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About Senior Housing Forum
Senior Housing Forum exists to address issues and ideas that directly relate to the senior housing industry. It is published by Steve Moran a 30+ year senior housing veteran.

The following article was authored by Karen Austin

While teaching college English for 30 years, I thought I knew a great deal about the human mind. After all, I was teaching critical thinking. Entering the field of gerontology has brought me to a greater awareness of how the brain works. As people experience changes based on trauma, disease or even just the passing of time, we can see brain functions that we take for granted.

Because of my area of research and my blog, I frequently have friends and acquaintances ask me if a parent’s changing cognition is a sign of dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. I am not a neurologist, so I am not qualified to assess. I ask them to schedule an appointment with their parent’s general practitioner.

Nevertheless, I provide an overview of some of the many reasons why an aging parent might demonstrate a change in cognition.

Age-related Cognitive Changes. By the time people reach their 40s, they usually notice it’s harder to retrieve names with ease. As we age, we experience cognitive slowing. This makes it harder to multi-task, and it takes longer to retrieve information. We also think better with fewer distractions.

Mild Cognitive Impairment. This diagnosis emerged in the 1990s as a midpoint between normal age-related changes and dementia. People with MCI experience cognitive changes greater than their age and educational level; however, they can still perform day-to-day functions. Only 30% will progress to dementia over 10 years. The rest hold steady or return to former cognitive levels.

Delirium. Often rapid change in cognition is due to delirium, brought on by dehydration, infection, sleep deprivation or incorrect use of prescription medication. It’s important to get immediate medical attention to treat the underlying problem causing the mental confusion.

Hospital-induced psychosis. Many people suffering from the shock of a medical problem will have a dramatic change in cognition affecting memory. Infection or pain medication can cause or contribute to an altered mental state. The effects sometimes extend beyond the hospital stay, morphing into post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychological Disorders. Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are just a few of the psychological disorders that can affect a person’s attention, concentration, executive function and memory. Depression is particularly under diagnosed and under-treated among older adults.

Drug or Alcohol Abuse. If a younger person behaves oddly, people will too often assume drug or alcohol abuse when it could be something else. Too often older people are pronounced “senile” when the cause for their cognitive disorder could be substance abuse.

Strokes or TIAs. If the cognitive change is sudden, the underlying cause could be a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). The person needs immediate medical attention.

Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury. If a person has suffered a blow to the head from a fall or another type of accident, they might have a concussion. Or the injury could result in a traumatic brain injury, which is more serious.

Dementia. Yes, sometimes cognitive changes to signal the early stages of dementia from Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington Disease or another disease. It’s vital to get an assessment with a cognitive tool such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). A doctor might first administer a shorter test in the office before referring to a neurologist or another specialist for more extensive testing.

Most often, cognitive changes are age-related, and the adult child is overly concerned. Nevertheless, sometimes a more serious problem causes the change in mental functioning, which requires attention from a medical professional. Learn more about the causes listed above by consulting qualified sources on the Internet, in print or in person.

When you are dealing with family members of residents who have cognitive changes, how do you help them with this painful reality?

Karen Austin blogs about aging at The Generation Above Me

Presented with permission from Steve Moran -

Steve's Bio
I am the publisher of Senior Housing Forum. In the early 80's shortly after graduating from college I stumbled into the senior housing industry. I started by operating and later developing a number of small 15 bed buildings (I was young, foolish and not terribly successful). For the next 20 or so years I worked in and around the senior housing developing and operating CCRC's and freestanding single level of care communities.

I took a 10 year detour into high tech but found that senior housing was my first love.

I am currently an account manager for Vigil Health Solutions where we provide the finest emergency call systems for independent living, assisted living, skilled living and dementia units. (www.vigil.com)



Better Day Café Next Café is Sunday, July 28th, 2013 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Better Day Café Next Café is Sunday, July 28th, 2013 1:00pm to 3:00pm Create A Better Day Café will be held the 4th Sunday of each month from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Pleasantries Adult Day Services 195 Reservoir Street Marlborough, MA. Call Tammy for more information at 508-335-1968 --- http://alzheimercafes.blogspot.com/ Alzheimer's Cafes Worldwide Cafes come by a number of names, Memory Cafes, Alzheimer's Cafes, Dementia Cafes. In the UK many have been in existence for several years. Currently the concept is gaining momentum and hundreds of memory cafes sprouting up everywhere. The concept is to provide a social occasion, a meetup, for anyone with dementia / Alzheimer's, their care givers and family. They are informal and generally free. Activities vary. Support and funding depends on the host-provider and contributions. Ish's, Ishmael's, Knowledge Network blogs, web sites, groups

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Ten Questions To Ask When Choosing A Home Care Provider | Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

What is the background of your company?

Search out the history and ownership of the company. What type of license do they have? Find out who owns the company and weigh how the ownership affects the company’s service and reliability. Is this agency backed by a nationally strong firm? Is it reputable and in good standing? Is it involved in professional organizations?

2. How long has your company been in business?

The number of years an agency has been in business is not always pertinent to the quality of care given, but it does reflect on the stability and success of the company.

3. What qualifications, certifications, experience and training do you require of your workers?

read more
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc. Serving as a designated Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Main Office – Pinellas County, Florida20130221 DSC_0054 for web 9549 Koger Blvd. Gadsden Building, Suite 100 St Petersburg, FL 33702 Phone: (727) 570-9696 Helpline 1-800-963-5337 For inquiries from outside of the area call (727) 217-8111

Tender Book Teaches Children about Alzheimer’s Disease | Alzheimer's Speaks Blog

Alzheimer's Speaks Blog Trailblazing Teen Researcher
Wins Accolades for Best-Seller
Tender Book Teaches Children
about Alzheimer’s Disease

July 18, 2013, Boston, MA– At age five, Max Wallack learned to cope with his great-grandmother’s Alzheimer’s symptoms. Forgetfulness was the least of her problems: Max experienced her fears, episodes of irrational behavior, incontinence – even escape attempts. But Wallack didn’t just cope. He devoted himself to easing her suffering. By second grade, he had invented adaptive equipment to help her with mobility, and at age 12 he founded www.PuzzlesToRemember.org, a non-profit charity that distributes therapeutic puzzles at no cost to Alzheimer’s facilities worldwide.

Caregiver Partnership Agreement Program™ to organizations and care facilities that provide specialized care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Home - Remembering4you - Alzheimer’s Coaching:

Dr. Ethelle Lord, Remembering 4 You P. O. Box 193 Mapleton, ME 04757 Phone: (207) 764-1214
a unique Caregiver Partnership Agreement Program™ to organizations and care facilities that provide specialized care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In this program physicians, administrators, social workers, nursing staff, and families are trained and certified to work as a cohesive team known as Care Partners™ in a number of important areas such as instituting a care model versus the medical model to save about 50% in costs, speaking Alzheimer’s, adopting a seamless transfer method from home to long-term care, improved family communications, and many more.

Our perspective is that the medical model of care for Alzheimer’s and many dementias is not appropriate. Healthcare systems cannot continue to sustain in this way and change must begin with top decision makers. We must educate both family caregivers and professional caregivers in ways that will improve careDisclaimer: Remembering4You.com is NOT a medical website. It was developed to provide useful information for individuals and facilities who give care to individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. We do not have medical personnel on staff or on retainer to answer your questions. We do not make any medical referrals or offer a second opinion to an existing medical condition such as Alzheimer's, and we cannot offer replies to any specific case because every case is different. Instead, we hope that you will use the many links offered throughout the website to locate other sites of interest; utilize our contact page to share ideas and ask questions; send us your personal story for publication on our Stories section; and to sign up for our class offerings if you feel those classes are of interest to you or to your organization. Remembering 4 You reserves the right to refuse to post any story that may be objectionable and if photos are mailed to us, we are unable to return them to you.

The information on the World Wide Web comes from many sources and changes on a daily basis. Please note that it is possible to find errors and omissions in such information. To the best of its knowledge Remembering 4 You, contributors and sponsors to this website believe the information presented on this website is accurate and complete.
The goal at Remembering4You.com is to support and encourage caregivers all over the world, family caregivers and professional caregivers, in their quest to provide care for individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. It is our intent to create a safe place to meet and retreat together. We do not endorse any miracle cure or easy way to provide the care, but we do encourage visitors to our site to explore and challenge themselves whether it be through gathering information or taking a class. A link to an outside product or site should never be viewed as a recommendation or an endorsement of a particular product. Always consult your doctor first.
Note: Remembering 4 You believes you should always direct medical or health questions to your medical provider. and lower costs.

We can all learn something from your personal story. Please send your 1-2 pages personal story (with or without pictures) to: Dr. Ethelle Lord, P. O. Box 193, Mapleton, Me 04757 ---

Hospices Directory | Best Hospices | Caring.com

Hospices Directory | Best Hospices | Caring.com
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Hospice Program There are more than 3,100 hospices in this country and the hospice in your community can provide information and help you answer some of the difficult decisions that accomp...

What is Dementia? News-Medical.net article

What is Dementia?: Types of dementia

Dementia may be of 100 different types. Some of them include:

Alzheimer’s disease is where small clumps of protein, known as plaques, begin to develop around brain cells. This may lead to severe loss of memory over time.
Another type is vascular dementia where there are problems in the blood supply to the brain. The brain does not receive adequate oxygen.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is another form of dementia where small abnormal structures, known as Lewy bodies, develop inside the brain.
Frontotemporal dementia is said to occur when frontal and temporal lobes (two parts of the brain) start shrinking. This may occur in individuals under 65 years of age. It is much rarer than other types of dementia.

Dementia and other disorders

Sometimes dementia may be accompanied by other mental disorders like mood swings, anxiety and depression and confusion.

Many other illnesses can cause dementia. These may include viral infections such as HIV, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, chronic heavy alcohol intake, Huntington's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and normal pressure hydrocephalus, Multiple sclerosis and Motor neurone disease.
Prognosis or outlook of dementia

There is no cure for dementia. In most patients the symptoms worsen over time.


What is an Elder Law Attorney? | Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

What is an Elder Law Attorney? | Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.: What is an Elder Law Attorney?

Attorneys who work in the field of elder law bring more to their practice than an expertise in the appropriate area of law. They also have knowledge of the senior population and their unique needs as well as the myths related to competence and aging. They are aware of the physical and mental difficulties that often accompany the aging process. Because of their broad knowledge base they are able to more thoroughly address the legal needs of their clients.

For example, when planning an estate, an elder law attorney would take into consideration the health of the person or couple, the potential for nursing home care and the wishes and concerns of the person or couple if that event were to occur. If need arises, the elder law attorney will associate other legal experts.

Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall | Alzheimer's Reading Room: By +Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall

Print and tape to the wall. Follow the directions in the circle.

If you are like me, you probably felt like you could put everything you knew about Alzheimer's disease in a thimble the day you received the diagnosis.

And, if you are like me, you probably realized over time that you developed some skills over the course of your life that would help you to deal with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

With this in mind, you will need to learn how to engage in new and different kinds of communication while interacting with someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease in order to remain sane.

You can use some of the communication tools you developed over the course of your life that work; and then, you develop new communication tools that you use only while in Alzheimer's World.

A Dementia Book Every Family & Professional Needs

A Dementia Book Every Family & Professional Needs | Alzheimer's Speaks Blog: A Dementia Book
Every Family & Professional Needs

This book shows and explains to the reader what is happening and why. It answers the questions of what do we do now? It shows the reader how to interact with someone who has been diagnosed in a loving and respectful fashion. It teaches us not to loose our relationship to illness, but to adapt life to the imperfections we all have. Lori La Bey