Navigating the Later Stages of Early Onset Alzheimer’s for Your Loved One

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When a loved one receives a diagnosis for early onset Alzheimer’s, the future may suddenly feel like a daunting and unknown territory.

However, with knowledge of what’s to come, your family can feel a greater sense of ease and confidence in moving forward.

Although your loved one’s healthcare providers may brief you on what you’ll experience during the initial stages of such a diagnosis, they may not cover the later stages of early onset Alzheimer’s.

Consider this post as a helpful overview for what you can expect and how to plan for the later stages of the disease.

Becoming aware of these stages will help you connect your loved one to quality care for his or her needs.

What Is Early Onset Alzheimer’s?

Before diving into details regarding the later stages of early onset Alzheimer’s, let’s get clear on what the disease is.

Early onset Alzheimer’s, also referred to as younger onset Alzheimer’s, affects individuals under age 65.

Typically, these individuals are in their 40s and 50s. They often have careers, they may have children, and they may potentially be caregivers themselves.

Less common than late onset Alzheimer’s, early onset Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, currently affects 200,000 people in the United States.

As the Alzheimer’s Society describes, the earliest symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s are… [Link to:

  1. Problems with vision.
  2. Difficulties with speech.
  3. Challenges in planning and decision-making.
  4. Changes in behavior.

Although dementia is a progressive disease and worsens over time, the time it takes to progress varies depending on the individual.

For some people, Alzheimer’s progresses rapidly, while it takes years to reach an advanced stage for others.

When it comes to determining which stage your loved one is in, it’s important to know what indicators to watch for. Which brings us to our next point…

Signs Early Onset Alzheimer’s Has Progressed

While symptoms can vary from individual to individual, there is a common set of signs of moderate or severe dementia.

As the Alzheimer’s Association explains, moderate Alzheimer’s is typically characterized by…

  1. Increased assistance required with daily tasks, such as getting dressed and bathing.
  2. Increased confusion or poor judgment.
  3. Increased memory loss, such as loss of events that happened in the more distant past.
  4. Larger personality and behavioral changes, stemming from agitation and suspicion.
  5. Shifts in sleep patterns.

If your loved one is in the last/severe stages of early onset dementia, you may notice symptoms such as…

  1. The inability to complete daily tasks such as eating and grooming.
  2. The loss of communication abilities.
  3. An increased risk of infection, such as pneumonia.
  4. The complete loss of physical abilities such as walking and sitting.
  5. The inability to swallow and control bladder and bowel function.

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Once you’ve identified that your loved one has reached these moderate or severe stages of early onset Alzheimer’s, it’s important to connect him or her with the necessary care.

When to Make the Move to a Memory Care Community

As your loved one’s dementia progresses, your priority is ensuring that he or she has the necessary care—as well as a safe setting that provides him or her with the resources to thrive.

These things can be provided by memory care communities.

From trained caregivers to healthy social interaction with other residents and nutritious, brain-healthy meals to professional medication management, these communities are often the best option for individuals with early onset Alzheimer’s.

Waiting too long to make the move raises your loved one’s risks for injury, depression, and an overall decrease in quality of life.

At The Grove at Oakleaf Village, we provide a vibrant, homelike environment for individuals with early onset and late onset Alzheimer’s.

We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding quality care for your loved one.

Contact one of The Grove communities today to learn more about our memory care offerings.

What Is the Difference between Assisted Living and Memory Care?

When Mom or Dad needs the care you can’t provide, there are a number of options at your fingertips…from independent living and skilled nursing to assisted living and memory care.

If your loved one struggles with memory loss—but still enjoys independence—you’ve probably ruled out independent living options and skilled nursing.

While Mom doesn’t need a 1,200-square-foot cottage…she certainly isn’t ready for the hospital-like atmosphere of a nursing home.

Your remaining options?

Assisted living and memory care.

Assisted living and memory care both provide similar comforts, such as…

  • Three meals a day.
  • One-on-one support.
  • Group activities.
  • And more.

Given their overlap, these two senior care options may seem to be the same.

However, assisted living and memory care can have some important differences.

Keep on reading as we explain three important distinctions you should note.

1. Assisted Living and Memory Care Have Differences in Programming

Both assisted living and memory care will provide programming involving activities, social interaction, and life enrichment for your loved one.

However, it’s important to recognize that assisted living programming and memory care programming can differ in their goals.

An assisted living community may focus on maintaining fitness, exploring sights and sounds in the surrounding community, and other experiences.

In contrast, a memory care community tailors programming around the unique needs of dementia.

For instance, the right memory care community will avoid environments that cause confusion and offer activities involving the familiar (e.g., folding laundry).

2. Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities Can Have Different Building Designs

Dementia Home Blue Print

If Mom or Dad suffers from dementia, he or she may experience wandering and confusion.

Many times, an assisted living community won’t accommodate these challenges.

Large open spaces, a big dining area, and other community features suit an active older adult…who doesn’t struggle with significant memory loss.

In contrast, memory care communities can offer a design suited for Mom or Dad’s unique needs.

For instance, at The Grove, we use an ability-based neighborhood approach. Each neighborhood in our communities…

  • Offers a smaller, familiar environment and is designed to hold 14 residents or less.
  • Provides a natural wayfinding system so your loved one can stroll in a natural pattern, instead of wandering up and down a hall.
  • Contains an open kitchen, small dining room, and living area…evoking a homelike environment.

3. Assisted Living and Memory Care Can Differ in Caregiver Training

Another dividing line between assisted living and memory care communities is caregiver training.

A number of memory care communities have team members trained to address the special challenges of dementia.

After all, it doesn’t require much training to help Mom brush her hair. But it does require skill to help Dad deal with sundowning, confusion, or the mood changes that come with Alzheimer’s.

At The Grove, we place a high priority on caregiver training.

Our memory care communities exceed the state requirement, providing five times more training for our caregivers from an NCCDP Certified Dementia Practitioner®.

Whether it’s caregiver training or community design, the reality is, there can be a big gap between assisted living and memory care communities.

If your loved one has dementia, it’s important to choose an environment that truly understands—and meets—your parent’s needs.

Discover a memory care community that does just that at The Grove.

When you explore our community, you’ll see our care in the little details. From the design of our neighborhoods to the family-style meals we provide, life at The Grove is purpose-built around your loved one’s needs.

Schedule a visit to The Grove Toledo, or plan a time to see The Grove Columbus, our newest memory care community…and discover what makes our memory care unique.

Is There a Link between Vitamin D and Dementia? What One Research Study Has to Say

Discovering your loved one has Alzheimer’s or signs of age-related dementia can spark a number of questions. Suddenly, you’re asking yourself… [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/4-key-dementia-symptoms-every-adult-child-should-watch-for-in-a-parent]

     What causes dementia?

     What are the risk factors?

     What prevents memory loss?

As you search for answers, perhaps you’ve stumbled across research on vitamin D and dementia that raises a very important question…

Is there a link between deficiency in vitamin D and dementia?

After all, if there’s a nutritional deficiency that’s impacted Mom or Dad’s life, you want to know about it—and take action.

In this article, we’ll look at vitamin D deficiency, dementia, and the importance of nutrition for your loved one’s health.

Let’s dive in…

A Recent Study on Vitamin D and Dementia

In October 2017, BMC Geriatrics released the results of some important research.  [Link to https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0622-1]

Involving a large number of research participants, this study collected the blood samples of over 500 Swedish nursing home residents.

Of the 545 participants, 55% of the residents had dementia.  

After collecting the blood samples, the study analyzed the vitamin D concentrations in the residents’ serums.

The result?

When discussing their findings, the scholars noted…

     “Vitamin D deficiency was common among nursing home residents and strongly associated with dementia.”

In other words, dementia residents had a statistically higher incidence of vitamin D deficiency than those who didn’t have dementia.

What This Study Means for Your Loved One

It’s important to understand the implications of this research for your loved one.

First things first, this research didn’t prove that having vitamin D deficiency causes dementia. Instead, it demonstrated an association—a link between the two.

However, just because there’s only a link doesn’t mean there isn’t a cause for concern. In fact, there is a possibility that vitamin D deficiency does cause dementia—as identifying a link is the first step to pinpointing a cause-effect relationship.

As the authors of the study pointed out…

     “Vitamin D deficiency was strongly associated with dementia, therefore there is need for future studies to clarify if there is a causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and dementia.”

While we wait for further research to find a stronger tie between deficiency in vitamin D and dementia, here’s the bottom line for your loved one…

Supporting your loved one’s nutrition is essential.

But that’s especially hard when Mom or Dad has memory loss—as you’ll soon see.

Poor Nutrition—A Danger for Dementia Patients  

If your loved one has dementia, vitamin D deficiency isn’t the only danger to avoid.

The reality is, he or she experiences a real risk for poor nutrition. According to the National Council on Aging, a number of factors can cause malnutrition, including…   [Link to https://www.ncoa.org/wp-content/uploads/NCOA-Malnutrition-Infographic-0816_web.pdf]

  • Living alone.
  • A lack of mobility.
  • Dementia.

As the Alzheimer’s Association explains, those with dementia can “become overwhelmed with too many food choices, forget to eat or have difficulty with eating utensils.”  [Link to https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/daily-care/food-eating]

In other words, dementia can place Mom or Dad’s well-being on the line.

If your loved one has dementia, be on the lookout for signs such as…

  • Weight loss.
  • An empty refrigerator.
  • Food that seems untouched.
  • Kitchen appliances that never seem used.

They could indicate that your parent isn’t getting the mealtime support he or she needs.

Carrot's Nutrition

Supporting Your Loved One’s Nutrition

Alzheimer’s and age-related dementias create unique nutritional challenges.

But, at The Grove, we’re doing something about it.  

To begin with, our communities strive to offer one brain-healthy dish for each meal we serve—whether that’s DHA-boosting salmon, vitamin B-filled lentil soup, or another option.  [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/why-the-grove/brain-healthy-menu]

What’s more, each ability-based neighborhood has an open kitchen.

These kitchens allow the aroma of foods to float through the air…triggering your loved one’s senses and supporting Mom or Dad’s desire to eat.

In our addition to our family-style meals, our community offers additional support such as a thoughtfully designed layout, engaging activities, and team members who’ve received dementia training.

You can see the difference we’ll make for Mom or Dad when you explore our community and join us for a complimentary meal.

If you or your loved one is near Toledo, Ohio, plan a time to visit us here.  [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/toledo/schedule-a-visit]

For those of you in Columbus, Ohio, we’ll soon be opening The Grove Columbus. Plan your visit in advance when you go here.   [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/columbus/schedule-a-visit]

 

Foods for Dementia: Finding Memory Care with a Brain-Healthy Cuisine

Making sure Mom is hydrated…ensuring Dad isn’t overwhelmed…helping your spouse deal with sundowning…

When it comes to dementia, providing proper care is more than ensuring your loved one takes a pill. In fact, one important nonpharmacological intervention is proper nutrition…backed by beneficial foods for dementia.

Given the important link between diet and health, it’s important to find a memory care community with cognitively healthy cuisine options for your loved one.

At The Grove, brain-healthy foods are near and dear to our mission. For every meal, our goal is to have one brain-boosting option on menu.

In this article, we’re covering some foods for dementia that we’ve featured in our menu—giving you an idea of what you can expect for Mom or Dad’s mealtime.
Let’s dive in…

#1. Foods for Dementia: Eggs

 

Do some cursory research, and you’ll find eggs are a source of choline for your Mom or Dad.

What’s the connection between choline and brain health?

As one scholarly resource notes…

“choline [seems] to have a role in optimizing brain energy metabolism, containing oxidative stress and inflammation, maintaining deoxyribonucleic acid stability and regulation of gene expression, modulating neurotransmission, and preventing vascular damage.”

That’s a big chunk of information, but here’s the bottom line—choline appears to support healthy brain function.

And since eggs contain this important compound, that makes them a tasty food for dementia.

At The Grove, our breakfast menu has featured an egg sandwich with spinach and tomatoes, and an apple on the side—a great way to start your loved one’s day

#2. Foods for Dementia: Avocados

Research indicates there’s link between lutein and brain health. According to this article, “greater lutein status is positively associated with better cognitive function in older adults.”

If you’re wondering how your loved one can enjoy a natural source of lutein, check out this research. This article states that study participants who ate avocados experienced the following results:

“At six months, AV [avocado] increased serum lutein levels by 25% from baseline (p = 0.001).”

Since avocados join the group of brain-healthy foods for dementia, you might be happy to know that The Grove has featured Shrimp & Avocado Citrus Salad on its menu.

In addition to spicy shrimp and tangy oranges, this dish contains delicious creamy avocado.

#3. Foods for Dementia: Lentils

Scholars writing in the Annals of the New York Academy of the Sciences point out, “The brain represents only 2% of body mass, but it uses 20% of the glucose.”

They also write that while “[t]hiamine‐dependent enzymes are critical components of glucose metabolism,” Alzheimer’s patients have a ⅓ reduction of thiamine in plasma.

See how we’ve incorporated a natural source of thiamine into residents’ diets when you check out this Lentil Soup. Lentils are a known source of thiamine (vitamin B-1), and we’ve served this soup at The Grove…along with warm cornbread.

Going Beyond a Brain-Healthy Cuisine

Finding a memory care community in Ohio that provides foods for dementia is important.

But your loved one’s well-being involves more than what’s on the menu…it also includes the atmosphere during mealtime.

When you visit The Grove, you’ll find we’ve designed mealtime to replicate the feeling of home.

At The Grove, we’ve ditched the big dining room model. Instead, in each neighborhood, we provide a central table for Mom or Dad to gather around. This table is close to an open kitchen that allows tasty aromas to float through the air.

It’s an experience that can bring back pleasant memories and signal to your loved one that it’s time to eat.

Discover a community that backs its brain-healthy cuisine with a homelike eating environment.

Schedule a visit to The Grove Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Or plan to swing by The Grove Columbus—which will open soon in the north Columbus area.

grandparents

5 Benefits of Making the Move to a Memory Care Community

Home health or a memory care community?

If your Mom, Dad, or loved one is struggling with dementia, you might feel torn between the two choices.

On one hand, keeping your loved one at home may be appealing. On the other hand, it’s hard to ignore that voice in your head that says Mom or Dad needs more care.

If you’re unsure whether a memory care community or home health services are best for your loved one, here’s what you need to realize.

Periodic home health visits might have been helpful back when Mom or Dad was only a bit forgetful.

But if you suspect your loved one has progressive dementia symptoms, there’s a good chance your loved one can benefit from the comprehensive services of a memory care community.

Here are 5 reasons why…

1. Built-In Services and Easier Access to Resources

As a general rule, if you’re paying for hourly home health services, don’t count on the worker to see that Mom is lonely…and decide to spend an extra 15 minutes.

You’re paying the home health agency for a block of time—nothing more and nothing less.

If your loved one needs round-the-clock supervision and constant prompts for tasks, a few home health visits a week won’t provide the needed support for ever-changing needs.

In contrast, a memory care community has built-in caregiving services from morning until evening. For instance, at The Grove, our personal care assistants support our residents 24/7 every day of the year. It doesn’t matter if your loved one wants to have a snack at 11 p.m. or a conversation at 5:00 a.m. A caregiver is there to provide the needed support.

What’s more, your loved one has easy access to nursing staff as well.

At a memory care community, there will always be trained caregivers nearby to help, other residents to talk to, and medical assistance if needed.

2. Opportunities for Social Engagement

Socialization is important for loved ones dealing with memory loss.

But the reality is if you opt for periodic home health appointments…your loved one will receive only periodic socialization.

Compare that to a memory care community where there’s constant social interaction and engagement.

Don’t simply take our word on the benefits of socialization. Check out this research—Study on Social Isolation as a Risk Factor in Development of Alzheimer’s Disease in Rats.

In this experiment, researchers studied four groups of rats. Significantly, they designated one group of rats as a socially isolated Alzheimer’s disease (AD) group. For another group of rats, researchers designated these rodents as a socialized Alzheimer’s disease (AD) group.

Here’s just a small sample of what researchers found…

The Alzheimer’s disease rats (which were isolated for a lengthy amount of time) experienced statistically significant signs of cognitive trouble with their IL-1β and TNF-α.

Specifically, IL-1β and TNF-α are associated with brain inflammation, something the researchers linked to Alzheimer’s disease development.

The study found the socially isolated rats “showed significant elevation in brain IL-1β and TNF-α to 105.9% and 109.04% respectively” in contrast to the socialized Alzheimer’s disease (AD) group.

While the socialized group had IL-1β and TNF-α over 100% as well, they didn’t equal the levels of the socially isolated rats.

These findings and others led researchers to conclude…

“[Social isolation] can be identified as a risk factor in AD development. Consequently, socialization is advised especially with AD to avoid severe progression of the disease.”

Bottom line: socialization is something you can’t ignore when it comes to comparing a memory care community against periodic home health services.

3. Less Caregiver Stress—More Quality Family Time

When your loved one has dementia, you’ll find that constant care is increasingly needed.

And—unless you plan on increasing the number of home health visits or requesting expensive live-in care, you’ll probably find yourself more and more involved in caregiving.

However, in one meta-review of scholarly literature, researchers found…

“being a caregiver for people with dementia is associated with psychological stress and physical ill-health.”

This comes as no surprise. Watching your loved one suffer dementia is difficult.

It’s even more difficult to realize you’re spending less quality time as a daughter or son…and more time with the tasks of caregiving.

A memory care community lightens the burden of physically and emotionally demanding tasks. You’ll have more time to eat a meal with Mom, play a game with Dad, or attend to the needs of your other family members.

4. Specially Trained Team Members

When you hire home health to help your parent, you may…or may not…receive a worker who is specifically trained in dementia care.

While you’ll find home health agencies offering dementia support, do your research. According to a New York Times article only written last year, the typical home health worker has “little if any training.”

However, when you choose the right memory care community, such as The Grove, you can gain team members trained in helping seniors with age-related dementias. For example, at The Grove, caregivers must complete 40 hours of onboarding in their first week, including the CARES® online dementia training and the essentiALZ® online certification exam.

5. An Improved Balance of Freedom and Safety

Let’s face it—you need to weigh the benefits of keeping Mom or Dad in a familiar environment against the risks of his or her safety.

Helping your parent stay at home—without 24/7 supervision—is detrimental if Mom has easy access to the stove or Dad can still grab the ladder.

For safety, you may find yourself restricting your parent’s freedom—for instance, locking rooms containing safety hazards.

However, at a memory care community, your loved one can enjoy an environment that’s uniquely suited for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. It’s the right balance of both freedom and safety.

For instance, at The Grove, our neighborhood has eliminated many safety hazards…but still gives your loved one freedom with an open layout environment. We even provide a natural wayfinding system so your loved one can safely wander in a natural pattern…instead of pacing up and down a hall.

Don’t simply assume that home health is your only option…or your best option.

Carefully weigh the benefits of a memory care community, and then make the best decision for your mom, dad, or spouse.

If you’re searching for a community that redefines memory care, check out The Grove’s communities. At The Grove, your loved one will enjoy a freestanding community comprised of neighborhoods that replicate the feeling of home and contain less than 15 residents.

Schedule your tour of The Grove Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Or plan your visit to The Grove Columbus—opening soon in the north Columbus area.

grandfather laughing with family

4 Indicators That It’s Time for Memory Care

When it comes to caring for our loved ones, making care decisions isn’t so simple.

From medications to doctors and transportation to caregiving, there are a lot of options—and knowing what’s right for your parents takes some research and analysis.

When it comes to parents living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, there comes a time when the question, “Is it time for memory care?” becomes far too important to leave unanswered.

Fortunately, there are common indicators that often signal and help family members decide that memory care is the best possible option for their aging parent.

Here are four signs to watch for if your mother or father has received a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis…

1. Unsafe Living Conditions

(Source)

Maybe you’ve noticed water damage in your mother’s bathroom.

Or scorch marks on your father’s dishtowel.

Signs of damage in your parent’s home might be indicators that memory loss has led to her forgetting that she’s running a bath, or him accidentally leaving a burner on.

Situations like these put your parent in danger. Whether it be starting a house fire or slipping on a wet bathroom floor, you don’t want to wait until your parent has an accident to finally decide it’s time for memory care.

Keep an eye open for signs of damage in the home—even spills that haven’t been cleaned up are signs of a decrease in attention.

2. Lapses in Self-Care

Let’s say that your consistently clean-shaven and impeccably dressed father suddenly begins to show up to family dinners looking scraggly and unkempt, with shirts on inside out.

Or you begin to pick up on a strong smell of body odor every time you visit your mother.

Letting go of self-care is a major indicator that your parent requires extra assistance in activities of daily living.

From wearing the same clothes every day to forgetting to shower, these signs shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Memory care communities provide compassionate caregivers that ensure your parents continue to practice self-care—even when their mental abilities begin to decline.

3. Caregiver Burnout

Upon receiving a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis, many families’ initial solution is attempting to provide care to their loved one at home.

Whether it’s you, your sister, your brother, or even your parent’s spouse providing care—oftentimes, caregiving is a bigger and more stressful task than originally imagined.

Not only is it mentally exhausting—but there are also various physical and financial consequences of attempting to provide care to a loved one.

You may realize ultimately that the situation isn’t sustainable—and in the worst of cases, even dangerous.

As Grandparents.com explains, “Dealing with irrational demands and being yelled at is stressful for family caregivers, while memory care professionals have the training and patience for handling these situations.”

Avoid caregiver burnout altogether—there are various exemplary memory care communities that enable families to spend quality time with each other without the stressful aspects of caregiving.

4. Falls and Other Accidents

caution sign stairs

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This point isn’t to be taken lightly. According to the National Council on Aging, “falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.”

People who have memory loss can often become confused and wander.
Additionally, they can become frustrated and even physically violent very easily. All of these situations increase the risk of falls.

That said, this is a risk factor that extends beyond dementia and Alzheimer’s. One’s physical ability naturally begins to decline with age—and it’s not worth waiting for an accident to occur before making the move to memory care.

Preserve your loved one’s quality of life, and take proactive steps to explore memory care options that will help him or her.

At The Grove at Oakleaf Village, we provide families and their loved ones with a greater sense of safety and elevated quality of life.

Visit our communities in person—schedule a tour at our Toledo community, or plan a visit to our Columbus community (opening soon) in advance.

elderly ladies eating dinner helped by caregiver

Why an Ability-Based Neighborhood Is an Ideal Model for Memory Care

From floorplans to daily activities and philosophies of care to dining options, there are a wide range of elements you will analyze when vetting memory care communities.

What’s important is to find the right fit for your mother or father’s specific needs, lifestyle, and personality.

At The Grove at Oakleaf Village, we create a supportive and loving environment that will honor every resident’s life story.

For example, based on our knowledge of dementia environments, we’ve developed a design consisting of smaller and more intimate settings to best support each resident.

We call these “ability-based neighborhoods.”

In this post, we explain what this innovative environment model of care is and why it’s ideal for individuals living with dementia.

What Is an Ability-Based Memory Care Neighborhood?

Ability-based memory care neighborhoods are vibrant communities made of 10-12 residents.

With the kitchen and dining room at the center, they create a meaningful communal space for residents to build relationships, eat healthy food, and enjoy what the community has to offer.

Dining room

At The Grove at Oakleaf Village, we offer four neighborhoods tailored to residents who are at a similar level of need and ability.

Utilizing our daily rhythms concept, caregivers in these neighborhoods facilitate natural day-to-day happenings, whether they be coffee hours, meals, or other opportunities for socialization and relationship building.

Why Are Ability-Based Neighborhoods Ideal for People with Dementia?

These neighborhoods foster and cultivate relationship-based care in a more optimal way than the generic memory care model you’ll find at other communities.

For example…

  • The neighborhoods have a natural wayfinding system. Instead of residents pacing the hall of a memory care wing, these neighborhoods allow residents to stroll in a natural and circular fashion.
  • The small neighborhood size allows for closer relationships and less confusion and disorientation.
  • The neighborhoods have a homelike environment. Unlike dining halls in many other memory care communities, these neighborhoods have smaller dining rooms where everyone can gather around a table and see what’s cooking in the kitchen.

With each neighborhood’s warm, homey environment and intimate nature, residents are able to connect with each other as well as the caregivers that provide assistance.

 

In addition to web-based training, our caregivers participates in classroom-style training led by a Certified Dementia practitioner.

Our team also works with residents and their families to create two guides that inform the team’s delivery of care…

  • My Ideal Day: This guide covers a resident’s preferences, quick facts, and conversation starters. It’s displayed in the resident’s room and allows team members to seamlessly engage in meaningful interactions with him or her on a daily basis.
  • My Life Story: This guide includes a more comprehensive history that will support improved personalized reminiscing and conversation that honors a resident’s life story.

With their training and intimate knowledge of the resident’s story, our caregivers are able to manage difficult scenarios that are common with people living with dementia and soothe residents in a personalized way.

That said, the physical layout and thoughtful memory care program of our neighborhoods create an environment that focuses on Mom or Dad’s abilities…not disabilities.

Curious to see ability-based neighborhoods?

Schedule a visit to our Toledo community. Or plan a visit to our Columbus community which will soon open its doors.

4 Key Dementia Symptoms Every Adult Child Should Watch For in a Parent

As we age, it’s only natural that our mental abilities begin to change. We may…

Forget where we’ve misplaced our glasses.

Double-book appointments.

Have trouble recalling a neighbor’s name.

With a lifetime full of memories that span several decades, it’s no wonder that our minds eventually lose their sharpness.

However, at what point are these occurrences part of a bigger, more serious picture?

The older we get, the more important it is to be aware of dementia symptoms.

If you’re the son or daughter of an aging parent, it’s advisable to study up on these symptoms in order to watch for and identify them.

The sooner a diagnosis is provided, the sooner you can make plans for the care your parent will require.

Here are four common dementia symptoms to watch for…

#1: Difficulty finding the right words

Perhaps your mother was once a writer or English teacher and has always had a way with words.

One day you realize that she’s experiencing difficulty choosing or recalling the right word to adequately express a thought.

If you notice that having a conversation with your loved one has become increasingly difficult, it could be a sign that dementia has affected her ability to communicate.

Pay attention to changes in linguistic ability, and schedule an appointment with a doctor sooner rather than later.

#2: Mood changes

Imagine the following scenario.

Your father has always been on the quieter and shyer side.

You know he’d rather play chess online than attend the local neighborhood chess club.

However, you notice that he’s recently become animated, talkative, and outgoing.

You may think this shift in personality is odd, but rationalize that his newfound confidence and extroverted nature could only be a good thing.

Of course, it’s never too late to come out of one’s shell, but oftentimes, a rapid change can be cause for concern.

Changes in mood are common with dementia–and making the transition from shy to outgoing is one of the more common indicators as dementia brings about a diminished sense of judgment.

Additionally, depression is also a common early symptom of dementia.

Therefore, if you notice these personality changes in your parent, it may mean a visit to the doctor is in order.

#3: Difficulty accomplishing normal tasks

From remembering what order to put on clothes to recalling how to operate a stove, there are certain daily tasks that we rarely have to think twice about.

However, people living with dementia often experience difficulty completing everyday tasks that once came easy to them.

Specifically, the difficulty lies in remembering the sequence and order of steps involved in these tasks.

Even before your mother or father begins to struggle with simple tasks, you may notice that he or she experiences difficulty completing more advanced tasks, such as balancing a checkbook or learning to follow new routines.

#4: A diminished sense of direction

Let’s say that your father fails to recognize the building for the doctor’s office he’s visited regularly for over 30 years.

Or your mother forgets the route she’s always walked to visit her best friend who lives only a few blocks away.

As Healthline describes, with the onset of dementia, one’s sense of direction and spatial orientation begins to deteriorate.

Recognizing these symptoms and others is important in order to get a diagnosis and subsequent appropriate care for your mother or father.

When it comes to selecting appropriate care, many families find that making the move to a memory care community sooner rather than later improves the quality of life and safety for their loved one.

When it comes to memory care, The Grove at Oakleaf Village is in a league of our own.

Discover the difference today–contact us to schedule a tour of our Toledo community…or explore our Columbus location opening in the summer of 2018.

Discover what we can provide for your loved one living with dementia today!

Caring for a Loved One Living with Dementia

According to the World Health Organization, a new case of dementia is diagnosed every three seconds, and the number of people living with dementia is expected to increase to 82 million in 2030.

These numbers are staggering, and it’s important to understand what this means on a practical level.

As the number continues to rise, more and more families will strive to provide at-home care for their loved one.

According to Caregiver.org, at the moment “about 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.”

Providing assistance to an adult parent with dementia may initially feel like the best option.

However, what many families don’t realize until they’ve gone through the process is that being a caregiver for a loved one living with dementia can cause high strain and stress.

In this post, we’re providing an overview of the common physical, emotional, and economic pressures that caregivers of loved ones with dementia typically experience.

Knowing these facts up front will save you and your family a lot of time and stress–read on to learn more…

Emotional ImpactWorried woman with her head in her hands

Providing care to a loved one with a declining mental and physical state isn’t easy and requires a lot of patience and even training.

Because of this, one of the more obvious results of providing care to a loved one living with dementia is the emotional and mental impact on the caregiver.

Family members that assume the role of an informal caregiver experience higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress than their non-caregiving peers.

Often, these caregiving family members report feeling frustrated, angry, drained, guilty, or helpless as a result of providing care for their loved one.

On the other hand, memory care communities provide skilled caregiving professionals to assist loved ones with dementia–ensuring that family members can spend better quality (and less stressful) time with their loved one.

Physical Impact

Aside from the emotional toll caregiving takes on family members, there are a range of physical side effects to fulfilling these roles.

The risk of poor physical health is possible for caregivers due to the physical strain of providing assistance to someone who can no longer perform tasks such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, and grooming.

In fact, studies have shown that the major factor in a caregiver’s decision to place an impaired relative in a long-term care facility is the family caregiver’s own physical health.

According to Caregiver.org, “caregivers suffer from increased rates of physical ailments (including acid reflux, headaches, and pain/aching), increased tendency to develop serious illness, and have high levels of obesity and bodily pain.”

Economic Impact

Quite literally, caregiving comes at a price.

In a study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute, it was found that “36 percent of the caregivers of adults older than the age of 50 reported moderate to high levels of financial strain.”

First of all, caregivers often need to quit or cut back on their job situation.

According to a report from the Alzheimer’s Association, 57% of dementia caregivers who are employed full- or part-time said they had to go in late, leave early, or take time off because of their caregiving responsibilities.

Additionally, other costs of care, travel to appointments, and payment for services, can add up over time.

The emotional, physical, and economic impact associated with informal caregiving provided by family members of individuals living with dementia is not to be taken lightly.

Many families eventually find that a memory care community is a superior option that relieves caregiver stress and enables families to focus on spending better quality time with their loved one living with dementia.

The Grove at Oakleaf Village is an exceptional memory care community that provides families and their loved ones with peace of mind.

We invite you to stop by and see our communities in person–schedule a tour at our Toledo community or plan a visit to our Columbus community (opening soon) in advance.