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What is Dementia?

Many of us either have a loved one who has suffered from dementia or we know someone who does. The diagnosis of dementia is an incredibly difficult one to receive for all members of the family. While there is still a lot about dementia that the medical community hasn’t been able to fully explain, research is being done every day to better understand the causes of dementia and find ways to treat it.

What is dementia?

While the term is used often, dementia isn’t a specific disease itself. It’s an umbrella term used to describe a host of cognitive impairment symptoms. Dementia occurs when there is damage to the cells in the brain, impairing the communication from cell to cell. It usually is the result of brain disease, stroke, or injury, although it can be caused by other factors like brain tumors or drug misuse. The impact of this damage leads to memory loss, difficulty carrying out day to day tasks, personality disruptions, and other symptoms.

Types of dementia

There are several forms of dementia, but a few of the most common are described below.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease of the brain, and perhaps the most well known form of dementia. It’s important to note that while Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, not all dementia sufferers have Alzheimer’s. With that said, Alzheimer’s does make up 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases, making it the most common form by far. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, and treatments to slow or halt the progression of the disease are yet to be successful.

Vascular Dementia is the second most common form of dementia, making up around 10 percent of cases. Vascular dementia occurs when there is a lack of blood flow in the brain, like after a stroke, and brain cells are damaged or killed.

Parkinson’s Disease can also include dementia—upwards of 50 to 80 percent of Parkinson's patients are estimated to be affected. Parkinson’s-related dementia differs from Alzheimer’s in that it usually takes years to develop symptoms after first being diagnosed. Parkinson's disease starts in the area of the brain that affects motor movement, but can and often does move to parts of the brain that cause memory loss.

Lewy Body Dementia occurs when there are deposits in the brain called Lewy bodies. These deposits are also thought to be the cause of memory loss in Parkinson’s patients The two diseases are now thought to be linked, but more research is being performed to confirm this idea.

To learn more about all the types of dementia, read more from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Early symptoms

Catching and diagnosing dementia early can help keep your loved ones out of potentially dangerous situations, so it’s important to keep an eye on their health. Also, the progression of some forms of dementia can also be slowed with early intervention.

If you notice personality changes in your loved ones, if they start having difficulty keeping up with their schedule, or begin to have trouble caring for themselves in the ways they have before, it’s never a bad idea to talk with a doctor. Sometimes symptoms of other medical issues, like medication side effects or vitamin deficiency, can masquerade as dementia as well.

However, not all memory loss is a symptom of a larger problem—some memory loss occurs with normal aging. For example, forgetting an appointment but then remembering about it later in the day is a normal lapse in memory. But if a loved one can’t remember any events and must rely on a family member or other methods to constantly remind them, it might be a sign of a larger problem.

For more details about early symptoms, read the full list from The Alzheimer’s Association.

Care at The Chateau

The Chateau offers excellent, compassionate, and personalized care for our residents with dementia. Our staff is skilled and experienced in caring for our residents with memory problems, and we have round-the-clock care, so you can rest easy knowing your loved one is in good hands.

For more information about care at The Chateau, contact our Admissions Coordinator at (573) 651-8144.

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When choosing to make the move to a retirement community, there are a lot of factors to consider, from location, to amenities, to personal comfort with moving out of the home you’ve made. Access to various levels of care is also a concern for both potential residents and their family. If a need for more care arises, who will provide that care? Will you have to make a move to another facility if you need more skilled care?

What if there were a retirement community where you could maintain your independence, but still have peace of mind knowing there is more help available if you need it? There is!

What is a CCRC?

A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offers all three levels of care—independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing—on one campus. Since the full continuum of care is offered, a resident can transition to other levels of care if necessary without needing to move to a different facility. The Chateau is an accredited CCRC and offers all of the following levels of care.

Levels of care

Independent living: For seniors who don’t need any day to day help but get to enjoy the maintenance- and worry-free living CCRCs provide.

Assisted Living: Seniors who need some help with daily activities, like remembering medication, bathing, or getting dressed in the morning.

Skilled nursing: Seniors who need consistent care from trained nursing staff due to health concerns.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of choosing a CCRC are abundant. Residents enjoy peace of mind knowing their future is taken care of, regardless of level of care needed. Families can also rest easy knowing their loved one will have all of their needs met, without having to make stressful decisions about moving care facilities down the road. CCRCs are a great option for couples as well. Couples are able to stay together, even if one partner needs to transition into a higher level of care.

The consistency of staying on one campus is also very appealing. Our residents become comfortable with our grounds and facilities, and develop routines that they know will be able to stay the same.  Also, our residents and staff alike appreciate the relationships they’re able to form and maintain due to the consistency of a CCRC. The comfort level our residents feel with our staff is invaluable. And the strong friendships made between residents can continue to flourish without interruption due to moving levels of care.

Why The Chateau?

The Chateau is the only CARF-accredited CCRC in Missouri. CARF, or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, is the only accrediting body for CCRCs in the United States. The Chateau is proud to have held this accreditation since 1992.

You’ll be able to make yourself right at home at The Chateau. Living spaces at all levels of care are attractive and fully customizable. Decorate and rearrange however you wish! Your family may visit as often as you like, can sleep over, and even join you for meals in the dining hall. (And you can ask any of our residents—the food is top notch thanks to our Chef Walter Lents!) Other amenities include workout facilities and classes, an on-campus bank branch, Sunday church services, a library, beauty parlor, transportation services, and more. Plus, you’ll enjoy all the comforts of home without the upkeep—all levels of care at The Chateau are maintenance free.

There is always an activity to do or something new to try, whether it’s our weekly Friday social hour, movie night, attending a production at the River Campus, or taking an educational course on new technology. Our clubs and activities offer something for everyone and all that’s missing is you!

Safety is our top priority. We have surveillance cameras throughout the property, and on-site security patrols the campus at night. All residences are also equipped with an emergency alert system, and we have staff monitoring for calls 24-7, so help is always close by. We can also arrange for daily checks to ensure that our residents are happy and safe in their homes.

How Can I Learn More?

We understand that choosing a retirement community is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for yourself and your family. We want you to be completely comfortable with your choice, and are happy to show you around our campus, answer any questions, and set your mind at ease.

Contact us with any questions, set up a tour, and take the next step towards a worry-free lifestyle! Call 1-800-428-0069 or email info@chateaugir.com.

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