What To Look For When Visiting Aging Parents

As the world opens up more and we are able to visit with our families, it’s important to check in on our loved ones’ physical and mental well-being. Here are some things to look out for when visiting parents:

Checking the state of the house
Use your five senses as a checklist for examining the state of a loved one’s home. Are there any usual smells or odors in the house, perhaps from rotting food or if they have pets, are they not cleaning up after them? When you look around, do you notice laundry piling up or dirty dishes overrunning the sink? These are all ways you can begin to determine if there has been a change in behavior.

Personal hygiene
How does your loved one look? Have they bathed, are their clothes clean, do they seem to be taking care of themselves? Oftentimes, aging adults have a fear of falling in the shower, so in that case, you can look into getting a shower chair or having someone come to the house to assist with bathing.

Mobility
While it may not look like much at first, decreased mobility can have serious consequences, such as trips and falls. See if your loved one has trouble getting up from or sitting down in chairs, or if their balance seems off. If that is the case, you can start to take the next steps of how to create a safe environment in the house, in case of a fall, and develop a plan to get them help.

Socialization
Human contact and engagement are so important throughout our lives and especially as we get older. If you are concerned your loved one may be feeling isolated, you can start to look for senior centers nearby that offer programming, trips, even meals where they can sit around others. Seniors can also connect with local charities, churches, or synagogues and participate in volunteer programs.

Driving
For the majority of our lives, driving is a form of independence that is very important to us. However at a certain point, driving may not be the best idea for older loved ones. Look at the car itself and see if there are scratches or little dents that may indicate they are having some trouble driving.

If you find your loved one is struggling to live independently, it may be time to consider assisted living. McPeak’s has strived to preserve the health, safety, comfort and general welfare of the elderly and infirm by providing them with modern comfort, warmth of family, and company of good friends. We are ready to help you make the most of each and every day.

5 Tips for Staying Cool and Safe During the Summer

No one is immune to the sun, and for more vulnerable groups like seniors, excessive heat and sun exposure can be especially dangerous. As you spend more time outside, here are some tips to keep safe and cool during the summer months:

Stay Hydrated
One of the best things we can do for our bodies during the summer is staying hydrated. Remember to drink about eight glasses of water and/or fruit juice during the day to replace the water your body sweats out and increase intake if you are doing any physical activity.

Stay Cool
In extreme heat and high humidity, the body has to work extra hard to maintain a normal body temperature. On days like this, it is better to stay inside in the air conditioning or near a fan. If you are going out, movie theaters, malls, and restaurants are all good options for beating the heat for an hour or two.

Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing
Let your body breathe! The best clothing to wear in the summer includes light breathable fabrics like cotton that allow heat to escape your body. Be sure to also wear colors that will reflect the sun such as whites, yellows, light purples and blues.

Know the Early Signs of Heat-Related Illness:
Dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion are all very dangerous illnesses that can affect you if the proper precautions are not taken. Signs of these illnesses include disorientation, headache, lethargy, nausea, a flushed face, high body temperature, rapid pulse, dizziness and confusion. Take immediate action if you feel any symptoms coming on.

Have Emergency Contacts
Prepare a list of family, friends, or caregivers that can be contacted if you feel yourself being affected by the heat.

Soak Up the Sun with These Outdoor Activities!

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, make sure you are getting outside and enjoying your summer! Here are five summer activities for seniors that will get you moving, socializing, and help you make the most of the day!

Visit the Beach
Nothing says summer like a trip to the beach. Taking a walk by the water or simply sitting in a beach chair and soaking up the sun can be very relaxing and has many added health benefits! Increased sunlight lets seniors absorb more vitamin D, which is essential for brain, bone, and muscle function, all while increasing the release of serotonin for mental uplifting.

Take a Fishing Trip
Fishing is a great way to relax and be with nature with a (sometimes) edible reward! For seniors who have limited mobility, fishing is also a great way to socialize without having to move around too much.

Listen to Outdoor Music
There’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying a warm breeze and listening to your favorite music. See if your town offers outdoor concerts, or visit local restaurants that have live music for a unique dining experience.

Have a Picnic
Picnics are a classic summer activity that provide a great way to connect and relax with family and friends. Pack a bag of your favorite sandwiches, snacks and drinks and enjoy your picnic at the park or beach!

Take Regular Activities Outside
You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy the outdoors. Change up your scenery and take regular day activities such as reading, eating, playing games, or even talking on the phone outdoors!

A Step Forward For Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

On June 7, the FDA approved Aducanumab (Aduhelm™) as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a debilitating disease that affects the lives of over 6.2 million Americans. Compared to medications that only address symptoms, Aduhelm is the first FDA-approved therapy to potentially delay cognitive decline from the disease, thus tremendously improving the lives and well-being of those who are suffering. 

Here is what you need to know about Aduhelm:

How does it work?
Aduhelm is an amyloid beta-directed antibody, which means it removes amyloid plaques from the brain, thus delaying the decline in people living with Alzheimer’s.

 

Will Aducanumab restore lost memories or cognitive function?
There is no evidence that Aduhelm can restore lost memories or cognitive function, but it can help provide more time for people with Alzheimer’s to live independently and hold onto memories longer.

 

How is Aducanumab administered?
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Aduhelm is administered intravenously (IV) via a 45- to 60-minute infusion every 4 weeks. Infusion can be done at hospitals or infusion therapy centers, and can even be administered at a person’s home by specialized nurses.”

 

What are the side effects?
The FDA includes a “warning for amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA), which most commonly presents as temporary swelling in areas of the brain that usually resolves over time and does not cause symptoms, though some people may experience headaches, confusion, dizziness, vision changes, or nausea.”

If you or a loved one are considering Aduhelm, talk to your doctor or health care provider to learn if this is right for you.

Remembering Those Who Served on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a wonderful time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation’s freedom.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began to be observed soon after the end of the Civil War to commemorate soldiers who died in battle. The graveside ceremonies consisted of laying flowers and reciting prayers. Over the years, it eventually became known as Memorial Day to remember those who died in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 1966, the U.S. government named Waterloo, New York the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Five years later, the government made Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Today, most Americans associate Memorial Day with the beginning of summer, beaches and barbecues. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that this is a very solemn day for those who have served in the armed forces. There are some ways to let them know they are not forgotten.

If you have a senior loved one who served, and is at an assisted living facility, make some time to visit them. (Before visiting, contact the facility to see what the visitation guidelines are and if social distancing is required.) If your relative lives far away, give them a phone call or send them a card thanking them for their service. If you are interested in sending a letter to thank a veteran, you can visit this website for more information.

McPeak’s Assisted Living provides care for your loved ones while ensuring they maintain a happy, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle, right here in Suffolk County, Long Island, near downtown Patchogue.

McPeak’s observes all holidays, including Memorial Day. With our affordable prices and excellent standard of care, we have the facilities to accommodate your loved one’s needs and allow them to live to the fullest. For more information, please call us at (631) 475-0445 or visit our contact page.

6 Ways Seniors Can Stay Active This Summer!

After the year we’ve had, there is nothing more refreshing than stretching out our legs and spending some time outdoors. However, along with summer’s green leaves and warm breezes, there also comes very high temperatures and unpredictable weather. Safely enjoy the season with these six activities that will keep seniors cool and on the move!

1. Take a walk down by the water
Nature walks in local parks and arboretums are a great way to get out and relax outdoors! Not only will you see the local flora and fauna, but it doubles as both a great social activity if you go with friends or a great way to clear your mind if you go alone. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bring a bottle of water!

2. Catch a sporting event
Nothing says summer like a classic baseball game! Take a trip to your grandchild’s game, minor league or even a professional event. Many stadiums offer discounts for senior citizens! They also provide handicapped seating for those who have difficulty sitting in stadium chairs.

3. Read outside or indoors with the A/C on
Reading is a great activity for seniors year round, but reading can be especially relaxing during the summer. Seniors can read in the shade and enjoy the outdoor breeze, or they can read inside with the air conditioner on. If they have some issues with their eyesight, they can also try audiobooks, which are a great alternative and can be rented at the library or downloaded to a computer or smartphone!

4. Enjoy a cold treat
Ice cream, you scream, we’re all hot and need a little something sweet. Cooling down with a cool drink, fresh fruit, or special dessert adds some excitement to the day and is a refreshing way to beat the heat!

5. Look at the birds
Another classic summer activity, bird watching is a great way to connect with nature and check out all the colorful summer species returning to Long Island! Keep a list of the birds you see and discover new ones you may not have seen before; hummingbirds and orioles are very active this month, so keep your eyes peeled!

6. Get your hands dirty
Add a little bit of color to your yard and plant some new flowers or vegetables! Gardening is very cathartic and adds unique expression to any space, sometimes with edible results, depending on what you plant. Take a trip to the farmer’s market or your local garden and pick out your favorites to plant this season!

With all these activities, be sure to monitor loved ones for the signs of sunburn and dehydration. Be sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and protective clothing and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Overall, stay safe and cool this summer, and don’t forget to have fun!

FAQ: Preparing to Move into an Assisted Living Facility

There often comes a time when we must consider the quality of life and living arrangements for our aging loved ones who may not be able to take care of themselves. In that case, you might consider moving them into an assisted living facility, like McPeak’s. Here are some frequently asked questions that can help guide your decision:

1. How do I go about choosing between facilities?
Every facility is different, so it is important to sit down with your loved one to determine exactly what you are hoping to find, what’s important to you, and what your criteria are. Going over this before you start looking is important, as your loved one may have some expectations or needs that may be different from yours.

2. What is the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?
Assisted living allows seniors to maintain an independent lifestyle with access to assistance to help meet their personal needs. Nursing homes are more ideal for seniors who are not medically stable and need more consistent attention. Assisted living homes also provide a more homelike feel rather than institutionalized nursing homes.

3. What should I bring with me?
Before you pack away everything, go through and pick out things that are special and easily recognizable so your loved one has a piece of home with them. Items such as books, photos, quilts, and even small pieces of furniture can help ground seniors, especially those who may have memory loss issues, as they can identify familiar settings, thus easing their transition.

4. How much does it cost?
Assisted living homes such as McPeak’s are approximately one-third of the cost of living in a nursing home, as all amenities such as food, electricity, aide visitation, and housekeeping are included in the base price. Currently, the rate at McPeaks is $3,300.00 per month.

5. What does dining look like for residents?
At McPeaks, there are three meals served daily which eliminates the need for grocery shopping and cooking. Special diets are observed and prescribed by a physician.

6.What is the visitation policy?
To keep seniors safe during the COVID pandemic, visitation is very limited; however, post-COVID, the hope is that seniors and their families will have more freedom to come and go, visit with family, go out overnight etc. In the meantime, the staff at McPeak’s continue to get tested weekly for COVID-19 and offer vaccinations to any staff members and residents who would like to have the shot.

What is an Estate Plan?

As we get older, it is important to have certain plans in place in order to protect and secure the emotional and financial future of your loved ones. One of the most important processes to start is the Estate Planning process. Here is what you need to know about the four necessary documents that make up an estate plan and how they shape your life’s plan.

What is an Estate Plan?
A collection of documents that protects your assets and personal property (your “estate”) and explains how you want to pass them down. It documents your wishes and specifies exactly who will guard those wishes and act on them in your absence.

The Four Parts of the Estate Plan:

  1. The Last Will and Testament: Lays out who is going to inherit your possessions when you pass on. The will only controls and distributes assets that are in your name alone.
  2. Durable Power of Attorney: Appoints someone to handle your financial affairs if you can’t do it yourself or if you don’t want to do it yourself. It is very important this document is done properly and contains the right language.
  3. Health Care Proxy: Appoints one person to speak with doctors on your behalf if you are unable to communicate your wishes and decisions with your healthcare provider.
  4. Living Will: Personal statement that says, “If I am in an irreversible or incurable condition, I do not wish to have any medical treatment that will prolong my dying.” You don’t necessarily need to have a living will; it depends on one’s personal wishes.

As difficult as the topics of aging, illness, and death can be, knowing you have the necessary plans in place for yourself and your family can provide some peace of mind and structure for your later years.

Taking Care of Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s

If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia, it can be difficult to manage daily tasks. Consider following these practical tips to keep your loved one engaged with their day and reduce frustration.

Keep a flexible schedule
Keeping a consistent schedule for mealtimes, waking up, going to sleep, getting dressed etc., is important for providing a sense of comfort and familiarity for your loved one. However, as they become more dependent, they may be resistant to certain routines; this is why it is important to adjust and adapt to their expectations as needed.

Create a safe environment
Alzheimer’s and other related dementias impair judgment and decision-making skills, so it is important to promote safety by making adjustments to your loved one’s living space. This can include removing rugs and extension cords that can cause falls, lowering the thermostat on hot water to prevent burns, and placing locks on cabinets containing medicine, alcohol, guns or other potentially dangerous items.

Take your time
Anticipate tasks that may take longer than usual and adjust your schedule to them. Be sure to also allow for break times in between tasks in case your loved one is tired or overwhelmed.

Involve them as much as they are able
When others can’t readily help with certain tasks, we tend to put them on the sidelines and do everything ourselves. However, it is important to include loved ones with Alzheimer’s as much as you can, or as much as they can handle in daily activities. For example, just because they need help getting dressed, that doesn’t mean they can’t help set the table or water the yard.

Don’t neglect your own needs
Taking care of a loved one is very time-consuming, but, to be the best caregiver you can be, you must also take care of yourself by making sure you are getting the necessary physical and emotional support. Be sure to be mindful of your mental health, take breaks to eat and exercise, and talk with a trusted friend or family member about what you are going through.

While we will always do everything in our power to help our loved ones, sometimes we need a little extra help. McPeak’s Assisted Living offers a wide range of services that can help care for and comfort those with Alzheimer’s, all while promoting awareness of their impairments. Visit our website to learn more about our services!

Older New Yorkers Now Eligible for the Vaccine Without An Appointment

Senior citizens in New York State can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine without having to make an appointment. This will help more people get vaccinated, said Governor Andrew Cuomo, who lowered the age requirements to receive the vaccine over the past month.

“Thanks to our dedicated providers, we continue to surpass new milestones in our efforts to get every New Yorker vaccinated,” Governor Cuomo said. “Spring weather is here, but we cannot get cocky with COVID, so I urge everyone to get vaccinated and to continue practicing safety guidelines. Receiving a vaccine is easier than ever, with walk-in appointments available across the state. Nothing is standing in your way, so go get vaccinated.”

According to the state’s vaccine tracker, as of May 16, 9,940,875 New Yorkers received at least one dose. That accounts for 49.8% of the state’s population. Meanwhile, 8,295,963 residents, or 41.6% of all New Yorkers, completed the vaccine series. In Nassau County, 779,106 people got at least one dose and 649,435 completed the series. Suffolk County has 759,673 residents with at least one dose and 620,477 finished the series.

Now that walk-in appointments to get the shot are available, it is recommended that seniors who did not get the chance to be vaccinated get the vaccine as early as possible.

Since 1956, McPeak’s Assisted Living has provided care for your loved ones while ensuring they maintain a happy, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle, right here in Suffolk County, Long Island, near downtown Patchogue. With our affordable prices and excellent standard of care, we have the facilities to accommodate your loved one’s needs and allow them to live to the fullest. For more information, please call us at (631) 475-0445 or visit our contact page.