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Posts Tagged ‘senior living in Edwardsville’

Sundown Syndrome: Dealing with Alzheimer’s

Sundown SyndromeSundown syndrome, also called “sundowning”, is characterized by increased restlessness and/or agitation beginning in the late afternoon or evening and often continuing throughout night. It can affect all kinds of people, and even animals, but it is especially prevalent in older people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

What Causes Sundown Syndrome?

No one is entirely sure what causes sundown syndrome, but experts believe that the degeneration of brain cells associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s might disrupt the production and/or reception of hormones in our body telling us when we should be awake and when we should sleep. Other possible causes include fatigue, hunger and/or thirst, pain, depression, or even boredom.

Symptoms of Sundown Syndrome

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you might want to keep a lookout for symptoms of sundown syndrome later in the day, especially as the sun starts to set and make the transition from day into night. Symptoms include increased agitation, pacing, and even yelling.

While it can be difficult to bear the brunt of what feels like personal attacks from your loved one, it’s important to understand the reasons behind why they might be acting that way. In many cases, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s tend to lash out when they are especially confused. Realizing you don’t remember where you are or what’s going on is a terrifying sensation, and it’s possible that your loved one might lash out verbally, or even physically, when feeling confused.

How to Cope with Sundown Syndrome

As difficult as it can be, especially when family members are involved, it’s important not to take it personally when your loved one with dementia lashes out at you. Remember that it’s less likely to be about you and more likely to be about something else they find confusing or upsetting and you just happened to be a convenient target for their agitation.

Remain calm and try to get to the root of what’s causing their confusion. Try to reassure them that everything is OK and to distract them from whatever it is that might be upsetting them. Keeping their favorite snack handy can be a great way to distract them, and if hunger is a trigger of their sundown syndrome, then you could be killing two birds with one stone by feeding them.

Other tips for coping with sundown syndrome include removing other triggers of anxiety and agitation. You’ll get a feel for what these triggers are for your loved one as their disease progresses, but some common ways to avoid or reduce the symptoms of sundown syndrome include reducing noise and/or clutter, and/or reducing the number of people in the room. While it might sound like fun to bring the whole family for a visit, the reality can be overwhelming for someone who doesn’t always recognize the people surrounding them, so working with other members of the family to make sure you all get a chance to visit with your loved one at different times can often prove most beneficial to everyone involved.

While caring for aging loved ones can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why our goal at Stillwater Senior Living is to provide your loved one with the best care possible so you can go about your life without having to worry about them, which means your visits can be spent on more quality time with your loved one. Reach out now if you have any other questions about how we can help your loved one age in place.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

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

What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Alzheimer’s and dementiaMany people talk about Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably, so it should come as no surprise that there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the differences between the two. They both involve a decline in mental faculties, including memory, communication, and the ability to perform daily tasks. That said, Alzheimer’s and dementia are not interchangeable, so we’re going to go over the differences between them.

Syndrome vs Disease

Dementia is a broad term that is used to describe a wide range of diseases and symptoms, and it can be caused by a variety of conditions – Alzheimer’s just happens to be the most common one.

Alzheimer’s is short for Alzheimer’s Disease, and while it is a form of dementia, dementia itself is not a disease – it’s a syndrome. While patients need a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, there is no diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is defined as a group of symptoms that affect the person’s mental faculties, but there is no definitive diagnosis of dementia.

Age

Although dementia and Alzheimer’s are both associated with old age, young and middle-aged people have been known to show symptoms of both dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s also important to remember that neither one is considered a normal part of aging.

Mixed Dementia

People can have more than one type of dementia at one time. This is known as mixed dementia, and is usually caused by the person having multiple conditions that contribute to dementia. Unlike Alzheimer’s, mixed dementia can only be diagnosed by autopsy.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

Alzheimer’s and dementia have some symptoms in common, which is the main reason people tend to get them confused. They both involve impaired mental faculties, particularly when it comes to memory and communication, and they can both lead to behavioral changes, often fueled by confusion and frustration.

But Alzheimer’s has some symptoms that dementia does not, mostly pertaining to mood swings and behavioral changes. However, in the most advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, patients can lose the ability to walk, speak, and even swallow as the parts of their brain that control those motions decay, which does not happen with dementia.

Causes of Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

One of the biggest differences between Alzheimer’s and dementia is their causes. While Alzheimer’s is largely genetic, dementia can be caused by a combination of genetics and/or an infection, such as HIV, metabolic disorders/hypoglycemia/tumors, depression and/or chronic drug use, and vascular disease and/or stroke.

Treatment

Because dementia and Alzheimer’s have different causes, the treatments for each depend on what’s causing the problem. There is some overlap in the way they’re both treated, but there are also some key differences.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, although there are drugs to treat the symptoms, namely antipsychotics, drugs to help with the memory loss, sleep, and depression and mood swings. Alternative treatments include fish oil or coconut oil, both of which have been shown to boost overall cognitive function.

Some forms of dementia can be cured, depending on the cause. If the cause is genetic, as with Alzheimer’s, then there isn’t much hope (yet). If, on the other hand, the dementia is caused by something else, then treating the root cause often does result in improved symptoms of dementia. Tumors, hypoglycemia, drug use, and metabolic disorders are some of the causes of dementia that respond best to treatment.

If you have any other questions about Alzheimer’s or dementia, we’re happy to help.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

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

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Assisted Living

Valentine’s Day in Assisted LivingIt’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, and we see absolutely no reason for residents in assisted living to be left out. If you’re planning on spending the day with your loved one in assisted living this year, we have some ideas regarding how you can make the day special for them.

  • Decorate

The first thing you need to do is set the mood. That could mean pink and white streamers, hearts on the walls, pink and white balloons, and/or faux stained glass. Get creative, and don’t forget to dim the lights in the evening. Nothing sets the mood like the right lighting.

  • Movie Night

Put in their favorite romantic movie and watch it with them. There are plenty of classic romantic comedies that have withstood the test of time, but there are also modern rom coms they might like just as well. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s something you can enjoy together. Few things provide opportunities to bond like watching a movie together.

  • Crafts

Making Valentine’s Day cards is not just a school activity for kids. It’s a great way for people to express how they feel at any age, so consider doing some Valentine’s Day crafts with your loved one in assisted living this year, and remember that it doesn’t have to be just cards. You can get festive with food as well, including Valentine’s Day fruit kabobs, sweetheart cookie bouquets, and heart-shaped toast.

  • Valentine’s Day Bingo

Who doesn’t love bingo? Make it Valentine’s Day themed by using Hershey’s Kisses to mark the squares as they play or give them red and pink markers to color in their squares. You can also make the bingo squares themselves Valentine’s Day themed by labeling them with the titles of romantic comedies and/or romance songs instead of numbers.

  • Cook for Them

Nothing says “I love you” like cooking a meal for someone. Bring everything you need to make their favorite dish, and for bonus points you can turn it into a shared experience by having them help you prepare the meal. That way it becomes a bonding experience you can share together, while also making your loved one feel useful and included instead of like an invalid who relies on other people to wait on them.

Whatever your plans are for this Valentine’s Day, make sure you ask your loved one’s assisted living community first to see what activities they have planned. Go over the schedule with your loved one and see what grabs their interest and what doesn’t. Their enthusiasm for certain activities might change over the course of the week, or even the day, depending on their situation, but you’re always better off getting their input before making any plans for them.

If you’re wondering what we’ll be doing for Valentine’s Day this year, you can always reach out and ask us.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

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

Could We See a Cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020? An Update on the Latest Research

Cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020?A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is one of the scariest scenarios imaginable, not just because there are few things more frightening than losing our mental faculties, but also because there is currently no cure for the disease. But researchers have been hard at work for decades trying to find a cure, and recent discoveries could bring us a cure sooner than you might think.

Our Genes

The first factor that determines your likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s in the first place is your genes. Most people know that if they have a relative with Alzheimer’s, they’re significantly more likely to develop the disease themselves, so we know genes play a large role in determining who comes down with Alzheimer’s and when.

On the one hand, we have the presenillin 1 gene, and we know that people with a mutation in that gene are significantly more likely to develop early-onset Alzheimer’s, meaning they start to show early symptoms in their mid to late forties and have full-blown Alzheimer’s in their fifties.

On the other hand, we have the APOE gene, which is linked to regular, late-onset Alzheimer’s and has three different forms that are most commonly seen. Roughly three in four people have APOE3, about one in five people have APOE4, and only about one in ten have APOE2.

We already knew that people with an APOE4 gene were 3x to 4x more likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people who only have the APOE3 gene. On the other hand, if you have on APOE2 gene, you’re slightly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people with only APOE3 genes. But a mutation of the APOE4 gene has recently been discovered and it could change everything.

Harvard researchers have been studying a very large family in New Zealand with the presenillin 1 genetic mutation that predisposes them to early-onset Alzheimer’s. Many of them have, in fact, developed early-onset Alzheimer’s, but one woman didn’t show symptoms of Alzheimer’s until she was in her 70s. Although she had the presenillin 1 genetic mutation, she also had an unusual mutation in her APOE gene, which has been named APOE3Christchurch (APOE3ch) after the New Zealand city in which the mutation was discovered. Furthermore, this woman had two versions of this same mutation, meaning she inherited it from both her mother and her father, and researchers think it could be the key to her resistance to Alzheimer’s.

Our Proteins

In addition to our genes, another factor in developing Alzheimer’s has to do with a protein in the brain, called tau, which is responsible for destroying brain cells. Researchers think that tau builds up in the brain after amyloid protein forms plaque in the brain, but this woman in New Zealand has a relatively small amount of tau in her brain, despite the fact that her brain was full of abnormal amyloid plaques (even more so than most people with Alzheimer’s).

Researchers suspect that this woman’s APOE3ch mutation could be the key to the relatively small amounts of tau built up in her brain. This research is still in the preliminary stages, but so far, they have been able to create a special protein in the lab that mimics the effects of the APOE3ch mutation and reduce the uptake of tau in the brain.

We probably won’t see a definitive cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020, since researchers have to conduct experiments to make sure they can reproduce the results before they can put anything on the market, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

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

How to Relocate Your Aging Parents

relocate your aging parentsMoving is a stressful process even for the young and able bodied. No one likes to pick up their whole lives and move from a well-known home to a strange place, but those feelings of fear and discomfort tend to increase as we age, and can be compounded by confusion when suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Although declining mental faculties are probably the reason you need to relocate your aging parents into assisted living, it can also make the move itself much more challenging for you and your parents. Here are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly.

  • Communication

The key to successfully overcoming any challenge that involves working with other people is communication. This doesn’t mean you won’t disagree about what has to happen or how certain things need to be done, but by keeping the lines of communication open, you can avoid surprises and a certain amount of conflict. Even if your parents don’t like the idea of moving, it’s important to keep them involved in the process so they can maintain as much control as possible.

  • Decide on a Place

Keeping Step 1 in mind, it’s important for you and your parents to agree on a place together. Given all the factors that need to be considered, including cost, location, and level of care, it might not be possible for everyone to agree on what the best place for your parents is, but again, it’s important to get their input so you can reach as much of a consensus as possible.

  • Create a Plan

Once you’ve decided on a place and you have a move-in date, you need to plan out everything that needs to get done between now and that move-in date. When are you going to start packing? What are you packing and what are you putting in storage/giving away? If your parents have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, you might want to give yourself extra time to go through it all and decide what’s worth keeping and what should be tossed. Set a packing date and stick to the plan. Even if your parents are resistant at first, laying out a plan and attacking the moving process one step at a time will make moving day much easier on both you and your parents.

  • Get Everyone Involved

The responsibility of taking care of aging parents often ends up falling on one or two children, even when there are several siblings in the family. In order to make sure you aren’t the only person responsible for moving your parents, get as many family members involved as possible. Not only will this help lighten the load, it’s also a great way to remind your parents how much everyone cares about them. Most people are afraid of getting put in assisted living and being forgotten by their friends and family, so getting everyone involved is one way to assure your parents that’s not going to happen.

  • Help Them Settle In

Once you’ve helped your parents unpack and arrange everything to their liking in their new home, be sure to visit them regularly, but not too often. Again, you want to let them know they won’t be forgotten, but you don’t want to smother them or become overbearing.

If you have any other questions about the move-in process, we’re happy to help.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. 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.

Why You Should Not Visit Someone in Assisted Living When You’re Sick (and What to Do Instead)

Should Not Visit Someone in Assisted Living When You’re SickCold and flu season is officially here in the Midwest, which means many of us are, not only shivering, but also sniffling, sneezing, and maybe even a little feverish. As important as it is to regularly visit loved ones in assisted living (especially during the cold, dark months of winter), you aren’t doing them any favors by visiting them if you’re sick, so we have some very good reasons you should stay away from the assisted living community if you’re sick, and what you can do instead.

Compromised Immune Systems

As we age, our immune systems weaken and it becomes harder for us to fight off disease, including the common cold and flu. While we don’t doubt that your loved one is happy to see you no matter how you look or feel, they’ll appreciate your visit less if they come down with the same bug a few days later.

Not only does a compromised immune system mean that our aging loved ones are more likely to get sick, it also means that their illnesses tend to be much more serious because their bodies are less able to fight off the disease. Something we might be able to bounce back from after a few days could easily send your loved one to the hospital, so when we recommend staying away from assisted living communities when you’re sick, it’s not a trivial matter.

What to Do Instead

1. Use Technology

Just because you can’t come visit, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with your loved one. You can buy them a tablet and install Facetime, Zoom, or Google Hangout so you can chat with them face-to-face.

If screens intimidate your loved one, use technology with which they’re comfortable. Pick up the phone and call them. Spend as much time chatting with them over the phone as you can. It can’t make up for not seeing your face or giving you a hug, but you might be surprised at the power of hearing the voice of someone you love and spending the time to catch up. It can do wonders to help them feel connected and help you stay in the loop about what’s going on with them and how they’re feeling.

2. Send a Card

If all else fails, send a card. It’s all about that personal touch, and the next best thing to getting a phone call from a loved one is getting mail. Just a quick, personal note to let them know what’s new with you and that you’re thinking of them can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to lifting the spirits of a loved one.

3. Rest Up

Finally, take care of yourself and rest up so you can visit your loved one again as soon as possible. Make sure you’re no longer contagious before you come for another visit, and when you do visit, be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water.

If you have any other questions about when and how to visit your loved one is assisted living, or if you want to know more about what we offer at Stillwater Senior Living, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. 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.

Long-Term Care Awareness: What You Need to Know

Long-Term CareNovember is long-term care awareness month, in which we, and other organizations around the country, try to raise awareness of the need for long-term care and long-term care insurance. Most people will need long-term care at some point in their lives, but they either don’t know about long-term care insurance, or they don’t think they’ll need it. They assume their health insurance will cover the costs of long-term care, and while it might cover some of the costs, it won’t even begin to cover all of them. That leaves many people unable to pay for the long-term care they need, and unaware of how much financial trouble they’ll be in until it’s too late.

An Aging Population

Until 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day, which means the need for long-term care and long-term care insurance are rising dramatically every day. Unfortunately, the number of people buying long-term care insurance is not going up at the same rate, even when people are aware of the need for it. Experts estimate that 7 out of 10 people will need long-term care at some point in their life, yet most of those people don’t have long-term care insurance.

The Costs of Long-Term Care

The costs of long-term care vary based on a variety of factors, including your geographic location and the level of care you require. To give you an idea of what you might need, the median cost for assisted living in 2019 is just over $4,000 per month.

According to a study conducted in 2018, almost 1/3 of respondents surveyed said that long-term care expenses were a top financial concern for them, and more than half (57%) said they needed long-term care insurance, yet only 15% of them had long-term care insurance.

Caregivers

An estimated 80% of long-term care is provided by unpaid caregivers who spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care. Most of the time, that means one of your children or grandchildren is taking care of you and sacrificing their career and/or personal life in order to do so.

It’s also less than ideal for you because your friends and family members are not professional caregivers, which means they’re more likely to make a mistake that could have serious consequences. By making sure you’re covered by long-term care insurance, you can hire a professional to give you the care you need and leave your friends and family members to spend more quality time with you when they visit, instead of worrying about a to-do list.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid do cover some of the costs of long-term care, but not every long-term care provider accepts Medicare or Medicaid. Do your research ahead of time to figure out which long-term care providers you’d prefer to use if you end up needing it, and what forms of insurance they accept. Even if they do accept Medicare or Medicaid, chances are those programs will only cover part of your costs, which means you’ll still need long-term care insurance to cover the rest.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. 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.

 

Are Your Parents Making Use of These Benefits for Veterans?

benefits for veteransThe Department of Veterans’ Affairs does a lot to take care of its veterans, both during and after their time in active duty, but those benefits don’t automatically appear. Most of them have to be applied for, but sadly, many veterans don’t even know all the options that are available to them. So, if you or a loved one is a veteran, make sure you know about these important benefits.

Affordable Healthcare

Healthcare is expensive, and that’s especially true if you’ve been wounded in the line of duty. You or your loved one might be eligible for healthcare that is either free or low cost through a VA hospital or medical facility.

This also extends to mental healthcare. It’s common for wartime veterans to suffer from PTSD and/or to require professional counseling, which can also be expensive. Fortunately, the VA provides both counseling and PTSD support to its veterans.

Disability Compensation

If you or a loved one was wounded in the line of duty in a way that left you disabled and unable to earn a living, you could be eligible for disability compensation through the VA.

VA Pension

The VA Pension is a program that provides income to veterans who have no or limited income and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Is aged 65 or older
  • Is permanently and totally disabled
  • Is a patient in a nursing home
  • Is receiving Social Security disability benefits

Long-Term Care Costs

If you struggle to pay for long-term care for a loved one who’s a veteran, the Aid and Attendance Program offers help with long-term care costs, including the costs associated with living in an assisted living community, a nursing home, or having a caregiver come to your house to care for you. The program also covers long-term care costs for the surviving spouses of veterans, so if the veteran in your family has passed on, but their spouse needs help paying for long-term care, they could be eligible for funding from the Aid and Attendance Program.

Life Insurance

The veteran in your life might have a hard time making sure you and the rest of their loved ones are financially stable after they’re gone because most insurance companies won’t sell them life insurance, especially if they were injured in the line of duty. The Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Program offers life insurance to veterans with competitive premiums.

Free Tax Preparation

Taxes are complicated for most of us, but they can be especially complicated for veterans. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices located on military bases offer free help for veterans filing their taxes. They have experience dealing with the complex tax issues unique to veterans, so not only is it free, it’s also a great way to get an expert on your side who knows the ins and outs of your particular situation.

Death Benefits

If you want to mark your loved one’s service to their country after their death, you can request an American flag to be draped over their casket and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, both of which will be paid for by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. They can also provide a free headstone or grave marker for your loved one.

 

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. 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 to Eat to Age Better

What to Eat to Age BetterThere are a lot of conversations around what to eat to feel better or to lose weight, but what about aging better? Could our diet affect how we age?

The short answer is, yes. It’s true that we are what we eat, and our diets affect every aspect of our lives, including how we age. So, with that in mind, which foods should we be eating to make sure our aging experience is the best it can be?

Fruits and Vegetables

There are a lot of different diets out there and they all seem to be yelling at us to do different things, which can be very overwhelming. But one thing every diet agrees on is that we should all be eating more fruits and veggies – some say as many as nine servings per day. So, no matter what else you eat, be sure to include lots of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Dark, leafy greens are especially nutritious, so be sure to load up on kale, swiss chard, and spinach.

Collagen

Collagen is one of the building blocks of our bodies and it’s a key ingredient in maintaining healthy joints and skin elasticity. So, if you want to keep arthritis and wrinkles away, be sure to add collagen to your diet. You can get it by drinking bone broth or consuming broth-based soups. They also sell it as a powder in various grocery and nutrition stores now, so you can buy it and just add a scoop to your morning coffee, tea, or even just water. Collagen is tasteless, so it won’t affect the flavor of your beverage.

Coconut Oil

The debate around fat (particularly saturated fat) rages on, but the evidence in favor of coconut oil as a superfood just keeps piling up. It has a particular kind of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which our bodies (particularly our brains) use as a quick source of energy. One 2006 study found that Alzheimer’s patients who were given coconut oil saw marked improvements in their cognitive function.

Coconut oil also has anti-microbial properties that can help kill harmful microorganisms, which is why people have started swishing it in their mouths to improve their oral health. It’s also good at helping you feel full for longer periods of time, leading to a reduction in overall calories consumed and aiding weight loss.

Fermented Foods

Bring on the pickles, sauerkraut, and kombucha (just make sure the pickles and sauerkraut are actually fermented and not just soaked in vinegar). More and more recent studies have shown that fermented foods (along with plenty of fiber) promote a healthy gut biome, which can help boost both our digestion and our immune system, helping us to feel better now and for years to come. So, the next time you’re at a BBQ and you feel like a big juicy brat, just be sure to add a lot of sauerkraut to that brat.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we make a point of serving our residents food that is both delicious and nutritious, because we understand how important food is to both staying alive and to living well. If you want to see for yourself, or if you have any other questions about how we assist our residents in living their lives to the fullest, reach out now because we’d love to answer all your questions.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. 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.

Loneliness in Older Americans: How Assisted Living Provides More Than Just Physical Assistance

Loneliness in Older AmericansWhen you consider risk factors for seniors, you might think about things like an increased risk of falling and sustaining a serious injury, increased risk of disease, and decreased mental and physical capabilities. While those are all serious concerns for older Americans, there’s another danger they face you probably haven’t considered: loneliness.

Loneliness as a Health Risk

Experts have known for a long time now that loneliness can be a predictor of everything from depression to heart disease, and while many people have pointed out that our society as a whole is becoming increasingly isolated, older Americans are especially vulnerable to loneliness.

A recent study conducted by the National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed more than 2,000 Americans between the ages of 50 and 80 and found that more than a third of them reported feeling a lack of companionship at least some of the time, with 27% saying they feel isolated. Almost 30% reported socializing once a week or less. The women surveyed were more likely than men to report a lack of companionship.

Since it’s well known that isolation and poor health tend to go hand in hand, it’s no wonder that 28% of the respondents who reported feeling isolated also reported their physical health as either fair or poor, whereas only 13% of those surveyed who did not feel isolated reported their physical health as either fair or poor.

Those who reported feeling isolated were also much more likely to rate their mental health as either fair or poor. This is not surprising, since the connection between mental health and physical health as been well established for many years now.

Loneliness and Decreased Life Expectancy

Rates of suicide among older Americans have been on the rise lately and there’s no doubt that isolation is a major factor. Whether from poor health or suicide, experts estimate that isolation is linked to shortened life spans as much as smoking, and even more than being overweight or sedentary.

On the surface, it might seem like loneliness is something that’s easy to fix, but the truth is that, while living alone was certainly connected to an increased risk of loneliness, some respondents who live with other people still report feeling lonely if they don’t have a strong emotional connection to the people who live with them. Living with their children or grandchildren might seem like a good idea, but it can end up enhancing feelings of loneliness and isolation by highlighting the differences between generations.

How Assisted Living Can Help

While many people might think of assisted living as something people only need when they can no longer do certain things for themselves, an often-overlooked benefit of assisted living is a sense of community. Living with people who are close to your own age is a benefit that should never be underestimated. And many assisted living communities (including Stillwater Senior Living) offer programs throughout the week to help residents get to know each other and form strong bonds that will last them the rest of their lives.

If you have any questions about the wide array of benefits assisted living can offer you or your loved one, please reach out now because we love nothing more than talking about all the ways we help our residents.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. 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.