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November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, as designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. President Reagan is actually the president most associated with the debilitating disease for another reason: he was diagnosed with it in 1994.

That November, at the age of 83, President Reagan announced he was one of the millions of Americans afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. His announcement brought Alzheimer's disease, the irrversible and progressive neurological disease, into the public spotlight. 

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia—the progressive detioration of the brain. The general symptoms include loss of memory and other cognitive abilities. The effects of Alzheimer's are particularly severe, and always fatal. There is no cure for the disease.

The Alzheimer's Association, the leading organization pushing for a cure, says their vision is nothing less than a world without Alzheimer's. They support research and medical advancements against the disease. Thankds in part to their efforts, we know a lot about the mechanisms that contribute to the disease's development. It begins when two types of proteins—tangles and plaques—build up in the brain. Eventually, the disease kills off brain cells, robbing the person of first their memory, then their personality, and finally, their very selves.

We still don't know the direct causes of Alzheimer's, but we do know some of the possible risk factors. Your genes and lifestyle seem to be the biggest factors in whether or not you will develop Alzheimer's disease. While you can't do anything about your genes, you can make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your risk as much as possible.

Lifestyle Choices to Improve Your Brain Health

Implementing healthy habits as early as possible can help keep Alzheimer's at bay. Consider making the following changes in your lifestyle:

  • Excercise. Exercising regularly is the single best thing you can do for your health. Many, many studies have proven that physical exercise helps prevent the development of Alzheimer's. It can even slow the progression in people who are already showing symptoms of it. Older adults in good health should work out at least 30 minutes, three to four days a week. Aerobic exercises—work outs that dramatically raise your heart rate—provide the most benefits. If you have chronic health problems, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.

  • Eat a healthy diet, specifically the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, legumes, fish, moderate amounts of poultry, eggs, and dairy. Red meat, highly processed foods, and sugary treats are limited or consumed only sparingly. Much evidence exists to the powers of a Mediterranean-inspired diet for all areas of your health. Even partly following it can provide incredible benefits to your brain, your heart, and your entire body.

  • Get enough sleep. More and more evidence is showing that sleeping can help prevent Alzheimer's. This is because sufficient, good quality sleep helps clear more of the harmful protein from the brain, before it can build up to dangerous levels. Adults should aim for seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you do get that much sleep, but find that you're still waking up tired, speak with your doctor. You may have a condition like sleep apnea, that not only causes sleep disturbances, but can also be very dangerous.

  • Stay connected and learn new things. While there is not enough hard evidence to make this a scientific recommendation, there is a strong correlation between isolation and Alzheimer's disease. Learning new things regularly, remaining socially active, and staying connected to the world around you can help you stay happy and emotionally well—and can possibly keep Alzheimer's at bay.

What Regency Health is Doing to Raise Awareness

As one of the top providers of long-term senior care in New Jersey, we are experts in Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. We are committed to providing the best care possible for all our patients, even—or especially—for those who no longer recognize their loved ones or remember their own name.

We see the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease every day, not only on the patient, but also on his or her family. In fact, the disease affects approximately 1 in every 2 families in the United States. That's a lot of people, and at Regency we're committed to raising awareness for Alzheimers. We do this by making sure our patients and their families always stay informed every step of the journey. And this month, we will also dedicate every article on this blog to a different facet of Alzheimer's disease.

We encourage you to share our posts to raise awareness during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

 

 

 

 

 

Aging in place is a long-term care trend increasing in popularity. And for good reason, too. It’s an enticing prospect to grow old in the comforts of your own home, surrounded by your loved ones and prized possession.

It’s just this picture that the various aging-in-place organizations paint for seniors. They say seniors can have it all: superior healthcare, familiar environment, and the freedom to make their own choices. And many seniors do start off their retirement that way.

At a certain point, though, it becomes clear that moving to a long-term care community is the best choice seniors can make for themselves. Nursing homes today are increasingly home-like and comfortable—but they offer several distinct advantages over aging-in-place arrangements.

Here are four things we at Regency Nursing Centers can guarantee:

1. Increased Safety and Security

Seniors living at home are vulnerable to many dangers. Falls, fires, accidental overdose, malnutrition, burglaries, and scams are just some of the hazards seniors face, especially when they live alone. There are many technological innovations to help you monitor your loved one’s home and health from far, and if your parent isn’t ready to leave their home just yet, you should certainly make use of them.

However, many family members of elderly individuals confess that they never really relax when they know their loved one is home alone. When your loved one moves to Regency Nursing, you know they’re in the safest environment they could possibly be in. When we renovate a unit or build a new one, our entire architectural focus is safety. All our public areas are clutter-free and wheelchair accessible and our walkways are equipped with handrails for extra support.

Nobody can ever eliminate all accidents, but when your loved one comes to Regency Nursing, you can finally rest easy at night.

2. Constant and Reliable Assistance

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are the basics of daily function. They include personal hygiene, grooming, dressing, and eating. Our ability to perform these activities decreases with age, and many illnesses or disabilities can make it even harder to accomplish these basics.

Home health aides are trained assistants who come to your home to help you bathe, dress, eat, and do some light housekeeping. You can even have a visiting nurse or therapist come to provide daily skilled care. But when you need reliable, round-the-clock assistance, a nursing home provides the best options.

We’re proud of Regency Nursing’s compassionate and committed Certified Nursing Assistants who are always there to provide care with a smile.

3. Access to Top-Notch Healthcare

Our staff doctors are all leaders in geriatric medical care, and they make regular rounds to examine our residents and follow up on previous visits. Each unit has nurses on staff to dispense medications safely and provide any necessary treatments and care.

We’re also proud innovators in the nursing home field, as our facilities partner with MD Live Care to provide virtual medical appointments in the evening, on weekends, and over the holidays. Having their team of leading doctors on-hand for our nurses to consult with when a resident takes ill over the weekend saves unnecessary hospital and admissions, and thousands of dollars for our residents.

4. Mental, Emotional, and Physical Engagement

When seniors live alone, especially when they have limited mobility, they are at risk for social isolation. Loneliness and lack of socializing are known risk factors for depression, dementia, and even physical illness. Lack of activity can also cause cognitive and mental decline.

To combat this, we provide a range of interesting and engaging activities to keep our residents’ minds and hearts sharp and young. Between entertainment and music events, celebrations, religious services, and outings, our residents always have something to do and people to do it with.

And if someone wants some quiet time, or privacy with their visitors, they can always retreat to one of the many quiet and peaceful corners scattered throughout our buildings and gardens.

Regency Nursing: At Your Side

Choosing to move to a nursing home or other senior living arrangement is a big decision. It should be made with the input of family members, friends, and doctors. But when you’re ready to explore your option in New Jersey, we’re here to answer your questions and hold your hand through the process.

We are thrilled to have received a fantastic new review last night, April 11, 2018, for Regency Jewish Heritage in Somerset, NJ, posted on Caring.com!

Take a look:

 

Sign up for this amazing driving course taking place next month at Regency Heritage in Somerset, NJ

 

 

 

 

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