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Alzheimer’s Awareness

Here are 5 myths you should know…

Myth 1: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.

Reality: As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met. However, Alzheimer’s is more than occasional memory loss. It’s a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and ultimately die. When this happens, an individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or what roads to take to return to a home they’ve lived in for decades.

It can be difficult to tell normal memory problems from memory problems that should be a cause for concern. The Alzheimer’s Association has developed information to help you tell the difference. If you or a loved one has memory problems or other problems with thinking and learning that concern you, contact a physician. Sometimes the problems are caused by medication side effects, vitamin deficiencies or other conditions and can be reversed with treatment. The memory and thinking problems may also be caused by another type of dementia.

Myth 2: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.

Reality: Alzheimer’s disease has no survivors. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. It slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find his or her way home.

Myth 3: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s

Reality: Alzheimer’s can strike people in their 30s, 40s and even 50s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that there are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. This includes 5.2 million people age 65 and older and 200,000 people younger than age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.


Myth 4: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Reality: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.


Myth 5: Aspartame causes memory loss.

Reality: This artificial sweetener, marketed under such brand names as Nutrasweet and Equal, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in all foods and beverages in 1996. Since approval, concerns about aspartame’s health effects have been raised.

Nurses’ Corner

The holiday season is upon us!! We here at The Arthur Home hope everyone has had and continues to have a safe and happy holiday season!! Our facility is looking very festive and the residents are really enjoying the decorations and the carolers!

With all of the excitement of the holidays, times can also be very stressful. Stress comes in many forms, and can have a negative effect on health if it continues too long or feels overwhelming (USDVA, 2015). Many tools are available to help you manage and reduce your stress. Here are some basic stress management suggestions you can use to help reduce stress this holiday season (USDVA, 2015):

  • Physical Activity – Take a brisk walk or engage in other physically demanding activities. This may reduce your stress. Regular physical activity is best.
  • Relaxation Training – Learn relaxation and mindfulness skills. these skills can assist you to manage the arousal that is associated with stress, and daily relaxation may protect you from at least some of the consequences of stress.
  • Expression – Speak up in respectful ways. Sharing thoughts and feelings in an assertive and respectful manner can sometimes help buffer stress. Keeping those thoughts inside can increase your stress.
  • Time Management – List what needs to get done, make plans for addressing issues, and stick to the plan. there are several self-help books on time management at libraries and book stores.
  • Positive Thinking – Stress is often associated with negative, self-critical thinking. Focus your attention on positive thoughts about yourself, favorite songs, poems, favorite prayers, or hobbies.
  • Pleasant Activities – you may be experiencing the effects of stress if you are not making time for fun in your life. Plan to have regular, enjoyable activities and see if this buffers your stress.

Again, we wish everyone a very blessed Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

Jessica and Alicia

Nurses’ Corner

Nurse holding hand _for blog 12-2-15We have undergone many new changes in the nursing department at The Arthur Home over this last month! Crystal Stiner has decided to move forward in her nursing career. I thank her for all of her contributions to the facility and wish her all the best of luck in her future endeavors!

I was honored to be asked to step up into the Director of Nursing position! I have the privilege of working with an amazing group of people all throughout this facility. Together, I think we can make some great changes in the right direction for The Arthur Home!

I am happy to announce that Alicia Howard has agreed to accept the Assistant Director of Nursing position. I am very excited to have her by my side! She brings forth many great ideas and is an incredible asset to the team.

I appreciate all of your patience in this time of transition. I am so very grateful to have such an amazing, hardworking staff, and appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our wonderful residents!

Thanks!

Jessica Alumbaugh, RN, BSN, DON

P.S. – As winter approaches, so does that dreaded time of the year for colds, flu, and pneumonia! Please remember to practice proper hand washing techniques diligently to protect our staff, residents and guests. Thank you.

Arthur Home Welcomes New Assistant Director of Nursing

By Crystal Stiner, RN, BSN, DON

The Arthur Home would like to introduce our newest addition to the family: Jessica Alumbaugh.

Jessica has taken the Assistant Director of Nursing position. She started last month and I believe she will make a great asset to our team of outstanding employees. Please help me make her feel welcome and glad that she is with us.

A little bio from Jessica:

“I am super excited to be working here and am looking forward to getting to know everyone! Just a little about me… I have been married to my amazing husband, Michael, for 12 years this September! We have two very energetic boys who keep us pretty busy with their sports! Kade is my quiet 10 year old who is playing football this fall. Tyce is my very talkative 8 year old who is playing soccer. We also have three dogs at home. I graduated from Millikin University in 2011 with my BSN and have been working in the cardiac intensive care unit at Decatur Memorial Hospital ever since. I am currently in the process of going to school for my Master’s Degree, as well. When I have free time, I enjoy photography and just spending time with my family.”

Thank you for all the hard work and extra hours our nurse/CNA staff has put in for the past couple of months. You guys always rise to the occasion and get the job done!

-Crystal Stiner, RN, BSN, DON

Heat Exhaustion / Stroke Awareness

HEAT EXHAUSTION/STROKE

extreme-heatWith the rise in temperature outside it is a blessing to have a job where I can work with wonderful people in the air condition. Not everyone is so lucky. From landscapers, factory workers, farmers and even some without mode of transport especially with A/C you need to be on alert for signs of heat exhaustion.

With the heat index of 105 these recently, it does not take very long to succumb to heat exhaustion. Heat Exhaustion isn’t as serious as heat stroke, but it isn’t something to be taken lightly. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death. The most at-risk population are young children and the elderly, as well as any others with medical conditions at any age such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, etc.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration) Dizziness
  • Fainting Fatigue Headache
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps Nausea,vomiting,or diarrhea Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

Treatment for Heat Exhaustion

  • Drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol). Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
  • Take a cool shower,bath,or sponge bath.
  • Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help, because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

Keep hydrated and stay cool!!!!

Crystal Stiner, RN, BSN, DON

Crystal Stiner RN BSN DON