Where Better Care is a Family Matter

Memory Care: 5 Superfoods to Improve Your Brain Health

memory care

As we age, it’s natural for our cognitive brain function to slow. However, we don’t want to lose pieces of it or its function entirely. Sufferers of Alzheimer’s and dementia are growing in numbers rapidly. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive list of 5 superfoods to improve your brain health and ensure your memory care plan is working for you, not against you.

Add these five superfoods to your regular diet to improve memory care:

Fish Packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t just good for your heart health, they’re beneficial to your memory care. One of those fatty acids is DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, and this acid helps keep the neurons in your brain running normally. DHA impacts the structure and signaling systems in your brain and allows your memory to function at optimum levels.

Keep your brain at its best by replacing some of the red meat in your diet with fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.

Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables

It’s always been said to ‘eat your greens’, but what you may not realize is that some of those greens are literally keeping parts of your brain alive. Dark green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens and broccoli are incredible sources of vitamin E and folate.

Folate assists in lowering the levels of certain amino acids such as homocysteine in your blood, and homocysteine itself is responsible for killing off nerve cells in your brain. By adding these leafy greens to your diet, you’re stepping up your memory care and keeping those cells alive.

Avocados

Like our dark green friends above, avocados are rich with folate as well as vitamins E & C. Avocados are monounsaturated fats which allow increased blood flow and lowers blood pressure – two factors that have been linked with the cognitive decline found in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Want an even better reason to add this fruit to your diet? It’s also chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, just like our fish friends salmon, tuna and mackerel.

Peanuts, Almonds and Hazelnuts

Diets that are high in healthy fats have shown positive results in staving off the decline in cognitive brain function. Peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts are all great sources of omega-3s, omega-6s, vitamins E & B, folate and magnesium.

If these stats aren’t enough to convince you to add plenty of omega-3s to your diet, this just might: People who incorporate omega-3s in their daily intake decrease their chances of developing dementia by 26%.

Blueberries, Strawberries and Acai Berries

As we age, our memory tends to age with us. However, research has found that blueberries, strawberries and acai berries are powerful contributors to assisting the brain with removing the toxic proteins that are associated with memory loss.

It’s no wonder that these berries made the list as blueberries are also a great food for lowering high blood pressure and boosting your immune system. Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, memory care is something no one should take lightly. Add these superfoods to your diet and improve your brain health.

Worried you or a loved one might be losing brain function? Read our post on the 7 signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s not to ignore.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a dedicated and certified Memory Care Unit for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. For more information or to tour our facility, give us a call today.

Don’t Ignore These 7 Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a certified memory care unit specializing in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you or your loved one is exhibiting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, give us a call or stop by today.

We all experience “senior moments” and even in our forties and fifties, we can be forgetful, confused, and a bit disoriented. We may be able to attribute it to getting older, hormonal changes, or imbalances in brain chemistry as we age. After all, isn’t this normal? How can we tell if these moments are typical, age-related changes or signs of Alzheimer’s? Forgetfulness is very common especially as we age, but it’s critical to recognize when mild confusion or memory loss may mean something much more serious.

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disease causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Even today, scientists still continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It seems likely the damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear.

If memory problems are seriously affecting your daily life, they could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. While the number of symptoms you have and how strong they are vary, it’s important to identify the warning signs and ask yourself some tough questions.

1. Memory Loss

Do you easily forget information you just learned? Do you lose track of important dates, names, and events? Do you forget significant milestones even happened? Do you ask for the same information over and over, or repeat thoughts or questions to others often? Do you rely heavily on memory aids like post-it notes or reminders on your phone?

2. Trouble Following Directions

Maybe you have a “tried-and-true” recipe that you could cook in your sleep, but now you suddenly have trouble assembling it? Is it hard to concentrate on detailed tasks, or do you have trouble making plans and sticking to them? Tasks that require problem-solving and attention to detail might be especially difficult.

Another place you may notice an impact is in your financials — you may have trouble keeping track of bills, which will be more obvious if are typically diligent about paying them on time.

3. Behavior or Personality Changes

The mood and personalities of people exhibiting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s can change. Do you get upset easily, or feel depressed or anxious? While it’s normal for people to battle depression or experience frustration at times, changes in a person’s basic disposition or temperament aren’t normal and may be cause for greater concern.

Perhaps you or your loved one is exhibiting unusual behavior? Are you more prone to wandering, wearing clothes that don’t suit you or your environment, or engaging in “unsafe” behaviors?

4. Trouble Communicating

Are you having trouble following or joining a conversation? Perhaps you have stopped in the middle of an ongoing dialogue with someone, and have no idea how to continue, or you repeat yourself. Do you struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word, or call things by the wrong name?

5. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps

Everyone misplaces things from time to time, but can you retrace your steps to find them again? Do you put things in unusual places, like placing your wallet in the refrigerator? Do you accuse people of taking things that you later find you misplaced?

6. Decreased or Poor Judgement

Many people with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in judgement or decision making. You may even find yourself doing things that are very out-of-character and atypical of your personality. Are you using poor judgement when dealing with money? Giving large amounts to telemarketers or others? What’s more, you may be paying less attention to grooming or keeping your home tidy.

7. Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities

A person with signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports. You may even have trouble keeping up with your favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. You also may avoid being social because of the changes you’ve experienced.

If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or someone you know and love, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. With early detection, you can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a secured certified memory care unit for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s and our dedicated staff understands the challenges you face when dealing with these memory-related diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease progression can be slow, but the impact it has on families can be difficult to process. The most important aspect behind this emotionally-painful disease is that you are not alone. Rely on Elmhurst Extended Care Center to be your support and resource center.

For additional guidance and information for those facing Alzheimer’s and dementia, check out our regular Family Support Groups. Contact our facility today to find out when the next group will be held.

The Difference a Family-Owned Facility Provides in Skilled Nursing Healthcare

skilled nursing

When the time arises that you’re focused on mental images of nursing homes and the negative connotations that can sometimes accompany those thoughts, you may feel like you’re admitting and recognizing that either you or a family member is getting older, and their needs have changed.

What’s more, you’d love to find a facility where the focus is not so much on “group care,” but rather on aiming to offer a superior, individualized quality of life approach for you or your loved one.

A Family of Caregivers Focused on Your Family

Since 1960, Elmhurst Extended Care Center has solved this dilemma in skilled nursing care by taking a different approach: the “small home,” family-owned model.

Instead of multi-story buildings where residents share rooms along bleak, long corridors – facilities that resemble hospitals at worst and corporate hotel chains at best – we try to create a home-like environment, where your loved one receives the individualized care and attention they deserve.

Our approach is simple … we truly are a family of caregivers focused on you and your family.

A Setting That Feels Like Home

At EECC, our smaller, family-owned model moves away from the hospitalization-like treatment of seniors. Within our facility, we try to recreate the personalized, patient-centric care given to a loved one in a home environment.

The big difference between large, traditional skilled nursing care facilities and smaller, family-owned facilities is the organizational structure. Traditional care facilities are hierarchical, task-centric organizations, where large staffs focus on executing a strict routine of tasks associated with the care of patients.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center is family-owned and run by a small, self-managed team, meaning the residents’ voices are heard and listened to – and our skilled nursing staff can better cater to each of their needs and preferences.

Enjoy More Staff Per Resident

The core attributes families are looking for, no matter what type of out-of-home extended care they are considering, include quality healthcare; staff who are compassionate, friendly and responsive; and security, safety and peace of mind that their family member is taken care of like their own.

EECC excels in these areas, where as larger institutions may fall short. A low ratio of residents to staff means staff members are more likely to notice problems early, when they are small, and help patients get treatment before those problems become serious.

Ability to Meet Specialized Needs In A Small Community Setting

For anyone with specialized needs, whether it’s a doctor-mandated diet, certain lifestyle choices or a cognitive disability such as dementia, EECC can be the ideal choice. Our facility more easily caters to these specific, individualized needs because of our incredible staff-resident ratio and our in-house specialists such as our physical therapists and dietitians.

You and Your Family Always Come First

EECC offers the opportunity for close relationships with the caring staff and other residents. We are not a large corporation with multiple branches and locations, so the setting feels comfortable, inviting, and simply like a natural extension of your home.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center raises the bar for skilled nursing standards and cares for you and your loved ones like they are family.

From excellent, unparalleled healthcare, to a host of amenities such as physical rehabilitation, long-term care, memory care, and respite stays, EECC is deeply committed and connected to you and the communities we serve. We work to meet the physical, emotional, and personal needs of residents in a caring, compassionate environment where families always come first.

To learn more about how Elmhurst Extended Care Center can meet you and your loved ones needs today, call or stop by!

Interview with Administrator, Love Dave

skilled-nursing-facility

Elmhurst Extended Care Center takes great pride in our staff. Our skilled nursing facility is filled with a great group of caring people, making it a welcoming place for residents and their families. Our administrator, Love, is no exception. Having started as an intern in 2007 with EECC and then coming on full-time the following year, Love has helped in every department, and eventually accepted the position of Administrator as he truly valued the family-first mentality of our facility.

We sat down with Love to get an exclusive view of what brought him here and why he continues to be at the heart of Elmhurst Extended Care Center.

What brought you to choose to intern at EECC?

I wanted to intern at Elmhurst Extended Care Center because I was looking for a career path. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do going into my last semester in college. I talked to family and friends and my mom was the one that suggested I go to EECC to see if it would be a good fit. She had been employed at EECC for long before that and thought it was a great place to work. I agreed once I started coming in.

What does your day-to-day look like as the Administrator?

My day-to-day changes everyday. That’s actually one of the reasons I like this position so much. It never gets dull or repetitive. My job is to oversee all of the operations, supplement the departments, and give them the tools that they need to succeed. That includes hiring new staff, creating and revising policies and procedures, negotiating contracts, resolving conflicts, handling investigations, ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations, and whatever else comes to my attention.

What do you believe sets EECC apart from other skilled nursing facilities?

Elmhurst Extended Care Center is different than other skilled nursing facilities because we are a small family business. We are here everyday and care about the people that have trusted us to help them. We treat our staff, residents, and their families like we would our own. The staff are our own employees, they aren’t contracted from another corporation. Our residents are cared for by the same people everyday and are able to build relationships with us. For people that want a personal touch when they get care, come to us.

EECC’s family-owned skilled nursing facility offers many avenues of care including a rehabilitation center, a certified Alzheimer’s Care Center, and long term care. It really is a place where better care is a family matter.