Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sharing Meaningful Activities and Special Events


At MorningStar of Sparks, our residents and staff work hand-in-hand to create a loving, warm community.  Part of our family-like atmosphere comes from making memories and celebrating life’s special moments together.  Each month our calendar is filled with daily activities as well as an array of special programs.   

To help raise awareness for the memory-impaired, our community recently took part in the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Longest Day of the Year - Up with Hope, Up with Awareness, Up with Compassion” event.  While the summer solstice in 2017 was officially June 20, we celebrated on June 21 with fundraising by way of a memorable music concert and yard sale.  Another meaningful activity our community recently participated in was the Optimism Walk to support the American Parkinson Disease Association. 

Another example of recent special events at MorningStar was our annual Luau! Residents wearing aloha shirts and leis enjoyed fresh Hawaiian cuisine in the courtyard transformed into a South Pacific getaway.  Two dancers took us on a tour through the islands of Polynesia, teaching Assaad, our Executive Director, a thing or two about rhythm. 

And who knew how much artistic talent was hiding in our community? Our second annual Resident Art Show was a huge success. The Dining Room was decorated with original watercolors and oil paintings: family portraits, stunning vistas and ingenious abstractions.  

If carefree retirement years amid beautiful surroundings, resort-style amenities, and fun-filled and meaningful activities sound good, MorningStar of Sparks is the place for you.  We encourage you to schedule a visit to our community to find out for yourself why our residents are proud to call it home.   

MorningStar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Help Prevent Falls with Balance Exercises


We know that each year more than one-third of people age 65 or older suffer a fall and many of those incidents cause serious injuries or in some cases even death.  This is why preventing falls is extremely important for the elderly, and balance as well as strength excises can help to prevent falls.     
The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends 5 simple exercises that do not require any special equipment other than a chair (and someone to assist you if needed) that can improve balance and increase lower body strength. The series of exercises include the following:  standing on one foot; walking heel to toe; balance walk; back leg raises; and side leg raises. 
These easy-to-do exercises can be done throughout the day and only take a few minutes to do each of them.  For further instructions on how they should be done, the NIH website offers a video on each exercise.  In addition the NIH recommends that seniors try to do three other types of exercises that focus on improving endurance, strength and flexibility.
At MorningStar of Sparks, we recognize the importance of exercising, and as such, provide our residents with a full calendar of daily activities that includes a variety of well-designed exercise programs.  With our large range of classes, there is something that is sure to please everyone. We encourage you to take a look at our fun-filled calendar to see all of the different activities and outings MorningStar residents participate in.       
This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Before beginning any exercises, please consult with your health care provider.
MorningStar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.
Source:nihseniorhealth.gov/exerciseandphysicalactivityexercisestotry/balanceexercises/01.html

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Finding the Best Memory Care


At MorningStar Senior Living of Sparks, our Reflections Neighborhood is an outstanding example of a community devoted to the care for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related disease.  So what do memory care communities like MorningStar’s Reflections Neighborhood offer families searching for solutions for a loved one with Alzheimer’s?  

To start with, the best memory care communities are designed to provide residents with a safe and secure space to freely move about in their surroundings.  For example in our community, we have a secure courtyard for the exclusive use of our memory care residents. 

Another thing memory care provides is to not only meet the daily personal care needs of a resident but also to offer specially trained staff to provide a therapeutic approach to care.  At MorningStar of Sparks, our resident-directed approach uses music, dance, art, aromatherapy, and animals as a way to heal and provide comfort for our residents. 

In fact A Place for Mom website notes that memory care programs report “a higher quality of life in a number of different areas, including reduced medication and medication side effects; fewer falls, injuries, and hospital visits; increased nutrition and wellness; and greater independence and social interaction.”  They add that seventy-five percent of residents experience an “improvement or maintenance of mental functioning.” 

Finally memory care provides the families of those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia peace of mind knowing that their loved one is being cared for in the best possible way.  Please call or schedule a tour to discover more about the finest memory care the Reno–Sparks area has to offer. 

MorningStar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.
Source:aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-11-4-memory-care/

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Finding the Right Gift for a Senior


It can be difficult to find the right gift for an elderly parent, grandparent or relative living in an assisted living community.  We recognize that they have had a lifetime of gifts, and as they are no longer running their own household, they not only do not need as much but have a limited amount of space.   

The A Place for Mom website has a few suggestions for gifts that are sure to please.  One suggestion is to give them a blanket or throw as seniors often suffer from the cold.  However if you want to personalize your gift, there are several companies that will create a cozy throw using one of your family photos.  A talking photo album also lets you create memories through family pictures and when it has recorded voices of the grandkids, it is really special.  

Another idea is to give them a lap desk that allows them to easily read a book or to write a letter from the comfort of their chair.  You could add a couple of adult coloring books illustrated with things they enjoy or places they have been along with some colored pencils and markers to complete your gift.   

A personalized gift basket can be filled with all kinds of things such as their favorite soaps, lotions and perfumes or colognes.  You can also fill a basket with special treats including chocolates, cookies and a small plug-in teapot and tea bags, or do one up with slippers, grippy socks, and a couple of pairs of fashionable compression socks.  

Furthermore, tablets and iPads make good gifts as their touch-screen technology and large print options make them easy for seniors to use.  If your loved one is not tech savvy, set up the tablet before you give it to them with their email address, facebook page and other personal items.  It may be fun to pre-load a few games that you think they would enjoy and add some photos of the family.  Include with the gift the offer to be their “tech support” if they have any problems.   

MorningStar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.
Source: aplaceformom.com/blog/12-18-2012-top-gifts-for-seniors/ 

 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cataracts –Symptoms and Treatments


As we age, it is more important than ever to get regular eye exams.  The American Optometric Association recommends that every person over the age of 60 have an annual eye examination.  They also advise that if you notice any changes in your vision, see an eye doctor immediately. 
Cataracts are a common eye problem in older adults and develop as the tissue in the eye’s lens breaks down and clumps together causing cloudy or opaque areas.  Aging or an eye injury can cause cataracts as well as other conditions such as diabetes and the long-term use of steroid medications.
The size and location of the cataract determines how much it interferes with your vision.  If the cataract is only affecting a small part of the eye, you may not even know you have one.  Noticeable symptoms occur as the cataract grows and starts clouding more of the lens and distorting the way light passes through the lens.The Mayo Clinic says that cataract symptoms include:

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing "halos" around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

Once a person cannot clear their vision with prescription glasses and the cataract is interfering with normal daily activities including driving at night and reading, surgery is the only effect treatment.  The procedure involves removing the damaged lens and replacing it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens, which becomes a permanent part of the eye.

The surgery is done on an outpatient basis and the person experiences a few days of discomfort.  The complete healing process takes about eight weeks.  If a patient needs surgery on both eyes, the second one is done once the first eye has healed.  
This post is for informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns
MorningStar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.
Sources:
aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-over-60-years-of-age?sso=y 
mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/dxc-20215129


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Something for Everyone


At MorningStar of Sparks, we know our residents bring a wide range of backgrounds and diverse interests and hobbies to our community. This is why we offer lots of great activities that are designed to enrich the lives of our residents and allow them to enjoy each day to the fullest. 

As we know it is beneficial for older adults to keep as physically fit as possible, our community has a fitness center as well as a monthly calendar filled with a variety of physical activities.  We start many mornings with swimming and our other offerings vary from Chair Yoga, Sit & Be Fit, Chair Volleyball or other types of exercises.    

For our music lovers, we have many musical programs, musical movie showings, and also bring in outside groups that put on musical performances for the enjoyment of the whole community.  If you enjoy playing games, we have you covered.  Each month residents have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities including Bridge, Cribbage, Blackjack, Bunco and more.  In addition our monthly calendar is filled with a variety of craft activities.  In fact if we do not offer something you are interested in, we can probably help to get it organized. 

MorningStar of Sparks also offers residents a wide variety of scheduled transportation and special outings in the area. Recently a group of residents got out of the Nevada heat with a trip to beautiful Donner Lake.  We enjoyed a fried chicken picnic on the beautiful shore and then made a stop at the Emigrant Trail Museum.  

Please contact us today to schedule a tour to discover for yourself all that we offer. 

MorningStar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Safety Tips for Seniors Taking Medications




Often seniors take multiple medications daily that in some cases have been prescribed by a couple of different doctors for different conditions.  In addition they may also be taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications.  All of this can lead to problems with drug interactions and side effects that range from mild to severe including death. 

In a recent report by the US News & World Report, it cites statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that suggest each year there are four visits to the ER per 1,000 adults attributed to adverse drug effects.  First published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, statistics find that almost 60 percent of Americans take at “least one prescription drug, and nearly 20 percent are taking more than five prescriptions medicines.”  The study also looked at OTC medications and warns that there is a huge potential for “side effects, drug-drug interactions and negative outcomes.”  It also states that for the elderly, the possibility of dangerous drug interactions is even greater. 

One of the most important things that a patient or family member can do to reduce the likelihood of this happening is to communicate with all of your health care providers about the prescription and OTC medications that you take.   It is a good idea, especially if you take more than one medications, to write down the names of the drugs and the amount you take each day and carry it in your wallet.  You can also take a picture of the list of medications with your cell phone so you always have it handy.  Another tip is to fill your prescriptions at the same drug store and to build a relationship with the pharmacist as he or she can help to spot potential problems involving drug interactions.    

Annually review the need for each medication with your health care provider and discuss how long you will need to take the drug.  Lastly be sure to check each new prescription container for accuracy as pharmacies sometimes do make mistakes. 

MorningStar of Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living. 

Source:health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2017-01-13/the-dangers-of-medication-mix-ups-at-home