Loneliness Can Be Deadly

woman looking out windowThe COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Lehigh Valley as hard as any place in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. To some, the lockdowns and restrictions are a mere annoyance; to others, it has been life-changing. For a small, yet equally human, portion of the population, not only is the virus physically dangerous — the isolation imposed upon seniors to protect them can be psychologically harmful as well.

While South Mountain Memory Care takes all possible precautions to protect our residents, staff, and visitors, we also provide an environment of 24/7 personal care and attention, and we get to know the residents and their loved ones personally.

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Why a Personal Emergency Response System Is Crucial for Aging in Place

(BPT) - With more people than ever choosing to age in place — that is, continuing to live in their own homes — medical alert devices and modifications to make seniors’ homes safer and more accessible don’t have to break the bank. Installing ramps, railings, and ensuring medication adherence are simple steps you can take to ensure your loved one’s comfort as their range of mobility changes with age.

As the needs of those we love evolve, technology has adapted to help allow seniors to continue living independent, confident lives while also providing peace of mind to their families. Gone are the days of medical alert devices that require a working knowledge of technology or are too pricey for the average retiree. Instead, the best senior medical alert systems on the market have accessible, intuitive technology that aids in opening up the worlds of seniors who are choosing to age in place amidst the pandemic and beyond.

The time may come when your loved one will need more personal and immediate care, and South Mountain Memory Care offers safe, attentive, active accommodations. Until then, here are some tips that can help them age in place.

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Skipping Medications Can Be a Problem for Dementia Patients

With the rising population of seniors in the Lehigh Valley, the use of pills, liquids, and other medications is on the rise. Many are prescribed by healthcare professionals, while others can be purchased off-the-shelf from pharmacies and even convenience stores, without prescriptions. As new remedies are offered and brand names increase, there can be much confusion when it comes to keeping up with essential medications and their requirements.

“Polypharmacy” is a word describing, in general, the use of multiple medications to treat one or more conditions. As you can imagine, great caution is needed to balance the meds and keep up with correct dosages. This can be difficult enough for anyone, and a special concern for someone with Alzheimer's or other dementia. The WHO estimates that 50% of patients with chronic illnesses do not take their meds as prescribed, with 10% of hospital admissions and 23% of nursing home admissions being due to what is called “nonadherence.”

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What Is a Memory Care Community?

Many spouses and children caring for an aging senior in early stage Alzheimer’s disease or dementia seek resources to help their loved one. As the disease impacts more people, new resources and services emerge. A relatively new concept is a memory care community.

14 most common health concerns for seniors RM 722x406

A memory care community is a senior living facility, either a personal care home or assisted living facility, where residents have a semi-private or private suite and receive meals and assistance with daily living activities. This can include help with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and other personal activities. These communities also provide additional services such as activities programming, medical management, transportation and amenities throughout the building including a salon, barber shop, and more. Some medical services can be provided on site by third party medical professionals such are podiatry, physical, speech and occupational therapy.

What sets memory care living apart from assisted living or senior living is that the building, facilities, staff and programming are all equipped and designed to handle older adults with cognitive issues like dementia. Staff is trained in communicating with, prompting and catering to the unique needs of their residents. Activities directors also receive training and offer programming geared toward maximizing the individual’s remaining cognition. Direct care employees must display the right temperament, empathy and patience to work with residents with Alzheimer’s. Simple technique and approaches to care are needed to redirect, encourage, and offer patience to those living with dementia.

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Help Fight Medicare Fraud

People in the Emmaus / Lehigh Valley area — vaccinated or not — are not immune to the various types of fraud, especially when it comes to emotion-laden health issues. Medicare recipients are prone to scams, and we hope the following advice from Medicare.gov will inoculate our neighbors against those who prey on our fears and circumstances.


Note: Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you, so if anyone asks you to share your Medicare Number or pay for access to the vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam.

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