4 Tips for a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season with Your Aging Loved One

happy and healthy holiday season with aging loved onesThe holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family while creating lasting memories, for children and aging parents alike. There are always the usual stresses that arise this time of year, like making sure gifts are bought, meals are sorted, and activities are planned to keep everyone happy. However, when you have an aging loved one to consider, there are additional worries. How do I cater to my parents’ needs? What are their limits? How do I make sure they’re enjoying themselves? While these questions will surely pop up, there’s no reason they need to hinder your holiday celebrations. To help you prepare, here are four tips for a happy and healthy holiday season with your aging loved one:

1. Consider what’s best for seniors.

The first thing to think about when celebrating the holidays with an aging loved one is their living situation. If they’re still living independently, it will be easier for them to come to the family home to celebrate with you. Transportation is something you’ll need to keep in mind. If traveling is too difficult for your senior, it may be a good idea to consider bringing the celebration to them. The situation will be entirely different if your elderly parent is in an assisted living home. If they have dementia and generally don’t enjoy outings, it may be better to visit them. On the other hand, if they don’t have cognitive impairments, you can handle their physical needs, and they’re in the area, taking them to the family home may be exactly what they want. The important thing is to talk to your loved one, and their caregiver if applicable, to see what they’re up for and most comfortable with.

2. Ask about any dietary restrictions.

Holiday food can be full of carbs and sugar, which can potentially throw off the diet of your senior. If you are planning on serving a heavy meal and rich deserts, balance it out by offering a lighter meal earlier or later in the day. It is also good to always offer healthy options to choose from. Seniors often have special nutritional and dietary needs, such as sodium or sugar restrictions. You can help your loved one avoid a stressful or unhealthy situation by planning holiday meals with healthy alternatives.

3. Plan activities for all ages.

The holiday season can be a lonely time for many seniors. To help combat loneliness, invite your loved one to join in family festivities. Ask your loved ones to help cook a special dish for the holiday meal or direct the young ones in decorating the house. The holidays can center around meals, so think about taking the whole family on a walk around the block to keep your loved ones moving. There are also plenty of activities that are good to include for those who aren’t as mobile. These include watching a movie (let them pick it!), doing a puzzle together, playing a board game or singing holiday songs..

4. Make things accessible.

This tip is more about keeping your aging loved ones safe and healthy. If your parent is staying with you, try to give them a room on the first floor so they can avoid stairs as much as possible. Give them a space where they have easy access to the bathroom and everything else they will need. This can be difficult to do when you have a full house during the holiday season, but keeping areas clutter-free and checking that rugs and mats are non-slip will help to avoid any accidental falls.

It’s more than possible to plan a holiday for the family that both you and your aging loved ones will enjoy. Don’t stress about making everything perfect or exactly how it used to be, as there will certainly be changes or adjustments to make to the regular routine. If your elderly parent can’t come to you because they’re in an assisted living center, there are still ways to connect and make the holidays special for them.

At Paradise Living Centers, we host a White Elephant gift exchange and try to get all of our residents in the holiday spirit with participation in special activities and decorations. If you want to schedule a tour of one of our homes and learn more about Paradise Living Centers, call (480) 878-4112.

4 Ways to Alleviate Senior Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Ways to Alleviate Senior LonelinessSenior loneliness during the holiday season can unfortunately be the gift that keeps on giving. While often a time of togetherness and celebration, the holidays can also fuel feelings of nostalgia and longing for people and places of the past.  Aging  naturally impacts who we are, what we do, how we feel and who we are with, but those changes, and in some cases, losses, feel especially poignant at the holidays.  Here are some tips on how to keep your senior loved ones’ holidays filled with smiles and love.

1. Help with the holiday cards.

This is a great way to spend time with your aging loved one. Go through the cards received and read through them together.  Holiday cards can come bearing news of loss or illness and being there with your loved one will offer a source of comfort and support. It’s also an opportunity to talk and share memories stirred up by the cards and the people who sent them. While you’re at it, I ask your family and close friends to send a holiday card to your senior relative, providing news and pictures of what’s going on in their families. Finally, help your loved one create and send their own holiday cards. Such a project will keep your loved one engaged and connected with their friends and the outside world.

2. Decorate their living space.

Happy decorations can make for happier people. Why not bring your family to visit and make it an activity for everyone to do together. You could also think about bringing old decorations that have special meaning to your family; something that would connect them to a fond memory and keep the holiday spirit alive.

3. Organize a holiday party or gathering for your loved one and his or her peers.

At Paradise Living Centers,  we have an annual holiday party for our residents and their  families to join us and share  holiday traditions. Over the years we have had children’s choirs and volunteer organizations perform or play games with our residents for a fun festive celebration. Please reach out to our head of events if you are interested in creating some holiday magic! If your aging senior still lives on his or her own, or with you—think about organizing a small, holiday get-together.

4. Adapt your traditions.

Maintaining those favorite holiday traditions can be difficult when your elderly loved one lives in assisted living or has challenging physical and emotional issues. Don’t lose those traditions, adapt them.  If walking through the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights is no longer possible, go on a drive, but spend that time together.  Set up a FaceTime call where everyone can participate in a family tradition from past holidays and your loved one can see them being carried on. Communicate with your loved one’s caregiver about what traditions and activities you would like to re-create. He or she can help you adapt those activities to your loved one’s needs.

Senior loneliness doesn’t have to plague your elderly loved ones. The key is to think, plan  adapt and do.  Bring your loved one into the joy of the holiday season by bringing the celebration to where they are: physically, emotionally and mentally.

4 Ways You Can Help Your Senior Avoid Falling

fallingIt can be scary when your aging loved one lives alone, especially when it comes to the thought of them falling. According to the CDC, one in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Falling may not be a big deal for those in great physical condition, but for seniors, who are more likely to be weak and have brittle bones, the consequences can be serious. In fact, the CDC also states that “falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.” Even if you don’t live with or provide care for your elderly parent, there are precautions you can take to make sure they do not succumb to injury, or worse. Here are 4 ways you can help your senior avoid a fall:

1. Make sure they stay active and strong.

It’s vital that your aging loved one keeps their bones healthy and their bodies strong to avoid falling, which is why fitness is so important. Staying fit can be as simple as going for a daily walk or doing exercises to improve balance, such as standing on one leg at a time or making circles with the hips. Lifting weights and climbing stairs are also great additions to an exercise routine, as these activities will strengthen weak legs. If you don’t think your loved one can exercise properly themselves, consider finding an occupational or physical therapist that can help. While being active is a great preventative measure, it can also be a safeguard to avoid broken bones or serious injury if a fall does occur.

2. Keep their space clutter-free.

A clean, organized space can make all the difference. The next time you visit your aging parent, help them remove the clutter in their home and clear the walkways. Anything that they could trip over is a hazard. Move old magazines, wires, phone cords, and pet bowls somewhere where they won’t be a potential problem.

3. Adapt their home to fit their needs.

There are a number of ways that you can help a senior adapt their home to help them avoid falls. Here are a few:

4. Touch base with the doctor.

Your loved one’s doctor can also offer guidance that will help prevent falls. They will check for the physical problems that could contribute to falling, such as poor vision and weak bones. They should also talk to your parent about the medications they’re taking and let them know if they could experience symptoms of vertigo or drowsiness.

It’s certainly possible for seniors who live alone to successfully implement these practices to help avoid falling, but it can be harder to do as they get older. If you’re worried your loved one is no longer safe in their home, it may be time to consider assisted living. If you’d like to learn more about Paradise Living Centers and what we do to provide a safe and caring environment for our residents, visit our website or call to schedule a tour at (480) 878-4112.

Five Tips to Keep Your Immune System Strong as You Age

immune systemIt’s October, which means cold and flu season are officially upon us. While it’s important for anyone to have their immune system in peak physical condition to be able to fight off viruses, especially this time of year, it’s even more important for those who are older. Immunity decreases and weakens with age as immune cells start to become less effective. This means that, when you do come down with something, it’s going to be a lot harder to get over it than it used to be when you were a kid. With that being said, there are ways to get ahead of it to keep you healthy as you age. Here are five tips to help keep your immune system strong:

1. Wash your hands.

You heard it all the time growing up, and the same rules still apply. Washing your hands is one of the best (and easiest) preventative measures to keep you from getting sick. Wash with soap and water anytime you encounter germs (eg. after you go to the bathroom, blow your nose, interact with someone who’s sick, etc.). If you don’t have access to a sink, you can use hand sanitizer instead.

2. Get the proper amount of sleep.

Studies show that a lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system. If you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, you have a higher risk of getting sick after being exposed to a virus, and your recovery time could also be longer. Less sleep also leads to inflammation. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-8 hours a night.

3. Maintain a healthy diet.

To ensure your immune system is in fighting condition, you need to be fueling it with the right food. Get the proper nutrients and vitamins by filling your plate with plenty of color (fruits and veggies), protein, and grains. Incorporate foods into your diet that have been associated with helping strengthen immunity, such as citrus, green tea, turmeric, spinach, and blueberries, which have natural antioxidants.

4. Exercise regularly.

Staying active does a number of things to help you stay healthy. It keeps you fit, lowers inflammation, promotes circulation, reduces stress, and helps cells move more freely. In addition, it could boost production of immune cells. You don’t need to be a workout junkie to reap the benefits. Just make sure you’re getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (this could include walking) most days of the week. If you have limited mobility, there are still ways to get your body moving.

5. Manage your stress.

While stress every now and then won’t hurt, high stress levels for extended periods of time can negatively affect your immune system. There are many ways you can help lower stress, but they can vary from person to person. As listed above, getting the right amount of sleep and exercising can help reduce stress and therefore benefit your immune system. Other popular stress-relieving techniques are meditating, yoga, and listening to calming music.

When you age, your immune system ages with you. There’s no getting around that. What you do have a say in, though, is how effective your immune system is with age. By implementing changes in your life and maintaining a healthy daily routine, you can give your body the extra strength it needs to fight off viruses. If you have any more questions about ways to get ahead of aging, contact Paradise Living Centers at (480) 878-4112 or visit out website at https://paradiselivingcenters.com/.

How to Communicate With an Aging Parent Who Won't Listen

aging parentIt can be very frustrating and even frightening when you are trying to communicate something important to your aging parent or parents and they won’t listen to or accept what you are saying. Adult children and their elderly parents may struggle as age, illness or physical challenges necessitate a change in an aging parent’s living circumstances. Self-sufficient adults who raised families, ran businesses and households, now face being told they can no longer live the life they spent a lifetime building, the way they want. It’s a tough sell on a good day. But there are ways to communicate with an aging parent that will make it easier to address tough life topics and decisions.

1. Your parents are adults, treat them that way

First and foremost, even though you may think your parents are acting as stubborn as young children, they are not children. They are adults and any conversation you have with them needs to come from a place of respect and consideration. Don’t talk at your parents. Talk to them.

2. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

Actually, sometimes it is what you are saying. “Mom, I don’t think you should be driving anymore” is probably not going to sit well in even the softest, sweetest tones. But tone does matter. Anyone who feels yelled at, harangued or bullied will often back away from the conversation and shut down communication. Take a careful look at how you are communicating because that may be at the core of why your parents are not listening to you.

3. It’s not you, it’s me

One of the most effective ways to get an aging parent to listen is to make it about you. Explaining to your mom that you can’t sleep at night because you are so worried about her getting into a car accident is different than saying, “You can’t see and you’re going to get yourself killed, or worse-- kill someone else. No more driving.”

Many aging parents’ worst fear is of becoming a burden to their families. It fuels much of the resistance to getting help in their later years. Honestly explaining how their unwillingness to listen to you is causing that dreaded burden, will go far in bringing them back to the conversation.

4. Bring your aging parent in on the decision making

Rather than lay down the plan for your parents, whether it’s hiring someone to help them around the house and run errands, moving them to an assisted living facility or simply helping them declutter, bring them in on these decisions. Ask them what THEY want and try to accommodate them.

How to communicate with an aging parent if they have dementia:

1. The number one tip for effectively communicating with a parent suffering from dementia is to first accept the situation for what it is. You are not talking to the mom or dad you grew up with. Dementia can alter personalities, perceptions and more. Talk to the person your parent is now.

2. Keep it simple. When talking to someone with dementia, keep your communication simple and the choices limited. Long, sequential questions with various potential answers will frustrate both of you. For example: Do you want to wear your loafers or your sneakers? Do you want chicken tacos or beef tacos for lunch?

3. Timing is everything. Talk to your parent when they can actually focus on what you’re saying. Avoid asking questions when they are visibly tired or distracted.

Only you can prevent power struggles. Let’s face it, some dementia sufferers get downright ornery. In fact, most of us get ornery, even if we don’t have the excuse of dementia. When communicating with an aging parent, you are bound to encounter some infuriating behavior at some point. When it happens, let it go. Take a time out, ask siblings or other family members to step in, or seek professional advice, but don’t get sucked into a power struggle. No one wins, especially when you issue ultimatums or criticize.

Aging is one of the few sure things most of us face in life. The common thread in all of these tips is respect and acceptance. When those two things drive your communication with your aging parents, it will always be more effective.

If you have any questions about how to best communicate with your aging parents or caring for someone diagnosed with dementia, please contact Kristie Chadwick, a certified dementia specialist and Care Manager for Paradise Living Centers at info@paradiselivingcenters.com.

How to Get Involved in World Alzheimer's Month

World Alzheimer's MonthWhile most people are aware of Alzheimer’s and the prospect that their aging loved ones could be affected, there’s a lot of misinformation around the disease. World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign that happens every September, is meant to challenge the misinformation and stigma that surrounds Alzheimer’s and dementia by raising awareness.

Even if you have no personal connection to Alzheimer’s at this time, the prevalence of the disease shows how easily that could change. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s in 2018. (To put that into perspective, that’s 10 percent of the 65 and older population.) And that number isn’t getting any smaller. By mid-century, the number of those affected is supposed to rise to nearly 14 million.

World Alzheimer’s Month draws attention to the serious, and growing, issue of dementia in our country and world. Here are some ways you can get involved and help create awareness this month and beyond:

Learn More

One of the most important things you can do to get involved in World Alzheimer’s Month is to educate yourself on the disease. Take a look at some of the ways you can learn more:

  1. Do personal research. You can always find books on the subject of Alzheimer’s, but sources online tend to have more updated information. Check out the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging.
  2. Participate in an education program. The Alzheimer’s Association Training and Education Center offers several free, online courses on every imaginable aspect of Alzheimer’s and dementia, beginning with “Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters” to “Challenging Conversations About Dementia.”
  3. Talk to someone who’s been affected by Alzheimer’s. While information online can help you understand the disease, it doesn’t give you a personal look at how it truly impacts those who have it and their loved ones. Hear from someone who knows what it’s really like living with the disease. It will give you insight that you won’t be able to find in a book or video.

Participate in Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Another way to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s is taking part in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in your community. The walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It’s a great way to show support and make a difference. If you’re in Arizona and are interested in getting involved, there’s a Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Phoenix on November 3 and another in Sun City West on October 13. Find other walks in Arizona and across the U.S. here.


If you don’t want to sign up for a fundraiser walk, consider getting involved by volunteering. The organization needs help with team recruitment, sponsorship, marketing, and logistics before the walk, as well as walk day volunteers to offer assistance and support the day of the event. Separate from the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, there are plenty of other ways to volunteer. You can help with advocacy efforts, take part in other special events, participate in public education programs and more. Find out how you can lend a hand here.

Make a Donation

One of the easiest way to get involved in World Alzheimer’s Month is to donate. Donations go directly to research, online education programs, and support/caregiver initiatives to help improve the lives of those with Alzheimer’s. You can donate by phone, online, or by mail. Find out more on the Alzheimer’s Associate website.

If you do have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you know how devastating the effects can be and the struggles that can come with caring for someone with the disease. While raising awareness of Alzheimer’s is a major concern, it’s just as important to consider the living environment of those with the disease. When symptoms of cognitive impairment impact the ability to perform daily living tasks independently, it may be time to consider assisted living care. If you’d like to learn more about Paradise Living Centers and the services we provide for those with dementia, visit our website or call (480) 878-4112.

How Social Isolation Can Affect the Health of a Senior

social isolationAs our loved ones age, we often have a whole list of concerns of things that could impact their health, such as their diet and medical care, but research shows that we should be thinking of their social needs too. Social isolation among the elderly can be just as detrimental to their health as a poor diet or lack of care.  

Why does social isolation happen?

Social isolation can happen to seniors who gradually lose their physical mobility or develop health problems that force them to withdraw from their social routines. Other times, the death of a spouse or living far away from any relatives can interfere with keeping connected to the community around them. While assessing the care your elderly relatives may need, don’t underestimate the importance of preventing social isolation.

Risks of Social Isolation

Seniors living in social isolation will statistically live a shorter life than those who do not. For someone who has a history of heart attack or stroke, the risk of death can run even higher.

Living alone has its own inherent dangers. Falls, illness or other health problems can quickly escalate into something much more dangerous for a person living alone without frequent visitors. An example would be an elderly man who lives by himself and falls and breaks his leg. If he’s socially isolated, he may not receive help for hours and could suffer from other problems like dehydration that could put him at risk of dying.

Other risks of social isolation come from not having other eyes on a senior’s living situation. Frequent visitors are more likely to identify potential dangers, such as bad wiring, a loose rail or broken step. They may also notice problems with medication or diet. Imagine a daughter visiting her mother to discover no food in the house. The mother, a life-long cook, was forgetting to buy groceries and forgetting to eat. This and other observed idiosyncrasies led to the discovery that the woman’s mother was suffering dementia and could no longer safely live on her own.

Not having someone to call for help, help identify dangers or assist in getting medical care spells danger for the elderly.

The Physical Cost of Being Lonely

Beyond the situational risks brought on by social isolation are the physical problems. Being alone all the time is simply not good for anyone, particularly the elderly. Social isolation puts seniors in particular at greater risk for a number of physiological concerns:

- Decline in mobility

- Increased risk of heart disease, including heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure

- Cognitive decline

- Increased risk of infectious illness

- Increased vulnerability to chronic illness, such as Type 2 Diabetes

Effects on Mental Health

The mental toll social isolation can take on the elderly can be just as devastating as the physical problems. Research has long shown that humans, like most animals, are social beings and need interaction with other people to thrive. Seniors who don’t have any emotional support are more likely to suffer anxiety and higher levels of stress. Depression can also be a major problem for the isolated. In addition, social isolation helps open the gate to dementia. In taking into account what care your elderly loved ones may need to keep them healthy, avoiding social isolation needs to rank near the top of the list of concerns.

Avoiding Social Isolation

So how do you ensure your loved one doesn’t lose all his or her connections to the outside world? First, if your senior relative lives alone and you live in the same city, stop by for regular visits! Plan activities together to get them moving and engaged with others. Encourage and maybe even facilitate participation in meetups, get togethers  with friends, picking up a hobby or volunteering.

This is obviously not an option if you live far away or don’t have flexibility of circumstances to make frequent visits. If this is the case, you can talk to your parents’ neighbors and tell them your relative is all alone. Get their help in checking on them. The website, A Place for Mom, suggests a number of other things you can do as well. Here are four tips for avoiding social isolation:

1. Address any mobility issues. A major factor in an elderly person becoming isolated is their mobility. It becomes too hard to walk long distances. But a cane, walker or scooter could solve that problem. Assess the situation, figure out what is needed, and ensure it is in place.

2. Provide access to transportation. A lack of transportation stands as one of the biggest reasons behind social isolation.

3. Help them find a purpose. The elderly can be a golden resource for volunteering, whether it’s holding babies in the hospital, reading to children or walking shelter dogs.

4. Address Incontinence: Incontinence is another reason why a senior might cut themselves off from friends and going out in public. Follow through with doctors and caregivers to deal with the problem effectively.

At some point, you may realize that there is no way to keep your loved one healthy either physically or emotionally if they continue to live on their own. And then you must consider either bringing in a caregiver or placing them in an assisted living residence. Here at Paradise Living Centers, we prioritize a comfortable living environment with an engaging lifestyle. We encourage recreational fun by hosting weekly activities such as crafts and music, quarterly outings and family events; offering pet therapy; and having large spaces in each of our homes for entertainment and socializing. We provide ample opportunities for meaningful interaction for our residents to have with each other, staff and family. We want to make it so social isolation is one less concern you have for your aging loved one. If you’d like to learn more about Paradise Living Centers and what we do to ensure our residents don’t experience social isolation, visit our website or call to schedule a tour at (480) 878 - 4112.

5 Anti-inflammatory Recipes to Help Reduce Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. Arthritis symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness, and the inflammation can worsen with age, ultimately reducing range of motion. Sufferers can experience both intermittent and sharp pain causing the body to become fatigued. Arthritis symptoms can also cause redness to the skin, a stiff neck, bumps on fingers or bony outgrowth in fingers and toes. Arthritis related to wear and tear of cartilage is known as osteoarthritis. Arthritis that causes inflammation as a result of an overactive immune system is known as rheumatoid arthritis. There are many different types of treatments available to help manage symptoms and these will depend on the type you suffer from and the severity of your arthritis. While medications, and potentially surgery can help alleviate the condition, there are self-care measures and alternative therapies that you can seek out to help treat and manage symptoms. There could be anything from using a heat pad or ice pack and taking a Tai Chi class to making simple changes to your diet.

Preventative care and lifestyle changes can have a dramatic impact on many health issues and oftentimes people overlook the importance of diet and healing with superfoods. These five superfoods: turmeric, sweet potato, cherries, beans and papaya are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and we’ve put together a list of five great recipes to try in an attempt to relieve your symptoms and hopefully put your arthritis to bed!

  1. Turmeric Rice Bowl with root veggies and chickpeas – let the flavors of India tickle your taste buds with this fragrant, turmeric inspired dish. A healthy meal rich in vitamin A and C packed withanti inflammatory recipe for senior iron too. Get the list of ingredients and directions here. Research suggests that 500 mg of turmeric per day can be effective in the fight against osteoarthritis.
  2. Coconut and Sweet Potato Muffins – the carotene found in sweet potato is an anti-inflammatory agent. The recipe calls for a dash of cinnamon too, giving it an added anti-inflammatory kick!
  3. Cherry Chia Smoothie – An anti-inflammatory cocktail of cherries, pineapple, coconut oil, kombucha and coconut water. Anthocyanins are the compounds found in cherries known for reducing inflammation and blocking pain signals. A great breakfast drink to put a pep in your step. Learn how to make it here.
  4. Crock-Pot Turkey Chili – this recipe calls for a can of kidney beans, black beans and garbanzo beans. The National Arthritis Foundation includes beans as one of its top foods. Beans are filled with fiber, are high in protein and low in fat, all helpful in warding off painful flare ups.
  5. Green Papaya Salad – this thai-inspired salad includes many anti-inflammatory It’s flavorful and the papaya not only helps with inflammation but this superfruit helps lower cholesterol, boosts your immune system and is rich in antioxidants.

At Paradise Living Centers, we believe in the importance of healthy eating and we have an on-staff cook that prepares fresh and delicious meals daily packed with many of the nutrients one would need when living with arthritis. Our low staff to resident ratio (1:5), and with just 10 residents in each of our care homes, we quickly learn the nutritional and dietary needs of our residents. If a healthy diet and lifestyle is something that you seek in an assisted living facility, Paradise Living Centers can deliver and meet the needs of your loved one.

What our luxury assisted living facility features

luxury assisted living facilityFor Paradise Living Centers, luxury assisted living is so much more than a place to call home, it’s a place where you and your loved one feel at home. Our facility aims to promote a welcoming environment from the moment you step foot through our doors. With three care homes in Phoenix, Paradise Living Centers is a luxury assisted living facility with many unique features:

Full-time licensed nurse on call 24/7

Our nurse and Care Manager, Kristie Chadwick work closely with our state certified Care Team and are available to residents and their family members 24/7. Our nurse assesses and oversees each resident, including medication administration, while implementing individualized care plans. We have an Electronic Medication Management Record (e-MAR), which allows us to meticulously keep track of each residents’ prescriptions, ensuring they receive the proper dosage and document the frequency at which the medication should be given.

Personalized Quality Care

Paradise Living Centers is committed to maintaining a small staff-to-resident ratio (1:5), allowing our team to provide focused and personalized care to our seniors. This allows each of our caregivers build a trusting relationship with each of our residents and they quickly get to know each resident’s likes and dislikes, daily routines, habits and hobbies.

Expert Memory Care

We work with memory care specialists who pay weekly visits to each of our care homes and lead engaging, one-on-one session with our enrolled residents. Again, each session is personalized to meet the needs of your loved one’s abilities.

Hospice Care

We’re big proponents of what we call aging in place. If your loved one is a relatively active senior or is facing a serious illness we have the experience and knowledge to manage and meet their needs. For residents needing palliative or end of life care, we partner with hospice care providers to offer that level of care onsite at our homes. We believe in dignified holistic care and our residents deserve to receive this in the place they call home.

Intergenerational Program

Through partnerships with local schools and organizations we coordinate activities that benefit both the children and our residents. This program is another step towards healthy living and comprehensive holistic care. The engaging activities promote interaction among residents and the kids who participate, creating intergenerational relationships and bringing happiness to all involved in the program.

Pet Therapy

Our residents benefit from visits from our four-footed friends. Research suggests that pet therapy has many benefits, included but not limited to, improved cardio vascular health, decreased depression and lower blood pressure.

 If you would like to see first hand what a luxury assisted living facility features we recommend taking a tour and speaking with our Care Manager, Kristie Chadwick. We currently have a rare opportunity with rooms available for immediate move-in at our Paradise Valley, Maryland/Central Phoenix and Montecito/Arcadia homes. Call today to schedule your appointment: (480) 878-4112.

Q & A on Stage 5 Dementia

stage 5 dementiaYou may have heard the term Stage 5 dementia and if you’re looking for your car keys (again) or can’t remember why it is you just walked into the kitchen (again), you may joke and secretly worry that you’re suffering from dementia. Don’t worry, distraction, disorganization and even forgetfulness do not represent dementia. There is much more to it than typical absent-mindedness as a result of aging or too much going on. Chances are high, though, that you will be dealing with dementia at some point in your life. An aging parent, a spouse or some other loved one may show signs of cognitive decline.  But before assuming they suffer from dementia, learn more. Here’s a quick Q & A explaining the various stages of dementia, with a focus on stage 5 dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a decline in memory and thinking skills significant enough to interfere with a person’s ability to do live a normal life or get through their day to day activities. Alzheimer’s disease causes between 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Vascular dementia is another common type, caused by strokes. Other conditions such as Lewy Body or thyroid disease can cause dementia as well.

What do the stages of dementia mean and where do they come from?

Health care providers use a scale to evaluate the stage and progression of dementia. The exact number of stages may differ depending which scale is used, but generally, the higher the stage, the more severe the cognitive decline. So, stage one, for example would be no symptoms of dementia, while stage 3 would be moderate dementia symptoms and so on.

One of the most common measures of dementia is the Reisberg or Global Deterioration Scale (GDS). It breaks down the progression of dementia into seven stages. Experts originally developed the GDS for patients with Alzheimer’s disease., but it can be used for staging non-Alzheimer’s disease dementia as well. The same goes for another commonly used measure, the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale or CDR. Each stage of these rating scales assesses the severity of symptoms in different categories, including memory, orientation, judgement and problem solving, community affairs involvement, home life, hobbies and personal care.

So, what is stage 5 dementia?

What stage of dementia a person has can vary depending on what scale is used to evaluate the situation. Using the GDS, stage 5 dementia represents the higher end of moderate dementia symptoms. A person at this stage is experiencing mental confusion and starting to need help with their day to day routines such as taking a shower, preparing a meal or getting dressed. At stage 5 on the CDR, the person can probably no longer live alone.

On the CDR scale, stage 5 is considered late stage, severe dementia. People at this stage, particularly those stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, will have severe memory loss along with reasoning difficulties. They will no longer be able to speak or communicate coherently and may exhibit some really strange behavior. Stage 5 patients require round the clock care. They cannot eat, dress, or use the bathroom without help. Physically, they may no longer be able to walk or even hold their head up without support. Muscles become rigid and eventually their ability swallow or control bodily functions, fails. Comparatively, this would be stage 7 on the GDS scale.

Is there any treatment for dementia?

There are no long-term treatments for dementia, but there are steps to take to improve the situation in the short run. The medications prescribed today can temporarily improve symptoms.  As of yet-- there is nothing available that will slow the progression or provide a cure. At Paradise Living Centers we enlist memory care experts to work with our residents and lead them in activities that engage them and help slow down cognitive decline.

What can we do for people with late stage dementia?

Although research has yet to yield something new on the medicinal front, that doesn’t mean the care of people with severe dementia should solely be focused on their physical needs. Care should provide comfort, preserve dignity and include activities that stimulate the senses. There are no activities that will suddenly jar loose a bunch of memories or repair the damage. In fact, such attempts can be really upsetting to someone with late-stage dementia. Experts recommend that instead, you focus on providing small tasks that are repetitive and engage each of the senses: site, touch, smell, hearing and taste. Always consult with the clinical staff before running any activities, and arm yourself with realistic expectations.

If you have any questions about how to best care for someone diagnosed with dementia or about our assisted living community, please contact Paradise Living Centers at (480) 878-4112.