Dementia and OCD Lead to Compulsive ShoppingTavis SchrieferCEO @ teleCalm, Phone service for Alzheimers & dementia, both at home and in senior livingMarch 1, 2024Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects about 1.2% of U.S. adults. People with OCD experience unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that cause them anxiety or distress. They also perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to try to reduce or neutralize their anxiety. For example, someone with OCD may have a fear of germs and compulsively wash their hands or even develop a compulsive shopping disorder.OCD can be a chronic and disabling condition that interferes with daily functioning and quality of life. Unfortunately, some people with OCD may also be at a higher risk of developing dementia, a group of brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, and behavior. Dementia is more common in older adults, especially those over 65 years old, and it can cause cognitive decline, confusion, and personality changes.How OCD is linked to dementiaAccording to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry , people with OCD are more likely to develop dementia than people without OCD. The study used data from a large insurance database in Taiwan and followed 1,347 people with OCD and 13,470 matched controls without OCD for an average of 11 years. The researchers found that:People with OCD had a higher risk of developing Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia, and unspecified dementia than people without OCD.People with OCD developed dementia about 6 years earlier than people without OCD (70.5 years versus 76.7 years).People with OCD had a higher rate of early-onset dementia (before age 65) than people without OCD (1.7% versus 0.1%).The exact reasons why OCD is associated with dementia are not clear, but some possible explanations are:OCD may share some genetic or environmental risk factors with dementia, such as the APOE gene or chronic inflammation.OCD may cause chronic stress or damage to the brain over time, which may increase the vulnerability to dementia.OCD may make it harder to detect or treat dementia symptoms, as some cognitive impairments or behavioral changes may be attributed to OCD rather than dementia.How OCD and dementia affect compulsive shoppingOne of the possible consequences of having both OCD and dementia is compulsive shopping, which is the uncontrollable urge to buy things that are not needed or wanted. Compulsive shopping can cause financial problems, family conflicts, and emotional distress for the person and their caregivers.Compulsive shopping can be triggered by different factors in people with OCD and dementia, such as:Obsessions: People with OCD may have obsessive thoughts about buying certain items or completing certain collections, which may drive them to shop compulsively.Compulsions: People with OCD may use shopping as a way to cope with their anxiety or to perform rituals related to their obsessions, such as buying multiples of the same item or checking prices repeatedly.Memory loss: People with dementia may forget what they have already bought or why they bought it, which may lead them to buy the same things again or buy things they dont need.Impulsivity: People with dementia may lose their ability to control their impulses or plan ahead, which may make them more prone to buy things on a whim or fall for marketing tricks.Boredom: People with dementia may feel bored or lonely due to their cognitive decline or social isolation, which may make them seek stimulation or comfort through shopping.Compulsive shopping can be especially problematic when it involves purchasing products from home shopping channels and other ads on TV. These sources of shopping may be more accessible, appealing, or persuasive for people with OCD and dementia, as they may:Provide constant exposure to new products and offers that may trigger obsessions or impulses.Use high-pressure tactics such as limited-time deals, scarcity cues, testimonials, or guarantees that may exploit cognitive biases or vulnerabilities.Offer easy payment methods such as credit cards, phone orders, or online transactions that may bypass rational decision-making or budgeting.Deliver products directly to the home without requiring transportation or social interaction that may deter or limit shopping.How teleCalm service can helpIf you have a loved one who suffers from both OCD and dementia and engages in compulsive shopping from home shopping channels and TV ads, you may feel frustrated, worried, or helpless. Fortunately, there is a service that can help you manage this issue: teleCalm.teleCalm is a phone service that is designed specifically for seniors with dementia and their caregivers. It works with any existing phone and phone number, and it offers several features that can prevent or reduce compulsive shopping, such as:Blocking unwanted outgoing calls to home shopping channels and TV adsBlocking ALL incoming calls from telemarketers, scammers, and any other numbers you choose.Allowing only trusted callers to reach your loved one, such as family, friends, doctors, or emergency services.Viewing your loved ones phone activity and alerting you of any suspicious or unusual calls, such as repeated calls to the same number or calls at odd hours.Providing you with a dashboard on an app where you can control and customize your loved ones phone settings, such as call blocking, call filtering, or call scheduling.By using teleCalm, you can protect your loved one from compulsive shopping and its negative consequences, while also preserving their dignity, independence, and connection. You can also reduce your own stress and worry, knowing that your loved one is safe and supported.If you are interested in learning more about teleCalm, please visit teleCalmProtects.com or call 1-888-701-0411.
Navigating the Extra Day: A Journey Through Leap YearsLeap years, those quadrennial anomalies in our calendar, have intrigued and puzzled people for centuries. While the concept may seem simple, the implications of leap years are far-reaching, affecting the lives and experiences of individuals across generations.The Earth's orbit around the sun takes approximately 365.25 days. To account for this fractional day, our calendar includes an extra day, February 29th, every four years. This additional day is what we commonly refer to as a leap day.The leap year calendar, also known as the Gregorian calendar, is the most widely used calendar system in the world. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582 to reform the Julian calendar and correct inaccuracies in the calculation of leap years.Under the Gregorian calendar, a leap year occurs every four years, except for years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400. This rule helps synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, making it a more accurate representation of the Earth's orbit around the sun. Imagine reaching the remarkable milestone of 100 years old. Those fortunate enough to celebrate a century of life would have experienced numerous leap years. By the time someone reaches the age of 100, they would have witnessed 25-26 leap years. If you were born on February 29, 1924, and you want to count the leap year in which you were born, then you would experience 26 leap years by February 29, 2024. This includes the leap year of your birth in 1924 and all subsequent leap years every four years, up to and including 2024. The baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, has experienced a varying number of leap years depending on their current age. As of 2024, the youngest baby boomers would be around 60 years old, having experienced 15-16 leap years. Those born in the mid-1940s would be in their late 70s, with 19-20 leap years under their belts. The number of leap years increases with age, contributing to the diversity of experiences within the baby boomer generation.For individuals aged 55 and above, leap years hold a unique significance. These extra days serve as reminders of the passage of time, providing an opportunity for reflection and celebration. Leap years often coincide with major life events, such as milestone birthdays or anniversaries. The occurrence of an extra day in the calendar can be seen as a symbolic bonus, a chance to appreciate the gift of time and the memories accumulated over the years. Leap years, with their irregular but predictable cadence, add a layer of complexity to our understanding of time. For centenarians, baby boomers, and those in the 55+ age group, these extra days contribute to the tapestry of memories and experiences that shape their lives. As we navigate the twists and turns of our temporal journey, let us embrace the quirkiness of leap years and appreciate the additional moments they provide for reflection, celebration, and gratitude. Happy Birthday to all the Leap Day Babies!
Keeping Independent Senior Living Costs AffordableBy: Country Meadows | Independent LivingAs people plan for the future, one common goal among older adults is to maintain independence in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible. However, life is unpredictable, and there may come a time when seniors find themselves in need of a little extra support with everyday tasks or simply crave companionship. Independent living is designed for seniors who are generally healthy and active, but prefer a community setting that offers convenience, social engagement with others and amenities such as meals or recreational activity programs. Independent senior living costs can vary widely based on several factors such as location, amenities, additional services provided and type of housing.Housing typeThe type of housing a senior chooses can significantly impact independent senior living costs. When seeking information on various types of housing, seniors will find options that may include apartments, cottages, condominiums or single-family homes. Larger or more luxurious accommodations typically come at a cost with higher fees.LocationParticular geographic areas can influence overall expenses. Independent senior living in urban or high-demand locations will have higher costs than those in rural areas, as is the case in private homes or rental properties. For example, independent senior living in New York City will come at a much higher rate than living in rural Pennsylvania.AmenitiesIndependent senior living costs often include a range of amenities and services such as fitness centers, activities programs, housekeeping, laundry and transportation services. The more extensive and upscale the amenities, the higher the cost may be. Consider which amenities are important to you and your loved one when choosing senior living accommodations.Meal plansSome independent living communities offer meal plans as part of their services. The cost of these plans can vary based on the number of meals provided each day as well as dining options available, such as special meals where premium menu items such as filet mignon or lobster are offered.Utilities and maintenanceIndependent senior living costs may include utilities and maintenance services in their fees, as is the case at Country Meadows Retirement Communities. Others may have separate charges for these services, which is why its essential to clarify items included in the monthly fee.Healthcare servicesWhile independent living is designed for seniors who are relatively healthy, some communities offer healthcare services or have arrangements with healthcare providers and vendors such as nursing agencies and medical specialists. Additional healthcare services may come with extra costs.Community fees and depositsThere are several different types of senior living communities, and with those come a wide variety of costs. A Continuing Care Retirement Community, also known as a CCRC, may require a large entrance fee for admission as well as a monthly charge to guarantee service availability at every level of care. Other senior living facilities may require a community fee in addition to monthly charges. This fee may cover administrative costs, reserve funds or contribute to community improvements.Social and recreational activitiesAccess to social and recreational activities may be included in the monthly fee at some senior living communities, such as Country Meadows Vibe program. Some independent senior living costs might include higher fees for organized events, outings, entertainment, classes and fitness services.Transportation servicesTransportation services for medical appointments, shopping trips and social outings may be included in independent senior living pricing at some communities. At other locations, transportation services may be billed separately depending on a variety of factors such as distance and time of day.Security and safety featuresIndependent senior living costs typically include secured building entrances and 24-hour emergency response systems in private apartments. Additional security features which might incur higher fees are 24/7 medical alert systems and security personnel, which can significantly impact cost.Its crucial for seniors and their families to thoroughly review the costs of each community. Additionally, considering the long-term financial implications, including any potential increases in fees, is important when evaluating the affordability of senior independent living.Stop by one of Country Meadows Retirement Communities nine campuses in Pennsylvania or one in Frederick, Md., to pay us a visit. For information about any of our locations or services, or to ask a Question, please reach out to our expert advisors. Were here to help! Country Meadows