Archive for Memory

MorseLifes New Memory Care Residence To Meet Service Gap In Caring for Seniors with Memory Impairment

West Palm Beach, Florida (PRWEB) June 12, 2015

Today, there are 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and barring any medical breakthroughs to help prevent or cure the disease, that number will grow by 40% over the next ten years. In the State of Florida alone, there are 500,000 seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and that figure will also grow by 44% by 2025.

In filling the service gap in Palm Beach County for seniors with both moderate and advanced memory impairment that comes with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, MorseLife Health System has now opened its new Memory Care residence: a secure 53- apartment Assisted Living residence and separate 30-bed advanced memory care long-term care unit.

Stephen A. Levin, Chairman of MorseLife Health System, notes that this construction represents the third phase of the nonprofit senior care organization’s $ 150 million capital project that is funded in part by the Campaign to Transform MorseLife. This Campaign, which has raised nearly $ 30 million to date, has thus far resulted in the January 2014 opening of the Sondra and David S. Mack Pavilion for short-term rehabilitation and the November 2014 renovation of the Resnick Pavilion of the nursing home. The fourth phase, to break ground this summer, will be the construction of a 182-apartment independent living residence, The Tower at the Tradition.

Memory Care Residence has been built in the original Edwards Pavilion of the MorseLife nursing residence. The first two floors offer 52 secure studio apartments with expansive dining and living room areas, warm and inviting kitchen, gardens, as well as full service amenities and activities. This residence will have an on-site medical team led by a Harvard-trained geriatrician, nurse practitioners and visiting medical specialists; structured fitness programs; and innovative activities program designed to engage and stimulate residents. One of its more unique programs is Music & Memory, a program of personalized music on the Ipod which has shown to improve behavior and socialization and enhance cognition.

The third secure level of the building includes 30 long-term care beds for seniors with advanced memory impairment. A program staffed by medical and allied health professionals with extensive experience and training in caring for seniors with memory impairment, it will specialize in caring for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Wenicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and other memory loss disorders. The long-term unit will offer expansive dining and living areas, private rooms, amenities and innovative programs, including Music & Memory.

Keith Myers, President/CEO, notes that the vision for MorseLife Health System is a world without Alzheimer’s. “However, without medical advancements on the horizon leading to prevention or cure, we are only seeing greater demand in our County and in South Florida for seniors in both earlier and later stages of memory impairment,” he said. “In both residences, our focus will be on improved health and well-being, life enrichment, sense of security and peace, and peaceful living for residents.”

Myers notes that the goal of the professional teams running these residences is to help residents make the most of their lives through excellent medical care, comfortable environments and programs designed to build cognition and ensure more peaceful days. “We want to ensure better quality of life for seniors with memory impairment, and at the same time, ensure peace-of-mind of their family caregivers,” he said.

MorseLife Health System holds the 5-star quality rating from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as the Gold Seal Award from the Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care. MorseLife is also designated by the Florida State Legislature as a “Teaching Nursing Home,” one of two in the state, making it a coveted site for research and training of future physicians, nurses and allied health professionals.

For more information about MorseLife Health System’s Memory Care Assisted Living and its advanced memory care long-term unit, call (561) 687-5756.

About MorseLife

MorseLife is a nationally-recognized provider of exceptional care for seniors in Palm Beach County. A charitable, not-for-profit organization, its programs include short-term rehabilitation, long term care, independent and assisted living, Memory Care Assisted Living, home health care, meals-on-wheels, care management, Neighbor2Neighbor, and Palm Beach PACE. Founded 33 years ago, MorseLife has built a reputation and tradition of caring for seniors with excellence, dignity and compassion. For more information, visit

Memory Fitness

Whether you call it a “senior moment” or a “mind glitch,” the truth is that as we get older our memory and thought processes are just not what they used to be. A friend of mind claims that for the past ten years she hasn’t remembered the name of any new person she met. Another describes those frequent moments when the word is right on the tip of your tongue but for the life of you it just won’t materialize. Still another says her memory has gotten so rusty lately that her kids take advantage of it, sometimes having her believing that she approved an expenditure, when she can’t even remember them asking about it!

Just as daily weight repetitions in the gym strengthen certain muscle groups, mental exercises strengthen and enhance memory and thought functions over time. The following are some exercises you can use to increase your memory fitness:

• Do crossword puzzles and brainteasers on a regular basis.
• Play games that use memory like chess, bridge, or Trivial Pursuit.
• Memorize your shopping list by visualizing your trip through the supermarket. See yourself stop at each aisle putting what you need in your cart. When you get to the store, use your memory to select the items. Bring a written list along to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
• Each time you come to the end of a chapter in a book you are reading, imagine yourself summarizing it as briefly as possible to someone who has not read it. Do the same for the whole book when you finish it.
• Link together items that you need to remember into story form. If you need to do errands that include going to the hardware store, the dry cleaners, and the post office, your story might be: You get grease on your clothes at the hardware store so you must go to the dry cleaners. While at the dry cleaners you find an envelope in your pocket that needs to be mailed.
• When meeting someone for the first time, repeat her name as you are introduced. Ask a question about the spelling (is that Ann with an E at the end?) Find a distinctive feature about the person and picture it with the spelling of the person’s name. Associate the name with a song, a rhyme, or a celebrity (Example: if you meet someone named Marilyn, associate the person with Marilyn Monroe.)

Along with aging, memory loss is often the result of chronic stress. If you are going through a particularly stressful time in your life, you will most likely experience difficulty in remembering things. Try the following to help with the forgetfulness caused by stress:

• Put your keys in the same place in your purse and leave them in the same place when you enter your house.
• Try to park in the same place when using parking lots you frequent regularly.
• Keep a small notepad handy and write down things you know you need to remember.
• Purchase a small digital recorder or use the voice recording feature on your cell phone to record things that occur to you while away from home.
• Use timers to remind you of appointments and when you need to take medication.
• If you take more than one medicine a day, purchase a pill reminder box and use it so that you will not have to guess whether you’ve taken your medication or not.
• Slow down!

Sometimes memory loss is just a symptom of a too busy life but it also can alert us to a problem in the brain. Most of us have at one time or another worried that we had early Alzheimer’s Disease. If you are concerned whether your forgetfulness has an organic cause you may want to read Understanding Memory Loss, an online booklet by the National Institute on Aging that can help you figure out whether you should seek an evaluation. Put the title of the booklet in your search engine to find it.

When you cannot remember something, it often makes you feel anxious or stressed. Good self care for you may include improving your memory. Using memory exercises, finding stress reducing strategies that work for you, and educating yourself about what is normal and what is abnormal memory loss can help. Of course, you have to remember to do them!

If you are having difficulty remembering things, it may be due to stress, anxiety, or depression. Life is challenging and when we are challenged we forget things. Besides the exercises above, you may want to visit a qualified mental health professional for help.

Memory Exercise

I can remember memory exercises and assignments all the way back to second grade, and they always involved drudgery and tedium, like memorizing and reciting the Gettysburg address, and making faces at the kid reciting to try and make them lose their place.

I actually did that and feel some embarrassment at this moment as I remember that.

And now I am noticing that I am having issues with word recall, which tells me that my brain is now 62 years old, and my brain is earning its living recalling words and using them in counseling sessions, and I am worried that I am going to have to return to those tedious memory exercises from my childhood to keep my professional vocabulary.

However, I do hear the cavalry trumpet sounding not too far away, and I do believe that I can do memory exercises which reflect recent discoveries about the human brain and recent technological developments.

So here is what I have learned. We grow new brain cells every day, which is called neurogenesis, and those brain cells migrate to the hippocampus, which is a very important part of the memory process in the human brain, and we are making lots of discoveries about neuroplasticity, which is the capacity of neurons to form new connections when they are presented with novel learning experiences, sometimes within minutes of the learning experience.

Neurogenesis is a new discovery, perhaps a decade old.

The good news is that both neurogenesis and neuroplasticity can be encouraged, which impacts memory, and influences memory exercises, by taking care of the pillars of brain fitness.

The Pillars of Brain Fitness?

It turns out that the best memory exercise that we can do is what Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D. tell us to do in their wonderful e-book Brainfit for Life.

We need to commit regular time to our brain fitness, which means that we take care of what the experts in the brain and memory exercise fields are calling the pillars of brain fitness.

When we do that, we are whipping the brain into its best shape for neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, which are the keys to a longer memory, or a quicker memory, certainly a brain that is ready to use any of the traditional memory exercise tools like associative images.

So what are the pillars of brain fitness? Physical activity/exercise, nutrition including lots of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, stress management, good sleep, which is the time of day when memory consolidation happens, and novel learning experiences, which might include the use of the new computerized brain fitness programs.

The novel learning experience that the brain requires for enhanced neurogenesis and neuroplasticity is the novel learning experience that we usually get when learning a new language or new musical instrument, because that kind of learning exposes the brain to increased complexity and provides an opportunity for the appropriate amount of positive feedback (correct answers) for strong circuits to form.

Evans and Burghardt go into some detail about research on the dual n back task and how practice on the dual n back increases neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, so I found a program to use based on the dual n back task, and discovered in about three minutes that my attentional style when it comes to memory and brain fitness exercise is of the wandering kind, which makes it hard for my brain to form short term and then move short term memory to long term.

I highly recommend the dual n back task to anyone seeking increased brain fitness, or a highly effective memory exercise.

It is fun, frustrating, and addictive. Once you get a handle for how the program works, and get some improvement, you will be amazed at how this attention and memory exercise impacts your ability to remember stuff.

The dual n back task has in interesting side effect too, which is an increased I.Q.

Since I had success with the dual n back, I decided to look at and try a couple of the other brain fitness and memory exercise programs out there, and both proved to be beneficial also.

The benefit of the online program is that it can be booted up anytime, and used on demand, anytime I want to refresh my smokin’ neurons.

Wonderful break which actually helps the neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

The other program I tried is the brain child of Michael Merzenich,Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts in neuroplasticity, and it has been put to the test in the recently published IMPACT study. Both the researchers and the participants were quite amazed at the results.

So, you memory exercise folks, who grew up reading Harry Lorayne’s material on memory, try his tools out after increasing your brain fitness with the computerized brain fitness tools.

You may still forget where your keys are once in awhile, but your word recall will be excellent, the envy of all.

Michael S. Logan is a brain fitness expert, a counselor, a student of Chi Gong, and licensed one on one HeartMath provider. I enjoy the spiritual, the mythological, and psychological, and I am a late life father to Shane, 10, and Hannah Marie, 4, whose brains are so amazing.

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