Being overweight can have severe impacts on overall health. The older a patient gets, the more likely the extra weight gain can be detrimental. Every system in the body is affected by being overweight. The cardiovascular system has to work overtime. The lungs have a harder time getting air. The endocrine system has a harder time processing sugar.

Unfortunately, as humans age, it already becomes harder for the body to do normal things. Being overweight becomes absolutely dangerous at this stage. In fact, many patients with weight problems can expect to have shorter life spans. This is no laughing matter. There are several severe consequences to being overweight.

Heart

The strain on the heart caused by being overweight can cause some real problems. Risks of heart attacks and strokes increase. The arteries of the body can harden, making it difficult to pump blood to the body. Additionally, obesity is often caused by personal habits. Those habits, such as overeating, can also lead to heart complications. If the patient is a chronic overeater, it may be difficult to break those habits. That means that many patients will literally eat themselves to death rather than change their habits.

The mayo clinic has listed obesity as a main cause of heart failure. This is so widely accepted in the medical community that it is usually assumed that people who are overweight are extremely likely to have heart complications and short life spans.

Pancreas

Being overweight is also harmful on the pancreas. This important organ is responsible for processing sugar. All carbohydrates that enter the body are processed as sugar. The pancreas breaks down food. Diabetes is the result of a faulty pancreas. Diseases of the pancreas are extremely dangerous. Unlike hearts and lungs, it is impossible to get an artificial pancreas. Donor organs are uncommon. Although there is insulin available to help with some of the functions of the pancreas, this is an expensive and life-long process.

Many credible sources link being overweight with problems in the pancreas. This is coupled with lifestyle factors as well. One good solution to both the weight problems and the potential pancreas problems is to limit consumption of processed sugars like soda and candy. Moderation is key on all sugar. This is the best way to prevent these problems.

Brain

It is not hard to see why being overweight has an influence on heart function. However, being overweight also affects the brain. A recent article in Psychology Today cites being overweight as a leading cause of stroke, sleep apnea, depression, and early brain degeneration. That is a lot of side effects for simply being overweight. The poor diet associated with being overweight also contributes to cloudy memory, lack of motivation, and general feelings of tiredness.

There has also been more recent discussion about the concept of the brain blood barrier. This is how the things that go into the body can impact the brain. There are some concerns that medication associated with treatment of diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure may not be the healthiest things for the brain. In fact, any material that is not a natural food source is not wonderful for the brain. Unfortunately, people who are overweight also seem to be on a variety of medication.

Muscles and Bones

It makes sense that weight has an impact on muscles and bones. This can create problems such as a repressed spine or damaged knees over long periods of time. Older people may have a harder time recovering from these surgeries. General back and neck pain, as well as foot pain, can also be a consequence of being overweight. This can make mobility difficult.

Mobility gets more difficult as the body ages. Being overweight may directly lead to a person not being able to take care of themselves. Older people may be forced to move into assisted care facilities. Many overweight people may need walkers or wheelchairs sooner than people of a normal size. Hip and joint problems can make simple functions like using the restroom more difficult. Weight is difficult on the muscles and bones, and this usually leads to a negative impact on the person’s life.

It is true that people of all sizes are beautiful. However, that does not account for the health risks associated with being overweight. Unfortunately, the risks get higher the older the patient is. Treatment centers like Maplewood of Sauk Prairie can greatly help individuals dealing with the complications of being overweight. These centers can help loved ones learn to maintain their weight in order to live long and healthy lives.

diet-to-save-your-memoryOne of the primary fears of older people and caretakers is dementia. For anyone who has already watched a loved one slowly and painfully lose the battle against Alzheimer’s, this worry is even more acute. There isn’t as much good news as everyone would like, but two important studies have shown how important the correct diet can be in saving your memory.

Great Food for Your Brain

The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a combination of two heart-healthy diets, the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. While either diet offers a number of health benefits, a special combination of the two appears to be particularly useful in fighting late-onset Alzheimer’s, the form of the disease seen most frequently.

Special diets can be difficult for the cook who may need to prepare two separate meals. One of the great attributes of the delicious MIND diet is that it’s good for everyone. Many treasured family recipes can be adapted by substituting one ingredient for another (olive oil instead of butter, for example).

Start the MIND Diet at Any Age

Unlike some diets, the MIND diet is helpful even if you don’t follow it as rigorously as you should. Starting early and not “cheating” provides the most benefits for delaying dementia, but even a less than perfect adherence to the MIND diet will pay dividends over time.

The participants in the large national Health and Retirement Study, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, had a mean age of 67.8 years. The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study followed 7,000 older women for 10 years.

The results from both studies were enlightening and produced similar results.

What is the MIND Diet?

  • Closely following the MIND diet resulted in a 34%-35% reduction in the likelihood of Alzheimer’s.
  • Moderately following the MIND diet conferred an 18-24% reduction in the likelihood of Alzheimer’s.

The MIND diet isn’t very complicated and doesn’t require you to buy exotic foods. The guidelines are broad enough to accommodate most tastes. A few recipe ideas to spark your creativity can be found here.

Foods to include:

Foods to avoid:

  • Green leafy vegetables: 6 servings per week
  • Other vegetables: 1 or more servings per day
  • Nuts: 5 servings per week
  • Berries (especially blueberries and strawberries): 2 servings per week
  • Beans: 3 servings per week
  • Whole grains: At least 3 servings per day
  • Fish: 1 serving per week
  • Poultry: 2 servings a week
  • Olive oil: Use as your primary cooking/salad oil
  • Wine: 1 glass per day

Why the MIND Diet Works

  • Red meat: Eat less than 4 servings per week
  • Butter or margarine: No more than 1 tablespoon per day
  • Cheese: Less than 1 serving per week
  • Pies, cakes and other sweets: Fewer than 5 servings per week
  • Fast or fried food: Fewer than 1 serving per week

Vitamins C and E: The MIND diet is high in vitamins C and E, which help protect the brain. Plant-based foods contain these and other vitamins which help to preserve memory and cognitive skills. Vitamins C and E also contain antioxidants which offer protection from free radical damage. While these vitamins are helpful individually, a John Hopkins study found C and E protected the brain when used together, lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Vitamin C also helps to remove metals such as aluminum, long believed to contribute to cognitive impairment.

Vitamins B6, B12 and Folic Acid: Green leafy vegetables are abundant in these nutrients which help to improve the brain’s function and reduce brain atrophy and shrinkage.

Vitamin K: Also found primarily in green veggies, it is believed Vitamin K helps to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Berries: Berries are the only fruits that have been shown to improve memory and decrease the loss of neurons. Berries also have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which tackle two of the suspected causes of Alzheimer’s.

The prevention and delay of dementia’s onset with the MIND diet can be significant. When it’s time for professional assistance, Maplewood of Sauk Prairie understands the importance of family and your loved one’s unique needs. For over 40 years, they have been providing high quality care to residents of Sauk City, WI and the surrounding region.

The Overuse of Prescription Drugs in America

Medicine has been around for thousands of years in human society, although not as beneficial as it stands today. Diagnosing diseases and illnesses, administering injections, prescribing medication, and recommending courses of action to take have all helped humans maintain higher quality of living. The research and practice of medicine has obviously allowed the average person to live longer. In 1900, the world’s average life expectancy was a mere 31 years of age. Today, the average person is expected to live more than 70 years, nearing 90 years of age in the world’s most advanced and established countries.

While medicine is undoubtedly a modern marvel, the overuse of prescription drugs in America is a public health issue. Today’s most commonly abused type of medication is prescription opioids. While people have used the poppy plant and its opium latex for thousands of years in treating health issues and for recreation, prescription opioids are far worse than anything seen before. Opioid abuse is by far the world medical problem in America today regarding medications, although drugs used to treat anxiety, sleep problems, and ADHD are also commonly abused.

The history of opioid use in America

Morphine and codeine both naturally exist in poppy plants as alkaloids, although they were isolated, extracted, and used in the early 1800s. However, these drugs were often abused and caused significant physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. In the late 1800s, pharmaceutical giant Bayer developed, advertised, and distributed prescription formulations of heroin as a less addictive form of morphine.

Widespread proliferation of semi-synthetic opioids

Today, we know heroin is highly addictive. However, history often repeats itself. In the mid-1990s, Purdue Pharmaceuticals developed OxyContin, an extended-release formulation of painkiller oxycodone, also derived from poppy plants. OxyContin quickly became one of the most popular painkillers on the medical market, as it was marketed as a non-addictive opioid in alternative to other painkillers.

OxyContin proved to be highly addictive, just as heroin did, and was easily abused. In 2009, the drug’s manufacturer began creating tablets in non-abusable formulations, hoping to combat opioid abuse. While people in future generations won’t be able to abuse OxyContin as easily as Americans could before, this formulation switch prompted people to start using heroin.

Switching to heroin

Around 2012, doctors in the United States began prescribing opioids less frequently and in smaller amounts. With fewer prescription opioids on the black market, their price skyrocketed. The combination of fewer opioid painkillers in circulation and their rising cost facilitated situations for opioid abusers to opt for street heroin, cheaper than illegally-sourced opioids. Prescription drug production is regulated, making sure all tablets and solutions are made identically and in safe dosages. The manufacture and trade of street drugs, however, isn’t overseen by any regulatory bodies. As such, the potency of each and every batch differs, with many batches adulterer with super-powerful, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanyl, able to cause overdose many times easier than with heroin.

This results in an exorbitantly high amount of overdoses in our great nation, deeply saddened by this epidemic.

Regulatory bodies in the United States have encouraged doctors to write fewer prescriptions for opioids and have educated them on the dangers of opioids. The opioid epidemic is likely to slow in coming years, although there’s no immediate remedy to the harm legally-produced painkillers and illicit heroin has caused.

Congestive Heart Disease – What is it?

Intro to Congestive Heart Disease

Congestive heart failure happens when the muscle of your heart doesn’t pump your blood properly. Some conditions, like high blood pressure or narrowed heart arteries, leave your heart too weakened for it pump as it should.

You can’t reverse every condition that leads to congestive heart failure, but many treatments can take care of the symptoms of heart disease and help you to live a longer lifespan. Undergoing lifestyle changes like exercising, managing stress, reducing your salt intake, and losing excess weight, can improve your life. You can prevent congestive heart failure by controlling such conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and obesity.

Causes of Congestive Heart Disease

You can get congestive heart disease when you have some of the conditions that cause damage to your heart muscle. Some of these conditions include the following:

Cardiomyopathy: This condition comes from damage to your heart muscle from causes other than blood flow issues.

Coronary Artery Disease: This disease affects the arteries that brings oxygen and blood to your heart. This condition causes a decreased amount of blood to flow to your heart muscle. When your arteries get blocked or narrowed, your heart gets starved for nutrients and oxygen.

Heart Attack: A heart attack happens when your coronary artery suddenly gets blocked. At this time, the flow of blood to your heart muscle stops. A heart attack will not only damage your heart muscle but will also develop a scarred area that will not work as it should.

Other Conditions That Exhaust The Heart: The following conditions can all cause heart failure. Congestive heart failure can also occur if two or more of these diseases are present in the same body:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart defects
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Valve disease

Any symptoms of congestive heart failure that you may have could be mild or severe. You may also have no symptoms at all. Some of the symptoms of heart disease that you may experience include the following conditions:

  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Fluid retention in the lungs
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Water retention and weight gain

You should visit your primary care physician if you experience any of the symptoms of congestive heart failure. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek out emergency treatment immediately.

  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat, along with chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Pain in your chest
  • Shortness of breath along with coughing up pink mucus

When you’re first experiencing these symptoms, call 911. Emergency care providers will determine whether or not you have heart failure or another heart or lung condition. You should never try to diagnose yourself in this state. Leave that to the first responders and the physicians in the emergency room.

3 Home Stretches to Help Your Low Back Pain

Low back pain accounts for a tremendous amount of healthcare in the US. Every year, the debilitating effects of scoliosis, osteoporosis, and even just the normal arthritic changes that come with age send hundreds of thousands to the doctors’ offices and the hospital. Low back pain can cause people to lose the freedom of mobility, and can severely impact the quality of their lives.

The good news is that while more than half a million people opt for back surgery every year, most lower back issues can be prevented or alleviated by a committed regimen of strengthening and stretching. An ounce of prevention is worth tens of thousands of dollars worth of cure in the case of those all-too-common lower lumbar miseries. Here are a three exercises recommended for seniors to reduce pain, strengthen key muscles, and keep you out of the doctor’s office.

The Leg Raise

You have probably heard a lot about strengthening your “core”. Made up of the abdominal, pelvic, and gluteal muscles, core strengthening is an important base for stability in seniors. Strong core muscles help support other muscular efforts, and can also help you prevent falls. One core activity that helps with low back pain is the Leg Raise, which enhances abdominal strength while simultaneously stretching the muscles around the lumbar spine.

1) Lie flat on your back on a stable surface, such as a firm mattress or the floor.
2) Lift one leg in the air and bend it toward your chest at a 90 degree angle.
3) Hold that position for a count of five to ten seconds, then slowly return the leg to its resting position.
4) Continue alternating each leg up to ten cycles.

The Back Extension

Prolonged periods of sitting can cause severe low back pain in elders. The Back Extension is a stretching exercise that reverses the pressure imposed by the seated position and directly works the muscles attached to the lumbar spine. This particular maneuver is especially helpful with reducing low back and associated leg pain induced by walking.

1) Lie on your stomach on a comfortable (but not too soft) surface.
2) Push up onto your elbows to elevate your upper body and gently flex your spine. Try to hold this position for about five to ten seconds.
3) Lower your body back down to rest for few seconds and repeat the exercise for a total of ten cycles.

The Cat-Cow

Spinal flexibility is another critical component of pain-free mobility. The Cat-Cow stretching exercise is an excellent tool to regain spinal muscle tone and lumbar flexibility. It is a seated exercise, and so is especially helpful for people who have severely limited mobility that impedes other types of exercises.

1) Start in a seated position with both feet on the floor.
2) With your hands on your hips, stretch your shoulders back and head upward to make the spine form a gently arch. This is the “cow” position. Push your abdomen forward until you feel the tug on your lumbar spine muscles.
3) Next you will switch to the “cat” position, in which you will stretch your back the opposite way. Roll your shoulders forward and push your spine outward, like a cat arching its back. Simultaneously flex your chin toward your chest as much as possible to stretch the upper back.
4) Alternate the “cat” and “cow” maneuvers for ten cycles.

The key word to success when taking on a new exercise regimen is “committed”. These methods work best when they are repeated at least three times per week. As always, if you are experiencing worsening or debilitation back pain, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before undertaking new activities.

Dementia vs. Alzheimers Disease – What is the Difference?

alzheimers and dementiaTwo of the most common diseases that adversely affect memory and cognitive functions are those of dementia and Alzheimers disease. These two conditions are oftentimes used interchangeably due to the very similar effects that they cause. However, there are some key differences between the two that you should be aware of, especially if someone close to you has been diagnosed with one of these diseases.

What is Dementia?

This term basically refers to an umbrella of symptoms that tend to display themselves as memory loss. These symptoms generally affect thinking, memory and social abilities. There are a wide range of causes of this syndrome, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Despite the fact that this condition is generally referred to as a syndrome instead of a disease, it can worsen with time, largely depending on the cause of the symptoms you face.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimers disease is one of the common causes of the aforementioned syndrome, appearing in an average of 60 percent of cases. The main symptoms of Alzheimer’s include confusion, impaired thought, and impaired speech. There are a wide selection of tests that can be administered in order to determine whether or not you’re suffering from Alzheimer’s. These tests can also identify if the reason for some of your memory loss is due to the development of a separate condition.

Primary Differences Between These Two Diseases

The primary difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia is simply that dementia is the syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease can be the cause of that syndrome. Dementia is more so a set of symptoms that could indicate the presence of a wide range of conditions.

To better understand dementia, it could be compared to a sore throat or a runny nose. Either of these symptoms could be the sign of springtime allergies or a common cold that you’re suffering from. In the same way, the cause of dementia (the syndrome) could be Alzheimer’s or several other diseases.

It’s also important to understand that Alzheimer’s is not reversible, while some causes for the dementia have the ability to be reversed. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that comes in the form of stages. The symptoms will worsen over time. People who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s typically have 8-10 years to live.

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the symptoms may impact how a person lives their everyday life, but that person will still typically have the ability to lead an independent life.

Once the middle-stage is reached, the symptoms become more severe, oftentimes causing the affected person to become confused or even refuse to eat for a period of time. This is caused by damage to the nerve cells within the brain. This is the longest stage of Alzheimer’s and can last for a multitude of years.

Once Alzheimer’s disease reaches its late-stage, the person afflicted with the disease will require around-the-clock care and will display a severe degradation of cognitive and memory skills.

Alzheimer’s is one of the most severe causes of dementia. However, if the memory and cognitive issues that are experienced can be attributed to some other cause, it’s possible for the symptoms to be improved or reversed.

Causes of dementia are divided into three basic groups; those of progressive types, those that are simply linked to the syndrome, and those that are wholly reversible.

The conditions related to dementia that can be effectively reversed include infections, immune disorders, nutritional deficiencies, subdural hematomas, and even adverse reactions to medications. For instance, dehydration can cause some of the symptoms that appear with this syndrome. The most important thing for you to do if you suspect that yourself or someone close to you is suffering from one of these conditions is to actually seek medical care to identify what exactly you’re suffering from.

For those that have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, Maplewood of Sauk Prairie provides a wonderful center of hope.  Our facility offers amazing care including skilled nursing, memory care activities, physical therapy, social activities and a strong network of resources for the family.  Feel free to contact us at 608-643-3383 to speak with us about our Alzheimer’s and dementia programs.

Life Following a Stroke

strokeBecause strokes affect your brain, one of the most complex parts of your body, no two people have exactly the same effects after a stroke. Strokes may impede your ability to walk, talk, eat, interact with others, or some combination of those activities.

Strokes alter basic daily functioning, which can make returning to normal life after a stroke frustrating and difficult. Every person will go through a different recovery process, and some will recover more completely than others. However, we’ve listed a few common steps that stroke survivors and their loved ones may take after a stroke.

Identifying the Challenges
Some challenges that come with a stroke may be obvious to everyone, such as losing the ability to walk. Other challenges, however, may be more difficult to spot and more emotionally charged for family members. Some people experience personality changes after a stroke, like becoming more careless and forgetful or more irritable and depressed. These emotional challenges can cause strains in their relationships, but can become easier to deal with when loved ones recognize that they are results of the stroke. Talking to your doctor or another professional may help you identify these types of challenges.

Looking for Support
Over 7 million Americans survive strokes every year, so if you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, you are not alone. Everyone has different experiences after their stroke, but finding support from others who are going through something similar can be helpful for stroke survivors and their loved ones. Other people may be able to offer advice, resources, or simply a sympathetic ear when it’s needed. Many people connect to stroke support groups for help and friendship.

Finding Ways to Overcome
While some challenges after a stroke can be overcome, others may remain with you for the rest of your life. Finding ways to cope with your new challenges can be frustrating and overwhelming, but there are many resources available to help you. In addition to the expertise offered by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other professionals, there are plenty of resources online and in communities. For example, the Stroke Association keeps a library of daily living tips with ideas for coping with daily challenges faced by stroke survivors.

Seeking Stroke Rehabilitation
Many stroke survivors find that rehabilitation is the most important and helpful part of their recovery. Rehabilitation can offer help in identifying challenges, emotional support, and professional expertise in coping with new challenges.

Rehabilitation after a stroke is different for every person, because every stroke survivor has different challenges. Rehabilitation may help with self-care skills like feeding and dressing, mobility skills like walking or using a wheelchair, communication skills like speaking, cognitive skills such as problem solving or remembering, and social skills for interacting with others and dealing with emotions. It sometimes also involves more advanced skills, like re-learning how to drive or vocational training so that you can return to work.

Rehabilitation takes place in a variety of settings, from long-term in-patient care facilities to outpatient facilities you may visit a few times a week. It’s also conducted by a wide variety of professionals, including nurses, physical or occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, and audiologists.

Where to Find Rehabilitation
Many different types of facilities offer rehabilitation for strokes, including Maplewood of Sauk Prairie. Maplewood has many highly competent, caring staff who enjoy working with stroke patients to regain as much functioning and mobility as possible. We offer an intensive and well organized program that will be targeted to meet your unique needs. If you are interested in setting up a post-stroke rehabilitation program for yourself or a loved one, please give us a call at (608) 643-3383.

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The 3 Phases of Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers-disease-careMore than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. It’s likely that you already know someone who has Alzheimer’s or who is caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. It can be frightening to find out that family member is suffering from this disease, but sometimes knowing more about what to expect can help.

Although Alzheimer’s affects all individuals differently, there are generally three stages that people experience. However, your loved one may move through these stages at a different rate, and sometimes the stages overlap. Your loved one may exhibit some symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s and some symptoms of middle-stage Alzheimer’s, for example.

Alzheimer’s disease begins making changes in a person’s brain long before symptoms are apparent. Theses changes can sometimes be detected with brain imaging like fMRI, but you won’t notice any difference in the person’s day to day behaviors. This stage is referred to as “preclinical Alzheimer’s,” and it is not considered one of the three phases since no symptoms are apparent. Preclinical Alzheimer’s can last for several years before changes in the person’s habits or lifestyle become apparent.

Mild or Early-Stage Alzheimer’s
During this first phase of Alzheimer’s, problems may be apparent only to close friends or family members who spend a lot of time with the person. Doctors may also notice memory or concentration problems during detailed interviews. For the most part, however, this phase may be undetectable from a distance.

People with early-stage Alzheimer’s often work, participate in social activities, drive, live alone, and function independently. They may begin to have memory lapses more often than they used to. All people have memory lapses once in a while, like forgetting what day of the week it is and later remembering, or not being able to think of a particular word or object name for a little while. However, people with early-stage Alzheimer’s will begin to have more frequent lapses. They may have more trouble than usual remembering names when meeting new people, often forget things they’ve just read, or have increasing trouble with planning and organizing.

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which can sometimes happen during the early stage, the average person lives four to eight more years. However, this is only an average, and some people live up to 20 more years.

Moderate or Middle-Stage Alzheimer’s
Middle-stage Alzheimer’s is typically the longest phase, and it may last for many years. People in this stage will require gradually increasing levels of care, and will exhibit more serious symptoms. Damage to nerve cells in the brains of people with middle-stage Alzheimer’s may lead to these people acting differently than they used to. They may get frustrated or angry often or stop doing routine things like bathing. They may find it difficult to express their thoughts, which can make them more frustrated.

During this stage, people typically become increasingly forgetful about important events and their own past, get confused, and develop erratic sleeping habits. They may also experience personality changes that require a great deal of patience from caregivers and family members, like becoming moody, suspicious, and compulsive.

Severe or Late-Stage Alzheimer’s
In the final stage of this disease, people may need help with personal care and activities around the clock. They may develop difficulty communicating or experience changes in physical abilities. They may become less able to walk, sit up, or swallow. They often lose awareness of recent experiences and do not respond to their surroundings.

Caring for People with Alzheimer’s
It can be difficult to care for people with Alzheimer’s Disease as they begin to need help more and more frequently. Many families find they are unable to handle the advanced needs of their loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Facilities like Maplewood Sauk Prairie can ease some of the burden with kind, professional, and highly trained staff that will care for your loved ones and allow you to be highly involved in their treatment and daily life. We are happy to speak with you and give tours of our facility, so if you would like to talk about Alzheimer’s care program, give us a call at (608) 643-3383.

Maplewood is like a good bottle of aged, fine wine. Only time and quality ingredients can create the complexities needed to become a superior product. At Maplewood, it’s about the care. You’ll receive emotional & physical care by certified, trained staff members in an ideal environment.
Maplewood’s memory care unit was built to create the best experience for a person with dementia. Too much stimulation heightens anxieties so there are a small number of residents in the memory care community and each resident has a private room and private bathroom. It is a cheery, safe place with an outdoor courtyard, where residents truly feel at home.
• Residents experience consistency and compassion. At Maplewood they are in contact with the same staff even at a time when other facilities are hiring temp agencies to fill openings.
• Trained staff – every employee at Maplewood has training on Alzheimer’s/Dementia twice a year. They know how to approach a person with memory decline, understand behaviors they exhibit, effectively act and react to residents and use successful wording.
• Every employee caring for your loved one is at the very least state certified as a CNA, Certified Nursing Assistant. This means your loved one will experience the best care methods. This includes proper hygiene, injury prevention, averting infections through excellent incontinence care and reducing complications such as aspiration, pneumonia or skin breakdown.
• Maplewood has nurses on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means a nurse will respond immediately to a concern. Some facilities have a nurse “on call”, which means a lag time for getting a response when there is a critical situation.

• Experienced employees regularly help on a personal and professional level by giving guidance and support. It is common for family members to consult with Maplewood staff about what to do for their loved ones.
• 3.5:1 ratio for resident to staff member.
• On-site speech, occupational and physical therapy with licensed therapist, 6 days a week.
• Use non pharmaceutical interventions such as diathermy & ultra sound to reduce both falls and pain management.
• Maplewood uses a multi-disciplinary approach. They look at nutrition, dehydration, overall medicine management and activities that encourage a positive distraction and will give residents purpose.
With dementia, memory loss is only the tip of the iceberg. A person can’t get back the memory that has been lost. At Maplewood we stimulate what remains. Individualized care plans are created by a nurse with coordinating activities that work around any skills which have been affected. For instance, music, dancing, rhythms and prayers are parts of memory that will always remain, so those activities are incorporated into daily activities.
To make an analogy many people can relate to, as a parent, you instinctually want your child to be cared for by the best person. You can utilize an inexperienced teenager or a very experienced adult and there will be a very different level of care. It is the same when looking for senior care. At Maplewood there is tremendous “value added” when care providers have specialized CNA training.

Recovery After Joint Surgery with Physical Therapy
Joint surgery is very common in this day and age, so most physical therapists have extensive experience with helping patients recover from surgeries for ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and other joints. A good physical therapist will be acquainted with your surgery and what brought on the need for it, as well as the most effective treatment for you.

Your treatment may differ greatly from someone else who had a similar surgery, but a physical therapist will deliver a personalized therapy plan that will meet your needs and challenges. However, there are a few things that almost all physical therapy plans after joint surgery will have in common.

Preventing Scar Tissue
One of the major goals your physical therapist will have for you is to minimize the scar tissue within your joint. If you have surgery and don’t move the joint enough afterwards, scar tissue may develop on your joint that will limit your future movement. To counteract this scar tissue, you therapist will probably help you get up and moving again very soon after the actual surgery takes place. In addition to regular appointments, physical therapists also often recommend exercise for you to do at home.

Returning to Daily Activities
Another goal your physical therapist will likely have for you is to return to your normal lifestyle or better. Physical therapists will take into account your previous lifestyle and your future goals. For example, did you formerly golf? Do you do a lot of hiking or walking? Or do you just want to be able to chase your grand children around or work around the yard? Returning too quickly to your previous activities may further injure you, but your therapist knows you’re impatient to get back to the activities you enjoy. He or she can help you set appropriate goals and a safe time line for achieving them.

Pain Reduction
Physical therapists also want to reduce your pain as much as possible. They know you were in pain before the surgery, which is the reason it happened in the first place. By helping you choose appropriate and effective exercises, they can target muscles that will support and protect your problematic joints. Building up the appropriate muscles can also help ease the pain and swelling around your joints after surgery. This will also help you restore a comfortable range of motion.

The weeks following a joint surgery can be difficult for both the patient and his or her family, but physical therapists are well acquainted with the difficulties you will face during these weeks. Their expertise can help you safely restore comfort and motion to your joints. Be sure to talk with your physical therapist about your goals for your lifestyle after recovery and give them feedback on how the treatment is helping (or not helping) you so they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Should you have any questions about physical therapy or are planning on having an upcoming joint surgery, call the PT staff at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie at 608-643-3383.