Memory Problems Not Always Related To Alzheimer’s Disease

senior memory problems

Have you ever walked into a room and and forget what you went in for? If so, you’re not alone. According to a report published by the National Institute on Aging forgetfulness is common in many older citizens as they age.

Normal Aging Vs Alzheimer’s Disease

As we age, so does our ability to remember every little detail. A missed payment, leaving something off the grocery list, or failing to send a greeting card are all common signs of aging. Drinking too much alcohol, a head-related injury, and even prescription medications can exacerbate the problem.

But at what point should family and friends become concerned when their loved one fails to remember to turn off the stove?

According to the report, when loved ones lose track of the day of the week, their finances are a wreck, and they can’t remember where they parked the car, family should monitor activity to see if it is age-related or something else.

Memory loss is a normal part of aging, but exercise and mental stimulation can help. If you’re concerned someone you care about is having more problems than they should, seek professional help.

Family Bridges Home Care is Here to Help!

If your senior or loved one needs care assistance, contact us online here or by calling us at (888) 900-0048.

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Important Vitamins and Nutrients for Seniors

Vitamins and Nutrients for Seniors

No matter what age, vitamins and mineral are essential for your health. However, it is important to understand that as you get older, your body changes. Thus, your body requires different amounts of vitamins and nutrients. Here are some vitamins and minerals that are essential for seniors 51 and older.

Vitamins

Vitamins help your body grow and function properly. They help fight off infections, maintain a healthy nervous and blood system, and give your body energy.

  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a unique vitamin because it can be synthesized in your body from the sun. You can also get vitamin D from fatty fish, fortified milk and and cereals. Seniors should receive at least 600 IU per day.
  • Vitmain B12: Some people over the age of 50 have trouble absorbing B12, which may cause deficiencies. Seniors need 2.4 mcg per day. You can get b12 from proteins and fortified foods.
  • Vitamin B6: B6 can be found in organ meats and whole grains. Women need 1.5 mg and men need 1.7 mg per day.
  • Folate: Folate can be consumed through dark leafy green vegetables and fruit. Seniors need 400mcg per day.

Minerals

Minerals also help your body grow and function properly. Minerals help maintain strong bones and a healthy blood system. Minerals can be consumed through your diet.

  • Calcium: Calcium is important to maintain strong bones and teeth. Seniors risk bone loss due to aging and medical conditions. Calcium can be found in milk products and dark leafy green vegetables. Women over 50 should receive 1,200 mg per day and men should receive 1,000 mg.
  • Sodium: Sodium is a mineral that you want to consume less of. While sodium is necessary in the body, too much sodium can raise blood pressure, especially in seniors. Sodium intake should be less than 1,500 mg per day.

Reference: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals

We Are Here to Help

At Family Bridges Home Care, we know the importance of paying attention to a seniors health and notifying you immediately if there are any issues. We can work with the recommended guidance from you and the senior’s doctor to ensure they are safe and healthy at all times. Contact Family Bridges at  (888) 900-0048 or by our contact form here.

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Cognitive Health Factors Affecting Seniors

cogintive health seniors

As you may know, a seniors’ cognitive health needs to be good because it is something that they need to use on a daily basis. If a senior does not have a healthy sense of cognitive health then they are more likely to have issues that can escalate with time. According to the National Institute of Aging, a lot of things can affect their cognitive health including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Genetic Factors Affecting Cognitive Health

The genetic factors that can affect cognitive health are passed from parents to kids and cannot be controlled.

Environmental & Lifestyle Factors Affecting Cognitive Health

However, the environmental and lifestyle factors can be controlled. Some of these factors include medications, lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, drinking, and more.

  • Health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and others can also negatively affect your seniors’ cognitive health.
  • Medications used to treat some of these disease have a harsher affect on older adults.
  • Lack of exercise increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases that can also affect it. Your diet can cause you to get certain diseases.
  • Smoking and alcohol is hard on your brain cells so, this plays a role in cognitive health.
  • Sleep and social isolation are also proven to have negative affects.
  • Loneliness is said to put you at increased risk for dementia.

Cognitive health is something we use daily. It is your memory so try to avoid the things that will harm it so your senior may get through day to day tasks easier.

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Managing Personality and Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s

Learning to understand the personality and behavior changes in someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult process. The article Managing Personality and Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s outlines common changes in those with Alzheimer’s disease and provides tips for caregivers to help manage the changes.

What changes may be seen?

Common changes include a loss of interest (including in one’s appearance), wandering or pacing, imagining things or people, and hiding things. A person with Alzheimer’s may also become more easily upset or angry and may begin hitting. Other unusual changes may be those related to sexual behavior and misunderstanding what is heard or seen.

Other factors that can cause behavioral changes may be due to health-related problems or physical issues. Surroundings in the person’s environment or feelings of anxiety or sadness can also be underlying causes. It’s important to call a doctor if there is uncertainty about what’s causing the problem.

What are some tips to cope?

Behaviors are not able to be stopped but following a daily routine and keeping things simple can help in managing changes. Caregivers can focus on reassuring that they are there to help and avoid getting frustrated, arguing or trying to reason with the person. Using humor or providing other distractions can be helpful. A caregiver should also make sure the environment is safe and that the person has plenty to eat and drink.

Family Bridges Home Care is Here to Help!

If your senior or loved one needs care assistance, contact us online here or by calling us at (888) 900-0048.

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Daily low-dose aspirin found to have no effect on healthy life span in older people

Aspirin Benefits in Seniors?

The National Institute on Aging reported a study recently that showed no positive effect on senior living when taking aspirin daily. In other words, the wide based study which monitored over 19 thousand seniors, did not help them live independently any longer than those that didn’t take aspirin.

The study compared the rates of physical disability and dementia for a group that took aspirin and another group that took a placebo. Both groups showed very similar rates of declined health.

Aspirin Risk in Seniors

The study also looked at the risks of taking aspirin daily for seniors over 65 which lead to a higher risk of bleeding in the GI tract and brain.

The study is still looking at data and recommends to listen to you physician since every elder’s needs may be different.

If you need assistance taking care of your senior, please contact Family Bridges Home Care at (888) 900-0048 or by our contact form here.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day home care

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. We at Family Bridges would like to bring attention to this day so we can all prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of elders, while committing to the justice for all.

According to the Home Care Association of America, roughly 1 out of 10 elders have been either neglected, abused or exploited.

Some seniors may suffer from issues without discussing it. If the senior has a change in personality, behavior or physical condition, it may be time to ask questions.

Types of Senior Abuse

Seniors may be more targeted to abuse in one of the four types below:

  • Neglect– this can happen directly inside a home or indirectly by not giving proper attention. They can lack basic hygiene, food, medical aids, supervision, left in bed, etc.
  • Financial Abuse– this can result from scammers calling or people coming to the door. It is important to have somewhere there to supervise and have a trusted family member take over their financials.
  • Psychological/Emotional Abuse– this can result from people being cruel or demeaning. It is important to make sure a caring family member or caregiver is watching over them.
  • Physical Abuse– this can result from any signs of bruises or sores. It is important to ask questions when signs of physical abuse are spotted so a change of plan can be made immediately to prevent problems in the future.

We hope you will share this message to bring more people in awareness, and to treat our elders like we would like to be treated. Family Bridges is dedicated to providing the best, ethical caregiving services to seniors so they can live in the comfort of their homes.

 

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7 Geriatric Syndromes to Pay Attention to in Seniors

7 Geriatric Syndromes

As you may know, the geriatrics field is healthcare focused on elders. As our elder family members get older they may develop some of the below common geriatric syndromes. It is important to see if they are having any of the below issues and getting medical attention.

  1. Bladder Control Problems– uncontrolled urine leaks are a large problem which can happen from an overactive bladder, poor closure of bladder, blockage of urethra, and other health issues. Also known as urinary incontinence, this may cause other problems that effects the quality of life. It is important to receive medical attention, as this can greatly improve or eradicate leakage. Treatment can vary from therapy, exercises, devices, medications or surgery.
  2. Sleep Problems– this ranges from issues falling asleep at night to being too tired during the day. Not getting enough sleep can cause many other health issues and make a senior feel weak leading to other accidents.
  3. Delirium– this happens when seniors are confused and have immediate behavior changes which causes them to:
  • go in and out of consciousness
  • lose attention and memory
  • lose muscle control
  • have sleep and waking issues

You should know the signs and seek medical attention immediately.

  1. Dementia– this is a problem remembering things needed to complete daily tasks. Assistance is important for elders with dementia. Dementia may have similar signs as delirium, except this is typically caused by Alzheimer’s Disease and develops slowly instead of immediately.
  2. Falls– elders falling is one of the largest issues to look out for. Seniors may fall due to hazards in the home like floor mats and steps, side effects from medicine, eye sight problems, weakness and more.

Preventive measures can be put into place such as railings, soft flooring and table edges, ramps, etc. Exercise and physical therapy can also help prevent falls.

  1. Osteoporosis: this happens when senior’s bones become weak and may break easily when falling. It is recommended to get a bone mass density (BMD) test at the age of 65 and older.

A senior can improve their bone density by consuming more calcium and vitamin D and exercising.

  1. Weight Loss– some seniors may lose too much weight that is outside the healthy range. This can due to a serious health issue or a loss of their sense of taste.

 

At Family Bridges Home Care, we know the importance of paying attention to a seniors health and notifying you immediately if there are any issues. We can work with the recommended guidance from you and the senior’s doctor to ensure they are safe and healthy at all times. Contact Family Bridges at  (888) 900-0048 or by our contact form here.

 

Source: http://www.healthinaging.org/resources/resource:guide-to-geriatric-syndromes-part-i/

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14 Senior Challenges to Look For with Activities of Daily Living

There are many problems that a senior may face during their daily lives. It is important to be aware when these issues start to appear and provide proper preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of an accident.

Some of the common self-care issues are:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • toileting
  • Getting in or out of bed
  • Eating
  • Taking medications properly
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Handling money or paying bills
  • Driving or using public transportation
  • Communicating by telephone and hearing

Most seniors may start indicating trouble with some of these everyday tasks and progressively get more difficult for them. Once you observe any difficulties, it is important to create a care plan and discuss them with the senior before they lose more control over these tasks. This will help your senior plan for the future and reduce the likelihood for resistance receiving outside help with caregivers.

HeatlhinAging.org reminds people to schedule a plan for assistance with their senior. They also suggest to allow the senior to live independently as possible, for as long as possible.

With any outside assistance, elders may resist this idea but you can reassure them that it is needed help for their health and safety as well as your own. You can ease them into the idea of having a caregiver assist them starting with a few hours and working toward more as the need arises.

Help is Available

We understand the trouble with caregiving for the seniors in your life and we are here to offer any help. Please contact us via email or phone at (888) 900-0048 to discuss how our caregivers can ensure your senior is living well.

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4 Common Elder Skin Problems & How to Treat Them

When dealing with elders and caring for them in your home, they may develop these 4 common skin problems such as itchy skin, fungal infections, shingles and pressure ulcers.

You should seek a doctor for any serious issue. However, the HealthinAging.org provides the following suggestions for treating each skin problem:

Itchy skin

This problem occurs more often during the cold season due to low humidity. Some suggestions are:

  • Rub the skin with lotion, body oil or moisturizer after showing or bathing.
  • Don’t take excessive showers which can dry the skin.
  • Shower with glycerin soap or one with a moisturizer.
  • Wash bed sheets and clothing frequently.
  • Ensure the senior drinks proper amounts of water, while staying away from caffeine and alcohol.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture in the air.
  • Bath with colloidal oatmeal and use calamine lotion or cortisone cream after.
  • Trim a seniors nails to reduce aggressive itching which can cause damage.

Fungal infections

These type of skin problems happen in the damp parts of the body such as under armpits. To prevent, you should make sure the senior takes occasional showers or baths, changes their socks daily and wears loose clothing.

To treat, you can use over the counter anti-fungal products.

Shingles

This is a disease that causes fatigue, chills, headaches, and skin blisters. Once the blisters turn into a rash, it can a few weeks to heal. During this time, it is advised to keep the skin clean and dry.

Pain medicine can help reduce the pain but it is advised to go to the doctor for prescription drugs to help with severe symptoms.

Pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers happen when an elder is in one place frequently like a wheelchair or bed. The constant pressure on the skin prevents sufficient blood flow, causing skin blisters or sores. To prevent pressure ulcers, you can perform the following:

  • Reposition every 1-2 hours
  • Keep bed sheets flat to prevent wrinkles from causing further pressure
  • Encourage them to be active and move around occasionally
  • Massage to help with circulation.
  • Use heel and elbow protectors.
  • Ensure a proper diet.

Family Bridges Home Care is here to help your senior live comfortably while preventing common skin problems that may arise. Please contact us via email or phone at (888) 900-0048 to discuss how our caregivers can ensure your senior is living well.

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Safety on Giving Medicine to Elderly at Home

Understanding Safety in Administrating Medication and Other Health Care Needs

Elderly people often spend a lot of money purchasing medication as compared to younger generations. This is in response to health issues older people suffer as they age such as diabetes, arthritis, heart illnesses and high blood pressures.

“People age 65 and over buy more than 30 percent of all prescription medicines and 40 percent of all nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines sold in this country.”

Due to life expectancy and aging, elderly need more medication and supplements to: cure their diseases due to age complications and to boost vitamins / minerals absorption, respectively. We must be more cautious in giving medicine to the elderly because it can have greater implications on their body due to organs not working as well to process them. Otherwise, one may be putting the life of the elderly to risk.

Difference of Prescription and Non – Prescription Medication

Over the counter pills are easily accessible such as basic supplements and drugs that can address non-severe cases of illness like cough, clogged nose, and a simple fever.

On the other hand, prescription drugs like pills, inhalers, patches and creams are under certain restrictions and can only be used under permission of doctors.

Responsible Giving of Medication to Elderly

There are specific and proper ways on how to cater to assisting medication to elderly. To read the rest of this article and learn about what caregivers and nurses should be aware of, visit Healthinaging.org here.

Family Bridges is Here to Help

Family Bridges is equipped with readily available home caregivers that can help with medication reminders for your elderly loved one.

Please contact us at (888) 900-0048 or via our online contact form to learn about our services.

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