Mr. Poppers and Holiday Entertainment Creative a Festive Atmosphere at Country Home Assisted Living

The holiday season will be quite festive at Country Home this year with special entertainment and the addition of a puppy named Mr. Poppers. Mr. Poppers, a 3-month-old Bichon Frise, joined us at our Elbert County assisted living facility on Nov. 6, 2017. He fills a void that was created by the death of Romeo, another Bison Frise who passed away in June after 13 wonderful years of entertaining and calming our residents.   As you may already know, pets are very helpful when it comes to improving the mood and health of people they are around. Pet interactions help the elderly, both physically and mentally, by giving them new meaning and improving their overall well-being.   We’ve been successfully using pet therapy at Country Home Assisted Living for 13 years, starting with Romeo.   Pet therapy and Romeo’s spirit stay alive with Mr. Poppers. While Country Home residents and staff came up with all sorts of cute names for the new pup, Mr. Poppers was selected because it was Romeo’s nickname. Plus, the puppy pops around like a little jumping bean.   As a member of the Flynn line, Mr. Poppers also comes with great credentials. His dad has been the #1 Bichon Frise in the country for the past three years.   But Mr. Poppers isn’t the only one who will keep residents smiling as we enter the holiday season. Professional entertainer Steven St. James will sing at our Christmas party on Dec. 4. There may also be a visit from Santa Claus and an outing to one of the Parker PACE Center’s holiday shows.   We’re...

Serious Memory Issues: Is it Time to See a Doctor?

Memory issues and forgetfulness are something we all face as we get older. It can be frustrating for elderly individuals as they struggle to find the right words, remember information and learn new things. Last month, we talked about the less serious forms of forgetfulness, those that are brought on by emotional and some health issues. This month, we are going to talk about the more serious types of memory issues, including dementia, Alzheimer’s and amnestic mild cognitive impairment. By looking at each of these individually, I’m hoping you can help friends or loved ones who might be dealing with serious memory issues. Let’s start with dementia, which is not actually a disease but a group of symptoms that are caused by certain diseases or conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. When someone has dementia, they have a loss in their thinking, memory and reasoning skills to the point that they can’t carry out their daily activities. According to an article about forgetfulness on BrainHealth.gov, people with dementia lose their mental abilities at different rates, but the symptoms often include: Being unable to remember things; Asking the same question or repeating the same story over and over; Becoming lost in familiar places; Being unable to follow directions; Getting confused about time, people and places; Neglecting personal safety, hygiene and nutrition. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia and is caused by changes in parts of the brain that result in the death of nerve cells. It can begin slowly with simple forgetfulness. As damage to the nerve cells spreads throughout the brain, the condition becomes worse and...

Memory Issues – Causes and Helpful Tips

Memory problems are common as people age. In fact, we’ve all been there. We walk into a room and forget why we wanted to go into that room. We forget where we put our keys or our glasses. However, there are varying degrees of forgetfulness. Mild forgetfulness is considered a normal part of the aging process. As we age, it can take longer to learn new things, it can be more difficult to remember information and it is common to misplace possessions like keys and glasses. Other types of memory issues can indicate a more serious problem, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This month, we’re going to look at less serious memory issues – why they can occur and tips for dealing with and avoiding them. Next month, we’ll look at the more serious problems. Let’s start by looking at the two main causes of mild forgetfulness – emotional and health issues. Forgetfulness that is caused by emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety and depression, can often be mistaken for dementia because it can be accompanied by confusion. It can be triggered by losing a spouse, relative or good friend; or even retiring from a long career. Think about someone you know who has lost a spouse. Coping with the loss often leaves them feeling a bit confused, sad, lonely, worried and bored. This confusion and forgetfulness is usually temporary and will go away over time. The love and support from friends and family will help ease these emotions. However, if these feelings continue for more than a year or so, it might be wise to see a doctor...

So Long to Romeo, Country Home Assisted Living’s Beloved Friend

It is with a heavy heart that I mention today that my beloved Romeo, a Bichon Frison who joined us at Country Home Assisted Living in January 2004, left us in June 2017. Fortunately, he passed away in his sleep and was never in distress. Romeo will never be forgotten by me or Country Home Assisted Living’s residents and families who enjoyed his ever-uplifting spirit and spunk. He made us all smile in so many different ways. When Romeo first joined us, he was just an itty bitty guy. But he learned the ropes of living in the countryside of Elbert County and at County Home in no time. He was a greeter to anyone who came to our door. He would sit fondly next to us on the couch as we watched TV. And he was always there for the many parties and celebrations held at our assisted living facility in Parker, Colorado. His departure has been difficult. I truly miss my beloved friend. But I know he is on to a new adventure, so to him I say: “This is where we part my friend, and you will run on around the bend. Gone from sight, but not from mind, new pleasures there you will find. I will go on; I will find the strength. Life measures quality, not its length.” There are others who feel the same. Romeo added so much joy to our lives. In fact, I know many feel blessed to have known this special dog with a joyous spirit, who will never ever be forgotten. So long, dear...

Caregivers Need to Think About Themselves Too

Caregivers can become extremely important in the lives of elderly individuals. In fact, they can make all the difference in the quality of life that is enjoyed by seniors as they age and face health issues. At the same time, the job of a caregiver can be quite taxing and stressful. The stress and emotional rollercoaster ride that comes with care giving are just two reasons why it is so important that caregivers take care of themselves – not just the people they are caring for. As the owner of Country Home Assisted Living in Elbert County, I make sure my caregivers are given the appropriate amount of time off work. During that time, I encourage them to get out of the care-giving mode and do some activities that they really love or enjoy. If you are a caregiver for a loved one, make sure you take time for yourself. You can’t be effective if you spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week caring for someone – even if it’s your favorite parent or grandparent. Make sure you do things that make you smile, whether it’s reading a book, taking a long bath, watching a funny movie, listening to your favorite music or participating in your favorite sport or hobby. (I’ve got even more ideas on how to reduce your stress in my blog: “5 Tips for Reducing Stress While Caring for Aging Parents.”) During the workday, however, it is much harder to get a break while you are tending to individuals who rely on you. So, I have several suggestions for caregivers who find themselves in...