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Senior Citizens and Holiday Etiquette 101: Tips to Keep Your Aging Loved Ones Comfortable at Your Next Holiday Gathering

The holidays are a time of celebration we all look forward to spending with friends and family. This time of year is for making memories and cherishing time spent with those you love. As you prep your menu, deck the halls, and plan activities for your holiday gathering, be sure to put special consideration into how to keep your aging loved ones comfortable. Here are some helpful holiday etiquette tips from Aging Care Solutions. Don’t take offense. Sensory deficits — such as loss of taste buds — are common for older adults. Don’t take offense to commentary such as “it doesn’t taste like it used to,” from the senior citizens at your table. Older adults may lose up to half of their taste buds, so foods they once loved may not taste as they remember. Keep salt, pepper and extra condiments on the table so your older guests can add spices to their food as needed. Consider noise levels. Hearing loss is also common among aging adults. The more people and background noise at your holiday gathering, the more difficult it will be for older adults to hear conversations. Turn off the holiday music, place children at a table in the next room and consider using paper plates and plastic utensils to cut down clinking and clatter. Seating older adults with their backs against a wall can also help to maximize the sounds of conversation. Keep an eye on the temperature. Maintaining an ideal body temperature can be difficult for senior adults. Keep a sweater or shawl handy, or an afghan folded on the sofa so your guests can...

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...