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Seasonal Affective Disorder in Seniors with Alzheimer’s

Friday, December 22nd, 2017 6:39:59 PM
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Activities, socialization, and resources from Alzheimer’s facilities can help seniors combat seasonal depression in Wichita, KS

The winter months bring about many new health concerns for seniors with Alzheimer’s, their families and caregivers. Perhaps a few that come to mind for you are fall risks, hypothermia, pneumonia, or the flu. A concern that many of us overlook is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In this article, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of SAD and suggest some treatments and activities from Alzheimer’s facilities.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is brought on by lack of sunlight during shorter winter days, lack of vitamin D, and disrupted sleep patterns. [Source] Many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are at risk of developing depression because of the on-going changes in their brains’ chemistries. SAD is a particular type depression and can present itself in seniors who are not diagnosed with clinical depression.

Signs & Symptoms

Family members and caregivers should be on the lookout for the indicators of SAD in their senior loved ones during the winter months. Feeling a bit blue during the winter months is a normal response to the end of the holiday season and darker winter days. However, if the following symptoms persist for more than a couple weeks, you should contact specialists at Alzheimer’s facilities or medical centers.

  • Depressed or irritable mood
  • Expressions of helplessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue or trouble sleeping

Recognizing the signs of depression in someone with dementia can be incredibly challenging. It is always best to report any concerns you may have to an Alzheimer’s professional right away.

Want to know more about depression and Alzheimer’s? Read our article: Differentiating Depression from Dementia

How Alzheimer’s Facilities Can Help

Mood changes, winter blues, and SAD can often be treated by lifestyle changes. Always talk with a doctor to receive an official diagnosis and treatment plan.

For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, mood changes and irritability can be confronted through activities, distractions, or a change of scenery. Alzheimer’s facilities in Wichita, KS, can provide family members with the resources and support they need to care for loved ones who have Alzheimer’s and depression such as seasonal affective disorder. Many Alzheimer’s facilities offer adult day care programs that occupy seniors for a few hours each day. This change of scenery can help lift your loved one’s mood.

Other ways to combat the winter blues include light exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and increasing intake of Vitamin D. The National Institutes for Health has identified elderly people as an at-risk group for vitamin D deficiency. Research shows that vitamin D plays an increasingly important role in physical and mental health. [Source] Talk to your loved one’s doctor before making any major dietary changes or introducing new medications into their regime.

Recognizing the signs of seasonal affective disorder and knowing how to make meaningful changes in your loved one’s daily routine can help you both keep your spirits up during the winter months. Many people notice changes in their loved ones over the holidays. If you think you’re senior loved one could benefit from specialized Alzheimer’s care, consider ComfortCare Homes in Wichita, KS. We provide residential memory care services for seniors in Wichita, KS, and the surrounding areas.

More Resources:

Holiday Blues – Depression among the Elderly

Season Affective Disorder (SAD) and Treatment Options

For more information about memory care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

Alzheimer’s Disease Support for Seniors, Caregivers, and Family in Wichita, KS

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 9:18:39 PM
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Local support groups help those with dementia and their loved ones receive support they need

Receiving an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is always a difficult thing. For the person with Alzheimer’s disease, this diagnosis can be unsettling. Together with their family and loved ones, navigating through the disease is emotionally and physically challenging. Family caregivers and even professional dementia care providers often deal with stress and depression when caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s.

The good news is that no matter what stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in or your role in their life, you are never alone. As researchers and organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, the better we are able to care for those people impacted by it. You should never feel ashamed of your feelings and after reading this article, perhaps consider utilizing local resources to find comfort and support.

Central and Western Kansas Support Groups

Our local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is a great resource for families, caregivers, and adults with Alzheimer’s disease. With monthly group meetings in town throughout Central and Western Kansas, in-person support groups are a good way to interact with others in situations similar to yours. For family caregivers, support groups can be a kind of social activity, allowing you to talk about your experiences and share insight.

Caregiver and grief-specific support groups, as well as peer-to-peer scheduled sessions, are also available.

For a complete list of Alzheimer’s Association Chapter support group, please click here!

Hotlines and 24 Hour Support

The demanding, and often unpredictable, schedule of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can make scheduled support groups unrealistic. For immediate support, 24/7 you can call the Alzheimer’s Association Hotline at (800) 272-3900. With trained professions who understand your situation, sometimes just having a listening ear can make a big difference.

Care and Support for Those with Alzheimer’s Disease

While an early-diagnosis is considered beneficial, the truth is that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. For adults under the age of 65 who receive an early-onset diagnosis or for seniors who are just beginning to experience symptoms, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating. Learning to accept to cope with the disease may be beneficial as the symptoms worsen.

Planning for the future can be helpful for many seniors who feel as though dementia takes away their control of their lives. Learning about memory care options, including adult day programs and long-term care facilities can be beneficial for families and their loved ones. This way, as the disease progresses, families can focus on one another rather than struggling to make care decisions.

To learn more about the memory care services and caregiver support offered by ComfortCare Homes in Wichita, KS, please contact our office today.

For more information about memory care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: Honoring Those Who Died, Caring for Surviving Veterans

Thursday, December 7th, 2017 7:45:11 PM
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Many senior veterans are eligible for assisted living benefits & financial aid

December 7th is observed annually in the U.S as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. This national day of remembrance allows us to honor the more than 2,000 American citizens who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Our nation is grateful for the brave men and women who lost their lives on this infamous day. [Source]

While Pearl Harbor Day honors specifically those in the military who were killed during the attack, it is natural to think of the veterans in our own lives on this day. You may feel grateful for their service and happy that they returned home safely after their service. If you have a senior loved one who is a veteran, you may also be concerned for their health and well-being as they age.

There are a variety of health and senior care benefits available for senior veterans and, often times, their surviving spouses. This type of assistance is meant to help senior veterans receive the care they have earned through their selfless service to our country. Assisted living facilities and providers can help you determine if your senior loved one is eligible for any veteran’s benefits.

Aid & Attendance Benefit to Pay for Assisted Living

The Aid & Attendance veterans benefit increases the monthly pension amount for qualified seniors. Some factors that determine eligibility include a need for financial income, whether or not the veteran was honorably discharged, need for care, and impact on quality of life. For complete information on eligibility and application information, visit the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs website by clicking here.

When the time comes to consider an assisted living facility for your senior loved one, veterans benefits like Aid & Attendance may be able to supplement costs. As you research assisted living facilities in Wichita, KS, ask if they accept these benefits. Often, senior care providers can refer clients to resources that help with the application process for veterans benefits. [Source]

Specialized Memory Care for Senior Veterans

If you have a senior loved one with memory care needs, due to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, consider ComfortCare Homes in Wichita, KS. Our assisted living homes provide comfortable care in a community setting. Please contact us to learn more!

For more information about memory care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

Testimonials

“This is the best place for people with memory problems that are advanced.  I am very comfortable leaving my mom in your care.  I don’t know how we could have made it through till now without you.  Now that my mom is at Founders Crest (ComfortCare’s newest Home), I believe there is no other place she could be more well taken care of.  Mama is treated as an inidvidual and not just any old lady.  Thankful!”

- Lisa Boorigie

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