Avoiding Financial Planning Mistakes

avoiding financial planning mistakesMost people look forward to their retirement years. After a lifetime in the workforce, it’s exciting to think about the endless possibilities and opportunities available to you when you no longer have to report to the office every day. However, being properly prepared financially for the changes retirement brings to your lifestyle is vital, and some seniors make financial planning mistakes that can be easily avoided.

Common Financial Mistakes Seniors Make after Retirement

Successful financial planning requires making some decisions and commitments you need to consciously stick to as you prepare for retirement. Seniors can often get confused by some of the complicated rules involved in their investments, and some of these mistakes made can have a catastrophic result on your retirement savings. Knowing some of the common financial mistakes made by seniors allows you to stay informed and keeps your nest egg intact. Here are a few to be aware of:

  • Deciding to retire with little preparation. Many seniors will designate a target retirement age and as soon as they hit that age, they leave the workforce whether they’re truly financially ready or not.
  • Getting behind in retirement savings- and giving up. Life can easily get in the way of our retirement savings goals. It’s difficult to save money in our younger years as we pay down college loans, buy a home and start a family. People don’t realize that every small step counts towards your savings, whether it’s increasing your contribution to your 401k by 1% or stocking away half of any raise you receive throughout your career.
  • Not changing your lifestyle. Upon retirement, your budget will need to be adjusted to your new lifestyle. Some of the more frivolous expenses will need to be limited, like going out to dinner frequently or purchasing clothes. Plus, seniors need to remember to take healthcare and long term care costs into consideration.
  • Taking Social Security benefits too early. Just because you are eligible for Social Security at age 62 doesn’t mean you should jump to apply. Taking benefits before the full retirement age of 66 means you’ll receive 25% less than you would have if you’d waited.
  • Neglecting to downsize your home. The cost to maintain a large home continues to increase, even if your mortgage is paid for. A smart decision is to choose to downsize your home or move into a senior living community, where you can cut costs and have the peace of mind that your future healthcare needs will be provided for.
  • Falling prey to senior scams. Scammers often target seniors, preying on their desire to quickly grow their retirement savings. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Continuing to support adult children. It can be tricky to not help out family members if they are in need, especially your own children. However, working adult children are more easily able to recover from their own financial difficulties and rebuild their savings. If you’ve retired, avoid giving out large sums of money that could deplete your retirement savings.

Financial Advice for Seniors to Keep in Mind

It’s important to remember to plan for the long term to ensure a secure financial future. It might be difficult to delay some of the instant gratification we get from purchasing that new car or buying all new kitchen appliances, but it’s important to remember you’re simply delaying that gratification to be able to fully enjoy your retirement years.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Managing Dementia Sleep Problems

dementia sleep problemsOur internal biological clocks begin to change as we grow older. Many seniors may have difficulty sleeping through the night, or find themselves napping more often throughout the day. However, these sleep problems are more pronounced in an elderly person with dementia. While sleep problems can occur at any stage of the disease, they seem to be more common in the later stages.

Dementia and Sleep Disturbances

It’s not entirely known why dementia causes such disruptions in sleep patterns. However, it’s thought that like the changes that occur with memory and behavior, sleeping habits also change due to the effect dementia has on the brain. Sundowner’s Syndrome is the term used to describe the confusion and agitation that can set in at dusk and continue throughout the evening hours for dementia sufferers. Some of the other changes and problems dementia can cause in sleep include:

  • Shifts in the sleep-wake cycle. Dementia sufferers may feel drowsy throughout the day and take frequent naps, which leads to being unable to fall asleep at night. Some may even experience a complete reversal in the sleep-wake cycle, feeling wakeful only throughout the nighttime hours. Studies have shown that those with dementia will spend about 40% of their time in bed at night wide awake and take naps throughout the day.
  • Trouble staying asleep. Once in bed, those with dementia may fall asleep but are unable to stay asleep. Or, they make wake up often and simply stay awake, unable to lie still and get the rest they need.
  • Nighttime wandering. When dementia sufferers wake in the night, it’s common for them to become confused, agitated, and unsure of what time it actually is. They may get up out of bed and leave their room, or even yell out and disrupt others around them.

Helping Loved Ones with Dementia get a Good Night’s Sleep

When you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, the disturbances in their nightly sleep patterns can take a toll on your health, too. However, it’s important for you to stay calm and remember that their behaviors aren’t deliberate. First and foremost, attend to their needs, remind them that it’s nighttime and try to guide your loved one back to bed.

There are a few other things you can do to try to lessen any dementia sleep problems that may be occurring, including:

  • Plan activities throughout the day. Keep your loved one as active as possible during the day; go on a walk, have them help with household tasks, and keep their minds busy, too. Avoid evening physical activities, however, as this could stimulate them near bedtime.
  • Provide a comfortable environment for sleeping. The room should be kept at a temperature that is neither too warm nor too cool, and the bed should be comfortable and supportive. Install a nightlight in the bedroom, too, in case they awaken in the middle of the night. Being in total darkness can cause confusion.
  • Seek sunlight in the morning. Being exposed to morning light, whether real or artificial, can help restore the circadian rhythm often disrupted by dementia and help reset internal clocks.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. The caffeine in soda, coffee and tea can contribute to sleeplessness, so be sure to avoid any products with caffeine later in the day. As alcohol can enhance confusion, try to avoid any alcoholic beverages, too.
  • Limit noise and distractions in the evening. Provide a quiet environment towards the evening; discourage television watching and instead play soft music to get your loved one to relax.
  • Manage medications. Some medications can have an effect on sleeping patterns, so talk to the doctor and find out when is the best time to administer certain medications. Sleeping pills are generally discouraged for dementia sufferers, as these can increase confusion and the risk for falls.

Establish a nighttime routine that includes using the restroom, getting into comfortable bedclothes, turning on the nightlight, a favorite blanket, etc. This will help your loved one stay calm and relaxed as the evening approaches, allowing for the best night’s sleep possible.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

How to Celebrate Earth Day 2016

earth day 2016Every year on April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. What began as a political movement in 1970 where Americans took to the streets all across the country to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment has now turned into the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by over a billion people in over 192 countries.

What is Earth Day?

2016 marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day and when the movement for a better, cleaner environment began. Earth Day today is a special day all about enjoying our beautiful planet and how we can take good care of it for future generations to come. To celebrate Earth Day, you can take some small steps to better our planet simply by learning more about the area in which you live and start making some commitments to address any environmental issues.

A few easy ways to celebrate Earth Day 2016 include:

  • Take a walk outside and pick up litter.
  • Start a recycling station in your home or office.
  • Carpool or use public transportation.
  • Install energy efficient light bulbs throughout your home.
  • Create a garden, indoors or outdoors.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Recycle any e-waste: old computers, cell phones, appliances, etc.
  • Invest in a solar-powered charger for your phone or laptop.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors- go for a hike, nature walk, bike ride, picnic, etc.

2016 Earth Day Activities in Indianapolis

Along with the personal ways you can celebrate Earth Day outlined above, Earth Day in Indianapolis is also celebrated in a pretty big way! Earth Day Indiana hosts a festival with over 100 exhibitors who all promote environmental protection, sustainability and resource conservation.

This year, the Earth Day Indiana Festival will be held on Saturday, April 23rd at Military Park in Indianapolis. It starts all 11 o’clock in the morning and will feature lots of great music, amazing locally raised and produced foods from some of the area’s best restaurants and food trucks, and a children’s tent with tons of hands-on activities and performances.

You can also take part in the 5K run or one mile walk that day. The 5K run starts at noon from the west side of Military Park along Blackford, with the casual one mile walk starting shortly after.

If you’re looking for other ways to celebrate Earth Day in Indianapolis, consider taking a walk in one of our beautiful national parks or visit one of the many nature centers in the area. Most of these places will have specific events and Earth Day activities planned, too.

Earth Day’s importance continues today. In addition to enjoying the various events and activities throughout the area, it’s also important that we commit to promoting a better environment year-round for future generations.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

The Importance of Strong Hands

hand exercises for seniorsMany of us deal with age-related changes in regards to our bodies as we age. Our bones and muscles can weaken, making performing and completing simple daily tasks challenging. Osteoporosis or arthritis can set in, which can make lifting objects, getting up out of a chair, and even just walking a short distance painful. This is just one of the reasons why staying active as you age is so vital to your overall quality of life.

One age-related issue you might not have considered before is the loss of hand strength. After the age of 65, it’s common for hand function in both men and women to begin to decrease, due to degenerative changes in our musculoskeletal, vascular, and nervous systems like the aforementioned osteoporosis, arthritis or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Our hands are the most active part of our upper bodies and hand grip strength is so important in our daily lives. Without strong hands, it’s difficult to lift a bag of groceries, pinch a key and insert it into a lock, pick up a coffee cup, wash dishes, and so on.

Hand Strengthening Exercises for Seniors

Adding some hand strengthening exercises into your daily stretching routine is a great way to keep your hands and grip strong in your later years. You should focus on hand exercises that will improve three types of grip strength: crushing, pinching, and supporting.

Here are a few easy hand exercises for seniors to start including in your workout on a daily basis:

  • Squeezes: Use a ball that will fit into the palm of your hand, like a tennis ball or stress ball. Wrap your fingers around it and squeeze as tight as you can, holding it for about 3-5 seconds. This will help improve your grip and ability to open jars or hold on to heavier items, like a big purse.
  • Presses: Press your thumb to your fifth finger and hold for 5 seconds or so then move to the fourth fingertip, third, and so on. This will strengthen muscles in your fingers and palm, making it easier to put on jewelry or hold on to small objects like pens.
  • Pick it up: Practice picking up a relatively heavy object and hold it for several seconds to improve your supporting grip. You can use a weight or even a household item like a thick book or gallon of water. Hold the item and walk across the room, varying the sizes and weight of the objects to see more results.
  • Stretch it out: You can use a simple rubber band to strengthen finger extensors; simply wrap the rubber band around your fingers and thumbs, then push out against the band’s resistance. Do three sets of these hand strengthening exercises with 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Wrist rolls: Strengthen your wrist flexors to improve range of motion and increase your hand, wrist and finger strength. This exercise can be done standing or sitting; simply hold a light weight with you elbow bent and your palm facing up, curling your wrist upward while keeping your elbow and forearm steady. Do 3 sets of 10 for maximum results.

As always, before starting any new workout regimen you should consult your doctor. Hand exercises for seniors are a great element to add to your daily workout routine.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Common Infections in Today’s Seniors

Common Infections in the ElderlyAs a caregiver, you want your aging loved one to live life to the fullest, staying healthy, happy, and enjoying every day. This is why it’s so vital that you’re aware of some of the most common infections in the elderly so you can watch for the symptoms and warning signs of these conditions.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), infectious diseases account for up to one third of all deaths in those aged 65 or older. One of the difficulties about infections in the elderly is that many of the signs and symptoms are different or may not be as pronounced as they would be in a younger person, and they are also more difficult to diagnose; seniors often won’t complain about actually feeling ill, and any complaints they do have can tend to be more non-specific in nature.

Add in the fact that seniors living in a community setting can be even more susceptible to some infections, and you can see why learning about these infections is so important.

6 Common Infections in the Elderly

These are the 6 most common infections in the elderly that all caregivers should be aware of:

  • Elderly Influenza. Elderly influenza, commonly known simply as the flu, can be widespread in senior living and assisted living communities since it is spread through coughing, sneezing and touch. The elderly often have weakened immune systems, which makes them more susceptible and increases their risk of complications from it.
  • Respiratory infections. The same weakened immune systems that result in the flu can easily lead to respiratory infections in seniors. While these types of illnesses aren’t a major worry to the general population, in the elderly they can lead to more serious infections like the flu or pneumonia.
  • Pneumonia. Pneumonia in the elderly is also very common; in fact, the AAFP states that more than 60% of seniors over the age of 65 get admitted to the hospital due to pneumonia. Like the flu, a community setting increases seniors’ exposure to pneumonia, and they’re also more susceptible due to changes in lung capacity or from other conditions like diabetes or cardiopulmonary disease.
  • Urinary tract infections. UTIs are reported to be the most common bacterial infection in the elderly. Seniors often don’t feel the usual pain or discomfort that comes along with this condition, so be on the lookout for changes in behavior, like confusion or issues with urinary incontinence.
  • Skin infections. Due to the way our skin changes as we age, it’s common for seniors to contract skin infections like cellulites, bacterial or fungal foot infections, shingles, and pressure ulcers. Good hygiene can aid in warding off these types of infections and treatments are readily available, so be alert if your loved one appears to be in any discomfort.
  • Gastrointestinal infections. Gastroenteritis is another common ailment among seniors, and it can be bacterial, viral or parasitic in nature. This means it can also be spread around an assisted living community fairly quickly. Changes in digestion and gastrointestinal flora come with age, too, and can put the elderly at an increased risk for infections like Helicobacter pylori and Clostridium difficile.

Knowing these common infections in the elderly can help you be more prepared as a caregiver to ensure your aging loved ones are staying as healthy as possible.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Long-Term Side Effects of Diabetes

side effects of diabetesWhen you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. If you aren’t taking some proper precautions by making certain lifestyle adjustments, the high amount of sugar in your blood can cause certain problems and complications throughout the body.

Long-Term Complications of Diabetes

The most common long-term side effects of diabetes include complications that can harm your eyes, feet, nerves, kidneys, heart, blood vessels and brain. Without proper treatment, these complications can become serious and even life-threatening. These complications start out gradually, so it’s important to know what these side effects are so you can be properly prepared.

Some of the long-term side effects of diabetes include these types of complications:

  • Eyes: Diabetes can cause trouble with vision as it damages the blood vessels of the retina, so if you’re experiencing blurred or spotty vision, watery eyes or even vision loss, see your doctor right away. It’s common for people with diabetes to get cataracts, glaucoma, or even go blind.
  • Nerves: All the nerve endings in your body can be affected by high blood sugars, leading to tingling, numbness, or burning pain throughout your limbs. You may also have diabetic neuropathy, which is a disorder of the nervous system due to nerve damage.
  • Feet and skin: The nerve damage associated with diabetes can also lead to other complications, especially in your feet and skin. Sores and infections may take a longer time to heal, and you could lose feeling altogether in your feet.
  • Digestion: It’s common to have difficulty digesting food when you have diabetes; or you could have troubles with your bowels.
  • Blood pressure: Often, a long-term side effect of diabetes is high blood pressure and trouble controlling your blood pressure. This can make it more difficult for blood to flow properly to your legs and feet.
  • Kidneys: High blood pressure or protein in your urine can lead to damage in your kidneys or kidney disease. If you notice swelling in your hands, feet or face, these could be symptoms of a problem with your kidneys.
  • Heart and brain: Diabetes increases your risk for heart disease and strokes, and can even increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Taking Control of Your Diabetes for a Healthy Life

Managing your diabetes is possible, provided you’re keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a healthy range. You’ll need to check your blood sugar daily and make adjustments to your lifestyle, like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and properly managing your diabetes medications. If you’re a smoker, it’s time to quit the habit, as smoking can worsen many long-term complications of diabetes. Check your feet often and wear the right kinds of socks and shoes to prevent damage to your feet.

Make sure you’re seeing your doctor often; it’s recommended you see a health care provider every three months to ensure your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, nerves, kidneys and eyes are all in good condition.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Reasons to De-Clutter Your Home NOW

Cheerful senior couple moving into new home smiling at cameraThroughout our lives, our homes become filled with belongings and treasured items full of memories. We accumulate “stuff” everywhere, and sometimes find it very difficult to part with any of it. You probably have storage spaces or rooms in your home filled with things like holiday decorations, your children’s belongings, maybe some out of date clothing and accessories, etc. It might seem impossible to let go of any of these items, but there are actually some very valid reasons for paring down some of that clutter- and sooner rather than later.

De-Cluttering for Seniors101

If you’re still in your current home and are finding that you’re becoming more and more overwhelmed by your belongings, starting the de-cluttering process now is definitely a good idea. Some of the reasons you should consider getting your home cleared out and organized include:

  • Planning on downsizing your home in the near future. De-cluttering is an important step when you’re considering downsizing your home. After the kids have moved out and you find that your current home just has too much space or has become difficult to maintain, downsizing is a great option for seniors. However, downsizing also means you’ll likely have less storage space, which means making smart decisions about keeping the items most important to you.
  • Reduce your stress levels. Studies have shown that clutter can have a negative effect on our mental health; you’re spending too much time focusing on excessive stimuli that aren’t important to your life, which can raise your stress levels.
  • Have more space for important events or activities. Perhaps you’d like to have the family over for holidays, or allow your grandchildren to spend the weekend at your home. If there’s clutter throughout your dining room, or your extra bedroom better resembles a storage locker, you’ll have a hard time finding the space to host these types of activities.
  • Decrease the risk for an injury. Extra clutter can actually be dangerous! Boxes or items lining your hallways or staircases can easily cause a fall which often leads to a debilitating injury in a senior.
  • Improve your health. The belongings you don’t use on a daily basis are most likely gathering dust in a closet or attic, and this can lead to a decline in health. Allergens from dust, dust mites, pollen and mold can collect in infrequently used items quite easily, and getting rid of them will help improve not only the air quality in your home, but your overall health, too!
  • Leave loved ones less responsibility. You might be hanging onto items because you believe family members willwant them after you’re gone. This is entirely true, but instead of leaving a house full of items for them to inherit and subsequently have to go through on their own, wouldn’t it be better to start designating items to them now, when you can also share the memories together?

Home Organization Tips for Seniors

De-cluttering is not an easy process, but it’s certainly an important task to tackle. Remember to start small and find a method that works for you. Don’t think you’ll be able to get the entire home organized in just a few hours, or even a few days! Get loved ones to help and get to work on the biggest problem areas in the home first, like the attic or basement.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

April is Occupational Therapy Month

occupational therapy monthOccupational therapy allows people who have suffered from a physical or cognitive injury to return to the highest level of independence possible. This form of therapy helps people of all ages re-learn how to complete tasks of daily living and make the proper adaptations to live healthier, fuller lives.

The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) started Occupational Therapy Month back in 1980 as a way to get the word out about how occupational therapists help change people’s lives for the better. The AOTA’s Annual Conference and Expo is also held during the month of April, where approximately 10,000 occupational therapy practitioners and students gather for over 1,000 educational sessions, inspiring speeches and discussions, and networking opportunities.

The Importance of Occupational Therapy for Seniors

The role occupational therapy plays for seniors as part of a rehabilitation program is a vital one. Over one-third of occupational therapists work with seniors after they’ve been affected by an illness, injury or mental health condition, and they take a unique stance on senior rehabilitation by focusing on what the person can do, rather than what they can’t.

Occupational therapists work with seniors in a variety of ways, whether they provide therapy in a skilled nursing center or assisted living community, or even in the comfort of the patient’s home. Some of the reasons seniors need geriatric occupational therapy include:

  • Fall recovery and prevention. Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors; nearly 1 out of 3 adults over the age of 65 will sustain an injury from a fall, usually in the form of a broken bone or hip. Occupational therapists help seniors recover from a fall and can teach them how to avoid one in the future, through medication management, strengthening and balance exercises and more.
  • Managing chronic conditions. Occupational therapy for seniors can also help teach ways to manage some of the age-related aches or difficulties that come with chronic conditions like osteoporosis or complications from diabetes. The occupational therapist will teach seniors self-management techniques so they can be in charge of their condition and living life to the fullest.
  • Provide a safer home environment. Occupational therapists will visit the senior’s home if they are planning on living independently after rehabilitation. They’ll know the proper modifications needed to ensure the home is safe and reduce the risk of a future injury.
  • Providing support for memory decline. If a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, occupational therapy can help determine how much support they’ll need by determining their strengths and level of impairment. They’ll also provide education and support for family members and caregivers so they’re aware of the future implications.
  • Stroke rehabilitation. Due to the way stroke can affect physical abilities, survivors may have trouble performing daily living activities, like bathing, dressing and eating. Occupational therapy helps survivors learn how to adapt and engage in these activities again by evaluating skills and strengths.
  • Promoting better overall health and wellness. The goal of any rehabilitation program is to return the senior to the highest quality of life possible. Occupational therapy plays an important role in that process, and can have a positive effect on overall mental health and life satisfaction.

American Senior Communities offers occupational therapy as part of our Moving Forward Rehabilitation program, along with physical therapy and speech/language therapy. Let us help you move forward and get back to the life you want to live!

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Social Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living

social activities for seniors in assisted livingThere are many reasons to consider moving to an assisted living community as your healthcare needs begin to change. Taking the caregiving burden off family members, for one, is a very important way to maintain positive relationships with loved ones. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll get the assistance you need with any daily life tasks while still maintaining the level of independence you desire.

Another great reason to consider an assisted living community is all of the great opportunities for social interaction with other residents and the staff. Studies have shown that staying socially active provides numerous benefits to seniors and can be as important as staying physically active. Seniors who have an active and engaged social life tend to be healthier than isolated seniors, with reduced risks for chronic conditions like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Socially active seniors also have less risk for depression and have sharper minds.

Social Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living

There’s no shortage of social activities for seniors in assisted living! Most communities make social events and activities a priority, and offer a wide range of ways to keep residents engaged with others in the community.

Some of the ways seniors can stay socially active in their assisted living communities include:

  • Scheduled events. Seniors will find a whole new world through the assisted living events and activities scheduled weekly. Everything from movie nights and theme or holiday parties, to scheduled outings to the theater or shopping will keep residents busy and engaged in life.
  • Fitness classes. Because staying physically active is also critical as we age, many assisted living communities offer a variety of fitness classes or programs to improve residents’ health and well-being. Everything from senior yoga or tai chi classes, to working out with others in the community gym can not only keep you physically healthy, but socially active, too!
  • Lifelong learning opportunities. The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” does not apply at today’s assisted living communities. Many communities offer opportunities for residents to stay intellectually stimulated, through guest speaking engagements, art and music classes or book clubs and discussion groups.
  • Communal dining. Seniors who eat in a group setting generally have better nutrition habits than those who are isolated in their homes. Residents in assisted living communities don’t need to worry about cooking large, healthy meals for themselves, as most communities offer three nutritious meals a day served in a beautiful dining room.
  • Visits from family members. Moving to assisted living doesn’t mean you’ll never see your family members again! Families are encouraged to visit often, and are usually welcome to join in on many of the scheduled social events and activities. Or, your loved ones can join you for dinner to interact with you and the other residents.

When you’re looking for an assisted living community, choosing one that offers various interesting social activities is vital to improve your overall quality of life. It’s important to develop and nurture the relationships you build with other residents and the staff to stay engaged in your community.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

Alternative Therapies and Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease

alternative treatments for alzheimer's diseaseAlzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, affecting over five million Americans last year. One in nine people age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s, and the condition will typically worsen over time. Those affected will experience varying degrees of symptoms, but the most common signs include memory loss, confusion with time and space, and changes in personality.

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatments including medications and making lifestyle changes can help delay some of the symptoms or delay the onset of the disease. Today, alternative treatments and natural remedies for Alzheimer’s are being studied, which will hopefully lead to more effective treatments to alleviate the symptoms.

New Breakthroughs in Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease

While traditional treatments for Alzheimer’s won’t cure the disease, early treatment and prevention can help delay the onset of symptoms. Physicians will generally prescribe medications that target the protein fragments, or beta-amyloids, that build up as plaques in brain cells and cause the damage that ultimately leads to Alzheimer’s.

Recently, some alternative treatments have been discovered regarding medications that are already used for other purposes, which include:

  • Diabetes treatments: The drug Victoza, used for treatment of diabetes, is used to stimulate the production of insulin. Researchers have found that it’s possible this medication can also prevent the build-up of beta-amyloids in brain cells.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis treatments: Biologics are drugs physicians will turn to to treat rheumatoid arthritis when NSAIDs, which are anti-inflammatory drugs, do not work. Researchers believe biologics can also reduce the inflammation caused by beta-amyloid build-up.
  • Cholesterol medicines: Statins are used to help people suffering from high cholesterol, and studies have shown that although statins might cause memory loss, in higher doses they may actually help prevent dementia.
  • High-blood pressure medicines: Research from John Hopkins University recently showed that people who took certain blood pressure medications decreased their risk for Alzheimer’s disease by 50%.

Natural Remedies for Alzheimer’s Disease

Along with medications, more natural remedies for Alzheimer’s disease have also been discovered. People sometimes will turn to a natural solution when modern medicine has failed to be effective. Some of the common natural remedies include:

  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is considered a healthy fat that helps restore the lining of the nerves. This in turn can boost communication in the brain and improve overall brain function.
  • Ginkgo biloba: Gingko biloba is a plant extract that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It’s thought to be both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which can protect brain cell membranes and regulate neurotransmitter function.
  • Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 can help restore the nerve passageways in the brain, contributing to overall cognitive function.
  • Cinnamon extract: Cinnamon extract helps facilitate better blood flow to the brain, because it can reduce plaque in the arteries. This can lead to better recognition and improved memory.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Research has already linked some omega-3s to reduced risk of stroke and heart disease, and it was also discovered that a high intake of omega-3s can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. This is due to the fact that their anti-inflammatory effects can support and protect nerve cell membrane.

When considering any alternative treatments or natural remedies for Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to talk to your physician before starting any of them. You should never start a supplement or medication without your doctor’s approval.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.

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