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Senior Moments or Memory-Related Illness?

July 30, 2018

Did you know there are more than 50 million people around the world living with some type of Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory-related illness?  These degenerative brain diseases affect some senior citizens in different ways causing symptoms such as forgetting simple things like words or names, losing the ability to balance a checkbook, neglecting personal hygiene, and encountering other interruptions in daily life.  As the disease progresses, so does the need for a greater level of daily care and support – for the patient and their families.

The Saybrook at Haddam works closely with the Alzheimer’s Association and other professionals to stay ahead of the curve regarding treatments, therapies, and care recommendations.  We are always fascinated by the amount of information the Alzheimer’s Association makes available to patients, families, and caregivers – and we try to share as much as we can with the people connected to our Safe Harbor memory care community.  This is important throughout most stages of the disease, but especially important at the beginning when families begin to suspect something more than “normal aging” is taking place.

The Alzheimer’s Association helps families recognize the difference between what is normal and what is a possible sign of the disease.  These can include:

  • Forgetting an appointment but remembering it later (normal) vs. forgetting it altogether even after asking for the appointment time and date over and over
  • Making occasional errors with a checkbook (normal) vs. not knowing how to deal with monthly bills and leaving them unpaid
  • Misplacing something and having to back track to find it (normal) vs. putting things in odd places or accusing people of stealing lost items

Understanding these important differences helps families determine if their loved one is simply facing a “senior moment” or maybe needs to seek an official diagnosis of the disease, preferably by a geriatrician.  These expert physicians will look at factors such as drug interactions and even dehydration which can cause Alzheimer’s-like symptoms to hopefully avoid false diagnoses.  However, if Alzheimer’s is suspected, a geriatrician has more  experience working with seniors to best direct families towards the most appropriate care plan.

Often, when Alzheimer’s is diagnosed (which can be in men as early as age 60 and in women as early as 70), many families become interested in understanding the brain more – a step that helps them better understand the changes taking place in their loved one.  The Alzheimer’s Association’s “Brain Tour” is an exceptional resource that explains how the brain works and how Alzheimer’s changes it by destroying nerve cells and tissue.

We know people can have signs of Alzheimer’s up to 20 years before they are diagnosed with the disease.  The mild-to-moderate stage can last anywhere from two to ten years with varying symptoms, and the severe stage can last one to five years.  Throughout each stage, patients need a tremendous amount of care and compassion – and our Safe Harbor memory care team is proud to walk by their side all the way.

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

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Board Games – Never Boring!

July 16, 2018

When you tour The Saybrook at Haddam, you may notice we have an abundance of board games throughout the community, strategically located where two or more friends can gather at a moment’s notice.  Most games can be found nestled in our library, game room, country kitchen, and second-floor great room – with plenty of tables and chairs to accommodate players.  Additionally, we feature daily board games (or word or card games) organized by our activities team, which are always open to anyone and everyone – residents and visitors alike – to gather for friendship and fun.

Visitors to The Saybrook at Haddam look forward to playing games with elderly relatives and friends.  We love when young children grab a game from the library and bring it down the hall to grandma’s home, or when they bring grandpa down to the front parlor to play yet another game of checkers or chess.  Sometimes, residents may start a board game (such as Monopoly) and keep it set up in their homes for a few days before they can finish it!

In addition to being a popular way to spend time together, board games offer wonderful benefits for senior citizens. They improve brain health by encouraging different ways of thinking such as strategy, keeping track of things, and even math (to be sure the scorekeeper stays honest!). Games also help conjure good memories, as many were popular when residents were young themselves.

Some of the more favored games at The Saybrook at Haddam are Scrabble, Yahtzee, Connect Four, and Trivial Pursuit.  Each week we also work in a few games of Mexican Railroad and Rummicube (sometimes led by our high school volunteers).

Of course, we must mention Bingo, the perennial favorite among senior citizens.  Our community is no different and we love to host frequent games for guaranteed fun and enjoyment.  We also enjoy making weekly trips over to the nearby Haddam Senior Center to play a few rounds of Bingo with friends from town.  These trips offer a change of scenery, a break from the daily routine, and, yes, a chance to win prizes!

Residents also love games that have nothing to do with boards.  Many folks join us for daily word games, puzzles and other challenges.  And we often see friends pull out a deck of cards for a quick game with fellow residents or visiting family.  In fact, cards are one of the more popular activities when young children come to visit.

We haven’t met a senior citizen yet who did not enjoy games on some level or other.  Giving them the chance to play a wide selection of board games, cards or puzzles each day builds and strengthens friendships, sharpens brains, and contributes towards a wonderful quality of life.  Bring it on!

 

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

Request Information or Schedule a Tour

We’re happy to answer any questions you have and provide additional information about The Saybrook at Haddam.

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  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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