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Facts About Aging and Alcohol

Alcohol may act differently in older people than in younger people. Some older people can feel “high” without increasing the amount of alcohol they drink. This “high” can make them more likely to have accidents, including falls and fractures and car crashes. Also, older women are more sensitive than men to the effects of alcohol.

Drinking too much alcohol over a long time can:

  • Lead to some kinds of cancer, liver damage, immune system disorders, and brain damage
  • Worsen some health conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, memory loss and mood disorders
  • Make some medical problems hard for doctors to find and treat—for example, alcohol causes changes in the heart and blood vessels. These changes can dull pain that might be a warning sign of a heart attack.
  • Cause some older people to be forgetful and confused—these symptoms could be mistaken for signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn more about how alcohol affects older women.

Arch Creek Senior Care Services, is a privately-owned company operated by a Registered Nurse, whom is
compassionate about providing care to seniors in the community. We Provide in home care in Aventura, Miami, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, North Miami Beach, Brickell, Coral Cables and surrounding areas.

Arch Creek Senior Care Services offers complete personal and home care services that allow seniors to maintain their dignity and independence, wherever they call home. We accept long term care insurance.

For FREE consultation call 305-944- 0663.

To learn more about the options for Alzeimer’s care, Miami-Dade, FL residents should visit

2065 NE 163 STREET MIAMI, FLORIDA 33162

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WAYS THAT CAREGIVERS CAN HANDLE CHANGE AND FACE THE NEW NORMAL

  BY CASSANDRA STURRUP MSN, RN RRT

I was in my late 50s when I began taking care of my parents, so our family dynamic was pretty established. We were a family of strong personalities. My Mom was the boss and controlled all the family matters. My Dad was patient, easy and outgoing and let her rule the roost. (305) 944 -0663

I, on the other hand, banged heads with my Mom on most things, and we didn’t have an easy relationship. Dad would wisely retreat to another room when the fireworks started.

When I jumped in to help take care of my Mom when she began demonstrating signs of dementia, and my Dad became exhausted by caring for her alone, I knew all hell would break loose. My Mom would give me a hard time and be inconsolable, and my Dad would go along for the ride.

My Mom did give me a hard time and my Dad did go along for the ride, and both of them reacted pretty much as I had expected.

The person I hadn’t figured into the equation was myself. I hadn’t considered the shock and confusion I would feel as my role shifted from child to parent and from being taken care of to being the caregiver.

When someone you depend on begins to depend on you, the world becomes topsy-turvy. Everyone gets their knickers in a twist. It’s confusing, heart-breaking and challenging.

I went from being overly controlling to panicking that I wasn’t up to the task. My parents wanted and needed the help but resisted it because it embarrassed and frightened them. It was a mess.

Soon I realized we had to find ways to adjust to all of this change. If I could calm down and get more balanced, they might be able to feel more comfortable, too.

I discovered a few tactics that soothed me and helped me lean into the new normal and even occasionally enjoy it. Let me share them with you.

Relax

When I didn’t try so hard, worry so much, do so much and try to fix everything at once, I felt more comfortable in my new caregiver role.

Trying to do the best I could on a daily basis, as opposed to trying to be perfect, made my job a little less scary. I constantly told myself to take it easy and keep it simple. Just by showing up I had it 80% covered. The universe would take care of the rest.

When I relaxed into my role and went with the flow, it seemed to make everyone less tense. I was able to respond in a gentler, calmer way to everything and everybody. We were more at ease.

Be Kind

Kindness is second to love and is a powerful healing force for all things. By being kind to both myself and my parents, I created an atmosphere of ease and understanding. Fear and frustration can’t play out or take hold when we are being kind to each other and to ourselves.

Speaking gently and with kindness in my tone of voice completely changed the outcome of the conversation from strained to enjoyable.

Small acts of kindness and compassion soothed even the most difficult activity. Treating myself as kindly as I would a friend prevented anger and frustration from building up.

Laugh

Keeping my sense of humor saved my sanity. My family loves to laugh, and I took every opportunity I had to see the funny side of things and position our situation as fun and funny.

I knew I was in trouble when I lost my sense of humor. It was a clear indicator I was headed for burnout. So I would do anything I could to make myself and those around me laugh.

I even had goofy cat and dog videos saved that made me smile, as well as movies my family loves. One of my most powerful prayers is “please help me see the humor in this!”

These simple strategies were not always easy to remember or simple to do, but when I pulled them out of my emotional toolbox I felt relief, encouragement, and hope. As time wore on and my new role started to feel more natural, I was able to show up in less of a panic.

Relaxing, being kind and laughing helped me get used to my new normal and all the changes that came with it. Be super kind to yourself as you work through all the transition caregiving will bring. The road will go smoother and the journey will unfold in amazing ways.

What is Alzheimer’s / Memory loss?

     BY CASSANDRA STURRUP (MSN,RN,RRT)

 


Alzheimer’s is a kind of dementia that is characterized with difficulties with memory, thinking and behavior. The symptoms usually progress and gets worse over time and becomes severe that it affects the individual activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation etc. Alzheimer’s can affect people younger than sixty-five years of age. In the United States, approximately 200,000 people have early onset of Alzheimer’s. This disease can affect any person regardless of their race, nationality, and gender.  Currently, treatment or medication for Alzheimer’s cannot cure or stop the progression of disease but it can slow down the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for the individual.


Alzheimer’s disease is characterized clinically by early memory impairment followed by language and perceptual problems.  This disease can affect anyone – it has no economic, social, racial or national barriers.  Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of daily living.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was first discovered in 1906 by a German doctor named Alois Alzheimer.  It is a disorder of the brain, causing damage to brain tissue over a period of time.  The disease can linger from 2 to 25 years before death results.  Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, debilitating and eventually fatal neurological illness affecting an estimated 4-5 million Americans.  It is the most common form of dementing illness.


Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people.


Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of daily living.


Causes

There is no one cause for Alzheimer’s disease.  AD may be sporadic or passed through the genetic make-up.  The disease causes gradual death of brain tissue due to biochemical problems inside individual brain cells.  The symptoms are progressive, but there is great variation in the rate of change from one person to another.  Although in the early stages of Alzheimer’s the victim may appear completely healthy, the damage is slowly destroying the brain cells.  The hidden process damages the brain in several ways:

  • Patches of brain cells degenerate (neuritic plaques)
  • Nerve endings that transmit messages become tangled (neurofibrillary tangles)
  • There is a reduction in acetylcholine, an important brain chemical (neurotransmitter)
  • Spaces in the brain (ventricles become larger and filled with granular fluid)
  • The size and shape of the brain alters – the cortex appears to shrink and decay

Understandably, as the brain continues to degenerate, there is a comparable loss in mental functioning.  Since the brain controls all of our bodily functions, an Alzheimer victim in the later stages will have difficulty walking, talking, swallowing and controlling bladder and bowel functions.  They become quite frail and prone to infections such as pneumonia.


Dementia vs. Normal Aging

As a person grows older, he/she worries that forgetting the phone number of a best friend must mean he/she is becoming demented or getting Alzheimer’s disease.  Forgetfulness due to aging or increased stress is not normal aging and is not dementia.

“Dementia” is an encompassing term for numerous forms of memory loss.  There are many types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multi-Infarct dementia or Parkinson’s disease.  When a person has dementia, he/she will lose the ability to think, reason and remember and will inevitable need assistance with everyday activities such as dressing and bathing.  Changes in personality, mood are also symptoms of dementia.  Many dementias are treatable and reversible.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of untreatable, irreversible dementia.


Alzheimer’s Disease – Stages of Progression

Alzheimer’s Disease can be characterized as having early, middle, and late stages through which the patient gradually overlap. Everyone progresses through these stages differently. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

First Stage: This is a very subtle stage usually not identified by either the impaired person or the family as the beginning signs of the disease.  Subtle changes in memory and language along with some confusion occur at this time. The family usually denies or excuses the performance deficiencies at this stage.

  • Forgetfulness/memory loss
  • Impaired judgment
  • Trouble with routines
  • Lessening of initiative
  • Disorientation of time and places
  • Depression
  • Fearfulness
  • Personality change
  • Apraxia (forgetting how to use tools and equipment)
  • Anomia (forgetting the right word or name of a person)

Second Stage: As Stage 1 moves onto Stage 2, there is usually a significant event which forces the family (and impaired person) to consider that something is wrong.  At this time, they usually go to a doctor to diagnose the problem.

  • Poor short-term memory
  • Wandering (searching for home)
  • Language difficulties
  • Increased disorientation
  • Social withdrawal
  • More spontaneity, fewer inhibitions
  • Agitation and restlessness, fidgeting, pacing
  • Developing inability to attach meaning to sensory perceptions: (taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing)
  • Inability to think abstractly
  • Severe sleep disturbances and/or sleepiness
  • Convulsive seizures may develop
  • Repetitive actions and speech
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

Third (Final Stage): This stage is the terminal stage and may last for months or years.  The individual will eventually need total personal care.  They may no longer be able to speak or recognize their closest relatives.

  • Little or no memory
  • Inability to recognize themselves in a mirror
  • No recognition of family or friends
  • Great difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty with coordinated movements
  • Becoming emaciated in spite of adequate diet
  • Complete loss of control of all body functions
  • Increased frailty
  • Complete dependence

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH DEMENTIA

Delusions

Suspiciousness: accusing others of stealing their belongings

People are “out to get them”

Fear that caregiver is going to abandon (results in AD person never leaving caregiver’s side)

Current living space is not “home”

Hallucinations

            Seeing or hearing people who are not present

Repetitive actions or questions

            They forget they asked the question

Will ask the same question repeatedly

Repetitive action such as wringing a towel

Repetitive looking for keys

Repetitive looking for purse or wallet

Wandering

            Pacing (walking back and forth)

Sundowning: at night patient appears confused, disoriented maybe trying to get “home” or look for a love one.

Generally feeling uncomfortable or restless increased agitation at night

 

Losing thing/Hiding things

            Simply do not remember where items are

Might hide things so that people don’t “steal” them

 

Inappropriate sexual behavior

            Person with Alzheimer’s loses social graces and is only doing what feels good

Agnosia: inability to recognize common people or objects

A wife of forty years will become a stranger to the person with AD, he might even think she is the hired help might not recognize a spatula or the purpose of the spatula and/or cannot verbalize the name or purpose of the object

Apraxia: loss of ability to perform purposeful motor movements

            Cannot tie a shoe or manipulate buttons on a shirt

 

Catastrophic reactions

(Causes) AD person often becomes excessively upset and can experience rapidly changing moods.  The person becomes overwhelmed due to factors such as too much noise, too many people around, unfamiliar environment, routine change, being asked too many questions, being approached from behind.

 

(Reactions) AD person may become angry, agitated, weepy, stubborn or physically violent.  It is best to attempt to avoid catastrophic reactions rather than dwell on how to handle them.

Alzheimer’s disease is referred to as a family disease, because the chronic stress of watching a friend or family member slowly decline affects everyone. Effective treatment for Alzheimer’s will address the needs of the entire family. Caregivers must focus on the needs of the patient and on their own needs.

 

The goal of a caregiver caring for a patient diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is to keep the patient safe. Through training, caregivers can learn how to manage challenging and disruptive behaviors, improve communication skills and keep the person with Alzheimer’s safe. Research shows that caregivers experience lower stress and better health when they learn skills through caregiver training and participate in a support group(s) (online or in person). Participation in these groups can allow caregivers to care for their loved one or patient at home longer. When you’re starting out as a caregiver, it’s hard to know where to begin. Perhaps you’ve only recently realized that the patient needs assistance and is no longer as self-sufficient as the patient was previously. Perhaps there has been a sudden change in the patient’s health.


HANDLING DISTURBING BEHAVIORS

One of the most difficult challenges for caregivers is how to handle some of the disturbing behaviors that Alzheimer’s can cause.  Symptoms such as delusion, hallucinations, angry outbursts, suspiciousness, failure to recognize familiar people and places are often the most upsetting behaviors for families.  The following points may help in responding to disturbing symptoms.

First, try to understand if there is a precipitating factor causing the behavior.  Were there household changes, too much noise or activity, was the daily routine upset?  Time of day can also affect behavior (Sundowning).  Being aware of these factors can help to better plan activities or anticipate

problems.

  1. Keep tasks, directions and routine simple without being condescending
  2. Reorient patient to name, time and place.
  3. Remain calm and speak in a calm, soft tone of voice
  4. Ask the person if they need assistance
  5. Always give the person plenty of time to respond and to complete a task
  6. Attempt to remain calm and remind yourself that the behavior is due to the disease
  7. Do not argue with the client
  8. Write down the answers to frequently asked questions, then remind them to look at the message
  9. Reduce environmental noise if the patient appears anxious or aggressive: television, radio, too many people talking
  10. Keep client in a calm environment
  11. Use distraction when unacceptable behavior starts: bring them into a different room, start talking about childhood or another favorite topic, show them magazines, ask them to help you do something like dusting or sweeping
  12. Provide relaxation techniques (radio, television, playing cards, card games, coloring etc.)
  13. Do not overreact or scold for problem behavior: redirect or distract in a soft tone
  14. Be reassuring with a soft tone of voice, soft touch, and eye contact
  15. Find the familiar items: favorite purse, favorite book, old pipe, favorite chair, family pictures
  16. Avoid denying hallucinations: try non-committal comments like, “You spoke with your mother, I miss my mother too”
  17. Be sure to inform physician of hallucinations, no matter how tame
  18. Restless behavior or pacing is usually unavoidable; however you can make the environment safe, remove unnecessary obstacles that may cause a fall, and keep an eye on the client
  19. Make sure the person is wearing identification on them
  20. Reassure the client you are there if they need assistance
  21. If they need to get up and move around or pace, don’t try to hold them back. Just stay close by to keep an eye on them

Resources for the caregiver and family members

For an Emergency Call 911

Please call Arch Creek Senior Care Services supervisor if you need assistance with the client at 305-944-0663

Florida Elder Abuse Hotline 1-800-96-Abuse (1-800-962-2873)

The TDD, Florida Reporting Adult Abuse (Device for the Deaf)  1-800-955-8770.

Miami Dade Elder Abuse Hotline 8a.m. to 5p.m. 305-418-7200

Alzheimer’s Association support groups 1-800-272-3900

Alzheimer’s Helpline 24/7 at 1-800-272-3900.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Website:  http://www.alzfdn.org

 

Florida Law requires that any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited shall immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline on the toll-free telephone number,

1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). The TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number for reporting adult abuse is 1-800-955-8770.


Servicing Miami, Aventura, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and surrounding areas.

For FREE consultation call 305-944- 0663

To learn more Miami-Dade, FL residents should visit

2065 NE 163 STREET MIAMI, FLORIDA 33162


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Senior In-home care

By Cassandra Sturrup MSN, RN, RRT (President)

In -home care services consist of assisting the client with non-medical care (personal care, bathing, grooming, dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, errands, companionship and supervision).


We assist our clients with the 6 Activities of daily living (ADL’s) which are bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, eating, and walking which determines an individual’s capacity for self-care. The severity of the client’s inability to perform ADL’s determines the level of care to be provided to the client.

Services are provided to clients whom wish to stay at home but may need some assistance to remain safe at home. Safety is our number one priority. We accept private pay and LongTerm Care Insurance.


Servicing Miami, Aventura, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and surrounding areas.

For FREE consultation call 305-944- 0663.

To learn more Miami-Dade, FL residents should visit

2065 NE 163 STREET MIAMI, FLORIDA 33162

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How Much Does Non-Medical Home Care Cost?

BY CASSANDRA STURRUP (MSN, RN, RRT) – PRESIDENT

Non-medical in-home care can be costly. As medicine advance, Americans are living longer. Believe it or not, the longer the individual live, the more likely they will need assistance with care. The healthiest people are often the ones that end up needing in-home care assistance later in life, whereas hypertension, heart problems or cancer may take the unhealthy ones sooner.


Most people would like to stay at home as they age. Family and friends will research how to keep their aging loved one at home as long as possible. Finding the resources and the right home health agency can be a challenge. This process can be overwhelming when the resources are limited. The most common question, we hear every day is, “How much does private duty senior home care cost? How much does live-in care cost? How much do you charge hourly? These are the most frequent questions asked by potential clients, family members and friends daily. The financial aspect of in-home care is vital in determining if in-home care is an option.


In-home care costs may vary depending on the level of care required, parking expenses and the location. We offer levels of care from companionship, errands, transportation, light housekeeping, to assistance with grooming, dressing, toileting, meal preparation, medication reminders and more.


Pricing for in-home care can range from $16 to $28 an hour. We provide a free in-home care consultation by a Registered Nurse and not a non-medical salesman. The Registered Nurse will develop and implement a care plan based on the care needs of the client. Arch Creek Senior Care Services will work with the senior within their budget to provide the best care possible within the budget.


We can provide a few hours of care per day, a few days per week, 24 hours of hourly care or a live-in caregiver. Our services provide a flexible resolution that delivers care only when our clients need care and helps keep home care services affordable.


Arch Creek Senior Care Services, is a privately-owned company operated by a Registered Nurse, whom is
compassionate about providing care to seniors in the community. We Provide in home care in Aventura, Miami, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, North Miami Beach, Brickell, Coral Cables and surrounding areas.

Arch Creek Senior Care Services offers complete personal and home care services that allow seniors to maintain their dignity and independence, wherever they call home. We accept long term care insurance.

For FREE consultation call 305-944- 0663.

To learn more about the options for Alzeimer’s care, Miami-Dade, FL residents should visit

2065 NE 163 STREET MIAMI, FLORIDA 33162


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER. E-mail us today

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Subject

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Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease by Cassandra Sturrup (msn, rn, rrt) – President

Cassandra Sturrup MSN, RN, RRT

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a gradually slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning. This loss memory will obstruct the individual activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, and continence). Symptoms of Alzheimer’s manifest themselves differently depending on the individual. As the symptoms of Alzheimer’s advances, the amount of care and supervision needed will increase. Often time the decision to hire outside assistance, can be frustrating to the family. It is vital to be prepared ahead of time by implementing an individualized plan of care with a licensed home health agency. The home health agency can make it possible to provide the patient with quality care while safeguarding the flexibility for future needs. In-home Alzheimer’s care by a home health agency is frequently the preferred choice because it allows the patient to receive assistance at home as the patient age and the disease progress.


Understanding the Needs of Alzheimer’s Patients

It is imperative first to realize the needs of a senior with Alzheimer’s before creating a plan of care. The care needs of the individual can vary depending on the severity of their condition and the level of care that is required to provide the best care possible. A person with a mild case of Alzheimer’s may forget names, words while speaking, events or names of familiar people. They may also lose the ability to plan, organize properly and complete a task. When the condition becomes moderate, confusion and memory loss become noticeable. They may need help in doing tasks such as meal preparation, bathing, grooming, and dressing. Sleep problems such as Sundowning (confusion and agitation that become worse in the late afternoon and evening) and inconsistency in their sleep pattern can become a common health issues. They may start to wander, so they should never be left alone. When Alzheimer’s become severe, the person usually require help with almost all their care needs and activities of daily living. They may be unable to communicate and recognize their close family members.


Benefits of In-Home Services

In home care from a home health care agency allows the patient to stay at home in a familiar environment that they know and understand. An individualized care plan and scheduled activities can help seniors avoid the anxiety and confusion of a new surrounding of a nursing home. Having a consistent and dedicated caregiver may ease the fear of feeling of helplessness. While at home, the patient may feel comfortable and build a positive relationships with their private caregiver that is dedicated in providing quality care.


Services Caregivers Offer to Alzheimer’s Patients

The types of services the senior receives depend on the severity of the condition. The most common types of services include companion services, personal services, and homemaker services. For minimum assistance, the caregiver can help with tasks such as bathing, dressing, medication reminders, basic personal hygiene assistance, light housekeeping, laundry, errands, transportation, and meal planning.   If the case is severe, many services can be available 24-hours a day, and a family can make these arrangements with the agency. The patient can have two or three caregivers every day working in shifts to offer consistent Alzheimer’s care.


Working with an Experienced Caregiver

It is important for families first to identify the needs of their loved ones to ensure a patient gets the appropriate assistance that is needed. Today, many families are dispersed all over the United States, making it difficult to depend on family for care needs. It can also be physically demanding to care for someone, and your family members may not be able to provide the help that is needed. Allowing an agency with a Registered Nurse on staff is essential so that the patient receives the tools and resources they need for optimal care. The Registered nurse will oversee the care of the client to make sure the client receives the best care possible. Keeping the lines of communication open is important and helps to improve the relationship between the nurse, caregiver and family. Solid communication also allows families to feel comfortable speaking up about the type of Alzheimer’s care that they expect from the home health care agency.
Home care is a great resource for family member needing respite care and seniors without family or friends available to provide care. A home care company can provide professional caregivers to offer companionship and non-medical in-home care.
Arch Creek Senior Care Services, a privately-owned company operated by a Registered Nurse, whom is
compassionate about providing care to seniors in the community. We Provide in home care in Aventura, Miami, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, North Miami Beach, Brickell, Coral Cables and surrounding areas. Arch Creek Senior Care Services offers complete personal and home care services that allow seniors to maintain their dignity and independence, wherever they call home. We accept long term care insurance.

For FREE consultation call 305-944- 0663.

To learn more about the options for Alzeimer’s care, Miami-Dade, FL residents should visit

2065 NE 163 STREET MIAMI, FLORIDA 33162

Understanding Alzheimer’s Patients

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