An Alzheimer’s Update: The Latest Research about the Disease

November 20, 2017

Alzheimer's Month bannerScientists have been busy discovering more about the brain and how to diagnose Alzheimer’s. Here’s a roundup of the latest findings published in 2017.

Earlier this spring, Congress announced it would increase funding for Alzheimer’s research in its new budget. Experts applauded the decision, stating it was necessary to remain on track for achieving goals set by the Alzheimer’s Association, including combating the disease by 2025.

November is National Alzheimer’s Month. So it’s a good time to look at how research has progressed in being able to diagnose Alzheimer’s. While we know it’s too soon to determine if they’ll reach the 2025 goal, some findings do look promising.

Alzheimer’s Update

A lot has been happening in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Here are the highlights of the past year.

  1. A New Way to Diagnose Alzheimer’s

For years, one of the basic challenges with Alzheimer’s has been that there is no specific test that confirms the disease. People are diagnosed based on a number of different observations and tests.

These include cognitive tests that evaluate factors like memory, problem-solving, and language skills. Lab tests can rule out other conditions, while brain scans can identify strokes and tumors that can sometimes cause dementia.

This fall, however, researchers announced that a new diagnosis method may have been discovered. It might provide an additional method of improving the accuracy of the diagnosis and helping doctors tailor treatments to individuals. A blood test that uses a diamond to identify certain chemicals in the blood, this new screening option leaves many scientists feeling hopeful.

  1. Brain Waves May Help Beat Alzheimer’s

Neuroscientists at MIT have discovered that brain waves may have a lot to do with controlling Alzheimer’s. In mice, it seems that a certain type of light therapy has beneficial effects on their condition.

People with Alzheimer’s have a buildup of harmful proteins in their brains. These are called beta-amyloid plaques. One key to combating the disease is clearing them out or, in earlier stages, preventing them from building up.

It turns out that gamma waves, a normal firing of neurons in the brain, may trigger a “cleaning out” of the beta-amyloid plaques. But if the gamma waves in someone’s brain aren’t operating properly, those plaques don’t get cleaned out. Scientists have long noted that people with brain disorders often have disrupted gamma waves.

By exposing mice with Alzheimer’s to a carefully calibrated set of flashing lights, the MIT group was able to restore gamma waves. That, in turn, led to a two-thirds reduction in beta-amyloid plaques.

Researchers warn, however, that people should not try their own light therapy at home. These are only preliminary findings and they have not been tested on humans. Caregivers should stick to known therapies for dementia, like the virtual caregiver application, SimpleC.

  1. Personality Changes as Signs of Dementia? No Evidence Yet

People often characterize personality changes as one of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s. Now, that’s being questioned. A comprehensive study at Florida State University examined personality and clinical assessments of more than 2,000 individuals.

Results of the 26-year study were published this past September in JAMA Psychiatry. Surprisingly, the researchers found no evidence to support the notion that personality changes are a harbinger of dementia.

Keeping You Informed

Here at Legacy Senior Living, it’s our job to stay on top of current research about Alzheimer’s. That’s how we keep our programs up-to-date. For example, our Purposeful Day therapy program is based on a compilation of years of Alzheimer’s research. We see every day how it helps improve quality of life for our memory care residents.

If you’d like to learn more about The Purposeful day or SimpleC, please call or visit us any time. We’d love to help answer your questions!

Holiday Blues: How You Can Help an Older Loved One Prevent Depression During the Festive Season

November 13, 2017

It is not uncommon for seniors to experience depression during the winter holidays. You can help prevent “the holiday blues” by taking a few simple steps.

The winter holiday season should be a time of joy and celebration for everyone in your family, including your senior loved ones. Unfortunately, many seniors struggle with depression or the ‘holiday blues’ this time of year.

There are many reasons that seniors lapse into sadness—illness, injury, frustration with the aging process or loss of a spouse—but what really matters is that you find ways to prevent depression from happening.

The Signs of the Holiday Blues

Knowing the signs of the holiday blues is critical to helping seniors overcome their seasonal sadness. If you get involved early, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of making a difference.

Here’s what to watch for when spending time with your older loved one:

  • Sadness or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or other formerly pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of uselessness or helplessness
  • Feelings of isolation or loneliness
  • Lack of appetite or sudden weight loss
  • Preoccupation with death and dying

While this list gives you a good place to start, it’s important to watch for subtler signs as well. Many seniors aren’t willing to open up about experiencing sadness so take note of any unusual behaviors even if they don’t admit they’re feeling down.

Preventing the Senior Holiday Blues

Here are four effective ways to keep the holiday blues at bay:

  1. Give Freely of Your Time

Nothing is more important than being present for your older loved ones during the holidays. Spending time together can prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are closely associated with the holiday blues. The only caveat is that you give it eagerly, not as though it were a chore.

  1. Listen, No Matter What

Everyone needs to be listened to, especially seniors who are experiencing depression. When you listen closely to someone’s concerns, it’s much easier to empathize and take their problems seriously. This simple acknowledgment of their feelings will go a long way toward alleviating their pain.

  1. Include Your Senior Loved Ones in Your Holiday Activities

A painful feeling of separateness marks most holiday sadness and inclusion is one of the best ways to counter it. Invite your older loved one to participate in shopping, wrapping presents, and decorating the house to remind them that they’re still an important part of the family. Inclusion can also mean asking them for advice and letting them have a say in family holiday decisions.

  1. Help Them Participate in Outdoor Activities

Inactivity and a lack of sunlight can make a senior’s holiday blues even worse so getting them outside can be a big part of the solution. This is especially true if your senior loved one is experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Activity could include anything they are interested in, but it should involve at least a small amount of mild to moderate exercise.

More Helpful Resources from Legacy Senior Living

A bout of the holiday blues is something seniors experience all too frequently, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. As you can see, there are many things you and your family can do to prevent depression.

Remember that we’re here to help. The Legacy Senior Living blog offers a constant stream of useful information every week. We hope you return to visit often, especially in times of confusion or doubt.

Contact us if you’d like more information or to schedule an in-person tour of one of our communities. We hope the holidays bring you and your family a season of good cheer!

5 Ways to Honor the Veterans in Your Life and Town

November 6, 2017

Two veterans (VFW) holding US flags in a parade

Nov. 11th is Veterans Day. Are there any veterans living in your town? Here are some ways you can show your respect and honor the vets you know.

Next week is Veteran’s Day. As the nation prepares to honor those among us who have served, it’s a good time to reflect on the courage of our veterans.

Five Ways to Honor the Veterans Who Live in Your Town

As you consider what their service means to our nation, here are some ways to recognize veterans.

  1. Get Involved With the Veterans History Project

The stories of our veterans are priceless, and they can serve as reminders of the importance of history, citizenship, and valor.

In recognition of the value of these personal war stories, the Library of Congress began the Veterans History Project to help preserve veterans’ accounts of their service stories in the American Folklife Center in Washington, D.C.

You can assist the project by interviewing veterans in your neighborhood. The interviews can be recorded on audio or video equipment and must be at least 30 minutes long. For more information, visit the project’s website to find out how to register and participate. Once there, you can also find good tips on how to conduct the interview.

  1. Host a Fireside Chat

You may associate fireside chats with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s comforting radio addresses during the Great Depression and World War II. Today, however, they’re held everywhere from Starbucks to universities, bringing people together to hear stories.

If there’s a veteran (or two) in your area who’d be willing to share some stories of their service, you can host a fireside chat. It could be set up as an interview or a storytelling session. Invite everyone in your neighborhood, serve refreshments, and be sure to give the veteran(s) a proper introduction.

  1. Create an ‘Honor Wall’ in Your Town

A temporary honor wall in a public space in your city, like the honor walls found in all Legacy Senior Living communities, is a gentle reminder of the sacrifice that veterans make for their country. Make yours special by including photos of veterans in your community. Include stories and put captions on all photos so passersby can learn about area residents who have served.

  1. Read a Poem at Dinner

Ever wonder about the symbolism of the red ‘remembrance’ poppy that’s used to memorialize soldiers who died in combat? It’s from a famous poem written in 1915 called “In Flanders Field the Poppies Grow.”

Reading this poem aloud is a traditional way to honor veterans on Veterans Day. Although it’s more closely associated with Memorial Day, it’s a nice way to honor the vets in your area.

  1. Raise the American Flag

Not all gestures have to be grand. The simple act of raising the flag is another good way to show your appreciation.

From Our Community to Yours: Honoring Vets on Veterans Day

Letting the veterans know how much they mean to you can be as simple as hanging a flag. It can also be as grand as hosting a fireside chat.

No matter how you choose to observe Veteran’s Day–whether it’s with a large or small gesture, know this: your actions will be heard, loud and clear. From all of us at Legacy Senior Living Communities, here’s to the vets in our lives who served our country and made us proud.

Want to know more about the communities in the Legacy Senior Living network? Contact us any time!

Home for the Holidays: How to Evaluate if a Senior Needs Help

October 30, 2017

Evaluate senior needs

Are you concerned that your senior loved one may be need some assistance? These guidelines will help you objectively evaluate the situation.

Most of us want to make sure our parents, grandparents, and other senior loved ones are well taken care of as they grow older. But how can you evaluate when a senior you love needs extra help if they don’t ask for it?

This generation of elders is known for being fiercely independent. So it’s important to remember they might be reluctant to admit they need a little extra help.

Like many of us, seniors want to remain as independent as they can for as long as possible. That’s why you probably shouldn’t wait for an older loved one to ask for help, especially if they think it might require moving from the home they’ve lived in for years.

How can you evaluate your senior loved one’s circumstances? And decide if it’s time to talk with them about personal care support or help with household chores and tasks?

If you’re headed home for the holidays, plan to spend a little time assessing the situation.

How to Tell if a Senior Loved One Needs a Little Extra Help

There are almost always telltale signs that a senior is in need of help. Here are a few warning signs to be on the lookout for if you’re wondering how well your senior loved one is managing.

Environmental Signs a Senior Needs Support

We’ll start with a few signs to watch for in your senior loved one’s environment that might indicate they are struggling.

Begin by taking a good, honest look around their house and yard when you visit. If you notice some of the following, it might be time to consider a little assistance.

  • A messy house, including dirty dishes, clutter, overflowing trash and an overall inattention to cleanliness
  • Frequent, unpleasant odors in the home – these can be a sign of emotional, physical, or cognitive decline
  • The exterior of the house and/or the yard seem to be in a state of disrepair
  • Scratches or holes in the walls, which can indicate mobility problems

Physical Signs

Next, let’s have a look at physical signs that may indicate your senior loved one might need extra help.

  • A persistently disheveled appearance might suggest a senior is experiencing physical or emotional difficulties
  • Frequent, unexplained bruises or scrapes on your senior loved one’s body can be a strong indicator of physical struggles, especially falls
  • Unintended weight loss or weight gain might be a sign of nutrition problems, physical illness, or depression

Cognitive and Emotional Signs

Then there are warning signs that the problems might stem from a decline in cognition or emotional wellness, such as:

  • Persistent forgetfulness can be a sign of dementia, especially if the senior has trouble remembering important appointments, names, and social activities.
  • Confusion and/or difficulty keeping track of time are both warning signs of cognitive decline.
  • Consistent agitation and frequent mood changes are often symptoms of deteriorating mental or emotional health.
  • Be especially wary if the agitation or mood swings seem to worsen as it grows later in the day. This may be evidence of something called Sundowner’s Syndrome. Sundowners is common among people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Marked or sudden changes in their daily routine, including sleep problems or withdrawing from favorite hobbies and social groups can all be signals that something is awry.

What to Do if Your Senior Loved One Needs Help

We know you’re devoted to your senior loved ones and want to do what’s best for them. You wouldn’t be here seeking this type of information if you didn’t. The best approach is to remain calm but begin to take action.

Use a calendar to document your concerns and the dates they occurred on. It will help you begin to spot trends. This is also good information to share with your senior loved one’s physician when you call to schedule an appointment for your family member.

And, yes, scheduling a wellness visit with their primary care physician is important if you suspect a problem with an older loved one.

And remember that we’re always here to help.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to arrange a tour of our Legacy Senior Living communities.

Why Halloween Is More than Spooky for Adults with Alzheimer’s?

October 23, 2017

Alzheimers and Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. If you’re the caregiver for an adult with Alzheimer’s, here’s what you should know about this holiday.

Come Halloween, almost everyone loves a good fright. But for an adult who has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, spooky tricks can seem all too real. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to take time to learn how Halloween may affect a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

You might be surprised at the number of seemingly innocent traditions associated with Halloween that can be quite unsettling for someone with dementia.

Why Halloween Can Be Too Spooky for Adults with Alzheimer’s

Although Halloween is a time-honored tradition in many families, it can be a very frightening holiday for someone with dementia. They may not interpret Halloween traditions in the same way they used to because their mind doesn’t process signals the same way.

For example, many people love Halloween so much that scary decorations begin going up in stores a month or two before October 31. Some of these decorations even have sound effects. Anything that’s meant to scare or startle visitors has the potential to be traumatizing for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Costumes and Dementia

People who have Alzheimer’s disease may feel confused or frightened when they see people in Halloween costumes. According to WebMD, people in the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s may have trouble recognizing friends and family when they are in costume. That can lead to confusion, anxiety and even wandering.

Think of Halloween from an adult with dementia’s perspective. They are already having difficulty remembering names and faces even for family and close friends. Now they are surrounded by people dressed up in costumes that are designed to be terrifying or startling.

Sensory Processing and Halloween

One of the things people love about Halloween is they get to decorate their homes and yards in spooky ways. What was once a nice front yard is now a fake cemetery or home to a coffin. The front porch becomes the entrance to a haunted house.

Again, for someone with Alzheimer’s, those changes can trigger confusion and anxiety.

According to the National Institutes of Health, during the moderate stage of the disease the part of the brain that controls sensory processing begins to suffer damage. So while you see a fun, spooky yard with fake tombstones and eerie lighting, a loved one who has Alzheimer’s may misinterpret the decorations to be something they’re not. That can really turn up the dial on agitation.

Please keep this mind as you pull out your Halloween decorations and costumes. Remember to try and see the celebration through your senior loved one’s eyes and find ways to tone things down a bit while still enjoying the holiday.

Legacy Senior Living Wants to Help

At Legacy Senior Living, we understand the unique needs of people who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. This is why we offer several signature programs in our memory care community.

From ‘The Purposeful Day’ to ‘Simple C’, we strive to help adults with memory impairment live life to the fullest. If you’d like to find out more, please contact the community nearest you to arrange a tour.

How to Keep a Senior You Love Safe on Facebook

October 16, 2017

Safety on Facebook

More seniors are on Facebook these days. Here’s how you can help a senior loved one avoid the common social media pitfalls.

Kids usually know their parents are on Facebook and probably have been for years. But now there’s a good chance that their grandparents will be sending them a ‘friend’ request, too. According to a Pew Research Center survey, almost half of all seniors are active on social networking sites like Facebook.

That’s great news for seniors. Social media can help older adults feel connected and engaged with friends and family. The down side is that an increasing amount of scammers and con artists are using these types of platforms to find victims.

Facebook Isn’t Always Safe

From phishing scams to privacy issues, there’s a veritable minefield of dangers to watch out for on social media. Teaching senior loved ones how to stay safe online will allow them to continue connecting with friends. Whether it’s keeping in touch with faraway friends or viewing pictures of grandchildren and other family members, seniors love Facebook!

But adult children and family caregivers need to take steps to ensure their senior loved ones stay safe on social media.

Here’s what you can do to keep your loved one from falling prey to a scammer, hacker, or data thief.

Helping Your Senior Loved One Stay Safe on Facebook

Use these tips to help an older American stay safe on Facebook.

  1. Be Selective When it Comes to Making ‘Friends’

It’s tempting to accept every friend request you receive but the fact is, not everyone is a friend. Your senior loved one should be discouraged from accepting friend requests from people they don’t know offline.

  1. Take Advantage of Privacy Controls

The personal information you make public on Facebook can put you at risk. Make sure your senior loved one isn’t revealing too much to the general public. Snoopers are everywhere, looking for exactly this type of data.

Help your loved one by logging in together and reviewing the privacy settings on their account. Restrict public access to information about them as well as to their photos and profile.

  1. Use a Strong Password

This may seem obvious to you, but older adults likely have a different notion of what ‘strong’ means when it comes to passwords. Help them establish truly strong passwords on each social media and email account they have. Use caps, small letters, numbers, and symbols and avoid including any real words.

  1. Be Wary of Messages from Strangers

If a senior receives a private message on Facebook from someone they don’t know, it could be a scammer. Encourage them ignore all these types of messages. Remind them this is good practice for email, too.

  1. Be Picky About What Gets Clicked

Clicking on a link in a Facebook status update often takes you to a website. Sometimes these types of sites are risky. Even clicking on a link can cause malware to download. Make sure your senior loved one understands to be conservative when clicking around on Facebook.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Block People

If your loved one no longer wants to see updates from a particular user on Facebook, assure them it’s OK to block that person. This effectively makes it impossible for that person to see your loved one’s posts, too. And best of all, they can’t contact your loved one by private messaging.

Legacy Senior Living Has Lots More Tips Like This

If you learned something here today, we’re glad we could help. Visit our blog often to discover what else we’re doing to help connect caregivers, seniors, and their families with the resources they need.

And if you’re interested in assisted living, independent living or memory care for a senior loved one, we hope you’ll contact the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you or call us at (423) 478-8071.  We’ll be happy to help!

Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Relieve Pain?

October 9, 2017

A salad with oilInflammation contributes to chronic pain, especially as we grow older. An anti-inflammatory diet might help alleviate it.

Inflammation has been receiving a lot of attention lately. Research continues to shed new light on the important role it plays in managing or preventing disease. In some ways, inflammation is a valuable part of the body’s defense system. It is the body’s attempt to counter the harmful effects of nutritional toxicity.

Unfortunately, this protective response can also cause problems for the body. Inflammation is a chief contributor to chronic pain for people with illnesses ranging from Osteoarthritis to Lupus. The problem often worsens as we grow older. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for medical intervention and lifestyle changes to become necessary.

One of the most effective of these lifestyle changes is an anti-inflammatory diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Diets and Pain Relief

Fad diets come and go, but anti-inflammatory diets have received consistent attention for many years now. Much of this attention is from reputable medical experts.

Why is this the case? Why do so many reputable medical experts advocate for anti-inflammatory diets to help older adults manage chronic pain?

The answer is simple—because they work.

Although there are many useful medications that can be prescribed to counter inflammation in older adults, these drugs are sometimes accompanied by unwanted side effects. An anti-inflammatory diet is a more holistic way to manage pain.

Five Guidelines for Adopting an Anti-inflammatory Diet

Anti-inflammatory diets can be of great assistance in the battle against chronic pain. You should always speak with your physician for more advice, but they will likely suggest you:

  1. Eat Lots of Veggies and Fruit

Eat between seven and nine servings of vegetables and fruits each day with veggies being the primary focus. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are usually your best bets against inflammation.

  1. Add Fiber to Your Diet

Make sure to eat plenty of fiber. Foods that are rich in fiber have an abundance of natural anti-inflammatory agents called phytonutrients. These go a long way toward preventing chronic pain. In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as barley and oatmeal will also help you get the necessary amounts of daily fiber.

  1. Make Use of Herbs

Use anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to help combat the toxins that lead to inflammation. Turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are some of the most useful.

  1. Limit Saturated Fat

Limit the amount of saturated fat in your diet. The best way to do this is to restrict your intake of red meat to no more than once a week. Avoid fast foods and fried foods.

  1. Eat Fish

Lastly, include plenty of fish in your diet. Fish such as salmon, trout, sole, and flounder should become your go-to sources of protein as you grow older. This will help reduce your intake of saturated fats and deliver a variety of beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids.

Useful Information Is Our Way of Helping

Chronic pain makes life difficult at any age. So we hope this information has been helpful to caregivers and older adults alike.

The Legacy Senior Living blog is a great source of information on a range of senior wellness topics, like inflammation and chronic pain. We hope our blog also gives families the guidance they need to make wise decisions.

If you’re concerned about the health and well-being of a senior loved one, remember that you’re not alone. We’re here to help in whatever way we can. Please call us if you’d like more information about our services or if you’d like to arrange an tour of one of our senior living communities.

5 Questions to Ask on a Senior Living Community Tour

October 2, 2017

Assisted living checklist

Asking questions is an important part of finding the right senior living community for your loved one. This list will help you make the most of your assisted living tour.

Deciding what type of care is the best fit for an older loved one can feel like an overwhelming decision to make. The truth is, senior care isn’t a topic many people talk about. So when families begin their search for the right senior living community, they often struggle to understand the different levels of care and what each one offers.

Then there are the difficult emotions that are involved in the search for care: guilt, fear, and the seemingly endless uncertainty. There’s also the possibility of intense debate or disagreement among family members. Throw in the financial considerations and logistics of a move, and you might end up in a situation where life seems to be changing at the speed of light.

Taking time to learn more about each option is important. And that includes knowing what questions to ask each potential care provider that you visit.

5 Questions to Ask on a Senior Living Community Tour

We’ve compiled a list of five important questions to ask as you are taking a tour of an assisted living community. This list can help you organize your efforts and reduce some of the stress and uncertainty.

Now let’s talk about at the questions you will want to ask.

  1. What’s available?

First, find out what apartments or suites will be available within the time frame that your loved one has to relocate. Also, find out if the community has a waiting list. If they do have one, ask how long it is.

  1. How much privacy and independence is there?

Ask about the level of privacy and independence your loved one will have if they choose to live in this community. Will they have a private room or apartment? Is seating at meal times assigned or are they free to sit where they want? Privacy and independence are big concerns for most seniors, so don’t hesitate to explore every detail surrounding these issues.

  1. What type of events and activities are offered?

Ask for detailed information about social activities, outings and coordinated events. One of the main reasons you’re probably considering a senior community is to ensure that your  loved one has companionship and ample opportunities for stimulation and fun. So at some point during the tour, ask about the frequency and variety of social activities the community offers. See if the community has a few past months of activity calendars you can review.

  1. What’s included in the fees?

Ask what is and is not included in the senior living community’s monthly fee. It’s very important that you understand exactly what your fees cover and what services will cost extra. Asking what isn’t included can help you avoid unwelcomed surprises on the first bill.

  1. What safety precautions and staffing are in place?

Ask about any safety and security concerns you might have. Find out if the bathrooms and common areas are equipped with the necessary handrails and any other aids your loved one might need. Inquire about which hospital the community uses in emergency situations. Finally, ask how the community is staffed during business hours, after hours and on weekends.

In addition to the questions above, the AARP maintains a handy checklist that will provide you with a very detailed list of what to look for during your tour.

We love questions at Legacy Senior Living!

The senior living experts at Legacy are always happy to answer questions about senior living. So please don’t hesitate to contact us with yours! When you call, be sure to ask about our Commitment to People. It’s one of the programs that exemplifies our dedication to helping older adults thrive at any age.

Is Alzheimer’s Really Type 3 Diabetes?

September 25, 2017

Glasses on Alzheimer's Disease paper

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but scientists are making headway on a number of theories about its cause, one being a link to diabetes.

Though scientists have presented many theories about Alzheimer’s disease, the true cause of the condition remains elusive. One by one, theories have failed to earn a consensus. But a promising new hypothesis has emerged in recent years: a link to diabetes. It’s one that seems to be supported by a growing amount of clinical evidence.

A New Theory About Alzheimer’s and Type 3 Diabetes

This new and promising theory suggests there is a connection between a third type of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Though the link to diabetes remains a bit tenuous, experimental evidence does seem to connect Type 2 Diabetes to the progressive cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

We hope to give you a better idea of what this connection might be and to remind the families affected by Alzheimer’s that scientists are inching ever closer to understanding this terrible disease. Even if this theory doesn’t prove to be definitive, it still suggests progress.

Understanding the Potential Link between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s

The role insulin plays in the body is the key to understanding the relationship between Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Produced in the pancreas, insulin signals the cells in your body to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.

In a non-diabetic person, proper amounts of glucose are absorbed into the cells. But both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes interfere with this absorption of glucose, resulting in a variety of uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms.

Type 1 Diabetes is congenital and destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas, while Type 2 is acquired and prevents cells from absorbing glucose out of the bloodstream. This inability to absorb glucose is called “insulin resistance.” It is this insulin resistance that may be the possible link to diabetes for Alzheimer’s disease.

Once someone develops insulin resistance, the glucose left in the bloodstream wreaks havoc on bodily tissues. And it can lead to the symptoms associated with diabetes in general.

The Alzheimer’s connection is established if insulin resistance begins to affect brain cells. Once this starts to happen, people can begin to lose memory and elements of their personality. In other words, the person begins to display symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Understanding Insulin Resistance and Alzheimer’s Disease

Insulin resistance can lead to the creation of the beta amyloid plaques that are believed to play a large role in the development of Alzheimer’s.  As you can see, there is reason to suspect a connection between the insulin resistance caused by Type 2 Diabetes and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, there is enough evidence to suggest insulin resistance reduces cognitive function that some doctors and scientists have taken to calling Alzheimer’s “Type 3 Diabetes.”  Although explanatory gaps do exist in the relationship between insulin resistance and the beta amyloid plaques that are involved in Alzheimer’s, research still indicates at least a vague connection between Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

More research is needed to establish a solid connection between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s. But the very possibility that the connection exists suggests that by reducing the occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes, we might very well reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s as well.

Two Things We Know Amidst All this Uncertainty

No matter what medical science eventually decides about the status and causes of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, we already know two important things with absolute certainty.

First, if you have an older loved who is experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia, they need and deserve the finest care possible.

Second, you and your family deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your loved one is in compassionate and knowledgeable hands.

Call us today for information or to schedule a visit or tour of a Legacy Senior Living Memory Care program. This is the best way to see the expert and compassionate care we provide to our residents on a daily basis.

Explore the Benefits of Living in Independent Living

September 19, 2017

Seniors practicing yoga

An independent living community can be the ideal choice for many older adults and their families. Here are 6 benefits to know and consider.

We know that you have an overwhelming variety of choices when it comes to selecting a senior living community for your loved one. Our goal is to help simplify what can sometimes be a confusing process. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of one of the most popular choices – an independent living community.

But before we present these benefits, let’s first talk about what an independent living community is.

What is Independent Living?

Briefly put, independent living communities are intended to provide support for older adults who are still in relatively good health. Most independent residents are able to tend to the majority of their day-to-day needs with minimal assistance.

Independent living communities range from easy-to-maintain studio apartments to villas or small cottage-style homes.

While every independent living community has a distinct personality and features different amenities, they all tend to have several important factors in common.

Six Great Benefits of Independent Living Communities

Six of the most attractive benefits older adults will find in independent living communities include:

  1. Variety of Services

Independent living communities feature a variety of services designed to make your senior loved one’s life easier. These often include housekeeping/laundry, personalized meal plans, transportation services, and access to fitness facilities and life enrichment classes.

  1. Beautiful, Maintenance-Free Living Options

Residents can choose from a variety of attractive floor plans and styles. It might be a stand-alone villa or an apartment. What they all have in common is maintenance-free living. No lawn care or snow shoveling required!

  1. Access to Help and Support

Some independent living communities have their own private duty home care on-site to provide assistance if needed. Many are on the same campus as an assisted living community, should a higher level of care be needed.

  1. 24-Hour Safety and Security

Independent living communities offer safe and secure living environments with onsite security staff and an emergency call system. This can give seniors and their loved ones greater peace of mind.

  1. Social Opportunities are Abundant

Independent living offers a variety of opportunities for socializing, entertainment, and fun. This is often one of the primary reasons older adults make this type of move.

  1. Conveniences Galore

These communities usually provide conveniences like trash removal, transportation, and lawn care. Some even offer concierge services, an on-site wellness center and a beauty/barber shop.

Legacy is Here to Help

From answering your questions to sharing information on the Aid & Attendance program for veterans, the team at Legacy Senior Living is here to assist you whenever and however we can. Contact us today to schedule a visit or tour of the Legacy community nearest you!