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6 Tips for Heart-Healthy Living for Seniors

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and the older we get, the higher our risk. February is American Heart Month, a month set aside to focus on heart health awareness and how to live a heart-healthy life, no matter your age. Science also points to a strong connection between heart health and brain health. If your heart isn’t pumping well, the cells in the brain will struggle to get the food and oxygen they need, which can impact cognitive function. Taking steps to live heart-healthy can truly impact every aspect of your life. Here are 6 tips to live heart healthy at any age: Know your risk. A number of factors may increase your risk for developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack or stroke. Age, gender and family history are a few factors we have no control over. Other risk factors, such as weight, tobacco use, physical activity and diet/nutrition are within our control. Know your numbers. Cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels are all numbers that impact your heart health. Knowing your numbers can help you stay on track toward your healthy living goals. Here are some target numbers from the American Heart Association: Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL HDL (good) cholesterol 50 mg/dL or higher LDL (bad) cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL Triglycerides 150 mg/dL Blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg Body Mass Index less than 25 kg/m2 Waist circumference less than 35 in. Exercise daily. Keeping your body moving is essential, but as we age, getting in regular exercise can...

Things Alzheimer’s Caregivers Should Avoid

The director of The Cottages discusses things that caregivers can do that make the process easier. Frisco, TX, Jan. 23, 2018 – Caring for a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease can be trying at best. Helping them enjoy life to its fullest while dealing with the ups and downs of this personality-changing disorder can take its toll on the most enduring caregivers. “It’s important for family members to realize that the care needs of their senior living with Alzheimer’s disease will only increase with time.” says Trent Quinn, founder, president and CEO of The Cottages. “There are some things that caregivers can do that can make the process easier on their loved ones and themselves.” Here are some tips on what to avoid in the day-to-day routine of living and loving someone with Alzheimer’s: Leave denial at the door – If the signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia are present, denial will not do anyone a bit of good. While it’s painful to acknowledge that a loved one might be in trouble, getting the concerns checked out is critical. After all, some forms of dementia are caused by other issues that can be treated. Caregivers owe it to themselves and their loved one to simply find out for sure. And, if it does turn out to be Alzheimer’s, early treatment can help slow the progression. Don’t take a trip down memory lane – Asking a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease if they “remember” something is a very common mistake. While it’s tempting to believe the memory can be jogged, it rarely can....

Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia: What’s the Difference?

  The terms Alzheimer’s and dementia are often used synonymously, but they aren’t the same. Knowing the difference between the two can help you better understand your loved one’s diagnosis and how to provide the best care. What is Dementia? Dementia is a broad term used to describe various symptoms that can impact cognitive functions such as memory and reasoning, one’s ability to perform daily activities and communication. Dementia is considered a syndrome, but is not a disease itself, and can occur due to a number of degenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and, most commonly, Alzheimer’s disease. According to the World Health Organization, about 47.5 million people around the world are living with dementia. Symptoms of dementia are often mild at first, often beginning with episodes of forgetfulness, difficulty keeping track of time and becoming disoriented or lost in familiar settings. As dementia progresses, symptoms worsen and forgetfulness and confusion become more obvious. Other signs of dementia can include repeatedly asking the same questions, poor hygiene and poor decision making. People may have more than one type of dementia, a state known as mixed dementia. In these cases, people with mixed dementia have multiple conditions that contribute to dementia. This diagnosis can only be confirmed in an autopsy. With the progression of dementia, one’s ability to function independently lessens and the individual living with dementia becomes unable to care for him or herself. Behaviors may even turn into depression and aggression. Dementia is a major cause of disability in aging adults and can be both emotionally and financially burdensome for families and caregivers. Although dementia most often occurs in...

3 Tips to Help You Be a Healthy Caregiver

Caring for your loved one living with dementia is a labor of love and can often be overwhelming and exhausting. We understand how difficult caregiving can be. From our experience coming alongside families as they provide care for their loved ones with dementia, here are a few tips to help you as a caregiver. Take Care of Yourself You may feel as though your loved one is your top priority, but if you fail to take care of yourself, it can take a toll on your own health and well-being. Taking care of yourself allows you to be a better caregiver for your loved one. Be sure to eat well, as making healthy diet choices can help you sleep better, give you more energy and mental clarity, and allow to enjoy daily activities with your loved one. Get regular exercise to reduce your stress and boost your energy level. Choose physical activities that appeal to you, such as gardening, walking, dancing or joining a local exercise group or class. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days a week. Most importantly, take time to refresh your soul. Seek out activities that calm your spirit and renew your mind. These might include prayer, meditation and focused breathing. Know When to Seek Help Caregiving, particularly in the long term, takes a toll on every aspect of your life including family dynamic and finances. To avoid emotional and even physical problems, know the signs of burnout, including: anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, eating or drinking more, avoiding leisure activities and feelings of resentment....

Care Options For Those With Alzheimer’s In The Later Stages Of The Disease

The director of The Cottages talks about taking care of a loved one living with Alzheimer’s who are at an advanced stage of the disease. Frisco, TX, Dec. 12, 2017 – If a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it is at an advanced stage of the disease, then it may be time to consider residential memory care. Trent Quinn, founder, president, and CEO of The Cottages says, “Your loved one’s care and needs will increase as Alzheimer’s progresses. All their activities, from having meals to dressing, bathing, and personal care, will become more difficult. During these stages, you should consider the option of residential memory care.” For those living with Alzheimer’s or other memory disorders, support can be provided through assisted living residences. In these special communities, residents can have their own specialized suite or apartment.  These memory care residences should offer individualized services that include highly qualified 24-hour staff, housekeeping, recreational activities, medication supervision and activity programs tailored to those with memory disorders. Within residential memory care facilities, residences should be personalized to meet each resident’s requirements. All residents need individualized care in an environment that makes it feel like home. These residences need to ensure safety measures are in place, such as secured exits and outdoor spaces for the safety of all residents. “Taking the time to find a memory care residence that specializes in Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders can provide families with the peace of mind they need to care for their loved one,” says Quinn. About The Cottages The Cottages is dedicated to care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory...