ALF Learning Opportunities – November 2015

We would like to share with you two great opportunities to learn and grow… and maybe enjoy some moments with others who are experiencing some of the same things as you.

One is for Caretakers of those with Dementia and One is for Owners, Administrators, and Managers of Assisted Living Facilities.

EVENT #1

“Being in a Business that Caters to Senior Housing and How to Be a Champion in Our Industry”

This is FALA meeting that West Central Solutions is proud to host.  It will be held on November 10th, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at Tuscany on the Meadows in Hernando, Florida.

Theressa Foster, will be sharing some of her vast wisdom at the event.  You won’t want to miss it.  Check out the flyer.

FALA invite – November 2015-11

RSVP to Charlie at 727-942-1993

 

EVENT #2

“Creativity in Dementia Care” is about using Art and Poetry and more in the care of those with Dementia.

The event for caretakers of those with Dementia is a FREE event sponsored by Elder Options and United Health Care.  It will be held on November 12th, 2015 at 8:30 to 2 p.m. in Gainesville.

Creativity in Dementia Care 2015

Sounds like a fun time! Register by calling Tom at 352-692-5226.

Veterans’ Village – Home for Our Heros

Citrus County, Florida Looks at Proposed Assisted Living Community for Veterans

Veteran-flag

We learned recently of the efforts in our home community to build an affordable Assisted Living Community for Veterans.  The proposed site sits adjacent to the current Veterans Assistance Community Clinic in Lecanto, Florida.

As a management/consultant company specializing in Assisted Living Facilities, West Central Solutions is particularly aware of the cost effective model of Assisted Living and how its combination of independence, assistance and social interaction provides quality of life for seniors.  Too often seniors become isolated as their ability and mobility decrease.  Our veterans deserve affordable Assisted Living, a home that focuses on their whole person – physical, emotional, and social.

The facility will be an Assisted Living Facility for those that need assistance with daily living (ADL), but do not need the skilled nursing care that is provided in Nursing Homes.  Assisted Living costs much less than Nursing Home Care.  A Nursing Home in and around Citrus County has an average cost of about $8,000 a month.

What is the difference?

ASSISTED LIVING:

A resident of Assisted Living must be able to dress themselves.  Someone can provide direction and guidance, but the resident themselves are able to put their own legs in the pants (for example) or take the pill cup from the assistant and put the pills in their mouth themselves.  Assisted Living is mostly private pay, but there are other possible sources of assistance including VA benefits and Managed Care (a Medicaid diversion program).

NURSING HOME:

A Nursing Home is a skilled facility based on a medical model which means it can provide hands-on assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and more.

 

 

supportVETERANS SPECIAL NEEDS

Veterans need a safe environment that accommodates their special issues related to war.  There is no special license to specialize in Veteran Care, just as there is no such requirement for an Assisted Living Facility to provide Memory Care. But there is special training for those who work in a memory care unit. So a facility like Veterans Village would have staff trained on caring for combat veterans. Veterans’ Village will cater the housing design and staff to ensure our Veterans needs are met.

Between 2009 and 2013 Citrus County was home to about 21,000 vets, now estimated to be about 27,000. As our soldiers return for overseas with brain injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, back and other traumatic injuries, many of them will need the kind of help that a facility like this could provide them. It will help them retain dignity, some cherished independence, and quality of life.

Socializing is vital to anyone. For veterans who are suffering from various mental health and physical issues related to war, social interactions are therapeutic and necessary. This community will embrace them and help them thrive in a safe social environment with the care designed for their needs.

The facility will also have a positive economic effect on Citrus County — provide jobs in the short term for construction, and create 35 to 40 full-time direct and indirect jobs for every 100 veteran’s housed.

Alzheimer’s Awareness — Getting to a diagnosis….

The process of getting a dementia and then a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s…

is a journey that requires journals, observation by yourself and another close to you, tests, doctor visits and …. patience.

It has happened to all of us- memory loss.

It could be as simple as losing our keys — or as serious as forgetting where we live.

How do you know if you should visit your doctor because of recent memory loss?

What information should you present to your doctor, if you think you are experiencing memory loss?

 

 

 

 

Seeking medical advice about memory loss can be scary.  However, there are reversible causes of memory loss.  This is why a doctor’s visit is important. Within a short matter of time, you could have your memory back if diagnosed with reversible memory loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reversible Causes of Memory Loss:

 

Deficiency in Vitamin B-12
Alcohol
Depression
Medications
Head Injury
Tumors
Spinal Fluid Build up in the Brain
Hypothyroidism
Sleep Disorders
Stress
Infections

 

IF it is Alzheimer’s….

The sooner you get on the medication to slow the progression of the damage to the brain, the longer you may live a functional life.

To get the most out of your visit with the doctor, you need to be prepared and you need to be honest. It is best if you bring someone close with you to this appointment to help answer questions and give their observations. When you realize that you may have a memory problem, start keeping track of your life through a journal.

In your daily journal include: 

-The date
-Your symptoms
– Note how often they occur
– List of daily medications and when they were taken

 

 

 

 

WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU TO THE DOCTOR

-List of current medical problems
-Your memory loss journal
-List of family members with memory loss disorders
-All of your medications and vitamin supplements (just dump them in a bag and take them with you).
-Who to contact if you need help (names and phone numbers)
-List of medications both prescription and over the counter (including vitamins)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should be prepared to answer questions from your doctor such as:

What is the amount of time you have had memory loss?

Are you under stress or depressed?

Have you had an infection recently?

Have you started a new medication?

What daily activities do you find difficult to accomplish?

Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often?

What have you done to help with your memory loss problems?

Has a major life event recently occurred?

Your doctor will likely conduct a memory test, after a physical exam.  Your doctor should conduct tests to determine if your memory loss is caused by one of the reversible memory loss causes.

If he determines that you do have a memory loss disorder, he will refer you to a specialist in memory loss/dementia.  He may also provide you with information from organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association.

Tests that may be ordered may include:

– Blood Tests (including a Lymes Disease Test if appropriate)

– Psycho-neurological Tests

– EEG

– MRI

– PET

Remember, a lot of enjoyment in life can still occur after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.  The symptoms do not move in a straight line, there will be better days and foggy days.  It is a journey that many have taken and are taking right now.  There are support groups for caregivers and lots of information available on the internet.

When your loved-one needs to move into Assisted Living or Memory Care, give West Central Solutions a call.   We are here to help you during that transition.

Alzheimer’s Care: Options and Choices

Alzheimer’s Care: Options and ChoicesIf you are considering the care options for an Alzheimer’s patient you will have some difficult decisions to make as you consider their long term care (LTC). Generally, these decisions involve getting some outside support that can be provided either in-home or outside the home if a residential care option is considered. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s people can be cared for at home with little challenge. Eventually, meeting the needs of a loved one can become difficult and family members alone may not be able to provide the required support. It may be difficult to begin to consider outside care but here is a guide to help you get started. [Read more…]