Assisted Living: How to Properly Care for Senior Citizens and Their Needs

As the years start to progress, one thing becomes inevitable: the ones that we love and care about will require outside care to maintain their quality of life. This is when senior care is extremely significant. Rather it’s your parents, grandparents, in-laws or a significant other, medical assistance in even the most mundane scenarios becomes a daily occurrence and renders many of us feeling incapable. If you’re in this position, or you’re preparing for the upcoming years, this article will shed light on how to provide care for aging seniors and leave them living their best life!

Customize and Friendly Help

Regardless of the facility that you choose to contact, leaving your loved one in the helping hands of those that are friendly, understanding and professional is a must. According to interesting statistics released by Senior Living, there are over 47-million seniors living within the United States alone. With numbers like this, it’s critical that families and friends use facilities that are trained to deal with your loved one’s particular ailments. Here is a brief list of questions to ponder when screening for potential services to use:

  • Does the facility encourage an interactive community?

  • Are the staff trained and ready to deal with patients that require further assistance like Dementia and immobility?

  • Does the service cost reflect the level of care and comfort the patient will receive?

  • Can couples (husband and wife) be placed together in the facility? If so, what are the limitations?

  • Do you have a personal connection with the staff and professionals located at the facility?

Although these questions may seem burdensome or not important, they’re essential for providing the best experience possible for your loved one.

Life Is Not Over!

Another topic to keep in mind when researching an assisted-living facility is that of letting your loved one live their life on their own terms. Having a purpose-driven lifestyle that is full of adventure that allows your loved one to wake up each morning with hope is essential. Visiting these facilities and understanding their workflow and how they deal with certain patients is vital in the selection process.

Although there will be certain instances where the patient will require outside help and assistance — bathing, changing clothes, moving long distances, feeding themselves, medication distribution, etc. — it should be noted that each patient journeys down their own path. Promoting a feeling of individuality and independence while still receiving the help they need is, without a doubt, the most important aspect for a senior citizen.

Is This Your Answer?

The bottom line is that your loved one’s life is about to change, but it doesn’t have to put a negative burden on your shoulders. By researching various facilities and making a checklist of certain standards that must be met is the best way to move forward. No one wants to put their relatives or romantic partner in a situation where their quality of life isn’t of the highest standard — why settle? Use the information above as your road map to a destination filled with independence and peace of mind. Reach out to us today and see what the future holds in store for you! The experience of assisted living can be rewarding in more ways than you can imagine

References:

As our elder loved ones age symptoms may present themselves that point to the need for senior care. It’s important that you remain observant so any concerning signs or behaviors do not go unnoticed: You want your family to be as happy and healthy as possible and for some seniors that means additional care may be required. You have to remember though that most seniors want to live out their lives at home and the topic of moving them into a senior care facility may be a touchy one! The good news is though that mildest to moderate concerns may frequently be remedied without the need to move your loved one out of their home!

To help you provide the best quality of life for your elder family member, we’ve detailed a few signs and symptoms that may be cause for additional senior care:

Signs To Watch For

Chronic Medical Conditions

As we age, the chances of a chronic medical condition such as heart disease or Alzheimer’s developing increases. Those that suffer from such medical conditions will often need increased medical care as they age and may not be in a position to provide the appropriate care for themselves that they require. If you notice any medical condition getting out of hand, or found that they may have fallen and had issues getting themselves up then their solitary lifestyle may need to come to an end. As disheartening as this may sound to them, it is for the best.

Issues Managing Money

Many of us as we grow older end up less than capable of taking care of all the financial responsibilities that we’ve taken on over the years. Insurance renewals and bills may start to pile up due to forgetfulness, a lack of motivation to pay them, or a lack of money to do so. It’s not uncommon for seniors to fall victim of scammers and if they happened to develop a disease such as dementia then their ability to deal with the complexities of paying bills and taxes may have alluded them. If you notice any of this occurring then consider taking over the management of their finances or seeking out additional care.

Living In Isolation

Isolation isn’t good for anyone, but it is especially problematic when it comes to our elders. With more than 11 million seniors living alone, isolation is a leading factor in seniors’ health declining. Potential issues that can arise as a result of isolation include addiction, depression, and even death! If your senior family member is living alone and you find that they aren’t going out and spending any time with friends then consider stopping in for visits more frequently or if that is not an option, then it may be time to seek out additional care.

Unkempt Living Space

If you notice that your senior loved one’s lawn and house seem to be in decline, with little care taken to their preservation, then it may be a sign that they are no longer able to physically take care of these things. Depression may also cause this so don’t dismiss this if you feel they’re still able-bodied; It is still a problem. If this is the only sign you’ve noticed so far, consider options other than taking them out of their home such as hiring a landscaper, a housekeeper, or an in-home caregiver to help with the daily upkeep around the house.

Conclusion

In order to ensure our loved ones are living their lives to the fullest, as they age we must remain vigilant in order to notice any signs of decline that would illicit senior care. Getting the help you and your loved needs early will ensure that they live as comfortably and healthily as possible! If any of these signs present themselves, consider Maplewood of Sauk Prairie for your chosen senior care facility. Making the decision to utilize senior care is not something to take lightly, and you know your loved ones better than anyone else, so keep an eye on them and use your best judgment!

Sources:

https://www.seniorliving.org/where-to-start/knowing-when-its-time/

Joint Rehabilitation and You: Physical Therapy to Treat and Strengthen Your Body After Surgery

As you’re well aware, dealing with the physical limitations and struggles associated with joint replacements are, without a doubt, one of the most difficult things a patient can go through. Combine this with the trials and tribulations of life and you have a recipe for an unpleasant experience. But what if there were an alternative means of dealing with your surgery after the ordeal has taken place? Are you simply expected to deal with random variables as they’re thrown at you, or are there certain practices and techniques that can be used to speed up the recovery process? If you’ve undergone a joint replacement yourself, or know someone that is, hesitantly, about to undergo one, these techniques will ensure that the ordeal flows as easily as possible.

Knee Replacement: What to Expect and How to Approach Rehab

Here you are — fresh out of the surgery, unable to move your leg and not knowing what your next move may be. Although this may be a trying time filled with emotional fluctuations, it’s one of the most common procedures that an individual can undergo. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes that total knee replacement recipients will grow over 650% by the year 2030 with millions of patients treated. So although you may feel down and out about your procedure, rest assured knowing that doctors and healthcare physicians perform these treatments on an almost daily basis.

First and foremost, you need to gain strength back into the limb itself. This process, although daunting and somewhat uncomfortable, will ensure that the entire range of motion of the lower limb will return once the healing process is over. Patients that fail to perform their therapy, or simply neglect the muscles located in the leg, are prone to becoming immobile after the wounds from the surgery have healed. Health sources report that the duration in which a patient stays in the hospital after their surgery is, usually, less than 72 hours.

Once you’ve arrived back home, your physician and therapist will map out a plan in which to begin training of the lower extremities. For patients that have undergone a slightly less invasive surgery, home rehabilitation may be all that is required. However, for individuals that are older or obese, clinical rehab is prescribed as a means of tackling the issues under the watchful eyes of a professional.

Exercises That Speed up the Healing Process

The most overlooked component to a speedy recovery, despite what most may think, comes from the dietary choices that you make. Our body needs nutritious fuel and minerals that it can absorb and use as a means of healing the damage our body has undergone. A brief list of foods that have been shown to improve bone and joint health are as follows:

  • Calcium-dense foods, such as milk, cream, and cheese, for bone and joint improvement.
  • Protein-packed lean meats like fish and chicken that can assist in repairing swollen, damaged and inflamed tissue.
  • Orange juice, fresh berries, and mango to improve collagen production.

The next thing a patient will undergo is a workout regimen that is designed to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles located in the knee. It’s important to realize that the first week after surgery will be used as a means of testing your pre-existing strength limits. For most patients, this duration will be used as a period of walking with the assistance of a walker or stroller. This will allow the individual to become active while still having assistance during the walking motion.

Once the individual begins to showcase strength, the therapist will begin incorporating the means of a stationary bike for ten, fifteen and twenty-minute time frames. Using the assistance of a bike provides a low-impact environment in which to stress and fatigue the calves and quadriceps which, in turn, assists with knee mobility.

You Hold the Power of Change

Most patients, yourself included, don’t realize the power that they wield once they leave the hospital. The results you experience and the lifestyle you lead after the surgery is completely reliant on your ability to remain consistent with your therapy. Your body will reap the benefits of the effort you showcase in your home, as well as the clinic during your training regimen. Don’t let surgery control your life, or impact the beautiful experiences you have with your family and friends. Ready yet? Reach out to us at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/knee-replacement-18/knee-surgery-physical-therapy
https://www.anationinmotion.org/value/total-knee-replacement-surgery-numbers/

If you have a need to utilize the services of an occupational therapist then there are a lot of things you should know. First and foremost, occupational therapists are dedicated to helping you get your life back. They desire to work with you to help you get the skills to help you do as many of your prior activities as possible.

In order to fully understand the role of an occupational therapist, it is important to understand the nature of their work and how they become qualified for their roles. These are truly some very dedicated professionals. Here are some facts regarding an experienced occupational therapist:

Occupational therapists have a lot of training and work in a variety of settings.

Occupational therapists are professional men and women who must have at least a master’s degree and many of them might even possess a doctorate. They have the option of attending 324 different colleges in the United States. Once they are out in the working field, they could work in a number of different areas, including hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, assisted living organizations and even mental health clinics. This just goes to show you that occupational therapy is a field that is truly in demand.

Occupational therapy is an important component of the recovery process.

When people think of occupational therapy, they generally think of an individual that is working with someone to get them ready for working or something of that nature. However, the “occupational” part of an OT’s job simply means they are working with the patient to help them go back to doing the things they enjoy or the things they want to do.

Occupational therapy is also concerned with helping you with “activities of daily living.”

Although “activities of daily living” can seem like a very fancy term, it actually just means the things you do each day. The activity of typing this article on a keyboard could be classified as such. However, it gets more specific than that. Activities of daily living also include such things as driving, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, paying your bills, walking your dog and a number of other things. The best way to sum it is that these activities of daily living are pretty much everything you do on a daily basis. If you are having difficulty doing all of these daily activities, then chances are you would benefit from the dedication of an occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists will generally try to help you with these “activities of daily living” after you have suffered what is called a “medical event.”

One of the reasons occupational therapists work in assisted living organizations, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers is because of the fact that a lot of them have suffered what is called a “medical event.” An event of type can be anything that causes you to not be able to do all of the things you used to be able to do. In some cases, a “medical event” can be truly life-altering, and can even force you to have to relearn how to read, how to tie your shoes, how to do household chores or even how to talk, among other things. This is one of the main reasons why an occupational therapy will often work with individuals who have been in a devastating car accident, those who have had a stroke or heart attack, or those who have had other types of accidents.

Occupational therapists are much different than physical therapists.

There are some individuals who think that occupational therapists are not that much different than physical therapists, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, physical therapists are generally concerned with utilizing exercise just to help those who want to have better health and more mobility. On the other hand, an occupational therapist will utilize exercise and range of motion to help their patients achieve functional goals. In a nutshell, the main difference between an occupational therapist and a physical therapist is that an OT is trying to help a patient restore their lifestyle.

Conclusion

At Maplewood of Sauk Prairie, there is one thing you can count on when it comes to our occupational therapists: they will work with you by taking a holistic approach. They will seek to give you an individualized patient evaluation, a customized treatment program, and recommendations of various adaptive tools that you can use for a better quality of life. If you have a need for the services of an occupational therapist, you can trust the dedicated professionals affiliated with Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.

 

When you think of speech therapy, you may think of small children receiving help on how to form difficult sounds. While this is a large part of speech therapy, speech therapy is actually used to help people of all ages who struggle with speech and language.

In addition to working with children, speech-language pathologists spend a lot of time working with senior citizens. Working with senior citizens may consist of working in the clinic, conducting home visits, or working in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Today we’ll discuss what speech therapy is for senior citizens and how it can help them live their daily lives.

Why is Speech Therapy Important for Seniors?

Speech therapy is important for people of any age because communication is a vital part of life. Communication is especially important for seniors because they may need to communicate the timing and location of pain and any basic needs that they may need to be fulfilled. This becomes increasingly important as a person ages because pain can quickly turn into an emergency situation that requires immediate attention.

In addition to the functional reasons that communication is important for seniors, it is also important for their social well-being. Regardless of if the individual lives with a spouse, by themselves, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home, social well-being is important for their overall health. If the individual feels like they can’t connect with others, this can have a negative impact on their outlook on life and their health.

How Do I Know if Speech Therapy is Needed?

The question to ask yourself if you are trying to determine if your loved one could benefit from speech therapy is “Are they having trouble communicating?” Since you are familiar with their daily routines, you should be able to answer this question. This is the first step in determining if speech therapy is needed.

A few other things to think about when considering if your loved one would benefit from speech therapy include how they respond when you ask them questions. Do they seem to have difficulty understanding the question or forming an answer? Additionally, are they still able to take care of their own medical and money records? If they used to do this on their own and have recently lost the ability to do so, it could reveal an underlying language issue. Lastly, is the person constantly in dangerous situations? This could include putting themselves at risk for injury or just in danger in general.

If you answered yes to these questions, it does not mean that your loved one will be thrown into speech therapy automatically. The first step is for the speech-language pathologist to conduct an evaluation to determine the root of the communication problems. Once the root of the problem is identified, the speech-language pathologist will collaborate with you to provide the best plan of treatment possible.

What will Therapy Consist of?

The answer to this question will be different for each patient because a large part of speech therapy is providing an individualized treatment plan that takes into account the patient and family’s goals. However, we have included frequent therapy plans below so that you can get a general feel of what the therapy may entail for your loved one.

A frequent therapy plan for seniors is aimed at the general aging process. This therapy plan includes working to strengthen the muscles of the larynx (a key part in forming speech) which tend to weaken with age. This therapy will consist of vocal exercises that will make it easier for them to use their voice to communicate.

Another type of therapy is often provided after a senior suffers a stroke. The speech and language problems following a stroke are known as aphasia and the speech-language pathologist is trained to provide therapy especially for aphasia.

The strategies that your loved one is exposed to will vary depending on the speech-language pathologist. Some general strategies include group therapy to gain confidence speaking, visual speech perception (linking words to pictures), and melodic intonation therapy which consists of singing words that can’t be produced using normal speech.

Overall, speech therapy is a great solution if your loved one has suffered a stroke or is having difficulty with speech and language associated with the natural aging process. Speech therapy is provided at a variety of care facilities including Maplewood of Sauk Prairie. Speech therapy can improve your loved one’s quality of life by giving them back the ability to communicate and form connections with others.

Sources:

https://www.seniorliving.org/healthcare/speech-therapy/
https://www.asccare.com/importance-speech-therapy-seniors/

Senior Eating Disorders – What to Know

In today’s modern society, eating disorders are generally assumed to only be associated with younger generations; more specifically, teenagers. But they are increasingly becoming a bigger problem in older generations, and for many reasons. Here are some important things to know about the eating disorders present among the elderly.

What is an Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder is classified as a psychological disorder that is characterized by disturbed or abnormal eating habits. And there are 3 main types of eating disorders present among the elderly: anorexia nervous, bulimia nervous, and binge-eating.

  • Anorexia Nervosa: An eating disorder in which an individual becomes obsessive about what they eat as well as how much they weigh
  • Bulimia Nervosa: An eating disorder in which an individual binges in order to avoid gaining weight
  • Binge Eating: An eating disorder in which an individual has the inability to control their consumption of large amounts of food

According to Dr. Holly Grishkat, PhD., women aged in their midlife or older are part of the largest group of new sufferers of eating disorders. Considering this, there must be reasons why society only correlates younger individuals with eating disorders. For example, older individuals with eating disorders may be less recognizable, leading to less support for them to seek treatment for their problem. On the other hand, younger individuals seeking help may be more supported since they have a longer future ahead of them. This is problematic because older individuals need treated for their eating disorders in order to prevent further complications with their health than already present.

Eating Disorders Among the Elderly

Among the older adults suffering from eating disorders, the majority of them have been dealing with an eating disorder since a younger age, and have either prevented to seek treatment throughout their life, or they went into remission and the eating disorder resurfaced. In 2006, a study conducted of nearly 1,000 elderly women found that 60% of the elderly individuals were dissatisfied with their bodies. In addition to this, the same study found that 80% of these 1,000 elderly female individuals were participating in some kind of weight control ritual. Furthermore, a literature review examined cases of eating disorder in people over the age of 50 years old and they found that 81% of the cases involved anorexia nervosa and 10% of the cases had bulimia nervosa. Lastly, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, around 20 million women as well as 10 million men in the United States have experienced some form of eating disorder at one point in their lives.

What Causes Senior Eating Disorders?

There are many factors that influence seniors to participate in different forms of eating disorders. For example, eating disorders are often associated with depression because of a loss of the desire to eat food, as well as loneliness. This loneliness can be caused by anywhere from an empty nest to divorce, widowhood, loss of parents, or loss of a child. In addition to this, some other factors that can trigger a senior to engage in an eating disorder are chronic illnesses, disabilities, medications, physical problems, and diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimers Disease. Medications can suppress an elderly individual’s appetite and desire for food, which may unintentionally lead to an eating disorder. Moreover, physical problems that may affect an elderly person’s eating habits are stomach problems, cardiac issues, gastrointestinal problems, and other complications.

Signs of Eating Disorders – What to Look Out For

There are plenty of symptoms that can identify that an eating disorder is a present problem in a senior citizen. These signs include:

  • Defensiveness or denial about an eating disorder
  • Onset or worsening osteoporosis
  • Heart or gastrointestinal problems
  • Excessive hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Desire to eat alone rather than with family
  • Significant change in weight (loss or gain)
  • Changes in overall behavior
  • Large amount of laxatives
  • Dental damage

Overall, eating disorders that take place among the elderly generation can be difficult to identity and diagnose, and they can even be mentally damaging to the people attempting to help the senior citizens get rid of an eating disorder. But with the proper management as well as training, the eating disorder can be fixed and prevented in the future. A highly recommended solution for you if you know a senior citizen that suffers from an eating disorder of any kind would be to contact Maplewood of Sauk Praire facility because they have highly trained professionals that can help create hope during the dark times of eating disorders. There is hope and there is the right help out there.

Sources:

http://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/news/exclusive_0409_03.shtml

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290023.php

https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/blog/common-types-of-eating-disorders-observed-in-the-elderly-population

Transient Ischemic Attacks – What You Should Know

Introduction

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or a mini-stroke is caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain due to a clot lodged in the artery. A mini-stoke has similar symptoms of an ischemic attack, the most common type of stroke. The main difference is TIA symptoms last for a few minutes to hours until the clot dissolves or dislodges on its own.

A stroke causes permanent damage to the brain because blood and oxygen flow are cut off for a longer time. It is a scary occurrence for anyone who experienced TIA since it may serve as a major warning sign of a full-blown stroke to come.

Seeking medical attention right away can help distinguish a mini-stroke from a real ischemic attack. TIA is a treatable condition and may require post-stroke rehabilitative care. Medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments can prevent TIA recurrence and reduce the risk of a stroke.

Causes of Transient Ischemic Attack

A blood clot that clogs the artery leading to the brain is the leading cause of a mini-stroke. TIA is also commonly caused by atherosclerosis or a buildup of plaques in the arteries. These plaques come from fatty deposits of cholesterol in the body. They can cause a clot to develop and float around in the body or an artery. It can reduce blood flow or get clogged in the artery. TIA occurs when the clot blocks blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

Symptoms of Transient Ischemic Attack

• Numbness, weakness, or paralysis in one side of the body, the face, arm or legs

• Sudden, severe headache of unknown cause

• Slurred speech

• Confusion

• Double vision or blindness in one or both eyes

• Loss of balance

• Lack of physical coordination

• Dizziness or passing out

Risk Factors of TIA

Some of the risk factors of TIA can be managed to prevent full stroke. Others cannot be changed. They include:

• Genetics

• Age

• Gender

• Race

• Previous transient ischemic attack

• Sickle cell disease

Reducing the Risk of TIA and Stroke

Certain health conditions and lifestyle choices increase the risk of getting TIA and stroke. Some 1 in 3 people go on to have a stroke after having a min-stroke. However, if the following risk factors are managed well, i.e. risk avoidance and preventative care, it can reduce the chance of a stroke. People who have two or more risk factors are typically at a greater risk.

Health Conditions:

• High cholesterol

• High blood pressure

• Diabetes

• Cardiovascular disease

• Peripheral artery disease

• Carotid artery disease

• Obesity

• Elevated levels of homocysteine

Lifestyle Choices:

• Poor nutrition

• Smoking tobacco

• Alcoholism

• Use of illicit drugs

• Physical inactivity

• Use of birth control pills

Treatment for Transient Ischemic Attack

If you suspect from the symptoms you suffered a TIA, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor may perform various tests including CT scans, MRI’s, and MRA’s if necessary to make a diagnosis. Treatment depends on the type, severity, cause, and location of the TIA.

Medication: Anti-platelet drugs or anti-coagulant medication may be prescribed to prevent clotting in the body. Thrombolytic therapy using a thrombolytic agent may be used to dissolve blood clots blocking blood flow to the brain. It is especially useful for an ongoing stroke. Medication may also be prescribed to treat underlying health conditions associated with TIA and stroke.

Surgery: A carotid endarterectomy may be required to unclog the carotid artery in the neck. This surgical procedure is done to remove the plaques or fatty deposits to prevent another TIA or a stroke.

Angioplasty: Carotid angioplasty, or stenting, may be necessary for some patients. This surgical procedure is done to place a small wire tube or stent into the clogged artery to keep it open.

Lifestyle Changes: Eating healthier, exercising, stress management, and kicking certain habits, such as smoking cigarettes, abusing illicit drugs, or drinking excessive alcohol, can help reduce the chance of TIA or a stroke.

Getting Professional Help

Transient ischemic attack can happen to anyone. It is preventable to some extent and is treatable. Perhaps the most important thing you need to know are the symptoms and to call 911 to avoid medical complications. It is especially important to do so since TIA and stroke have some similar symptoms.

Many times, a person may require post-stroke rehabilitation which can be done in a residential or outpatient setting. Maplewood of Sauk Prairie Health & Rehabilitation Center, in Sauk City, WI, can provide stroke rehabilitative care for your or your loved one in a compassionate environment.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are part of their post-stroke treatment programs which are managed by a professional and qualified medical staff. These services are offered in an inpatient or outpatient environment, depending on the client’s needs. Their goal is returning you or your loved one to an active life by working to reduce the challenges posed by a TIA or stroke.

Sources:

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association: https://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/TypesofStroke/TIA/Transient-Ischemic-Attack-TIA_UCM_492003_SubHomePage.jsp

MedicineNet: https://www.medicinenet.com/transient_ischemic_attack_tia_mini-stroke/article.htm#what_is_the_prognosis_for_transient_ischemic_attack_tia

Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/stroke/signs-symptoms-tia-mini-stroke

Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/transient-ischemic-attack/symptoms-causes/syc-20355679

WebMd: https://www.webmd.com/stroke/what-is-tia#2

Parkinson’s Disease – What You Need to Know

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative nervous system condition that impacts a stricken individual’s mobility, their ability to control bodily movements and, in as the disease advances, simple tasks like eating and speaking. Scientists and researchers more specifically attribute the onset of this disorder to the breakdown of the dopamine-producing neurons (brain cells). A decline in the important brain chemical dopamine is believed to precipitate abnormal brain behavior that results in the ailment’s physical manifestations.

Currently, there are roughly one million Americans with Parkinson’s disease and 10 million people afflicted throughout the world. For reasons not entirely understood, men are almost twice as likely to develop the illness as women.

The staff of Maplewood of Prairie Sauk, a skilled nursing home and outpatient rehabilitation facility invites our readers to learn basic but pertinent information about this health malady.

The Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers are unable to pinpoint any one specific or probable cause. That said, certain underlying personal circumstances are thought to contribute to the ailment’s onset including the repeated exposure to numerous toxic allergens, chemicals and substances prevalent in the environment. Members of the scientific community have also identified genetic flaws as another potential cause. Despite these hypotheses regarding environment and genetics as possible triggers, scientists caution that the overall percentage of cases that can be directly attributable to these factors are still relatively small.

Research has also led medical professionals to opine that changes in an afflicted person’s brain chemistry and structure could also be a precipitator. Clusters of brain matter referred to as Lewy bodies are present in the brains of some Parkinson’s patients. These structures are said to contain chemicals the brain is unable to breakdown, which eventually leads to neuronal destruction.

The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

The disease is classified in five stages. Symptoms worsen as an impacted individual enters each particular stage. Early manifestations might include bodily tremors or muscle stiffness that does not interfere with daily activities or could be attributed to common issues such as the aging process or recovery from an exercise regiment.

However, as the illness advances, stricken persons will gradually experience a greater degree of difficulty executing tasks like walking, controlling bodily movements, speaking, eating or even standing without assistance. When the illness reaches the fifth and final stage, the afflicted individual could be completely unable to move and might even experience hallucinations or delusions.

Potential Complications

The manifestations of the illness may also precipitate related complications including:

*Sleeplessness

*Sexual performance problems.

*The inability to chew or swallow food might elicit digestion and nutrition difficulties.

*The loss of muscle control could lead to the inability to control urinary or bowel functions.

*Muscle atrophy.

*Dizziness or fainting upon standing.

*Increased fatigue.

*Depression.

*Mental clarity issues.

These issues could eventually lead to numerous other health problems.

The Risk Factors

Typically, one’s of contracting Parkinson’s disease increases with age. In most instances, onset of the illness does not begin until someone reaches middle to advanced age. Furthermore, most diagnosed cases of the ailment are made in persons 60 years of age and older.

Diagnosis

Eastablishing a diagnosis could be a time-consuming endeavor. There are no specific tests designed to completely confirm the illness’s presence. Diagnosis is typically made following a thorough physical and neurological evaluation and, quite possibly, several laboratory and internal body imaging tests conducted to rule out other potential health problems.

Treatment Options

Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured. However, in some cases, certain medications might be effective in slowing the ailment’s progression might or in easing associated symptoms. Prescribed drugs are usually geared towards stimulating dopamine production within the brain, mimicking dopamine’s characteristics or to alleviate specific manifestations of the illness.

Some people have found improvement after undergoing a surgical procedure known as Deep-Brain Stimulation (DBS). During this process, electrical impulses are pumped into regions of the brain believed to be impacted by the illness.

Prevention

While there may not yet be any surefire measures people can employ to prevent developing Parkinson’s disease, the execution of certain actions might lower the risk including the consumption of a healthy diet, limiting one’s exposure to environmental allergens and toxins, avoiding excessive intake of alcohol, engaging in brain stimulating activities, obtaining adequate amounts of rest and keeping the body in shape through exercise.

Conclusion

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, incurable brain disease that can have a significant impact upon a person’s life. However, the illness could be slowed and its manifestations eased through various treatment methods. Maplewood of Sauk Prairie might be able to help those stricken with Parkinson’s disease stay as strong as possible and maximize their health through our skilled nursing home facility and rehabilitation services. Please contact us at 608-643-3383.

Sources:

1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-

causes/syc-20376055

2. http://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons

3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/parkinsons-disease/complications-of-parkinsons-disease.php

Avoiding falls in the senior population

Falling is a serious problem among older adults. Falls can lead to serious injury and long-term consequences. Understanding falls among older adults can help loved ones reduce the risks of falls and protect older adults’ health and safety.

Causes of falls among older adults

There are a number of things that contribute to falls in older adults. Some of these factors can be controlled with lifestyle changes and support from caregivers while other factors cannot be controlled in adults’ lives. Here are some common causes of falls among older adults:

• Reduced mobility due to age and frailty

• Illness, such as one that causes dizziness or unsteadiness

• Injury, such as one that affects mobility

• Medication side effects

• Numbness in feet and/or legs

• Dehydration

• Chronic pain

• Urinary incontinence or frequent, urgent trips to the bathroom

• Brain or mood disorders, such as dementia

• Improper environment, such as shoes that do not fit

Though all of these causes can contribute to falls among older adults, dizziness is another significant risk factor. Dizziness can be brought on by medications, illnesses, low blood pressure, and other conditions. Dizziness can lead to unsteadiness. When paired with other risk factors, this can lead to an increased risk of falls in older adults.

Effects of falls

While falls can be painful for all people, they can be particularly harmful for older adults. In fact, falls among older adults are a significant cause of serious injury or complications after an injury or surgical procedure. Since older adults are often frailer, they may break bones or dislocate joints, even from a short fall.

If the fall comes after a surgical procedure, such as in the hospital, there is a risk of harm to the surgical site, infection, or additional injuries that would lengthen the hospital stay and potentially cause distress to the patient and family.

Due to the injuries that older adults can experience after a fall, there can be long-term consequences. For example, a bone break or dislocated hip can mean the older adult is no longer able to walk independently.

Treating falls

If an older adult experiences a fall, the first step should be to seek medical attention. Even if the fall seems minor or that no injury occurred, seeking medical attention will ensure that everything is okay and address any problems that may have occurred. Not only will a physician determine if any injuries have occurred but the physician will help determine the cause of the fall, which may be another area of health that needs to be addressed.

If an injury has occurred, such as a broken bone or dislocated hip, the physician will develop a treatment plan to be carried out for the older adult. This may include a rehabilitation program and ongoing care.

The physician may also develop a treatment plan to address the cause of the fall. For example, if an older adult’s medication is causing dizziness, a physician may adjust the dosage or change the medication completely.

Preventing falls

Preventing falls is an effective way to prevent the negative effects of falls in older adults. While not all causes of falls can be avoided, such as frailty and limited mobility, there are measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of a fall at home.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors refer to the elements of the home that can contribute to a fall. Uneven or changing floor environments, such as area rugs, stairs, or a sunken living room, can lead to a fall, especially if the older adult is not familiar with the home. Paths should be even and clear of clutter. Inclines, ramps, and stairs should have handrails.

Along with this, older adults should have shoes that fit well or slippers with non-slip bottoms to minimize the risk of falls when walking. If mobility is limited, assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, should be available.

Lifestyle factors

The environment is only one component of fall prevention. Even with the environment safe, older adults are at risk of falling. Fortunately, some lifestyle changes can be made to further reduce risks. This includes providing assistance and support for older adults when needed. For example, if mobility is limited, assistance should be provided to move throughout the home.

It is also recommended that older adults remain as active as possible. Older adults who are active are less likely to experience falls. Physicians can provide recommendations for what activities are safe.

Even with preventive measures, falls can happen. If your loved one is recovering from a fall and needs assistance or rehabilitation, the staff at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie would be happy to help.

Diseases that precipitate cognitive decline in older individuals such as dementia can significantly impact their quality of life and be quite difficult for loved ones to witness. Though these types of brain and mental disorders are not yet understood entirely by the medical community, significant research efforts have focused on ways in which such maladies may be prevented. Some scientists opine that increased exercise might serve as one particular preventative measure.

The Maplewood at Prairie Sauk, a nursing facility and outpatient physical rehabilitation center serving the needs of patients with dementia and other cognitive disorders, invites people to read the following brief article focusing on dementia, the malady’s causes and symptoms, as well as how and why physical activity may keep the affliction at bay.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not classified as any one specific type of mental illness. Rather, medical professionals categorize this moniker as a collection of conditions resulting in cognitive mental deterioration. The most commonly known form of such disorders is Alzheimer’s Disease.

What are the Symptoms of Dementia?

Manifestations may vary depending upon the exact cause or area of the brain that is most impacted. That said, regardless of any other factors, many presentations of dementia typically elicit several common symptoms such as profound memory loss, slurred or slow speech, difficulty finding the appropriate words to use in conversation, the inability to carry out once routine, everyday household or professional tasks, problems recognizing people and places (even close relatives and friends and familiar environments like home), difficulty exercising judgment in situations where such decisions must be executed, neglected hygiene, mood swings, bizarre behavior, hallucinations, balance issues and depression.

What are the Causes?

In many instances, dementia is precipitated by the progressive and irreversible deterioration of the brain’s cerebral cortex. This region of the mind controls actions like memory, personality and decision making. Under far less frequent circumstances, dementia may be a treatable manifestation of another serious illness including sexually transmitted diseases like Syphilis, the AIDS virus, hormonal and metabolic imbalances, nutritional deficiencies or severe and chronic presentations of alcoholism and substance addiction.

Can Dementia be Prevented?

While there is no medically-established preventative measure, doctors and scientists believe there are certain steps people can employ that might help reduce their chances of developing dementia later in life. These include keeping the mind strong through mental stimulation, consuming a well-balanced, healthy diet, augmenting solid dietary practices through the ingestion of brain and memory-boosting vitamin and nutritional supplements, reducing stress levels, obtaining more sleep, curtailing or eliminating bad habits such as drinking and smoking and receiving an adequate amount of exercise. Some researchers have opined that exercise may be among the most important preventative measures people can employ.

The Results of a New Study

A team of researchers representing The University of Gothenburg’s Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry in Sweden suggest that an individual’s stamina, which is scientifically-defined as the duration of time needed for the body to reach a peak level of physical exhaustion during periods of exertion, might impact his or her risk of being stricken with some form of dementia in later years.

The study began in 1968 and involved nearly 200 women ranging in age from 38 to 60. Each test subject was asked to perform a cycling race for the purpose of measuring how stout their cardiovascular systems were. Following the examination, researchers placed the examinees in one of three categories depending upon how they performed in the race: low fitness, medium fitness and high fitness. Category designations were also assigned based upon other variables such as a subject’s overall health when deemed appropriate. The researchers followed each subject for a 44-year period ending in 2012. The findings showed that the women classified as high fitness who also developed dementia did so, on average, at a rate of 11 years later than medium designees also afflicted with the condition. While researchers believe this study is beneficial, the scientific community in general opine that much more research is needed before a direct correlation can be drawn regarding physical activity as a possible medically-accepted preventative tool for dementia.

We at Maplewood at Sauk Prairie work with dementia patients. If you or a loved one are concerned about the illness or may need assistance, please contact us.

Sources:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352013
  2. https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/tc/dementia-symptoms
  3. http://www.dementia.com/causes.html
  4. https://www.alzheimers.net/1-1-15-resolutions-reduce-dementia-2015/
  5. https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/14/health/dementia-risk-fitness-study/index.html