Early Stage Dementia: What To Do

Recognizing Early Stage Alzheimer’s in the Washington DC area

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that affects each individual differently. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for roughly 80% of all new dementia diagnoses. Each stage of Alzheimer’s introduces symptoms that directly impacts the cognitive and functional abilities of the individual. In the early stage of the disease, symptoms are generally mild and may be difficult to notice. At this stage, the individual may functional independently with the ability to complete all of their own activities of daily living. However, they may begin experiencing frequent memory lapses or the inability to identify familiar words. Friends and family may notice the individual struggling with performing routine tasks or maintaining organization. During a medical examination, doctors may identify problems in memory or concentration. It can be helpful to involve Senior Care professionals, family and friends in the examination to provide their personal accounts of symptoms, as the individual may not be readily able to identify changes in themselves.

Common challenges in the Early-Stage of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Difficulties with planning or organization
  • Difficulties with recalling the right word or name for familiar objects
  • Difficulties with performing social or work tasks
  • Frequent memory lapses
  • Frequently losing or misplacing valuable objects
  • Difficulties with retaining new information
  • Difficulty following storylines
  • Deteriorating sense of direction

Once medical examinations are completed and an Alzheimer’s dementia diagnosis is received, it’s important to optimize the safety and quality of life of the individual. Caregivers and friends should provide the individual with support and empathy while preparing for upcoming challenges ahead. Senior Home Care professionals should discuss advance directives and preferred future plans of care with the individual, to ensure that their wishes are upheld when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Take the time to carefully plan for comprehensive and holistic care which meets the entire needs of the individual– it’s the best way to honor their life and legacy. Finding holistic and comprehensive care in the Washington, D.C area can be challenging. However, care that is tailored to the needs of the individual and enhances their well-being is essential to ensuring longevity.

Sources

Alzheimer’s Association . (2017). Stages of Alzheimer’s. Retrieved from alz.org: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_stages_of_alzheimers.asp#mild

Higuera, V., & Ellis, M. (2016, July 12). 10 Early Symptoms of Dementia. Retrieved from healthline.com: http://www.healthline.com/health/dementia/early-warning-signs

Mayo Clinic. (2017). Dementia. Retrieved from mayoclinic.org: http:www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/diagnosis-treatment/diagnosis/dxc-20198511

What Are the Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Senior Care in Arlington VA

One of your most important responsibilities as a family caregiver is understanding the risk factors for health complications and issues that Senior-Care-in-Arlington-VAyour elderly parent is facing. This not only allows you to structure your care plan around helping your parent to address those risk factors in such a way that minimizes them and reduces the chances that they will develop the condition, as well as giving you the opportunity to prepare yourself to give your loved one the care that they need if they do develop it as some point in their later years. For many family caregivers, one of the most pressing of these issues is Alzheimer’s disease. As this disease impacts all types of people, all those caring for elderly adults should be aware of the risk factors and be able to act of them effectively.

 

Some of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Age. The single greatest risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease is age. Among those who are aged 65 and older, one in nine people, or more than 10 percent, has Alzheimer’s disease. Among those who are 85 and older, nearly one in three people, or approximately 30 percent, has the disease.
  • Family history. Like many serious health conditions, family history is a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This means that if your aging parent had a parent, sibling, or child that was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, they are at higher risk for developing the disease.
  • Head injury. Studies have shown that there is a connection between experiencing head trauma and increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This is particularly true if the head injury resulted in the loss of consciousness, even if briefly, or if there is repeated head trauma. You can help your parent reduce this risk by encouraging them to use basic safety measures, including wearing their seatbelt and reducing the risk of falls throughout their home.
  • Cardiovascular health. More recent research into the disease shows that there might be a strong connection between the health of your parent’s heart and their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The heart is responsible for pumping blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to the brain to fuel it, so if your parent’s heart is not functioning properly, the brain is more vulnerable to damage and disease.

 

The beginning of your parent’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease is the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a schedule that is fully customized to their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, as well as their personality, lifestyle, and goals. This means that the care provider can help them to manage the symptoms that they currently have while also preparing for the challenges and limitations that will develop as the disease progresses. Through these highly personalized services this senior care provider can help your parent to live a lifestyle that is safe, healthy, and comfortable, but also as active, engaged, and independent as possible. As their family caregiver, this can give you a tremendous sense of peace of mind as you know that even as your loved one progresses through the disease, they will always have the care that they need to experience the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. If your parent has not been diagnosed with the disease but has risk factors for it, this care can help your parent to keep their mind sharp and engaged, and support an active and fulfilling lifestyle throughout their later years.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Arlington, VA, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.

 

Source:

http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_causes_risk_factors.asp

Elderly-Care-in-Fairfax-VA

5 Ingredients Elders Should Use for Healthier Desserts

Senior Care in Arlington VA

International Cake Day takes place on July 20th. As delicious as this sweet dessert is, many older adults are unable to eat cake due to their own health reasons. The older we get, the more important it is to make good food choices and eat less processed meals and junk food. Just because your aging parent is unable to enjoy desserts like they used to, there are some ways elders can still eat their favorite treats. One of the best ways to do this is to make healthier versions of recipes by substituting ingredients that will actually help turn the recipe into a healthier treat.

Older adults who are unable to cook or bake for themselves may need the help of family members or caregivers. So, take a trip to the grocery store and stock up on these 5 ingredients as a way to bake a healthier dessert.

senior care in arlington vaDark chocolate: Who says seniors need to give up chocolate to live a healthier lifestyle? All they have to do is use dark chocolate instead of other varieties. This type of chocolate is packed with antioxidants and does not have artificial sweeteners since it is naturally sweet. Another chocolate option is carob. Similar to dark chocolate, carob is naturally sweet and can be substituted in any recipe that calls for chocolate, such as chocolate chip cookies.

Fresh fruit: Using fruit as a pie or cake filling is a great way to add some vitamins and nutrients to your delicious dessert. For example, strawberries are extremely high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and other minerals the body needs. To receive the health benefits of this ingredient, only fresh fruit should be used. Using canned pie filling has additional ingredients, such as added sugar, that are not good for you.

Carrots: If the elder loves carrot cake, use real carrots to make it healthier. Buying an already-made carrot cake from a bakery or making a boxed carrot cake are not the way to go. Many of these types of cakes may use some carrot flavoring, but often leave out actual carrots. By filling the cake with shredded carrot pieces, there will be plenty of vitamins and minerals in each bite.

Honey: Honey is the perfect substitute for sugar. It is a natural sweetener that has a variety of other health benefits, such as being excellent for the digestive system and reducing bad cholesterol levels.

Pecans: If the recipe calls for nuts, go with pecans. They are the healthiest types of nuts available and contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals.

Just because your elderly loved one is on a special diet does not mean they can’t enjoy dessert every once in a while. Just substitute some of the ingredients with these 5 healthier options.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home SENIOR CARE IN ARLINGTON VA, please contact the caring staff at Philia Care today. 202-607-2525

National Tourism Week

Senior Care in Arlington VA

May 1 through 7 is National Tourism Week. This is the perfect opportunity for you to shake up your senior care routine by heading out with Senior-Care-in-Arlington-VAyour loved one and act like tourists right in your own area. Being a local tourist can be a fun and memorable way for you to pursue many of your senior care goals with your aging parent without having to take on a major trip. This is a fantastic way for you and your loved one to discover your surroundings and enjoy some quality time together.

Some of the ways that being a local tourist right in your own area include:

  • Physical activity. Being a tourist often means walking around to explore a destination. This can be a meaningful source of physical activity for you and for your loved one. Staying active is critical to health and wellbeing, but it can be challenging to convince a senior who is resistant to exercise to get the movement that they need. Touring something interesting helps your parent to get the activity that they need without thinking about it in terms of “exercise”. This means that you can feel good that they are working their muscles, joints, and cardiovascular systems for health that will give them a higher quality of life throughout their later years
  • Mental stimulation. Keeping your parent’s mind active and sharp is an important part of supporting strong cognitive function as they age. The more often that you provide mental stimulation, the more likely it is that your parent will maintain better cognitive processing, critical thinking, and memory skills, which supports better emotional health and independence. Being a local tourist is a fun way for your parent to learn new things, explore fresh concepts, and experience meaningful sensory stimulation. While you are on your adventure, encourage your parent to notice the smells, sights, colors, tactile experiences, and flavors of the destination
  • Memory making. Making memories with your aging parent helps you to gain more meaning in your senior care journey. While you are making memories with your loved one you are not just stimulating their mind and helping them to preserve their memory skills for longer. You are also keeping your relationship with your parent as the central focus of your care efforts rather than just the fulfillment of their needs. This helps you to preserve your own mental and emotional health, as well as giving you something to hold on to and look back on later when your care journey comes to an end
  • Social engagement. Getting enough social interaction keeps your parent’s mind active and their emotional health high. For many seniors, social opportunities reduce as they get older. Heading out to tourist destinations, however, is a great way to let your parent engage with other people. They may even find people to share contact information with so that they can create pen pal relationships to maintain after you leave the tourist destination. This can keep your parent’s mind even stronger and healthier throughout the years.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Arlington, VA, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.