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How to Tell The Difference Between Normal Forgetfulness and Dementia

How to Tell The Difference Between Normal Forgetfulness and Dementia

As we grow older many things change, and one of those things is our memory. This is why most people use sticky notes and calendar reminders to make sure they don’t forget certain tasks in daily life or events. When we grow older, we experience more frequent memory loss. This is completely normal when it comes to aging. Although people who suffer from dementia experience a high level of memory loss, there is a difference between normal aging forgetfulness and dementia. Before panicking and assuming you have dementia, you need to understand what the symptoms are of each.

How to Tell The Difference Between Normal Forgetfulness and Dementia

Normal Forgetfulness

While it can be frustrating, this type of forgetfulness comes with aging. Normal forgetfulness is not something that should be alarming and cause any panic. A few symptoms of normal aging forgetfulness include:

Absentmindedness and Transience

These two conditions are a normal part of aging according to Harvard Medical School. Absentmindedness relates to the focus of your brain, which could be like forgetting an appointment because your mind was not preoccupied with the thought of it. Transience describes the situation when individuals forget memories over time. This is just the brain removing unnecessary memories and making space for new ones.

Forgetfulness and Mental Issues

Memory loss can occur due to an individual’s health conditions deteriorating according to the National Institute on Aging. People who have had or continue to struggle with mental health issues like depression are sometimes mistaken for having similar symptoms to dementia.

When someone is dealing with depression, they are highly preoccupied with what has caused their sadness and their anxiety. When someone is constantly worrying and/or obsessing over a recent tragedy, it can lead to forgetting other memories or topics.

Signs of Dementia

Those who suffer or are diagnosed with dementia will experience memory loss which is progressive. The level of memory loss will steadily worsen, and the individual will eventually have to be moved into an assisted living facility, as they will not be able to live on their own. Warning signs of dementia include:

Personality Change

People may experience extreme changes in personality according to the Alzheimer’s Association. When seniors are in the middle stages of dementia, they will suddenly become more prone to paranoia, impulsiveness, and even aggressive behavior.

Forgetting Important Information

When someone is suffering from dementia, it is not about forgetting a thing as simple as where they have left an object or the date of an appointment that they had scheduled. Instead, this kind of memory loss can cause an individual to forget the names of their family members and friends. These types of memory problems should prompt you to take the individual to a medical professional for diagnosis.

Disorientation

Another common symptom that those who suffer from dementia will experience is a tendency to become disorientated in new environments. This disorientation extends to both time and place according to the University of Illinois.

When an older individual is or is starting to struggle with dementia, and moves to an unfamiliar environment, the unfamiliar stimuli can start to induce the feeling of insecurity, causing panic and anxiety within the person. Elders experiencing dementia and becoming disorientated will seem extremely lost to onlookers and they can become aggressive, especially with caregivers.

Conclusion

When it comes to differentiating between normal forgetfulness and dementia, you need to take a closer look at the symptoms. While senior citizens have symptoms that overlap, memory loss is more intense in those who experience dementia. This is because the memories that they lose are highly important which normal forgetfulness cannot explain.

Normal forgetfulness is not progressive and should not be a cause for concern. Dementia on the other hand will develop and worsen over time. If you have tried to identify what the individual is experiencing and you still do not confidently have an answer, you should talk to a doctor near you. What could make the diagnosis a lot easier is to take the person to a doctor who already knows them. This doctor might be able to pick up on signs and symptoms much quicker.

Additional Information: 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

Nye Health Services | Independent & Assisted Living Communities

Nye Health Services is passionate about providing older adults with a wide range of wellness and health services that maximize health and well-being. If you are searching for a senior living community, explore one of our five locations in eastern Nebraska. Each campus provides award-winning health and wellness services, comfortable apartments and/or suites, and numerous amenities to help you live 2022 to the fullest! Contact us today to learn more about what sets Nye apart or to schedule a tour of a community near you!

For additional information about Nye Home Health Care visit us at nyehomehealthcare.com

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do for Aging Adults?

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do for Aging Adults?

Occupational therapy is a type of medical treatment that focuses on the improvement of fine motor skills and development. While physiotherapy is about larger motor movements, the point of occupational therapy is to improve and strengthen the link of smaller movements to the brain. Someone might require occupational therapy after they have been in an accident or had a stroke. In other cases, occupational therapy can also be necessary to repair other types of motor damage, such as arthritis. It is possible for someone at any age to need an occupational therapist (OT). However, elderly people are more likely to need the assistance of an occupational therapist.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do for Aging Adults?

As you get older, it’s completely normal for your motor skills to begin to worsen. Occupational therapy is there to help patients close the gap. Contrary to popular opinion, occupational therapy is not just for when emergencies or accidents occur. In fact, OT is a great way for aging adults to maintain fine motor skills.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

Occupational therapists work to improve the body’s fine motor skills in patients of all ages. Typically, this involves hand coordination, hand-eye coordination, and other fine skills that might have degenerated. An occupational therapist is not a once-off appointment. In fact, regaining the ability to perform daily tasks can take several appointments spread over weeks or months.

When guiding occupational therapy for seniors, an occupational therapist will need to work closely with the patient. Usually, this means developing a close relationship with them around which particular therapies need the most urgent aid.

Who Needs an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist can be necessary at any age due to rehabilitation or a specific physical condition.

Age can physically slow you down, and getting older can mean that you are more affected by health conditions such as arthritis and discomfort in the joints. While an occupational therapist can be necessary after a life-changing event such as a stroke or accident, this is not the most common reason people see an occupational therapist.

Anyone who notices a decline in the mobility of their joints and general movement could benefit from occupational therapy as well as physiotherapy. Although medication can make a big difference and reduce pain and discomfort, this is a temporary solution. Instead, the introduction of occupational therapy programs can make a huge difference in relieving symptoms long term.

Key Benefits of Occupational Therapy?

The goal of occupational therapy is to reduce inflammation and pain, while also promoting physical longevity and fine motor skills. A professional occupational therapist will work with patients to focus on the quality of life, and quality of movement. Although rehabilitation from an injury is a common reason to see an occupational therapist, it’s not the only one.

For elderly patients, an occupational therapist will angle their therapies towards treating the most common consequences of age. Again, quality of life and movement are the point of long-term occupational therapy appointments.

As you get older, some daily activities become harder. One key benefit of occupational therapy is that it is aimed at making everyday life easy again. If mobility or reflexes have reduced due to age, then an occupational therapist is likely the appointment that’s most important to make next.

Who Are Aging Adults?

The term elderly typically refers to anyone above the age of 65. This is the point at which the body starts to respond in different ways. Things such as collagen and bone don’t grow or heal as fast as they used to. At this age, conditions like arthritis might also become a real problem.

When the signs of these conditions begin to show up, see an occupational therapist as soon as possible. Don’t wait until a serious emergency or injury happens to make occupational therapy a priority. It can benefit someone’s health in many ways to look for a good occupational therapist earlier rather than later.

How to Find an Occupational Therapist

If you want to find a trusted occupational therapist in your area, head to Google and look for an occupational therapist near you. Consider reviews, and look for an occupational therapist that matches your needs the most. Never be afraid to call several, and never be afraid to switch from one occupational therapist to another. Finding the best occupational therapist for you can lead to a better quality of life and movement.

At Nye Health Services, we offer outpatient therapy at all of our five locations in Fremont, Lincoln, Norfolk, NE and the surrounding areas. We have licensed therapists on staff to help along with complimentary transportation. We also take Medicare, Medicaid, and most private health insurances. With outpatient therapy services, you get access to experienced professionals and personalized treatment plans to fit your needs.

Additional Information: Occupational Therapy Interventions for Productive Aging Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults 

Nye Health Services | Independent & Assisted Living Communities

Nye Health Services is passionate about providing older adults with a wide range of wellness and health services that maximize health and well-being. If you are searching for a senior living community, explore one of our five locations in eastern Nebraska. Each campus provides award-winning health and wellness services, comfortable apartments and/or suites, and numerous amenities to help you live 2022 to the fullest! Contact us today to learn more about what sets Nye apart or to schedule a tour of a community near you!

For additional information about Nye Home Health Care visit us at nyehomehealthcare.com

What Is Home Health Care?

What Is Home Health Care?

While aging happens differently for everyone, there are some common tasks that typically need assistance. Home health care provides general personal care such as helping with bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, and incontinence. Individuals receiving home health care services might also need help moving into a different position or getting gentle exercise. Home health care helps anyone, young and old, live independently for as long as possible, even those without injury or illness. This can include skilled nursing, as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

What Is Home Health Care?

Types of Home Health Care

Medical Home Health Care

This type of home care is provided by a medical professional and is often called skilled care. Medical home health care includes wound care, speech, occupational and physical therapy. It also includes caregiver and patient education, nutrition, and injection therapy. Medical care must be prescribed by a doctor, and daily activities are not included in this type of care.

Non-medical Home Health Care

Non-medical care includes assistance with daily activities such as bathing and washing hair, getting dressed, preparing meals, exercising, providing transportation to shops and doctors, and housekeeping. This type of home care supports all personal needs, along with being a companion to keep the client from becoming lonely.

Benefits of Home Health Care

The biggest benefit is that it allows seniors to receive care in the comfort of their own homes. This helps improve their emotional, mental, and physical health while reducing loneliness as well. Patients form bonds with their care aides, who become like family to them due to the many hours they spend together.

What to Expect

When a new patient signs up for medical home health care, a registered nurse will meet with the family and the patient at home to find out what services are needed. Then, a detailed and personalized care plan is drawn up. This first meeting assists in matching a care aide with the correct skills, personality, and schedule compatibility. The process for medical care and non-medical care is very similar. The care aide and the patient work together to decide the days and times needed for the care aide to be in the home. The care aide also acts as a liaison between the patient and their medical team.

How to Find Home Health Care

First, visit medicare.gov to find and compare local providers. They provide information on both quality and patient survey ratings. Alternatively, ask your doctor for a referral as he will have experience with agencies. When calling an agency ask them the following questions:

  • Will a registered nurse come to your home and develop a personalized care plan?
  • Can the care aide consult directly with your doctor?
  • Will the agency enquire if you are eligible for any benefits that can save you money?

Who needs home health care?

It is not only seniors who need care aides. There is a need in all age ranges, including pediatrics or people who have been injured on the job. Here are some questions to answer if you are not sure if your loved one needs a care aide:

  • Do they store their food safely and throw it away when it is no longer edible?
  • If the phone rings, is your loved one able to answer it?
  • Do they clean up after they have cooked and eaten their meals?
  • Are they bathing themselves, washing their hair, and wearing clean clothes?
  • Do they wash their dishes and pack them away?
  • Is your loved one attending family events?

If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the above-mentioned questions, you may need to start looking into your options for home health care.

Challenges

Finding the right fit for a care aide is important. It can take some time for clients to adjust to having a stranger come to take care of them.

Additional Information: How Do I Select the Right Home Care Provider?

Nye Health Services | Independent & Assisted Living Communities

Nye Health Services is passionate about providing older adults with a wide range of wellness and health services that maximize health and well-being. If you are searching for a senior living community, explore one of our five locations in eastern Nebraska. Each campus provides award-winning health and wellness services, comfortable apartments and/or suites, and numerous amenities to help you live 2022 to the fullest! Contact us today to learn more about what sets Nye apart or to schedule a tour of a community near you!

For additional information about Nye Home Health Care visit us at nyehomehealthcare.com

Finding Companionship While Aging

Finding Companionship While Aging

A companion is someone you feel affection towards and enjoy spending time with. A companion can be a close friend, sibling or someone you share a more intimate relationship with, such as a romantic partner. Companions are those who are easy to converse with, reminisce with, go out to dinner with, and enjoy special moments with. As you begin aging, companionship takes on a much deeper meaning. In this article, we will explore why companionship is important as you age as well as things you can do to help find a companion.

Finding Companionship While Aging

What should you look for in a companion?

An important aspect of companionship is both parties respecting one another’s space and time spent with other people. This helps to make sure that you both maintain your own friendships and interests. An ideal companion is easy-going, light-hearted, happy, and fun to be around. The perfect companion has similar interests to you and is someone you find interesting. Similar interests in charity organizations, games, volunteering, and movies can be tremendously beneficial to a friendship. Maturity and openness are also important aspects to consider. You want your companion to be un-defensive and vulnerable, honest, and full of integrity. When your companion acts with integrity, they are committed to their word. This is important in companionship. Respect, independence, empathy, and affection are character assets of a worthy companion.

Companionship is important as we get older

Companionship is incredibly important you begin aging. Having a companion prevents seniors from isolating which can be detrimental to one’s health. Companionship enriches our lives by promoting better physical, emotional, and mental health. It also helps keep seniors stimulated, active, positive, and socially active. Studies have shown that maintaining strong social bonds as you age, reduces the risk of developing age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.

Dating and Companionship Apps

As you become older, you may find your life becoming fuller and busier with work, family, hobbies, traveling, and spending time with friends. When you are on the go all the time, you might find it difficult to meet new people. The same may be true if you are more of an introvert and are unsure how to get out.

Although most dating apps appear to be for young adults looking for romance, these apps can be great for aging seniors looking for a companion. In fact, there are many great apps for finding a companion that are worth a try. Dating apps can be tedious and frustrating. However, they can also be very helpful if you stick with them. As a word of caution, be wise and be aware of scammers.

Activities in your Community

Volunteering in your community is a wonderful way to meet new people. Offer to volunteer at one of your favorite charity organizations or an outreach program. Participate in various social groups and activities like book clubs, art classes, flower arranging classes, and card games. Volunteer to visit and read to the elderly at assisted living facilities or local nursing homes. You might meet a lot more like-minded friends this way.

What are the benefits of having a companion?

Late adulthood is often marked by physical or cognitive decline. Companionship interaction can serve as a buffer and enhance your quality of life. It is important to remember that as you get older, you are still living your life with goals to achieve. In fact, you might be revisiting past goals and evaluating how these were met. Having a companion to discuss goals with and talk them over with can give you a sense of fulfillment. Having a companion to share your late years with will keep you feeling loved, cared for, and content.

Additional Information: Never Too Old to Find New Friends

Nye Health Services | Independent & Assisted Living Communities

Nye Health Services is passionate about providing older adults with a wide range of wellness and health services that maximize health and well-being. If you are searching for a senior living community, explore one of our five locations in eastern Nebraska. Each campus provides award-winning health and wellness services, comfortable apartments and/or suites, and numerous amenities to help you live 2022 to the fullest! Contact us today to learn more about what sets Nye apart or to schedule a tour of a community near you!

How Is Assisted Living Different From a Nursing Home?

How Is Assisted Living Different From a Nursing Home?

The choice between assisted living and a nursing home can be a difficult one to make. While many people believe the two are synonymous, each type of senior living community offers different types of services. In this article, we compare the services, costs, and features of nursing homes and assisted living communities to help you decide the best level of care for you or your loved one.

How Is Assisted Living Different From a Nursing Home?

Assisted Living (AL)

Assisted living communities are a place where seniors are able to receive custodial care. Custodial care is where there is around-the-clock care to assist in daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, walking, getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, preparing food, and medication administration. Assisted living residents are able to receive proper care and help with these everyday activities and more. It is common to find the “5 Communities” of care within Assisted living facilities. These include assisted living, rehabilitation, residential living, skilled nursing, and memory care.

What medical services do assisted living communities offer?

In assisted living communities, residents are generally in good health. However, there are different levels of medical attention available to them depending on their individual needs. Staff members are able to administer medication to residents as well as provide transportation to residents to and from their doctor appointments.

Living Space at Assisted Living Facilities

Most assisted living facilities offer apartment-style living with bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces. Depending on each resident’s situation, they may live in a unit individually or share it with a spouse or friend. Housekeeping services are available all at of our campuses with an extra fee, as are laundry and meal preparation services. Common dining rooms offer meals to residents at set times throughout the day. AL facilities also offer a variety of entertainment and fun activities for the residents to participate in. Activities might include physical exercise, art and creativity projects, games, and socializing.

Skilled Nursing Facilities SNF

Nursing homes offer similar services to those of AL facilities, however, to a different degree. A nursing home is a community in which residents have rooms instead of apartments. Although residents may not need custodial care, arrangements can be made. Nursing homes have a number of common areas in which residents are able to socialize together. Many nursing home facilities also have gardens for residents to enjoy. For residents who need rehabilitative care such as speech and occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and physical therapy, services are made available to them.

What medical services do nursing homes offer?

Nursing homes also referred to as skilled nursing facilities offer around-the-clock medical care, especially where chronic illness is a concern. While some residents might only require a short stay after a hospital stay, other residents choose to live in nursing homes long-term, sometimes permanently. Residents in nursing homes require more comprehensive care for meeting their daily needs. Nurses receive proper training to help them to bathe, get dressed, use the restroom, and change their linens. Dieticians ensure all residents are receiving proper nutritionIf residents need assistance with eating, certified nursing assistants are on hand to provide this service.

Living Space at Nursing Homes

Depending on the nursing home and resident’s preference, they may share a room and bathroom or have their own individual room and bathroom. Most nursing homes offer a common dining room where residents may share meals with friends and family. Nursing homes also offer lounge areas for reading, and common rooms offering a variety of activities. Activities in nursing homes include games that are mentally stimulating or relate to occupational therapy, art classes, and even cooking classes. Physical therapists are available to work with patients individually to help them gain strength, prevent falls, and improve overall mobility.

Does insurance cover the costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility?

Some Medicaid programs do pay for nursing homes or assisted living facilities. However, it is required in some States that Medicaid beneficiaries spend their personal funds before Medicaid starts paying towards services. Most of the time families use their private funds to pay for assisted living communities by using their combined savings, retirement accounts, and pension pay-outs. It is not uncommon for family members to make contributions towards the costs of their elderly family member’s expenses.

Financial Planning

Long-term insurance policies are available to invest in, to help cover the costs of assisted living or nursing home facilities. Before investing in a policy, be sure to read the provisions of the policy carefully to make sure that you are covered and taken care of when the time comes.

Nye Health Services | Independent & Assisted Living Communities

Nye Health Services is passionate about providing older adults with a wide range of wellness and health services that maximize health and well-being. If you are searching for a senior living community, explore one of our five locations in eastern Nebraska. Each campus provides award-winning health and wellness services, and numerous amenities to help you live 2022 to the fullest! Contact us today to learn more about what sets Nye apart or to schedule a tour of a community near you!

What is Assisted Living?

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is senior housing with the added benefit of services. Residents can receive help with daily living activities such as bathing, eating, and dressing. They can also receive coordination of services by outside healthcare providers as well as medication management. These services and more give seniors the freedom to be as independent as they want to be with the comfort of knowing that a professional nursing team is available 24/7. In addition to these services, facilities provide transportation, exercise activities, social events, delicious meals, and more.

What is Assisted Living?

Signs That It’s Time for Assisted Living

When taking care of a parent or loved one becomes difficult and more than you can handle, it may be time for you to start assessing if signs indicate it’s time to move to assisted living. Some of these signs include:

  • Falls that happen more frequently
  • Difficulties managing chronic health problems
  • Forgetting to take medicine
  • Poor eating and hygiene habits
  • Inability to safely complete activities of daily living

How to Select an Assisted Living Community

Choosing an assisted living community for you, your parents or your loved one can feel overwhelming. Oftentimes, this decision is made during a health crisis. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared with the important information you need to make the best decision possible. Things to consider include:

Location

Finding an assisted living campus close to home can help your loved one stay connected to their community and church. In fact, this can also make it easier for family and friends to visit.

Services

Assisted living communities offer services and amenities such as dining services, housekeeping, exercise and wellness programs, and medication management. Be sure to ask about other programs they invest in that make living at the community unique.

Transitions to Higher Care

It’s important to think about what kind of care you or your family member needs now. However, it is also important to consider what additional assistance they will need down the road. Consider the following:

  • What additional types of care and services does the campus provide?
  • Will you or your family member need a higher level of care in the future? If so, is that available in the community or close by?

Cost

One of the most important factors when choosing an assisted living facility is cost. Therefore, try to avoid falling in love with a campus that isn’t affordable. The cost of assisted living can vary significantly depending on the amenities the facility provides, as well as the level of care you or your loved one needs. Although the initial cost may make you pause, remember it is often all-inclusive. Most all-inclusive senior living communities provide housing, transportation, meals, activities, medical care, and other expenses.

Culture

You want to walk onto the campus and feel like you are at home. Home is where all staff and residents are smiling and celebrating life!

Nye Health Services is proud to provide some of the best assisted living services and amenities to seniors in Nebraska. Contact Nye Health Services to learn more about the assisted living amenities we offer or schedule a tour of any of our senior living communities in Fremont, Norfolk, and Lincoln, Nebraska!

Additional Information: Housing Resources (Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging)

Nye Health Services | Independent & Assisted Living Communities

Nye Health Services is passionate about providing older adults with a wide range of wellness and health services that maximize health and well-being. If you are searching for a senior living community, explore one of our five locations in eastern Nebraska. Each campus provides award-winning health and wellness services, comfortable apartments, and numerous amenities to help you live 2022 to the fullest! Contact us today to learn more about what sets Nye apart or to schedule a tour of a community near you!