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The Cottages Blog

Valuable Information for Caregivers and Loved Ones

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Raise Awareness and Help End Alzheimer’s on The Longest Day

  June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and each year on the longest day of the year — the summer solstice on June 21 — the Alzheimer’s Association promotes The Longest Day events around the nation and across the globe. The Longest Day is all about love for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and raising funds and awareness to help end Alzheimer’s. Did you know that more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today? By the year 2050, this number could rise as high as 16 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Together, with the Alzheimer’s Association, you can help raise awareness for care and support while advancing research toward finding a cure. Why June 21? The duration of the sunrise-to-sunset event on the longest day of the year symbolizes the challenging journey faced by those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Teams are encouraged to turn their passions and hobbies into unique experiences they can share with others as they participate in The Longest Day to honor those living with the disease. Here’s how you can participate: Select an activity you love. Do something you love — or honor a caregiver, someone living with Alzheimer’s, or someone you’ve lost by selecting his or her favorite hobby. Pick a way to participate. Start or join a team, host an event, or register as an individual. Choose the way that works best for you! Learn more here. Raise money to move the cause forward. To advance research and provide care and support, each participant is... read more

Better Understanding for Better Care: How TULIPS Training Helps Our Staff Provide the Best Care to Residents with Parkinson’s Disease

At The Cottages, we strive to provide the very best care to our residents. To that end, education and training for our staff is essential. When we opened our new building in Round Rock in 2011, we began the TULIPS Parkinson’s certification training for our staff. The TULIPS certification — Time, Understanding, Live Quality, Increased Awareness, Pills on Time and Support — assures our families that our staff have a better understanding of Parkinson’s Disease, and are able to provide the best care for their loved ones. Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic, progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Second to Alzheimer’s, it is the most common neurodegenerative disease in America. Most Americans living with Parkinson’s are 60-years-old or older and risk increases with age, though early onset of the disease (40 years or younger) occurs in five to 10 percent of Parkinson’s patients. Parkinson’s is also related to dementia in that, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 50 to 80 percent of those with Parkinson’s Disease eventually experience dementia as their disease progresses. The average time from onset of Parkinson’s to the development of dementia is about 10 years. Symptoms of dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease include: Changes in memory, concentration and judgment Difficulty interpreting visual information Muffled speech Depression Irritability and anxiety Sleep disturbances Hallucinations and delusions Each year, The Cottages works with a home health agency to provide TULIPS training to staff who have not already received their certification. It is a one-hour inservice for staff and includes a test upon completion. The training covers basic knowledge of the disease, including risk factors and... read more

6 Tips for Heart-Healthy Living for Seniors

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and the older we get, the higher our risk. February is American Heart Month, a month set aside to focus on heart health awareness and how to live a heart-healthy life, no matter your age. Science also points to a strong connection between heart health and brain health. If your heart isn’t pumping well, the cells in the brain will struggle to get the food and oxygen they need, which can impact cognitive function. Taking steps to live heart-healthy can truly impact every aspect of your life. Here are 6 tips to live heart healthy at any age: Know your risk. A number of factors may increase your risk for developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack or stroke. Age, gender and family history are a few factors we have no control over. Other risk factors, such as weight, tobacco use, physical activity and diet/nutrition are within our control. Know your numbers. Cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels are all numbers that impact your heart health. Knowing your numbers can help you stay on track toward your healthy living goals. Here are some target numbers from the American Heart Association: Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL HDL (good) cholesterol 50 mg/dL or higher LDL (bad) cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL Triglycerides 150 mg/dL Blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg Body Mass Index less than 25 kg/m2 Waist circumference less than 35 in. Exercise daily. Keeping your body moving is essential, but as we age, getting in regular exercise can... read more