How Memory Loss Affects Family Life

Aging is a difficult process which entails a lot more than silver streaks in your hair. It’s easy to glamorize old age; we compliment people’s graying head or appreciate how well-maintained their figure still is. But only a person sailing in the old boat knows the pain of seeing their once flawless skin exhibit numerous tiny wrinkles.

However, the effects are more far-reaching and damaging than just physical changes. While many of us exclaim in the comfort of our age how great it would be to ‘wipe out old memories’ and start afresh, it’s not until you’re in this problem knee-deep that you realize the gravity of it. Memory loss is not only hazardous for the person undergoing it, but also deeply affects their family life. Your home is just not the same when a senior loved one with minor (or major) dementia is living in it.

Changes in perception of self

Studies have been conducted on senior people above 65 years of age that reveal that memory loss can lead to them forgetting their names or those of close friends and family, misplacing common items, and repeating themselves in conversations.

Even age-normal memory loss has led people to feel upset about their declining mental health, so it’s reasonable to expect serious grievances over major dementia. The embarrassment which stems from losing recollections of personal information challenges people’s self-image. Their self-doubt can easily translate into negative self-evaluations and trigger depressive episodes.

Changes in Work and Other Activities

Challenging work tasks and intellectually-demanding activities become a hassle to process and get through with when a person is dealing with memory loss. Since their cognitive health goes downhill with memory loss, it’s hard to focus all their energy on one task and see it to completion.

This includes projects that require coordination among many members such as high-stake presentations. From the agenda of a meeting to what they were going to say next, elderly employees tend to forget a lot of details.

Even though retirement might save them from the embarrassment of disappointing their team at work, the problem persists at home; the only difference is in the setting.

Changes in Relationships

Have you ever been confronted by a friend who you forgot to wish on their birthday? The wrath of a hurt friend in this context is the kind of feeling that’s perennial for people with memory. This is taxing on the senior loved one as well as their family.

It’s as difficult to live with memory loss as it is to live with someone who’s suffering from it. It might not seem as hard but it’s extremely frustrating to share a roof with someone who can’t recall answers to the most basic questions like where are you and what’s your name. This affects how they sustain connections in their social network (as it’s hard to remember names or their referee) or survive the embarrassment of ruining special family occasions like Christmas dinners.

 

We offer senior loved ones an assisted living community in Beverly Hills, CA that welcomes them in its folds wholeheartedly. Under our care, your loved ones will find family again and we’ll do everything possible to make them feel at home!

 


Why Elders Deserve Respect and How To Treat Them Right

Respect is the foundation of every cordial relationship; especially the ones we share with senior loved ones. They deserve respect from you and this shouldn’t ever come with any strings attached.

Follow one simple rule and life will be blissful for both you and your beloved elderly family members: give respect, expect nothing. Just remember on the way that for any relationship to reach the heights of excellence, it takes immense effort, tolerance and time.

Sadly, during the later years of their life, elderly people neither have enough strength in their bones or their hearts to invest in their relationships with younger folk. They’ve already done their fair share of duties while raising you to become the people you are; it’s time to give back to them. Respect can be the most gratuitous return for their selfless efforts.

What Respect Means To Them

It takes a lot less than physical hurt someone to damage a relationship. Slamming a door in the face of an elder or mocking their age-related health conditions is enough to trigger a depressive episode. Why? This is because disrespect is in fact a negation of their existence and a rejection of their agency. The worst thing that can happen to an old person is being made to feel unneeded and unloved.

One of the many perils of aging is losing your place in society, at home, and in the hearts of your loved ones. Just because they can no longer do plumbing repairs around the house or drive around all day to drop the kids off at school and soccer practice doesn’t mean they have no place in the home they built.

These senior loved ones may be retired parents or grandparents who are down with a lifelong illness. They’ve already life moved past their prime and that reality check is difficult enough to cope with. Piling on the hurt of your own negligence because you can’t respect them is nothing short of a disappointment. If anything, respect is not a favor; it’s a debt that we owe to them.

How Is Life For Them Without Respect

Elderly people are increasingly being pushed to the margins of the society, with no regard for their contributions whatsoever. These are people who have dedicated their entire lives in service to their families and society at large.

With retirement behind them, there’s nothing life-changing to look forward to. With no career aspirations, medical wonders, or service options in sight, it’s not unreasonable for them to think of themselves as nothing better than old furniture.

Respect is the last anchor they have in their old life and we owe it to them to not deprive them of this hope as well. It’s not only important to care and look after their needs, but also give them that place in our lives that makes them feel important. They’re usually in a crisis where feeling irrelevant in the fast-paced life of the younger generation is a perpetual dread. With respect and affection, they can be brought out of this misery and bloom once again.

 

We, at AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care in Beverly Hills, California, make sure your senior loved ones are treated with the utmost respect for all their wishes and care for their needs. We’re an assisted living community that helps elders sustain themselves independently. Contact us if you’re looking for a loving home for your loved ones.


It’s Never too Late! Smoking Cessation Tips for Older Adults

For a long time, smoking wasn’t considered a dangerous habit. Marketed as cool, the tobacco industry was promoting smoking through television, radio programs, newspapers—basically any medium you could think of.

However, we now have a complete report released by the World Health Organization that goes into detail about the systematic corporate deceit they practiced; how the industry knew that nicotine and tobacco were immensely addictive and dangerous due to their carcinogenic nature but kept on advertising it anyway.

And while the global population understands that now, the damage is done.

America’s Health Rankings reported that there are around 4.2 million smokers in the US who are over the age of 65. And 8.7 percent of these people smoke each day. Many of them understand that smoking damages almost every organ in your body and causes a number of diseases. But old habits die hard. And when that old habit is something as addicting as smoking, it can be almost impossible to let go of it altogether, but only almost!

How to Quit Smoking as a senior

If a senior loved one or you are thinking of quitting your smoking habit, here are some things you can do to get started on the right track:

  • Try Nicotine Patches or Products

Easily available and useful, nicotine gum or patches deliver very small doses of nicotine into your system through your skin, thus feeding your cravings just enough. Typically, your doctor will reduce your doses as you go so you can wean off them completely.

  • Opt for Prescription Medicine

There are actually prescription medications that you can take to treat your smoking habit. But like any allopathic medication, it will have side effects; never take anything without your doctor’s written permission.

  • Take it Nice and Easy

Going cold turkey works for some people, but if you’re used to smoking multiple packs a day, you’ll need to prepare yourself for bouts of cravings and the ensuing symptoms of withdrawal that’ll follow. Your patience and strength will be tested, but if you take things slowly and try getting to smoking once or twice in the morning, then in the afternoon, then at night, you’ll slowly start seeing the difference it can make in your health and energy levels.

  • Find a Companion

This is something we’ve seen a lot at AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA. Often, one of our older residents will pair up with a friend or family member to quit smoking over time. Similar to how you go to the gym with a friend who encourages healthy living, having someone on the same journey as you will truly help since you’ll hold each other accountable.

Conclusion

The phrase “smoking can be hazardous to your health” is not an empty warning. Smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. It can cause lung disease, cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, eye diseases and osteoporosis and a number of other illnesses as well.

For your own sake and that of those who love you, take the right steps toward rehabilitation!

 


4 Driving Safety Considerations Older Drivers Need to Keep in Mind

For someone who was active their whole life, realizing that they’re not as spry as they once were—especially when it comes to driving—might come as a nasty shock.

Realizing that you might have to be dependent on someone else for things like basic transportation is not something that’s easy to get on board with, after all.

But if you find yourself in this position, keep in mind that driving safety is important. Not just for your sake, but for other drivers and pedestrians as well. According to a 2015 news article from Consumer Reports, 14 million Americans were involved in accidents that were primarily caused by drivers over the age of 65.

This is why it’s crucial that you take some factors into consideration before hitting the road.

1. Physical Fitness

The fact of the matter is that your physical fitness isn’t what it was 20 years ago. And you need to be reactive, agile, and flexible enough to take the necessary steps to avoid accidents or collisions. In short, you need to still have good reflexes. You can keep yourself fit by power walking or opting for stretch exercises to keep your joints strong. But it always helps if you go to your physician to get an update on whether you should be behind the wheel or not.

2. Sensory Perception

Remember; objects in your passenger side mirror may be closer than they appear. Not being able to perceive distance, getting confused with directions, not being able to see or hear clearly—all of these are indicators that you might be experiencing some age-related sensory problems. You’ll need to get yourself checked and make sure to get the doctor’s approval before driving.

3. Skills

Take a defensive driving course. Switch your old manual car for an automatic car if changing gears is confusing you. Search for courses on driving safety that are especially for older adults in your local community. If you do face difficulties, never be afraid to ask for help when learning.

4. Limits

Be honest with yourself. If you know you won’t be able to drive safely on the road, don’t let your ego get in the way. Accept the fact that you’ll either need to choose a different vehicle or simply abstain from driving.

Want to Visit Our Community?

None of this will be a problem if you choose to live in either our assisted living or independent living community. We offer scheduled transportation 6 days a week using luxury cars such as a Lincoln Town Car and a Mercedes Sprinter Van so you should have no trouble going about errands in California.

So visit us in Beverly Hills, CA. AvantGarde Senior Living offers the best luxuries and amenities for all our residents. Find out more by visiting us in Tarzana!


What is Parkinson’s Disease and Can it be treated?

A worrying statistic was released by the Parkinson’s Foundation recently. According to the organization, nearly one million people in the US are going to develop Parkinson’s disease by 2020.

This combined number is higher than that of those diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple scoliosis. What’s worse, it’s increasing by 6,000 each year.

Yet, despite a large portion of the population living with this condition, a lot of us aren’t aware of what the root cause of the disease is, why it happens, or whether it’s hereditary or not.

As a community that caters to a number of senior citizens in different parts of California including Beverly Hills, AvantGarde Senior Living can help you understand the situation if your loved one has been diagnosed with the disease.

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

A disorder of the nervous system, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease which causes brain cells to progressively die. Typically seen a slight tremor in one’s limbs at first, the disease can cause a number of other symptoms over time, such as well as slowness and stiffness in one’s limbs. Eventually, these symptoms worsen until the person can’t function effectively.

The patient’s facial muscles become a lot less responsive and any instinctive behavior does not come as normally as it should. For example, the person will not be able to swing their arms as one does when they walk. Their speech also becomes slow and slurred. In the coming years, the patient’s health will deteriorate to the point that they’ll be unable to live without assistance.

Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

The condition occurs when neurons in the brain start breaking down. This causes vital cell death. The cells in question in this case are responsible for producing dopamine, which is a necessary chemical that helps the brain control coordination and movement. The faster the cell death, the worse the patient’s symptoms will be.

Although we know the ‘what’ of Parkinson’s disease, researchers still have not been able to narrow down ‘why’ it occurs.

Some studies suggest that environmental factors might be to blame. Others suggest genetic factors and even one’s diet and exposure to certain metals and pesticides.

Can it Be Treated?

Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured; but it can be treated.

Doctors may recommend medication therapy or even surgery, which can help the patient live an active life for years and even decades. However, once their condition starts getting serious, they will require assistance.

And that’s where we can help.

As an assisted living community, AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA can be your loved one’s new home if they require premium care. For further information, contact us and let us help your loved one live a happier, cared-for life!


Important Safety Tips for Keeping Seniors Safe during summer

Summer 2019 is set to be hot and sizzling in the Southwest!

With temperatures reaching upwards of 111°F, you can expect a wave of cooking-eggs-on-the-pavement memes to surface online and to take regular trips to the ice cream store.

However, while that’s all fine and a dandy for young people, this kind of weather isn’t as enjoyable for the older adults out there.

According to the CDC, people over the age of 65 are more susceptible to heat-related health problems. A lot of this has to do with the fact that their bodies aren’t able to adjust to sudden highs and lows in temperature. They may also have a chronic condition that changes their body’s reaction to heat. In addition, they might be taking medicines that affect their body’s ability to sweat.

In short, when it comes to the hot summers, the elderly need a lot more than just a dip in the pool to cool off.

If you have a senior loved one (or are a senior person) who’s susceptible to heat-related health issues, here are some tactics we employ at AvantGarde Senior Living for our residents.

Staying Cool during the summer

  • Drink More Water

While a no-brainer, drinking water is something more than a few people skip, opting instead for soda and coffee to quench their thirst. However, keep in mind that coffee and tea work as diuretics for your kidneys, and can be bladder irritants as well. So not a good choice! Instead, keep a bottle of water with you at all times and drink at intervals.

  • Layer

It might seem strange to layer your clothing during the hot summer. But if you’re out and about all day or coming in and out of hot and cold rooms, layering with some lightweight clothing made with cotton will not only allow you to breathe easy outside, but it’ll also give you the warmth you’ll need in places where the air conditioning might have been cranked up.

  • Stay Away from Sunlight

Sunburns, overheating, dehydration—there’s plenty that can happen if you stay out for too long. Stay inside and try to find shade wherever you may be. But if you must go out, be sure to ask a dermatologist for a good sunscreen, wear a hat that has a wide brim, as well as sunglasses.

  • Adjust Your Diet

Love to cook? You might change your mind once you step into a hot kitchen with an even hotter stove. Rather than spending your time cooking in front of a hot pan, opt for cold meals instead. Salads, sandwiches, smoothies; there’s so much you can experiment with. Although, if you were to live at AvantGarde Senior Living, you wouldn’t really face that problem since we offer chef-cooked meals, any time.

In Conclusion

There’s really no reason why you can’t enjoy the summer as an older adult!

Just take the right steps toward protecting yourself and get help when needed. If your health doesn’t allow you to move around so easily, come to AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA. We offer independent living options so you can have your freedom along with premium health care.

Contact us today to learn more!


What to Do When Senior Loved Ones Refuse to Take Care of Their Hygiene

If a senior loved one doesn’t exercise the most basic forms of self-care, they become more susceptible to physical and mental health problems. However, before you dismiss this neglect as simply a side effect of aging, understand that there might be a much greater underlying problem.

The Root Causes of Self-Neglect and Lack of Personal Hygiene

Not everyone likes to show vulnerability. Especially those who took care of you when you were young. In fact, they’ll be reluctant to show any need for help because their pride might not allow it.

In many cases, the reason why your elderly loved one might not be paying attention to their personal hygiene may be because:

  • They have a fear of falling because of poor balance issues
  • They may have joint pain and might be experiencing issues while standing, sitting, bending, and moving in a small space
  • They might be experiencing a fear of the sound of water or its sensation (common among older adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia)
  • The water temperature may be too discomforting i.e. too hot or too cold
  • Taking a shower or bathing may be too exhausting for them

Alongside these reasons, there are many other common causes that include depression, memory loss, and sensory decline, among others.

If this is the case, you’ll need to be proactive with your approach so you can be sure they’re paying their health and hygiene proper attention.

Tips on Helping a Senior Loved One with Personal Hygiene Issues

  • Talk to them about it

It might be difficult, given that your loved one might become defensive. But communication during this time is important because you want to get to the root of the problem and not draw conclusions yourself. You can never be sure whether it is pain, forgetfulness, fear, or something else entirely that’s keeping them from their basic care routine.

  • Use a Little Trickery

Dealing with an elderly person who thinks you’re bossing them around or babying them can feel like a power struggle. This is where you need to be tactful. Try to designate a meet-up with a close friend or family member at an outdoor venue, somewhere that requires primping. This’ll be a great reason for them to get cleaned up.

  • Make the Bathroom User-Friendly

Lack of support or fear of injury while bathing or showering is a major issue for most seniors. But this fear can be addressed pretty easily if you just add the right bathing aids and products to the room. Sturdy handrails, automatic sensors for raising the toilet seats, clear labels on bottles so your loved one can use the right products and proper lighting can do wonders for your senior’s care.

 

When it’s not enough

If your senior loved one is too ill, then the above tips might not be as useful for you.

In this situation, you might want to consider having your loved one shifted to a senior living community, one that specializes in memory care or assisted living and offers 24/7 care, like AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA.

This way, you’ll be happy knowing that you’ve taken the right steps in ensuring your loved one’s health and care. And they’ll have the chance to socialize without worrying about their extending themselves over basic needs!


How to Deal with an Elderly Parent who has Alzheimer’s (And Doesn’t Realize It)

Alzheimer’s disease is a prevalent issue among the elderly population. The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50%–60% of all cases of the condition.

Almost 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases being registered each year. With such a large population, this means that there are countless adults and children who are taking care of their elderly parents who may have Alzheimer’s disease.

Despite that, there’s something to be gained from this; the fact that we have a lot of information on how to deal with a parent with Alzheimer’s, carefully and respectfully.

Relating to a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease

For someone who may not know they have Alzheimer’s disease, telling them they may have it to their face without employing tact will only make things worse.

Remember, Alzheimer’s disease is not to be taken lightly.

If they do show all the symptoms of the disease, they’ll also feel scared. But more than that, they’ll feel like they’ve done something wrong, or have been doing so without realizing it, which can be embarrassing.

The Argument

There has actually been a lot of debate around the subject. Should you tell your parent (or a loved one) that they have Alzheimer’s?

It might cause a lot of emotional distress for them. They might feel hopeless about their condition and will start over-thinking everything. They might even think that they’re a burden to their family and loved ones.

But your loved one has the right to know. While you might want to protect them from knowing, keep in mind that they know themselves best. So the chances are that they may actually have sensed that something is wrong, but they can’t quite put their finger on it.

Knowing the cause of all their anxiety might answer their health questions. Also, if they know they have Alzheimer's, they’ll be able to prepare for themselves long-term. Documentation, caregiving, legal matters—they’ll want to make sure they’ve organized everything so there’s no issue later.

So if you were to tell then, how do you go about doing so?

You rely on the medical reports and accounts, while surrounded by only their closest people. You want be gentle and supportive, but you also want to be sure you get the message across so you can take the next step.

The Most Important Part

If they know about their condition, this will greatly help them in making a decision on whether or not they want to live in an assisted living community.

Plenty of residents at AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA come to us for our memory care services. With our help, people can be comforted knowing that they have the best people available for their loved one’s care.

So if your parent has Alzheimer’s and you believe telling them will help, do so. Treat your parent respectfully and do what is right by them, not you. It’s the best thing to do.


Warning Signs of Mental Illness in Older Adults

According to the numbers, the proportion of people over 60 is set to increase from 12% to 22% in the next 20 to 30 years across the globe. That’s an astounding 2.1 billion people aged 60 years or over by the year 2050. This begets the need to be aware of the possible mental health issues that are often faced by senior adults.

Mental Illness Statistics

According to a report by the World Health Organization, almost 20% of the adults over the age of 60 years suffer from some form of mental or neurological disorder. The most common problem reported in this age group is depression and dementia. Almost 7% of the world’s older adults suffer from these common disorders.

Another common neurological disorder is Alzheimer’s, with an estimated 5.5 million Americans affected by the disease. There are many reasons for older adults to be affected by mental illnesses, some of which include substance abuse, anxiety, stress, and unhealthy life choices.

Identifying the Signs

Detecting the early warning signs and being educated about mental illnesses in older adults can help care for loved ones in a better and more effective manner.

Here are three major early warning signs that might indicate that your loved ones may be suffering from some form of mental illness.

Memory Loss:

Memory issues are considered to be a natural part of the aging process. This incorrect assumption can often cause mental illnesses to go unrecognized until the disease has progressed significantly. Memory loss problems such as forgetting important dates, misplacing belongings, and asking for the same piece of information repeatedly can be warning signs of mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s in older adults.

Becoming Socially Withdrawn:

Another common sign that can indicate a mental illness manifesting among older adults is social withdrawal. If an aging loved one in your life has started to lose interest in things they once used to be excited about or has started avoiding social engagements, it could be an indicator of mental health problems that make these interactions difficult for them.

For example, your nana might blow off the weekly Bingo nights because she’s starting to forget how to play the game. It might be easier for her to avoid the event rather than explain why she can’t remember the rules.

Changes in Personality:

A change in the personality of an aging adult can be anything from a change in regular personal care routine to a change in disposition. Your loved one might stop looking the same because they might be having difficulty maintaining their regular personal care. In other cases, they might go from upbeat to depressed, carefree to anxious, or confident to confused.

These issues might come and go and therefore are often overlooked. It’s important to monitor these changes to identify if there’s something more serious that’s driving the personality changes.

AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care has a professional and compassionate staff that’s well-equipped to take care of your senior loved ones that might be developing mental illness as a result of aging. Our senior living community will provide the care your loved one deserves and improve their quality of life through assisted living and memory care facilities.

Contact us at (818) 881-0055 or take a virtual tour of our elder care facilities in Calabasas, CA.


Living With a Family Member with Dementia

According to statistical data, around 9% of Americans aged 65 and over suffer from some form of dementia. If not handled correctly, dementia has been known to bring grief and strife into families. It’s important to understand that dementia is not a disease but a symptom of a more complex neurological disorder. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s with an estimated 5 million Americans living with the condition in 2019.

Understanding the Problem

With so many myths and incorrect assumptions circulating about dementia, many people fail to grasp the fact that it’s a manageable condition. Over 83% of the care provided to older adults with dementia comes from members of the family, friends or unpaid caregivers. While some forms of dementia are temporarily brought on by triggers such as head injuries, vitamin deficiencies, or alcoholism, other forms are more neurodegenerative and get worse with time.

If your loved one has some form of dementia, it’s imperative that you understand the underlying causes behind different behavior issues and causes of discomfort. This way the condition will become easier to manage while allowing you to enjoy your time with your loved one as much as possible!

Identifying the Source of Discomfort

One of the most daunting parts of caring for a loved one with dementia is dealing with an agitated patient. Agitation in a person who’s living with dementia can cause violent outbursts and disturbing behavior which can take an emotional toll on their loved ones. Caregivers tend to blame themselves and often feel guilty, which helps no one. The source of agitation is mostly not personal and has more to do with something medical or physical that’s causing discomfort for the patient.

It could be due to lack of sleep, loneliness, changes in routine or the environment, pain from sitting in the same position for a long time, or side-effects of certain medicines.

Anything that affects the comfort zone of the person suffering from dementia can trigger a violent episode. The caregiver needs to understand it’s not personal and carefully consider the medical requirements, social needs, and regular routine of the patient to curb and minimize these episodes.

Smart Communication

The way you communicate and speak to a person who has dementia matters a lot. Avoid any direct confrontations or too many questions that can increase the confused state of the patient. If you need to ask something, phrase it simply and give them plenty of time to respond.

Getting frustrated will help no one and will only agitate your loved one. Keep the sentences short and offer regular reassurances. Engage with them often to make sure they don’t feel too lonely. Be prepared to handle repeated questions and statements and try to answer them without showing any signs of frustration and annoyance.

Find Support

Dealing with dementia in a loved one can cause feelings of fear, frustration, and helplessness in all those who live with them. It’s important to reach out every now and then and ask for help and support. Join support groups for people who’re going through the same thing as you are for empathy and understanding. It’ll also help you learn new ways to deal with issues by listening to others who’ve experienced similar situations.

AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care can help you take care of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia. We provide the best comprehensive care through our memory care facility, assisted living for seniors, and senior living community. Our qualified staff is well-equipped to handle the various stages of dementia symptoms with compassion.

For more details and information about our comprehensive services and amenities, take a virtual tour of our elder care facilities in Calabasas, CA, or give us a call at (818) 881-0055.