Sunday, October 15, 2017

How to Manage Hoarding Behavior in a Person with Dementia

Has your loved one’s “waste not, want not” attitude gone a little too far? Are you dealing with the combination of hoarding behavior and dementia in an older family member? Need more help tackling this tough combo? 

The tendency towards collecting can be a normal and natural part of aging. Whether for nostalgic or practical reasons, the behavior might help the collector feel more comfortable and secure about aging. If a memory issue like dementia or Alzheimer’s takes hold, however, the collecting behavior can intensify and become a serious problem, interfering with the ability to live comfortably. 

Dementia on its own is already a lot to handle; adding hoarding to the mix might seem overwhelming. But there are actually a few easy tips caregivers can follow to help manage hoarding in a person with dementia. 

1. Be Kind

memory care Ann Arbor Address the issue with calmness and kindness. Hoarding isn’t something the person is doing intentionally, so punishment or anger will only hinder the process. Consider involving other people in the management of the problem or in a clean up so everyone has support in the process.

2. Use Incentives

If you need to go through and get rid of a significant amount of material, offer the person incentives to deal with the challenge. These could include donating items to charity, giving things to their church, or passing down to other family members. Personal rewards for hard work can be effective, too. 

3. Provide Distractions

Whether a major cleanup is necessary or not, to keep things under control moving forward, keep the person busy with active tasks. Activity will lessen the compulsion toward collecting and hoarding. Organization tasks, like sorting and labeling, can be particularly helpful. 

4. Know the Hiding Spots

Don’t try to eliminate collecting completely. Manage it by making sure you know the special places used for hiding so you can occasionally take a look and keep track of the behavior. You can even encourage collecting and storage in certain places, like a unique box or chest, to help control the behavior. 

5. Seek Advice

Make sure necessary doctors are aware of the behavior and ask for advice. This is especially important if you feel the behavior is out of control. Social workers and psychologists can also be a great help with a difficult cleanup or managing hoarding behavior. 

You can help a person for whom you’re providing care manage their hoarding, even when added complications like dementia make it seem impossible. These tips are simple to use and really work!

If you have questions about your options for a loved one in need of memory care in Ann Arbor, give us a call today. At Hillside Terrace Retirement Community, our family shares life with your family.  

Sunday, October 1, 2017

5 Things to Consider Before Planning a Cruise Ship Retirement

Thinking about your retirement options? Do the open waters and exotic destination of cruise ship retirement sound appealing? Want to know more about cruise ship retirement?

Looking into the possibility of retiring to a cruise ship seems to be a growing trend, many claiming it’s actually less expensive than a typical retirement community. The appeal of a truly permanent vacation speaks for itself. But what do you really know about the reality of retirement life on a cruise ship? 

memory care Ann Arbor
Before you crack your nest egg on the deck of an ocean liner, here are 5 things you should consider:

  1. Cost- Cruises might be an affordable way to see Europe or the Caribbean, but if you’re considering spending years of your life on a ship, the costs can add up. Cruise ship add-ons include alcohol and soda, laundry, internet service, data roaming, and medical expenses. Retirement communities and assisted living facilities are often priced comparably or more affordably, and aren’t always the dull places you see portrayed in media. 
  2. Care- Even if you’re in great health, chances are you are going to need a level of medical care and attention a cruise ship is not equipped to supply. Emergency visits with a doctor at your cruise residence can be very costly, and there’s a chance you won’t find insurance that will cover you if you live on a cruise ship. 
  3. Mobility- Cruise ships will have some accessibility features, but more than not, they’re designed for energetic (and temporary) vacationers. Because mobility and balance tend to be an issue as we age, the difficulties posed by a cruise ship residence can quickly become tedious. In rougher weather, seniors will likely find hard or even dangerous to maneuver the boat. 
  4. Relationships- Many seniors place high value on the friendships they forge with peers and neighbors in their retirement communities. Living on a cruise ship will make such relationships difficult to come by, considering you’ll be surrounded by new people every few weeks. You may also find the hiatus from family and old friends a burden.
  5. Baggage- If you plan to call a cruise ship home, there’s a lot you’ll have to leave behind. If you’re okay with paring down belongings to a few suitcases, this won’t be a challenge; if not, you’ll have some tough decisions to make! You can also expect relatively small quarters in your new home without much freedom to personalize it to your comfort or liking. 

Don’t get us wrong… cruises are great! But we recommend you take a long vacation rather than taking up residence. For your long-term security and comfort, you have better options than this trend. 

If you have questions about your retirement situation or are exploring options for a loved one in need of memory care in Ann Arbor, give us a call today. At Hillside Terrace Retirement Community, our family shares life with your family.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

How Important is Hydration As We Age?

Wondering if you should up your water dosage as you’re getting older? Need motivation to stay hydrated? Curious how hydration needs change as you age? 

Hydration is important at any age and is crucial to anyone’s overall health. However, there are some key factors that make hydration more important and tricky as we age, including:
memory care Ann Arbor

  1. Water Loss: as we get older, we lose water more quickly, making frequent hydration more important now, then 10 or 20 years ago. 
  2. Decreased Sensitivity: many seniors may not realize they’re less sensitive to their bodies’ needs and may not feel parched until dehydration has already set in. Drinking water regularly can combat this issue. 
  3. Mobility Changes: limits in mobility can make getting a glass of water a hassle; having a reusable bottle of water with you can alleviate the burden. If a trip to the restroom is a bit of workout, drinking your fill of water is less rewarding. To address this, make changes to your home for bathroom accessibility. 
  4. Memory Trouble: even in our younger years we can get to the end of a day and realize we’ve forgotten to eat or drink anything! Now that we’re older, memory can be a bigger issue. If you often forget to drink water during the day, put yourself on a simple schedule, like drinking water at the beginning of each hour or having a glass before and after every meal. 

Dehydration can range from mild to severe, just like your symptoms which can include headaches, muscle cramps, low blood pressure, and confusion. Chronic dehydration can damage the brain and kidneys, leading to irreversible problems. 

Because dehydration is not just a matter of comfort but can be fatal, it’s important to remember your water today and everyday! 

Here are a few tips for easier hydration:

  • Carry a reusable water bottle. 
  • Eat fruits and veggies with high water content, like apple and cucumber. 
  • Avoid salt and caffeine. 
  • Drink water before, during, and after a workout, including walks or a round of golf. 
  • Maximize your accessibility to a restroom at home. 

Learn more about the importance of hydration for seniors and senior care and give us a call. As experts in senior living and memory care in Ann Arbor, Hillside Terrace is ready to serve you. And remember, at Hillside Terrace, our family shares life with your family. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

De-Clutter: How to Create Space That Matters!

Want to create space in your home that matters but not sure where to start? Feeling the urge to purge and looking for tips? Need motivation before you begin the de-cluttering process?

The longer we live, the more we tend to collect! There are lots of good reasons to hang on to objects and mementos from knick-knacks, to furniture, to documents, and etc. But there can be equally compelling reasons to let things go!

To help you start the process, consider our top three reasons why you might want to de-clutter and three techniques to help you do it.  

Reasons to De-Clutter:

  1. Access to what you need: de-cluttering your rooms and storage spaces will give you better access to the things you need and use every day and more space to enjoy them. 
  2. Space and safety at home: letting go of a few things will lead to a better flow in your house, which will keep you safer as your mobility changes with age. 
  3. Prepare to downsize: reducing your clutter and possessions can help you downsize to a more manageable home or make your current house more comfortable with space for things that matter, like visitors and guests!

Techniques to De-Clutter

  1. Don’t save it, scan it: Living with stacks of paperwork you might not need, but may end up needing it a week later? Solve your problem by scanning documents and saving them on a computer. Only hang on to originals of what you really need, like birth certificates. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids or grandkids to help with technology if you need it!
  2. Getting over nostalgia: Are you hanging onto things only for the memories they’re tied to? A good technique to get past this is to keep a file of photos of nostalgic items and let the physical item go. Keeping the image will keep the ties to memories, but make more space in your home. 
  3. Three box technique: Need a clear process to get you through a room-to-room de-clutter? Try labeling three boxes as keep, sell/donate, and trash. Then start tackling one area at a time. In each area, make sure you consider every item separately and place it in one of the boxes. It’s OK to move slowly and take your time! At the end of the process, you’ll have more space in your home for things that really matter!

It can be a lot to consider, and feel overwhelming to get started, but if you dig in, the process and the result can be rewarding. 

If you’re interested in de-cluttering for downsizing purposes, give us a call today to learn your options. As experts in senior living and memory care in Ann Arbor, we’re here to answer all your questions. At Hillside Terrace our family shares life with your family.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Far-Reaching Effects of Falls on Seniors

Worried about a senior in your life suffering from a fall? Wondering how to help someone recovering from a fall? Trying to prevent falls in your home or in another living space?

Falls are one of the greatest common threats to seniors and often have effects that reach far beyond what we might expect. The physical impact can be immediate and obvious, or more subtle. And the emotional effect is not something to neglect either. Because falls can be very serious, it’s important to understand the effect of a fall and to do what we can to prevent them. 

Physical Effects

A serious fall can leave someone with a broken bone, deep bruises, and long-term pain. Any one of these things can be a lot to deal with for someone who was already struggling with a decline in mobility. If a fall takes you off your feet for a significant period of time, the physical effect can be exacerbated by muscle and bone loss. This is why it’s common for people to suffer additional falls after their first. 

It’s important to get moving and stay active as much as possible after a fall, following medical advice, of course. Although taking a load off is easier, it will cost you in the long run!

Emotional Effect

Many seniors say they lose confidence and are afraid to do things on their own after falling, even if they never tell a doctor about the fall. This emotional burden can contribute to isolation and withdrawal which will likely accelerate mobility loss and increase the risk of falling. 

Talk with your doctor and family members to help make a plan for staying active. Having a support system can help with fear and loss of confidence.


Many believe there’s not much to do to avoid a fall, but this isn’t true! Some ways to prevent a fall are as easy as picking up clutter in the living space or whenever a senior visits your home. Ridding a space of hazards like loose rugs or floorboards is helpful, too. Making sure a space is well-lit and wearing shoes inside instead of socks will also reduce the risk of falls. 

Staying active and maintaining or improving mobility are also great ways to avoid falls. And when setbacks happen, it’s really important not to let it get you down for too long! 

To learn more about the far-reaching effects of a fall or if you have questions about Assisted Living in Ann Arbor, give us a call today. At Hillside Terrace Retirement Community, our family shares life with yours.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dance Your Way to Health!

When’s the last time you got up just to shake it? Wondering if dancing could be the perfect activity for you? Are you looking for ways to get more exercise into your daily routine?

Nobody’s expecting you to be the next great salsa star, but when you start hearing about all the undeniable health benefits of adding a little dancing to your day, you might be ready to try! Even if you think dancing might be too far out of your comfort zone, read on and see if the rewards can sway you to give it a go!
assisted living Ann Arbor


Research shows low impact dancing is a great way to get in shape and that you’re more likely to stick to it compared to other kinds of exercise classes. 


Dancing offers a great outlet for stress, anxiety, and can even help with insomnia. Add a dance class to your weekly routine, and you’ll likely feel the relaxing benefits in no time!


Getting into a dancing class or dancing regularly will help reduce chronic stiffness. One study shows that dancing helped reduce the amount of pain medication seniors used. Increased mobility is always good for maintaining independence. 


Regular dancing can replace some of the more monotonous cardiovascular activity you might be recommended to do for a healthy heart and lungs. More cha-cha anyone?

Brain Boost

Dancing really is good for the body and brain! When dancing, you challenge yourself to make split-second decisions. This activates your neurons, reduces the risk of dementia, and keeps you sharp.  

Researchers have studied actual dance classes from salsa to waltz, so you can’t go wrong with any kind of dancing you do to improve your health! Be sure to discuss with your doctor before engaging in a new fitness routine. 

If you have more questions about the health benefits of dancing for seniors or questions about assisted living in Ann Arbor, give us a call today. At Hillside Terrace Retirement Community, our family shares life with yours.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

6 Questions to Protect Elderly Patients in the Hospital

Are you wondering what the hard questions are that you should ask when you or your parent is in the hospital?

Are you prepared for the unexpected?

Are you worried about you or your parent’s potential risk for memory loss?

Don’t worry! Going to the doctor can be stressful, but we have some information that will be useful for you and your parent’s next visit to the doctor, especially if there’s a hospital stay.
elderly care Ann Arbor

The New York Times asked “three experts their advice when it comes to six questions family members should ask to lower an elderly patient’s risk for hospital delirium:

  1. Do the nurses and doctors routinely screen for delirium or identify high-risk patients?
  2. How does the hospital deal with agitation or delirium in patients if it develops?
  3. What does the hospital do to keep patients from being disoriented?
  4. What policies are in place to make sure patients get adequate sleep?
  5. If my family member needs a urinary catheter or other bedside interventions, how does the hospital decide when to remove them?
  6. Will the physicians and pharmacy staff review my family member’s medications to identify medications that increase delirium risk?”

Get Started Today: Schedule a Tour! 

Our "Aging by Choice" philosophy allows a flexibility of options for our residents and their families; you choose what is best for you, and we make it possible. We’re confident in our ability to provide the best quality of care, the security, and the family atmosphere that you’re seeking! We warmly invite you to see the difference we can make when your family shares life with our family. 

We can help your family create peace of mind. When you’re at home you’ll know your loved one is taken care of and in good hands. Schedule a tour of Hillside Terrace today– a facility for memory care in Ann Arbor.

For more information about hospice care offered at Hillside Terrace, visit us at, or contact us here!