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ComfortCare Homes Wichita Blog

How to Utilize Medical Professionals to Ease Pain in Seniors and Enhance Their Dementia Care Plan

Thursday, April 27th, 2017 1:40:11 PM
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Steps Taken to Ensure Patient Comfort

One of the most important things that you can do to ensure that a senior is getting the most out of their dementia care plan is to take steps to ensure that they are getting the right medications and that underlying conditions are being treated in the proper manner. The US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Medicine (NCBI) states that pain management and the assessment of pain is one of the biggest contributors to being prescribed antipsychotic medications in patients who don’t actually need them. This is because when pain is not managed properly in a patient that also has Alzheimer’s or is part of a dementia care plan, they cannot always express their symptoms or the pain that they are in. This can cause non-verbal behavioral issues and create a pattern of behavioral symptoms that are then misdiagnosed for something else.

What Is Being Done to Prevent Misdiagnosis and Improve Pain Management

One way to make sure seniors with Alzheimer’s and other similar diseases are getting the best treatment is by working with a PCP (Primary Care Practitioner). PCPs are licensed to provide medical guidance to address pain, specifically, as part of the dementia care plan. Additionally, they also will work with clients with memory-related illnesses to determine what kind of medication will be best for them. Medical professionals are committed to making sure that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients get the care that they need and deserve, even though some of these individuals are unable to reliably convey their symptoms or how medications make them feel. Aside from pain, some of the issues that they pay special attention to are anxiety, depression and other pain related conditions.

Testing Without Speaking

Because dementia care plan patients can not always report their symptoms, medical professionals may choose to have their patient’s blood analyzed in their lab in order to determine which medication is best. By monitoring the of the blood to see how it metabolizes prescribed medication, PCPs can determine which medications have the best effect and which works most efficiently at a biological level. This allows the patient that cannot speak or convey their symptoms or those that cannot be mindful of their own medications, to get the most of the medication that they take.

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3817007/

 

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.

How to Manage Wandering When You Provide Care at Home for a Senior with Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 1:03:57 PM
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When providing care at home for an Alzheimer’s or Dementia patient, one of the biggest worries is wandering. Sometimes, the patients get a massive urge to leave and walk around. This can cause problems if you aren’t prepared for what may happen. Below are some tips and tricks to manage to wander.

Activities and Outings

For most seniors, the urge to get out and do something is ever-present and they only get to act on it every once in a while. For the care at home provider, this is the perfect opportunity for outings to take place. Try finding some local, senior-friendly events to go to. Consider taking them to a bingo night at the local senior center. Sometimes there are concerts or local events that the patient might be interested in, so consider checking local event calendars to see what, if anything, is going on out in the world.

Walks and Leisure

Local recreation centers often have tracks specifically made for running or walking. Care at home providers may also consider going to a leisurely stroll through a park or hiking trail. If your patient has a pet, you also might consider taking them to a dog park to socialize with other seniors or people in general. There are many things you can do to manage the urge to wander.

Games and at Home Activities

Some other ideas for managing wandering are entertainment. Keeping seniors entertained is actually quite simple. Try playing board games with them, or even card games. Keeping their mind focused on other activities makes Alzheimer’s and Dementia care at home a breeze.

Family and Friends

Oftentimes there is a need for the family to be involved in the care at home process. It should be noted that the family can’t always be around. Helping them get out and make friends can be a good way to stave off the need to wander.

Wandering is a definite concern if you are responsible for a senior with diminished mental capacities, reduced cognitive function or a memory-related condition. These are just a few ways to avoid the onset of wanderlust. Use this list as a jumping-off point to make a special bond with your senior loved one.

Seniors Can Find Comfort and Companionship at Alzheimer’s Facilities in Wichita, KS

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 6:22:48 PM
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Discover how pet therapy can help a beloved elder in your life

One of the hardest things in life can be seeing a friend or loved one suffer from the effects of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, with Alzheimer’s facilities available, your loved one can get the care and support they need.

We understand the difficulties that can come with senior care, and one of the biggest is problems with memory and cognition. As we age, many things can get weaker, and our memory is no different. Fortunately, that’s where pet therapy can help. Pet therapy is when seniors or other people with assisted living needs are given a pet to take care of some of the time. Having an animal to take care of and spend time with has been shown to help seniors get through difficult days, as well as reduce the effects of depression and anxiety. Because of this, many Alzheimer’s facilities in the area offer pet therapy services and have many four legged friends to keep our guests company.

Additionally, pets have been shown to help seniors in several ways besides those listed above. Some of these include:

  • Pets can have a calming effect that can lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Pets can reduce stress levels as well as increase serotonin production which helps mood stability
  • Exposure to animal dander can help improve immune system function
  • The friendly companionship of animals can help reduce feelings of isolation or anxiety
  • The presence of a pet can help curb behavior issues in many seniors
  • Several studies have shown that having a pet helps improve Alzheimer’s patient’s appetites, which can have long term benefits on their health

As you can see, having a pet around is good for everyone, and especially for those in Alzheimer’s facilities.

 

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.

Music Therapy and the Impact on Memory Care for Seniors

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 2:09:15 PM
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If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia related disease, then you may be aware of the later-stage developments of the disease and the benefits of memory care that includes music therapy. This type of treatment can be applied for dementia and similar illnesses to reduce isolation and to improve memory recall.

Music Therapy and Dementia

Music affects a certain area of the brain which is processed instantly due to the fact that recognition of music and familiar patterns requires little to no neural processing.  It has been shown to be successful in allowing for more effective communication between caregivers and memory care patients at varying stages.

In earlier stages of memory loss, it is encouraged to remain socially engaged with activities that involve dancing or movement. This is a good time to try new places, finding venues and allowing the person to establish a connection with music that the person liked in the past. For our grandparents today, think like Frank Sinatra or classic rock. If possible, karaoke is also a good idea.

As a person progresses to the moderate stages of their disease, music therapy is used often around the home as a background soundtrack to improve mode and to relax. Once a person can no longer go out of the home safely, dancing maybe replaced with walking or swaying.

As memory diseases develop, patient’s often undergo emotional withdrawal. Reductions in degeneration have been noticed for those using music earlier in their memory care process, but interestingly, it has been proven that even introducing music therapy in later stages can provide a positive effect.

In fact, some would say that this is where music therapy has made some of the most noticeable changes, mainly because when the treatment is included in late stage degeneration, there is an increased chance of lack of communication or being able to express wants and desires. It has been noted that once patients were introduced to the therapy at this stage by incorporating familiar music from their past and encouraging as much participation as within the patient’s capability.

Spreading the Word About Music Therapy

In 2008, Music and Memory was established as a solution to connect seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s to be able to have readily accessible playlists. They worked with caregiving facilities in New York to get iPads for seniors living with memory loss conditions. The results were outstanding and it proved to make a dramatic difference in the understanding and acceptance of the therapy. Then, in 2012, a documentary entitled Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory was released in America. The documentary detailed the improvements made by seniors, showing the work done by the organization that revolutionized access to this therapy. It acted as an educating tool and continues to foster a sense of acceptance and utilization of the music therapy benefits as part of a person’s memory care treatment.

References:

http://www.musictherapy.org/about/history/

https://www.alzfdn.org/EducationandCare/musictherapy.html

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.

Testimonials

I just want you to know that I feel very thankful for the facility and the staff. I have had people from out of town visit here, and the comment is always – I wish we had one in our town. Thanks.

- Ron Spangenberg

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