(618) 692-CARE (2273)

Posts Tagged ‘first time caregivers’

Traveling with Loved Ones with Dementia

traveling with loved ones with dementiaSummer is typically travel season. Whether you’re flying to a far-off destination or just taking a quick road trip to a great camping ground one or two states over, it’s perfectly understandable to want to bring mom and/or dad.

But what if the loved one you want to bring has dementia? How do you navigate all the hazards of travel with the added burden of someone who may have a tendency to become anxious in unfamiliar settings – or worse, get lost?

Making the Decision

The first step is to determine whether it’s a good idea to travel with a loved one who has a degenerative disease. They may still enjoy traveling in the early stages of the disease, but as it progresses, they’ll need a higher level of supervision and will be more likely to become confused and anxious in new situations. So the first thing to determine is the level of care your loved one needs and whether they can handle the stress of travel.

One thing that can help in determining whether they’re fit to travel is deciding where to go. Generally speaking, travelling to far-off destinations with a different language and different customs can be a lot of fun when you’re young, but to those suffering from dementia, it can be confusing and anxiety inducing. If you do decide to take your loved ones on vacation this summer, make sure it’s to a destination that was familiar to them before they got sick.

Be Prepared

The #1 tip for any successful trip is to plan ahead and prepare for all possibilities. Not only should you make sure you and your loved one are equipped with the proper clothing for all kinds of weather, but you should also plan on bringing plenty of water, their favorite snacks, and all the medications they’ll need for the duration of the trip. In addition to your travel itinerary, make sure to keep a schedule of when they need to take each medication and have the proper medication on hand at the proper time. This will mean planning ahead to take it with you if you intend to do some sightseeing or go for a hike.

In addition to packing all the necessary medications, you should keep an updated list of emergency contacts and copies of important documents.

If you will be staying in a hotel, alert the staff to your needs before you arrive so they can be prepared to help you out during your stay. Keep in mind that new locations can trigger wandering in patients with dementia as they seek out the familiar, so stay alert and take advantage of programs like the MedicAlert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®.

Timing is Everything

Finally, make sure to travel during the time of day when your loved one is at their best. People with dementia often experience increased anxiety during certain periods of the day, usually around sunset, hence the term “Sundown Syndrome.” Know when your loved one is at their best and when they tend to be at their worst and plan accordingly. During the times of the day that tend to be tough for them, be sure to have something familiar and comforting on hand that you know will help reduce their anxiety.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Handle Someone Who Has Behavioral Problems Due to Dementia

Behavioral Problems Due to DementiaDementia can be scary and confusing for everyone involved. Those with dementia often feel lost, confused, and out of control of their own lives – all of which are terrifying. That fear can sometimes prompt them to lash out violently (either verbally and/or physically) against those around them, which is both painful and frustrating for the targets of their aggression.

So what should you do in such a situation? How can you calm them down and avoid hurting them?

The first step is to educate yourself. Know the signs of dementia and some of the behaviors that might come along with it.

Aggression

This can often start with the patient insisting they want something they can’t have (such as to go “home”) or that they don’t want something they can’t avoid (such as something in the environment, something in their schedule, or even the caregiver themselves). A simple statement can sometimes turn to yelling and may escalate into violence.

As tempting as it can be to argue with them, that’s not helpful. Don’t try to force the issue and don’t restrain them if it’s not absolutely necessary. Instead, try to divert their attention to something else while speaking to them in a calm, measured voice.

Confusion

Statements like “I want to go home” are often the most painful to hear out of someone with dementia who is already home. It means they’ve forgotten where they live, and they want to return to a place where they lived during another part of their lives.

The most important thing to remember is not to argue with someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia because that is an argument you will never win. You cannot reason with someone who is suffering from dementia and trying to do so often only makes things worse.

Depending on the person, explaining the change in their situation, especially through the use of photos and tangible objects, might work, but more often than not it’s best to try to distract them. Suggest going for a walk with them or getting a snack and get them to talk about other things. If they ask things like “When are we leaving?” or “When are we going home?” try putting them off by telling them you can’t leave until traffic clears up or the whether is better. Sometimes a small lie is better than trying to explain to them what they can’t (or don’t want to) understand.

Poor Judgment

This can take a variety of forms – from trouble with finances, to hoarding, to paranoid behaviors, such as accusing a loved one of stealing from them. While some of these strange behaviors are obvious, others take more subtle forms, making them difficult to diagnose. The person with dementia may not even know they’re struggling with something, and even if they do, people are rarely willing to admit they need help.

If you suspect a loved one may be suffering from poor judgment, try to find out quietly. See if you can get a look at one of their bills to make sure they haven’t missed any payments. If that’s not possible, try to have them figure out the tip at a restaurant and see if they struggle any more than they usually do.

The most important thing is to remain encouraging and reassuring. Offer to help in small ways that minimize the other person’s embarrassment. Again, don’t ever try to argue with them, and don’t ask them outright if they’re unable to handle certain situations because that won’t end well.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Assisted Living Can Actually Improve Happiness

Assisted Living Can Actually Improve HappinessIf you’ve been struggling to convince your parents it might be time for assisted living (or if you’ve putting off the unpleasant conversation), you’re not alone. Assisted living suffers from plenty of misinformation, and despite the reasons you may have for why your parents need assisted living, have you considered how assisted living can actually improve happiness in seniors?

Researchers have long recognized the importance of social relationships on both our physical and mental wellbeing – the more socially connected we are, the happier we are and the longer we tend to live. That social connection could be one of the most important things an assisted living community can provide. In addition to help with daily tasks and medical care as needed, assisted living communities are also one of the best ways senior citizens can stay connected to the world around them.

Staying connected gets increasingly difficult as we get older. Friends and family members pass on; our kids grow up, move out and get their own lives; and staying home rather than going to an office every day means a significant decrease in social interaction. On top of all that, if we get sick or injured, we’re even more likely to stay home, which further inhibits social interaction. Going out gets harder as we age, and if we live alone, the days between visits from friends and family member can appear to grow longer and longer.

While visits from the outside community are always encouraged in assisted living, residents are not dependent on them for their social lives. Not only are they surrounded by people in their age group (many of whom are have similar experiences as they age), but assisted living communities consistently provide several recreational and social activities to encourage residents to get out of their rooms (or even out of the building, if they’re able) and mingle.

It is often by participating in the activities we enjoy most that we end up meeting the people who come to mean the most to us. Spending time with people who enjoy the same things we do is a necessary component of our mental and physical wellbeing. By providing a wide range of activities for their residents to participate in, assisted living communities help bring together people who might not otherwise meet.

What makes it even better is the fact that these interactions can continue long after the program has ended. Sharing an activity with another person is not just a great ice breaker, it can also help create a bond that lasts for the rest of their lives. There are few things more satisfying than turning to someone and saying, “Do you remember that time we …?” and having them remember and be able to commiserate with you over that memory.

Once people get over the initial stress of moving into an assisted living community, they’re more likely to report higher levels of happiness and a greater sense of belonging than they felt before they moved in. The bonds formed in assisted living can then help them live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives than they would have had if they had insisted on continuing to live on their own.

Moving into assisted living is not giving up on life. It’s the beginning of a whole new chapter.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Talk to Your Parents About End-of-Life Care

How to Talk to Your Parents About End-of-Life CareIt’s a conversation no one really wants to have. No one likes to think about their own death or the death of their parents. While it may be tempting to put off having this awkward conversation,  here are some suggestions on how to talk to your parents about end-of-life care. It will make things much easier when the worst does happen.

In fact, having a plan in place, and knowing those closest to you are aware of and on board with the plan, can actually make aging easier. It’s a huge load off the mind to know what’s going to happen to your finances and your assets when you’re gone, and to know how you’re going to deal with the physical ailments and limited capacities that come with aging. Things like a will and long-term-care insurance may sound scary, but they’re actually designed to help you prepare for the next stage in life.

Here are some things you need to know about your parents’ end-of-life care, as well as some suggestions for how to broach the subject:

Do they have a will?

A will decides, not just where your money goes, but everything that has value to you – right down to mementos and even pets. And a verbal will isn’t enough. It has to be in writing and signed by you and an attorney. If no will exists that the court can recognize, then a probate court judge will divide the assets and decide who gets what, which can take months and cost the family members thousands of dollars.

Broaching the subject:

Let them know you’re aware it’s an uncomfortable subject, but that you just want to make sure their assets are taken care of the way they would want them to be once they’re gone.

To have a will drawn up, you’ll need to meet with a competent family law attorney who can guide you through the process.

Do they have a power of attorney?

Power of attorney gives another person the power to make legal and financial decisions when the person is no longer capable of making those decisions for themselves. Although you might assume the spouse or nearest relative would automatically be designated power of attorney in the absence of a legally binding document, that’s not actually the case. Instead, a judge will decide who will be the power of attorney, and they may or may not decide to make it the person you always assumed it would be. For example, a spouse without power of attorney can be left unable to access funds or assets to help pay for medical care, so it’s imperative to get a power of attorney put in place sooner rather than later.

Broaching the subject:

Every adult needs a power of attorney, so offer to go with your parents to have both your documents prepared together. If you’d each like to make the other your power of attorney, it would make the moment that much sweeter.

These things aren’t about tempting the Grim Reaper, they’re about accepting the fact that he’ll come sooner or later and it’s better to have a plan in place for when he comes than to leave loved ones high and dry at the height of their grief. Don’t compound the pain of loss by making the process of dealing with everything more difficult for those you leave behind.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

caregiver burnoutBeing a caregiver is a stressful job, putting a strain on your time, your resources, and most of all, your emotions. Unfortunately, there is no day off from being a caregiver. Your loved ones can’t control when they need you, and the more their abilities deteriorate, the more they’ll need you. It’s no wonder caregiver burnout can sneak up on you as all the stresses of the job pile up. Without a release, you’ll burn out, so we’ve come up with a list of things you can do to help you avoid that.

Talk to Someone

There are support groups for caregivers all over the country for people to get together and talk about the struggles of being a caregiver. Talking about your troubles always helps, even when the people listening can’t do anything to help. In the case of these support groups, knowing you’re not alone and that your feelings are perfectly normal can be a huge release and help you get back to your job as caregiver refreshed and ready to face whatever challenges may come your way.

If there isn’t a caregiver group in your area, start one of your own. If you can’t make it to meetings, just talking to a friend or relative about the strain can help relieve some of the pent-up emotions. At the very least, keep a journal where you can feel free to write it all out. Writing is an extremely cathartic exercise and has been shown to help with mental wellbeing and stability. It doesn’t even matter if you destroy everything you wrote when you’re done, what matters is the act of getting it all down on paper.

Set Aside Time for Yourself

It’s been said before and we’ll say it again: you can’t take care of others without first taking care of yourself. While many people (especially women) misinterpret taking time for themselves as being selfish, there’s nothing selfish about taking a break to recharge. On the contrary, doing so allows you to come back to the job better and stronger than ever, meaning you’re better able to fulfill your duties as a caretaker.

Be Realistic

Many of us want to solve the world’s problems, and even when we know on a logical level that it’s not possible, it doesn’t always stop us from overextending ourselves and agreeing to take on more responsibilities than we can handle.

When you take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one, it can be very tempting to say “yes” to everything. You’ll take care of their day-to-day needs and their nutritional needs and make sure they take all their medication and get them to each and every one of their doctor’s appointments, and handle all their finances, and why don’t you write up and notarize their will for them while you’re at it?

Taking care of a sick person who is losing control of their faculties is not like taking care of children (which is a full-time job in and of itself). Your senior relatives have built a life for themselves that will continue to follow them to the end – bank accounts, credit cards, savings, debt, assets, liabilities, etc. None of that includes the medical needs that can build up quickly as their body slowly deteriorates (unlike children, who are building up their capabilities as time goes on).

Know right away that you can’t handle your loved one’s life and your own life at the same time. Recognize your limits and agree to take on only a reasonable amount of duties that you know you can handle. This will mean asking for help from others and that’s OK because it means all of you will be able to provide your loved one with better care than you could provide by yourself.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

What You Need to Know About Assisted Living

assisted livingIf you think it might be time for you or a loved one to move into an assisted living community, there are a few things you need to know. In addition to considering the level of care you need to look for, we’ve come up with a list of a few other factors you need to consider before you start looking for an assisted living community.

The Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home

The first thing you need to determine is whether you should be shopping for an assisted living community or a nursing home because it’s important to remember they are not the same thing.

While assisted living communities provide different levels of care depending on the facility and on each patient’s needs, assisted living communities generally do not provide anything beyond help with daily tasks. This can include things like help with remembering to take your medications, but they can’t prescribe medications or fill your prescriptions for you.

A nursing home generally provides a level of care between that of a nursing home and a hospital. They maintain a staff of nurses, have doctors visit regularly to check up on patients, and maintain relationships with local hospitals to help manage patients who might need to go from the nursing home to a hospital and vice versa.

The Available Levels of Care Differ Between Communities

There is no single definition for assisted living, although every state has its own laws regulating assisted living communities. While some provide just the basic level of care in helping with daily tasks, others provide more extensive care to those who need help eating and/or can’t get out of bed. Doing your research ahead of time and considering all your options can help you make the best decision when it comes to getting the care you need while maximizing comfort and minimizing costs.

Affordability

Paying for assisted living can be easier than you think. Again, it depends on the level of care you need and making sure you do your research ahead of time. Once you’ve determine your requirements for an assisted living community, it’s a simple matter of knowing what your options are and comparing the pros and cons of each community until you find the one that’s right for your needs.

You Are Able to Bring Your Pet

Every assisted living community has their own guidelines and restrictions when it comes to pets, but we welcome you bring your furry friend! We even have a built in dog park in the back!

You Can Continue Living with Your Spouse

Assisted living communities understand the importance of keeping couples together and many of them will work to make that an option whenever possible. Most of them even offer customized bills so that if your spouse needs more care than you do, or vice versa, the community will only bill you for the services you use, even if you and your spouse live in the same unit.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Make Healthier Choices While Enjoying the Holidays

Healthier Choices While Enjoying the HolidaysThe holidays tend to be a dreaded time of year for all ages who are trying to maintain our weight, or even shed some pounds. When we’re surrounded by so many unhealthy treats, what can we do to make healthier choices while enjoying the holidays?

BYOF

When going to a holiday party, ask if you can bring a veggie tray or other healthy dish you know you love. That way you’ll know there will be something there you can eat. If you’re going out to a restaurant with some friends, look at the menu ahead of time (not when you’re hungry), choose the healthiest option and stick to it when you get there and place your order. Don’t even consider any other options.

Eating before you go out to a party or restaurant is also a good way to keep your calories and portion size down and make sure you know exactly what you’re eating.

Don’t Stand Next to the Food

Most parties have one room where all the food is laid out. Avoid that room. If you’re hungry, make yourself a plate with the healthiest offerings, sit down and eat it, and be done. The most important thing to avoid is eating all night long, and one of the best ways to avoid that is by loading up on healthy food right away. That, combined with keeping a safe distance from the food table after that will help you avoid all the tempting sweets.

Drink Water

We tend to consume a lot of alcohol around this time of year and that’s not healthy. It’s high in sugar, which spikes our blood sugar, which in turn makes us eat more when the sugar crash comes. It’s also hard on our livers, so if you do decide to indulge in some festive drinks this time of year, keep it to one alcoholic drink per party. The rest of the time, stick to water, which will help keep you hydrated. Make it sparkling water with some lime and it will look and feel like a gin and tonic, but your body won’t punish you for it the next morning.

Three Bites

When indulging in unhealthy foods, some people practice the “three-bite rule,” which means they enjoy three bites of it, and then they’re done. If you’re eating a piece of cake, three bites is usually about half the piece, depending on how big the slice is. Three bites could also be one cookie, brownie, or a couple pieces of fudge. Besides, after three bites you tend to stop really tasting it anyway, at which point you’re just shoving food in your mouth because you’re high on the combination of fat and sugar.

Talk

The point of parties is to see friends and family, new and old. Look at holiday parties not as a chance to stuff yourself with food and alcohol, but to talk with your friends and family members and even meet new people. Ask them how they’re doing and what they’re looking forward to next year. If you don’t know them, ask how they know the host(ess). If you’re talking, you can’t be eating.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

10 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

booste your immune systemIt’s true that the best medicine really is preventive medicine. When you get sick you can try all the tricks in the book and then some to try to feel better, but the fact is the damage has already been done and there’s little you can do aside from waiting it out. Seniors need to be especially mindful of their immune system. If you want to avoid getting sick this winter, here are 10 great tips to boost your immune system and get ahead of any disease that might come your way.

  • Sleep

When we’re running short on time, sleep often ends up being one of the first things we compromise, but there’s a very good reason not to: not only do you function better when you’ve gotten plenty of shuteye, but you’re less likely to get sick. And no one has time to get sick.

  • Don’t smoke

We all know the hazards of smoking and second-hand smoke by now. Avoiding tobacco smoke is a must for staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong.

  • Moderate your alcohol consumption

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional glass of wine, but regularly consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can depress your immune system, in addition to wearing out your liver.

  • Maintain a healthy diet

This means making sure there are plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in your diet so you can be sure to get all the nutrients your body needs to build up its immune system.

  • Consider probiotics

The research on probiotics is still fairly new, but it’s already clear that maintaining a healthy gut biome is essential to maintaining a strong immune system. Eating fermented foods and plenty of fiber is a good start, but sometimes your body needs a little more help, especially if you’ve recently been on antibiotics. In that case it might be time to start doing some research into a trustworthy brand of probiotics.

  • Get plenty of Vitamin D

Your body uses sunlight to make its own Vitamin D, so make sure to go outside for at least a few minutes every day, even on cloudy days, to make sure your body gets what it needs to stay strong and healthy. If you don’t live close to the equator, you might want to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement during the winter months when your body doesn’t get as much sun.

  • Eat garlic

Garlic has powerful antimicrobial properties and is proven to help boost immune function, so it’s a good thing it’s so delicious and versatile! It can be included in everything from eggs to salad to stir-fries. If you aren’t already doing so, start looking for ways to make garlic a regular part of your diet.

  • Drink tea

If you’re not a coffee drinker (or you’ve been looking to cut back on your caffeine intake) tea is the answer. Whether you want a strong cup of black tea or a mild tisane, teas (especially non-herbal teas, with leaves from the actual tea plant) are packed with antioxidants and alkylamines, both of which are known to help boost immune strength.

  • Drink bone broth

Broth is going through kind of a renaissance right now as some people start to get back to eating the way their grandparents ate, including making their own bone broth to drink and cook with. It’s packed with nutrients that are known to help build a strong body and maintain a healthy immune system. All it takes is a slow cooker, some bones, water, vegetables, and seasonings, and you’re good to go. Try chicken soup with homemade chicken broth and you’ll never go back to the canned stuff.

  • Exercise regularly

You don’t have to be a gym rat to reap the benefits of a good workout. Whether it’s a daily walk or a few yoga sessions each week (or both), as long as you’re getting up and moving, your body will thank you with its increased ability to fight off infection.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Senior Fall Prevention & Awareness

senior fall preventionThe grandparents might give you a hard time about breaking a hip when they try certain activities, but it’s no laughing matter. Falls are the top cause for fractures in seniors in America, including hip fractures and other severe injuries, although women are more likely than men to suffer fractures from falling. But broken bones aren’t the only thing to worry about. Falls are also the #1 cause of traumatic brain injury, which in turn can lead to a further increased risk of both severe, and even fatal falls.

And it’s expensive to boot. In 2010 alone, roughly $30 billion were spent in direct medical costs on seniors who had been injured as a result of falling.

September is senior fall prevention & awareness month, but it’s something we should always be vigilant in monitoring. While falls are a serious concern for seniors, it is never inevitable that someone will fall. Here are some things you can do to help make sure the older loved ones in your life are less likely to suffer from a fall.

Encourage Them to Exercise Regularly

Balance and fitness go hand in hand, so it’s more important than ever for people to stay fit and active as they get older. General fitness is necessary, but there are also classes geared specifically towards helping seniors build and maintain balance. Encourage parents and grandparents to take these classes if at all possible.

Diet

While some bone deterioration may be inevitable as we age, there are ways to make sure we don’t lose any more than we need to. Strength and balance training are both essential, but diet is also key. We all need to make sure we’re getting a healthy dose of all our vitamins on a regular basis, especially calcium and vitamin K, which helps transport the calcium to our bones.

Checkups

No matter what we do, we tend to lose some of our eyesight and hearing as we age. Make sure the seniors in your life are getting their eyes and ears checked regularly, as trouble seeing or hearing can result in serious falls. Other kinds of ear trouble can also impair their balance.

Stay Vigilant

If you don’t live with your senior loved ones, be sure to visit them regularly and take note if they appear to be having trouble sitting down, standing up, or walking. If they always appear to be holding onto furniture or walls, talk to them about it and see what can be done to help them.

If they live in an assisted living facility or nursing home, be sure to talk regularly with their caregivers about their fall risk and what measures are being taken to reduce that risk. If they’re taking any medications, be sure to stay informed about what those medications are and any potential side effects.

September is fall prevention & awareness month, but people fall all year round. Educate yourself, educate your loved ones, and make sure you have a system in place to help prevent falls.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

4 Ways to Prevent Pneumonia in Seniors

Pneumonia in SeniorsFall is in the air. Some of the leaves have already started changing and many of us have experienced reduced temperatures when we step outside, letting us know that winter is coming.

It can be a great time of year, but it can also be a dangerous time of year, especially for seniors. Not only do ice and snow pose an increased risk of falling, but the colder air tends to bring with it colds, flus, and other viruses. While they may be nothing more than nuisances to the rest of us, these diseases can be life threatening to seniors whose immune systems may not be as strong they once were, especially if the virus gets into their lungs and causes pneumonia.

Here are four ways you can help protect your loved ones from pneumonia:

1) Immunizations

There’s a reason medical professionals encourage everyone to get their flu shots every fall, especially seniors and those with weakened immune systems. There’s no such thing as a guarantee against getting sick, but getting immunized is one way to stack the deck in your favor. By making sure the seniors in your life get their flu shot every year, you’re decreasing the chances they’ll catch something that could turn into pneumonia.

2) Hygiene

There’s no need to seal seniors in a bubble to prevent infection, tempting as it may be at times, but by practicing good hygiene, you can help reduce the chances they’ll get sick. Wash your hands regularly in warm, soapy water, or use hand sanitizer. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands or apply hand sanitizer immediately afterwards. Stay away from seniors if you’re sick or if you’ve been around other people who have been sick – you don’t want to accidentally act as a carrier for a nasty cold or flu.

Also make sure seniors are taking good care of their teeth and mouth. In addition to colds and flus, other types of infections, including dental or oral infections, can also turn into pneumonia, so make sure seniors are still seeing the dentist regularly.

3) Stay Healthy

Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but by constantly practicing general good health, we reduce our risk of getting sick. That includes eating our veggies, keeping our sugar and alcohol intake to a minimum, avoiding tobacco products, and exercising regularly. All these practices, not only help keep our immune system strong and ready for action, they also help us feel great by giving our body all the things it needs, while avoiding the things that can be harmful.

4) Educate Yourself

Know the early signs of pneumonia in seniors so you can act as soon as possible. Rather than a cough or fever (although you should certainly be on the lookout for those symptoms as well), seniors are more likely to experience weakness, dizziness, or confusion. Since these can be common signs of aging, especially in those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, pneumonia often goes undetected until it’s too late. Be on the lookout for any changes in their health or attitude and talk to their doctor if you’ve noticed anything unusual that could point to a serious health risk.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.