Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia which primarily affects the parts of the brain that control memory, resulting in progressive and permanent neurological damage. According to the CDC, the disease currently affects more than 5 million Americans today. While research continues to bring us closer to effective Alzheimer’s treatments, there are additional steps that those affected, their families and caregivers can take to help fight this condition now.
- Physical exercise: Engaging in a healthy amount of physical activity has significant health benefits for the brain, as well as the heart, vascular system and body’s physical strength. Studies have shown that exercise can stimulate the brain’s ability to maintain older neural networks and stimulate new connections. It’s recommended that people over 65 years of age do 40 minutes a day of aerobic or non-aerobic exercise to experience the full physical and mental benefits.
- Mental exercise: A healthy body is important, but so is an active mind. Just like a muscle, the brain needs to be regularly challenged in order to maintain a healthy level of cognitive function. Stimulation is also vital to maintaining cognitive pathways and building new connections. Some of the best forms of mental stimulation include reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing games, social interaction and social activities such as going to museums or community events.
- Diet: Research has shown that certain foods can help keep the brain healthy, while others can be harmful to cognitive health. A diet rich in lots of fruit, fish oil, legumes, vegetables (especially broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables) and whole grains is recommended. Foods such as saturated fats and refined carbohydrates (like white sugar) should be avoided, as studies indicate these foods may assist cognitive decline, especially in the areas of the brain focused on learning and memory.
- Early diagnosis: Knowing the signs of early onset Alzheimer’s is key to working on mental and physical health. As well as having access to professional and medical assistance will help ensure your loved one is kept comfortable, healthy and independent for as long as possible. An early diagnosis will allow caregivers to start implementing the best measures available.
Memory care and support services at Lester Senior Living
Housed in our assisted living wing, the memory care suites at Lester are specially designed to support individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. By focusing on customized care plans and activities within our comfortable, apartment-style communities, we maximize your loved one’s dignity, safety and quality of life.
To find out more about our memory care services for Alzheimer’s residents in NJ, contact Lester Senior Living today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/
Nobody knows mom and dad like you do. Which means you will most likely be able to tell if they’re having an “off” day or if there is something else going on. Adult children are often the best at picking up on senior health, mobility and memory care issues first because they can accurately determine whether the behavior in question is just a personal quirk or a real indicator for a higher level of care. If you’re unsure of what types of behaviors to look out for, please refer to our 5 major signs that your senior parent may need assisted living below.
- Uncharacteristic neglect of home maintenance/housekeeping: If your loved ones are known for the pride they take in their home and garden, a lapse in this care can be a sign they are no longer coping. Ignoring excess clutter, the garden overgrowth, and home maintenance issues can also increase the risk of falls and injuries in the home. If you suspect they feel overwhelmed, offer to help out with certain tasks, but if your parents can’t seem to regain control over their home it may be time to suggest assisted living.
- Bills aren’t being paid – or are being overpaid: An occasional lapse or moment of confusion is understandable when it comes to a person’s finances, but if you notice bills starting to pile up or your loved ones making other financial errors, it is right to feel concerned. Managing your own money is a hallmark of independence, so this may be a difficult conversation to have, especially with parents, but it is important to help your parents trust that they can have help handling their finances.
- Weight loss: This can be linked to a number of issues, such as grief, depression, and fear of driving or leaving the house. Stay on the lookout for spoiled food, empty fridges or an unwillingness to leave the house to run errands such as grocery shopping. Identifying the issue can help your parents manage their health and stress.
- Uncharacteristic, inappropriate behavior: This covers a wide range of issues from odd conversations, forgetting to dress properly and decreased personal hygiene, to paranoia, accidentally taking too much medication and notably increased forgetfulness (like burning food on the stove, etc.).
- A serious medical diagnosis: Medical conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s will affect your loved ones’ ability to cope with day-to-day activities and permanent caregiving is key to slowing the condition’s progression and ensuring their quality of life. While you may be able to assist in the early stages, it’s important to remember that qualified professionals such as those at Lester Senior Living memory care residences are available to provide additional compassion and support.
If you are worried about your parents or aging loved ones, a gentle conversation is often the best first step to help determine if they need daily assistance and what support is available to them.
Compassionate memory care and community assisted living
At Lester Senior Living of New Jersey, our priority is to deliver affordable, expert assisted living and independent living services to seniors based on their individual needs. With residential apartments designed for optimal access and mobility, meal programs and 24-hour medical and security services, we help our residents to live full lives while retaining their independence. We also have a great selection of social programs, classes, events and trips, as well as advanced memory support services for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents.
For more information on our assisted living communities and memory care services, contact us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/
If you are caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you know how stressful and emotionally taxing your position can be. Due to its progressive nature, your loved one is going to become more and more dependent on your care, so it’s important you have a strong support network for yourself and other family caregivers. Here is some helpful advice for dealing with this challenging time from our memory care team in Morris County, NJ:
- Know the disease: While most people know what Alzheimer’s disease is in general terms, it’s important for you and your family to understand all the details behind the condition. Speak to your doctor about the various stages of the disease, how it progresses and what symptoms to look for so that you are well prepared for any challenges ahead.
- Join a support group: For many caregivers and their families, a local Alzheimer’s support group allows you to get essential respite, talk about your concerns and receive comfort from people who understand what you are going through.
- Research care advice from reputable sources: The National Institute on Aging, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has a wide range of dependable resources ready to download from their website. Here, you can get advice on how to cope with your loved one’s changing behaviors (aggression, depression, etc.), every day care, relationships, communication, safety and even legal and financial challenges.
- Establish a routine: Routines are key when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, as they help to reduce the potential for confusion and anxiety. Build your schedule around your loved one’s needs, assigning more difficult tasks when your senior loved one is generally the most calm and focused.
- Don’t take over: It’s easy for caregivers to simply take over rather than stay in an assistive role, but it’s very important to keep your loved one involved in all their activities. To make it easier, give them limited choices to reduce confusion. It’s also helpful to turn off the TV or radio when undertaking a chore to reduce distractions and promote a higher level of focus.
- Give yourself time off: Caregiver burnout is a real risk when looking after a loved one, especially when they become more and more dependent on you to manage daily tasks. If you don’t have other family members to share your role, a reputable respite care service can step in and assist while you get some time off. Alternatively, you can look into high quality memory care and support services from communities like Lester Senior Living.
Our Support Services for Alzheimer’s Residents Preserve Quality of Life
At Lester Senior Living of New Jersey, a JCHC community, we have developed programs specifically for Alzheimer’s and other dementia residents, which focus on preserving cognitive function, quality of life and independence. Our apartment-style residences are comfortable and equipped with 24/7 safety measures. Our friendly, experienced staff are fully committed to providing your loved one with compassionate care. Each Alzheimer’s care and memory support program is developed to meet an individual’s unique needs with the flexibility to accommodate any changes.
Each resident is encouraged to participate as much or as little in our community as he or she wishes. We offer a wide range of well-structured activities which help your loved one stay active, including gardening, group discussions and low-impact fitness activities.
To find out more about our services for Alzheimer’s residents, contact JCHC today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/
Each person with dementia will experience its symptoms and progression differently, so it’s important to customize care to the individual person. Patience, flexibility and the support of family and friends will help you tackle the challenges ahead for your loved one. However, it also doesn’t hurt to consider a professional program for memory care like the one offered at Lester Senior Living in Morris County. There are many reasons to consider professional memory care, and in this article, our team at Lester will highlight the major reasons and address any concerns you may have for your senior loved one.
Why Choose Lester for Memory Care in Whippany, NJ?
- Specialized caregivers are onsite 24/7. All of our caregivers are extensively trained in the latest science and research-based practices in memory care. Their core goal is to make a positive difference for each memory care resident through cognitive exercises, safe socialization with other residents and assistance with daily tasks like getting dressed.
- Advanced safety measures in place. In Lester Senior Living’s Memory Care Suite there are security personnel onsite and 24-hour alert fobs to enforce the safety of memory care residents at all times.
- Dementia-friendly floor plans for each unit. All memory apartments are open floor plans, specifically designed to promote the safety of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This means that memory care apartments include enhanced safety measures like grab bars and emergency call buttons and omit features that could cause harm like a stove or clothing iron.
- Memory care is tailored to the individual. As mentioned above, we can easily help residents with daily tasks like bathing, cleaning, dressing, managing medications and going to the restroom, to name a few. The level of care provided is dependent on our thorough evaluation of each memory care resident.
- Many opportunities for safe socialization. It is so important for everyone to socialize, especially our seniors! At Lester Senior Living, this goes for our memory care residents as well. We have multiple options to socialize safely in our communal areas, such as the lounge, dining area, computer center, library, outdoor patio and more, with the supervision of our reliable caregivers.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support in Morris County, NJ
At Lester Senior Living in Morris County, our approach is memory care changes with each resident in our care. During the initial evaluation, our caregivers really take the time to get to know your loved one, their wants and needs, and then determine the level of care necessary. By providing meaningful experiences and the necessary support in our Memory Care Suite, your senior loved one with dementia can restore and maintain what matters most – their dignity.
For more information about Alzheimer’s and dementia care in NJ, please call us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/alzheimers-care-morris-county-nj/