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How to Manage the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease comes with a range of symptoms that can be difficult to come to terms with, both for the patient and the people in his or her life. As it is a degenerative disease, these symptoms will change and worsen over time. To improve quality of life, for both patients and carers, it helps to know some strategies for managing the symptoms better and slowing down the progression of the disease.

Finding the right medications

While there is no way to cure Alzheimer’s disease, some medications have been found effective at relieving the symptoms and slowing down their progression. If you haven’t already been prescribed medication for your condition, then talk to your doctor for their recommendations.

If you are on a course of medication, make sure you always take the recommended dose at the right times. Taking too much or too little can be harmful. Carers should support Alzheimer’s patients with medication management if needed, as the progression of its symptoms can make sticking to this schedule difficult.

Helping them manage their symptoms

There are lots of ways you can support an Alzheimer’s patient outside of medication. Here are some ways you can support them when managing their symptoms:

  • Maintain a routine – Even simple, day-to-day activity can be overwhelming for Alzheimer’s patients, so it helps to make it as familiar as possible to them by maintaining a consistent routine. Reducing novel experiences can help to manage memory problems, for example, by knowing that they have breakfast at 8am every day and then take their medication and go for a walk.
  • Keep the environment familiar – This familiarity should apply to their surroundings as well. Symptoms are more likely to flare up in environments that they are unfamiliar with and, therefore, uncomfortable in. Avoid making changes to their living space so that they can come back to something familiar. Sounds and sensations can also trigger confusion and agitation. Make sure their surroundings aren’t too loud, too hot, or too cold.
  • Encourage social activity – Socialization helps to keep the brain active and also prevents symptoms of loneliness and depression. Encouraging them to socialize with peers or family members can help to keep them in good health. If this is difficult for them, then sitting to talk to them or play a game with them can help, too.
  • Distracting them – When someone with Alzheimer’s does start to get confused or agitated, it helps to know how to distract them from this confusion. Don’t try to argue with them or correct them when they are confused or misremembering things. Instead, change the subject to something they are interested in or distract them with an engaging activity.

If you need help caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, then contact Bermuda Village for more information about our assisted living community and other care options in the Bermuda Run Country Club. We have residents from all around Winston Salem, Bermuda Run, Clemmons, and Lewisville.

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Trip and Fall Prevention Tips

In our senior years, trips and falls are all the more common because we tend to lose core strength and balance. At the same time, falls among seniors are also more dangerous since our bones also get weaker as we age. So, trips and falls are more likely to lead to broken bones. For these reasons, it is so important to know how to prevent trips and falls among seniors, and to know how to respond in the event of an accident.

Check your eyesight and hearing

Our senses tend to deteriorate as we get older, leading to more problems with eyesight and hearing. Obviously, you’re more likely to trip over something if you can’t properly see where you’re going. Plus, poor hearing can affect your balance, making falls more likely. Make sure to regularly get your eyesight and hearing tested and treated as needed.

Reduce clutter

Trips are also more likely if there are things lying around the floor to trip over, or furniture sticking out awkwardly. Make sure to keep your home tidy and free of clutter to help prevent trips and falls. If mobility problems make it difficult to keep up with household chores, then consider asking a friend or family member to help out, or hire in-home care or cleaning services.

Install grab rails

Grab rails installed around the home will help you steady yourself and regain your balance, making slips and falls less likely. Grab rails are especially useful in the bathroom where there may be slippery surfaces. These rails can help you get into and out of the bath/shower safely and make sitting down and getting up off the toilet easier.

Make floors non-slip

Another way to reduce the risk of slippery surfaces is to install flooring that is non-slip, or adding grippy finishes to existing flooring. Floors in the kitchen and especially the bathroom can get wet, making it more difficult to grip on them. Here are some tips for making tiled floors non-slippery.

Keep fit

A big reason behind slips, trips, and falls among seniors is the loss of muscle and bone strength. By staying active and keeping fit as you age, the risk of falling becomes much less. Core strength is especially important for balance. Yoga is a good example of an exercise that is low-impact but really good for your core strength. Even walking a small amount every day can help to maintain your muscle mass and bone density.

If you are worried about the safety and wellbeing of a senior relative who’s living alone, then contact Bermuda Village to find out more about the different care services available, including our independent living and assisted living communities in Bermuda Run Country Club.

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Is Domiciliary Care Right for You?

As we age and our needs change, there are various levels of care for us to choose between. You could move into assisted living or independent living, you might require memory care or rehabilitative care, and you could opt for domiciliary care. Read on to find out more about domiciliary care and whether or not it is right for you.

What is domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care refers to care that takes place in your own home. At-home care plans can be tailored to the needs of the individual. It can range from a short visit once a week to help with chores to around-the-clock care provided by regular visits and even overnight stays.

Domiciliary care can include help around the house with cleaning, cooking, buying groceries, etc. It can also include personal care such as help with medication management and bathing, among other things.

The benefits of in-home care

One of the biggest benefits of in-home care is that you get to continue living in your own home, which is a priority for some seniors. Seniors often have to move into a retirement community or independent living because their house becomes too much to manage on their own or they’re no longer able to care for themselves. Visits from a domiciliary carer help seniors overcome this problem.

Another advantage for seniors who live at home is that their care worker provides them with some companionship whenever they visit. As well as their other duties, an in-home carer can sit with the senior and talk, listen to music, or play games with them, for example.

Domiciliary care can also be a good option for seniors who still live with their partner or have moved back in with their adult children. Whoever they’re living with may not be able to provide them with all the care they need, so visits from a professional care worker can help everyone manage their lives and needs better.

But domiciliary care isn’t suited to everyone. If a senior needs around-the-clock care and regular medical attention, then being in a specialized assisted living community may be a better option. This also goes for anyone with specialist needs like memory care for conditions like Alzheimer’s.

The cost of in-home care vs senior living should also be taken into consideration. Costs of domiciliary care will vary depending on the frequency and the nature of your home visits, so talk to potential providers to find out how much it could be for you.

If you’re interested in independent living or assisted living around Clemmons, Winston Salem, and Bermuda Run, then contact Bermuda Village to find out more about our services.

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Nutrition Tips for Seniors

Maintaining a balanced diet of healthy foods and the foods you love should be a lifelong resolution. But, as we age, our body’s needs start to change. Your metabolism slows down, your appetite may be reduced, and the levels of stomach acid can also reduce, inhibiting digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

But, still, seniors need just as many vitamins and minerals from the food they eat as anyone else. To help you or your loved one eat right through their senior years, here are some essential nutrition tips to follow.

Eat and drink regularly

This one might sound obvious but, as we get older, the signals of thirst and hunger that we usually feel become weaker. This is why it’s important to drink water regularly throughout the day even if you don’t feel thirsty, and to ensure you’re eating enough, too. Planning your meals for the day or week ahead will ensure you stick to a balanced eating regime and get all the energy and nutrients you need.

Eat lots of fresh fruit and veg

Since your metabolism slows down as you age and you may also be less physically active, you need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. This means you need to eat less. But, at the same time, you still need to pack lots of essential vitamins and minerals into your diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important part of this. They provide you with lots of important nutrients while remaining low in calories.

Look after your bones

We naturally lose bone density as we age, which can lead to problems like osteoporosis. Calcium is essential to maintaining bone strength, and vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium in your diet. So, these are two nutrients that you can’t ignore. Include plenty of dairy products in your diet or other non-dairy sources of calcium. As well as the sun being a source of vitamin D, there are lots of healthy foods with vitamin D to include in your diet.

Increase fiber intake

Our bodies become less effective at digesting food as we age. Eating lots of dietary fiber helps with your digestion and lowers the risks for a number of health conditions, including stroke and heart disease.

Healthy sources of nutrients

We don’t recommend cutting out a food group (like carbs) entirely. Instead look for healthy sources of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Avoid processed foods, choose whole grains for a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, include more non-meat sources of protein, and healthy fats from nuts, fatty fish, eggs, and other sources.

If you continue to eat right in your senior years and adapt your diet to your changing needs, you’ll benefit from a boosted immune system, higher energy levels, better mental acuity, greater bone strength, and much more.

For more senior health advice or support with caring for a senior loved one, contact Bermuda Village, providers of independent living and assisted living in Advance, NC.

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Winter Health Tips for Seniors

With cold weather, icy ground, and an increase in cold and flu infections, seniors in particular are at greater risk during the winter season. If you’re caring for a senior loved one or are looking for advice on looking after your own wellbeing, then here are some easy-to-follow health tips for seniors this winter.

Get your flu shot

Since influenza is more commonly contracted in cold weather, it’s important now more than ever to make sure you’re up to date with your flu shots. While the flu is often harmless, complications arising from it are much more common among seniors. It can lead to dehydration, pneumonia, and other dangerous conditions.

Dress for the weather

When you go outside in the cold, especially in the snow and frost, it’s important to dress appropriately. This means lots of layers and winter clothing to keep you warm and reduce exposure of your skin to the cold air. These measures prevent the risk of hypothermia and frostbite in freezing temperatures.

It also means suitable footwear that will help you maintain your grip on slippery surfaces. Falls on ice can lead to fractures, head trauma, and other injuries. If you’re worried about the risk of falling, then avoid walking outside until the paths are clear, or use a cane or other walking aid if you must go outside.

Your mental health

The cold and darkness in the winter can get people down, even leading to the condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Combat these effects by staying active, social, getting out in the fresh air and sunlight when possible, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Prepare for storms

If your area is prone to winter storms, then you should also prepare for the chances of power outages in your home. Some essentials to keep are non-perishable foods, bottled water, flashlights, and blankets. Make sure to wrap up warm in your home if the power goes out and you have no alternative heat source.

Be careful on the roads

Driving in bad conditions can be dangerous for anyone, but accidents occur more frequently among the senior population. Make sure your car is prepared for winter by having it serviced and fitting the proper tires. If possible, avoid driving if the roads are icy or in snowstorms.

If you need help caring for a senior loved one this winter, or are looking for alternative senior living options, then contact Bermuda Village for independent living and care in Advance, NC.

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Adapting Your Home for Senior Living

Our needs start to change as we age. For some people, this may require a change in scenery, especially if mobility issues prevent them from getting around their home. Seniors can particularly struggle when returning home after an illness or injury and the resulting stay in hospital. If they choose to continue their rehabilitation process at home rather than in a rehabilitative care facility, then you may need to adapt your home to meet their new needs.

Here are a few ways to adapt a home for senior living…

Grab rails

Grab rails situated around the home can help seniors move about freely while also preventing falls. They are commonly placed in the shower or bath to prevent slips, and next to the toilet to help seniors sit down and get up more easily. Grab rails can also help people in wheelchairs get around independently.

Stairlift

A single-story home is much easier for seniors to navigate, but if moving house isn’t an option, then you may need to install a stairlift so that they can get up and downstairs more easily.

Accessible bathing

Climbing in and out of a bath can be another challenge for seniors with low mobility. Walk-in showers or wet rooms are highly accessible as it continues on the same level as the bathroom floor. You can also place a seat inside the shower so you don’t have to stand up on it. You can also install a walk-in bath, which requires a much smaller step up to get into.

Remote technology

Remote controls for TVs were game changers at the time, but now you can control pretty much anything from where you’re sitting. This can be helpful for seniors with low mobility. If they get up in the night, switching lights on from a single device is safer than walking around in the dark to reach a light switch. An entry camera and smart doorbell can also let them speak to visitors at the door without getting up.

Here are some other smart devices that can help with senior living.

Non-slip flooring

Trips and falls are a common problem among seniors. A fall can be life-threatening, especially for seniors who live alone. Non-slip flooring with plenty of traction can help to prevent this. This type of flooring is particularly important in the bathroom and shower cubicle where floors get wet slippery.

Adapting their home could help seniors retain their independence for longer. But, if their needs escalate beyond this, then independent and assisted living at Bermuda Village is the next best option. Get in touch to find out more.

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Working Past Retirement Age

The current retirement age in the US is currently around 65-67, depending on when you were born, and is likely to slowly increase in the future. Still, some people are working past this age. According to Business Insider, around one-fifth of Americans are working past retirement age. Let’s look at some of the reasons for this and whether or not it’s a positive thing.

Why do some people work past retirement age?

It’s easy to make the assumption that people work past retirement age because they can’t afford to retire. But this, in most cases, is not true. Some Americans are choosing to retire later because they still feel completely able to continue working into their late 60s. This is a logical consequence of longer life expectancy and improved health as we age.

As well as being able to work, some people prefer to continue to work, finding it fulfilling and stimulating, especially if they enjoy their job. There are even cases of people going back to work after retiring because they find themselves getting bored. It makes sense that seniors in active and physically demanding jobs would retire earlier than those in more sedentary positions.

Past retirement age, some seniors may choose to reduce their hours, if their company allows it, or to take on a different job that’s less demanding and with fewer hours.

The pros and cons of working past retirement age

Is it good for us to continue working past retirement age? There are certainly benefits to our mental and physical health. Working in a mentally stimulating job keeps your brain active, which can make a difference when preventing degenerative conditions like dementia. Most jobs also provide a social atmosphere, with colleagues, customers, or both. As we age, it can be more difficult to make and maintain friendships, so staying in work for longer can help us stay social, which helps fight loneliness and depression.

There can be downsides of working past retirement age, though, especially if you are forced into this situation for financial reasons rather than choosing to stay in work. Staying in a job you are not engaged with can be stressful and can negatively impact your mood. Plus, if you’re in a physically demanding job, then this can put an increasing strain on your body as you age.

It’s all about deciding what is right for you, both personally and financially. For more advice on senior living and lifestyle, get in touch with Bermuda Village if you have any questions.

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The Best Hobbies for Seniors

You might think that your youth is the best time to pursue new things, but with work and formal education out of the way, retirement proves for many to be the perfect time for their hobbies. Whether you’re continuing a lifelong passion or looking for something new to try, here are some great hobbies to keep seniors mentally and physically active.

Making music

It’s never too late to learn something new. If you’re looking for a new hobby during retirement, why not pick up an instrument you’ve always wanted to learn how to play? Or perhaps you played an instrument when you were younger and want to start again. You might be surprised by how quickly it comes back to you.

Board games

Bridge is usually the game associated with seniors, but there is a huge variety to choose from other than this. Not only a huge number of card games, but also board games that are becoming increasingly popular, with board game cafés popping up all over. From casual, light-hearted games to more in-depth strategic games, they are great for engaging the brain and having fun with friends and family members.

Video games

And don’t rule out video games. There has been a huge rise in recent years of older adults playing games on consoles, PC, and mobile. The best example of this is Shirley Curry, aka the Skyrim Grandma, who has her own YouTube channel with more than 750 thousand subscribers! She posts videos of herself playing the game and has gained such a huge following that she’s even going to appear in the upcoming game in The Elder Scrolls series that she enjoys.

Arts and crafts

If you’d rather create something out of your hobby, there are lots of different arts and crafts to try out in your senior years. Drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, model making, photography, jewelry making, woodwork, and so many more. There’s sure to be something that takes your interest. Creative activities have even been found to help dementia patients and may even make dementia less likely to occur in healthy adults.

Golfing

It might be a cliché, but golfing among seniors is hugely popular for lots of reasons. It’s a great way to get out in the fresh air and stretch the legs while also playing a fun and challenging sport. It’s great for socialization as well as mental and physical health. Bermuda Village is located in the Bermuda Run Country Club with its own 36-hole golf course, so this is a hobby that’s easy for you to pursue if you move into our independent living community.

Now is the perfect time for you to try out different hobbies, whether at home, at local classes, or in an independent living or retirement community. Get in touch with Bermuda Village if you have any questions about the activities we offer for residents.

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Planning for A Happy and Healthy Retirement

Do you look forward to your golden years of retirement? However you plan to spend those years, it’s important that you plan and prepare for them so that you know you have everything you need. If you suddenly need healthcare or senior living, then you and your family want to know that this can all be taken care of.

Let’s look at some tips to help you plan for a healthy and happy retirement, whatever stage of life you’re at.

Saving money for retirement

It’s never too soon, or too late, to start putting extra money away for your retirement. But it also helps to know how much you’ll need for a comfortable retirement. Start by planning out a budget. What will your expenses be like when you’re in retirement? If you’re a long way off this point, then this process might be a little more difficult, but you can work with a financial planner to help you plot out your budgetary needs.

When determining your budget, don’t forget to account for emergency needs like healthcare and senior living. It always helps to have an extra pot stashed away for these kinds of emergencies. Think about regular healthcare as part of your budget, too. Dental check-ups, medications, vision care, and other expenses should all be taken into consideration.

When saving for retirement, it’s important that you understand all the ways you can contribute toward this retirement pot. Put your own money away whenever you can, but also make sure you understand your employer’s pension plan and how to make the most out of this. If they don’t offer one, then why not suggest it to them?

Planning care for retirement

Planning for retirement isn’t just about saving up. It also helps to have contingency plans in place for various different outcomes. Can you continue to live in the same home or will you move into a more accessible one? Or perhaps you can adapt your current home to make it more suitable. If you need care, who will provide it, a family member, a professional caregiver, or an assisted living community?

You will also need to think about legal issues like assigning a power of attorney and finalizing your will. You want to be prepared for every outcome and make sure both you and your family are looked after in any eventuality.

If you want to prepare for your future care needs, then contact Bermuda Village to find out how we can support and accommodate you as your needs change during your golden years.

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The Benefits of Short-Term Rehabilitative Care for Seniors

When a senior has been in hospital following an injury or illness, it is important to take the proper precautions when it comes to their care. After being discharged, there is an increased risk of falling ill or becoming injured again. People want to get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible, not always taking into consideration the fact that they are still recuperating their strength. This is where short-term rehabilitative care can come in handy.

What is short-term rehabilitation?

Short-term rehabilitative care is designed for those who have recently been discharged from hospital and still require some level of care. This might include physical therapy following an injury, support with medication management, speech therapy, and care with day-to-day tasks like washing. This kind of rehabilitation can take place in a dedicated care facility or the patient’s home.

Here are some of the main benefits of short-term rehabilitation following treatment in a hospital…

It provides a comfortable environment

The clinical setting of a hospital can bring you down. The effect this has on your mood and mental state can actually be detrimental to recovery. Continuing your recovery at home or in an assisted living facility provides you with a more comfortable environment to live in, even if it’s only for a short period.

Don’t rush to get back on your feet

Trying to do too much all at once after being in hospital can send your recovery progress back in the opposite direction. It’s important to take your time with recovery and not push yourself too hard. In a short-term care setting, you can relax and get the support you need until you are ready to live independently again.

Get professional care tailored to you

No matter what you were hospitalized for and what symptoms you’re recovering from, you can find professional caregivers who are experienced in helping others in your situation. Whether you need nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or memory care, finding the right care facility will give you the help you need.

Emotional support from others around you

Navigating visiting hours in a hospital can be a challenge, meaning you don’t always get to see much of your friends and family. Whether you receive short-term care at home or in an assisted living community, you’ll be in a more social and emotionally supportive environment. You might move in with a family member during your recovery or receive regular visits at home from friends and family. And assisted living is a friendly setting where socialization between residents is encouraged and facilitated.

If you or a loved one need short-term rehabilitation following a hospital stay in North Carolina, then contact Bermuda Village to find out more about our expert care services and inviting assisted living community in the Bermuda Run Country Club.