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Posts Tagged ‘quality of life’

What Are the Risk Factors of Glaucoma in Seniors?

glaucoma in seniorsThe term glaucoma refers to various eye disorders, all of which are progressive and tend to result in damage to the optic nerve (which is a bundle of roughly one million nerve fibers that are responsible for transmitting visual signals from the eye to the brain). Glaucoma is considered to be loss of vision as a result of damage to the nerve tissue.

Primary open-angle glaucoma is the form of glaucoma patients experience most often, and it’s caused by an increase in the pressure of the fluid in the eye. Such pressure can cause gradual damage to the optic nerve over time and loss of nerve fibers. It can ultimately result in vision loss and even blindness.

1) How Old You Are

Most people over 60 are at risk, but African Americans tend to experience an increased risk after age 40. After these markers, the risk for glaucoma goes up each year.

2) Your Race

African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to develop glaucoma and to experience permanent vision loss as a result. Asians are more likely to develop angle-closer glaucoma, with people of Japanese descent being especially more likely to get low-tension glaucoma. Latin Americans are most at risk in very elderly populations.

3) Your Family History

If your family has a history of glaucoma, you’re more likely to develop it yourself.

4) Other Medical Conditions

Having certain medical conditions can increase the chances you’ll also develop glaucoma. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and low blood pressure have all been linked to glaucoma. Many people worry about high blood pressure (which can cause vision loss from glaucoma if left untreated), but few people worry about their blood pressure getting too low (hypotension). Nevertheless, hypotension is as serious a medical condition as hypertension and can cause damage to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss.

5) Physical Injuries In And Around The Eye

Getting hit in the eye isn’t just extremely painful, it can also cause the pressure in the eye to escalate, either immediately after the injury and/or some time after the incident itself. Severe trauma to the eye can also dislocate the lens, which causes the drainage angle to close, thereby increasing pressure on the eye and causing all sorts of problems.

6) Other Risk Factors Related To The Eye

The anatomy of the eye itself varies slightly from person to person and the unique way your eyes are constructed might put you at an increased risk for glaucoma. For example, how thick your cornea is and the appearance of your optic nerve can both provide an idea of your personal risk for glaucoma. Conditions you might have developed over time, such as retinal detachment, tumors and any kind of inflammation in or around the eye, can all cause and/or exacerbate glaucoma. Some studies have also suggested you might be at increased risk for glaucoma if you’ve experienced a lot of nearsightedness.

7) Use Of Corticosteroids

Use of corticosteroids for an extended period of time has been linked to secondary glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a frightening prospect that can seriously inhibit our independence along with our vision. Because age is a primary factor in the development of glaucoma, you should be especially vigilant in looking out for it as loved ones get older, especially if they have one or more of the other risk factors.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we do everything we can to answer the questions of our seniors in our community. If we do not have the answer, we will find someone that does.

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

The Importance of Companion Pets In Assisted Living

Companion Pets In Assisted LivingIt’s National Pet Month, and while the health benefits of pets have been long established, we would like to take a few minutes to recognize the importance of companion pets in assisted living and how TRULY beneficial it is.

In addition to all the well-known health benefits that pets provide to all of us (lowered blood pressure, lower stress levels, lower cholesterol, etc.) pets can also provide companionship and a sense of purpose at a time of life that can often be lonely. Pets provide unconditional love, companionship, and nonverbal communication, which, for many seniors, can be just what the doctor ordered.

While walking a dog provides good cardiovascular exercise, it can also be a bridge to socializing with others. A dog isn’t just man’s best friend, he can also be man’s best wingman. Try walking a friendly, good-looking dog in any well-populated area and you’ll have people wanting to pet your dog and other dogs wanting to introduce themselves to your dog. It’s a great icebreaker for talking to other people in your community, especially other dog owners, and can help alleviate some of the feelings of isolation that come with getting older.

Assisted living facilities that allow animals have noticed how beneficial they can be with new residents, who are often especially withdrawn and uncommunicative. Sometimes a resident’s first significant interaction in the facility is with an animal, and that opens a pathway to talking with other residents and staff.

Taking care of a pet can also provide seniors with a sense of worth and boost their self-esteem. At a time when many people start to feel like they’re no longer contributing anything to the world, a pet can help reduce those feelings by assuring seniors they are needed and loved.

Pet therapy has also been proven to be especially useful in helping seniors deal with “Sundowner’s Syndrome,” a condition in which those with Alzheimer’s suffer periods of increased confusion and agitation in the evenings. Animals can help soothe patients during these tough times with their non-verbal communication and unconditional acceptance of the patients. For some seniors, it can even serve as a reminder of a pet they had when they were growing up, which can help to calm them.

As vital as pets can be to those living in assisted living facilities, buildings that allow their residents to have pets need to be careful that the needs of both the patient and the pet are being met. If the patient is forgetful and doesn’t always remember to feed or walk their pet, they may need help from the assisted living facility staff. After all, seniors tend to move to an assisted living facility because they need help with certain day-to-day tasks of living and taking care of themselves. While the fact that they need help taking care of themselves does not necessarily mean they can’t take care of an animal, it might mean it would be a good idea for the staff to keep an eye on the animal and make sure they are not being neglected. In order to avoid this problem, some assisted living facilities might choose to keep pets in the building that are in the charge of the staff, but that are available to spend time with all residents.

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 Healthy Hobbies for Seniors

hobbies for seniorsHobbies are a great way for retired citizens to stay active, both physically and mentally and the importance of having a hobby in our golden years is backed up by an increasing body of evidence. If you or a loved one are considering what to do with your retirement years, here are 10 healthy hobbies seniors can start/develop.

1) Volunteering

One of the most detrimental effects of retirement is it tends to make people feel like they are no longer useful. It often leads to them feeling cut off from society, which in turn leads to depression and a variety of health issues. Volunteering can combat those feelings by giving seniors a purpose again and a way to become active in the community.

2) Exercise

We’re all told to exercise and maintain physical activity throughout our lives and it’s even more important to continue doing so as we age. From walking to yoga there’s something for everyone, including those whose mobility is limited as they get older. Swimming is especially popular among seniors who often suffer from joint pain as a result of lost cartilage.

3) Gardening

Many studies have been done on the health benefits of gardening. To start with, it gets you outside and moving, both things that are known to boost mood, immune system function, and overall health. You can make it an even healthier activity by growing some of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

4) Music

Whether singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or all three, music is a great way to keep minds and bodies feeling young. It’s enjoyable, provides mental and physical stimulation, and can be done with a partner or in a group for an added social aspect.

5) Games

Psychologists have long known about the long-term health benefits of things like crossword puzzles and that continues to be true for all mentally challenging games. People of all ages who play games like Scrabble and chess exhibit enhanced cognitive function.

6) Arts and Crafts

There’s nothing like creating something with your own hands. Arts and crafts can keep seniors active, maintain/improve their coordination, and provide a creative outlet for their thoughts and feelings.

7) Learn a New Skill

They say you learn something new everyday and that should remain true right up until the end. If you’ve always wondered how to identify birds or poisonous plants, your retirement years just might be the perfect time to find the answers to all those questions that have been plaguing you your whole life – or the last five minutes.

8) Fermentation

If you’ve always wanted to try making your own beer or wine, there’s no time like the present.

9) Creative Writing

Writing is another form of expression and a great option for people of any age. Whether you want to use your retirement years to put together that novel you’ve always wanted to write, or just short stories for your own amusement, creative writing has proven benefits for cognitive and emotional health.

10) Keep a Pet

There’s nothing like have a living, sentient being literally depend on you for survival to make you feel needed and useful. It’s also a symbiotic relationship because having a pet is known to improve mood and immune function while reducing stress and blood pressure.

The need to stay active is so important in the life of a senior. There are many options for seniors to stay active. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, our staff can provide stimulating activities to keep our seniors engaged and occupied. 

CONTACT US TODAY to find out ore and take a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Understanding Options and Terms in Today’s Senior Care

Options and Terms in Today’s Senior CareFinding senior living options isn’t easy, and it can be confusing. The number of Americans 65+ will increase by 3% each year over the next 20 years. By the year 2030, there will be over 70 million people over the age of 65. According to the Department of Human Services, the senior population will grow faster than the total population in all 50 states. Aging comes with adaptation and change, and there are many senior housing options to choose from. While most seniors want to stay home, this may not be the safest or least expensive option. In fact, at least 60% of seniors looking at nursing homes end up choosing an active senior living community.

More Option for Different Levels of Care

Finding senior living options can be a confusing process. Loved ones aren’t aware of all their options and they don’t know where to start looking. A recent survey found that most families start their search by looking at nursing homes. However, people looking at nursing homes rarely move into them. Out of 100 people looking at nursing homes, 59% of them end up choosing an active senior living community.

Senior housing options have increasingly evolved over the last 20 years, which could explain a lot of the confusion. Nursing homes are not synonymous with assisted living, which most people believe. Nursing homes used to be the main type of place for long-term care. Today’s nursing homes are mainly set up for short-term stays after a stay in the hospital to recover or have physical therapy.

Physical, mental, and financial health are the factors that contribute to a senior’s long-term and short-term care options. These three things determine the level of care that is needed based on financial resources, and there are many different options of care.

Assisted Living Offers an Extended Quality of Life

A variety of care allows active seniors to thrive because many senior living communities provide physical, mental and emotional stimulation in addition to medication management and nutrition. The socialization aspect of community living helps keep seniors happy, active, and alert. With varying levels of care, families can choose the best option for their loved ones. The great part about this is that many communities offer options where seniors can go through different levels of care as they get older.

Researching Senior Living Options

If you are planning your retirement or looking for a place for your loved one, there are many resources available to help guide you. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for an active senior living community or skilled nursing care, a senior living adviser can help to educate you and provide financial and senior living resources to match the needs of your family.

There is no need to search for nursing homes when there are other options available that are more appropriate. Today’s senior living options offer more personalized care. Here at Stillwater Senior Living, our staff will design a personal care plan that is tailored to the needs of your loved one.

CONTACT US to find out more and take a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.