During these unsettled and unsettling times, many of us are losing sleep over the ramifications of shutdowns, lockdowns, masks, social distancing, financial woes, empty supermarket shelves, disease, and whatever other worries we hear about or even manufacture ourselves.
Although the average person can lose sleep for various reasons, research has shown that Alzheimer’s patients have a greater tendency to experience altered sleep patterns that can keep them awake at night. It seems Alzheimer’s affects the brain in some unknown way.
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It has its roots in the days shortly after the Civil War, the war that cost more American lives than any war in history. Originally called "Decoration Day," “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land" (May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan).
For many dementia and Alzheimer patients, this day may or may not mean anything. Survivors of World War II are few and are slipping away, as are their memories and the culture's memories of their sacrifice. Every generation has its warriors, and they deserve at least a moment's notice and recognition for their place in America’s history.
Medications can be real lifesavers when taken in the proper doses and at the proper times. This is especially true for prescription medications meant to treat specific symptoms for specific individuals. However, they can turn on you if you take them in the wrong doses, at the wrong times, or don’t take them at all. This is a danger for older adults who may be taking multiple medications and may have memory issues.
If you find yourself or a loved one in a situation where medication schedules are confusing, it’s time to look into some products and services that can keep you on track. The keys to success are organization and reminders. Once you know what needs to be taken when and in what dose, the next step is to make sure you are reminded about those requirements.
Keeping in touch with a loved one in a care home is especially difficult during this epidemic. The restrictions and pleas to stay at home leave many wondering just what is allowable and what isn’t. Compounding this stress is the fact that regulations are constantly changing, and dementia patients may not understand what is going on and why you don’t visit them. A few scenarios and guidelines may help you stay connected, both for your sake and the patient’s.
It is always South Mountain’s top priority to maintain the health and well-being of your loved one. Since early fall, SMMC has been following the CDC’s recommended procedures for cold and flu season, which poses a great risk to our population. Long before the Coronavirus was a concern, our efforts were focused on keeping our facility disinfected, encouraging hand washing, excluding anyone with cold symptoms from group activities and meals and monitoring our staff and residents for any significant changes in their health status.With the recent surge in activity regarding the Coronavirus (Covid-19) , SMMC is proceeding with an abundance of caution in order to protect our community. At this time, we are asking anyone that is feeling under the weather not to visit the building until they are without symptoms, such as a cough or fever. We are also requesting that anyone who has traveled internationally to an area of confirmed outbreak recently not visit the community for at least 14 days after traveling (the quarantine period recommended by the CDC.)
Currently, all scheduled activity outings have been removed from the calendar until the situation has stabilized. It is vital that all visitors, regardless if you visit frequently or not, sign in using the guest sign-in book located at the front desk.
If need be, we will make changes to the visiting hours or close the building to non-emergent visitors all together and those changes will be communicated to you. We have many parameters in place that can and will be implemented should the need arise. Please know the safety of our residents and staff is our greatest concern.
If you have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Hand sanitizer is available in the vestibule entering and exiting the community for your use. Due to the national shortage of masks, we cannot provide masks to those who come ill to the community, which is why we are asking that you stay home. We greatly appreciate your support in our efforts to keep everyone safe during this time.
For more detailed information on preventing the spread of Corona Virus, visit the Center for Disease Control at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Megan DePalma, PCHA