Category Archives: Memory Support Services

3 Tips for Managing Confusion in Alzheimer’s Care

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult man

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, a great opportunity to share news and insights into the treatment and care of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as spreading information and awareness of this serious condition. In this blog, the team at our home health care agency shares some helpful tips for managing confusion — a common challenge experienced by caregivers.

People with Alzheimer’s disease are likely to experience frequent bouts of confusion as the disease progresses. This can’t be prevented, as it is a direct result of the condition, but there is a lot caregivers can do to help people cope with the fear, agitation and anxiety that accompanies bouts of confusion.

Tips for Reducing Frequency of Confusion 

Caregivers can help reduce confusion by:

  1. Creating a calm environment. Busy, loud and unfamiliar environments are a significant source of stress and over-stimulation, which can lead to confusion. Try to minimize time spent in these environments and ensure that everyday environments are peaceful, quiet and filled with familiar objects and sources of comfort. Blankets and clothing items can also be a source of comfort and security.
  2. Staying on top of personal care. Ensuring that an Alzheimer’s patient is receiving medication correctly, is eating enough, staying hydrated and getting sufficient sleep is also very important to prevent episodes of confusion as well as maintaining their physical health. Making these daily tasks part of a stable routine ensures that caregivers are able to note any changes in physical needs or health and take action to manage these needs as soon as possible.
  3. Having a progressive care plan in place. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and old age is likely to bring other health conditions as well, which makes it important to have a long-term care plan in place and to implement it earlier rather than later. If you are choosing professional caregiving assistance in the home, opt to implement this even on a shorter level (for example, as part-time or respite care) before it becomes urgent – this will give the patient time to adjust and become comfortable with the new caregiver while they are able to manage the change, rather than suddenly and dramatically adjusting their routine.

Respite Care, Part-Time and Live-in Care for Alzheimer’s Patients from Our Home Health Care Agency 

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best home health aide services in New Jersey through our HomeWorks program. This program assists older adults in the comfort of their own homes and provides them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness and independence.

For more information on our at home health care agency or our at home care for the elderly services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/

Original content posted on https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/blog/3-tips-for-managing-confusion-in-alzheimers-care/

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4 Non-Medical Therapies to Help with Memory Loss

Woman working on watercolor painting.

Modern medicine is an invaluable source of treatment for a wide range of health conditions, but there are ways to supplement this resource with non-medical therapies that can help improve memory or even help prevent memory loss in older adults. Here are some effective therapies from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ:

  1. Get creative. Participating in creative arts is a great way to exercise the mind and fight memory loss, as they boost engagement and alertness. For adults wanting to fend off memory loss, dance classes, music classes and taking to the stage, assist with mental fitness. For adults with memory loss, painting, drawing and imaginative projects like scrapbooking are suggested.
  2. Music therapy. Recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association to assist with cognitive and emotional struggles, many patients with fairly advanced memory loss can still sing and remember songs. This relaxing and energizing experience often triggers past memories.
  3. Physical exercise. Studies increasingly confirm that physical fitness is an important contributor to mental fitness, and memory is no exception. While this exercise can take any form, it should be tailored to each person’s level of physical fitness and interests. In addition to fighting memory loss, physical exercise brings countless other health benefits, as well as boosting self-esteem.
  4. Pet therapy. Many assisted living communities have resident pets or access to pet therapy. Interaction with animals is increasingly being recognized for its mental and emotional health benefits, which include helping residents feel calm, engaged in their surroundings and happy.
    It also helps residents connect with memories of their own beloved pets. In fact, some research has shown that therapy animals help improve the nutrition of residents while decreasing behavioral concerns, improving the overall quality of life.

Memory Care Services from Our Assisted Living Community in Gloucester County, NJ 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/ contact us today or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/4-non-medical-therapies-to-help-with-memory-loss/

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How is Dementia Diagnosed?

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult woman playing with blocks

Dementia is a term used to describe a wide range of conditions that cause mental decline affecting someone’s ability to cope with daily life. While Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common dementia disorder, dementia in total, affects more than 5.5 million Americans, many of them seniors.

Here are some insights into how dementia is diagnosed, from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ:

Steps to Diagnose Dementia

Unfortunately, there is no single test that determines whether someone has dementia. This means that doctors, including specialists, need to evaluate a person carefully before they can give a diagnosis. This evaluation will include:

  • Complete personal and family medical histories
  • Testing of mental status and mood
  • A physical and neurological exam
  • Tests and scans to rule out other neurological conditions that may present with dementia-like symptoms

This last step is very important, because other health conditions can result in confusion and memory loss, which require early diagnosis and treatment. Some of these conditions are easily treated and even curable, like depression, so it’s important not to ignore dementia-like symptoms.

Symptoms of Dementia Conditions 

Dementia conditions are progressive and often start very slowly. It’s important to watch out for the following symptoms to ensure early diagnosis and treatment:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty following a plan or solving a problem
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion regarding time and place, seasons or dates
  • Difficulty judging distances, determining colors or contrasts, or interpreting images
  • Difficulty pronouncing familiar words
  • Misplacing things or putting things in strange places (keys in the fridge, etc.)
  • Problems making sound judgement calls
  • Mood and personality changes

While any of these things can happen once in a while and can increase with age, it is important to take note of any significant increases in frequency and schedule a doctor’s appointment. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the better the treatment options.

 

Memory Care Services for Dementia Patients – Assisted living in Gloucester County, NJ 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/ contact us today or book a personal tour.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/how-is-dementia-diagnosed/

 

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What are memory care and support services all about?

While memory care services are often associated with assisted living and may overlap, the two are not the same. Assisted living primarily focuses on providing essential support for day-to-day living like bathing, dressing, meal preparation and medication, while memory care services specifically assist residents with dementia conditions like Alzheimer’s. Here’s some insight into these services from memory care service providers in South Jersey.

Comfortable residential settings for dementia patients
United Methodist Communities at The Shores, offers residents with memory conditions a comfortable, homey residential setting specifically designed to foster the best quality of life. Our staff and therapists are fully trained to care for all residents as well as offer compassionate companionship.

Our programs are based on each person’s individual needs and capabilities, as well as their preferences and strengths. We incorporate everyday routines into a neighborhood lifestyle, including tasks like setting the table, cooking, folding clothes, gardening and group discussions.

In addition to this, we offer therapeutic programs that promote involvement and participation including fitness programs, hands-on creative art, music sessions and other forms of sensory stimulation and entertainment.

By offering comfortable studio apartments, a range of communal activity areas and state-of-the-art nurse call and wander management systems, we strive to balance our scalable care services with patient dignity and independence.

Customized memory care and support services in South Jersey
At The Shores, as part of United Methodist Communities, we aim to serve our memory care residents as well as their loved ones with compassion, respect and expert support. As an EAGLE accredited organization, we are mindful of our not-for-profit status, remaining accountable and continually improving our performance and services in order to provide residents with the best quality care available.

For more information about our assisted living and memory care services for Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact us today to arrange for a personal visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/memory-care-support-services/

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Memory games that promote healthy brains

Memories play an important role in forming who we are but, as we age, certain dementia conditions can start to erode these vital building blocks of our relationships, knowledge and personality. Conditions like Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia currently have no cure, but there are ways to fight against memory loss, help exercise your brain and keep neurological pathways firing and responding properly, say memory care services specialists in Gloucester County, New Jersey.

Sudoku: This Japanese numbers game has gained a popular following in recent decades, with people of all ages enjoying the challenge. Using a grid of nine by nine spaces or cells, you fill the grid using the numbers 1 to 9, never using them more than once vertically, horizontally or within the 3×3 subgrids. This is a great way to exercise patience, pattern recognition and the process of elimination. They range from easy beginner’s games up to more difficult challenges, so it’s easy to try and see if you enjoy it. Most newspapers publish a few puzzles and there are books of Sudoku challenges as well as free puzzles online.

Crossword puzzles: A traditional favorite, these challenges are good for exercising memory recall and problem solving. They are available in different formats and sizes that offer unique challenges, including simple or easy clue formats or the more difficult indirect or cryptic clues. Sometimes, they follow different themes, including pop culture, literature, sports, history, or a combination of themes. Try out the crosswords in your local paper for a quick memory training session.

Apps and games: For a slightly more advanced take on brain training, you can use a wide range of programs on computers, tablets or smartphones. Many of them, like Lumosity, have been developed by neuroscientists, making them engaging as well as offering practice training for your brain.

Puzzles: These come in a wide range of sizes and complexity and many people enjoy doing them with a friend as well as on their own. Puzzles form useful therapy tools for memory care residents, helping to rebuild problem solving skills as well as encouraging memory stimulation and participation. If you are looking for a puzzle for a loved one with a memory condition, a therapist will be able to help you choose one that provides optimal stimulation without causing frustration.

Education: While this isn’t a memory game, learning new things is pivotal to keeping your brain fit and active. Attending guest lectures, enrolling in classes and clubs, and reading new books will all help your brain to form new, healthy neural pathways.

Expert memory care and support services in our assisted living community
Pitman is a senior living and assisted living community in Gloucester County, New Jersey. As part of United Methodist Communities, we’re dedicated to providing our residents with the highest quality of life possible through our compassionate care and professional services. As part of our services, we offer memory support to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, promoting dignity and independence while meeting each person’s individual needs.

For more information about our assisted living community or memory care services, please contact us today or arrange a visit to our premises.

Original content posted at https://umcommunities.org/blog/memory-games-promote-healthy-brains/

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Understanding different types of dementia

Dementia is a term that covers a category of diseases and conditions that primarily cause memory loss through physical changes to the brain. Here’s a guide to the different conditions in this category:

  • Alzheimer’s disease: The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for between 60 and 80% of dementia conditions. It has been known to cause short-term memory loss, confusion, apathy, behavior changes, depression, decreased communication skills and decreased judgment. This is the result of beta-amyloid protein deposits (known as plaques) or twisted tau proteins (tangles) in the brain cells that lead to nerve cell damage and cell death.
  • Parkinson’s disease: A progressive disease that affects movement, it can lead to dementia symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the development of clumps of alpha-synuclein protein deep within the brain that lead to nerve degeneration.
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome: Caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1, this disease often affects alcoholics. This vitamin plays an important role in brain function and nerve cells cannot function properly without it, leading to severe memory loss.
  • Huntington’s disease: This is caused by a defective gene on Chromosome 4, which results in abnormal brain proteins. Over time, this disease worsens, leading to involuntary movements, a decline in thinking and reasoning abilities, irritability and mood changes.
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus: Caused by a buildup of fluid in the brain, patients experience memory loss, as well as difficulty with urinary control and walking.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Known as ‘mad cow disease,’ this fatal brain disease can be transmitted to people in certain circumstances, impairing memory and coordination.
  • Frontotemporal dementia: Little is known about this category of diseases, which includes primary progressive aphasia and Pick’s disease, as there is currently a lack of research-based evidence to link each case. These conditions affect the front and sides of the brain and include symptoms such as personality changes, difficulty with language and behavioral changes.

Memory care and support services from assisted living specialists

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we understand that caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia can be stressful and emotionally draining, and as the disease progresses it may become impossible for you to manage without qualified support.

This is why we offer specialist memory support and care services specifically geared toward assisting Alzheimer’s and other dementia residents. By focusing on providing onsite customized care plans and activities within our comfortable apartment-style community, we help ensure your loved one maintains his or her dignity and quality of life.

To find out more about our services for Alzheimer’s patients, please contact the nearest UMH today:

UMH Bristol Glen in Sussex County, NJ: (973) 300-5788

UMH Collingswood Manor in Camden County, NJ: (856) 854-4331

UMH Francis Asbury Manor in Monmouth County, NJ: (732) 774-1316

UMH Pitman Manor in Gloucester County, NJ: (856) 589-7800

UMH The Shores in Cape May County, NJ: 609-399-8505

 

For more information, visit www.umh-nj.org.

 

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/understanding-different-types-of-dementia/

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What are the essential do’s and don’t’s of dementia care?

If you have a loved one with dementia, it’s important to know how to handle any challenges you may face when socializing with or caring for them. Here is some great advice from assisted living specialists in New Jersey.

How to manage aggression in dementia patients

It’s common for caregivers and loved ones to be confronted by aggression – verbally or physically – when assisting someone with dementia. While often an upsetting and frustrating experience, it’s important to understand why this behavior is occurring in order to handle it properly.

Key to this, is discovering what triggers the outbursts. The most common triggers include unfamiliar surroundings, physical discomfort and fear. So what should you do and what actions should you avoid?

DO: Try to identify what is at the root of the behavior and find a way to remedy the situation, keeping in mind that different things work for different people. For some people, talking calmly and gently touching them, helps to soothe – for others, it increases aggression. Another course of action is to ensure that they aren’t in harm’s way and simply walk away and give them the chance to calm themselves.

DON’T: Under no circumstances should you become confrontational or try and force your loved one to do whatever they are refusing to do. This will only escalate the situation.

How to manage a confused dementia patient

Because dementia affects the memory, confusion about time, places and people are common. People with dementia can easily become fearful or uncertain when they don’t recognize someone or their environment.

DO: Try simple explanations accompanied by familiar things such as photographs, favorite items or even scents. Remember your aim is to try help your loved one feel safe and in control, even if it means delaying an activity or social gathering until they feel comfortable.

DON’T: Don’t use lengthy explanations or reasoning to overcome these moments of confusion, as they simply aren’t effective. Short, to the point explanations or even therapeutic white lies are the fastest and most effective way of calming and helping your loved one – which is the priority during these moments.

Expert Memory Care and Support Services

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer support services and assisted living communities specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents in environments that deliver the highest quality of life. An individualized care plan, developed for each resident, addresses their unique needs and level of independence and focuses on everyday routines like cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table and other common tasks within a community lifestyle. These memory care programs also include activities for general wellness such as fitness, music and other sensory-rich activities suited to your loved one’s enjoyment.

Our residences are designed to be comfortable and homey, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact the nearest UMH today:

UMH Bristol Glen in Sussex County, NJ: (973) 300-5788

UMH Collingswood Manor in Camden County, NJ: (856) 854-4331

UMH Francis Asbury Manor in Monmouth County, NJ: (732) 774-1316

UMH Pitman Manor in Gloucester County, NJ: (856) 589-7800

UMH The Shores in Cape May County, NJ: 609-399-8505

 

For more information, please visit www.umh-nj.org.

 

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/what-are-the-essential-dos-and-donts-of-dementia-care/

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