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46637337 - elder man and carer in the park
46637337 - elder man and carer in the park

How to Talk to Someone with Dementia

Communicating with an individual who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging. As the illness progresses, communication becomes increasingly difficult as they struggle to remember ideas, articulate their thoughts, and manage their emotions. 

 

Despite these struggles, it’s incredibly important to continue to communicate with these individuals, as those relationships help promote better self-esteem, sense of identity, and overall quality of life.

 

Here are a few ways you can talk to someone with dementia: 

 

Get Their Attention

Before you initiate a conversation with someone who suffers from dementia, be sure to eliminate any distractions. The illness makes it difficult for your loved one to focus at times, so any additional commotion should be avoided if possible. 

 

Find a quiet, well-lit space to spend time with your elderly loved one so that they aren’t distracted by other sounds, traffic, or shadows. Try to sit close to the person, at their level, and make eye contact. This will eliminate any confusion and help prompt a positive experience for you both.

 

Be Clear 

Sometimes, we confuse speaking clearly with speaking loudly. When it comes to communicating with an individual who suffers from dementia, this distinction needs to be understood and respected. Avoid raising your voice or using a sharp tone, as it can make your loved one feel anxious or intimidated.

 

Instead, speak calmly and at a slightly slower pace than normal. Allow some time between sentences to give them time to absorb and reflect on the information you’ve provided. 

 

Ask Simple Questions

A person with dementia can be easily overwhelmed and confused, so it’s best to avoid asking complicated or open-ended questions. Similarly, if you ask too many questions at once, it will start to feel more like an interrogation than it does a conversation, and your loved one will struggle to engage with you. 

 

Stick to one concept, idea, or question at a time. For example, let’s compare two scenarios:

 

Would you like to have sandwiches for lunch and pudding for dessert with me out in the courtyard today?” 

 

You can imagine how confusing that might be, even for fully-functional adults like you and I. Instead, try this strategy: 

 

You: Would you like to have lunch in the courtyard today?

Them: Yes, I would.

You: Should we have sandwiches?

Them: Yes, please

You: And pudding for dessert

Them: Sure

 

Notice how the exchange provides one question at a time, with ample time to consider the option and respond. This is an ideal conversation for an adult who struggles with the effects of dementia.

 

Consider Nonverbal Cues

Although someone may not be able to communicate with words, it’s important to consider their body language, gestures, and facial expressions as well. 

 

They may struggle to speak, but these other factors can give you a good indication of how they’re feeling and, as a result, how you can behave in return. Similarly, your loved one might have trouble understanding your verbal cues, but they’ll likely pick up on your body language. Be sure your physical behavior and facial expressions match what you’re trying to express. 

 

At Kaplan Development Group, we work hard to create and foster compassionate and loving communities for the individuals in our care. For more information on our assisted living homes, reach out at 516 496-1505 or contact us online.

42108933 - senior asian couple sharing meal at home
42108933 - senior asian couple sharing meal at home

Preventing Caregiver Fatigue

 

Our parents cared for us for years throughout our childhood—preparing our meals, cleaning our homes, and doing our laundry. However, when the time comes that they need us to do the same in return, it can be a challenge to balance it with our typical lifestyles. It’s no surprise then, that 40% of caregivers are in high-burden situations. 

 

Luckily, there are strategies that can effectively prevent caregiver fatigue. Here are but a few of them: 

Remember That Your Work Is Valuable

There is no doubt about your willingness to care for your elderly loved one. In your heart of hearts, you know that what you’re doing for your parent is generous and kind; however, it can be easy to forget how valuable the work that you do really is. 

 

Think of it this way—you could hire a professional caregiver to offer your loved one the same services you provide. The average assisted living community has an annual cost of $48,000, every penny of which is worth it to offer your relative a safe and happy home. The next time you feel as though your caregiving contributions don’t carry value, remember the alternative cost. 

Remember to Take Care of Yourself Too

You spend all day caring for your responsibilities at work, for your children at home, and then for your elderly loved one afterwards. With so many competing priorities, it can seem genuinely impossible to make time for yourself. 

 

However, if you’re not operating at peak capacity, how can you be expected to care for someone else just as well? Be sure to schedule the time you need to get a good night’s sleep, nutritious meals, and some physical activity too. 

Remember to Get Support When You Need It

Just because you’re the primary caregiver for your loved one doesn’t mean you need to be the only caregiver. In fact, caring for an older adult requires a full team of supporters. 

 

Reach out to your siblings and other family members for additional help so that you can take a breather now and then. Consider hiring in-home help from a professional care aide for the tasks that you’re not comfortable with or able to complete.  

 

Being a caregiver is as emotionally rewarding as it is challenging, so we encourage you to ask for help when you need it. Keep caregiver fatigue at bay and consider Kaplan Development Group’s senior living communities for additional assistance for your elderly loved one. 

 

For more information on our communities and the services we provide, visit our website or give us call at 516 496-1505. 

Smiling senior people exercising with arms raised while sitting on field at park
Smiling senior people exercising with arms raised while sitting on field at park

4 Easy Workouts for Seniors with Arthritis

It’s no stretch to say that our physical fitness levels are what allow us to enjoy our lives to the fullest. Whether your goal is to go for a nature walk through the woods, to play a round of golf with your friends, or to keep up with your grandkids, you want to do your best to maintain your physical strength as you grow older. But how do you stay strong, fast, and flexible when illnesses like arthritis can cause you to feel severe pain?

 

Here are just a few ways seniors with arthritis can stay in shape and enjoy their lives to the fullest!

 

Swimming

Whether you’re in an aquatic dance class or you’re just looking to do some leisurely laps, swimming is one of the best exercises to help you maintain your health in your golden years.

 

The best part? The buoyancy of the water means that there is less pressure on your joints while exercising, and the low-impact nature of swimming means you’re less likely to feel weak or exhausted after completing a workout!

 

Yoga

As far as exercise systems go, very few have taken the world by storm like the Indian discipline of yoga. Different types of yoga exist for different skill sets, but if you are looking for a gentle and low-impact style to improve your balance and flexibility, consider taking up the Hatha style!

 

If you’re looking to get the most relaxation out of yoga that you can, be sure to light some scented candles and play some soft music to make all your worries wash away.

 

Pilates

Looking for an easier workout system you can do in the comfort of your home that is designed to strengthen your joints? Then pilates may be the system for you! Pilates is an excellent workout because it can be modified to fit whatever fitness needs you might have.

 

Whether it’s increasing your cardio and breathing, strengthening the muscles in your legs, or just increasing your flexibility, then try taking up one of the many free classes available online!

 

Tai Chi

Martial arts have been a source of physical fitness for millions all over the world, and seniors can get in on the benefits too with the gentle motion of Tai Chi. Tai Chi improves balance, movement, and breathing, and only requires one 20-40 minute exercise session per day for improvements to show.

 

Most importantly, Tai Chi focuses on improving spiritual and mental health alongside your physical strength, so you may just come out of your daily workout feeling more at peace than before.

 

Many different exercises exist for seniors looking to improve their health and fitness, and Kaplan Development Group is proud to offer classes and activities like these to all residents in our senior living communities who are looking to stay in shape. Give our senior care staff a call today at 516 496-1505 or visit us online and find out more about the exciting activities and opportunities that await all residents at our assisted living homes.

Senior couple drinking water in the kitchen
Senior couple drinking water in the kitchen

Benefits of Staying Hydrated During the Hot Summer Months

 

The summer months are a great time to spend outdoors with friends and family! Between the beach, the patio dinners, and the outdoor activities—there is no shortage of ways you can spend time out in the beautiful weather. One way to make sure you’re enjoying the warm weather is to ensure that you’re getting enough water throughout the day. Believe it or not, it can affect you in more ways than you may have thought.

 

Smoother Skin

Hot temperatures, high winds, and exposure to the sun can really dry out your skin. When your skin becomes dehydrated, it can begin to lose its elasticity. Staying properly hydrated will help keep your skin looking and feeling smooth and soft all year long. We all know that too much exposure to UV rays can have a negative effect on your skin and make it age quicker than it should, but that doesn’t mean we want to stay out of the sun! Keep yourself looking young longer by maintaining a steady intake of water.

 

Beat The Heat

When you get too hot, you naturally start sweating in an effort to help your body regulate its temperature. Without hydration, your body can’t properly keep itself protected from strain from the heat. This is very important because one of the major signs of heatstroke is when your body stops sweating. So we encourage you to drink water regularly, especially on incredibly hot days.

 

Remain Refreshed

Our bodies are 60% water, so it makes sense that drinking enough water throughout the day will help us function at peak levels! Getting your recommended eight glasses of water a day helps in several aspects you may not have even thought about. It helps to increase your mental clarity and focus, and helps you maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day to name a few of the benefits of staying hydrated.

 

Tips to Keep You Topped Up

We discussed why it’s important for you to stay hydrated, but we also wanted to provide you with a few tips to follow to help assure that your water intake is ideal and that you enjoy all of its associated benefits!

  • Having nearby glass/bottle of water throughout the day can act as a simple reminder to drink more.
  • There are a number of apps that are designed specifically to track your water intake.
  • Place a full glass of water on your nightstand when you’re getting ready for bed. When you get up in the morning, drink the whole thing before you start your morning routine.
  • Snack on fresh fruits that are rich in water, like berries, watermelon, peaches, and nectarines.

 

At Kaplan Development Group, we take great pride in caring for each and every individual that  comes through our doors! Encouraging our residents to live their best lives doesn’t fall short when it comes to their water intake. After all, it is part of an active lifestyle that we love to support! 

Happy enthusiastic elderly couple consulting a plan as they move house with their brown cartons and houseplant
Happy enthusiastic elderly couple consulting a plan as they move house with their brown cartons and houseplant

How to Support a Loved One as They Make the Move to Assisted Living

 

Moving day is finally here. Although your parent or loved one is all smiles and is cracking jokes as you help them load the boxes into the truck, you can tell your loved one is sad to be leaving their home and moving to an uncertain future. Every person experiences these feelings, but that doesn’t mean they’re right or true.

 

Here are just a few ways you can help your loved one adjust to their assisted living situation and prepare them to enjoy their golden years.

 

Keep Making Regular Plans With Your Loved One

No matter who you are or where you came from, we all need a strong social network to experience all the joys the world has to offer. That couldn’t be more true for your loved ones in assisted living.

 

Moving into an assisted living community does not mean your loved one has to live as a shut-in so try picking them up for a day at the beach, zoo, or festival, and show them that there is still a ton of fun to be had in their golden years.

 

Surprise Them With Baking and Treats

People move into assisted living homes for a number of health-related reasons, and unfortunately, some of these health issues may prevent a person from enjoying hobbies that they used to adore.

 

Whether you’re baking it at home or picking it up at a local pastry shop, bringing food and baking to your loved ones can help improve their days and provide them with meals they wouldn’t otherwise have. No one’s ever said no to a fresh loaf of banana bread, and who knows, your delicious delivery might just make their day!

 

Keep Their Choices and Independence Central

Leaving the house you’ve called home for many years can be very stressful, especially if it’s for safety or health reasons that you feel you have no control over.

 

When helping a parent or loved one move into an assisted living home, be sure to keep them involved in the decision process every step of the way, from which community they like best to the floor plans and decorations of their suites.

 

Encourage Them to Grow into Their New Home

You can take your loved one out for regular trips in the city, bring them all the baking in the world, and keep their opinions in the front of your mind, but at the end of the day the most successful way to help them transition to assisted living is for them to enjoy their new home.

 

Assisted living homes are filled with individuals who have fascinating life stories and interests, and many of them may have the same hobbies as your loved ones! So encourage them to take part in group activities and discover new friends who can help make their stay so much better.

 

Making the move to an assisted living can be a very stressful affair for the best of us, but so many opportunities for fun and joy await your loved ones. Give our assisted living professionals a call today at 516 496-1505 or visit us online and find out how a stay with us can give your loved ones the “suite” life they’ve always wanted.

Generations in one image: grandmother, son and young grandchildren in the garden of the nursing home.
Generations in one image: grandmother, son and young grandchildren in the garden of the nursing home.

How Assisted Living Homes Can Help Seniors and Their Families

 

As our nation grows older and the average lifespan increases, the need for assisted living homes has never been greater. That said, assisted living communities don’t just provide comfortable living and health care for seniors in need, they can also be a great benefit to their friends and loved ones.

 

Here are just a few ways our assisted living homes can help senior citizens and their families.

 

Preserve Your Independence

At Kaplan Development Group, we believe that independence is valuable in and of itself, but we also understand that a self-sustaining attitude can provide positive health benefits as well.

 

To support this sense of independence, our spacious communities and autonomous approach to senior care means our residents are able to plan their days however they wish and can engage with the large variety of group activities we organize.

 

Help for Meals and Chores

As we get older and become less mobile, simple tasks like cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry can suddenly become a whole lot more difficult for us to perform. When a simple task that you are accustomed to completing on your own becomes challenging, you may begin avoiding them entirely.

 

Whether it’s helping to prepare your meals, cleaning the high shelves you just can’t reach, or carrying the laundry hamper up the stairs for you, our staff are more than willing to take on any task to make your stay with us as comfortable and easy as possible.

 

Different Options for Different Health Needs

Aging affects everyone in a different way, and sadly, that can include health issues such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, or any other of the many health issues that senior citizens are at greater risk of developing.

 

Kaplan Development Group understands how diverse your needs can be, and that’s why we provide a number of different suite types catered to these situations that can provide you the additional care you need to live a healthy life.

 

Takes the Stress Out of Family Visits

Visiting with your loved ones should be a wonderful time of catching up, sharing stories, and having fun. However, if you have mobility or health issues and live on your own, then your visits might be a bit more challenging than they need to be.

 

By moving to an assisted living facility where you have the support you need to stay healthy, safe, and independent, you can let your anxieties go and enjoy making memories with family members with a carefree attitude.

 

Whether you’re a senior citizen looking for a new home or a child concerned about your parent’s safety, we can all use a helping hand at some point in our lives. Kaplan Development Group is here and ready to give you the support you need. Give our care professionals a call today at 516 496-1505 or visit us online and find out our suites can give you the freedom and safety you’ve always wanted.

Generations in one image: grandmother, son and young grandchildren in the garden of the nursing home.

 

How to Support a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is not only overwhelming for them, but it also affects those around them. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that causes a disruption in communication among neurons, ultimately causing a loss of motor skills and memory. This can feel incredibly devastating as the disease progresses differently for everyone. While it is not curable, there are things that you can do to support them and improve their quality of life as their disease progresses.

 

Read more to see how to support a loved one with Alzheimer’s: 

Keep Things Simple

People who suffer from Alzheimer’s thrive on maintaining a routine. By sticking to a schedule, they can understand what to expect in their daily life. As the disease progresses, they will eventually lose the ability to carry out this routine and will depend on others to help them. Rather than doing everything for them, try doing this task together. It may seem frustrating because you know you can do the task faster and more efficiently, but in doing this, you may cause them to lose confidence and they won’t want to help at all. By helping them carry out their daily activities, you’ll also help to ease their transition as the disease progresses. 

Set Reminders for Them

Those with Alzheimer’s often forget to care for themselves, even with simple tasks like eating, going to the bathroom, and bathing. During the early stages of the disease, try writing notes for them to provide easy reminders. It can be as simple as placing a note in the bathroom reminding them to brush their teeth. Make sure that you leave all emergency contacts right by the phone. It may help to label the cupboards so that they can remember what items are stored within them. It’s also important to set medication reminders so that they are able to maintain their overall health while dealing with this disease. 

Offer Emotional Support

Being there for someone with Alzheimer’s demands an immense amount of patience. Alzheimer’s affects a person’s feelings and physical responses so it’s crucial that you recognize and respond in an appropriate manner. People with the disease require specific care as they are often unable to control their emotions and may become irritable, prone to mood changes, or uninterested and distant for no reason. Strong feelings are often a result of needs not being met. Ensure that you are communicating with your loved one regularly to make them feel cared for.

Engage with Them Regularly

Even though it may not always be easy to engage with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, it is extremely beneficial for them. Continuing to nourish your relationship and finding new ways to support them will add to their quality of life. Try doing things together, like going for a walk, getting groceries, or having coffee to help them stay active and prevent feelings of isolation. Communicating with the person may change depending on how the disease affects the brain. Keep the pathway for discussion open and continually ask them how they are doing. Be open to their new expressions and thoughts as it will be important for them to feel understood. 

 

We are committed to providing the finest quality senior accommodations. Our team of dedicated staff members work to meet the individual needs of residents at any hour of the day or night. Visit our website for more information about the independent and assisted living communities we have available!

5 Daily Habits That Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

Although scientists across the world are hard at work to find cures for these illnesses, more than 5 million Americans are currently dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia. These topics can be worrying to think and talk about but, fortunately, there are a number of small changes people can implement in their everyday lives that can stave off these illnesses and keep their brains happy and healthy.

 

Here are the top 5 daily habits that can help protect your mind from these memory disorders.

 

Physical Activity

Whether it’s swimming, walking, bowling, or gardening, staying physically active is one of the best ways to stave off dementia in seniors. This is because when our heart and breathing rates are increased, more blood and oxygen reaches our brain cells, keeping them strong and healthy.

 

So grab your sneakers, head outside, and get involved in hobbies you enjoy—your brain will thank you!

 

Healthy Diet

Looking for ways to support your brain health? There’s no better place to start than your dinner plate!

 

Studies show that foods that we normally eat to protect our hearts are also important to protect our brains from Alzheimer’s and dementia. This means that eating more fruits, vegetables, fish, grains, and nuts can help keep our minds strong—and that’s a diet anyone can get behind!

 

Social Activity

Being a socially active senior may feel difficult at times, but research shows that spending time with friends, family, and community groups doesn’t just lift your mood, it helps protect you against memory disorders.

 

If you’re looking for more ways to be socially active, look into your community and see if there are any volunteer roles or hobby groups available and accepting new members. Who knows, you might just find an engaging new hobby!

 

Mental Stimulation

Even if we engage in healthier diets, activities, and social interactions, our brains are ultimately the first line of defense when it comes to preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia, and that defense can be strengthened with mental stimulation.

 

Whether it’s a crossword puzzle in the morning or having a board game night with family and friends, any activity that makes you think and problem-solve will go a long way in protecting you from these illnesses.

 

Proper Amount of Sleep

Despite the fact that most Americans aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep every night, our sleeping periods are when our brains restore themselves and repair any damage or overuse they may have suffered during our waking hours.

 

If you’re finding you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, consider heading to bed earlier and keeping the room cooler and more comfortable.

 

Millions of Americans are struggling with memory disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia, but by making a few changes to how we go about our day to day lives, we can stave off these illnesses and enjoy healthy lives for years to come. Give our experts a call today at 516-496-1505 or visit us online to find more great healthy living tips for older adults.

Adult Granddaughter Helping Grandmother With Computer
Adult Granddaughter Helping Grandmother With Computer

How to Talk to Your Loved One About Senior Living

Talking with a loved one about senior living can be a difficult conversation, but delaying it may potentially cause them more harm in the future. It’s important to recognize the signs, be aware of their well-being, and take their point of view into consideration. It’s not easy to challenge a loved one’s independence, especially if they are unwilling to make the transition. Before initiating the conversation, do your research and deliver the facts in an empathetic tone. 

 

Here’s how you can prepare for this challenging conversation:

Do your Homework 

Before speaking with a loved one about the options available to them, make sure that you are knowledgeable on the topic. Start by creating a list of concerns that you have for them so that you can address them together. By exploring options beforehand, you can prepare yourself to be as supportive as possible during the conversation so that they feel heard rather than attacked. That way, you can take their opinions into consideration when finding a home that suits their needs.

Keep the Lines of Conversation Open 

Now that you’re ready to sit down and talk, use an empathetic tone. As difficult as it is to bring this topic up, you want to make sure that they know that your concerns are coming from the heart. It may help to bring brochures for potential homes so that they can feel like they are contributing to and helping to make the decision of where the next step in their lives is headed. Encourage them to ask questions and don’t rush the process. Open-ended questions are the best way to open the lines of communication. The last thing that you should do is to issue orders. Unless mentally incapacitated, your loved one should get a say in where and how they choose to live. 

Take Them for a Tour 

There will come a time when you don’t have all the answers to their questions and this is where you can rely on a caregiver to fill in the blanks. By taking a tour, your loved one is able to view the space, see what the living community has to offer, and understand what other amenities are included. By scheduling a tour, you’re also showing them that you value their opinion and entrust them to help make the decision. While touring the living community, meet with some of the residents and ask them about their living conditions to get an honest feel for the home. Lastly, moving is a big step in anyone’s life, so give them time to weigh their options before making a choice.

If you’re searching for a new home for you or a loved one, come check us out at Kaplan Development Group. We offer attractive living communities for seniors who prefer to live on their own as well as for those who require additional assistance. Our staff is composed of professionals who are highly experienced and devoted to treating residents with respect and dignity at all times. Call us today at (516)-496-1505 and schedule a tour!

Elderly couple smilling together over natural background
Elderly couple smilling together over natural background

The Difference Between Assisted and Independent Living

 

 

The time has come and you’re deciding which option, either assisted or independent living, is right for you or for a loved one. The main differences between the two is the amount of care offered, the living spaces provided, and the cost required. Finding a home with the care you, or a loved one, needs doesn’t have to be overwhelming. At Kaplan Development Group, we offer you a life free from worries!

 

Read more to see which option is best for your situation:

What is Assisted Living?

This type of living environment provides seniors with help in completing daily tasks such as laundry, meal preparation, and medication reminders. These facilities have caregivers dedicated to providing around the clock assistance to those who need it. Many residents living in these homes are still able to live independently, but require some guidance in their daily lives. They still participate in recreational activities and engage with other residents, but are unable to care for themselves entirely on their own. This type of living offers a lot of one-on-one time, but does not offer as much privacy and independence. Assisted living is perfect for residents who have extensive medical issues, cognitive impairment, or need assistance daily to ensure that they are healthy and comfortable.

What is Independent Living? 

Independent living is ideal for seniors who can still live on their own but would like to access assistance whenever needed. Most independent living communities provide their residents with the convenience of dining-in, medical care, light housekeeping, and more. This type of living provides seniors the opportunity to live in a safe environment where they can engage with individuals who have similar lifestyles. Independent living is ideal for residents who require minimal assistance but could benefit from extra care at times. 

How to Choose Between Assisted and Independent Living

As you begin to assess the most appropriate form of care that you or a loved one needs, be sure that you take into account their daily routine and lifestyle. Some individuals may decide that relocating is a better option, as their home has become a burden to upkeep on a fixed income. In these cases, when you are still able to live on your own, you may want to consider independent living. As your needs change, you have the ability to progress into assisted living. In other cases, though, where illness or disability are the contributing factors affecting your living situation, assisted living may be the best option when living alone is no longer possible.

Whether you’re looking for assisted or independent living, we want you to find your home sweet home with us! At Kaplan Development Group, it is our mission to provide the finest quality senior living with an emphasis on the important family values of compassion, integrity, and respect. To find out more about the services we offer, visit our website or call us at (516)-496-1505.

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