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Educational Dementia Support Group

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MorningStar at Mountain Shadows is pleased to announce that we have started an educational support group for family and friends of loved ones with dementia.  The class will meet at 5:30 PM on the third Monday of each month in our private dining room. 
Our support group will be led by Sheryl Schauer, an Alzheimer’s Association Educator for 15 years and a certified instructor of Teepa Snow as well as a daughter of a MorningStar resident.  As an Alzheimer’s Association educator, Sheryl has experience with quality care practices based on a comprehensive review of current evidence, best practice and expert opinion, which is used to help manage behavior and provide person-centered dementia care. 
For anyone unfamiliar with Teepa Snow, she is one of the leading educators on dementia and the care that accompanies it, throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Her training teaches practical skills to help caregivers provide better care for those living with dementia.  She is the founder of Positive Appro…

Assisted Living is Often More Affordable than Living Alone

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As families try to figure out how make sure their parent or another elderly relative gets the proper care, many shy away from the option of assisted living as they think it is too expensive. However, the opposite may be true. Assisted living can actually be less expensive than the cost of trying to cobble together the care your parent needs. 
For instance, if your parent lives alone, their cost-of-living includes yearly taxes as well as a mortgage or rental payment and expenses incurred with routine maintenance and repairs. They are also responsible for utility bills that continue to rise each year while their income may not. 
Your parent may also be paying for in-home care that cannot only be costly but may not be entirely adequate to ensure their safety 24/7. Furthermore, if the home requires modifications to accommodate their limited mobility, these changes are typically expensive. Also, the modifications may result in a lower selling price once you do sell the home. 
If your paren…

Learn the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

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More than 140,000 people die each year from a stroke in the United States and it is the third leading cause of death according to The Internet Stroke Center.  In addition they report that approximately 795,000 people suffer from a stroke each year, which means on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke.  Strokes are also the leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities and a stroke can take up to two years or more to recover from.  Statistically almost three-quarters of all strokes are in people over the age of 65.
The National Stroke Association recommends that “FAST” is a simple way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke.  By having the information you need to quickly identify the signs of a stroke and calling 9-1-1 for help, you can improve a person’s chances for a better recovery.   They also advise that you note the time you first noticed the symptoms as this can determine the course of treatment. 
To identify the warning sign…

Why Seniors Fall & Tips to Prevent It from Happening

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According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one out of every four Americans aged 65 and older falls every year and the majority of these falls occur at home. There are several reasons why seniors are more susceptible to a fall and there are steps you can take to help decrease the likelihood of it happening. 
Many elderly adults experience a general overall decline in their physical fitness resulting in reduced muscle strength, decreased bone mass, loss of balance and coordination, and reduced flexibility that make them more susceptible to a fall.  Another common problem shared by many seniors is impaired vision.  This can make it more difficult to detect fall hazards such as steps, thresholds, and obstacles and changes in the ground.
Certain types of medications, especially the side effects, can cause drowsiness, dizziness or low blood pressure, which can all increase the risk of a fall.  Also keep in mind it is not just prescription drugs but over-the-counter medications can co…

Learn More about MorningStar of Wheat Ridge’s Memory Care

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MorningStar of Wheat Ridge’s philosophy and approach to memory care includes our guiding principle that: whatever the extent of the memory loss, whatever the form of dementia, a person’s essence remains. We feel it our calling as well as our privilege to find ways to connect with and nurture that essence.
Our individualized care starts by meeting with the senior and their family members to learn all we can about the person’s background including their vocation, talents and preferences. Taking this information, we put together a daily routine that will be used to stimulate or calm the resident in response to their mood or the surrounding circumstances. Throughout the senior’s stay with us, we also engage the family members as we know our services are as much for them as for the residing senior. 
MorningStar’s memory care provides an atmosphere of safety and well-being, while at the same time, encourages and supports choice and independence whenever possible. Our residents participate …

Questions to Ask Your Doctor? Prepare Before You Go

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How many of us have just left a doctor’s office when we realized we forgot to ask several relevant questions we had been thinking about.  This is why physicians suggest we take the time to prepare for each of our doctor appointments to ensure the best health outcome.
Keep in mind the estimated time spent with the doctor is only about 7 minutes, so you need to be ready to communicate your concerns.  One of the first things to do to save time is create an updated list of all of the medications you are currently taking regardless of which healthcare provider prescribed it.  You can even bring the bottles with you so there are no questions about dosage.  Remember to include any over-the-counter drugs you take.  
Next, prepare a list of questions you have starting with the most important ones first.  The National Institute on Aging (NIA) recommends questions such as, “Do you have a new symptom you want to ask the doctor about? Do you want to get a flu shot? Are you concerned about how a trea…

Assisted Living Offers Help with Daily Care Activities

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Many people mistakenly assume that “assisted living” is just another term for nursing homes.  In fact, nursing homes are intended for people that require long-term, around-the-clock medical care and supervision and should not be confused with assisted living, which provides residents support for daily care activities.  At an assisted living community, you will receive the care you need to live comfortably and safely while still retaining your privacy and as much independence as possible. 
Assisted living is ideal for anyone who does not require 24-hour skilled medical care but rather just needs more personal care than they can get at home or at an independent living retirement community.  Meals and transportation are provided, and if needed, residents can get help with activities such as showering dressing, and etc.  For the family, they rest easy knowing that a trained, caring staff is available to help whenever a loved one needs it.   
Many assisted living communities offer the privac…