Category Archives: Nursing

Dementia and Delirium; Know the Difference

The Difference Between Dementia and Delirium

Cognitive impairment is more common as we age. Dementia and delirium are two common causes. Delirium and dementia have similarities and can be confusing to experience and to distinguish. Both can cause memory loss, poor judgment, a decreased ability to communicate and impaired functioning. However, there are many differences between the two.

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“Dementia resembles delirium in the same way an ultramarathon resembles a dash across the street. Same basic components, vastly different scale.” ~Floyd Skloot

Onset: Dementia typically begins slowly and is gradually noticed over time. If the person who’s being evaluated is unknown to you, having a report of his usual functioning is key. Delirium is usually a sudden or acute change in condition. One day, someone is doing fine, the next, they may be very confused and unable to perform tasks, like dressing.

Cause: Dementia is typically a disease such as Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, frontotemporal dementia or a related disorder. Delirium is usually triggered by a specific illness, including: urinary tract infection, pneumonia, dehydration, illicit drug use, or withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Medication interactions can also cause delirium.

Duration:   Dementia is a progressive, chronic disease that is incurable. Delirium is normally short term and can last for a couple of days to a couple of months. Delirium is almost always temporary if the cause is identified and treated.

Communication Abilities: People with dementia often experience difficulty remembering and finding the right words. Their ability to express themselves erodes over time as the disease progresses. Delirium may cause inappropriate and/or incoherent communication that is uncharacteristic for the individual.

Attention Span and Memory: With dementia a person’s memory is significantly affected throughout the disease. The level of alertness is typically not affected until the late stages of the disease. With delirium, memory functioning is usually less affected, but the general ability to focus and maintain attention is very poor.

Activity Level: Dementia tends to not affect a person’s activity level until the later stages. People with delirium are often overly active (hyper and restless) or under-active (lethargic and less responsive) compared to usual activity.

Treatment: There are a few medications approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. They don’t cure dementia but sometimes can slow the progression of the symptoms, including: memory loss, poor judgment and behavioral changes. Delirium requires immediate treatment by a physician. Because delirium is usually caused by a physical illness or infection, medications are often effective.

 

Sources: mayoclinic.org, merckmanuals.com, verywellhealth.com, alz.org

 

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease /Health Topics /Memory Care /Nursing /Senior Living /

February is…

NATIONAL HEART HEALTH MONTH

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In 2010, the American Heart Association presented a strategic plan to reduce cardiovascular disease in the United States. It identified seven of the most important behaviors people can follow to protect their cardiovascular health.

Exercise: Regular exercise improves nearly every aspect of your health.

Eat right: Seek out foods such as nuts, whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, seafood, yogurt, and healthy fats.

Blood Pressure: Get your blood pressure checked, make sure your heart isn’t working harder than it should be.

Cholesterol: Know your cholesterol level and keep it low.

Keep blood sugar levels down: Exercise and diet help keep blood sugar levels in check.

Maintain a healthy weight: Fat cells release many substances that increase inflammation, promote insulin resistance, and contribute to atherosclerosis.

Don’t smoke: Smoking and the use of tobacco products isn’t just bad for your lungs, it is bad for your heart too.

Posted in General Information /global interest /Health Topics /Heart Health /History /Human Interest /Independent Living /Nursing /Safety /Senior Living /

A Timely Message

The Vaccine is Arriving

The release of the Coronavirus vaccine has been greeted with mixed  emotions by the public. At Copperfield Hill, we welcome this event with joy. The people we serve can remember the events of the Polio epidemic in the 40’s and 50’s. People were “scared to death”. Then came the vaccine, the public was vaccinated and polio disappeared.

However, one difference for the Coronavirus vaccine will be the elimination of long lines. Copperfield Hill and other senior housing communities will have high priority and receive the vaccine ahead of the general public. Our residents will be able to receive the vaccine from the comforts of their homes.

 

First Round of Vaccination is January 13, 2021

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Posted in About Us /global interest /Health Topics /Nursing /Senior Living /

November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects over 34 million Americans, 12 million of which are citizen 65 and older. As a prevalent and chronic disease, it is important to shed some light on some misconceptions.

It is a myth that only people who are overweight develop diabetes. Weight and obesity are risk factors but they are not the only ones to be considered. Age, family history, and ethnicity are also important risk factors. Many people diagnosed with diabetes are normal weight. Another myth, has to do with what type diet a person with diabetes should eat. A healthy eating plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy eating plan for anyone.  In addition, diabetics can eat sweets. The key is small portions and limited frequency.

People are able to live normal lives while managing diabetes. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can control the symptoms and complications associated with the disease. There is no cure for diabetes. The best way to combat the disease is to: a healthy diet, exercise and if needed, medication prescribed by a physician.

Some patients require blood sugar testing. Some, may benefit from the uses of insulin or oral medications. Managing diabetes is often about finding the right combination of healthy living options and medication management to help maintain blood glucose levels. Each person with diabetes is different, so an individualized plan of action is required. For more information one should contact a medical professional. Additional information is available from the American Diabetes Association.

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Photo Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/

 

To find this and to learn more about Diabetes click here

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Nursing /Senior Living /

September 2020: Notes from Nursing

During these uncertain times, daily routines have been drastically changed.  However, one thing that has not changed, is our commitment and service for our residents here at Copperfield Hill.   We are happy to report that some things are back on schedule.  Here are a few things to note:

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Podiatry appointments have resumed for residents in both The Manor and The Lodge.  Residents in The Lodge must sign up with the nursing department.  Residents in The Manor may sign up in the front office with the Concierge.  Please contact our nursing staff if you have questions.

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Flu shots will be offered to residents in both The Manor and The Lodge. Sign up will be available with the Concierge.  We are encouraging all residents and staff to get a flu shot this fall.  Please have your insurance information available.

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Based on the guidance of the MN Department of Health, Copperfield Hill is welcoming “Essential Caregivers” on campus.  An Essential Caregiver is a third party caregiver that at this time during the pandemic, will provide in-person care and assistance to a resident of Copperfield Hill.  All determinations are made on a case by case basis.  Determinations are based on an assessment by the RN and a consultation with the Executive Director.

Beginning at the end of July, Copperfield Hill has welcomed a number of Essential Caregivers.  There are very strict guidelines and policies in place for this program.  Please consult your building manager if you have questions.

 

Posted in Activities /Health Topics /Nursing /