Keeping Alzheimer Residents Active

Alzheimer patients reported that their greatest fear regarding a long term care illness or event was being a burden on family. In fact, they reported being five times more concerned about being a burden than dying, according to a report by Genworth Financial. Research shows that when you become part of an independent living retirement community, you’re more likely to make new friends and try new things. Most of those in a retirement community reported a better experience than they expected. This was according to the 2009 Independent Living Report by the ProMatura Group, LLC.

Alzheimers is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, one in three seniors pass away with Alzheimers or another form of dementia. Almost two thirds of United States Alzheimer’s patients are women. As far as those who stay in assisted living facilities, 74% are female and 26% are male. Alzheimers disease is the only top ten cause of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured.

More than three fourths of assisted living residents have had at least two of the ten most common chronic conditions where high blood pressure, Alzheimers disease, and other dementias were the most prevalent. Assisted living residences typically provide or coordinate 24 hour supervision, three meals a day plus snacks in a group dining room; and a range of services that promote resident quality of life and independence. Some of these include personal care services, health care services, medication management, social services, arrangements for transportation, laundry service, housekeeping, and maintenance.

Almost four in ten assisted living residents received assistance with three or more activities of daily living, of which bathing and dressing were the most common. Stimulating activities for Alzheimer residents are also very important. Memory care activities for seniors can bring pleasure to those with Alzheimers disease. These activities can stir happy memories, foster emotional connections with others, encourage self expression, help them feel more engaged with life, and lessen irritability and anxiety that Alzheimers may bring.

Some activities for Alzheimer residents include playing music or singing songs, doing simple arts and crafts like painting, crochet, and knitting, organizing items (either personal or those that belong to the senior living center), folding clothes and simple tasks like sweeping or dusting. Other activities for Alzheimer residents can include being involved in taking care of plants, working on puzzles, watching family videos or reading books that the patient have previously enjoyed.

There are several care options for Alzheimers patients. Depending on the dementia stage of the patient, some are okay to be at home with with a caregiver. There are also assisted living apartments with trained personnel close at hand to keep an eye on them. There are memory care assisted living and memory care facilities they can stay in or be a part of that have activities to help them be happy through the many types of dementia they may suffer from. Almost four in ten assisted living residents received assistance with three or more activities of daily living, of which bathing and dressing were the most common.

Alzheimer care homes can help with quality of life issues and take some of the stress off of the family caretakers. Early detection of dementia is important and then an informed decision needs to be made about the long term care for Alzheimers patients.

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