Every fall people around the world come together to raise awareness and challenge the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease. Next month, November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month—a time to heighten awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and show support for the more than 5.8 million Americans living with it. It is also a time to share information about the signs and symptoms of the cognitive illness and encourage people everywhere, including personal care homes, to seek out information, advice and support.
Alzheimer’s disease warning signs
Some residents at personal care homes may experience normal age-related memory challenges. It is important to know the warning signs when an individual should seek medical advice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, some symptoms to watch for include:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems such as keeping track of monthly bills
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion about time and/or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- Decreased or poor judgment such as paying less attention to personal hygiene
- Changes in mood and personality
Alzheimer’s disease prevention tips
Experts aren’t 100% sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by the accumulation of protein in the brain. There are steps older adults can take to try and prevent Alzheimer’s disease or reduce its effects. Residents in personal care homes have access to many resources right in their retirement housing community.
According to Harvard Medical School, seniors can follow the following lifestyle improvements to try and ward off Alzheimer’s:
- Experts recommend 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three days a week. This is important as conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which can improve with exercise, may increase Alzheimer’s risks, especially for individuals receiving memory support services.
- The Mediterranean and DASH diets have been studied and may lower risks of developing cognitive impairments.
- The Mediterranean diet can help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and lead to weight loss. The diet encourages people to eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and shellfish and avoid sugar and red meat. Click here for more information.
- The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet is recommended to treat high blood pressure. It focuses on fruits, vegetable, whole grains and lean meats.
- Activities that stimulate the brain such as puzzles and thinking skills apps through memory support, may be helpful in building brain health.
- Information is based on observation, however experts believe social connections such as those found in retirement housing, are an important activity to reduce Alzheimer’s risk.
How personal care homes at Country Meadows can help
Residents of personal care homes and memory support services at Country Meadows are routinely provided with healthy life choices, such as the tips listed above, to help prevent, delay or lessen the severity of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Fitness Programs. Country Meadows personal care homes have fitness centers on every campus as well as dedicated fitness directors who lead group classes and provide one-on-one personal training with residents. In our memory care services, fitness sessions are customized to each resident to help him/her achieve or maintain good health.
- Healthy Dining. Country Meadows locations have culinary teams led by professional chefs who work with personal care homes and residents to plan menus and prepare healthy, delicious meals made with local produce and whole foods. Individual meal needs are followed for residents requiring specialized diets.
- In every level of care at Country Meadows, Independent Living, Memory Support and our Personal Care homes, co-workers plan and lead dynamic living activities. These include lifelong learning opportunities, social gatherings, games, clubs, outings and entertainment, to name a few. Residents can be as busy as they please taking advantage of a very robust calendar that provides numerous opportunities to challenge the brain through learning and making friends.
Country Meadows is a leader in providing care for individuals with memory loss, in both secured and non-secured neighborhoods. Trained professionals provide a personalized support plan to match each individual resident’s needs and wants and address common emotional needs such as frustration, anxiety and loneliness.
Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus location in Frederick, Maryland. Often referred to as one of the best retirement communities in the area, we offer a wide range of services to serve a variety of resident needs. The services within our communities include restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care homes and assisted living, memory care support and independent living. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our independent living communities, please contact us today. Our co-workers can provide details on the services we offer, help you to schedule a tour of our personal care homes and answer any other questions you might have.