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Recognizing the First Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. An awareness month is created to help people learn more about the disease, how to recognize it, how to live with it, and hopefully, someday, how to cure it.

There currently isn’t a cure for this progressive disease that slowly takes away a person’s memory along with their ability to cognitively function. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still not fully understood but is believed to be linked to several things that may occur in a person’s health.

  • Age-related changes. The brain naturally ages and with that comes shrinkage, inflammation, and blood vessel damage. All may lead to Alzheimer’s.
  • Genetics-related. If Alzheimer’s disease has been a part of your family history, the risk of developing it is higher.
  • Environment factors. Strokes, diabetes, obesity, and even exposure to pollutants can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

For many, the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s are hard to distinguish because they may look like normal aging. The key when reviewing the symptoms is to consider if your loved one has found the symptoms are interfering with her ability to function daily or if they are occurring with increasing speed. An occasional forgotten name, getting turned around in the store, or misplacing the remote control does on necessarily mean your loved one is developing Alzheimer’s.

Let’s look at the most common symptoms.

  • Memory Loss. While everyone forgets some things, look for signs that your loved one is forgetting recent occurrences that while they may not be remembered exactly, she should have some memory of it. For example, if your loved one forgot that her niece visited yesterday, that may be a sign of Alzheimer’s
  • Problems communicating. Forgetting a word here or there is normal, but being unable to complete a thought or communicate an idea is a problem.
  • Struggling to follow directions. Not being able to follow a recipe or remember simple directions might be indicative of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Spatial judgment. At the early onset of Alzheimer’s, many people lose the ability to judge distance or decipher patterns.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she can still live somewhat independently for a while with the help of family or an Alzheimer’s care specialist. An Alzheimer’s care provider can come to the home to help with tasks and processes that your loved one can no longer do, such as preparing a meal or driving to an appointment. An Alzheimer’s Care provider is also skilled at recognizing when symptoms are getting worse and your loved one may need more assistance, whether that’s at home or in a memory care facility.

You will also need help on this journey, and the Alzheimer’s care professional can help you as well by providing a bit of respite from the 24/7 caregiving and assistance in finding other avenues of support. This is not a road you want to travel alone with your loved one. The more support you have will help you both manage her Alzheimer’s better.

If you are considering Alzheimer’s care in Summerlin, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

Employee of the Month – September 2023

Golden Heart Senior Care is proud to announce that Sheila B. is our Employee of the Month for September 2023. Sheila is a native Las Vegan and has two wonderful sons and three grandchildren. Sheila took care of her grandparents when they were ill and then she decided to become a caregiver because “seniors need all the help they can get.”

Sheila says, ” I love being with the elderly no matter how old or sick they may be. You can always learn something new from seniors.”

Please join us in congratulating Sheila as the September 2023 Golden Heart Senior Care Employee of the Month!

How to Keep Your Senior Driving Safely

Just because your loved one has reached a certain age, it doesn’t necessarily mean she needs to quit driving altogether. Many seniors can still drive but they may just need to be a little more vigilant about ensuring that they are driving safely. When it comes time for them to hang up the keys for good, a home care provider can be there to offer transportation for your parent.

Let’s look at some ways your aging loved one can help make sure he’s still able to drive safely around town.

  • Keep those eyes in good shape. If your loved one is driving, it’s more important than ever that he keep on top of his eyesight and get new glasses when needed. If the glaring sun is an issue, prescription sunglasses may be a must as well.
  • Keep tabs on hearing as well. Hearing may not always seem to be a necessary sense for driving, but it is very important. Your loved one needs to be able to hear when others honk at him in warning or hear an emergency vehicle coming up from behind in order to move to the side of the road.
  • Keep track of medication side effects. When a new prescription is filled, take the time to ask the doctor and pharmacist if the medication can be used while driving. You’ll want to know if causes sleepiness or a slow down in reflexes. If it’s a temporary medication and has those side effects, your loved one should look for help from his home care provider for rides while he’s taking the medication.
  • Keep the car in tip-top shape. Help your loved one drive more safely by ensuring his vehicle is in the best of shape. Look at the tires to ensure the treads are in good shape for traveling on wet or icy roads. Check the windshield wipers to make sure they’ll be able to keep the windshield clear during an unexpected downpour. And check that all of the exterior lights are working and providing good illumination of the road ahead of him and behind him.
  • Look at replacing his car. If your loved one needs a different car to help him drive better, you might want to consider a car that suits his needs better. Perhaps he needs to change from a standard shift to an automatic shift. Or you might want to look at a car that is easier to get in and out of.
  • Finally, remind your loved one about safe driving practices. Knowing that responses often slow down as a person ages, it’s more important than ever to not exceed the speed limit, give plenty of space between him and the car in front of him, and turn off all distractions while driving.

Your loved one may need to make some adjustments so that he can still enjoy the road, but aging doesn’t mean he needs to completely give the wheel to someone else.

If you are considering home care in Summerlin, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

Dietary Changes Can Help With Arthritis Pain

Your mom’s arthritis is worsening, and she’s struggling to do things around her home that used to be easy. Her doctor has recommended several things to help with arthritis pain and inflammation, and one of them is her diet. How will dietary changes help her? Find out more about how nutrition affects arthritis, and how elder care can help.

The Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The Arthritis Foundation recommends whole foods with minimal processing and healthy fats, especially extra virgin olive oil. For this reason, the Mediterranean Diet is ideal. The foods you focus on improve the gut biome that can help ease inflammation that triggers many common health issues, including arthritis flare-ups.

The foods to focus on in an anti-inflammatory diet include:

  • Cold water fish like anchovies, herring, sardines, and tuna
  • Heart-healthy oils, especially avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and walnut oil
  • Legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, and pinto beans
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts
  • Produce including a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, especially blueberries, broccoli, cherries, kale, and spinach. Nightshade vegetables like eggplant, red bell peppers, and tomatoes are also good
  • Whole grains, especially those that have gone through minimal processing like farro, hulled barley, and quinoa

When your mom is planning her meals, she should aim for her plate to be half vegetables and fruit, a quarter grain, and a quarter protein. She wants to eat more vegetables than anything else.

It might help her to have someone sit down and plan suitable meals and snacks all week. Once she has the menu plan built and posted on a fridge, corkboard, or online spreadsheet, she can build a shopping list. If she needs help shopping, get someone to go with her and make sure she chooses the proper ingredients.

Exercise Is Also Important

In addition to dietary changes, your mom should be getting daily exercise. A brisk walk for at least 30 minutes per day is a good start. If she can mix up the types of exercise she does, it’s even better. A bit of cardio, strength training, and Yoga or Tai Chi are good ways to get a variety while also developing breathing skills that help with relaxation.

What if she hates going outside for walks on her own? Arrange for a caregiver to join her on walks. Exercise helps strengthen muscles and joints, but it’s also helpful for weight loss. If your mom is overweight, losing some weight may help her ease arthritis pain in the ankles, knees, and hips.

Elder care services can help with arthritis pain that isn’t easing. Instead of struggling to do things on her own, your mom can have a helping hand with things like laundry, housework, and meals. Learn more about elder care by making a call.


If you are considering elder care in Henderson, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.