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Get a Glimpse into Memory Assisted Living with Respite Care

Caring for a loved one with a memory disorder can be an exhausting task, often taking a significant toll on the caregiver and their family. Respite care offered throughout Texas by The Cottages memory care assisted living facilities serves as a much needed short-term break for caregivers. These short-term respite stays also allow loved ones living with memory loss or dementia to take a “test run” of assisted living a to see if the assisted living setting is a viable solution for their living needs. The process of choosing a long-term living situation for a loved one can often be confusing and complicated. The Cottages residential care respite options provide solutions for the needs of families facing these difficult decisions for any desired length of time. What is Included During a Respite Care Stay?  Independent Lifestyle — The same services are available to respite residents at The Cottages assisted living as all permanent residents. Residents are grouped into smaller communities of eight to 12 apartments, complete with dining, kitchen and living areas. Caring and compassionate staff are available to assist residents 24 hours a day. This unique preview stay of living arrangement is ideal for those who desire to be as independent as possible but need some security and assistance with daily living activities. Memory Care Activities — A wide variety of memory specific activities, including music, arts and crafts, games and other specialized interest activities are provided to all residents at The Cottages. These activities are purposefully for those living with memory disorders. Beautiful Setting for Specialized Care  In addition to family-style, independent living arrangements, The Cottages provide...

Like Fine Wine: A Guide to Senior Health and Wellness

Aging is a process nobody likes to talk about. However, we all experience it. We age every day without realizing it. While at times this can be scary and intimidating, there are things we can do to help our bodies age a bit more gracefully. People fear memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, and the thought of eventually residing in an Alzheimer’s assisted living facility may cause worry and anxiety. While health is no guarantee, there are steps you can take to help keep your body healthy and well throughout your whole life. Exercise your brain. Keeping your brain engaged and stimulated even before you get to middle-age can significantly improve your memory for the future. It is a fact that your memory loses power as you get older, but most people do not experience significant memory loss. Activities like reading frequently can keep your functioning at its best. For those who do require assisted living, memory care facilities in Austin, such as The Cottages, provide many stimulating activities that promote mental wellbeing. Find fulfillment. Find activities to do that will keep yourself happy throughout your lifetime. Doing so can help maintain a strong foundation for the future. People are more motivated to take care of themselves when they feel fulfilled. If there’s a hobby you’ve been meaning to get back to, pick it up again immediately! There’s no better time than now. Maintain a healthy diet. In this day and age, there are many options for healthy diets. This means something different for everybody, but generally keeping balanced dietary habits is a good idea. Having hearty fruits...

5 Activities to Help Keep Your Loved One Living with Dementia Busy

Spending time with your loved one living with memory disorders is incredibly important. You want to keep the relationship that you’ve shared all your life, but you also want to be sensitive to your loved one’s changing health condition. When you visit your loved one at an assisted living facility for dementia, the following activities can keep you both entertained and happy during your visit. Read to them. Does your loved one enjoy reading or have any favorite books? Reading familiar books to them can keep them stimulated through content they know and enjoy. Cook together. While this may be limited due to your loved one’s situation, cooking brings people together and can be a fun activity when done correctly. Make sure all safety measures are in place first. Enjoying the end product together is the best part of the process and can create a bonding moment as well. Reminisce on old times. Bring family photos or home movies with you when you visit to share with your loved one and look back on all the fun times you’ve had together. Often, recent memory is the first to be affected by dementia. As such, reminiscing can be comforting to your loved one to look back on moments they are able to remember well. Get crafty. Simple art projects and crafting DIY masterpieces can be a stimulating activity that you can both enjoy. If your loved one is creative, this activity can be especially enjoyable! Just be sure to remember to keep things simple regarding tools and materials. Try to use minimalistic patterns that aren’t too loud. Get some fresh...

When Should Your Loved One Transition to Memory Care?

  Caring for a loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can be very hard. Your loved one may have lost some communication skills, and diseases that cause dementia come with complex and subtle changes in behavior and function. Taking a proactive approach to your loved one’s future care needs is crucial. Here are some common signs that may indicate your loved one is no longer safe living alone. Forgetting about food cooking on the stove or in the oven Neglecting hygiene and/or personal care Unintentional weight loss Paranoia or hallucinations Difficulty carrying on a conversation Struggling with paying bills and managing finances Getting lost in familiar surroundings While having your loved one move in with a family member can be a positive temporary arrangement, as memory loss progresses, finding a memory care community may be the best option for your loved one’s future. Doing your research in advance ensures a smooth transition when your loved one is ready. When it’s time to consider a memory care facility, there are a number of factors to look at. While every community varies in structure and support, there are some vital components to consider. Here are the top tips to help you evaluate prospective memory care communities for your loved one. Staffing: A staff that is experienced and a low turnover rate are both good signs. Asking how many staff changes there are and how much additional regular training staff receive are indicative of the community’s standards of care. Environment: Because loved ones with memory loss may wander and get lost, even in familiar surroundings, it’s important that your loved one’s...

How to Help Adults Affected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s Eat a Healthy Diet

Mealtime can be a challenge for individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Researchers and staff of assisted living facilities have developed tips to help those living with dementia cope with the unique obstacles these diseases present. Common struggles associated with mealtime for individuals suffering from memory loss: Oral health: weight changes and/or gum disease can cause dentures to fit poorly over For an aging loved one, it can be hard to determine these underlying oral health issues if they have limited verbal communication skills. Coordination problems: Many adults living with Alzheimer’s experience struggles with hand-eye coordination. Modified silverware and food that is easier to eat can help a loved one avoid low self-esteem and preserve their dignity. Decreased appetite: Some loved ones living with memory loss may no longer recognize their body’s signals for hunger or thirst. Some medications may also cause a loss of appetite. Finding different ways to stimulate appetite can make mealtime more appealing. Attention span: People who are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s often have trouble focusing for long periods of time. Sitting down and eating can be challenging. If they are agitated or anxious, it can exacerbate the issue. If you have a loved one living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who struggles at mealtime, here are a few tips to help: Use bright place settings: Bright, solid colored plates and settings can be helpful. One study from Boston University’s Red Plate Society found that adults living with Alzheimer’s ate 25 percent more food when served on red plates as opposed to white. Individual food groups: Serving each meal by food group, beginning with...

5 Common Myths About Your Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia

  As we age, it’s normal to consider our risk of developing certain health conditions, including Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you have loved ones with dementia, you might be worried about your own risk of developing memory loss or dementia. Information and misinformation is plentiful when it comes to Alzheimer’s risk and dementia. Here are five common myths about your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and facts to dispel those myths. Myth: If I live long enough, I will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Fact: Yes, there are more cases of dementia today because the average life span has increased, and risk increases with age, but not all adults will develop Alzheimer’s or dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three senior adults dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The World Health Organization estimates that just five to eight percent of the general population over age 60 is living with dementia. Nearly 14 percent of the population over age 71 has some form of dementia. Myth: I will develop Alzheimer’s disease because it runs in my family. Fact: Risk of dementia does run in families, but genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia isn’t a guarantee that you will develop dementia. People with a genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease can lower their risk by making brain-healthy lifestyle choices. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity, a healthy diet and keeping your brain active through lifelong learning may help reduce the risk of dementia as you age. Myth: Brain games are the only way to protect against dementia. Fact: Specially designed “brain games”...