Maybelle Carter Blog

Nashville Senior care volunteer

For seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, the pressure to remember things can be one of the greatest sources of stress. What can senior loved ones do to reduce this stress? Storytelling! Storytelling and Narrative therapy can be a process for replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.

How does it work?

Participants start with a silly photo and are guided through a process of creating a story about what is shown in the picture they’re given. This form of cognitive and behavioral therapy is thought to delay the progression of dementia. The process encourages communication with fellow residents, caregivers and family members.

“Laughter is contagious. Laughter is healing. And laughter can brighten the lives of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s,” said Joyce Vanderpool, one of the founders of The Creative Story Project. An Intergenerational Story Power program that pairs students in schools or youth organizations with residents of the senior community.

"We are able to take them into a care facility where they work with primarily dementia residents,” Vanderpool said. “It is a great experience for both the students and the residents. Sessions always include lots of laughter, hugs and invitations to return. And the students do return to visit their new friends and bring them love and hugs - and an enthusiasm for life that youth can provide.”

Written by: Meghan O’Dea

Friday, 27 May 2016 18:16

Ways Aging Can Impact the Body

It is difficult to prepare for all of the changes that impact your body as you age. Youth can give a false sense of confidence and lead to living life in a reckless way for some; others may live their entire life cautiously in order to avoid or prepare for the inevitable changes that will happen to the body later in life.

In a society that has seen a vast increase in obesity, more than a third of all adults are considered to be obese. Partially, this is due to an increase in sedentary lifestyles. The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study in 2011 which found a link in decreased life expectancy in people over 25 years of age who sat and watched TV. For every hour spent in front of the television, there was a 22 minutes deduction in overall life expectancy among these adults.

Being aware of these factors and how they impact future health is a start. However, being and staying physically active, and taking charge of overall health are key to the management of future well-being, according to the National Institute on Aging.Nashville elderly care

Here are a few major age-related changes that a majority of older adults will face, and how to prepare for them:

  1. Brain Function
    Issue: Age-related memory loss is common among seniors, but it is important to distinguish between normal forgetfulness and signs of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
    Solution: While there is no clear cause of Alzheimer’s that has been determined by scientists, they do believe that there are certain environmental and lifestyle factors, along with genetics and complex brain changes, that can affect people differently. For instance, the misuse of alcohol may increase brain damage risk, as well as negatively impact other parts of the body.
  2. Skin
    Issue: Overexposure to the sun throughout life can lead to many things, including age spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Also, people over age 50 who had chickenpox during their life may suffer from shingles. Other factors that impact the skin are toxins, stress, and dehydration.
    Solution: A good rule of thumb is to always protect the skin when it is exposed to sun, and be cognizant of dehydration. There is also a shingles vaccine available now to help boost the immune system against the virus.
  3. Bladder/Prostate
    Issue: Various forms of incontinence, the involuntary release of urine, are common in older people, particularly women. For men, the prostate gets larger with age, making it more difficult to release urine.
    Solution: While you should speak to your doctor about medicines available to help control incontinence, being proactive is also important. Drinking less caffeine and more water can help improve overall bladder health.
  4. Eyes/Ears
    Issue: Vision impairment issues and changes slowly begin to surface around the age of 40. You may notice that it is difficult or impossible to read small print without an aid such as reading glasses. Presbycusis is a hearing condition which causes a decline in ability to hear.
    Solution: While vision loss in seniors is inevitable, having annual eye exams can help detect early signs of eye disorders, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Quality of hearing can be improved with hearing aids, but being mindful of exposure to loud noises in younger years is also important.

Other age-related changes include: Balance issues, loss of teeth, bone and joint weakness, and digestive/metabolic system problems. These are just a few of the keys to help aging adults live a long, healthy life. Check with your doctor before making any changes that can affect your physical or mental health.

Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., the Former Director of the National Library of Medicine believes, “Good information is the best medicine for older adults. NIHSeniorHealth can help seniors find answers to their medical questions from the comfort of their own homes thanks to this new and innovative online resource and the Internet." 

To learn more, visit http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov.

Maybelle Carter has a range of services, from Independent Living to Memory Care, in order to fit the needs of each individual resident. To learn more about Maybelle Carter, call us at (844) 602-2602. 

Written by Kristen Camden

Published in Active Senior Living

Request Information