The Three Most Common Types of Dementia and Their Differences

For anyone who is responsible for the care of someone suffering from dementia it is important to know about the different types of dementia, and what particular form of the disease he or she is dealing with. Whether a healthcare professional or a family member, the more that is known about the disease the better the demands of the patient’s care can be handled.

Each of the following three types of dementia have different causes and can affect the patient differently. All have common symptoms and the only way to determine the type of dementia in a patient is through a thorough examination by an expert.

The three most common types of dementia are:

1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Vascular Dementia
3. Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Let’s take a look at each of the types of dementia in a bit more detail:

Alzheimer’s Disease

This most common form of dementia is not curable and is irreversible. It first affects memory and progresses to destroying the patient’s other cognitive skills like the ability to reason, speak, move, and eat.

This disease is not a normal step in the aging process, but people are more apt to develop Alzheimer’s as they age, with symptoms often appearing after the age of 60. Plaques and tangles form inside the brain causing chemical deficiencies. It is believed that this can start to have an effect on the memory center long before a person shows any symptoms. It can take 8 to 10 years for the disease to progress to its worst stage.

Even though there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the progress of the disease can be slowed by a number of treatment options.

Vascular Dementia

This is a type of dementia that, like Alzheimer’s disease, causes loss of memory and cognitive abilities and most commonly affects patients over the age of 60. But unlike Alzheimer’s where the symptoms come on gradually, the symptoms of vascular dementia may come on more quickly, with memory loss being one of the last symptoms to appear.

Vascular dementia is different from Alzheimer’s in that it is caused by damaged blood vessels in the brain, commonly caused by strokes. Atherosclerosis– the shrinking of the blood vessels, allowing for fatty deposits to collect– can also be a cause, as well as high blood pressure. Regardless of the cause of blood vessel damage, the result is the same — decreased blood flow the brain.

Approximately 20% of all dementia cases are vascular, making it the second most common type. Risk factors include a history of heart attacks, strokes – especially multiple strokes, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

This is the third most common form of dementia and is caused by build-ups of a certain type of protein in the brain. These deposits are called Lewy bodies and they effect a person’s perception, behavior, and thinking. Lewy bodies are often found in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s patients, making this form of dementia harder to diagnose.

Unlike Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, most of the symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies resemble those of Parkinson’s disease, such as muscle stiffness, slow movements or a shuffle when walking, falling, and tremors. Unlike any other form of dementia, this form also can present with hallucinations, severe sleep issues, acting out dreams, and extreme drowsiness followed by sudden spurts of energy.

This has been just a brief overview of the three most common types of dementia. As you can see, many symptoms can overlap and it can be difficult to properly diagnose a patient suffering from dementia. If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from any of these types of dementia, it’s best to take him or her to a specialist for further diagnosis, and to always stay as informed as possible as a caregiver.

5 Tips for Preventing Dehydration in the Elderly

Dehydration in the elderly is a serious widespread condition that is easily overlooked. Thankfully, there are a number of small and easy steps to take that make it possible to prevent dehydration in the elderly and avoid further health complications as a result. Here are 5 tips for preventing dehydration in the elderly, whether at home or in a senior care facility.

Preventing Dehydration in the Elderly Tip #1: Variety

Having to drink the same liquid in the required amounts every day can be discouraging. Although it is important to drink water on a regular basis, the body also benefits from the liquid in other water based drinks and foods, like a glass of natural juice or a snack of watermelon wedges. The advantage of having a variety of types of liquids and water-based fruits and vegetables around the house is that it increases motivation to eat or drink and it therefore increases chances of keeping hydrated.

2. Convenience

One of the issues that can affect how much an elderly person consumes is the convenience of getting a drink. If they are upstairs and would like a drink of water but all the glasses are downstairs, they might be discouraged to go get one. Keep a bottle of water and glasses handy next to the elderly person’s bedside, or consider investing in a water dispenser that will be close to their preferred place of seating. Having drinks and hydrating foods easily accessible as they move around the house or nursing home facility is important.

3. Reminders and Counting Down

It can be helpful to have a daily visible reminder for an elderly person of how much liquid he or she needs to consume every day, which is generally eight glasses a day, and be able to mark down how much they have had and how much they have left to go. Be careful not to make it feel too much like a chore, however. Even for the caretaker’s sake, having a way to keep track and set reminders will help ensure that the patient is getting enough liquid to prevent dehydration in the elderly.

4. Avoiding Diuretics

There are some common drinks which have caffeine and can increase the chance of dehydration in the elderly as they cause the body to release more liquid. These include tea, coffee and caffeinated soft drinks. Replace caffeinated beverages with decaffeinated versions of the same products, or offer alternatives such as water infused with electrolytes or vitamin-rich juice mixes.

5. Address the Fear of Incontinence

As people age, it’s not uncommon to have weakened pelvic muscles and fear having ‘accidents’, especially at night. Helping the elderly to feel comfortable will make drinking enough liquids a less stressful and potentially embarrassing process. Ensuring that the bulk of liquids are consumed earlier in the day, emphasizing the importance of using the bathroom before bed, and using incontinence-friendly undergarments are all ways to safeguard against accidents and help prevent dehydration in the elderly.

While it can seem daunting to consume a full 64 ounces of liquid a day at any age, it’s very important to make sure that the elderly stay well hydrated. Hopefully by using some of these tips, caregivers will be able to combat dehydration in the elderly population, helping patients to feel more comfortable and healthy in their homes and care facilities.

5 Ways to Alleviate Family Stress when Moving Elderly Parents

With an expected elderly population of over 55 million by the year 2020, making decisions about a parent’s elderly care is a harsh reality that many adult children will have to face in the coming years. Moving elderly parents into an assisted living center isn’t always the easiest choice, but the reality is that it is best for their overall health, safety and happiness. Unfortunately, with such an important decision comes significant responsibilities; these responsibilities can send a family into a stressful panic. Keep your family relaxed and intact by using the following five tips to alleviate family stress while moving elderly parents.

1. Become familiar with the amenities and activities offered.

When an moving elderly parents into an assisted living facility, it’s natural to worry about their happiness and what they will be doing in their free time. Assisted living communities often provide a wide range of recreational activities and amenities in order to ensure that residents are enjoying a fulfilling, comfortable and high quality of life.

Of course, the available amenities are unique to each location. They may include, but are not limited to, yoga classes, fitness centers, art classes and movie nights. Social activities such as games, picnics and dances are often scheduled in order to promote resident interaction and forming friendships with other residents. Familiarize yourself with all of the activities, amenities and internal social gatherings the facility has to offer. This will ease the worries of concerned family members that may perceive the move as an ‘easy way out’ or fear that the elder parent will be afforded a poor quality of life.

2. Allow plenty of time for the news to sink in.

Hearing the news that an elderly parent or grandparent will be transferred into an assisted living facility can be unsettling news to some. It can be an emotional roller coaster containing feelings of relief, anger, fear, worry, guilt and even happiness. Every member of the family will handle the announcement differently. For this reason, it is important to announce the change in living arrangements well in advanced to provide family members with adequate time to cope with the news and resolve their feelings before moving elderly parents into their new home.

3. Tour the facility as a family.

Inviting everyone to tour the facility will allow them to experience first-hand what the living conditions and quality of life is like for the current residents. When family members observe a safe, clean facility with 24-hour security, all the comforts of home and happy residents that are treated well, letting go of any stressful worries becomes a much simpler task. It may even cause a sense of excitement, as it will likely be a dramatic improvement in quality of life for their loved one.

4. Downsize belongings.

Moving elderly parents into much smaller living quarters requires downsizing of belongings. The act of purging possessions with valuable memories can be a point of contention between the elderly parent and families, however. Often, the parent has a difficult time saying goodbye to a majority of the items, but the burden of reminding the parent that not all items can be taken falls on the family members.

Before moving elderly parents into an assisted living facility make it a priority to purge items from each room in the home until only the necessities and a few personal treasures are set aside to take to his or her new home. Selling items with potential value to cover any out-of-pocket costs for the move can also be a motivator. In times when a parent refuses to let go of most possessions, paying a monthly fee for a small storage unit may be the least stressful option.

5. Visit often.

Once your parents are moved into their new home, visit often. Stop over for an hour or so after work for the first few weeks and bring the kids along to see grandma on the weekends. Elderly parents may feel much like freshmen in college moving into a new dorm in a school full of strangers. Your company will make them feel at ease and reduce any fears that they will be thrown to the wayside. Try to act and feel comfortable in the new space. It is their new home, after all, and what they want more than anything is for family to feel comfortable and welcomed in their space.

Making the decision to move elderly parents into an assisted living center is one of the most trying decisions you will ever have to make. Families can undergo stressful conflict due to experiencing mixed feelings about the move. It won’t be an easy process, but doing what is best for your parents and providing them with a quality of life that simply isn’t possible in their current home is worth any short-term troubles and stresses that may arise.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLBs) – how it differs from Traditional Dementia in the Elderly

Dementia affects a staggering 24 million people worldwide, and can have a crushing effect on family, friends and finances. Dementia isn’t a single disease, but rather a name for the loss brain function, especially cognitive function, that is associated with a variety of different illnesses. In the elderly, dementia is most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s Disease. The second most common dementia is called Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLBs). While both these diseases have devastating effects on those suffering from them, they are different in a variety of ways.

Physiological Differences between Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLBs) and Traditional Dementia

Although both types of dementia are caused by progressive brain damage, each disease process affects the brain in different ways; hence, the reason for the differences in symptoms and disease progression. In Alzheimer’s Disease,
amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles develop in the brain. Amyloid plaques are made up of protein fragments that were not broken down by the body. Neurofibrillary tangles are twisted fibers made up of abnormal tau proteins. Alzheimer’s patients also suffer a loss of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.

In patients with dementia with Lewy bodies, the brain is overtaken by the formation of Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies are made up of alpha-synuclein proteins that have aggregated. Amyloid plaques are typically also present in DLB, but neurofibrillary tangles tend to be absent or significantly less severe. The negative effect on neurotransmitters differs as well. When compared to Alzheimer’s Disease, the deficit in acetylcholine is more severe. Additionally, those afflicted with DLB lose dopamine as well.

Symptomatology of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLBs)

The differences between dementia and DLBs is most apparent during the early stages. In traditional dementia, memory loss is most prevalent. Early memory loss manifests itself in lost objects and forgotten conversations. Those afflicted may also experience personality changes and begin to have trouble with everyday tasks. Typically, dementia progresses relatively slowly, with an average of 12 years between diagnosis and death.

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLBs), on the other hand, causes a decline is cognitive and motor function, and often presents with psychiatric illness as well. Although cognitive symptoms mirror those of Alzheimer’s Disease, those with DLB experience additional symptoms, including muscle stiffness, full-body tremors and hallucinations. The hallucinations are almost always visual, but auditory, olfactory and even tactile hallucinations have been reported. Additionally, DLB progresses far more rapidly, which results in a much shorter life expectancy in comparison to those with Alzheimer’s Disease. The average lifespan after diagnosis is only five to seven years in those with DLB.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLBs) Treatment

Alzheimer’s Disease is treated using a variety of different medications. The early stages are treated with cholinesterase inhibitors. Cholinesterase inhibitors prevent the loss of acetylcholine, which can delay the onset of more serious symptoms. Advanced Alzheimer’s is treated with NMDA antagonists. NMDA antagonists help regulate many of the brain’s chemicals in a way that prevents brain death. Additionally, medications are often used to treat unpleasant symptoms, such as anti-psychotics.

The treatment for Dementia with Lewy Bodies is a lot less defined. Cholinesterase inhibitors have been used with moderate success in treating cognitive decline. Treating motor and psychiatric symptoms is what can prove to be difficult. Many anti-psychotics cause an increase in motor dysfunction and medications commonly used to treat movement disorders can trigger psychosis. So far, using these drugs carefully at low doses seems to be the best option.

Top 20 Assisted Living Facilities in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania offers some of the best assisted living homes in the United StatesRenowned for its historical sites, large cities and Amish farming regions, Pennsylvania is the perfect place to get a taste of what America is all about. The state is also home to a range of top-notch assisted living facilities which now  fall under the umbrella of “personal care” homes. This re-categorization has caused some confusion with many seniors, which only compounds the fear and frustration that goes along with searching for the optimal care setting for your loved one. To help shine a spotlight on the best senior housing options that Pennsylvania has to offer and make finding the perfect assisted living facility easier, we’ve compiled a list of elegant assisted living communities in PA that are worthy of the being recognized as the state’s Top 20 Assisted Living  Facilities.

In no particular order, here are the “Top 20 Assisted Living Facilities in Pennsylvania.”

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The Birches at Arbour Square
691 Main Street
Harleysville, PA 19438
215-541-3700
http://www.thebirchesatarboursquare.com/

With month-to-month leases residents at The Birches at Arbour Square can rest assured that they are no hidden costs or entrance fees, living life to the fullest at this active retirement community. The community works to create a comfortable environment by offering a variety of amenities and services, including a secure environment for those suffering from memory impairing diseases. Personal care assistance is available 24-hours a day with a professional nurse on-call for acute care needs. Residents at The Birches can participate in a variety of social activities like card club, quilting cub and various exercise programs designed to maximize independence.

Learn more about: The Birches at Arbour Square

Pine Run Lakeview
777 Ferry Road
Doylestown, PA 18901
215-345-9000
http://pinerun.org/pr_lv/

Dubbed “the most recommended Personal Care Community by area physicians” Pine Run Lakeview works to promote wellness while maintaining comfort, security and independence. Residents can take part in a variety of activities which include daily special events and they can dine in the club-style dining room, enjoying meals prepared by trained culinary chefs. Personal care services are available to assist with the unique needs of each resident including special programs designed for those with nutrition needs, needing oxygen and diabetes.

Learn more about: Pine Run at Lakeview

Twin Cedars Senior Living
364 Little Walker Road
Shohola, PA 18458
570-296-7471Y
http://www.twincedars.net/

This small facility strives to provide its residents with around the clock care while maintaining their independence and dignity. Twin Cedars offers personalized care with medication administration and hourly safety checks as needed. Home visits by a geriatric physician ensure that the unique medical needs of the elderly are addressed and wellness visits from licensed nurses help with preventative care. In addition, residents can choose from a variety of apartment styles, enjoy time in the cozy library or computer room and relax while taking in the beautiful ground and paved walking paths.

Learn more about: Twin Cedar’s Senior Living

Juniper Village at Meadville
455 Chestnut Street
Meadville, PA 16335
814-333-4000
http://www.junipercommunities.com/MVhome.php

The Connections Activities program at Juniper Village at Meadville allows residents to take part in a variety of leisure activities hosted by professional entertainers or join in the weekly exercise programs. With personalized care services provided 24-hours per day, residents of Juniper Village can rest assured knowing they will receive assistance with activities of dialing living like bathing and grooming and medication management programs ensure proper compliance of medication regimens.

Learn more about: Juniper Village at Meadville

Overlook Green Assisted Living
5250 Meadowgreen Drive
Whitehall, PA 15236
412-881-8300
http://www.overlookgreenassistedliving.com/

Centering on a commitment to individual needs, Overlook Green Assisted Living tailors care programs to each of its residents in order to fulfill care needs while maximizing independence and dignity. Residents can enjoy a plethora of activities throughout each month or can savor in the tasting of the facilities signature desert, baklava. In addition to assistance with activities of daily living, Overlook also provides respite care for short-term stays.

Learn more about: Overlook Green Assisted Living

The Watermark at Logan Square East
2 Franklin Town Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-240-8915
http://www.watermarkcommunities.com/LoganSquare/

Centrally located in Philadelphia, The Watermark at Logan Square provides luxurious accommodations coupled with optimal care. Residents needing assisted care can rest easily at The Inn, where customized care is standard care. The Inn strives to help residents forget they are living in a retirement community and works to create an atmosphere reminiscent of home. Additionally, residents can take advantage of city living through a variety of excursions and events or can further their education through Watermark University.

Learn more about: The Watermark at Logan Square East

Arbor Terrace at Chestnut Hill
495 East Abington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
267-350-5772
http://www.at-chestnuthill.com/

Providing top notch assisted living and memory care, Arbor Terrace and Chestnut Hill strives to provide residents with optimal care with levels of care designed for varying needs. This pet friendly facility offers rehabilitative and recovery services provided by licenses physical, occupational and speech therapist in order to help residents age gracefully in place. The Engagement Program also helps residents balance their physical and cognitive needs through activities.

Learn more about: Arbor Terrace at Chestnut Hill

Spring Mill Senior Living and Cold Stream Crossing
3000 Balfour Circle
Phoenixville, PA 19460
610-933-7675
http://springmillseniorliving.com/

Balancing support, security, independence and choice, Spring Mill Senior Living and Cold Stream Crossing offers residents a choice of five floor-plans ranging from a compact efficiency apartment to a spacious standard room spanning 400 square feet. Residents can take part in a variety of activities and special events and can stay connected with wireless internet services. The facility is staffed with a blend of licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and certified nursing assistants to provide custom care based upon individual needs.

Learn more about: Spring Mills Senior Living and Cold Stream Crossing

Brandywine Senior Living at Senior Suites
2101 New Hope Street
East Norriton, PA 19401
877-427-2639
http://www.brandycare.com/communities/detail.php?e4d3fd580d34d082adec19514244ac79

With home-like accommodations and comprehensive amenities, Brandywine Senior Living at Senior Suites strives to provide its residents with peace of mind, good friends and good living through a premier caregiving. The staff at Senior Suites works hard to provide residents with reasons to get out of bed each morning and encourages participation in its Engagement Program which provides stimulating activities for everyone including cooking classes, WII tournaments and theatrical presentations.

Learn more about: Brandywine Senior Living at Senior Suites

The Quadrangle
3300 Darby Road
Haverford, PA 19401
610-642-3000
http://www.thequadrangleccrc.com/

The diverse group of seniors calling The Quadrangle home makes this senior living community ideal for nearly anyone. As a continuing care retirement community, residents can rest assured knowing they will remain among friends even as their care needs escalate. With a choice of apartment styles, assisted living residents can choose the ideal setting to meet their needs. Additionally, staff at the Quadrangle are skilled and trained in providing assistance with activities of daily living while supporting and encouraging independence.

Learn more about: The Quadrangle

Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone
5546 East Pleasant Valley Blvd.
Tyrone, PA 16686
814-866-5970
http://www.colonialcourtyard.com/

Encouraging residents to live active lives, the staff at Colonial Courtyard take advantage of its location to provide activities for its residents. Located between Altoona and State College, residents are often encouraged to take advantage of the local shopping and cultural activities. Additionally, the facility is located just minutes from walking trails, outdoor pavilions and pristine fishing holes.

Learn more about: Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone

Atria Center City
150 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-564-5455
http://www.atriaseniorliving.com/atria-center-city-philadelphia-pa.aspx?CommunityNumber=10433

With breathtaking views from its rooftop garden, Atria City Center offers seniors needing assistance with activities of daily living the opportunity to enjoy city living while having their needs met. Part of the Atria family, this community is held accountable to the company’s high standards and must meet stringent internal standards for quality care and service which includes thorough reviews and biannual surprise inspections. With individualized care plans, residents can rest assured they are receiving the care they need coupled with stimulating activities.

Learn more about: Atria Center City

Sunrise of Granite Run
247 North Middletown Road
Media, PA 19063
610-566-3535
http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/communities/sunrise-of-granite-run/Overview.aspx

Offering short-term stays, hospice care, Alzheimer’s and memory care and personal care, Sunrise of Granit Run has a little something for everyone. Its dedication to senior living is apparent with their customized service plans for each resident. The staff strives to foster independence, maximize dignity and encourage freedom of choice. Residents have the luxury of choosing from a variety of floor plans and activities to make their stay as comfortable and home-like as possible.

Learn more about: Sunrise of Granite Run

St John’s Herr Estate
600 E. Main Street
Lititz, PA 17543
717-626-1171
http://www.luthercare.org/stjohns

With activities centered around the resident’s needs and interests, St. John’s Herr Estate works to provide its residents with an environment of supportive care. Residents have the choice of various floor plans to meet their needs and can take advantage of the spacious common areas to take part in activities, visit with family and make new friends. Families can rest easy knowing care is available around the clock and if needs escalate residents have priority access to two skilled nursing facilities for short-term rehabilitation or long-term care.

Learn more about: St. John’s Herr Estate

Senior Commons at Powder Mill
1775 Powder Mill Road
York, PA 17403
717-741-0961
http://www.powdermill.com/

Offering independent living, assisted living and two levels of memory care Senior Commons at Powder Mill was ranked as the number one retirement community in the York area. Residents needed assisted care or memory care can rest comfortably knowing their needs will be met by trained and loving staff. A daily schedule of activities helps keep seniors active and involved, encouraging independence and fostering friendships.

Learn more about: Senior Commons at Powder Mill

Elmcroft of State College
150 Farmstead Lane
State College, PA 16803
814-235-7675
http://www.elmcroftal.com/State_College_Assisted_Living_Communities_State_College_Senior_Care.html

State Certified deficiency free for two years in a row, Elmcroft of State College offers personal care and secured Alzheimer’s care to the Central Pennsylvania area. The staff at Elmcroft prides itself in providing optimal care while preserving the independence and dignity of its residents. There is an emphasis on activities, with residents being encouraged to take part in stimulating activities for the mind, body and spirit. A community van allows residents to take advantage of scheduled activities throughout town.

Learn more about: Elmcroft of State College

Atria South Hills
5300 Clairton Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
412-884-1200
http://www.atriaseniorliving.com/atria-south-hills-pittsburgh-pa.aspx?CommunityNumber=10339

Located in the South Hills suburb of Pittsburgh, Atria South Hills gives residents the feeling of a small community with the luxury of the big city nearby. Around the clock care is available for residents needing assistance with various care tasks, including activities of daily living. Additionally, residents have the choice to participate in a variety of activities designed to instill friendships and encourage independence.

Learn more about: Atria South Hills

Sterling House of Penn Hills
7151 Saltsburg Road
Penn Hills, PA 15235
412-798-3400
http://www.brookdaleliving.com/sterling-house-of-penn-hills.aspx

With private apartment and a home-like atmosphere, Sterling House of Penn Hills partners with its residents to create personalized care plans in order to accommodate their individual needs. Trained staff are available 24/7 and provide residents with assistance with activities of daily living, mobility and transfers and dining. Residents are encouraged to partake in activities that allow them to make contributions to their own lives and their community.

Learn more about:  Sterling House of Penn Hills

Rose Tree Place
500 Sandy Bank Road
Media, PA 19063
610-616-5162
http://www.watermarkcommunities.com/rosetreeplace/

Enjoying time in the well-stocked library or enjoying the time in the luxurious outdoor courtyard, residents Rose Tree Place can take part in a variety of activities designed to enrich their lives. Residents at Rose Tree Place can choose from several floor plan depending up their needs and can rest easy knowing care is available around the clock by trained and dedicated staffing.

Learn more about: Rose Tree Place

Sunrise of Exton
200 Sunrise Blvd.
Exton, PA 19341
610-594-0455
http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/communities/sunrise-of-exton/Overview.aspx

The beautifully designed Sunrise of Exton, combines elegance with compassionate care. Residents with memory impairment can take advantage of dedicated programs designed to help them cope with memory loss, slow the progression of the disease and live quality lives. Personalized care is available around the clock with the hope of providing much needed care while maximizing independence. Additionally, every resident is invited to take part in a various social activities which invigorate the mind, body and spirit.

Learn more about: Sunrise of Exton


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Finding the Best Lutheran Assisted Living Facility in Your Area

The first National Lutheran Home for the Aged was founded in 1890 to offer comfortable housing to elderly adults regardless of their economic or religious background. This commitment to caring for seniors from all walks of life continues today. Lutheran assisted living facilities have established a reputation for offering not-for-profit care in a secure, homelike environment. If you are looking for an assisted living facility for an elderly relative or client, compare the services and costs of Lutheran senior communities in your area.

Finding a Lutheran Assisted Living Community

Lutheran assisted living facilities are widely available throughout the United States. It’s not always obvious that a facility is affiliated with the Lutheran Church until you speak to a representative or visit the community. A Lutheran pastor or a member of the congregation may be able to direct you to senior resources that are sponsored by the ministry. A family doctor can provide valuable advice on which facility offers the most appropriate services for your elderly client or loved one. A senior care coordinator or geriatric case manager can recommend Lutheran communities that provide superior care.

Touring a Lutheran Assisted Living Residence

As you look for a Lutheran assisted living facility, consider the location of the residence as well as its religious affiliation. The residence should be located close to family and friends if possible, and near hospitals or clinics and cultural activities. Lutheran senior communities are known for creating a welcoming, close-knit atmosphere for residents and their families, regardless of the resident’s faith. When you tour a community, consider the condition of the grounds and building, the cleanliness of the environment and the attitudes of the staff. The facility should be safe, tidy and private with adequate lighting, fire extinguishers, clear walkways and secured entries.

As you walk around the building, consider whether the public areas and private rooms make you feel at home. In addition to talking with the residence director, chat with aides, housekeepers and other staff members about the community. Staff members should be friendly, courteous and willing to answer questions. Ask residents about their feelings about the community and whether they would recommend the residence to other seniors.

Levels of Lutheran Assisted Living Care

The best Lutheran assisted living facilities promote independence while supporting senior health and safety. Most assisted living communities offer help with housekeeping, laundry and light personal care. A resident who requires assistance with mobility, eating, bathing, toileting or medication management may be placed at a more advanced level of care and may be charged a higher rate for these services.

Skilled nursing and rehabilitation are generally not available at the assisted living level. Some Lutheran assisted living facilities combine assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitative services in the same community, so that residents can easily transfer to a higher level of care if necessary. Ask a facility representative how an elder’s medical needs would be handled if he or she becomes ill or is injured. Access to emergency services should be readily available if a resident needs immediate attention.

The Lutheran Church prides itself on offering comprehensive senior care that nurtures the body and spirit. Lutheran assisted living facilities provide a range of services and activities that promote independence, encourage social activity and fulfill spiritual needs. To find a community that offers the care you’re looking for, tour several of the recommended Lutheran assisted living ommunities in your area before making a decision.

 

Preventing Bruising in the Elderly

Our skin gets thinner as we grow older, and this causes the elderly to bruise easily. It may take only minor bumps or brushes against something to cause bruises. It can be months before the marks heal.

Some medications contribute to bruising in the elderly. Prescription blood thinners and over-the-counter medicines can cause the blood to be slow to clot. Gingko and other supplements also affect the rate at which blood clots. When the blood does not clot properly, bruises are more likely to form. Certain combinations of medications might make patients lightheaded or dizzy, or reduce their alertness. These issues can also cause patients to fall and bruise themselves.

Patients should discuss their medications and supplements with doctors. Doctors may be able to adjust the prescriptions to reduce patients’ chances of injuring themselves. They might advise patients to stop taking supplements that cause the blood to thin.

Bruising in the elderly could be a sign of a serious health condition. Certain blood disorders can lead to improper clotting. The blood pools beneath the thin skin and causes dark marks. When an elderly person frequently has large bruises and does not know what caused them, he or she should discuss the matter with a doctor who can check for medical conditions. Once the doctor treats any medical issues, the patient may experience fewer bruises.

Vision problems can make it difficult to detect hazards when walking. This can cause patients to fall or misstep and get bruises. One way to address this issue is for elderly patients to have regular eye exams and to ensure that furniture and other objects that may have sharp corners are arranged without obstructing common walking paths in the home. There should be no items on the floor that could cause a person to fall, and the layout of the living area should provide easy maneuvering.

Removing potential hazards like loose throw rugs, phone or electrical cords on the floor, small pieces of furniture that could accidentally get moved in the middle of a common path the elderly patient travels within the home will help to prevent unnecessary bruising from trips, bumps and falls. Maintaining adequate lighting and installing handrails on walls and along steps, in showers and bathtubs is also very helpful.

Exercise is helpful for decreasing the risk of bruising in the elderly. Older people can be sedentary. When muscles are not used regularly, they become weaker. Elderly people who get little exercise have difficulty maintaining their balance and controlling their movements, which makes them more likely to fall and bruise themselves.

While this is a bruising factor that no one wants to have to consider, there is a possibility that bruises may not be caused by medication, medical problems or injuries. They could be signs that an elderly person is being abused. When family members visit nursing homes or even an elderly relative’s home where they have a caretaker, they should check for bruises. They should ask patients and staff (if in a nursing home or assisted living community) about any suspicious marks they see.

Spotlight On: Fuller Village

Fuller Village at Milton is more than just a senior living retirement. It’s an experience in living. Each and every member of the Fuller Village community is encouraged to live their lives to the fullest; making the most of each new day.

With Milton Massachusetts being recognized by Money Magazine as one of the top small towns in America, residents can rest easy knowing they are choosing to live in safe and thriving small town. From single living cottages to spacious, single floor apartments, Fuller Village has the right setting to make you feel comfortable and at home.

As a premiere independent living community, residents of Fuller Village get all the perks that goes along with home ownership and independent living, without the hassles. For Beatrice Buchbinder and her husband, living at Fuller Village has been a rewarding phase in their lives. Calling the community home since 2005, she says, “The predictable demands of living in our home are gone, replaced by an easier lifestyle in a very caring community. The difference for us is in our address.”

Activities Abound at Fuller Village

Life at Fuller Village is nothing short of abundant. Activities are plentiful and many residents enjoy taking part in daily exercise and social programs. Neighbors are also encourage to utilize the vast amenities in the Blue Hill and Brush Hill neighborhoods like the heated indoor pool, common areas with beautiful fireplaces,  the fully-equipped fitness center, walking paths or community gardens. Or if you’re the competitive type, you can challenge your neighbors to friendly games of bocce, horseshoes, tennis or a game of cards.

Learning is a life-long endeavor for many and at Fuller Village residents are invited to join in a myriad of classes, lectures and artistic performances. Guest speakers are often invited to the campus to give stimulating talks on a variety of subjects.

Fuller Village Residents Give Back

Fuller Village’s Board of Directors have also made a commitment to the town of Milton. Residents are encouraged to volunteer their time to a variety of community organizations. The Fuller Village knitters and sewers create beautiful baby blanks for Project Linus while residents with a green thumb set aside a plot of their garden with the fresh produce being donated to the Milton food pantry.

Many residents spend time with the local school children, helping with reading, math and general classroom assistance. The Fuller Village Marine Corp veterans run a holiday toy drive to assist the Milton Fire Department with Toys for Tots.

Additionally, the Board of Directors also sponsors a variety of programs and organizations including:

  • Milton Foundation for Education
  • Milton High School Science Lab
  • Milton Parks and Recreation Special Needs
  • Use of the pool for swimming lessons for community children
  • Use of meeting space for local non-profits

Create Your Day

Fuller Village knows that making the decision to move into a senior living community does not come lightly. They not only encourage you to tour their community, but invite you to join them in their activities. The Create Your Day program allows visitors to submit a list of interests and the activities staff will put together an day-in-the life experience that may mimic a typical day at Fuller Village.

And, loved ones can rest easy knowing that Fuller Village has partnered with a premier health care organization to help seniors age in place. From non-medical care to skilled nursing and therapy, Partners HealthCare at Home provide in-home services customized to the needs of each resident.

For many, moving to Fuller Village has been a defining moment in their lives. With the commitment to enrich the lives of seniors and the Milton community as a whole, Fuller Village does not disappoint. “In 2005, we moved to Fuller Village and have not experienced a moment’s regret to this day,” says resident Mike Ryan.

To learn more about this assisted living facility or to request information, go to our Fuller Village information page.

 

 

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Handicapped Vans Give You Freedom To Travel

Handicapped VansIf you’re living with a disability that makes walking difficult or you need a wheel chair than you already know that it can complicate getting from point A to point B. Buses have sections that can be adjusted to fit wheelchairs but it takes a few minutes to set up. Depending on where you live navigating the train station can be difficult in a wheelchair too

Say Goodbye to Stow and Go

Transporting a wheelchair is bulky for many caregivers. Repeatedly assembling and disassembling the chair between errands can lead to injuries or strains. Bad weather aggravates the situation, and you may resist asking for transportation if you feel guilty about causing hardship for your caregiver.

Handicapped vans can be a major help in simplifying travel and making the commute more comfortable.

Lightweight and portable wheelchairs allow you to travel in style with minimal stress on your caregiver. Some models come as light as 19 pounds, making your wheelchair easy to load into a vehicle. Handicapped vans have different, built in additions to help you get in and take some strain off of you and your caregiver.

Vans can be equipped with a lift or a side/rear ramp for your convenience. They provide reliable transportation for you and your caregiver and eliminate the hassle of transporting your wheelchair. You’ll really appreciate how easy entering the van becomes after a long day out or in bad weather.

Say Hello to Freedom and Mobility

With your van, travel limitations are lifted. You find the freedom to shop at the mall, visit family members or participate in community events with ease.

If you happen to live in an assisted living facility, you can’t simply drive yourself to the grocery store or the park. Limited mobility may cause you to miss family birthday parties, community events or social outings. Despite your need for a wheelchair, you still can enjoy activities like shopping, movies and ball games. Many facilities are able to provide transportation because of these vans.

With a wheelchair accessible van, doctor’s visits, grocery shopping and days out on the town are possible. These vans are spacious enough to fit multiple people with wheelchairs in them comfortably. They allow residents to participate in normal daily activities.

A handicapped accessible van also enables you to travel with your family members on a vacation. Whether you visit family across the country or take a day trip, you gain miles of laughing, talking and enjoying the ride together.

Equipped with safety features, a wheelchair accessible van simply requires a regular inspection to ensure it meets performance and safety standards. It doesn’t require any service that a regular van or car would need.

Convenient and safe, wheelchair accessible vans provide mobility and freedom to you and others who live in assisted living facilities. Exploring the open road with your family and friends can be reality with handicapped transportation.

Spotlight On: The Atwater at McLean Memory Care Assisted Living

Located in a separate and safe neighborhood within the McLean Assisted Living Center, The Atwater at McLean provides a compassionate, inspiring, person-centered memory care assisted lifestyle. Our small, personal setting allows residents to live each day in a stimulating environment best suited to their individual needs. It features:

  • 23 private and deluxe suites
  • Balcony off the living room
  • Safe gardens with walking trails
  • Calming multisensory quiet room
  • Special calming spa
  • Specially designed fitness/therapy room

Services & Amenities

  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Scheduled transportation to local physicians or supervised outings
  • Access to McLean’s array of health services
  • A medical team on campus
  • Access to all McLean campus amenities including beauty shop, gift shop, chapel . . . and so much more!

We know familiarity means everything to a person with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Routine comforts and familiar joys reassure and help make each day a good day. We accomplish this familiarity and comfort with our team of Care Partners who are specially educated in the best practices for caring for those with memory care needs. While our Care Partners help residents with the activities of daily living, they also engage residents to participate in the activities . . . like preparing breakfast together or making the bed together … just like at home. The same Care Partner may also take the resident out for a walk, or spend time doing laundry with him or her, to keep the resident engaged and active.

The result: less confusion, more genuine bonding and sharing and a more family-style neighborhood feeling.

Family-Focused Memory Care

At The Atwater, families continue to play a key role in the happiness of their loved ones. At all times, the expectations and emotions of families are considered. Our intimate community and the memory care provided within are designed to allow families to spend more quality time with their loved ones and less time worrying about their care and safety.

At The Atwater, we create days that honor the celebrated moments in our residents’ lives. From their hidden passion for playing music, to their favorite movie, to their favorite family recipes, we bring those life-enriching factors into their daily lives. We engage residents with meaningful, personalized programs and reminisce with photographs, music, gardening or baking to create those warm, cherished feelings.

Choice Dining

Choice, quality, variety and healthy options define the dining program at The Atwater. Our new neighborhood Country Kitchen is designed to promote these ideals and accommodate specific needs.

 

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