topLoving Arms Elder Care NewsletterOctober 2010
In This Issue
Keeping Your Mind Active
Keeping Your Body Healthy
Keeping Your Spirit Alive
Quick Links
Respite Care
Light Housekeeping
Massage Therapy
Exercise & Fitness

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Earlier this month the caregivers of Loving Arms Elder Care had to say good-bye to our dear friend Harry. Harry was our first male client who we had the privilege of working with. It is amazing what we were able to learn about him in that short amount of time...he loved to drink half a glass of beer at the beginning of every Phillies game. For breakfast he would enjoy three pancakes (not two!) and half a cup of coffee. He didn't like blueberries (for reasons only we know) but he did like shortbread cookies, leg massages, and most of all he really loved his girlfriend "Ann".

We speak of Harry often and how much of an impact he made in our lives in such a short amount of time and know that he and his family truly appreciate the impact we had on his final days.

Getting to know our clients and their families is one of the many things that makes Loving Arms Elder Care so unique. Each caregiver develops a special relationship with their clients so that we can meet and exceed their needs and make them part of the Loving Arms family.

Aimee Read
Loving Arms Elder Care

Fall flowers
Keeping Your Mind Active -depression5
Is it Dementia or Depression?

Never assume that a loss of mental sharpness is just a normal sign of old age. Dementia and depression are both common problems among the elderly, and can share many of the same symptoms making it difficult to tell the two apart.

There's no single test that can differentiate depression from dementia. But some behavior clues may help the doctor make an educated assessment.
  • Memory:  People who are depressed may have trouble concentrating.  But people with dementia consistently have trouble storing new information, such as the recent visit of a close relative or what they ate for breakfast. 
  • Orientation:  Most people who are depressed generally know with whom they're speaking, what time and day it is, etc. People with dementia tend to be confused about some or all of this.
  • Language difficulties:  Dementia patients often have mild to severe language problems that progress. For example, difficulty remembering simple terms such as "apple" might be difficult. Depressed individuals do not have language problems, even though depression might slow speech and language skills.
  • Behavioral differences:  With depression, there is a constant negative spin placed on events or things in daily life. Dementia patients might simply try to cover up or give an excuse for a memory lapse. Hiding memory problems is especially seen in early stages of dementia.
  • Use of familiar objects:  Not a problem for people with depression. Someone with dementia may not remember how to perform routine tasks, such as how to tie their shoes or button buttons.
Whether dementia or depression, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine the proper course of treatment. The treatments are different based upon the type of disorder or disease. Depression is commonly treated with a combination of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy. Dementia usually cannot be reversed, but there are treatments that can help slow its progression and improve quality of life. For more information on Depression versus Dementia, click here.

Keeping Your Body Healthy -stroke3
Recognizing the Signs of a Stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. The good news is that treatments are available that can greatly reduce the damage caused by a stroke. However, you need to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and get to a hospital quickly. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability.

What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when blood fails to reach brain cells due to a blood clot or bleeding in the brain.

Warning signs of a stroke...
  • Visual problems like a sudden change in vision or double vision
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding. Sometimes weakness can cause drooling
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness
If you notice one or more of these signs, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear, don't wait, call 9-1-1. Every second counts, the longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability. For more information on strokes, click here.

Strokes can have a profound effect on persons who have experienced a stroke and their families. Loving Arms Elder Care can support you and your loved one through the recovery and rehab of a stroke. Please contact us and we can discuss the personal support services that we offer.

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Keep Your Spirit Alive - VolunteerVolunteer

Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity for you to make a difference in your community and also in your own life.

Many people look forward to retirement as a time of relaxation rather than a time of opportunity. The opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and explore new destinations. Senior adults have the perfect lifestyle to allow them to volunteer in many different aspects and to remain active, creative and productive as a vital part of society.

Volunteering can add to the quality and health of your life. Research indicates that volunteers enjoy better health, make new friendships, stay active and involved, and learn new skills.

An estimated half a million Americans age 55 and over now regularly volunteer at local nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based organizations.

Want your senior years to make a difference? Then ask yourself the following:
  • What is most important to me in today's world and what can I do about it?
  • What talents/hobbies do I have that I can share with others?
  • What goals can I set for myself and how can I achieve them by helping others?
  • What time constraints do I have or how much time am I willing to invest?
Now, look into some volunteer opportunities that match your answers to the above questions. The following organizations can help narrow down your search - Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) or Volunteer Match.

When you find the right opportunity, it could be the most satisfying work you've ever done.
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