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As we age, we develop normal age-related memory loss, and sometimes our memory loss could relate to lack of sleep or stress. However, sometimes your frequent memory loss could be a sign of premature Alzheimer’s.

Studies show if Alzheimer’s disease is caught early, it can be treated with anti-dementia medication, which slows the progression of the disease. Unfortunately, however, many doctors attribute the signs of Alzheimer’s to getting older and not the disease. Here are some of the differences between normal forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s:

Retrieving Memories

You might have issues remembering things from long ago with normal age-related memory loss. Still, you usually remember something you might have forgotten with aids such as context clues. However, for people battling Alzheimer’s, even recent memories cannot be retrieved. For example, when diagnosing a patient with Alzheimer’s, the doctor might give them three words. One of the words is “apple.” However, when the doctor asks the patient to repeat the three words, and they cannot repeat them, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

Here is a portion of a summary from the website verywellhealth.com that shares the differences between forgetfulness caused by normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Normal Aging

  • Memory improves with context clues. 
  • Vocabulary and relationship understanding remains intact. 
  • Able to remember the order of things and who said what. 
  • Aware a memory problem exists. 
  • Functioning remains good despite forgetfulness. 

Alzeimer’s

  • Recent memory is poor, and cueing clues or contexts does not help. 
  • Unaware memory problems exist. 
  • They are frequently demonstrating poor judgment and decision-making. 
  • Often disoriented to time and place 
  • Difficulty with familiar chores 
  • Repetitiveness becomes obvious 
  • Memory intrusions occur

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we at Next Day Access understand the heartbreak and frustration associated with the diagnosis. We are here for you. We offer numerous products that help people battling Alzheimer’s remain safe in their homes. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation

Cognitive decline, memory problems, and isolation issues are all problems that make aging adults vulnerable to mental health issues. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a study of mental health in older adults ages 55 and older showed an estimated 20% of aging adults experience a form of mental health concern. The most common mental impairments include mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, anxiety, or severe cognitive decline.

The CDC reports these conditions can cause impairments in physical health as well as mental health which can complicate the treatment of other disorders. It is usual for older adults to see mental health decline as they age, yet depression and anxiety are not regular parts of aging.

In addition to the possible clinical intervention in the form of prescribed medications or therapy, several resources and activities are available to help older adults feel engaged and in good mental health and spirits. Here are three tips to help aging adults boost their mental health. 

Tip 1: Stay connected and engaged.

When you stay connected and maintain meaningful, strong social connections with family and friends, it helps tremendously with mental health. There are many church groups for aging adults or other community events you can attend. The CDC says social support is associated with reduced risk of mental illness, physical illness, and even mortality. 

Tip 2: Play mind games.

The brain needs stimulation to stay sharp, just as the body needs physical activity to stay healthy. Keeping a sharp mind helps avoid cognitive decline as you age. An article in Harvard Health Publishing says, “Brain games can help sharpen certain thinking skills such as processing speed, planning skills, reaction time, decision-making, and short-term memory.” Some of the most accessible and common activities for aging adults include: 

  • Writing and reading 
  • Learning a new language 
  • Working a puzzle 
  • Playing Crossword or Sudoku brain games 
  • Learning to play an instrument 
  • Participating in trivia-style games- This could also be an outlet for making friends. Many restaurants now have trivia games, usually, once a week, where different trivia leagues compete against each other. You could join a league and make new friends while improving your cognitive health. 

Tip 3: Exercise

Many forms of exercise could boost your confidence while strengthening your mental and physical health. You could choose to go on daily walks, do low-impact yoga, swim, or even take up ballroom dancing. Joining a gym or your local YMCA would be an excellent opportunity for you to check out the classes they offer and meet new people. 

Not only does exercise have many physical benefits, but exercise also helps with managing stress, depression, and anxiety for aging adults. 

At Next Day Access, we care about aging adults. Our mission is to make you feel safe, independent, and comfortable at home or on the go. We do this by offering several different products like wheelchair ramps, vehicle lifts, scooters, grab bars, and so much more. Contact us today and let us help improve your life. 

Are you an older adult struggling with sleeping? These tips can help you with age-related sleep difficulties, overcome insomnia, and get a good night’s rest. As we age, we experience regular changes in our sleep patterns. You could become sleepy earlier in the day, wake up earlier, or feel you are not getting a good night’s rest. However, insomnia symptoms and waking up tired every day are not a normal part of aging. Sleep remains just as vital a part of your mental and physical health as you age.  

When we sleep our body has the opportunity to repair any cell damage and refresh the immune system. A good night’s sleep also helps you mentally by improving concentration and memory formation. If aging adults do not sleep well, they are likely to feel depressed and suffer from memory and attention problems, nighttime falls, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

It is essential you figure out the underlying causes of your sleep difficulties. We hope the following tips will help you overcome and identify age-related sleep issues and improve your waking life as a result.  

How much sleep do aging adults need?

According to an article on www.caring.com (a website dedicated to helping with senior care), older adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. However, if you wake up feeling rested, yet you slept less than the recommended hours, that is more important than the hours you sleep. Indicators you are not getting enough sleep are feeling tired during the day and waking up not feeling rested. 

Tip 1: Identify the underlying issues causing your insomnia

  • Do you struggle with chronic worrying or anxiety? 
  • Have you recently been through a traumatic experience? 
  • Do you have pain or health problems affecting your sleep? 
  • Are you under immense stress? 
  • Do you feel depressed? 
  • Are you on any medications that affect your sleep? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, seek help from a therapist and your doctor. They understand the importance of sleep and can help you work through problems, change your medication, or advise on medical issues interrupting your sleep. 

Tip 2: Develop better sleep habits.

Naturally, boost your melatonin levels by turning off the computer or television an hour before bed and decreasing artificial lights. You could even switch to low-wattage bulbs in lamps if you can still see well with the lower lighting. 

Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. As you get older, you become more sensitive to heat and light. You can wear a sleep mask to shut out light and invest in a sound machine if complete silence bothers you. You should also make sure your bed is inviting and comfortable. Good linens, soft pillows, and a warm comforter can make a huge difference. 

Set up a bedtime routine. By practicing deep mediation and deep breathing techniques or taking a warm bath every night before bed, your body will begin to relax each evening naturally at bedtime. 

Invest in a bed rail. If you worry each night, you could fall out of bed and hurt yourself, it is hard to fall asleep. Install a bed rail to give you better peace of mind. 

Tip 3: Remember diet and exercise help improve sleep.

  • Avoid caffeine and chocolate late in the day. 
  • Do not go to bed hungry. Have a light snack before you get into bed. 
  • Decrease sugary foods from your diet. 
  • Minimize the amount of liquid you drink before sleep. About an hour before bedtime, be mindful of how much fluid you drink, so you do not wake up often to use the bathroom at night. 

We hope these tips will help you feel more rested each day. At Next Day Access, we work to help aging adults every day by offering products that help you stay safe and comfortable while living independently. If you are in need of accessibility devices such as bedrails, or mobility equipment like scooters or wheelchairs, we are the place to call. We will even come to your house for a complimentary consultation. Feel free to contact us today. 

Arthritis flare-ups can cause everyday activities like getting in and out of the shower painful. We at Next Day Access compiled a list of helpful solutions and tips to help make maneuvering through your home easier.

Bathroom Comfort

  • Change your faucet turners to levered handles. Changing them will make turning on your sink and tub more accessible. 
  • Install grab bars. Having something to hold onto as you get in and out of the tub helps keep you safe if your arthritis flares up. 
  • Invest in a shower seat. These simple seats fit right in the shower stall or tub and can help you conserve energy as you shower. 
  • Elevate your toilet seat. When your toilet seat is higher, this can reduce the strain you might feel from getting on and off a lower traditional seat. 

Living Room and Dining Room Comfort

  • Look into touchless lamps or an alarm system that will turn things on using voice activation. 
  • Find the perfect pillow. Most people with arthritis prefer a cervical pillow because you can keep your neck comfortable. 
  • For doorknobs, you can change them all to levers for easier access or get rubber knob covers that are easier to turn and grip.

Kitchen Comfort

  • For cabinets and drawers, change the handles to pull out levers. Trying to grip a small cabinet or drawer pull is difficult with arthritis. You will find it easier to open them with an oversized handle. 
  • Put the trashcan on wheels. A rolling trashcan will make it much easier for you when it is time to take the trash out.
  • Put items you often use in easy to reach places. Don’t worry if you think things look out of sorts. Your convenience and comfort are what are important. 

Mobility Comfort 

Look into a rollator or a walker to help you conveniently get from room to room with less pain. There are all sorts of walker and rollator designs.

When you are ready to get your home more comfortable and suitable for your lifestyle, Next Day Access is here. We will even come to your home for a free in-home consultation to ensure your home is safe as well as comfortable for you. 

Just because the people you love are getting older does not mean you cannot still have good times and lots of fun together. You may not be playing tag or hopscotch, but you are keeping them emotionally happy and physically young by spending time with them. Here are a few suggestions for enjoying time with your aging loved ones:

Exercise

If your loved one is mobile, walk with them around the block. If they need the aid of a wheelchair, they can stroll with you and push themselves. You can also try chair yoga with them or regular yoga if they are able. When your loved ones exercise, they improve cardiovascular health, prevent diseases like diabetes and arthritis, and help maintain bone mass.  

Play Games

Have you been to the store and sat and stared at the board game aisle lately? There are many new and fun games for all ages. Some of the fun ones to play with your loved ones include:

  • Scategories
  • Yahtzee 
  • Dominos 
  • Checkers or Chess 
  • Backgammon
  • Card games like Hearts, Bridge, Go Fish, War, or Spades

Do a Puzzle

The best thing about puzzles is they both relax you and stimulate the brain. A study from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that you can lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by doing puzzles. Another study from Princeton found that doing puzzles, including crossword puzzles, can increase dexterity. Doing a puzzle will greatly benefit you

Gardening

Creating something together is a lovely activity to do with your loved ones. If you do not have the space for a personal garden, you can also sign up for a community garden. Once you choose the plants or seeds, you would like to bury start planning where to plant them. You will oversee the heavy digging while your loved one directs you where to go. Once your plants grow a little, you both can work on pruning and watering. Then soon, voila, your team effort will have produced a beautiful garden. 

Read Together

You could maybe even join a book club! there are books on countless topics, so there’s bound to be something you will both like. If your loved one can still see without eye strain, you can take turns reading, or if they prefer, you can read the book to them. 

We hope you have enjoyed our suggestions on spending a wonderful time with your loved one. At Next Day Access, we proudly specialize in selling products to help your aging loved ones live more comfortably, safely, and independently. Visit our website and see how we can help you.

The New Year might have you considering exercising for the betterment of your mental and physical health. We compiled a couple of easy exercise tips for you to consider!

A Gym membership 

Most gyms offer discounted rates for older adults. They also have trainers on staff to help you learn the equipment. They even offer to show you how to use the equipment correctly with the right weights.  Your trainer can also help you develop a daily exercise regimen. They offer low impact-to high impact classes to better suit your needs. These classes are perfect for getting your heart rate up.

Swimming

If your gym offers a pool, swimming is a great way to exercise. 

Swimming is the perfect exercise for aging adults due to the low risk of injury. Swimming is a fantastic way to maintain and help your health. Swimming improves muscle mass, endurance, healthy joints, heart health, and strength. 

Home Workouts 

These days there are all sorts of platforms devoted to keeping aging adults in shape at home. The Wii offers plenty of exercise games. One of the simplest ways to work out indoors, however, is to buy small hand weights and ankle weights. These weights help gain muscle mass and lose weight while exercising your heart. Marching in place with weights is also a great way to exercise.  

Indoor Walking

Another simple workout is indoor walking. Simply go to your local mall or museum and walk around briskly. The beauty of walking around a museum instead of a mall is the culture and beauty of the displays. 

No matter how you choose to work out, try making a point of exercising at least 3 to 5 times a week. We hope these exercise tips help you. As always, remember Next Day Access wants to help you live safely, comfortably, and independently as you age in place at home.  

Travel regulations eased since the onset of the Covid Pandemic. Now, many people are taking advantage of the cheaper flights to Europe. Europe is a beautiful place to vacation with great history. Given the older architecture, not every place in Europe is equipped with accessibility laws in place. Which can present difficulties with navigating a wheelchair or other mobility devices. Successful traveling with a mobility device to Europe requires a lot of research and planning, but it’s worth it. Here are a few tips to consider so you can travel safely abroad. 

Accessibility laws 

The United Kingdom and Germany’s accessibility laws are similar to America with their requirements for buildings and transportation. Yet, many countries do not have these same laws. Before traveling to Europe, research which countries have requirements that help citizens with a disability.

Book hotels in advance

Many hotels have very few accessible hotel rooms, so booking hotels far in advance is ideal. When finding a hotel, try to stay in the most accessible parts of town. Look for towns that are not surrounded by hills or stairs. A good way to get an idea of the lay of the town is using Google Maps Street View.

Booking transportation online

In Europe, every training system has different boarding and booking procedures for mobility device users. Most times, you can book wheelchair spots online in advance. However, be aware that each line requires prior notification for a wheelchair reserved spot due to the low availability.

Accessible tour companies 

You can also find accessible tour companies. It is a great idea to book with a tour company, especially one that knows the ins and outs of traveling with mobility equipment. A company that specializes in accessibility tours will take you to the most convenient, smoothest, and shortest routes. It will alleviate a lot of stress when you know your accessibility needs are better met and understood. 

Lastly, enjoy your trip! You’ve done as much planning as you can, and now that’s left is exploring the European history, culture, and beautiful architecture. If you’re in need of a power chair, scooter, or other accessibility and mobility products to help you navigate through Europe, contact your local Next Day Access business.

We all know that walking is good for physical and mental health. But did you know that walking can keep your brain healthy and slow the progression of memory loss? A recent study found that middle-aged and older people with early signs of memory loss increased their cognitive health after they started walking frequently. This is because walking increases oxygen and blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain.

What happens to our brains when we walk

If our brains receive more oxygen, that’s a good thing. According to Neuropeak Pro, our brains use about 20% of our body’s total oxygen supply, so if we don’t get enough oxygen up there, it’s easy to feel “foggy.”

Additionally, a third of our brain is made up of blood vessels. So with increased blood flow to the brain, there is better cognitive function, improved memory, and protection against decline.

Walking several times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can:

  • Keep thinking, reasoning and learning skills sharp
  • Improve memory and cognitive function for people with mild Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment
  • Slow the progress of Alzheimer’s 
  • Increase the size of the part of the brain that’s associated with memory formation.

More research is needed to know how physical activity may improve memory. However, it is important to walk and exercise to stay healthy physically and mentally. At Next Day Access, our goal is to help you keep safe and comfortable while aging in place. We offer accessibility and mobility solutions for your home. Contact us to schedule a free home-assessment.

Research suggests that listening or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. The reason being is that the brain area linked to musical memory is undamaged by Alzheimer’s. It has been proven that music aids in relieving stress, reducing anxiety and depression, mildly improving memory loss, and calming agitated patients. It can also provide a way for caregivers to connect with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s who have difficulty communicating. 

This type of therapy has been proven to bring patients who have dementia to a better place cognitively and emotionally. There are many more reasons for music therapy than just its ability to help with memory loss. Others include:  
  • Treatment for pain management 
  • Physical issues involving gross motor skills or fine motor skills processing grief 
  • Strengthening respiratory function 
  • Stress management  
  • Physical and cognitive health issues
If you would like to use music to help a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease, consider these tips: 
  • Think about your loved one’s taste in music. What music brings back memories of happy times in your loved one’s life? Involve family by asking them to suggest songs to make playlists. 
  • Set a mood with your choice of music. Play music or sing a soothing song to calm your loved one during mealtime or a morning hygiene routine. When you would like to encourage and excite your loved one’s mood, then you can choose more upbeat music. 
  • Avoid overstimulation. When playing music, diminish competing noises if possible.  
  • Encourage movement. Help your loved ones to clap along or tap their feet to the beat.  
  • Sing along. Singing along to music with your loved ones can enhance the mood and strengthen their trust in you. Some early studies also suggest singing can help stimulate unique memories. 
  • Pay attention to your loved one’s response. If your loved one enjoys certain songs, play them often. If your loved one reacts negatively to a particular piece or type of music, change the song right away. 

While the disease currently has no cure, others focus on different ways to improve a patient’s quality of life. Music offers many benefits for Alzheimer’s patients in varying stages of the disease. At Next Day Access, the primary goal is to provide your aging loved one with a comfortable home that is safe and secure. We specialize in making sure your home has all the home modifications in place to keep your loved one happy at home. Contact us to schedule an in-home consultation.  

Have you reached the point in life where it is time to take care of the parents or grandparents that once took care of you? As your loved ones grow older, they often need help with small tasks like picking up groceries, making health-related decisions, or bathing. Whatever their needs may be, it is essential to be supportive and not overbearing. Here are a few steps to help guide you as you navigate supporting an aging loved one. 

Step 1: Assess Their Needs 

Assessing your loved one’s needs is most important when learning to be supportive rather than making them feel like they have not lost their independence. Experts recommend considering the following issues seniors often face to help you better assess their needs:

  • Family support 
  • Home safety 
  • Medical needs 
  • Cognitive health 
  • Mobility
  • Personal hygiene 
  • Meal preparation 
  • Social interaction 

How well do they handle each area listed above? Try to monitor their ability to address each of these areas on their own. Regarding family support, is there another family that can help? If so, it is an innovative idea for you to keep a family notebook. In this notebook, you can share with family when you notice they might lack the ability to care for themselves or are unsafe. You can work together to make the necessary changes.  

Step 2: Be Financially Prepared 

As parents or loved ones grow older, they may need help managing finances. While having conversations about money can be awkward, and some may want to avoid it, discussing it now can help prepare for the future. You can start the conversation by asking about essential documents, gathering information about accounts and key contacts, and helping with deciding long-term plans. If you talk to your loved ones now, it will give them more control over financial decisions, so you aren’t overwhelmed with what they would want in an emergency.

Step 3: Install Home Modifications 

To avoid your loved one from sustaining an injury in their home, having accessibility experts evaluate their home for any safety concerns is essential. Older adults fall easier, and a fall can cause injuries or even death. With home modifications, such as grab bars or stairlifts, your loved one can live comfortably and safely at home.

It is a noble endeavor to take on someone else’s needs. It can sometimes feel daunting, yet if you have a plan, you will be more capable of meeting your loved one’s needs. Next Day Access is here to help. Next Day Access can assist you with determining the home modifications you will need to ensure your loved one stays as safe as possible. Contact us for a free in-home consultation. 

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