Guest Writer: Kris Chana
It is important to understand these nine signs do not mean someone is definitively suffering from dementia. There are plenty of days that I too suffer from some of the following, however, these are just possible signs of dementia that may be worth exploring more if you are caring for your mom, dad, spouse or loved one.
1. Low Food Supply, Spoiled or Expired Food
Reach out to Meals on Wheels and setup services for your loved one so they receive a nutritional meal at least once per day. These meals are typically delivered directly to the home and can be very inexpensive.
2. Unopened Mail
The USPS has a service which allows you to have your mail scanned and emailed to you. With your loved one's permission, you could have their mail emailed to you so it no longer piles up at their home and you can help ensure mail is not being missed.
3. Unpaid Bills
Try reducing the number of bills your loved one physically pays each month in person or by check. Set up their bills on Auto-Pay and help them easily manage everything online.
4. Medication Mix Up
Use smart devices like Alexa to schedule alarms for medication reminders. Also, try purchasing medications through a local pharmacy that uses blister packs or pill pouches which makes medication reminders much easier.
5. Unfilled Prescriptions
Avoid unfilled prescriptions through direct mail medication services which can be delivered directly to your loved one's home.
6. Piles of Dirt Laundry, Bad Odors & Hoarding Tendencies
Hire a private home care agency to help with laundry, housekeeping, home organization, meal preparation, transportation, incontinence care and assistance with showers. This could be as little as 1 to 3 times per week or more depending on your budget and care needs.
7. Fingerprints on Walls
Use Medicare Home Health for strength and balance training to include physical and occupational therapy. Also, try to have your loved one use a cane, walker or some other safety device which can help prevent a fall.
8. Failure to Maintain the Lawn
Hire a lawn service and get them a table top garden if they like to tending to their plants and being around nature.
9. Unexplained Dents and Scratches on the Car
Depending on your loved one’s cognitive ability you may be able to disconnect the battery and pretend the car needs to be fixed. Look for creative solutions to avoid taking your loved ones car or license away from them.
About the Author:
Kris Chana is passionate about Seniors and their Caregivers! He is CEO at Chelsea Place Senior Care which operates an Assisted Living community, Adult Day Care and Home Care services. His vision is to transform Senior Care…one family at a time.
817.201.3113 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.chelseaplacecare.com
Researching, choosing and moving a loved one into an Assisted Living community or long term care facility is often times an overwhelming process. We know because we saw Mark’s Mom have to navigate through it after his Grandmother’s stroke. After seeing how stressful it is on Caregivers and family members, we set out to create the service we wish we had so that families had the information, resources and most importantly, SUPPORT, they needed to make the best decision.
It’s extremely helpful to use a placement service to find the right community or facility fit no matter what stage of the process you find yourself in. Why? So glad you asked! Here’s a few great reasons:
1. Its free. Yep, our service is 100% free to families. Placement services get a referral fee from the community if your loved one moves into one they referred you to. Because it’s free to you, there’s no risk to getting insight and information to help you along in your search to finding the right fit.
2. We’re unbiased. Because it’s pretty standard in the industry to use placement services, it allows us to work with almost all communities. We don’t have motives to have you move into one community over another; our goal is just that you find the best match for your loved one.
3. We save you time. There are a lot of options and choices to consider when you’re looking for the right senior housing community, especially in the SunCoast. You don’t want to waste time researching or touring communities that don’t fit your criteria. We help narrow the list down right off the bat to make sure you’re only comparing viable options.
4. You’ll have someone to accompany you on community tours. Heck, we’ll even pick you up and take you! Don’t worry about knowing what to ask or look out for, because having us join you on tours allows us to serve as your advocate to get all questions answered and make sure you have all the info you need to make the best decision.
5. You’ll have one point person. You won’t need to manage communicating with all the different communities separately and keeping all the information straight…we do that for you. This is even more valuable when there are non-local or multiple family members, as we can keep all updated and in the loop.
6. You get inside information from an industry expert. Working with someone who is tapped into the industry and has their ear to the ground about reputation, care and staff is critical to making the right choice.
7. We Project Manage the entire process. Identifying the right community is just the first step. We help you anticipate and complete all steps until move in including scheduling assessments and tracking down all documentation needed, etc. We also can refer you to other vetted resources to help along the journey like Elder Care Lawyers, downsizers, movers, etc.
So, wouldn’t you say it’s a no-brainer?? There’s no reason you should walk this journey alone. Whether you’re at the very early planning and information gathering stage, or need to make an immediate decision, we’re here to hold your hand every step of the way.
Reach out to us today and let us know how we can help!
With all that has been going on recently with COVID19 and Quarantine, we felt it was a great time to revisit the concept of integrating a daily gratitude practice. This can be such a powerful tool, especially for family Caregivers. Even though we all may think, “well yeah, I’m grateful.”, having a daily ritual where you take time to be intentional and pause to focus on only gratitude can truly transform the way you think about your day.
Starting off, the most important thing to remember is that being grateful is not about ignoring negative feelings or realities. Rather it’s about SHIFTING your focus from the negative to the positive. Think about your brain’s focus as a flashlight and there are two piles: one with all the good that’s happened today and one with all the unfortunate, frustrating and upsetting. That “bad” pile isn’t going away…but gratitude helps you shine that light on the pile of good and change your perspective.
Now, when we refer to a “gratitude practice” it’s just a fancy way of saying a daily habit of being grateful. Anytime you make a change, physical or mental, you need to put routines in place to hold yourself to it. Just like going to the gym is a “daily practice” to get fit, a daily practice of being grateful will re-wire the way your brain looks at the world in a more positive way.
Having a daily gratitude practice can help you create the habit of simply noticing good thing that happen in your day-to-day life…both big and small. It also focuses you on the things you DO have and positive things that ARE in your life. This is the beginning of training your brain to become more naturally optimistic.
So now, HOW do we implement this daily gratitude practice? If it was easy, we wouldn’t have to do a blog post on it!...Lets go through some ideas:
1. As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, lay in bed and think of 3 things you’re grateful for. Sounds super simple, right? Well it is the first few days when we go through the ‘ol standbys: kids, roof over your head, a significant other, maybe your health….but its around day 5 or 6 that you will start to have to LOOK for new things to be grateful for. It’s here that the big breakthroughs start and the re-wiring happen. You will begin to start to notice the little things in your day that you can use in your morning gratitude practice. That shift of mindset is what makes this so powerful.
2. Start a Gratitude Journal. This can be as easy as numbering 1, 2, 3 at the bottom of your daily planer or you can start a notebook just designated to your gratitude practice. The same routine above applies, but this takes it up a notch as you are writing it down. This allows you to have a working list of all your blessings. This record can be referenced at any time and will be especially helpful during times of extreme stress and fatigue.
Print out this free Daily Gratitude Worksheet to get started today:
3. Create a Gratitude Jar. This is a great practice to do together with a loved one. You’ll need an empty clear jar, scraps of paper and a pen. Once a day, or whenever the moment hits you, write down on a piece of paper 1 thing you are grateful for. Put it in the jar, and have your partner do the same. You’ll begin to get a visual of all the things you are grateful for because the scraps of paper will accumulate fast! Even better, you can dump out the jar on a day you need a boost or maybe at the end of every month and review with your loved one.
We hope this inspires you to create a gratitude practice of your own. Remember: its so important that you make this ritual your own. The time of day, location and routine will all be unique to you. Let it morph and evolve over time as you become more comfortable with it.
At Sunways, we’re grateful for YOU and our community of Caregivers who are sharing their heart daily with the ones they love.
Guest Author: Carisa Campanella
Finding new ways to improve your health-related fitness while under quarantine can be quite an undertaking for most people. It can be hard to know where to begin and what exercises to choose! In my role as Exercise Coordinator for Grand Living at Lakewood Ranch, it is my mission to find fun and purposeful movement to help our Residents feel their best. My aim is to help participants improve their mood, enhance their cognitive abilities, and most of all, feel strong! Daily movement is the key to improving your blood circulation, bolstering your immune system, and keeping your muscles, bones and joints in good working order. Here is a fun and easy program anyone can do at home in either a seated or standing position. This program will help strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles, improve flexibility, and will help you to feel calm and relaxed. Find a space in your home where you have room to move. If you have trouble with balance, make sure you are seated in a strong and sturdy chair. Have some fun and upbeat music playing in the background. And remember, if a certain position or movement does not feel comfortable for you, do not do it!
Warm-Up with Deep Breathing: Sitting up straight and tall in a chair, take a long breath in through your nose and a long breath out through your mouth. On the 5th breath in raise your arms out to the sides and over your head, and on the long breath out bring them down with a big flapping motion like you are a pelican flapping your wings! Continue raising your arms and flapping your wings gently for four more breaths. You make find that this type of breathing can help you feel relaxed when you are anxious.
Jazzy Joints: Now that you have conditioned your heart and lungs, it is time to focus on loosening up your joints. A great way to lubricate and strengthen your shoulder joint is to reach your arm up in the air and pretend you are screwing in a lightbulb. This will rotate your shoulder, elbow and wrist. Do one arm at a time. Another way to loosen up your shoulders is to pretend you are holding oars in each hand and “row the boat.” You can row your oars forwards and backwards. To loosen up your hip joint, sit up straight in your chair and lift your right knee up and then move your right leg to the side, as if you are trying to step over a hot flame. Repeat this move several times and then do the left side. This will open up your hips and help you walk with greater ease.
Rockin’ Rollers: Now that you have warmed up your joints, you are ready to dance! Find some upbeat 50s and 60s music (I like Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry) and turn up the volume. While seated in your chair, you can do the twist, move your arms and pretend you are playing the guitar and piano, do some alternating leg kicks and toe taps, or whatever movement feels good to you!
Dynamic Drumming: A fun way to keep your heart pumping is to do some drumming! You can make your own “drum” by turning a wastepaper basket upside down or using a big pot. “Drumsticks” can be paper towel tubes, wooden spoons, or sticks from outside. You can drum along to any song you like. My favorites are “Respect” by Aretha Franklin and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by the Beatles. When you drum, you sit up straight and tall in your chair and bring both “drumsticks” down together on your wastepaper basket or alternate arms. The higher you lift your arms the better it is for your heart. You can also drum on the sides of your “drum” or even bend forward in your chair and tap your “drumsticks” on the floor.
Sunshine Stretching: To cool down after your “party with movement,” put on some relaxing music. Sit up straight and tall in your chair and take a deep breath in through your nose and blow out through your mouth. On your next breath in arch your back, stick out your chest and bring your arms out to the sides. As you exhale, round your shoulders and bring your arms in front of you as though you were hugging a tree. This movement will stretch your chest and your back. From your seated position, the next stretch you can do is to extend your right leg, so your heel is touching the floor. Gently bend forward at the waist to stretch the muscles behind your right leg. When you are done stretch the left leg. Finish your stretching by wrapping your arms around your shoulders like you are giving yourself a hug.
How do you feel? Hopefully you are energized! Remember any type of movement that you can enjoy safely will have great benefits. Try to schedule your “party with movement” at the same time every day, and have fun!
About the Author: Carisa Campanella is the Fitness Coordinator at Grand Living at Lakewood Ranch. In addition to degrees in Communications and Fitness Technology, Carisa holds four national certifications in Health Coaching, Personal Training, Group Exercise Instruction and Spinning including ACSM and ACE. She also specializes in Functional Aging, Senior Fitness, and Parkinson’s Disease.
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Elli is the President of Sunways and loves spending time outside with her family, and is passionate about cooking and holistic health.