"There are no wards, long hallways, or corridors at the facility. Residents live in groups of six or seven to a house, with one or two caretakers. Perhaps the most unique element of the facility—apart from the stealthy “gardener” caretakers—is its approach toward housing. Hogeway features 23 uniquely stylized homes, furnished around the time period when residents’ short-term memories stopped properly functioning. There are homes resembling the 1950s, 1970s, and 2000s, accurate down to the tablecloths, because it helps residents feel as if they’re home. Residents are cared for by 250 full- and part-time geriatric nurses and specialists, who wander the town and hold a myriad of occupations in the village, like cashiers, grocery-store attendees, and post-office clerks. Finances are often one of the trickier life skills for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients to retain, which is why Hogewey takes it out of the equation; everything is included with the family’s payment plan, and there is no currency exchanged within the confines of the village."
There are no clear cut answers whether Alzheimer’s and dementia can be prevented. More large scale studies need to be done and promising research is in the works. But these habits certainly cannot hurt and can improve your quality of life in general.
Stay physically active.
Get some sun to keep Vitamin D levels up.
Control alcohol intake.
Keep your brain exercised.
Keep track of blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.
Try to stay away from cold places. Changes in the body that come with aging can make it harder for older adults to be aware of getting cold.
Check the weather forecasts for windy and cold weather. Try to stay inside or in a warm place on cold and windy days. If you have to go out, wear warm clothes including a hat and gloves. A waterproof coat can help you stay warm if it's cold and snowy.
Wear several layers of loose clothing when it's cold. The layers will trap warm air between them. Don't wear tight clothing because it can keep your blood from flowing freely. This can lead to loss of body heat.
Ask your doctor how the medicines you are taking affect body heat. Some medicines used by older people can increase the risk of accidental hypothermia. These include drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, or nausea. Some over-the-counter cold remedies can also cause problems.
Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don't eat well, you might have less fat under your skin. Body fat helps you to stay warm.
This time of year is a special time for all. With the anticipation of more snow days and the excitement surrounding the holidays, your mind can be consumed. The last thing on your mind is the people in your life who might not have anyone to share this special time of year with anyone. Sometimes the greatest gift that you can give someone is your time. We normally talk about physical proactive steps that you can take to protect the elderly in your life, such as climate control and activity planning, but this month we want to focus on a more emotional approach.
By Linda Lauzon
Handwashing is like a "do-it-yourself" vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illnesses so you can stay healthy. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It's quick, it's simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.