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In his documentary about grief, George Shelley uses an analogy of glitter. Throw glitter into the air, and it’ll fall into the cracks and crevices of the floor, impossible to fully sweep up and remove. Anyone who has lost a loved one can relate. Yet in some instances, grief may be so overwhelming that it could result in a serious and aptly-named condition: broken heart syndrome.

Broken heart syndrome is a real and serious physical condition that stems from the grueling stress experienced in some kinds of grief (such as one spouse losing the other after decades of marriage). The medical term is takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a temporary enlargement of the heart that prevents it from pumping blood effectively. 

Furthermore, broken heart syndrome is more common than people may know. A number of high-visibility examples include Johnny Cash, who passed on just four months following the loss of his wife and George H.W. Bush, who became ill following the death of his wife of 73 years. 

There has been research on the impact of grief on a person’s physical health for years. In 1995, for instance, the term “widowhood effect” was coined to explain the 30% increase in mortality rate faced by those who lost a longtime partner. Other scientists determined a connection between the immune system and grief. Some surviving spouses simply lose the will to live. 

Help prevent this condition and ease the pain of grief for someone you love with these tips.

A trained caregiving companion from Help at Home Senior Care can also be a great way to help a senior who is grieving. We offer socialization and plenty of opportunities for reminiscing and conversations, along with engaging activities, transportation wherever an older adult would like to go, and so much more. Reach out to us online or at (530) 885-7444 for a complimentary in-home consultation to find out more about our Auburn, CA senior care and care throughout the surrounding areas.

Have you had to converse more loudly lately? Are you finding the need to turn the television up louder for an older adult you love? Repeating yourself after the senior loved one missed hearing the first time? It’s not uncommon for seniors to experience hearing loss. But emerging studies are revealing how treating hearing loss is even more important than you may realize, as it can even reduce the risk for dementia. 

How Hearing and Cognitive Functioning Are Linked

There are a variety of hypotheses researchers are investigating to explain the connection between hearing loss and dementia:

  1. Less social interaction leads to less mental stimulation and a less active and engaged brain.
  2. The brain’s thinking and memory systems are impacted when it has to focus harder to strain to hear and also to fill in the gaps when communication is missed.
  3. An older brain shrinks more rapidly due to hearing loss.

Finding the cause of this connection and determining if treating hearing loss can help is vital. The amount of people who may be impacted is astonishing, with as many as 37.5 million Americans currently going through some amount of hearing loss. 

As of now, we know that seniors with hearing loss experience a decline in cognitive functioning at a rate of 30 – 40% faster than those with normal hearing. Not only this, but hearing loss escalates the risk for other health issues, such as falls and depression.

The good news is that medical researchers at Johns Hopkins are presently trying to determine if treating hearing loss might actually minimize brain aging and prevent dementia. A study of almost 1,000 older adults with hearing loss is underway, and by as early as next year, we will have the information required for a path forward. 

If an aging adult in your life struggles with hearing loss, encourage them to get a checkup and to wear hearing aids if recommended by the doctor. Help at Home’s professional senior care providers can even provide transportation for that checkup if needed. 

In addition, we have dementia care specialists that are always prepared to assist individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia to stay safe, comfortable, and engaged in meaningful and enjoyable activities. We can also assist with more effectively managing some of the challenging behaviors associated with dementia, such as aggression, agitation, wandering, sundowning, and much more.

Just connect with us any time online or at (530) 885-7444 to learn more about how we can help older adults live healthier lives at home with our dementia care in Lincoln, CA and the surrounding areas. We offer a free of cost in-home consultation to answer all of your questions and to develop a personalized plan of care to best meet your needs.

The days of “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” have morphed into “take two of these…and two of these…and perhaps one of those, too!” Nearly forty percent of seniors are taking at least five different prescription medications each day – not to mention OTC meds, vitamins, and supplements. It is easy to see why there is an increased likelihood of adverse medical reactions and overmedicated seniors.

Take these steps to prevent complications from overmedicated senior loved ones:

It is also vital to remember that a doctor should always be consulted before beginning or changing any medications, including vitamins or over-the-counter meds. Some prescription medications belong to the same drug category as OTC meds and could lead to an excessive amount of a medication being administered. In other cases, OTC medications or vitamins interact negatively with prescriptions.

We are always available to help seniors continue to be healthy and safe. Email or call us at (530) 885-7444 for more information on our in-home care in Roseville, CA and nearby areas. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.

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