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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...

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....

Falls Prevention Awareness Day: How to Protect Your Loved One

  Falls are the leading cause of injuries for adults over age 65. For senior adults, falling down can result in hip fractures, broken bones and head injuries. A history of falling may also cause your loved one to become too fearful or depressed to maintain an active lifestyle. Today is Falls Prevention Awareness Day, set aside to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. There are a number of things that can cause a senior adult to fall. Some of the most common causes of falls include: Loss of coordination, flexibility and/or balance Vision or hearing loss Side effects of medications, such as dizziness, dehydration or interactions with other meds Environmental factors, such as tripping hazards around the home Chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke or arthritis If you are a caregiver for a loved one, the National Council on Aging recommends taking these six simple steps to help prevent falls and keep your loved one safe and healthy as long as possible: Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay active. Ask your loved ones if they’re concerned about falling. Many older adults recognize that falling is a risk, but they believe it won’t happen to them or they won’t get hurt — even if they’ve already fallen in the past. Encourage your loved one to discuss any concerns about falling, dizziness or balance with their healthcare provider. Assess their current health condition. Is your loved one having trouble remembering to take their medications — or are they experiencing any side effects of those medications? Is it becoming more difficult for your...

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Watching loved ones get older and experience the changes that come with aging can be tough, especially if your loved one is showing signs of memory loss or dementia. It can be even more difficult for the individual experiencing those changes. Knowing when to get checked can make a big difference in helping yourself or your loved one maintain a high quality of life as mental changes take hold. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. It goes beyond typical, age-related memory loss such as temporarily forgetting a loved one’s name, getting confused about what day it is, or making an occasional error in managing finances. There are 10 common warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. While the degree of these warning signs often varies from one individual to the next, if you notice that you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, these are the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease: Memory loss that disrupts daily life — Forgetting recently learned information, important dates or events, repeatedly asking the same questions and an increasing need to rely on memory aids or family members to remember things is one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s. Challenges in planning or solving problems — Some people with Alzheimer’s may have problems developing and following a plan. They may struggle to deal with numbers or have difficulty following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. It may take more time and concentration to complete tasks that...

The Cottages at Chandler Creek Awarded 2017 Best of Senior Living

We are pleased to announce The Cottages at Chandler Creek, our state of the art memory care residences serving the Austin/Round Rock areas has been received the 2017 Best of Senior Living Award by SeniorAdvisor.com. This award places us in the top one percent of senior care providers nationwide. The annual SeniorAdvisor.com Best of 2017 Awards recognize outstanding senior living and home care providers who have received consistently high ratings from residents and their families. Winners of the SeniorAdvisor.com Best of 2017 Awards are located all over the country and represent the top tier of in-home care, assisted living, and other senior living providers in the country. We pride ourselves in providing the very best care and services for our residents and their families. At The Cottages at Chandler Creek, we provide two living options: The North and South Cottage. The South Cottage is a brand new state-of-the-art home. The North Cottage, open since 1997, has been completely renovated! Each Cottage offers the same level of care and services. Our more intimate living in groups of 12 – 16 allows the staff to develop deeper relationships with our residents. And, this smaller setting allows the residents more comfort and familiarity while living with dementia. If you would like to learn more about The Cottages at Chandler Creek, please contact us online or schedule a...