Five Benefits of Moving to Memory Care Sooner Rather Than Later

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CountryHouse at Council Bluffs

Posted on

Apr 21, 2022

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Nebraska - Eastern Region

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No one is ever really ready to move a loved one from home to a care community. The decision to begin that transition is a deeply personal one, and countless factors must be considered before finally determining whats right for your family.
Among those factors? Urgency. Alzheimers and dementia are progressive conditions leading to further cognitive decline over time. Thats why early intervention is critical when considering memory care. Rather than waiting until professional memory care is mandated by a physician, seeking help at the first sign of trouble will allow more time to make plans for the future which can alleviate some of the uncertainty and stress when symptoms do progress.
Initiating the conversation with your loved one without bias is a crucial first step. And it requires caregivers to be honest with themselves. Think about whether you and your family can truly provide the level of attention and support that your loved one needs.
As you consider your choices, you may find that a memory care community can do more to provide consistent care than youre able to on your own.
How exactly?
Routines and Activities
Establishing routines and ensuring daily engagement provide substantial benefits for individuals with memory loss issues. Routines and stimulating activities can sharpen focus, ease agitation and even instill confidence and independence.
Memory care communities like ours provide individuals with an array of engaging activities that appeal to a wide range of interests as well as different levels of memory loss. Residents can socialize and have fun, all whilemaximizing cognitive functions. CountryHouses unique Life Cycles program even offers regular exercise, daily bus rides and social hours too.
24/7 Individualized Care
Another unique benefit of a memory care residence? Around-the-clock care. Memory loss affects everyone differently no two cases are the same. At CountryHouse, our individualized approach to care fosters meaningful, personal connections. We make it a priority to understands each residents likes and dislikes, and we spend time learning about their past, their family and their story. It creates a family-like atmosphere filled with comfort, engagement and joy.
Plus, were here 24/7. From our nurses and med aides to our cooks and life enrichment coordinators, every staff member is hand-picked based not only on their experience and qualifications but on their commitment to our company values too. Were passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of others every single day.
The Feeling of Home
As a specialized memory care residence, CountryHouse is designed and built for your loved one to feel comfortable and cared for while maintaining their independence.
We understand the major benefits that come from minor considerations like private areas, familiar decorations and an emphasis on routine. Thats why we invite residents to bring their own furniture and mementos to personalize their space with us. It creates a familiar, comfortable setting that cultivates health and happiness. And with our passionate, loving staff, everyone is cared for like family.
Safety
Wandering is a common symptom associated with memory loss. Becoming lost or confused can put individuals in dangerous conditions and magnify worry and stress for family members.
Memory care residences are designed to prevent scenarios like this. Secured entries, surveillance and other safety features help protect residents from hazardous situations. This focus on safety, paired with our around-the-clock care, fosters security for them, and peace of mind for you.
Independence
At CountryHouse we truly value independence. Theres no mandatory participation or strict schedules to adhere to. Here, residents maintain the ability to do what they want to do and live the way they want to live. Whether theyre walking around the large, secure courtyard or practicing their stroke on the putting green, we allow for as much independence as is possible and safe.
With all the memory care options available today, settling on the perfect place for you and your family can feel overwhelming. But with guidance from our in-house experts, we can make it a little easier.

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Alzheimers And Dementia: Tips For Better Communication

The journey of Alzheimers and dementia is not only a medical challenge but a profound emotional experience that impacts not only the individuals affected but also their loved ones. At the heart of this journey lies the art of communication, a skill that gradually slips away as the conditions progress. In this blog post, we will explore the intricacies of communication in the realm of Alzheimers and dementia, understand the challenges faced, and uncover strategies that can help bridge the gap and bring comfort to our senior loved ones.Alzheimers and dementia are neurodegenerative disorders that cast a shadow over memory, cognition, and communication. These conditions affect millions of individuals worldwide, causing memory loss, cognitive decline, and difficulties in processing and understanding information. As caregivers and loved ones, understanding the landscape of these conditions is essential to provide appropriate care and support.Challenges in CommunicationCommunication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction, but Alzheimers and dementia disrupt this crucial channel of connection. Seniors battling these conditions often face various challenges that hinder their ability to express themselves and engage in meaningful conversations. These challenges include:Word-Finding Difficulties: The gradual decline in vocabulary leads to pauses and hesitations as seniors struggle to recall and articulate words.Limited Vocabulary: Over time, the richness of their vocabulary diminishes, leaving them with a limited range of words to express themselves.Impaired Comprehension: Understanding spoken and written language becomes increasingly challenging, making it difficult for them to follow instructions or engage in discussions.Repetitive Speech: Memory lapses can lead to the repetition of phrases, questions, or stories, reflecting their frustration and need for reassurance.Non-Verbal Communication Issues: The ability to interpret facial expressions, gestures, and body language diminishes, causing misunderstandings and frustration.Navigating the Effects on Language and MemoryThe impact of Alzheimers and dementia goes beyond communication challenges, affecting memory and cognitive abilities:Memory Loss: Both short-term and long-term memories are compromised, making it difficult to remember recent events or even recognize loved ones.Language Comprehension: The ability to understand complex sentences and abstract concepts becomes progressively challenging, contributing to the breakdown in communication.Reading and Writing Difficulties: Declining linguistic abilities can lead to struggles in reading and understanding written material, and in some cases, even writing coherent sentences.Speech Changes: The rhythm and fluency of speech are disrupted, leading to fragmented sentences and pauses, which can be frustrating for both the individual and their caregivers.Social Isolation: Communication difficulties often result in seniors withdrawing from social interactions due to embarrassment or frustration, leading to increased isolation and potentially exacerbating cognitive decline.Strategies for Effective CommunicationAs caregivers and loved ones, it is our responsibility to adapt our communication strategies to better connect with seniors battling Alzheimers and dementia. Here are some proven strategies to enhance communication:Patience and Empathy: Practicing patience and showing empathy are foundational to effective communication. Taking the time to understand their emotions and being present with them can create a sense of security.Simple Language: Using clear and concise language reduces confusion. Break down complex ideas into smaller, understandable pieces to facilitate smoother conversations.Non-Verbal Cues: Engaging in non-verbal communication through touch, eye contact, and gestures can convey emotions and provide a bridge when words fall short.Offering Choices: Providing choices empowers individuals and fosters engagement. It also simplifies decision-making and encourages their participation in conversations.Visual Aids: Visual aids such as pictures, diagrams, or objects can help convey messages and ideas, transcending language barriers and making communication more accessible.Validation: Acknowledging their feelings and experiences validates their reality. By responding empathetically, you build trust and strengthen the connection.Dealing with Challenging BehaviorsCaring for seniors with Alzheimers and dementia requires understanding and addressing challenging behaviors:Responding with Understanding: Challenging behaviors often stem from frustration or confusion. Responding with patience and understanding rather than confrontation can defuse tense situations.Redirection: Gently redirecting their attention from the behavior to a more positive activity can help shift their focus and reduce agitation.Managing Sundowning: Seniors with Alzheimers may experience increased confusion and agitation during the evening, a phenomenon known as sundowning. Establishing calming routines and minimizing stimuli can ease this transition.Addressing Wandering: Wandering is another common behavior associated with Alzheimers and dementia. Minimize safety hazards, use visual cues, and engage them in purposeful activities to curb this behavior.Empowering Communication with Tools and ResourcesEnhancing communication also involves utilizing various tools and resources:Assistive Technologies: Speech-generating devices, augmentative and alternative communication apps, and text-to-speech software offer alternative means of expression, empowering seniors to communicate effectively.Support Groups: Connecting with others facing similar challenges in support groups provides a sense of community, validation, and shared experiences.Professional Guidance: Speech-language pathologists and healthcare professionals offer expertise in developing personalized communication strategies tailored to the individuals needs.Recommended Reading: Exploring literature on effective communication techniques, active listening, and understanding cognitive disorders equips caregivers with valuable insights and strategies.In the midst of the challenges posed by Alzheimers and dementia, effective communication becomes a beacon of hope. By understanding the unique hurdles seniors face, adopting empathetic communication strategies, and harnessing the power of assistive technologies and resources, we can bridge the gap between the world of words and the world of emotions. In doing so, we illuminate the path for our loved ones, enriching their lives and fostering connections that endure beyond the shadows cast by these conditions.

What are Common Options for Dementia Treatment?

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimers, and that number is expected to reach 13 million by 2050. Although dementia treatment can lessen the impact of symptoms on daily life (and promising new drugs may slow the progression of dementia), currently there isnt a cure or a way to prevent the disease that affects memory, thinking and behavior.Common dementia treatment options include:Medication options for dementia treatmentMedications are commonly used to treat symptoms of Alzheimers disease and other dementias. Symptoms include cognitive (memory and thinking) issues, behavioral changes and sleep problems.Recently, there have been exciting breakthroughs in dementia treatment. New medications are showing promise at slowing the progression of dementia. These include anti-amyloid antibody intravenous (IV) infusion therapies for people in the early stages of dementia.When considering medication options for dementia treatment, questions to ask your loved ones doctor include:How does this medication treat the symptom(s)?How will you measure its effectiveness?What are the potential side effects? When should we contact you if we notice changes?How will this drug interact with existing treatments for other conditions?What options are available if insurance does not cover this drug?A Person-centered approachA person-centered approach complements medical dementia treatment by addressing behaviors that often stem from an unmet human need. Executive Director of Memory Support Services for Country Meadows Retirement Communities, Joel Kroft, explains, All behavior has purpose and meaning, and all humans use behavior as part of our normal communication with others. When we recognize that behaviors are often expressing an unmet need, either physical or emotional, then we can work toward understanding instead of frustration. If we meet the unmet need that is being expressed, then that behavior often goes away. Through this person-centered care lens, we can minimize or eliminate many challenging behaviors that are really just our residents expressing their needs, without the use of medications, and improve the quality of life for our residents living with dementia.Validation MethodThe Validation Method is a technique and a philosophy for dementia care created from the person-centered care practice of the late, Naomi Fell. This approach accepts the reality of the person with dementia rather than trying to force him/her to accept ours.Family, friends and caregivers learn how to listen with empathy and ask questions that allow the person with dementia to more fully express frustrations and concerns with dignity. By being accepting and compassionate, these conversations can help reduce anxiety and worries in the person with dementia and often improve connection with others.Learn how Country Meadows has embraced the Validation Method in our commitment to quality memory care.Technological toolsTechnology is offering exciting new tools for dementia treatment. The innovative Tovertafel (Tover Table) is an interactive game console that projects dynamic images onto a table or floor for participants to touch.At Country Meadows, use of the Tover Table has been shown to increase alertness and focus, reduce restlessness and tense behaviors including sundowning and promote social and physical activity in residents with dementia. For families, it enhances connections in a fun and meaningful way.

How To Find a Trusted Home Buying Company

Being up front with you, for the first 10 years (of the now more than 25) of being "in business" as a home buyer, I really didn't know why a home seller would sell to my company.  Although I looked at houses, made offers, and bought houses, I also had the question in the back of my mind... "why doesn't this person just list their house with an agent?"Then the real estate market, along with the rest of the economy "corrected" in 2008.  In the several years after that, I had more seniors and their families calling me that wanted to sell a house.  Because they typically had no or very little debt, they actually could sell their house if they wanted to.The way the market was back then, I would talk to numerous sellers who had listed their house with an agent (some more than once), and when the house didn't sell, would call me.  We are in a much different market now, but the reasons that a seller would sell to a home buyer haven't changed all that much.Sellers would typically tell me that they had spoken to one or more real estate agents, were told they needed to do this, fix that, etc, to list their house, but they didn't want to do those things.  They just wanted to sell their house.For years, one of the first things I ask a seller is, "why wouldn't you just list your house with an agent?"  And, they typically always have or had a reason or reasons why they didn't.A common item that I heard and continue to hear from sellers is, "I'm sure I could get more for my house if I listed it, but I like and value the benefits your company offers, so I would prefer to just sell the house to you."These were the hundreds of sellers that "taught me" why they would choose to sell their house to me.Not needing to get "top dollar" or finding value in home buyer company non-financial benefits are something that seems impossible to grasp for most real estate agents.Are Home Buying Companies A Scam?In my view, some certainly are.  As I've discussed in other articles and videos, beware of "wholesalers."  Wholesalers are individuals or companies that state that they buy houses, advertise that they buy houses, but actually have no intent or financial ability to do so.  Once they get a contract to purchase a house, they look for a "real" buyer to sell the contract to and close on the transaction.Because they have no financial risk, they can often overpromise what they can pay for the house.  And, if they cannot find an end buyer, it leaves the seller in a very precarious position, or the wholesaler tries to reduce the purchase price.Another problem is when a home buyer doesn't actually look at your house before making an offer.  When they make an offer without looking at a house, and the seller signs an agreement with them, and they do finally inspect the property, the price will likely be reduced based on some unknown item the buyer states that they weren't aware of.A real home buyer should be able to "close" and purchase a property as soon as a title company can check title and prepare closing paperwork.  With Home Downsizing Solutions, in less than 7 days, or when the seller wants.  We've even purchased a house within 24 hours of having an agreement signed!Characteristics Of A Good Home Buying CompanyI will provide several characteristics of what I think you should look for in a good home buying company, as these are items that I have done to ensure we are "one of the good guys."Have a Real Estate License.  I think its beneficial for a member of a home buying company to have a real estate license.  In an effort to serve sellers I work with as well as possible, I have a real estate license as well as an SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation.This allows me to provide information on the positives and negatives of listing a house as well as selling to a home buying company.  Have The Financial Ability To Actually Buy Houses.  As mentioned above, there are companies that state that they buy houses, but actually don't or can't.  In my company's case, we actually buy houses.  I encourage sellers to call the title/closing company that the home buyer says will close the transaction to confirm that they can actually buy the house, and not just act as a middleman to sell the contract to the end buyer.I also encourage sellers that I work with to call the title/closing company to ensure the purchase agreement contains the specific information that the seller is agreeing to or understands about the agreement, so that there are no misunderstandings before closing.No Pressure Sales Tactics.  I would warn sellers to beware of companies that pressure a seller to sign immediately, or before they were comfortable with signing a purchase agreement.For a similar reason, I would also beware of agents that just want to disparage home buying companies and not acknowledge at least some of the benefits sellers find of value and choose to work with them.Transparency.  I think a legitimate home buying company should share market information with a seller so they can be as educated as possible.  In my case, we typically always show sellers comparable information for their area.  I want them to see the gross selling price that houses have sold for and the condition of those houses.  I also want to provide a realistic explanation of all the transaction costs to sell a house.Realize that when an agent says they can sell a house for $200,000, for example, that is a "gross" number and not the "net" amount that a seller will put in their pocket.  The total amount of transaction costs and what a seller will "net" from the sale of a house will vary and is dependent upon a number of factors.  In average markets, transaction costs will typically amount to 10% to 15% of the gross selling price.Credible and Trustworthy.  Home Downsizing Solutions and their predecessor entity have had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for more than 25 years.  They also have numerous testimonials and 5 start Google reviews from those 25+ years.As mentioned above, I have a real estate license with an SRES designation.I've written books, articles, and provide other information to educate homeowners about selling a house and downsizing or moving to senior living.Home Downsizing Solutions is also an Industry Partner with the NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers).Why Would Someone Want To Sell A House To A Home Buying Company?What I tell every homeowner I meet with is, that if the benefits that Home Downsizing Solutions offers are of enough value, we can be a great solution.  Otherwise, one of the Total Solutions Agents we work with could be a better option to list and sell their house in a traditional manner.What Are Home Buying Company Benefits?No Need To Do Repairs or Updates to A House.  If your house is in great condition, this item is most likely not very important.  But to a person who has owned a house for 20, 30, or more years and has deferred maintenance or updates to be competitive with potential buyers, this may be a very valuable benefit.Contacting multiple contractors, getting bids, ensuring the work is done well, and living in a construction zone is not something that every homeowner wants to deal with.  I've also had numerous sellers say, "If I do all that work and put a bunch of money into my house, I just as well stay."No Need To Get Rid Of The Stuff.  With Home Downsizing Solutions, I always tell sellers to take what you want, sell what you want, and leave the rest...  we'll take care of it.  Unlike a traditional sale, where you want the house to show as well as possible, we don't care what the house looks like or the amount of stuff.  We purchase hoarder houses, so whatever stuff a seller has is not an issue.  This eliminates the need of getting a dumpster and the time and effort to go through stuff that a seller just doesn't care about.No Showings.  A lot of sellers we've worked with just don't want to get and keep their house in a show ready condition.  They don't want strangers in their house.  They don't want to have to leave their house every time an agent wants to show the house.  Maybe someone in the household has health issues that does not allow them to leave the house, or at least not without a great deal of effort and planning.No Whole House Inspections or Appraisal Surprises.  Most traditional buyers will, understandably, always want a whole house inspection.  And since most buyers need to get a loan from a traditional lender, they will need an appraisal.  In almost all but the very "hot" markets, these items notoriously will turn up "deficiencies" that give the buyer opportunities to renegotiate the purchase price.  In my company's case, we buy the house completely "as is."  Unless a structural issue has been discussed with a seller during the initial walkthrough or signing a purchase agreement, the price doesn't change.Move When You Want.  With Home Downsizing Solutions, we can close and buy a house, but let the seller remain in the house for up to 90 days or more.We have worked with many situations where the seller had a "catch 22" where they could either move into a new living arrangement right away but didn't want to leave a vacant house, or they wanted to sell but their new home or apartment wasn't ready for them to move into.  By buying their house and letting them transition to their new home or apartment on their schedule, we eliminated those issues.By being able to buy a house before having to move, sellers are also able to eliminate the need of a bridge loan, if they needed funds from the sale of their house to move into a new living arrangement.We have also worked with situations where we purchased a house, and let the seller keep possession until they were able to have a local resource have an estate sale so they could monetize whatever "stuff" they could.  Then we took care of any of the stuff that didn't sell, so the seller or estate sale company didn't have the time or expense to dispose of the items.Sell Your House And Stay As Long As You Want.  If you love your home but don't want to worry about maintenance or repairs, we now provide an option for that.  We can buy a house and allow the seller to rent the property as long as they want.  We can even come in, make updates or repairs to "age in place," and create the home environment you want.Provide Concierge Services.  A good home buying company, like Home Downsizing Solutions, will learn and understand the logistical needs of the seller.  We have provided or introduced sellers to services such as senior placement agents, senior move managers, moving companies, or other resources that made the transition to a new home less stressful.What Do Home Buying Companies Actually Pay For HousesOne of the first questions I typically am asked is, "what do you pay for houses," or "what percentage of market value do you pay for houses?"  It is common for real estate investing "gurus" to teach their new students to make offers of 70% to 75% of market value, minus repairs.  However, for a good home buying company, this is not all that accurate, and is a very simplistic way to look at this.  It would be comparable to say, "all real estate agents charge 7% to sell a house."With Home Downsizing Solutions, it depends... it depends on what time of year (holding costs are higher in the winter).  It depends on the comparables we can find to determine values or potential values of an area or subdivision.  It depends if there are just cosmetic and "stuff" issues to deal with or if there are structural or potential structural issues.  Another way to state the above is, it depends on risk.  If we perceive more risk to buying a house, our offer is going to be lower than if we perceive less risk.When a real estate agent lists a house, they have no financial risk.  When a wholesaler makes an offer on a house, they have no financial risk.  When my company buys a house, we have a lot of financial risk.  If our calculations are wrong, or there are issues with a house that we were not able to determine before purchasing a house, we can't go back to a seller and renegotiate.  We have all the risk.I know that when we speak to a seller, we have to be competitive with our offers, because they have multiple other options to choose from.  If we were not competitive or provide value to potential sellers, we would not be in business after 25+ years.Home Downsizing Solutions home buyers provides multiple types of offers for sellers.  One example of an offer, other than an all-cash offer, is if a seller doesn't need all of the funds from the sale of a house immediately, we can pay a much higher than retail price by making payments to the seller and turning the equity in the house into an income stream.  Another way to look at this type of option is, the easier it is to buy a house, the more we can pay.Is A Cash Home Buying Company A Good Option To Sell A House?Everyone's situation is unique, and one size does not fit all.  If you're considering selling your house, we can provide a free consultation to discuss the positives and negatives of the multiple options you have to get your house sold.  We want to provide the information you need to make an informed decision of the best path forward for your real estate needs.For additional information, just go to www.HomeDownsiziing.com or call us at (855)-433-5854.

Local Services By This Author

CountryHouse at Council Bluffs

Memory Care 1831 East Kanesville Boulevard, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 51503

CountryHouse at Council Bluffs is a memory care residence that feels like home. We're a community dedicated to creating exceptional days filled with activities, personalized care, and unsurpassed support. Our highly trained and caring staff love what they do and it shows in every interaction. Most importantly, our purposefully built community allows us to be a place families can count on to provide their loved ones with a loving, caring and safe home.