items in strange locations
  • Mood swings, agitation
  • Overfixation on certain details
  • Declining level of self-care and hygiene
  • Poor judgment
  • Frequent, aimless wandering or getting lost

If you’ve noticed these behaviors frequently, call your doctor now. It’s best to be safe.

What to Do If You or a Loved One Is Suffering from Dementia

To repeat: first go to the doctor. The doctor will know best which treatment options to start with.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia. But there are treatments to keep it from getting worse, which is why early detection is so important. Common treatments include medication, live-in caregivers or assisted living communities with memory care.

Medications that act on neurotransmitters in the brain can relieve symptoms and improve cognitive function. But because they cannot stop the spread of the disease, they help only for a limited amount of time.

For early stages of dementia with mild symptoms, live-in care is a practical option. But more severe cases of dementia require 24-hour care to keep the patient from endangering his or herself. This may become a bigger commitment than family members or a single live-in professional can safely handle.

Memory care assisted living communities have the staff and home comforts dementia patients need. And it is all on hand, 24 hours a day.

When to Consider Memory Care Assisted Living

In this sensitive situation, you want to make the right choice for your family. To help, the Alzheimer’s Association provides us this list to know when memory care assisted living is the appropriate choice.

  • Has the person with dementia become unsafe in the home?
  • Is the health of the patient or caregiver at risk?
  • Is the person’s required care beyond the caregiver’s abilities?
  • Is the caregiver becoming stressed, irritable and impatient?
  • Is the caregiver neglecting work, family, and self?
  • Would the care structure and social aspects of an assisted living community benefit the patient?

Take some time to think over and discuss these questions with your family to decide if memory care assisted living can help.

Tour Maple Heights

If you and your family answered yes to those questions, please schedule your free tour of our brand new assisted living facilities in Washington DC.

Take a look at our floor plans and preview our amenities here. Call us to schedule your tour today.

assisted living homes Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Choose the Right Senior Living in Washington…

Half of all Americans at retirement age will need long-term care at some point in their lives.

Approximately 10 million adults over 50 provide help to their parents. But many feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities.

When seniors need a community that will care for them while allowing them to enjoy their independence, they turn to assisted living homes.

Are you having trouble deciding between assisted living facilities in Washington DC? Keep reading to find out how you can choose one that best suits your needs and wants!

Pay Attention to the Staff

During the process of choosing the right senior living, you’ll need to visit the facilities. Getting a first-hand look is necessary to make an informed decision.

While you’re there, analyze how the staff treats the residents. Check to see if the residents seem happy and satisfied.

Also, make sure the staff is warm and accommodating when interacting with you as well. They should be ready and willing to answer any questions you may have.

Ask Plenty of Questions

Although it’s easy to get distracted during your visit, writing down a list of questions beforehand ensures you don’t miss anything.

Here are a few important questions you should consider asking the staff:

  • Does your community offer memory care?
  • Does each room have a private bathroom?
  • What types of floor plans do you have available?
  • Do you have wheelchair accessible furniture?

Feel free to add as many questions to your list as you wish. Prioritize those that pertain to any specific needs you have.

Look at Their Amenities

Do you have any interests or hobbies that are dear to you?

The availability of certain activities can play an important part in helping you feel at home. It also provides opportunities for you to socialize and build friendships within the community.

High-quality assisted living homes offer attractive amenities such as gyms and movie theaters. Some may have a private garden for you to take a walk or relax while enjoying nature.

Try the Food

Since they know food quality is going to be one of the key deciding factors for many people, most assisted living homes will show you their menu.

However, some will even allow you to sample their meals for free during the visit. They may also have a built-in bistro.

Don’t miss your opportunity to grab a bite. As you enjoy your free meal, pay attention to the freshness of the ingredients.

Final Thoughts on Deciding Between Assisted Living Homes

While it’s important to take proximity into consideration, try not to place too much emphasis on it. An assisted living facility that’s a couple miles further down the road might be a better option.

It’s also a good idea to avoid jumping at the first opportunity that presents itself. If possible, visit at least two or three communities before making your final decision.

Ready to experience what life is like in a luxurious senior living community? If so, make sure to schedule a tour with us today!

senior homes Senior Living Tips & Advice

Reasons to Choose Senior Living in Washington D.C.

Are you looking for a place to spend your golden years?

The years after you retire can be some of the best in your life. Hopefully, you’ve saved money and you can now enjoy spending it.

There’s no better place to retire than Washington D.C. This article will give you three reasons why you should look into senior homes in this area.

1) Amazing Public Transport

As we get older, it becomes riskier and riskier to drive a vehicle.

When you live in D.C., there’s no reason you should ever have to drive a car. Public transport can take you wherever you want to go.

Washington D.C. is known for its clean underground metro. You’ll no longer have to drive to doctor appointments or friends who live in the city.

You can put family member’s minds at ease when you stop driving a car. Plus, you won’t have to continually renew your driver’s license if you’re no longer driving.

2) Incredible History

When you live in the nation’s capital, it’s impossible to get bored.

You can use Washington D.C.’s amazing transport system to access a variety of public landmarks. The city is packed with museums, art expos, and monuments that will keep you exploring all through your golden years.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of Natural History are two examples of incredible structures that are at your fingertips when you live here.

The majority of these museums are federally funded and free to the public.

When you were younger and traveling, you might have been more interested in going to a bar or nightclub than a museum. But now that you’re older, you can enjoy spending hours learning about America’s rich history in one of the many museums the city has to offer.

3) Plenty of Options for Senior Homes

Washington D.C. is home to dozens of assisted living facilities.

This means you can pick one based on your preferred location within the city. Senior homes are fantastic for reducing the stress on yourself and your family.

Senior homes offer assistance with laundry, meals, and prescriptions. The staff will ensure that you have everything you need while keeping your comfortable.

A senior home doesn’t have to be a sign that you can no longer take care of yourself. Actually, it can just be a sign that you’re lucky enough to have the money to gain access to one of these homes and all the perks that come with it.

Enjoy Your Retirement in D.C.

We hope this article has inspired you to retire in America’s capital city.

Washington D.C. is a wonderful city where you can experience seasons, history, and nature all at once.

Have questions about this article? Want to contact us for any reason? Please, do so here!