Laughter is Important

No matter your age, language, physical, or mental capabilities one thing is certain:  Laughter transcends all barriers.  It is universally shared among everyone.  If someone is laughing, it is understood that something must be funny to the person laughing and we all want in on the fun!  Even the most uptight people chuckle every now and then.  But laughter does more than provide an escape for the moment; it also has health benefits as well.

What Happens When I Laugh?

There are a number of positve responses that are triggered by laughter:

  • Your entire body relaxes, which relieves muscle tension and stress
  • Cortisol (stress horomone) levels drop, minimizing pain and inflammation throughout the entire body.
  • Endorphins are released.  Endorphins are a natural substances that makes you feel happy and content.  They have also been proven to reduce the perception of physical pain.
  • Blood Pressure levels are reduced and heart rate, blood circulation, and oxygen intake are all increased.
  • Laughter releases T-Cells and salivary immunoglobin A which both stimulate the immune system.
  • Improves overall sense of well-being
  • Stimulates both sides of the brain, which enhances learning.
  • It reduces psychological stress, which keeps the brain alert and allows for the retention of more information.

So rememember to smile today!  Make someone laugh or find some time in the day to seek out something that makes you chuckle.  It does not matter how old you are, you are never too old to laugh!  So go look for humor everyday and find something to laugh about. Remember, it’s good for you!

More Information:

GreatOaksManagement.com

 The Connection between Laughter, Humor, and Good Health.

Bob Hope Jokes and Humor

Everyday Wisdom

Early Detection Matters

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily living.  Dementia is not a specific disease, it is an overall term used to describe the changes in mental ability that affect daily living/functioning.  Alzheimer’s Disease is the cause of 60-80% of all dementia.  Vascular dementia is the second most common cause, often after a stroke or severe coronary artery disease.

Symptoms of Dementia

While symptoms may vary, at least 2 of the following must be present to warrant a diagnosis of Dementia:

  • Memory loss/problems—short term memory

Forgetting recently learned information.  Forgetting important dates or information.  Asking the same questions over and over.  Relying on family to remind them of things one used to do on their own.  Getting lost while driving or out shopping

  • Communication and language difficulties

Trouble following or joining a conversation.  Stopping in the middle of a conversation, unable to complete a thought.  Can’t find the right word.  Calling common items by the wrong name (a watch may be called a hand clock)

  • Ability to focus and pay attention

Difficulty staying focused on a conversation.  Difficulty paying attention to TV or Movies.  Having problems following a discussion or conversation.  Having problems understanding what is said to them.

  • Reasoning and judgment

Giving things of value away  .Making poor decisions.  Paying less attention to grooming or clothing selection.  Not taking care of things that have always been valued by the individual.

  • Visual perception

Difficulty reading.  Difficulty judging distance or color.  Not recognizing their own image when passing a mirror, thinking someone else is in the room.

Diagnosis and Early Intervention

If you have a loved one who is experiencing symptoms of dementia, it is critical to get a diagnosis and begin early intervention.  There are a lot of new medications which can slow the progress of some forms of dementia.  This allows other non medical interventions to be more effective and it also enables one to plan and indentify individuals’ desires and needs for long term care.

For Information concerning our assisted living communities, visit GreatOaksManagement.com.

For more information on Alzheimer’s, visit ALZ.org.

Unintentional Weight Loss

Weight loss can be a serious problem for seniors.  While some weight loss is healthy, unintentional weight loss can cause other health problems.  Of all senior adults, 15%-20% lose weight.  Senior adults who have lost 5% of their total body weight are 4 times more likely to develop serious health problems or die within six months of the weight loss.  Of those five percent, 80% are more likely to fall, resulting in hip fractures, brain bleed, or other fractures.

          Causes of Weight Loss:

  • Cardiac Problems
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Depression
  • Medication Side Effects

           Tips to Fight Weight Loss:

  • High Protein Snacks
  • Small, Frequent Meals
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • See a Doctor to Evaluate Medicines as Cause
  • Appetite Stimulant

Remember to weigh every week at the same time, every time.  Report continued weight loss to your doctor.  For more information, visit GreatOaksManagement.com.