Posts Tagged ‘Plainfield assisted living’

“Where’s my memory?” ask seniors in Shorewood

Hmmm. I misplaced my memory. Everyone “of a certain age” knows the frustration and/or embarrassment of being unable to remember something – names, book titles, where the keys are, etc. Most of this is normal, and certainly it’s not a reason for panic.

According to familydoctor.org, information is stored in different parts of your memory like this:

• Information stored in recent memory may include what you ate for breakfast this morning.
• Information stored in the short-term memory may include the name of a person you met moments ago.
• Information stored in the remote or long-term memory includes things that you stored in your memory years ago, such as memories of childhood.

It is true that a person loses brain cells from the time of young adulthood. The body, too, starts to make less of the chemicals brain cells need to work. The older you are, the more these changes can affect your memory. Also aging may affect memory by changing the way the brain stores information and by making it harder to recall stored information. Short-term and remote memories aren’t usually affected by aging. But recent memory may be affected.
At least half of those over age 65 say that they are more forgetful than they were when they were younger, experiencing “senior moments” about things like where they put things or recalling somebody’s name. Forgetting a friend’s name or not remembering a lunch date is something that most people without dementia do from time to time.

Of course, increasing forgetfulness should be checked out by the doctor. But for the annoying absentmindedness that plagues almost all older adults, remember (ha!) to keep a sense of humor.
Six Great Tips to Boost Memory: (www.seniorsforliving.com )

• Puzzle power: Brain activities like crossword puzzles or Sudoku can help keep the mind clear and focused.
• Lifelong learning: Stimulating mental activities like attending a lecture can aid in memory retention.
• Tea time: Have a cup or two of green tea. Studies have shown that green tea extracts improves cognition and spatial awareness in rats.
• Breathe out: Don’t stress. Some of the most common memory zaps include stress and anxiety. Activities like reading or meditation can help the brain stay clear.
• Social butterfly: Maintain strong social ties through social groups to help preserve memory.
• Get moving: Daily exercise for half an hour a day such as walking or jogging can help improve memory.

 

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Concert in the Park features accordionist Bob Doczak

Accordionist Bob Doczak takes the stage for the July Concert in the Park at the Timbers of ShorewoodAccordionist Bob Doczak takes the stage for the July Concert in the Park from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Sunday, July 24, on the outdoor patio at The Timbers of Shorewood, 1100 N. River Rd., Shorewood. The public is invited to the free concert.

Born in Joliet, Doczak grew up in a neighborhood that consisted of Slovenians, Croatians and people of Polish descent so polka music literally filled the streets. With 42 years in the polka business, he is one of the key organizers of the annual Illinois Polka Festival held each February in Naperville.

The popular series of summer evening concerts called “The Timbers’ Concert in the Park” is a favorite event. A few years ago, neighbors with homes near The Timbers heard the music, and they started setting up lawn chairs in their yards. Staff at The Timbers invited them to join the residents, and today, concerts are an amiable blend of residents, neighbors, friends, families, and the public.

The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides senior independent living and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

Again, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Shelly Goggins at 815-609-0669.

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Yoga for seniors in Joliet

Yoga for Seniors at th Timbers of ShorewoodYoga: a young person twisted up like a pretzel with apparent ease. That image is not necessarily the complete story. In fact, yoga is for all ages; no one is too old or too young for yoga.

One of the great things about yoga is that it is so adaptable to different populations with various physical abilities and needs. Most seniors are doing what they can to maintain and improve a sense of health and wellness. Many of the 36 million or so Americans who are 65 or older (stat provided by: about.com) are turning to yoga to keep them stay agile and in shape.

Although the trend is to become more sedentary, retirement is actually the perfect time to pick up healthy habits that will promote longevity. Yoga is well-suited for seniors, because it is low-impact, and risk of injury is minimal because the discipline does not require any contact with anyone or anything. In addition, yoga’s weight-bearing postures help build or maintain lean muscle mass, and its focus on balance develops coordination.

Yoga also helps combat many of the health conditions that come with age such as high blood pressure, arthritis and incontinence, because it keeps the body toned, strong and flexible..

An added benefit (and an important one) is the sense of community seniors find at yoga classes. As many elders live in isolation, the group setting of a yoga class offers seniors a way to connect.

According to dietsinreview.com, there are many yoga postures that can be safely performed by seniors. Such postures have both a restorative and therapeutic benefit to them. Of course, adaptations and adjustments should be made according to the person’s health status and their physical ability.

  • Easy Pose (Sukhasana): The simple act of sitting down and breathing deeply and fully has an enormous capacity to tone the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems while also lengthening the spine, resting the mind, and cultivating a sense of peace. The beginner can do this posture for a minimum of 10 breaths and gradually work up to maintaining this posture for five to 10 minutes.
  • Cat Pose (Bidalasana): This grounding posture helps tone the arm muscles while also strengthening the core and alleviating tightness in the low and upper back and neck. The beginner can do this posture for a minimum of five breath cycles and gradually work their way to doing more.

Older adults should get clearance from their doctor before starting a yoga practice. This is especially relevant for those who take medications or have a prior or current history of cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions. In addition, individuals should also seek out classes specifically designed for seniors, as they will take into account the unique health issues affecting them

Yoga classes especially for seniors are becoming increasingly available: check local senior centers, retirement communities, religious organizations and even health clubs.

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What smells so good?

Nose - Sense of Smell - Joliet Assisted LivingSniff, sniff. Imagine the smell of a stargazer lily or of fresh baked bread. Imagine throwing open the window on one of spring’s first warm days and smelling the sweet air. These are some of life’s free gifts.

But also imagine if smell was missing. None of us really notice all the smells around us, but for those whose sense of smell is diminished or missing, it can be a significant loss.

Olfaction is the sense of smell. It’s part of a person’s chemical sensing system, along with the sense of taste. Normal smell occurs when odors around a person, like the fragrance of flowers or the smell of baking bread, stimulate specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory cells which are located in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose.

Odors reach the olfactory sensory cells via two pathways. The first pathway is by inhaling, or sniffing, through the nose. When people think about smell, they generally think of this pathway.

The second pathway is less familiar. It is a channel that connects the roof of the throat region to the nose. When chewing food, aromas are released that access olfactory sensory cells through this channel. Congestion due to a head cold or sinus infection can block this channel, which temporarily affects the ability to enjoy the flavors of food.

But what are odors? They are small molecules that are easily evaporated and released into the environment and that stimulate these sensory cells. Once the olfactory sensory cells detect the odor molecules, they send signals to the brain, where the person can identify the smell and its source.

For most people, a problem with smell is a minor irritation, but for others it may be a sign of a more serious disease or long-term health condition. According to the National Institute of Health, problems with smell become more common as people get older.

Consider:

  • 24.5 percent (15 million) of Americans 55 years old or older have a smell problem.
  • 30 percent of older Americans between the ages of 70 and 80 have a problem with the sense of smell.
  • Two out of three people over 80 have a problem with their sense of smell.
  • A person’s sense of smell generally declines when he or she is over 60.
  • Only one to two percent of people under the age of 65 will experience some problem with their sense of smell.
  • Women of all ages are generally better at detecting odors than men.

There are five types of smell loss:

  • Presbyosmia – Smell that declines with age. It is not preventable.
  • Hyposmia – The ability to detect certain odors is reduced. This smell disorder is common in people who have upper respiratory infections or nasal congestion. This is usually temporary and goes away when the infection clears up.
  • Anosmia – This is when someone can’t detect odor at all. This type of smell disorder is sometimes the result of head trauma in the nose region, usually from an automobile accident or chronic nasal or sinus infections.
  • Dysosmia – This is a change in the perception of odors. Familiar odors may become distorted, or an odor that usually smells pleasant instead smells foul. Sometimes people with this type of smell disorder also experience headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, or anxiety.
  • Phantosmia – This is when someone perceives a smell that isn’t present at all.

If someone thinks they have a smell disorder, it’s time to visit the doctor. Diagnosis is important because once the cause is found, the doctor may be able to treat it. Many types of smell problems are reversible, but if they are not, counseling and self-help techniques may help the person cope.

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Baby, it’s cold outside

Although the fall weather has been gloriously moderate, one can be certain that cold weather is on the way. It is important to remember that the cold temperatures of winter are especially dangerous for older adults. Seniors may not be able to feel that they are getting too cold, or they may set their thermostats low to save on heating costs.

A drop in body temperature is called hypothermia (hi-po-ther-mee-uh), and it can be deadly if not treated quickly. Hypothermia can happen anywhere, not just outside and not just in northern states. In fact, some older people can have a mild form of hypothermia if the temperature in their home is too cool.

When you think about being cold, you probably think of shivering. That is one way the body stays warm when it gets cold. But, shivering alone does not mean you have hypothermia.

So how do you know if someone has hypothermia? According to the National Institute on Aging, look for the umbles” – stumbles, mumbles, fumbles, and grumbles. These may be clues that the cold is a problem.

Check for:

  • Confusion or sleepiness
  • Slowed, slurred speech, or shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Change in behavior or in the way a person looks
  • A lot of shivering or no shivering; stiffness in the arms or legs
  • Poor control over body movements or slow reactions

According to gericarefinder.com, during each cold weather month, many seniors die from hypothermia.

Wearing more clothes and proper cold-weather attire are necessary for aging adults. Indoors, many seniors may require an extra blanket or thicker socks.

To prevent hypothermia (very low body temperature), a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition,  ), read these tips offered by the National Institute on Aging:

  • Ask your doctor if you have any health conditions or take any medications that make it hard for your body to stay warm. At increased risk are older people who take certain medications, drink alcohol, lack proper nutrition and have conditions such as arthritis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Set your thermostat above 65 degrees; older people are at higher risk of becoming ill during the cold winter months.
  • Try to stay away from cold places. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder to feel when you are getting cold. It also may be harder for your body to warm itself.
  • Wear several layers of loose clothing indoors and out. The layers will trap warm air between them. Tight clothing can keep your blood from flowing freely, which can lead to loss of body heat. Hypothermia can occur in bed, so wear warm clothing to bed and use blankets.
  • Ask friends or neighbors to look in once or twice a day if you live alone. Your area may offer a telephone check-in or personal visit service.
  • Use alcohol moderately, if at all. Avoid alcohol altogether near bedtime.
  • Eat hot foods and drink hot liquids to raise your body temperature and keep warm.
  • Keep aware of the daily weather forecast and be sure to dress warmly enough, with hat and gloves, if you must go out. In extremely low temperatures with wind-chill factors, weather forecasters may suggest staying inside.
  • Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don’t eat well, you might have less fat under your skin, and fat can help protect you by keeping heat in your body. Also, drink 10 glasses of water or other non-alcoholic liquids daily.

And remember, spring will eventually come. Promise.

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Seniors in Joliet prepare for a doctor’s visit

Visiting a doctor’s office can make a senior nervous, impatient, or even scared. He or she may have only a few minutes with the health care provider, and later the patient may remember unasked questions. And it’s hard to remember what was said.

Before the visit, take a list of specific questions to the appointment, making sure to list the most important ones first. It’s a good idea, too, to review your health history, so you can convey it concisely to your doctor. Writing out a brief synopsis to give a new doctor can be helpful and save time.

A list of medications and dosages is essential. Make copies of this list for all doctors.

During Your Visit:

  • Tape-record the visit or bring a pencil and notebook to take notes or bring a trusted friend or relative to take notes.
  • Keep the discussion focused, making sure to cover the main questions and concerns, symptoms and how symptoms impact your life.
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand what you have been told or if you still have questions.
  • Ask for explanations of treatment goals and side effects.
  • Let your doctor know if you are seeing other doctors or health care providers.
  • Share information about any recent medical tests.
  • Let your doctor know how much information you want and if you have religious or cultural beliefs that affect your treatment.
  • Stand up for yourself or have a friend or family member advocate for you if your concerns are not addressed.
  • Balance assertiveness with friendliness and understanding.

Hopefully these tips will help seniors understand their diagnosis and any recommended treatments.

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Seniors in Joliet say, ‘Gesundheit’

Ah-choo! With cooler weather on the way, the cold season revs up, and there’s nothing as miserable as a bad head cold. How about this statistic from healthline.com: Americans “catch” an estimated one billion colds every year. Most adults suffer from two to four colds per year.

The common cold causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, and, in some cases, coughing and a sore throat. Colds can occur at any time during the year but are most common in the fall and winter months.

A head cold really is a viral infection which settles in the mucus membranes of the nose. A cold is usually harmless, although it can be quite uncomfortable. Typically it resolves on its own after around ten days. Some people experience a mild fever and watery eyes, and people may complain of feeling unwell.

The mucus which drains from the nose is typically clear in color. Some people with a head cold find that they cough and experience hoarseness because of mucus dripping down their throats.

No vaccine has been developed for the common cold which can be caused by many different viruses, but there are some common-sense precautions to slow the spread of autumn viruses:

  • Wash your hands. Clean your hands thoroughly and often. Carry a bottle of alcohol-based hand rub containing at least 60 percent alcohol for times when soap and water aren’t available. These gels kill most germs.
  • Scrub your stuff. Keep kitchen and bathroom countertops clean, especially when someone nearby has a cold.
  • Use tissues. Always sneeze and cough into tissues. Discard used tissues right away, and then wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Don’t share. Use your own glass or disposable cups when you or someone else is sick.
  • Steer clear of colds. Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold.

Drinking lots of fluids, especially warm fluids, can help as can staying in a warm and slightly humid environment. Avoiding dairy is advised, because this tends to increase mucus production. Rest, many people think, helps a cold resolve more quickly.

If a head cold is persistent, a doctor can prescribe decongestants and pain management medications. Saline rinses or sprays in the nose can also help to flush out the mucus and increase comfort. However, patients should be aware that prolonged use of decongestant sprays can lead to an inflammation of the mucus membranes in the nose.

Sometimes a head cold can become a sinus infection. A head cold can also lead to an ear infection. While these infections sometimes can resolve on their own, medical treatment may be necessary especially if the condition becomes especially painful.

Web MD mentions more worrisome situations and complications when it comes to colds. It’s a good idea to consult the doctor for any of these conditions:

  • Asthma and Colds – Living with asthma is no easy task, and a cold can make breathing more difficult.
  • Heart Disease and Colds – Catching a cold for someone with heart disease poses a greater danger, because the cold makes it difficult to take in oxygen efficiently.
  • Diabetes and Colds – For those with diabetes, a common cold makes it difficult to keep blood glucose levels balanced.
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Seniors in Joliet prevent falls and fractures

The commercial, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” is no joke. For seniors, falling rarely just happens but rather results from multiple causes that occur over time. As people age, their muscles and bones can weaken, balance can be affected, and certain medications and medical conditions can make falling and fractures more likely. Seniors who are also more prone to diseases like osteoporosis are more susceptible to experiencing a fall.

According to SeniorAdvice.com, every year more than 1.6 million older adults go to the emergency department for fall related injuries. Falls are the main cause of fractures, loss of independence, hospital admissions and death.

Hip fractures are the most common and serious type fall related injuries. After such a fall, only half of older adults hospitalized with hip fractures can return home and live on their own. About 80 percent of hip fractures occur in women. Women lose bone density at a faster rate than men do. The drop in estrogen levels that occurs with menopause accelerates bone loss, increasing the risk of hip fractures as a woman moves beyond menopause. However, men also can develop dangerously low levels of bone density.

The fear of falling causes older adults to avoid physical activities, such as walking and exercise. But the truth is physical activity can help prevent falls. Some seniors who are concerned with falling go to physical therapy which can help improve balance, maintain physical health and prevent falls.

Bone fractures in senior citizens are not only traumatic but can lead to more serious problems later on, but there are some ways to decrease the probability of falling by following some simple guidelines.

Preventive Measures from the National Institute on Aging:

  • The doctor can perform a bone mineral density test that measures bone strength. Some medications can increase bone strength which can prevent likelihood for falling.
  • Take part in healthy amounts of physical activity which will improve balance, muscle tone, joint flexibility, or even slow osteoporosis.
  • Test vision and hearing since defects in sensory functioning can make one less stable overall.
  • Be aware of the side effects of medications which can affect balance and coordination.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol consumed which can also affect balance and coordination.
  • Use a cane or walking stick if needed, and always be careful when walking on unstable or slippery surfaces
  • Wear the right footwear that has rubber soles or low heels.
  • Hold the handrails when going up and down stairs and only hold items in one hand so that you can keep a hand on the rail at all times
  • Use good judgment – stay away from situations that could cause a fall such as a freshly washed floor, trying to reach something that is too high.
  • Research home monitoring systems that will allow for access to help after experiencing a fracture
  • Install good lighting with light switch access both at the top and bottom of staircases.
  • Keep areas where you walk clear.
  • Be sure that carpets are firmly fixed to the floor or apply no-slip strips to slippier surfaces such as wood and tile.
  • Install handrails on both sides of the stairs or inside the bathroom.
  • Place non-skid mats and strips on surfaces that get wet within the bathroom.
  • Keep night lights for easy navigation in the dark in hallways, near the bed, and in the bathroom.
  • Keep a telephone near the bed.
  • Keep electric cords and wires near the wall and out of paths of travel.
  • Tack down carpets and rugs firmly to the floor.
  • Be careful!
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Life Saving Information about Strokes

The Timbers of Shorewood presents a “Quality of Life” seminar featuring Leslie Barna, RN, BSN. She will provide information about strokes at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, at The Timbers of Shorewood, 1100 N. River Rd., Shorewood. The public is welcome at this free presentation.

Barna is the coordinator of the stroke program at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. She will share life saving information including important signs and symptoms of a stroke.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die.

Stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment of a stroke is crucial. Early treatment can minimize damage to the brain and potential stroke complications.

The good news is that strokes can be treated, and many fewer Americans now die of strokes than was the case 20 or 30 years ago. Improvement in the control of major risk factors for stroke — high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol — is likely responsible for the decline.

The Timbers, an independent and assisted living community, presents senior-related seminars, programs, and panel discussions on a monthly basis as a part of its “Quality of Life” series.

Again this event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.timbersofshorewood.com or call Judy Malin at 815-609-0669.

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Seniors in Joliet: To drive or not to drive

Giving up driving can be a tremendous blow to an older person. There’s the practical side: how to run errands, get to the doctor, visit friends, etc., and then there’s the emotional side: driving is a key symbol of independence.

Agreeing to forgo driving is in many ways also an agreement to give up one’s independence. It is very tough. Most seniors will drive as long as they can, and many times, it is up to the adult children to decide when driving has become unsafe.

Remember, the issue is safety – both the senior’s and other people. If a person can’t make decisions quickly enough or has difficulty seeing, then it is time to stop driving.

What about driver’s licenses? According to SeniorAdvice.com, many seniors will argue they can still drive, because the DMV is still giving them a license. The DMV, however, only sees them for a short period of time and often there is no road test. There is little basis for determining whether they are adequate drivers in a real world environment, so a license doesn’t really mean that much.

Study after study shows that the mere fact a person is older is not an indicator as to whether they can drive. Just because someone is 65 does not mean they should lose their license automatically. The only exception is once a person reaches the age of 80, because people older than 80 get into as many accidents as teenagers.

People age differently. For that reason, it is not possible to set one age when everyone should stop driving. So, how does one know when to stop?

The website HelpGuide.org tells about unsafe driving warning signs:

  • Problems on the road. Abrupt lane changes, braking, or acceleration. Failing to use the turn signal, or keeping the signal on without changing lanes. Drifting into other lanes. Driving on the wrong side of the road or in the shoulder.
  • Trouble with reflexes. Trouble reading signs or navigating directions to get somewhere. Range-of-motion issues (looking over the shoulder, moving the hands or feet). Trouble moving from the gas to the brake pedal, or confusing the two pedals. Slow reaction to changes in the driving environment.
  • Increased anxiety and anger in the car. Feeling more nervous or fearful while driving or feeling exhausted after driving. Frustration or anger at other drivers but oblivious to the frustration of other drivers, not understanding why they are honking. Reluctance from friends or relatives to be in the car with the senior driving
  • Trouble with memory or handling change. Getting lost more often. Missing highway exits or backing up after missing an exit. Trouble paying attention to signals, road signs, pavement markings, or pedestrians.
  • Close calls and increased citations. More frequent “close calls” (i.e., almost crashing), or dents and scrapes on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, and curbs. Increased traffic tickets or “warnings” by traffic or law enforcement officers.

If some of the descriptions above are apt, it may be time to think about whether or not a senior is still a safe driver.

Some helpful websites are www.seniordrivers.org and www.granddriver.info

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