Having a Pet Offers a Range of Benefits to Seniors

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It turns out that being a pet owner can provide a range of benefits to seniors including helping them to live longer, healthier and more enjoyable lives.  One clinical study done several years ago tracked heart disease survivors after they were discharged from the hospital.  Studying survivors’ medical histories, lifestyles, families, and relationships, it found that, “The presence of a pet was the strongest social predictor of survival…not just for lonely or depressed people, but everyone – independent of marital status and access to social support from human beings.”

Another study done by the American Psychological Association found pets provide an important source of social support to their elderly owners.  Researchers explain that senior pet owners “fared better on several well-being (e.g., greater self-esteem, more exercise) and individual-difference (e.g., greater conscientiousness, less fearful attachment) measures.”

It may be the benefits come from the fact that pets offer unconditional affection and companionship.  Also a pet requires seniors to stay engaged in the day-to-day process of caring for the animal as they need to feed, groom, walk and clean up after their pet.

If you are thinking of getting a pet for an elderly family member, it is recommended that you consider the person’s physical health and personality.  AgingCare.com says you should also take into account the following: has the person owned a pet before; does the animal have a good temperament; and will owning a pet cause a financial hardship?

MorningStar of Sparks is committed to provide the best senior living Reno or Sparks offers, and we understand that our residents do not want to leave behind their pet when they move into our community.   Please give us a call to learn more about our pet guidelines as well as to schedule a tour of our exceptional community.

The unique mission statement of MorningStar of Sparks, “to honor, to serve, to invest,” sets us apart from other senior living communities. Our foundation is built upon honoring God, valuing all seniors, and investing in staff with a felt calling to serve. Dedicated to creating a real home for residents within a beautiful setting, we encourage you to learn more about the finest senior living Reno/Sparks has to offer. 

Sources: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21728449, petsfortheelderly.org, agingcare.com/Articles/benefits-of-elderly-owning-pets-113294.htm



All-inclusive, Compassionate Memory Care

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At MorningStar of Santa Fe, we understand the devastation families feel when they get a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.  We know the path going forward is unplanned for, and we consider it our privilege – our calling to walk alongside the memory-impaired and their family on their unexpected journey.  MorningStar’s newly opened senior housing offers assisted living as well as experienced, compassionate memory care for those in the early onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia right through to the most advanced stages.  

Our memory care is in a separate wing we call Reflections Neighborhood and consists of 29 secure suites.  The area is specifically designed to allow residents the freedom to move safely about their spacious surroundings.  Also given the nature of dementia, residents pay one price for their suite and their care regardless of the level of memory loss.  

As dementia care experts, our unique approach and philosophy to caring for those afflicted with the disease is called “Lavender Sky.”  We know the essence of the person remains despite the level of memory loss, and our job is to nurture and support the individual by finding ways to calm or stimulate as the situation demands.  Lavender Sky provides the path for us to enter, embrace, and explore the “purple world” of memory loss, and to cross over the physical, emotional, and relational boundaries that would otherwise separate us.    

Every aspect of our home is designed to provide the comfort, wellness and safety our special residents require including mealtime.  We know those suffering from memory loss can sometimes have compromised abilities at the table. We address this by providing a selection of finger foods, texture-modified diets (mechanical soft and puréed, thickened liquids), and easy-to-recognize balanced meals that taste as good as they look.   

MorningStar of Santa Fe invites area families to contact us for more information and availability and pricing.  To see firsthand our loving care, we encourage you to set up a tour of the finest senior housing in Santa Fe.  

MorningStar of Santa Fe offers the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true “home” for residents.  Please visit our website for more information on compassionate senior living in Santa Fe, NM.

Seniors and Depression

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Statistics show that depression in seniors is common; however, it is not a normal part of aging and should not be treated as such.   Many of the challenges seniors go through in the later stages of their life including the death of love ones, retiring from the workplace, and having one or more serious health problems or disability can result in a person developing depression.  While an estimated 6 million adults age 65 years and older have late-life depression, only 10% of those affected are treated for it.

Experts say there are several reasons why depression goes untreated in the elderly including the fact that symptoms are displayed differently from those in younger people. For example many seniors do show signs of sadness, the most common symptom of depression, and many are unwilling to share their feelings with anyone.  Seniors with depression often complain of feeling tired, have trouble sleeping and may be grumpy and irritable. Depression can even cause symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s such as confusion and attention problems.  

In some cases symptoms of depression are misdiagnosed as being the result of medical conditions and/or from the side effects of medicines they take to treat the conditions.  The National Institute on Aging says depression can “co-occur with other serious medical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease.” Furthermore they explain that depression can make these conditions worse and treating the depression can help older adults better manage their other health conditions.  

If you think you have depression or that a loved one is suffering from the condition, you need to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider.  It can be treated but your doctor needs to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing the depression. Typical treatment for depression includes medication and psychotherapy.

MorningStar of Santa Fe offers the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true “home” for residents.  Please visit our website to schedule a tour to experience firsthand the finest senior living in Santa Fe, NM.

Steps to Take to Help Prevent Falls

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We have all heard stories or may have had an older relative take a fall that lead to serious injuries, hospitalization, or in the worst case, a fatality.  In fact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the fatal fall rate for people 65 years and older jumped 31 percent from 2007 to 2016, making falls the leading cause of injury-related death among people in this age group.  Falls are so common in the elderly that every 11 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) says that many falls are preventable and publishes a one-page guide called “Take Control of Your Health: 6 Steps to Prevent a Fall.”  Their first tip is to find a balance and exercise class that is specifically designed to help older adults built strength and improve their balance and flexibility.   

NCOA also recommends talking to your doctor about your fall threat.  Ask if any medications you are taking have side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, or other issues that could increase your risk for fall.  Moreover be sure to share any recent falls you may have had with your healthcare provider as well as your family.

Fall prevention includes having your vision and hearing tested annually.  If you need stronger glasses, get them and be sure to wear them. The next step is to do a survey of your home both inside and out to ensure you do not have unsafe areas that increase the likelihood of a fall.  Search the Internet for a checklist of things to look for in your home to improve safety. The NCOA suggests enlisting the aid of your family to help you keep your home safe for everyone.

MorningStar of Santa Fe’s assisted living and memory care comprehensively answers the demand for luxury senior housing in Santa Fe, NM.  Along with our architecturally stunning building and resort-style amenities, we are most proud of our loving team of caregivers with a felt calling to serve.  Please visit our website to set up a tour of our community.

MorningStar of Santa Fe offers the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true “home” for residents.  For more information, please give us a call or visit our website to set up a tour of the area’s finest senior living in Santa Fe, NM.

Source: ncoa.org/wp-content/uploads/NCOA-Falls-Free-Infographic-680pixels-0917.pdf

Falls are the Leading Cause of Injuries for Older Americans

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The National Council on Aging (NCOA) states that, “falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs.”  They report one in four adults over the age of 65 fall each year and account for more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency rooms annually, and result in over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.

However they say falls do not have to be an inevitable result of aging.  Rather with some practical lifestyle adjustments as well as public campaigns on how to reduce the problem from the NCOA and other organizations, the number of yearly falls can be reduced.  The NCOA’s evidence-based Falls Free® National Action Plan was updated in 2015, and includes “goals, strategies and action steps to increase physical mobility, reduce the impact of medications as a falls risk factor, and improve home and environmental safety.”

The National Institute on Aging explains some of the steps seniors can take to help protect themselves from a fall.  The first thing is to stay physically active. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking or climbing stairs improves muscles strength and keeps joints, tendon, and ligaments more flexible.  Another fall-prevention tip is to have your eyes and hearing tested. If you need glasses, wear them, and if you have a hearing aid, wear it.

In addition ask your healthcare provider if your medications have side effects that can make you dizzy or sleepy.   It is also important to get enough sleep and to limit the amount of alcohol you drink as even a small amount can affect your balance.   

Stand up slowly, and have your blood pressure checked if you feel dizzy.  If you feel wobbly when walking, use an assistive device such as a cane or walker.  A physical or occupational therapist can help you choose the right device and teach you how to safely use it.

During wet or icy conditions, use extra caution when walking, and always wear non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes.  Lace-up shoes give you the ability to adjust the amount of support you need, but do not buy shoes with soles that are too thin or too thick.  Around the house, wear shoes or slippers with non-slip bottoms.

MorningStar at Arcadia is committed to provide the best senior living Phoenix has to offer, and our assisted living and memory care community was designed from the ground up to provide a safe, supportive and loving environment.  We provide 24/7 Care Managers, access to licensed nurses, and much more.  Please visit our website for availability and pricing.  

MorningStar at Arcadia represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve…all of which contributes to creating a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. Please contact us to set up a tour to see firsthand the finest senior living Phoenix offers.

Sources: ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/falls-prevention-facts/


Wondering if Assisted Living is Affordable?

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Many seniors and their families fear assisted living is too expensive but once you actually look into it, you may be surprised to discover it can actually be less costly than trying live on your own.  At MorningStar Senior Living of Sparks, we offer families a great deal especially when you consider all of the resort-style amenities and top-quality services we provide.

To help ensure assisted living is within reach of our community, one of the jobs we take seriously at MorningStar of Sparks is to help our families find resourceful ways to make assisted living affordable.  We help you explore innovative financial solutions and often under-used benefits that may be available to you beyond traditional retirement savings and investments.

If you have Long-Term Care Insurance, you will want to carefully read through your policy to determine what type of expenses it covers.  You will find specifics regarding daily benefits, policy limits, and the elimination period under your Benefits Summary.

Another way we help families make assisted living more affordable is let them know they may be eligible for often untapped Veteran Benefits.   Please refer to our Veterans page for a full explanation of the generous “Aid & Attendance” Pension issued by the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

We remind seniors to think about leveraging life insurance policies or selling their home to pay for assisted living.  We also offer Companion Living, in which two unrelated people of the same sex may share a suite as well as expenses.  Please visit MorningStar of Sparks’ website to learn more about our Greater Reno assisted living.  In addition, our beautiful community offers independent living and memory care.

MorningStar of Sparks’ mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other Greater Reno assisted living, independent living and memory care options. Our foundation is built upon honoring God, valuing all seniors, and investing in staff with a felt calling to serve. Dedicated to creating a real home for residents within a beautiful setting, we encourage you to see for yourself our exceptional community.


Be Your Best as You Age

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As we grow older, experts say there are some relatively simple changes we can do to help make the process smoother, and remind us it is never too late to adopt healthier habits.  They suggest four main areas to focus on that will make a difference in our overall health.

First, multiple studies have shown that taking care of our emotional health is important.   Many older adults suffer from chronic health conditions (80% have at least one and 50% have two or more) including heart disease or cancer, which can put seniors at risk for depression.  When a person’s emotional health suffers, it can negatively impact other aspects of their health. In fact research shows a link between depression and social isolation to “digestive problems, heart failure and weakened immune systems.”  Thus it is important for seniors to reach out for help if they feel depressed and to participate in activities that give their lives purpose and maintain or develop social connections.

The next area to focus on is exercise.  Experts say we should look at exercise as more than a way to get stronger and/or to lose weight.  Exercise provides a whole range of benefits including helping to boost immunity and preventing muscle loss, as well as improving blood flow and strengthening the brain.    

Another suggestion is to take better care of our hair and skin.   Good skin care can help to avoid infections and should include washing with a mild soap while taking care not to “over wash” and moisturizing daily.  Also apply sun screen whenever you go outdoors.

The last area to focus on for better health is nutrition.  Did you know that millions of seniors suffer from malnutrition?  One of the problems facing the elderly is that as we age, appetites decrease so getting all the nutrients the body requires is challenging.  Seniors need to keep in mind that it is not just about how much you eat but what you eat. One thing that appears to help seniors eat better is to make eating a social affair.  

At MorningStar at Arcadia, we make this easy as residents eat nutritional, tasty meals together in our beautiful dining room.   We provide seniors the opportunity to socialize as much as they want by participating in group enrichment activities and wellness programs that stimulate the mind, body and spirit.   Please visit our website for more details on the best assisted living home in Phoenix.

Our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior living options. We have built a foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. Set in a warm, loving atmosphere with exceptional architecture and resort-style amenities, MorningStar at Arcadia offers residents an exceptional assisted living home.

Source: aplaceformom.com/blog/how-to-make-a-daily-healthy-aging-routine/