Seniors at Higher Risk of Dehydration

Although fall is just around the corner, it is important for seniors to stay hydrated no matter what the weather is.  Dehydration can cause serious problems, and since older adults can become dehydrated even when it is not hot outside, they need to remember to make a conscious effort to increase their fluid intake. 
There are several reasons why the elderly are more at risk for dehydration including the fact that the body’s mechanisms meant to protect us from dehydration do not work as well as we age.  This means older adults often experience diminished thirst sensations that may lead to reduced fluid consumption or suffer from conditions such as incontinence that can increase water loss.  Certain medications commonly prescribed to seniors to treat high blood pressure or heart failure can also cause dehydration.  Other things that can lead to dehydration include memory problems that result in someone forgetting to drink or mobility problems that make it hard for a person to get somethi…

Specialized Memory Care at MorningStar of Littleton

At MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care of Littleton, we compassionately and professionally provide memory care to seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.  Our Reflections Neighborhood is meticulously designed to accommodate the special needs of memory care residents.  As such, it means we can encourage and support independence as well as let residents move freely about as much as possible. Our community has 20 secure suites in a range of configurations that include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans. 
MorningStar’s holistic approach to memory care involves treating each of our residents with the respect and dignity they deserve.  Even before a resident joins our community, we meet with them and their family to find out as much as we can about their background and interests as well as personal preferences.  From there, our Wellness Director creates an individualized care plan that takes all of this into consideration.
MorningStar of Lit…

Loneliness Can Impact Health and Wellbeing

A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found that loneliness in aging adults can impact their health and wellbeing and be responsible for accelerating seniors’ decline and death.  They cite that “people 60-years-old and older who reported feeling lonely saw a 45 percent increase in their risk for death.  Isolated elders also had a 59 percent greater risk of mental and physical decline than their more social counterparts.”
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 28 percent of people 65 years and older (11 million at the time of the census) lived alone.  In addition to living alone, there are several reasons seniors feel lonesome including losing a spouse.   Furthermore, the AARP reports that more and more seniors do not have children, which means fewer family members available to provide companionship and care.  As many elderly people stop driving, they may not have a convenient way to get around and this can contribute to more feelings of isolation. 

Tips to Help Prevent Falls

Falls are one of the most common reasons why elderly adults seek emergency care.  In fact the National Institute on Aging (NIA) reports. “More than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year.”  Moreover they add that the risk of falling and fall-related problems rises with age.  However, they say this is no reason to avoid being active, and there are a few things you can do to help prevent a fall. 
Seniors need to try and stay physically active and to follow an appropriate exercise plan.  Regular exercise can increase your strength, and improve your muscle tone (be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise).  Even mild weight-bearing exercises such as climbing stairs or walking can help to slow down osteoporosis (bone loss). 
Another way to reduce your risk of a fall is limit the amount of alcohol you drink as even a small amount can affect your balance and reflexes.  Also use a walker or cane if you are unsteady on your feet.  In addition be sure t…

Visiting a Memory Care Community

The Reflections Neighborhood at MorningStar of Wheat Ridge emphatically agrees with the Alzheimer’s Association about the importance of visiting your loved one in a memory care community.  While it can be hard to see your parent or family member struggling with memory loss, many times they are aware that they have a visitor even if they do not know your name. 
The Alzheimer’s Association wants you to remember that you are an important link to your loved one’s identity and to keep in mind that there is more to them than just their memory.  They recommend keeping visits simple and to try to limit distractions and excess noise.  In addition they remind visitors that they may have to adjust their expectations and to not take it personally if your loved one becomes angry or upset with you.  It is also helpful to know as much about the disease as you can as it will help you to better understand the struggles of memory loss.
Jolene Brackey also shares some tips from her book, Creating Moments …

Don’t Wait Until You Feel Thirsty to Drink

If you are a senior, it is especially important not to wait until you feel thirsty before you reach for a drink of water.  Experts explain that by the time older adults feel thirsty; they may have already lost two or more cups of their total body’s water.  One of the first sign of dehydration can be a headachy feeling at the end of the day. 
As we age, our body’s ability to conserve water is diminished, and as such, we are more susceptible to water and electrolyte imbalances.  Seniors also have a diminished sense of thirst, which means they may forget to drink enough fluids and become dehydrated.  In addition many medications commonly taken by the elderly have side effects that can cause dehydration such as blood pressure medications, heart disease medications, antihistamines, laxatives, and diuretics.  Diuretics, also known as water pills, are often taken by senior with high blood pressure or heart problems as a way to reduce the amount of fluid in the blood vessels and ease the press…

Age Well with a Healthy Lifestyle

The website, Everyday Health Media reports that you can expect to live on average another 19.2 years if you reach the age of 65.  However they explain in order to be one of those lucky enough to live to be 85 years or older, you need to carefully manage your chronic health conditions and follow good health habits. 
Aging experts such as Jeanne Wei, MD, the director of the Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas Medical School, explains, “You need to be physically active and eat a healthy diet and also make healthy lifestyle choices, like quitting smoking and losing weight, to avoid senior health risks.”  She adds that it is helpful to include a geriatrician on your health care team.  
Furthermore, it is never too late to begin improving your health.  Whether you are suffering from diabetes, heart disease, or many other chronic health problems, doctors say you can benefit from even a moderate amount of physical activity.  Engaging in physical activity helps to make your bones an…