Tag Archives: memory care

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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How to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

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. The disease affects more than 5 million Americans. While research continues to bring us closer to effective treatments, there are additional steps that patients, their families and caregivers can take to help fight this condition.

  1. 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 as well as stimulate new connections. It’s recommended that people over 65 years of age do 40 minutes a day of aerobic (e.g., walking or water aerobics) or non-aerobic exercise (e.g., stretching and toning muscles) to experience the full benefits.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Early diagnosis: Knowing the signs of early onset Alzheimer’s, 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 as soon as possible.

Memory care and support services at UMH New Jersey 

Housed in Assisted Living, the memory care and support residences at UMH 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 and quality of life .

To find out more about our services for Alzheimer’s residents, please contact UMH today or visit www.umh-nj.org.

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/how-to-fight-alzheimers-disease/

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What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition which affects the brain and its ability to function normally in areas such as memory, problem solving and language. Generally, it occurs in people over the age of 65, although in some cases, people develop it in their 40s and 50s. As one of the leading causes of dementia, it is estimated that Alzheimer’s affects around 5 million Americans – a number that is expected to increase as our population ages.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Memory lapses (for example, forgetting where you’ve put something in the house).
  • Forgetting recent events.
  • Getting lost on routes which should be familiar.
  • Missing important appointments or special events.
  • Difficulty recalling a name or word in conversation.

As this is a progressive disease, later symptoms are much more severe:

  • The inability to follow a conversation.
  • Unnecessarily repeating things in conversation.
  • Difficulty carrying out a set of instructions or routine (getting dressed, folding clothes, cooking, etc.).
  • Dramatic personality changes, occasionally accompanied by aggression, irritation and depression.
  • Problems judging distances, navigating physical obstacles and seeing in three-dimensions.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Confusion over dates, times and locations.

The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Dementia is a category of symptoms grouped around the ability to perform mental tasks, while Alzheimer’s is a disease that has symptoms which fall into the dementia category. There are many forms of dementia, some of which can be treated very successfully. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and scientists aren’t sure exactly what causes the disease, although genetics, hypertension and the aging process itself are known to be risk factors.

Memory Care and Support Services from United Methodist Homes of New Jersey

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we understand that caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s 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 specialized memory support and care services specifically geared towards assisting people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. By focusing on onsite customized care plans and activities within our comfortable apartment-style community, we ensure your loved one maintains his or her dignity and quality of life at all times.

To find out more about our Memory Support services, please contact UMH today or visit www.umh-nj.org.

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What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Dr. Aloysius (Alois) Alzheimer first described Alzheimer’s disease in 1901 as a type of chronic dementia which affects the areas of the brain that focus on behavior, language, memory and thinking. It is a progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms will slowly appear and worsen over time – often becoming too severe for the patient to manage simple daily tasks.

What Causes Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process, although most people with the disease are over the age of 65. The exact cause of this disease isn’t known, but risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing the disease include a genetic history of Alzheimer’s, head injuries, depression and hypertension.

How Does Alzheimer’s Affect the Brain?

The latest scientific research has shown that Alzheimer’s prevents brain cells from working as they should by disrupting their processes and causing them to break down. As cells break down, other systems dependent on the processes of those cells are also negatively affected – and so the damage spreads.

Two abnormal structures called plaques and tangles,cause these breakdowns although it is still unknown why they occur. Plaques are protein fragments, known as beta-amyloid, which build up between the brain’s nerve cells while tangles are protein fibers that clog up the inside of the cells. Highly concentrated in the areas of the brain used for memory, people with Alzheimer’s develop a lot more of these buildups than would otherwise naturally occur as we age.

As the disease progresses, patients experience more dramatic symptoms, which can include aggression, personality changes, confusion, difficulty eating and walking and poor sleeping patterns. Fortunately, there are a wide range of services for Alzheimer’s patients and their families such as support groups, memory support services and experienced, medically trained caregivers.

What are Memory Care and Support Services?

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer a support service specifically for Alzheimer’s patients which provides an environment that delivers the highest quality of life. Each resident program, customized to their unique needs and level of independence, focuses on everyday routines such as cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table, and more within a community lifestyle. These four memory care programs also include activities for general wellness like fitness, music and other sensory activities appropriatefor your loved one.

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 UMH today or visit www.umh-nj.org.

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/what-is-alzheimers-disease/

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