Identifying Alzheimer’s Before it Occurs

Senior Living

Identifying Alzheimer’s Disease Before it Occurs

Senior LivingAlzheimer’s an ugly disease that can take anyone. Your loved one is still right in front of you and even looks exactly the same, but can’t remember your wedding day. What are scientists and researchers doing about Alzheimer’s disease? An international team of scientists are seeking a better way to define Alzheimer’s and identify its presence in those who are in the earliest stages of the disease before symptoms occur.

Alzheimer’s disease occurs when brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die, eventually destroying memory and other important mental functions. The typical symptoms are memory loss and confusion. No cure yet exists, but medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms.

The proposed new way of looking at the disease allows biomarkers instead of symptoms to identify the presence of Alzheimer’s, which could allow researchers to more accurately understand the pathology of the disease. To test this theory, scientists want to include biological changes, like beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, that can occur when Alzheimer’s begins. The scientists want to understand what is happening in the brains of people who still have normal brain function but are likely to develop the disease.

There is a beginning stage of Alzheimer’s where there are no symptoms. By conducting research with the new biomarkers at this very early stage, scientists will get a better understanding if the person in the study truly has Alzheimer’s.

The study is a tool for researchers as of right now, and not intended for physicians who diagnose the disease.

Siblings Taking Care of Mom

Taking Care of Mom

Taking Care of MomWhat happens when mom gets to the point where she needs constant care? Does she go into assisted living, do the siblings take turns taking care of her, or do we hire in home care? That’s a question most everyone has to meet at one point in their lives. For some people, it’s an easy answer and for others it’s a debate between siblings.

When siblings make the choice to care for their parent(s), or grandparents, it’s much more than fixing breakfast and taking their loved one to a doctor’s appointment here and there. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week for some. For others, it’s 10 to 12 hours a day. And yet for others, it’s checking in throughout the day to make sure mom has taken her medication and put her eye drops in.

Regardless of the time spent taking care of your loved one, there has to be a schedule and a certain amount of rules surrounding mom’s care. For instance, who is taking care of financials? Who is responsible for getting weekly groceries? Who is taking the time to take your loved one to their doctor’s appointments? Who is making sure your loved one is getting their hair permed or cut? Who is cleaning the bathroom and the rest of the house? Take a moment to discuss these details before jumping into at home care.

For some siblings, taking care of their parent(s) is a privilege. Their parents have taken care of them their whole lives and it’s time for them to reciprocate. For others, it’s more of a burden. Whatever the case may be, it’s time to be clear of who is responsible for the daily tasks your loved one needs. If it’s too much for one person or too much for four siblings, then turning to Assisted Living or Memory Care is the right choice. They have care and assistance when taking care of your loved one is more than siblings can handle on their own.

It may not be an easy choice, but perhaps it is the best choice for your family. Cherished Transitions has trusted RN’s that have years of experience in guiding families through the process of finding assisted living communities. We want the best care for your loved one and are determined to help families find the right fit for their family member.

How to Take Car Keys from an Elderly Loved One

Assisted Living

Assisted LivingIt’s a touchy subject no one likes to bring up, but it is something the needs to happen. When is it time to take the car keys away from your parents or grandparents?

For my Grandma, her vehicle was more than just a car. It was her independence. It was her freedom. She babysat children for years and years to save up to purchase her Oldsmobile. When we had the conversation with her about her eyesight failing and her cataracts getting worse, it wasn’t easy. A part of her knew this was coming, but she wasn’t going to give up her keys without a fight.

When is it appropriate for your loved one to give up their car keys? For some, it may be in their 70’s. For others, it may be in their 90’s. It really all depends on their well-being. Poor eyesight could be the driving factor, or it may be a bad hip, or a foot falling asleep. Whatever the reason may be, it’s time to have a talk.

Just because they don’t have their car keys, doesn’t mean they still don’t have just as much freedom. There are options within every city that will get mom and dad or grandpa and grandma around town, to the doctor, or to an evening out to dinner.

Within the Kansas City metro, transportation is relatively easy. There are Para-Transit options, Share-A-Fare options, KC Streetcar, and of course Uber. Just within Johnson County, citizens have access to The Jo bus public transportation services to much of Johnson County, downtown Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas.

Remember, your loved one has been driving and thrived on this independence since before you were born, so make sure you take a softer approach to this subject. Give them all of their options and gently remind them of the dangers that can happen if they continue to drive.

If none of these ideas are getting through to them, perhaps it’s time for someone else to step in such as their physician, Optometrist/Ophthalmologist, the DMV, or even a different family member.

If you know it’s time, then breach the subject with love and understanding. Their safety and the safety of others is at stake.

Cost Savings of Living at Home vs. Senior Living

Senior Living

Senior LivingThere is no simple answer when it comes to whether or not it’s less expensive to live at home or join a senior living community. However, there are a few steps to help you decide if one or the other is better for you at this stage in your life. Factors such as physical and cognitive health comes into play, the number of hours per week you need assistance, and whether or not you are mentally and emotionally ready to move out of your house and into a senior living community.

Let’s start with how much care you really need and if it makes sense to live at home or move to a senior living community. The type of care you need is going to play a role into the overall costs. Memory care, for example, costs significantly more than senior living communities. In some states and elder care markets, assisted living care still costs less than around-the-clock in-home care. Memory Care communities are specifically designed, maintained and staffed for individuals who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. These communities are equipped with unique designs including door and window alarms to prevent wandering and elopement risks. Typically, the community staff have taken special courses, seminars or attained certifications to understand how to care for individuals with dementia and/or are exhibiting behaviors such as aggression or significant confusion. All of these factors are going to factor into the cost of these communities.

Depending on how much care you need per week also factors into the cost of aging in place or living in a community. If the hours are adding up for required paid home care, then assisted living would be a more economical choice.

Where you live also plays into the cost of living. Whether you own your own home or rent is also a factor. The cost of home maintenance can have an affect on your decision as well. While staying put in your home offers a level of comfort and stability, maintaining a home year after year can become taxing and quite costly. Many times the cost of transportation, food services, etc. are already built into senior living tabs.

Simply put, some seniors are not ready to give up the home they’ve lived in for years. That’s ok. It’s a major step and not one to take lightly. Each person is different and requires a set of services that if manageable, can be taken care of in the comfort of their very own home. Or some may be ready to venture into a senior community home with everything at their fingertips, giving them a peace of mind they wouldn’t be able to offer themselves in their existing home.

Cherished Transitions is here when you need our services. Our trusted Registered Nurses will help guide you through the process to find a perfect home for you depending on your overall needs.

Benefits of Living in a Senior Community

Senior Community

Is Living in a Senior Community Right for You?

Senior Community

Accepting and embracing change can be difficult, especially when it’s time to say goodbye to a house you’ve been coming home to everyday for years. Replacing that home is impossible, but there are numerous advantages to living in a senior community.

One of the advantages is not mowing the lawn, no more cleaning the bathroom, no more shoveling snow from the driveway and steps, etc. There are many communities that even do the cooking for you, so you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner? Leave the taxing chores of homeownership behind and move forward with a senior community that eliminates the heartaches of owning a home.

The word “community” literally means “people with common backgrounds”. It’s a breathe of fresh air to be invited into a community where there are other seniors with similar backgrounds living in the same area. Residents immediately become a part of a welcoming community and are bound to make some great new friends among their fellow residents.

We don’t think you’ll be likely to be bored at a senior living community. With activities ranging from exercise classes (including yoga), to swimming and aerobic classes, trips to museums, movie nights, arts & crafts, dancing, restaurant outings, and even singles nights, senior activities now days are slightly more active than your typical bingo night. Today’s seniors want an active retirement and are no longer favoring shuffleboard and sing-alongs.

Residents also have a peace of mind when it comes to medical assistance while living in a senior community. Emergency response systems are in each apartment area or often times as a pendant on the residents’ themselves. Too often seniors fall within their own home and are unable to receive immediate help. The reliable staff members along with the emergency response systems will help you feel safe and secure.

Senior communities may not be for everyone, but as seniors age and aren’t always able to handle day to day household chores or need the peace of mind that comes along with emergency response systems, these communities can bring color back into a grey world. Friendships blossom, activities are abundant, and the ease of living in a community is welcome. With an open mind, the advantages begin to far outweigh the disadvantages.