How to know if a senior is hiding dementia symptoms

hiding-dementia-symptomsRecognizing the signs that could suggest your loved one or a senior in your care is hiding dementia symptoms can be difficult.

What you need to know about dementia, first and foremost, is that it is not specifically a disease. The term ‘dementia’ is used to describe a group of symptoms linked to memory decline or cognitive impairment. Alzheimer’s is however a disease and the most common type of dementia; accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. The second most common type is vascular dementia and its onset occurs after a stroke.

Dementia Symptoms

A senior suffering from dementia will experience varying symptoms such as:

At least two of the symptoms from the list above must be present for the senior to be diagnosed with dementia. Many of the symptoms noted can start out gradually and progressively get worse. Professional evaluation is paramount to verify diagnosis and detect if the dementia is treatable. Early diagnosis enables the senior to get the best from treatments available, while providing opportunities to participate in studies and even trials. Most importantly, an early diagnosis provides time to plan for the future and make important decisions about care.

Dementia Care Tips

Doing the research about a care plan for your loved one or senior during early diagnosis is key. Given the circumstances, it ensures that you are preparing the dementia suffer and managing expectations as best as possible. Please check out our blog, 5 Dementia Care Tips to learn the effective communication tools and practices to decide how to meet the needs of a senior or loved one with dementia.

If you believe your loved one is hiding or disguising any of these symptoms you can start with an open dialogue and observe their responses. If they are reticent or struggling with basic everyday tasks and you sense denial, there is a strong likelihood that they are hiding dementia symptoms. Try not to get frustrated with your loved one or the senior in your care. Instead, seek professional advice on the topic and conduct some research on dementia.

Differentiating Denial

Sometimes what appears as denial is in fact agnosia, the total lack of awareness of memory loss or cognitive impairment, which affects many suffers of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have reached a point where you have consulted with the senior’s primary care physician and the recommendation is to take the next steps in addressing a care plan for your loved one, please reach out to Paradise Living Centers. We have three beautiful residences in the city of Phoenix; Paradise Valley, North Central Phoenix and Arcadia and our Care Manager, Kristie Chadwick is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP©) with years of experience in guiding families and caregivers who must make decisions about the care of their loved ones.

To set up an appointment or tour our homes, please call (480) 878-4112. We look forward to becoming your partners in care.

5 Signs That Show It Is Time For An Assisted Living Center

time for elderly assisted livingThe process of deciding the best living situation for an elderly parent or loved one can be challenging. At a certain point, you may be forced to face the daunting decision of moving your family member from their own home into an assisted living center or group home. But how do you know when it is time for an assisted living center? What is the the right choice for your loved one? Read on to help guide you through the decision-making process and whether assisted living is now necessary for your senior:

1. Their current home is not fit for their aging needs

Your senior may need an assisted living center if their current living situation isn’t providing a safe or easy environment for them to function. Some of the signs include:

Many assisted living centers address these issues. It is common to see specially designed space that allows optimal mobility such as wider hallways and doorways and single stories. Services such as gardeners, chefs, and house cleaning are also often included or available when needed.

2. Your senior is showing signs of senility

It can be challenging, but it is important to look for signs that your loved one may be mentally declining to a point of becoming senile. Senility is not only disheartening, but can also lead to severe health risks.  Following are signs to help you determine if senility is setting in:

If you are beginning to see these signs, it may be time to consider an assisted living center. At the very least, you should be checking in regularly to try and monitor behavior and encourage them to do and get out more. If these signs continue, then it may be time to begin looking at assisted living options. Assisted Living centers and group homes often provide activities that encourage socialization amongst residents. Caregivers will support and monitor  residents throughout the day. This can help your senior stay engaged and senile tendencies.

3. Medical needs are escalating

As your loved ones age, their medical needs may also increase. If they remain at home, it can be challenging to provide the medical assistance needed. Some care requires travel or assistance that is difficult for a family member to administer.

If your senior’s medical needs are escalating, assisted living may be a good solution. Assisted living communities offer caregivers and/or skilled nurses or contract with home health agencies to assist with elderly medical needs. These services can provide the medical assistance in the comfort of the assisted living home and allow for the nurse/caregiver to become familiar with your senior’s changing needs.

4. Your senior’s overall appearance is declining

A decline in physical appearance can be caused by increasing challenges with mobility,  health issues or cognitive difficulties. Sign of decline to look for or note include:

Caregivers at assisted living homes can help with shower, dressing and other hygiene tasks that may be difficult for them to do on their own.

When family members are unable to help care for a senior, it can place a lot of strain on a family. Adult children face difficulty balancing the demands of home, work and children with caring for Mom and Dad, and spouses may be faced with their own health issues.

If you and other family members are feeling overwhelmed or simply cannot provide the care your senior needs, an assisted living center may be the best solution.

At Paradise Living Centers our caregivers are available 24/7 and provide personalized care and assistance to address the specific needs of our residents. If you would like to tour one of our assisted living group homes call (480) 878 – 4112.

Best Activities for Seniors: Ideas to share and adopt

activities for seniorsAs adults age, it can be harder to do some of the activities enjoyed in their youth—but loss of abilities does not mean the end of good times. One of the best things you can do for your senior loved ones is encourage engagement in elderly activities. Staying active is good for their physical and emotional health and also helps maintain cognitive skills and mobility. If you are looking for ideas on what to suggest or try, here are some of the best activities for seniors:

1. Grab a good book

Reading is a great independent activity for seniors to keep their brain stimulated no matter where they are. Scientific studies have found many benefits of reading for seniors including enhanced memory, sharpened decision-making skills, reduced stress, and aid for a more restful sleep. Reading materials can include magazines, newspapers, physical books, e-readers, or audiobooks. You can also make this activity a social one by having your senior organize a book club.

2. Keep moving

Exercise can be intimidating for many seniors – especially physical challenges. However, exercise does not need to include vigorous activity. Even the simplest exercises offer benefits such as flexibility, improving posture, and a boost in mood and energy. Listed below are some simple elderly exercises that most seniors can do to get their heart pumping and muscles moving:

The main goal of exercise for seniors is to get them moving. If there is no exercise in your seniors existing lifestyle, they may start to lose the ability to do the simplest things. This can lead to a loss of independence.

3. Engaging in creative activities for seniors

Another fun way to stimulate your senior’s mind is to have them engage in creative activities. These artistic hobbies can include coloring, painting, sculpture and photography. Other creative activities for seniors or skills to learn together or recommend can include:

To make this more of a social activity for your senior, you can also do some research to see if there are any community art classes hosted in your area. These are often offered through local colleges or schools, libraries, city programs, local businesses and senior centers. These creative activities for seniors can help provide variety and stimulate their younger creative side.

4. Connect with friends

You are never too old to make new friends. For seniors, it is important to maintain social connection, and that can include making new friends.  Companionship is as important for seniors as it is for children, because it increases feelings of worthiness, independence, and general feelings of happiness. You can help your senior pursue companionship by encouraging them to participate in social activities and meet new people. Opportunities to socialize can be limited for some seniors but getting involved in clubs, the local community and other activities will help.

If your senior is becoming less active and more isolated, you may also want to consider assisted living. Many assisted living communities provide classes and various elderly activities to encourage companionship and movement.

Aging does not mean that social and physical activities once enjoyed should cease, but they may need to adjust. Learning to adapt and incorporate these best activities for seniors will help improve cognitive functions, mobility, and overall happiness.

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


4 Ways to Embrace Aging

ways to embrace aging

Let’s face it, aging is an unstoppable and inevitable part of life. While we all know it will happen, the realizations of aging can cause waves of anxiety in many older individuals. To overcome negative thoughts about aging, here are four ways to embrace the aging process:

1. Talk about it

Aging isn’t a secret, and you are certainly not the only person going through the process. When talking about aging with others, you’ll become more comfortable when you voice your concerns. Sharing your thoughts and expressing your fears with friends and family will confirm that you are not alone in feeling the way you do. Many others are experiencing the same physical and emotional feelings. And, you may even share a few laughs.

2. Incorporate exercise

No matter your age, exercising regularly is essential to your well-being. If you are new to exercise it may be difficult and intimidating, but incorporating exercise into your daily life does not need to be vigorous. Regular and simple exercise routines that get you moving offer many long term physical and mental benefits including:

It is never too late to get started on improving your physical abilities and helping with senior cognitive issues. An easy place to start including exercises such as walking, yoga, lifting small weights, or stretching. For extra motivation to get moving, find an exercise buddy that will provide you company and keep you accountable.

3. Eat well

The body’s physical appearance changes with age, but that does not mean you can’t look and feel your best at any age. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to feed your body with healthy foods. Following is information on nutrition that can be especially beneficial to the aging process:

4. Acceptance:

The most important step to embracing aging is acceptance. Aging is a natural part of the life cycle; it happens to everyone. Rather than being critical of your appearance or obsessing about the past, focus on feeling good in the present. Talk back to that internal dialogue about age and try to embrace change and be grateful for the experience life has given you. Use that wisdom and knowledge and consider taking on new hobbies and planning new adventures.

If you have any questions about the aging process or you are considering a transition from in-home care living to assisted living, please contact Paradise Living Centers at (480) 878-4112 to schedule a tour of one of our beautiful homes.

4 Questions You Should Ask About Assisted Living Centers

assisted living questionsWhen you are trying to decide whether to move your senior into assisted living center or keep them in their own home and arrange care to come to them, so many questions come up; it can be overwhelming. Don’t panic. Start by answering these four questions. It is a good first step to help you decide what makes the most sense for not just your loved one, but your whole family.

1. Which costs more: assisted living centers or private home care?

There is no simple answer here.  When you compare the cost of an assisted living center vs bringing care into the home, remember to include mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance of the home, meals, along with the cost of any medical or personal care needed. What kind of medical care your loved one needs will also have a major impact on the cost. Some other things to think about: will there be a need for someone to assist with non-medical issues, such as driving, running errands, general companionship? All these things affect the total cost.

In terms of considering an assisted living center, the biggest factor impacting cost will be the level of care your senior needs. Other things that to factor in include, the size of the room, whether or not it has a private bathroom and the staff ratio and education. When researching the options, ask for a detailed list of all costs, possible expenses and any additional fees the community may have, so you can make a detailed comparison.

An important issue to think about when comparing costs is location. Where your loved one lives or the location of where you need assisted living, significantly affects the potential costs. Prices fluctuate greatly depending on location. Assisted living centers in remote areas where demand exceeds supply may cause low availability for accommodations and a higher price tag. However, urban areas that carry a higher cost of living, in general, may prove more expensive. This is where you just have to do your homework.

2. Will my loved one feel at home?

This question looms largest in the mind of most people seeking out an assisted living community for their loved ones. Answering this question means communicating with the potential caregivers of your loved one. Do the rooms in a potential assisted living home come fully furnished or can your senior bring pieces of his or her own furniture or other belongings?  Are there common areas which allow for your family to visit and spend time? How much input do you have with the cook and making sure meals include old favorites? What activities are available for residents?  Knowing this information will help you get an idea of whether or not an assisted living home will feel that way to your loved one.

Assisted living centers run the spectrum, from simple, bare bones to high-end luxury Many have a variety of amenities including fitness classes, spa areas, gardens, and organized activities. Ask questions not just of potential caregivers, but of your loved one, so you will have a clear idea of what things matter most and what makes a place feel like “home” to him or her.

3. Will this be a safe environment?

The question of safety is really what triggers a family to seek out assisted living for their senior in the first place.  At some point, keeping their loved one in their home no longer feels like the safest option. Sometimes it’s because their senior lives in a remote area or the house itself poses problems because of stairs or other hazards. Trying to retrofit a loved one’s home to be safe for an elderly person in need of significant daily care, and to accommodate personnel brought in to provide that care, can prove very difficult, if not impossible. This is where it would benefit both the family and the loved one to seek out expert advice on whether bringing the assistance into the home will make for a safe environment.

When considering an assisted living community, ask how residents are kept safe.  What is the staffing ratio? What happens at night? Is there a caregiver on site and awake in the early hours?  What about medical staff? Who oversees the medical care of your loved one and is this person available 24/7? What security systems does the assisted living community use to maintain safety for its residents? What are the protocols for making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there?

4.Will my senior be able to receive the care needed?

Many assisted living centers offer different levels of care for their residents. Depending on the community’s licensing, assisted living facilities can offer skilled nursing, personal care staff, or services from home health agencies. Assisted living centers have experts who can assess the level of care your loved one needs. Getting this right is crucial to ensure your senior gets the appropriate level of care.

One of the primary goals for medical care of the elderly is to make every day more comfortable. Providing this care often comes down to the ratio of caregivers to residents. This is something to ask about when exploring assisted living communities. Is there enough staff to keep your loved one comfortable and well-cared for? You are looking for caregivers that you can imagine becoming an extended member of your family: caregivers you can trust to treat your loved one the way you would treat them in your home. These caregivers will be the ones keeping track of medications, helping your loved one move, eat, bathe and do other activities. They will get to know your senior’s needs quickly. It’s important you feel good about the people who will be taking care of your loved one.

We know that deciding on assisted living for your senior can be difficult. At Paradise Living Centers, we are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to learn more about Paradise Living Centers and get your questions answered, contact us at (480) 878-4112.

5 Dementia Care Tips

dementia care tips Caring for a loved one with dementia can be difficult and often times a strain for family members sharing in the care responsibilities and decisions. Although there will inevitably be challenges, there are communication tools and practices you can learn to better address the needs of your loved one with dementia. Here are five dementia care tips to get you started:

1. Put forth a positive attitude:

Your attitude and actions speaker louder than words. Be aware of your facial expressions, your tone of voice, and your body language when communicating with your senior. Use a positive tone, and even incorporate humor when you can (as long as it is not at their expense). A positive attitude can truly be seen and felt by your loved one, more than you may realize. Having a good attitude will not only help your loved one battling dementia, it will also your family through the difficult process of caring for your senior.

2. Practice effective and clear communication:

Communicating to those with dementia may be difficult, but you can become a stronger communicator when you are open to learning and putting your new skills into practice. To best communicate with your loved one, follow these tips:

3. Be proactive to prevent wandering:

Often times people with dementia have a tendency to wander aimlessly. This may stem from factors such as boredom or forgetfulness. Using the following tips, you can take proactive steps to prevent your senior from wandering and to prepare in the event he or she does:

4. Increase daytime activities:

Incorporate activities to keep your senior engaged in their daily routine. Physical exercise is beneficial and it can be as simple as walking, gardening, dancing or easy stretches or exercise  at home. Incorporating physical activity can improve sleep, increase confidence, build balance, and maintain cognition. Depending on the activity, some physical activities can benefit the heart and blood vessels, strengthen and tone muscles, and create more flexibility in the joints. It is important to avoid too much inactivity or sleeping and to add variety to their daily routine to keep your loved one with dementia stimulated.

5. Practice patience:

One of the most important tips of all is to be patient with your senior and the demands of caring for your loved one with dementia. Many individuals with dementia will occasionally break out in verbal outbursts such as cursing or arguing. It is important to not argue or raise your voice back to them. Remind yourself that your senior may be experiencing frustration and they need you to be patient and help them work through the mental and physical obstacles.

Following these tips, can help smooth the transition of taking care of a loved one with dementia. If you have any questions about dementia or when it is time to consider assisted living, please call Paradise Living Centers at (480) 878 - 4112.

What Do You Need to Know About Scottsdale Assisted Living vs. In-Home Care

scottsdale assisted living

The Valley of the Sun is a hub for senior living services, which includes a variety of options in Scottsdale assisted living communities. When considering the best living situation for an elderly parent, families often compare assisted living to home care.  With so many options available, it can often be difficult to choose what the best solution is for your loved one. Here is what you need to know about in-home care and assisted living to make an informed decision:

What is Assisted Living

As you might expect, assisted living is housing for the elderly that provides round the clock care, housekeeping, and prepared meals. The level of care and services can vary by group home, facility or community. Some Scottsdale assisted living options allow senior residents to continue to live independently and increase levels of care later, while others provide more hands care as much as 24 hours a day.

The advantages of assisted living:

The disadvantages of assisted Living:

What is In-Home Care

As you can infer from the name, in-home care  is a service that allows seniors to receive the care they need in their own homes. In-home care specialists can vary from nurses to caregivers depending on what services are needed. In-home caregivers can assist with daily activities at home such as personal grooming, medication reminders, and errands to help with everyday tasks while in-home care nurses provide more for your senior’s medical needs such as wounds, at-home physical therapy, and prescription management. Depending on your needs you may need a caregiver, a nurse, or both.


The advantages of in-home care

The disadvantages of in-home care

We know that deciding on the best solution for your senior may be difficult. If you have any questions about Scottsdale assisted living or Paradise Living Centers and want to learn more, please contact us at 480.878.4112.

5 Ways to Show Your Heart Some Love During American Heart Month:

Your heart takes care of you every day, but are you taking care of your heart? Cardiovascular diseases cause more deaths than any other illness. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that one in four American deaths is linked to heart disease. February is American Heart Month. In honor of American Heart Month, take some time to incorporate healthier habits. Here are 5 ways to show your heart some love during American Heart Month:

  1. Eat heart- healthy foods: Your diet plays a huge role in your heart health. Start by controlling portion size, including more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and more home cooked meals.

Some good foods to incorporate into your heart- healthy diet include:

Some foods to avoid include:

  1. Visit your doctor: Awareness is key when it comes to heart health. By going to your doctor regularly, you will be aware of your overall health and risks. It is important to be aware of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar numbers. If these numbers are not what they should be, your doctor will discuss possible solutions. Even if you feel healthy, visit your doctor at least once a year for a checkup.
  2. Get your heart pumping: Physical activity is great for your heart health. For overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes. Find an exercise activity that you like so it is easier to stick with your schedule.
  3. Manage your stress: Happy life, happy heart. Learning to manage your stress can be challenging, but it is very beneficial to your overall mental and physical health. Too much stress can be hard on your heart. But a good laugh keeps your heart healthy!
  4. Take medication as prescribed: Talk with your doctor about cholesterol and blood pressure medications. If you are prescribed these medications, it is important to take them as directed to ensure their effectiveness.

At Paradise Living Centers, our nurse and caregivers work closely with our residents’ families and physician to help manage their health daily. Heart healthy meals are cooked fresh daily, daily exercise schedules, daily medication alert system, and other amenities are in place to ensure optimal heart health in each of our residents. For any additional questions about services and the care we provide, please visit our website or call us at (480) 878-4112.

5 Myths About Senior Nutrition

senior appetiteThere are many myths about senior nutrition. Most people think that the importance of nutrition diminishes as a person ages. However, it is quite the opposite. At Paradise Living Centers, we cater to the nutritional and dietary needs of each resident. Our cook  who prepares meals daily for our residents living at each of our homes, works closely with the caregivers and our nurse to address any changes or preferences. Mealtime can be a social time for our seniors, which is also important for their health.  In this blog, we will dispel 5 of the most common senior nutrition myths:

1. It’s normal for seniors to lose their appetite:

This is perhaps the most common misconception about senior nutrition. It is true that due to metabolic changes, energy output decrease, and other lifestyle changes, seniors may not need as much food as they once did. However, a simple loss of appetite is not normal and may signal a serious health issue.It is recommended that seniors weigh themselves regularly to maintain a healthy weight and alert to any sudden changes in weight.

2. Seniors have slower metabolisms, so they don’t need as many nutrients:

False! Seniors needs just as many nutrients if not more to support their aging bodies. Nutrient dense foods support healthy bones, skin, hair, etc. The body’s ability to absorb nutrients decreases as you age. Thus, doctors recommend supplements of Vitamin D, Calcium, and B12 to support a healthy body.

3. Senior communities don’t offer good food:

Unfortunately, senior communities have a negative reputation when it comes to food. At Paradise Living Centers, we defy this stereotype. Our dedicated cook provides fresh, delicious and nutritious meals and snacks daily. Residents will wake up to enjoy a healthy breakfast, the main meal is typically enjoyed midday and a light dinner and snacks are prepared and served for afternoon and evening. With only 10 residents in each of our care homes, we make a point to learn about each resident, including their favorite meals and ensure that their individual nutritional and dietary needs are being addressed.

4. Exercise is not necessary for seniors:

It is truly a myth that exercise is not necessary for seniors. In fact, there are many benefits of exercise for seniors and research shows that these benefits far outweigh the risks. There are many health conditions that can be improved from exercise, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Regular exercise is key to a healthy life, especially for seniors. There are many exercise routines that are safe and beneficial to seniors.

5. As long as they aren’t overweight, seniors do not need to limit their salt and sugar intake:

Myth! Even if a person is a “healthy weight,” too much salt and sugar can lead to many health issues including diabetes and heart disease. At Paradise Living Centers, our chefs create balanced meals and ensure that each meal contains a mixture of foods that support healthy aging bodies.

To learn more about the importance of senior nutrition and the healthy senior living we are so proud to provide at Paradise Living Centers, please visit our website or call us at (480)878 -4112.

Tips for Touring Assisted Living Phoenix

assisted livingWhen touring assisted living homes and communities in Phoenix, it is important to pay attention to a few things and be alert to any red flags. Before scheduling a tour, do some research on assisted living options in your preferred area.

Part of your research should include checking reviews, services available, staff turnover, resident to caregiver ratio, and any other factors that might be important to you. Then, make a list of top choices and schedule a tour with the locations you initially select. Going into your tour with a good idea of what you want, will help you find the right fit for assisted living Phoenix. Keep in mind, there are many options for assisted living so it is important to learn about the differences to compare. To help you through the selection process, we recommend the following tips for touring assisted living homes:

Observe cleanliness and organization:

Does the facility feel fresh and clean? Look at the furnishings, how well they are cleaned and kept. Ask questions about the housekeeping and laundry procedures. If there is an odd smell, ask the manager if there is reason for the odor to find out if it is due to a specific issue.

Pay attention to staff friendliness:

One of the most important things to look for staff friendliness. On your tour, observe the way the staff interacts and cares for the residents. Ask for the caregiver to resident ratio. It is also good to ask about the training and experience of the staff and how they operate on a daily basis. Imagine how you or your loved one would do in this environment.

Ask security and safety questions:

The tour is your best time to ask any questions. The manager and other staff members are there to not only show you around the home or community, they are also there to help explain the daily operations and share insight on day-to-day living. A top concern of most family members is security and safety. This should be top priority of every assisted living home as well. Ask what systems they have in place to ensure security and to learn about the safety features and emergency procedures.

Trust your instincts:

Pay attention to your instincts while you are touring assisted living homes and communities. How did the staff make you feel? Did the residents look happy and well cared for? How did everyone interact? Can you imagine you or your loved one living here? Overall, ask yourself if it is a good fit for your loved one? Trust your instincts to make the right decision!

At Paradise Living Centers we are very proud of our homes and the quality care we provide to our residents. We have three beautiful homes conveniently located in the heart of the Valley and would be happy to have you to visit one or all to meet our caring staff and learn more about our services. If you are considering assisted living Phoenix for yourself or a family member, please contact us to schedule a tour. If you have any questions, please visit our website or call us at (480) 878-4112.