Life After a Loved One’s Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

Truemamaphotography-morningstar-5-4-70

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is devastating news for all.  Family members may quickly start experiencing feelings of grief as they recognize their life is about to be changed by the disease and are uneasy about what the future will hold.  Most are left with questions about what to expect next.  

As Alzheimer’s begins to take away the person we know and love, the Alzheimer’s Association explains that, “you'll mourn him or her and may experience the different phases of grieving: denial, anger, guilt, sadness and acceptance.”  They remind us that feelings of grief do not come in a specific order but rather we go in and out of the various stages.

Feelings of denial include unrealistically hoping the person is not ill or expecting them to get better.  Others try to convince themselves their loved one has not changed or try to normalize and make excuses for their behaviors.  Anger may include being frustrated with the person or feeling abandoned.  You may also experience feelings of resentment with the demands of caregiving and/or resent others who are not helping with care.   

Guilt includes having unrealistic thoughts about what you should have done or feeling guilty if you do not visit every day.  A spouse that is well and still able to enjoy life may feel guilty that their husband or wife is no longer able to do so.  Others may have negative feelings such as wishing the person would die or go away.  

The Alzheimer’s Association says you need to face both your positive as well as negative feelings.  They also say to be prepared to go through feelings of loss more than once as the disease progresses.  Remember your grief is a part of your journey, and if you need help, talk with someone about your feelings.  

At MorningStar of Happy Valley, our goal is to provide the best senior living in the area, which includes compassionate and loving memory care to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases.  Our memory care residents are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and spend each day in an atmosphere that celebrates and elevates their lives. Please visit our website for more information about our exceptional assisted living and senior living communities

MorningStar of Happy Valley proudly provides the very best in senior living with our unique mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.” With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we create a true home for residents amid a beautiful setting. Please contact us to learn more about the finest assisted living and memory care in Happy Valley.


Memory Care at MorningStar of Happy Valley

Morningstar-happy-valley-foyer-vertical

MorningStar of Happy Valley offers the greater Portland, OR area unsurpassed assisted living and memory care.  Along with 61 private assisted living suites, our Reflections Neighborhood has 27 secure suites devoted to caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.   MorningStar’s memory care revolves around comforting and caring for our most tender residents from the onset of the disease to the most advanced stages. 

As dementia care specialists, we understand how devastating it is when a loved one receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another memory loss disease, and we want you to know we are here to help.  Our memory care area is in a separate wing specifically designed to allow residents the freedom to explore their expansive surroundings safely and easily.  Within the safe haven of our “Neighborhood,” we have created an environment that encourages and supports residents’ independence whenever possible. 

Our holistic approach to memory care is designed to affirm the value of the person and to find ways to celebrate the smallest successes.  MorningStar leverages the power of dance, music, art, exercise, animals and aromatherapy in order to heal and comfort, and provides meaningful wellness programs and activities that engage our residents.  Also, as many adverse behaviors are often side effects from antipsychotic drugs, our goal is to have as few as possible of our residents on such drugs.

We recognize that the essence of the individual remains despite the extent of the memory loss, and that our job is to find ways to connect with and nurture it.  MorningStar’s philosophy and approach to this kind of supported living is encompassed under the breadth of possibilities we call “Lavender Sky.”  Thus, each day we strive to thoughtfully “enter, embrace and explore” the world of dementia.  Please visit our website to learn more about MorningStar Senior Living, our staff and the philosophy that guides our care.

MorningStar of Happy Valley’s mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior living communities. We have built a foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. Set in a warm, loving atmosphere with beautiful surroundings and resort-style amenities, we provide outstanding assisted living and memory care. 


Help Prevent Serious Health Hazards with Medication Management

MD-3449

Experts say medication management is an important preventive measure to avoid potential serious health hazards for seniors. As many older adults take multiple medications, vitamins, and supplements to treat different symptoms and health conditions, they are at a greater risk for medication mix-ups. Researchers estimate that 25 percent of people ages 65 to 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, a figure that jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79.  

Polypharmacy is the regular use of five or more prescription medications, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report approximately 350,000 people are hospitalized each year due to adverse, or harmful, drug events. While these episodes are usually preventable, doctors acknowledge it can be confusing keeping track of daily dosages and special instructions such as to take with or without food or the time of day, etc.

If an elderly parent or grandparent is taking several medications, healthcare providers say it is a good idea to inquire about their medication management. One sign they may not be organized is if they have medications stored in different locations throughout the house, and old, outdated prescriptions are mixed in with current ones. You can start by gathering all medications in one place, remember it is best to store them in a cool, dry location, and set aside any outdated medications for proper disposal. Write down the names of the drugs, dosages, and if they see several doctors, who prescribed them. Also, include herbal supplements, multi-vitamins and over-the-counter drugs. Bring the list to the next visit to their primary care physician and ask why mom or dad is taking it, how long they will be on it, and do any medications present a dangerous interaction with another drug they are on. 

MorningStar of Happy Valley is a beautiful senior living community offering assisted living and memory care.  From healthy daily meals to wellness programs and activities, we have a whole range of services and resort-style amenities to ensure residents’ comfort and wellbeing.  Our care services include care managers, access to licensed nurses, and medication care managers.  Please see our website for more information.

MorningStar of Happy Valley’s mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior living communities. We have built a foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. Set in a warm, loving atmosphere with beautiful surroundings and resort-style amenities, we provide outstanding assisted living and memory care

Source: cdc.gov/medicationsafety/adult_adversedrugevents.html


The Relationship Between Grandparents and Grandchildren

Senior_grandchildren

After studying the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, researchers have found it to be mutually beneficial for both parties. Additionally, since people are living longer, these relationships become even more important over time as a 2015 Boston College study reported. The data, collected over a 19-year period, “found that emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms for both.” 

The study’s authors said one of the advantages for older people close to their grandchildren is they are exposed to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Grandchildren benefit from the wisdom grandparents have gained over a lifetime, and can be more open to advice from grandparents than their own parents. Grandparents also have a lot to share regarding the family history, along with the history of our country and the world.  

Another study out of England examining the relationship of children between the ages of 11-16 found children with close relationships to their grandparents had fewer emotional and behavioral problems and fewer difficulties with peers. The bond appears to help lessen the emotional damage children can experience when parents separate or divorce. 

Moreover, as grandparents are typically not authoritarian figures in their grandchildren’s lives, they often act as confidants in situations where an older child might not wish to confide in a parent. Grandparents can be more objective than a parent and may have more time on their hands to really listen to their grandchildren. Another advantage to grandparenting is it gives a person purpose in their later years; however experts say to remember you are a role model for your grandchildren so make sure you are a good one.    

At MorningStar of Rio Rancho, our beautiful community was designed to meet residents' every need.  From healthy daily meals to wellness programs and activities, we have a whole range of services and resort-style amenities to ensure comfort and wellbeing.  Visit our website to see what sets us apart from other seniors living in Rio Rancho, NM and why our residents are happy to call MorningStar “home.”

MorningStar of Rio Rancho provides the very best in assisted living and memory care with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve to create an atmosphere that promotes a healthy, engaged lifestyle.  Please contact us to learn more about the finest senior living in Rio Rancho, NM.

Source: 

bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2015/12/13/close-grandparent-grandchild-relationships-have-healthy-benefits/kxL8AnugpVBKknDuzHZDKO/story.html   


Senior Living Can Help Maintain Your Independence

MorningStar Happy Valley-AL courtyard

If you live alone, no longer drive, have problems with mobility, and feel like you would welcome more social interaction into your life, please consider community living. Homes like MorningStar of Happy Valley provide residents with all of the services, amenities and wellness programs to help them safely age in place. Moreover as one of our cherished residents, you get peace of mind knowing help is at hand whenever you need it. 

Right from the ground up, our home is set apart from other senior living communities as we were designed by the award-winning senior interior specialist, Thoma-Holec Design. We offer gorgeously-appointed common areas including all-day, restaurant-style dining, a 24-hour bistro, fitness and wellness center, life enrichment room, spa, massage/therapy room, salon, theatre/chapel and more. Situated on a 2-acre campus, we also showcase expansive outdoor amenities such as courtyards featuring artwork and trellises, barbecue and fire pit and strolling paths. 

Too often seniors assume assisted living means an end to their independence but studies actually show the opposite is true. When older adults get the daily personal care they need, it helps to restore their confidence and frees them up to move forward with living life to the fullest. In addition to extensive support services, wellness programs and activities, and a wide range of amenities, our contemporary suites are ready to move-in to and just require your furnishings and personal items. For your safety and wellbeing, each suite is equipped with handicap-accessible bathrooms and emergency call systems. 

The MorningStar of Happy Valley senior living community offers 61 assisted living suites and another 27 secure suites devoted to the individualized care of residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. We invite you to visit our website for more information about the area’s most trusted assisted living and memory care and to learn more about what sets MorningStar apart from other senior living communities.