Shine a Purple Light

I will admit that until I began working in the senior living sector, I knew very little about Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  It was not something I had seen on a personal or family level.  That has changed.  Now I know and care for people affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.  I understand that they are not all one in the same.  There are even different types of dementia.  I have come to know some of the devastating effects they take on lives.  Since June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, I thought I could help do my part by shining a purple light.

Did you know that according to the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Alzheimer’s is fatal. It kills more than breast and prostate cancer combined.
  • Alzheimer’s is not normal aging. It’s a progressive brain disease without any cure.
  • Alzheimer’s is more than memory loss. It appears through a variety of signs and symptoms.

Per the website alz.org, “A number of studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Experts are not certain about the reason for this association. It may be due to direct mechanisms through which social and mental stimulation strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain.”

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During the month of June, the Alzheimer’s Association asks you to learn more about Alzheimer’s. Share your story and take action.  It may be as simple as bringing awareness via social media.  Alzheimer’s disease awareness is represented by the color purple, and in June, thousands of Americans will turn their Facebook profile purple with an “END ALZ” icon.  If you need help or more information on ways you can raise awareness of the truth about Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org/abam to get started.

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Falling For You

Before I began working in the senior living industry the word FALL didn’t strike fear into my heart.   No on the contrary it would spark images of leaves turning to brilliant hues of gold and crimson and the sound of them crunching under our feet as me and the neighborhood children would play flag football in the yard.  It would spark memories of the delicious smells of the season from my favorite pumpkin spice candles to Mom’s homemade chili brewing on the stove.  Ah yes, the innocence and tranquility of it all.  But I digress.  And who am I kidding that football usually turned into an all-out brawl anyway.  But seriously FALLS as we know them and how they relate to our seniors are a very big deal!

By the numbers…

  • According to the CDC “each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.”  The CDC also reports that “adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually.  Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.”

It is imperative that we take measures to try and help prevent falls if at all possible.  Sure this seems very idealistic!  But it is also helpful if we take a practical approach.  You may not can prevent all falls.  But you can take appropriate measures to keep someone safe.  So where do you start?   This is an important question no matter where you live.  Today we will start with the first thing you can do.

Keep your area safe…

I remember a friend from church once asked me to come over and look at their parents’ home and see if anything jumped out at me as to why their parent kept falling.  Walk with me if you will….we start up the concrete steps to the home that has no handrail.  This takes us to the kitchen where a cute blind dog nips at your knees.  We cross down to the living area that is situated on the split level property across from the bathroom.  In the tiny bathroom there is a sliding glass door shower/tub with no handrails and a towel bar that is dangling from the wall.  I can’t make this stuff up.  Did I mention that the home was also poorly lit?  I really couldn’t see why they needed my help discerning the safety issues within this home.  The entire place was a hotbed for concussions and broken hips!  So always ASSESS your FALL RISKS within your living space.

Key things to pay attention to include:

Clutter-get rid of it!  Make sure you don’t have junk making an obstacle course for you to maneuver around.

Lighting-make sure you can see!  Also make use of nightlights.  What you CAN’T see CAN hurt you.

And also watch for HOME HAZARDS such as:

  • broken or uneven steps,
  • throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over, and
  • no handrails along stairs or in the bathroom.

There are absolutely multiple risk factors and reasons for falls to occur.  But if you do your best to make sure your space (or your loved one’s space) is as safe as possible, you are increasing your odds of NOT becoming a statistic in the fight against FALLS.

Let Us Introduce Ourselves!

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Welcome to Great Oaks Management.

Since the first senior living community opened in 2004, Great Oaks Management has been involved with the ownership and management of traditional and memory care assisted living and independent living communities throughout Alabama. Headquartered in Montgomery, Great Oaks Management has senior communities located in Hazel Green, Clanton, Eufaula, Wetumpka, Talladega, Daphne, Pelham, and Athens.

Each of Great Oaks Management’s retirement communities provide an enhanced senior living environment focused on active aging – an approach that aims to maximize the quality of life and well being of seniors while fulfilling their individual needs and promoting purposeful living.  Our care options and life enrichment programs allow our residents to live to their greatest potential in communities that are ideal for sharing past experiences and making new memories with neighbors, friends and loved ones.

Over the years, Great Oaks has developed an enthusiastic and determined team of healthcare leaders whose knowledge of the industry has allowed us to meet the diverse and changing needs of today’s active senior adults.  Our mission has been to fulfill for seniors what we all want each and every day – to be happy and healthy, to focus on family, friends, and fun, and to maintain a sense of independence.

​Independent Living

Our independent retirement lifestyle meets the diverse and changing needs of today’s active senior adults.  Within our communities, we offer apartments and cottages that are designed to feel like home and are rented on a month to month basis.  There are no buy-in fees or long term leases.

Our recreation and social programs are personalized to meet the desires of our residents.  Enjoy activities or just relax, it’s your choice.  

 For your peace of mind, and your family’s, an emergency response system is available to connect you to our 24-hour staff.

Assisted Living

Assisted living at each of Great Oaks Management’s Communities is designed for senior adults who wish to maintain their independent lifestyle but may need some additional assistance to do so.  We offer a wide array of services and amenities.  Our on-site resident care team provides care and assistance 24-hours a day.

Our apartments are designed for your comfort and convenience.  Each apartment features individual climate control and an emergency call system.  At Great Oak’s Management‘s retirement communities, you can enjoy the privacy of your own individual apartment within a community of care and support.

Memory Care

Our goal is to provide the highest quality of life for each of our residents.  We are dedicated to our life-engagement philosophy of social psychological, spiritual, and physical well-being of every individual.

This dedication is reflected in every effort our communities make in caring for residents who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias.  Our intent is to allow each resident to function independently at their ability level, while providing care and assistance where needed.