Do you know the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s?

You’ve probably had it happen with a loved one – they’ve forgotten something that is obvious, or their forgetfulness is completely uncharacteristic. You immediately think, “is it the beginning of Alzheimer’s?”

More often than not, it’s simply a natural part of aging. It’s important to know and understand the difference — and be able to recognize the signs of Alzheimer’s as early as possible to ensure safety and hopefully slow the progression.

Recently, Atria Senior Living published a great article explaining the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as the signs to look for.


(Published by Atria) Dementia is not a disease, but a broad term that refers to various conditions of more serious cognitive impairment. It is caused by damage to brain cells which can affect thinking, behavior and feelings. There are many types of dementia including Lewy body dementia, mixed dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and more.  Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia – accounting for 60–80% of dementia cases.

What we know about Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent health concerns among adults ages 65 and older and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. It is a degenerative disease resulting from brain cell damage where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over time.

Scientists are working hard to identify what causes this damage. They do know that, as this damage spreads, the brain cells lose their ability to function and then die. This causes irreversible changes in the brain that leads to memory failure, personality changes and problems carrying out daily activities. A person with Alzheimer’s lives four to eight years on average after diagnosis, but depending on other factors, can live as long as 20 years.

>>Click here to read more including the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s.

Gardening can offer older adults surprising benefits

It’s not just your imagination. Gardening is good for your health. Science tells us “interacting with plants can increase self-esteem and reduce feelings of anger, sadness and stress.”

This article, published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution March 2022, explains the science behind the good feelings you get while gardening.


As the weather continues to warm up, many of us will find ourselves back outside pruning, planting and playing in green spaces. This is good news for our bodies and minds, as gardening offers some big benefits for both physical and mental health.

Gardening can help combat depression, anxiety and loneliness

We likely know from our own experiences that bright blooms and warm sun can be a powerful antidote to a less-than-stellar mood. Getting outside and playing with the dirt, mindfully tending to a plant and watching it grow from seed, gives us both a sense of peace and accomplishment that can keep anxiety and depression at bay.

But science backs this up too.

A study from Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Service found that interacting with plants can increase self-esteem and reduce feelings of anger, sadness and stress. It also helps keep people in touch with their communities and creates socializing opportunities. All of these factors are critical for maintaining positive emotional health.

Working in a garden keeps the brain sharp

One study found that daily gardening may reduce the risk of dementia by up to 36%. A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health also found that planting a vegetable garden can improve brain nerve growth factors related to memory, and can improve functioning in the hippocampus, which is critical for memory, and cortical regions of the brain.

Gardening also helps combat stress and low mood and increases feelings of joy and happiness, all of which contribute to a healthier, happier, more resilient brain.

>>Click here to read the rest of this article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Signs It’s Time to Get Organized

(Posted with permission from Mike DeLeon at Caring Transitions of Northeast Atlanta)

Has your “stuff” taken over your space?

The items that fill our homes can be cherished, but when those items start to get in the way, it may be time to clear clutter. If you care for your home and an aging loved one too, this can become even more complex.

We have signs to help you decide if your possessions are holding you or a loved one back from being organized. In both cases, we can easily become blind to the number of items we accumulate over time and grow accustomed to clutter being there. If you’re not sure you need to remove excess “stuff” from your living environment here are signs clutter has taken over and it’s time to get organized.

In Your Home

Streamlining in your home to save space will help you stop clutter from taking over your space. Each room should have designated spaces for everything that belongs in the room.

Signs you may have too much “stuff” in your home:

  • You planned to clear clutter and get organized for a while, but haven’t had time.
  • You have more clothing and shoes in your home than can be worn in a specific season and laundry has become overwhelming.
  • You have trouble finding items like keys or other daily essentials frequently.
  • You have multiple spaces where “stuff” consistently continues to accumulate.
  • You have a large amount of items connected to memories or emotions that have taken up too much space.

3 Tips to Start Getting Organized

  1. Create a plan. Start the process by deciding which items are most meaningful to you and what you need for your family’s daily routine. Then identify heirlooms and keepsakes you are certain you want to keep.
  2. Know your space. Understand the layout, limitations, and organization wishes for your home. Decide what you believe should comfortably be in each room.
  3. Sort your items. Decide which items you want to donate or consider selling. Evaluate the best options to help you with that task.

In Your Loved One’s Home

Here’s a list of significant changes that could indicate your parents may currently or soon need additional support streamlining or professional decluttering help:

  • You observe stacks of unpaid bills or late notices.
  • Your loved one has trouble finding important or daily use items.
  • Changes in housekeeping that indicate parents are having trouble with clutter.
  • Clutter is causing numerous safety concerns in the home, such as covering heat and air conditioning ducts or trip and fall hazards.
  • Clutter is leading to issues with disorganized medications, spoiled food in the fridge, lack of healthy food items, infestations or mold.

3 Tips to Help Loved One’s Streamline

  1. Help your loved one get rid of items that belong to other people. Have they held on to your childhood furniture and keepsakes or stored items for family and friends? If your answer is yes, start clearing those items.
  2. Dispose of broken and outdated items. In most cases, broken items are no longer useful or functional, but a hazard. Be sure to discard these items to clear room as well as for safety.
  3. Be patient and prioritize the well-being of everyone involved. In a world driven by immediacy, we often want instant results. Remember this is a process that works best with a plan and lots of patience. If the task exceeds what you comfortably do, experts like those at Caring Transitions can help.

If these signs describe your home or your loved one’s home, it’s time to reclaim your space and get organized! This can be an overwhelming task, but you don’t have to do it alone. Experts at Caring Transitions can help you clear space. Learn more by contacting Mike DeLeon at Caring Transitions of Northeast Atlanta – mdeleon@caringtransitions.com.

Explaining medical and non-medical in-home care for seniors

When it comes to aging in place, there are a variety of resources available to provide support for seniors. However, many people are unsure about differences between services, especially when it comes to medical and non-medical in-home care. Both provide support in the home, but they serve different purposes.

Medical Home Care

This type of care is often recommended for seniors who need medical assistance following an illness or injury, when coming home from the hospital, or when managing chronic conditions. Care is provided by a nurse or other licensed medical professional.

Home health care may include services such as:

  • Medication administration including IV infusions or injections
  • Pain management
  • Care for tracheotomies, catheters, feeding tubes, or ventilators
  • Wound care
  • Post-operative rehabilitation

It is prescribed by a doctor and allows seniors to recover in the comfort of their own homes more safely and effectively. The home health provider ensures they are following the established treatment plan and can identify potential problems or complications.

Non-Medical Home Care

This type of care focuses on supporting seniors with activities of daily living and maintaining their independence. It does not require a doctor’s order and can be scheduled for a few hours a week or several hours per day depending on the individual’s needs.

Non-medical in-home care may include services such as:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal preparation
  • Bathing, dressing, or toileting
  • Assistance with errands
  • Escorting on outings
  • Medication reminders
  • Nighttime and wake-up routines
  • Companionship
  • Respite care

Caregivers tailor care to each senior’s unique needs, allowing them to function independently as much as possible while offering the appropriate level of support. They can also spend time with aging adults reminiscing, playing games, or discussing current events to provide socialization and companionship to reduce loneliness and isolation. However, they do not offer direct medical care.

>>Read the full post here.

Posted with permission of Always Best Care Senior Services
www.alwaysbestcare.com 
| (678) 487-3803

Helping your parents declutter

Caring for your family can bring joy to your life. If you are caring for your parents and children, this can become complex. As your parents age, their needs and abilities change. If you’ve started to consider the next best move for Mom, Dad or another senior loved one, we have guidance on trigger moments that signify it may be time to talk about a plan.

Here’s a list of significant changes that could indicate your parents may currently or soon need additional support such as home care, decluttering help, financial advising, or assisted living: 

  • Difficulty keeping up with finances. Observe stacks of unpaid bills or late notices.
  • Changes in personal hygiene or housekeeping that indicate parents are having trouble with personal grooming or housework.
  • Your parent repeats themselves often in the same conversation, seems confused, highly emotional or exhibits unusual paranoia. This could be caused by medications or other more serious cognitive issues.
  • Excessive shopping through TV or online outlets, or an unusual interest in online sweepstakes that require their personal information, phone numbers, addresses, social security or banking information.
  • Your parent is extremely isolated due to loss of a spouse or loss of personal mobility.
  • Numerous safety concerns in the home, such as heat, air conditioning, leaks, crumbling plaster, trip and fall hazards, steep stairways, loose carpeting and outdated electrical.
  • Health concerns: disorganized medications, spoiled food in the home, lack of healthy food items, infestations or mold
  • Recent diagnosis of a chronic health condition that requires a variety of care services provided by multiple practitioners.

If you noticed any of the trigger moment changes above, it may be time for your loved one to consider rightsizing or a move that benefits their health condition. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare them to “Rightsize” for whatever comes next.

Help your loved one get rid of items that belong to other people. Quite often, the first place you can begin to clear is where other people’s items gather. Have they held on to your childhood furniture and keepsakes or stored items for family and friends? If your answer is yes, start clearing those items. Contact family members and friends to find out if they want their items back or no longer have use for them.

Dispose of broken and outdated items. In most cases, broken items are no longer useful or functional, but a hazard. Items like chipped or broken decorative items can be especially harmful depending on the material the item is made of, the paint used to decorate it, or if the item has sharp or jagged edges. Be sure to discard these items to clear room as well as for safety. Also consider discarding well worn, old, holey, or torn clothing, bed linens, and towels as well as chipped or broken dinnerware.

Start the process by identifying items your loved one absolutely loves and needs. After deciding what items are needed to live safely and comfortably, such as a bed, place for clothes or eating utensils, you can then consider which items they love most that are not essential to daily life or comfort.

Be patient and prioritize the well-being of everyone involved. In a world driven by immediacy, we often want instant results. Remember that Rightsizing is a process that works best with a plan and lots of patience. This is a conscious decision to set the next phase of your life for comfort and healthy living. If the process exceeds what your family can do comfortable, consider hiring experts like Caring Transitions.

For every milestone in our lives, we use space differently. Quite often, embarking on new territory can be both exciting, and in some cases frightening. Having open and honest conversations with your loved ones about the next steps in their life can ease some of the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding this topic.

Published with permission of the senior relocation specialists at Caring Transitions.