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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Helpful Nutritional Tips For Seniors

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Good nutrition includes good hydration. The average person should drink at least 8 full glasses of water each day. People with dementia require additional water due to physical activity and/or medications. However some people don’t like to drink water. Well there are other alternatives such as Jell-O or popsicles. The reason why is because they have similar properties as drinking a glass of water.

People with dementia may have difficulty using a fork or spoon. So to make things easier we try utilizing finger foods in our meal planning. For example, using tater tots instead of mashed potatoes, this is a good alternative to using a fork or spoon and everyone, no matter how old you are, love tater tots!

People with dementia may need extra help during meals, so we are aware of how we provide assistance. To avoid causing any embarrassment, food is cut up prior to serving. Also, using a washable apron versus a “bib” during meals to catch spills is recommended since an apron is bigger and it being washable makes it reusable a lot more.

If your loved one is not eating well, they may be overwhelmed by what and how much is being served. One tip is to provide individual small portions of each food in separate bowls, served one at a time.

The physical environment plays a big role in how well a person with dementia eats. So we cater to these special needs by making our dining environment calm and free from distractions. The tables have place mats where the plate can easily be seen and the utensils and glassware should be easy to grasp and properly weighted. These are just small special amenities that we offer to our individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Should you need to ask us any other questions or wish to set up an appointment with us feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions About Assisted Living

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some people are a bit reluctant to move their family into an assisted living facility, or even move themselves. What they don’t realize is that these facilities are very helpful and provide a lot of care and assistance to elderly individuals. We have come across a couple of frequently asked questions about assisted living and decided to answer them here. Feel free to contact us should you have any further questions or if these questions are not helpful to you.

Are background checks done on all employees?
It is important to ask if all employees are required to complete a background check. Some states mandate that all employees have a background screening completed.

Can I be in control of my own medications or any other over-the- counter medications while staying at an assisted living facility?
If your doctor states you are capable of monitoring your medication independently and the facility staff is aware of this request, this should not be a problem.

Should I consider getting rental insurance to cover my possessions while living at an assisted living facility?
It may be wise to consider rental insurance to cover possessions at an Assisted Living Facility as the facility’s insurance will not cover your personal possessions if a natural disaster occurs or if theft is involved.

How is personal mail delivered in an assisted living facility?

Mail service varies depending upon the facility.

Why do I need to give copies of legal documents to the assisted living facility I am considering?
If legal documents are misplaced in case of a decline of health or emergency, these important documents need to be readily available. Also by disclosing to the staff of a facility or community the name of a health care surrogate, this individual will be the only individual beside the resident as to which confidential information will be discussed.

We hope that these frequently asked questions were helpful to you in some way, and as we stated above is you feel as though your question wasn’t answered contact us today and we will be happy to help.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss Is easily Preventable

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 26, 2010

Ten million Americans have already suffered irreversible hearing damage from noise and another 30 million are exposed to dangerous levels of noise each day, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Assisted Living facilities such as Spring Arbor Living can offer help and preventive care for elderly who have trouble hearing.

How can we avoid noise induced hearing loss? The rule of thumb, according to NIDCD, is to be wary of noises that are “too loud”, “too close”, or last “too long”. When exposure to potentially dangerous noise is unavoidable, noise induced hearing loss can be prevented by using effective hearing protection such as earplugs, earmuffs or headsets. Watch for symptoms of hearing loss, including sounds that appear distorted or muffled a ringing in the ears, a feeling of fullness in the ears and difficulty understanding speech. Any of these signs signal that a hearing test is essential.

Today’s hearing aids are smarter, smaller and more comfortable than ever before. With proper professional hearing care support, they can benefit 95 percent of all those with hearing loss. However, there is no substitute for prevention, and noise induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable. Our facilities and professionals can recommend and provide the appropriate hearing protection. Contact us today to find out more, or if you have any other questions.

Happy Thanksgiving and Sincere Thanks From All of Us At Spring Arbor Living

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our warmest Spring Arbor Living  Thanksgiving greetings go out to you all.   

We are truly thankful for each and every one of you who afford us the privilege to live and serve as a genuine extension of your family.   We thank you for the humbling testimonials and positive feedback that you provide. What we do together WITH you provides all of our staff with  a profound sense of professional reward.

We hope you view our Spring Arbor Living website blog for what it is and what we intend it to be:   Informative, interesting, and just one way of giving back to you.  

Again, our sincere thanks and warmest regards this Thanksgiving Day to all of you.   

Flu Shots and the Elderly

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 19, 2010
Your friends at Spring Arbor Living need you to realize that seasonal influenza (as opposed to pandemic flu) traditionally takes its biggest toll among the oldest and frailest members of society. Of the 36,000 estimated deaths flu-related deaths in the United States each year, the vast majority occur in those over the age of 65.

There is widespread debate about the health benefit of administering flu vaccine to the elderly.  So we offer this simple advice for all of our assisted living residents of Spring Arbor Living. Seek and heed the advice of your physician.  You continue his or her medical service because they have earned your trust.  So trust them to advise you wisely on this widely debated topic.

And seek out their trust sooner than later.  This is the best advice we can give.

Another Quality Book--Still Giving Kisses

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 12, 2010

Every so often we happen upon something that really touches us. We recently came across a great read that we thought all of our readers should check out. We know that Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease – stripping a person down to almost nothing but an empty shell. It is a hardship on not only the person but the family as well. However, although we might think there is nothing left, and that the well of emotion and connectedness is dry – there can be a moment shared that has deep meaning between the victim and a loved one.

Still Giving Kisses is a book that we found earlier this week, written by Barbara Smith, who is an occupational therapist. The book talks about the author’s mother and one of the few remaining motor acts that she was able to perform, giving kisses, reflecting the title of the book. We took some time to read a couple chapters and it is very inspirational. We had a post about another book a couple of months ago that we really enjoyed, and if you folks got to check out the previous book, then we highly recommend this one as well.

The book goes on about how caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can drown a caregiver with legal demands, bureaucratic issues, and personal exhaustion. However, if the caregiver can try to always be on the lookout for “kisses” in whatever manifestation, the human side of the Alzheimer’s gauntlet might not be forgotten. We just thought we'd end the week with a good book, and hopefully you all can get into the book as well.

Senior living connections should be nurtured

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 11, 2010

Many of life's most treasured moments come from sitting down with a good friend and sharing a hobby. The memories that blossom from there are peaceful, always welcomed, and will never fade. You can nurture these connections with others through the many events, activities, and opportunities available in our senior living communities.

Passions like knitting, playing cards, or scrap-booking can be the common thread that holds a friendship together. You can knit and purl yourself into the kind of relationships that can never be unraveled. Search our senior housing communities and find the one that best suits your needs, including independent living, assisted living, retirement living, continuing care, Alzheimer's care, and home health care.

Weave a lifestyle for yourself that allows you to maintain the friendships you have always had and create new relationships with others.

Begin your search now - and get ready to rest and relax with some of your favorite people.

Spring Arbor's Assisted Living And It's Relationship To ALFA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 05, 2010

Spring Arbor is a member of the ALFA, which is the Assisted Living Federation of America. This company is also committed to helping elderly individuals and educating people on assisted living.

Assisted living is a residential alternative to nursing home care. There are 36,000 assisted living communities’ nationwide serving more than one million seniors. A relatively new concept twenty-five years ago, today assisted living is the most preferred and fastest growing long-term care option for seniors. Spring Arbor is proud to have a 40-year success full track record of specializing in all types of housing and lifestyle options.

Assisted living is regulated in all 50 states. Based on the varied preferences and needs of the elderly, there are a variety of settings from which to choose. These choices range from high-rise buildings to one-story Victorian mansions to large multi-acre campuses. All settings offer 24-hour care and supervision for those who need assistance. Care is provided with dignity and respect.

While many of today's baby boomers are primarily concerned with finding the right assisted living community for their aging parents and relatives, these 74 million boomers will be the next generation of assisted living residents. Innovations in technology and research will improve the existing model in years to come. True to the HHHUNT tradition of excellence, our senior housing group enjoys occupancies above 92%, which is well ahead of the industry average. In addition, we are committed to educating consumers about the benefits of assisted living and improving on the standards of our industry. Contact us today to find out how you can become apart of our community or simply to learn more information about assisted living.

Fitness And The Elderly; Why It Is Important

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fitness and cardio exercises make a wonderful way for elderly people to avoid many age related problems. However, most of the seniors think that resistance training and fitness exercises are just for younger people. This belief is just a myth and a recent research has revealed that resistance training and fitness exercises can greatly benefit elderly people even older than 60.

Weight training and cardiovascular exercises not only help elderly to be healthy physically but psychologically as well. These exercises help them to tone their bodies and strengthen their muscles. Moreover, fitness exercises help elderly people reduce stress and depression. When people go to the gym, they find a friendly and pleasant atmosphere over there, which helps to heighten their moods. People at the gym enjoy a healthy social life because they interact with their trainer and gym colleagues.

A recent study done at the University Of Texas suggests that fitness and resistance training exercises can be very helpful in slowing down the aging process. Nearly all of the weight training and cardiovascular exercises enhance the intake of oxygen into your body. This, in turn, allows your cells to absorb more oxygen and stay healthy. Moreover, cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, jogging, hiking, and walking keep your blood vessels and heart healthy, thus reducing the chances of sudden heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Weight training makes a great activity for elderly people because these exercises help them keep their blood pressure and blood sugar at appropriate levels. Diabetes Mellitus is a common problem among people who are over 50 years old. Resistance training exercises help elderly to burn their calories and utilize energy from their own bodies. Therefore, they can avoid potential threats of high blood pressure and diabetes by performing resistance training exercises. Exercise is very important for all types of people. And one of our amenities is actually a fitness center at our communities.  Be sure to check it out soon!

New Research Shows That Genes May Be Related To Alzheimer's

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 29, 2010

In our previous blogs we have stated different variations in Alzheimer’s and what it is and so forth. We recently wrote about how it is even affecting younger individuals as early as in their 30s. But is there a relationship to the genes in people that cause Alzheimer’s? Scientists still do not know the answer however; there is three particular genes that is in almost every Alzheimer’s patient. In very few families, people develop Alzheimer’s disease in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Many of these people have a mutation, or permanent change, in one of three genes that they inherited from a parent. We know that these gene mutations cause Alzheimer’s in these “early-onset” familial cases. Not all early-onset cases are caused by such mutations.

Most people with Alzheimer’s disease have “late-onset” Alzheimer’s, which usually develops after age, 60. Many studies have linked a gene called APOE to late-onset Alzheimer’s. This gene has several forms. One of them, APOE ε4, increases a person’s risk of getting the disease. About 40 percent of all people who develop late-onset Alzheimer’s carry this gene. However, carrying the APOE ε4 form of the gene does not necessarily mean that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease, and people carrying no APOE ε4 forms can also develop the disease.

Most experts believe that additional genes may influence the development of late-onset Alzheimer’s in some way. Scientists around the world are searching for these genes. Researchers have identified variants of the SORL1, CLU, PICALM, and CR1 genes that may play a role in risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s. While researchers are still identifying these genes we have come a long way with the study of Alzheimer’s. Thirty years ago, we knew very little about Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, scientists have made many important advances. Research supported by NIA and even organizations that care for patients has expanded knowledge of brain function in healthy older people, identified ways we might lessen normal age-related declines in mental function, and deepened our understanding of the disease.

Many scientists and physicians are now working together to untangle the genetic, biological, and environmental factors that, over many years; ultimately result in Alzheimer’s. This effort is bringing us closer to the day when we will be able to manage successfully or even prevent this devastating disease.