Prevent Falls with These Senior Exercises for Balance

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults?

Falls happen at all ages, but as we grow older, we lose muscle tone and our balance suffers. This leads to a higher risk of falling. Fortunately, balance, like any physical ability, can be improved with regular practice and exercise.

In this article, we’ll go over four senior exercises for balance that, if done regularly, can help prevent falls and keep your body strong and healthy for years to come.

The Tight Rope Walk

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms straight out at your sides, parallel to the ground. Pick up one foot and place it in front of the other to form a line, like walking over a tight rope. Pause for a second or two to make sure you’re balanced and then repeat with the next foot.

See how far you can go across the room with this exercise. It’s a great exercise for helping your brain and feet coordinate and developing strength in your feet and ankles. And, as an added bonus, you’ll develop strength in your arms and shoulders by holding them out at your sides.

Tree Pose

Tree is an ancient yoga pose that’s known to help improve balance. There are many variations of this pose, so you can adjust it to your skill level and increase the difficulty as you improve.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left, holding your right foot just above the floor. If you have the ability, turn your right foot in, placing the sole of your right foot on your left inner calf to form a triangle wiht your right leg.

Once you’ve mastered this, pick your arms up and raise them straight out at your sides, fingers stretched wide to mimic a tree leaf. Then reach your arms up over your head and touch your palms together.

Again, if you can’t do this on the first go, it’s okay to only do a portion of this pose to start. Finally, hold the pose for several seconds, then repeat on the other leg.

Sit, Stand, Sit

This simple exercise can make a big difference in your leg strength over time. Your legs are the base for your body, so the stronger your leg muscles, the more steady your base and the less likely you are to fall.

Start by sitting in a chair facing a wall. Leave enough space between your legs and the wall to allow you to stand up comfortably.

Touch the wall with your palms to steady yourself. Then rise up out of the chair to a standing position. If you need to, you can place your hands on the arms or seat of the chair and use them to help push you up.

Once you’re standing, sit back down in the chair and repeat the process 10 times, or as many times as you’re comfortable.

Mountain Pose

Mountain is another ancient yoga pose designed to help with balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands down at your sides. Face forward and close your eyes.

Mentally check in with your feet and legs. Feel your feet root to the ground to form a strong base for your body or “mountain”. Stand like this with your eyes closed as long as you like.

This seems like a simple exercise, but it’s very important for keeping your mind connected with your feet. The more aware you are of your feet and legs, the less likely you are to fall when you’re caught off guard.

Try These Senior Exercises for Balance

These senior exercises for balance are a great way to improve your balance from home. However, if you have a history of falls or recurring injuries, you should talk to your doctor about physical therapy to help with balance.

At St. William’s Living Center, we have a physical therapists on staff to help you with all of your exercise needs. Contact us today to learn about how physical therapy can help you recover and prevent falls in the future.

What Is Hospice Care? 5 Facts to Know

Did you know that 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive hospice care annually? And that number is increasing with each passing year.

End-of-life care isn’t an easy subject for most of us to think about, but it is something that’s important to discuss with your loved ones. Many people don’t understand the many benefits of hospice care.

If you find yourself asking “What is hospice care?”, we’re here to help. Here are five facts to know about this special type of healthcare.

1. Hospice is Supportive Care

Rather than treating the underlying illness, hospice care focuses on supporting the patient through day-to-day life. Symptom control is the number one priority. By treating the symptoms of the disease, hospice caregivers make patients more comfortable so they can live their final days to the fullest.

A care plan is established for each patient by hospice professionals. This care plan is tailored to the needs of the patient and offers 24-hour support.

2. Hospice Helps with Daily Life Activities

Hospice is more than just healthcare. Care professionals help the patient with simple tasks like bathing, preparing food, doing laundry, and cleaning their home. They can also help family members learn how to do these activities so they can support their loved ones during difficult times. 

3. Hospice Care Includes Emotional Support 

It’s not uncommon for terminally ill patients to suffer from high levels of anxiety and even depression. Hospice care workers are specially trained to offer emotional support to those dealing with a terminal illness. They can even offer spiritual guidance if that is what the patient needs.

Hospice care workers are also a great source of companionship to the patient and their family members. They can provide some needed time off to family members who take on the brunt of the caregiving responsibilities.

4. You Can Receive Hospice Care in a Nursing Home

Most people believe that a loved one must be at home to receive hospice care, but that’s not true. If your family member lives in a nursing home, they too can receive hospice benefits. 

Nursing home residents that opt for hospice care will receive regular visits from hospice nurses that are specially trained in end-of-life care. They’ll work with the nursing home staff to ensure that the care plan is working as it should and they’ll offer suggestions for therapy and other care procedures that can improve the resident’s quality of life.

5. Hospice is for the Entire Family

Hospice can be a benefit to the entire family, not just the patient. The hospice service will provide access to counselors during the illness and even after death, to help family members cope. 

They’ll keep family members in the loop during the entire process and ensure that everyone’s wishes are respected. Daily meetings with hospice caregivers can offer family members hope and stress relief during these trying times. 

What Is Hospice Care? It’s Your Choice

Hospice care is an excellent choice for those who are looking to live a more comfortable life during their final days. Talk to your loved ones about choosing hospice care when the time comes. 

At St. William’s Living Center, we understand the difficulties surrounding end-of-life care decisions. Call us anytime to discuss hospice care options in Parkers Prairie.

Did You Know? A History of St. William’s Living Center – Part 5

Under the watchful eyes of Fr. Joseph Vogrin and Cyrilla Bitzan, St. William’s Nursing Home made it through the tough early years and continued to grow and expand. 

In the final installment of our series, we’ll discuss how the nursing home has changed over the last 40 years, and how it continues to serve Parkers Prairie and the surrounding community with excellent care.

More Space and a New Administration

Cyrilla Bitzan ran a tight ship at St. William’s Nursing Home after she was hired part-time by Fr. Joseph Vogrin in 1963. By 1970, Fr. Vogrin convinced Cyrilla to return to school and get her administrator’s license so she could take over full-time as the administrator. 

During their time in administration, Cyrilla and Fr. Vogrin oversaw three separate expansions in 1963, 1967, and 1976. The 1976 expansion was critical for the growth of the facility. It created room for 30 new beds and gave St. William’s enough occupants to afford a full-time nursing staff working in three different shifts for round-the-clock care. The facility was soon the largest employer in Parkers Prairie, surpassing the school district. 

Fr. Vogrin retired in 1987, after serving 37 years as pastor of St. William’s Church and Cyrilla Bitzan retired just two years later. She passed on her knowledge and an incredibly high standard of care to the then-Director of Nursing, Paul Baer. Paul would remain the administrator for another 26 years until 2013 when Tim Kelly, the current administrator, took over.

Beyond the Nursing Home

There was a great need in Otter Tail County for a place that could care for mentally-handicapped citizens as well as the elderly. In 1982, a 16-resident annex was built to provide community-based care for those suffering from mental illness. 

With this expansion, the facility got a name change to St. William’s Living Center to incorporate all the new aspects of care available. The annex operated until 2003 and in 2006, it was torn down to make room for another expansion to the property. 

St. William’s opened its first adult foster care home in 1989 and has since added two more foster homes. Foster care allows adults with mental disabilities the protection and assistance they need to handle the basic activities of daily living.

In June of 2001, McCornell Court Assisted Living was built. The assisted living wing holds fifteen senior living apartments that offer seniors a supported lifestyle with the autonomy of apartment living.  A chapel was also built during the 2001 addition to give residents a space to partake in religious services.

Vogrin Hall was added to the campus in 2007, giving residents a large, open event space they can use for family gatherings, regular activities, and town events.

May of 2019 brought another exciting chapter to the history of St. William’s when our newest addition opened to residents. This remodeling project added fourteen private rooms to the nursing facility as well as several new common areas and a fully equipped outpatient therapy clinic.

St. William’s Living Center: The Home With a Heart and 5 Stars!

From its early years as the Liebold Hospital to the most recent expansion and remodel, it’s been our pleasure to bring high-quality healthcare to the citizens of Parkers Prairie! 

Our facility consistently receives a 5-star rating in the Medicare Nursing Home Compare Program. Contact us to learn more about the many services we offer.

Information for this post was taken from the book Beyond Measure, written by Fr. Jeff Ethen, copyright 2000 Central Minnesota Catholic Publishers

Healthy Brain 101: How to Keep Your Mind Sharp as You Age

Eat your fruits and vegetables. Get your daily exercise. Don’t neglect your annual physical.

As we age, these statements get drilled into our heads by our doctors, our family members, and by the media. We must take care of our bodies to live a long, happy life. 

While it’s true that taking care of your body is important, it’s also important to take care of your mind. Life is so much more fulfilling when your body and your mind are strong and active. 

Keep reading for some healthy brain tips to keep your mind sharp as you age.

Read, Write, Repeat

Reading and writing are important at every age, but they’re especially helpful later in life when our brain function starts to naturally lag with age. The act of reading does several different tasks within our brain. 

First, it continues the process of learning. It also connects and coordinates various brain functions. Reading uses your eyes to see, your mind to comprehend, and your memory to retain information. 

Writing does something similar. It allows you to express creativity while exercising the fine motor skills associated with picking up a pen or typing on a keyboard. Writing also helps manage stress and anxiety. 

If you don’t already do so, start a habit of reading when you have a few minutes of free time. Keep a journal handy so you can write down your thoughts throughout the day. And repeat this process every day to keep your mind sharp!

Get Out and About

Yes, exercise is important and it’s something you need to do every day to keep your body healthy. But exercise is also really great for your mind. 

Getting out of the house for a walk brings fresh air into your lungs. It gets the blood pumping in your veins. And this fresh blood and oxygen is fuel for a healthy brain. 

Another important part of getting out and about is socializing. Keeping up good relationships with our friends and family is so important for strong mental health. 

Visiting with family and friends gives our brains a type of mental gymnastics. The act of carrying on a conversation makes you think about your words and helps the coordination between thinking and speaking. Plus, socializing with others releases all sorts of happy hormones into your system that can brighten your mood.

Puzzle, Play and Perform Often

Keep your mind sharp by puzzling it… often! Brain games and thought puzzles are an excellent way to get your mind moving. Plus, they’re a ton of fun!

Playing physical games is also great for your health. Join an age-appropriate sports league, like a local tennis team, a curling club, or a racketball group. This type of exercise is great for your body and also makes you think and strategize. It’s a win-win situation!

Consider learning how to play a musical instrument. Music is a wonderful way to calm your mind and make you think at the same time. And performing in front of others will get you out of your comfort zone, which is a very healthy activity for a sharp mind!

Healthy Brain = A Healthier Body

Your brain and your body work in tandem to make you the beautiful person you are. Without either component working at full capacity, your quality of life will suffer. So get to work on your healthy brain today! Start implementing some of these tips now.
At St. William’s Living Center, we have a department dedicated to improving mental health. Visit our website today to learn all about our mental health services.

Did You Know? A History of St. William’s Living Center – Part 4

In 1960, Fr. Joseph Vogrin succeeded in his plan to turn a dilapidated old hospital into a rest home and care center. But getting the new home up and running was much easier said than done.

In Part 4 of our series about the history of St. William’s Living Center, we’ll take a look at just how close the home came to closing in those early years. And we’ll introduce you to a kind-hearted woman whose hard work and diligence saved the struggling facility.

The Lean Years

Times were tough during the early days of St. William’s Rest Home. Fr. Vogrin faced criticism from local Protestants, who, at the time, were the majority of residents in Parkers Prairie. They remembered the struggle that the Franciscan sisters had had just a few years earlier and they were hesitant to reserve rooms in the new facility that was owned by the Catholic Church.

To cut down on costs, Fr. Vogrin didn’t take a salary for many years. He served as the bookkeeper, maintenance man, and janitor. During the lean years, the home relied heavily on church volunteers to fill the staffing hours.

Fr. Vogrin Appeals to the County and the Protestants

Fr. Vogrin turned to Otter Tail County for help. He reached out to the state hospital in Fergus Falls for resident referrals.

He also took strides to improve the relationship between the rest home and the Protestant community. Fr. Vogrin developed friendships with local Protestant clergy members. Eventually, he asked them to visit the residents in the home and encouraged them to hold their own religious services in the chapel.

Because of his progressive moves, Fr. Vogrin was able to fill more beds and keep the home afloat during its early years.


Attracting nurses was almost impossible because of the meager pay that the rest home offered. In 1962, Fr. Vogrin entertained the idea of turning the home into a full-fledged nursing home. This meant that he needed to expand the home to hold more residents. If he could do this, he could afford to hire a full-time nursing staff.

Fr. Vogrin approached the Diocese about expanding the facility and his proposition was approved. Construction on the expansion project was completed in 1963 and the rest home name was officially changed to St. William’s Nursing Home.

Now that he had a larger nursing home to run, Fr. Vogrin needed some help. He knew that he needed to hire a nurse who would work minimal hours for very little pay. And his prayers were answered by someone just up the road in Millerville.

Cyrilla Bitzan

Cyrilla Bitzan was a farmer’s wife and mother to ten children, but she had always secretly dreamed of becoming a nurse. When a nursing program opened up at the technical college in Alexandria, she jumped at the opportunity.

After graduating first in her class, Cyrilla accepted a job with the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria. Fr. Vogrin knew that Cyrilla had a full-time nursing job lined up and he was okay with that. He asked her to help run his nursing home in her free time. An amazingly giving woman, Cyrilla said yes.

Under Cyrilla’s watchful eye, the nursing home prospered. She insisted that the facility should look and smell inviting, not like a medical facility, but like a true home. Many nursing homes at the time would bar visitors during flu season, but Cyrilla would have none of that. Family and children were always welcome at St. William’s.

The Nursing Home Continues to Prosper

Next week, we’ll continue with our story and discuss how St. William’s Nursing Home continued to grow and prosper through the decades following its opening. You don’t want to miss it!

Are you looking for a new career? Consider becoming a certified nursing assistant! It’s a gratifying job with lots of opportunity for advancement. Visit our website to learn more about careers in this rewarding field.

Information for this post was taken from the book Beyond Measure, written by Fr. Jeff Ethen, copyright 2000 Central Minnesota Catholic Publishers

Did You Know? A History of St. William’s Living Center – Part 3

In the middle part of the 20th century, St. Raphael’s Hospital in Parkers Prairie became a local healthcare hub, serving the residents of Otter Tail County. Soon, a thriving Catholic parish was added to the community and Parkers Prairie residents no longer had to make the trek to Urbank for Sunday Mass. 

Fr. Joseph Vogrin came from St. Cloud to lead the new parish and oversee operations at the Franciscan hospital next door. 

In this installment of our series, we’ll take a closer look at how St. Raphael’s Hospital evolved to become a rest home and care center. 

Fr. Vogrin Comes to Parkers Prairie

Fr. Joseph Vogrin was ordained in Austria in 1944 during the height of World War II. It was a dangerous time for religious scholars and priests in Europe. Because they were educated, they represented a threat to the totalitarian regimes that ruled during the war. 

Seeking political sanctuary, Fr. Vogrin came to the US and was moved to the St. Cloud Diocese in 1949. Later, he ventured west, looking to become a pastor at St. Mary’s in Alexandria. The job didn’t work out for him and he was instead assigned to St. William’s in Parkers Prairie. 

He served his first Mass on August 19, 1951, just a few short weeks after construction of the brick church building began. The temporary position he took became a permanent stay after he became deeply involved in the construction project.

The Fate of the Hospital

By 1959, St. Raphael’s hospital was in dire need of a renovation. It received 18 deficiency citations from a state inspection that year. 

With a relicensing deadline looming, the Franciscans were running low on options. They lacked the funds to bring the hospital up to code. A city commission, made up of prominent businessmen in the community, came together to decide what to do with the ailing hospital.

They were unable to reach an agreement about the fate of the St. Raphael’s and the Franciscans allowed the hospital license to lapse. Fr. Vogrin saw an opportunity and purchased the building for $1,000 through St. William’s Parish. A new community hospital was later built in a new location in Parkers Prairie.

A Rest Home In Its Place

Community leaders in Parkers Prairie hoped to have a nursing home wing added on to the new hospital, but funding cuts made this impossible. Fr. Vogrin had a vision that the church’s building, old St. Raphael’s Hospital, could serve a new purpose. 

But the building needed plenty of work before it would be fit as a healthcare facility again. In 1960, Fr. Vogrin approached the Diocese about renovating the aging structure, which had been left as a shell by the Franciscans, into a 20-bed board and care facility. He received the necessary permission and funding to go forward with the construction. 

St. William’s Rest Home began operations in 1960 and incorporated three years later to become a separate entity from St. William’s Parish. Along with the incorporation came a new name – St. William’s Nursing Home.

The Nursing Home Becomes a Living Center

Join us next week! We’ll discuss how the original 20-bed rest home grew into a 5-star nursing facility and living center that’s consistently rated among the best in the country. You don’t want to miss it!

Visit the News section of our website to hear the latest news coming out of St. William’s Living Center and get some great advice for adjusting to nursing home life. 

Did You Know? A History of St. William’s Living Center – Part 2

In Part 1 of our series, we left off at the corner of McCornell Avenue and West Soo Street, where Dr. Herbert Leibold successfully built his vision of a hospital to serve the rural residents of Parkers Prairie. 

Financial difficulties plagued the hospital after Dr. Leibold retired and the city agreed to sell the facility to the Franciscans, who would keep the hospital running. The Catholic organization moved in and took over operations, but the growing Catholic community still had to make a long commute to receive Sunday Mass in Urbank. 

In this installment, we’ll talk about the arrival of the Catholic church in Parkers Prairie, and we’ll introduce you to a man who would become an integral part of St. William’s history. 

Dr. Leibold Makes a Plan

Now that the Franciscans were running St. Raphael’s hospital, they needed a priest to oversee operations. Dr. Leibold, who was partially retired but still active as a surgeon in the hospital, thought this was an excellent opportunity to commission the Bishop to form a parish in Parkers Prairie. After all, there would be little sense in having a priest on staff at the hospital without having a parish where he could be of greatest service to the community. 

A fundraising campaign was soon underway to bring a new Catholic parish to Parkers Prairie. Dr. Leibold led the charge with a $1,000 pledge of his own. It wasn’t long before the community had reached the $6,000 fundraising goal.

On November 21, 1950, Bishop Joseph Busch established The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady. This was later changed to St. William’s in honor of a particularly large donor named William Wissel. 

Sacred Ground

Now that Dr. Leibold had the parish officially recognized by the Bishop, he needed a place to build the church. He purchased the city lot next to his home, directly across the street from St. Raphael’s Hospital. 

The church accepted the donated lot from Dr. Leibold with the agreement that, after he and his wife passed away, the church would be given first priority to buy his home. This gave the church room to expand and a house to use as a rectory. 

Brick and Mortar

With the lot secured, the new parish was now on the lookout for a building. They originally wanted to purchase an old, wooden Protestant church and move it onto the lot. But Dr. Leibold had other ideas in mind. 

He petitioned the church to raise funds to construct a brick building, which they were able to do successfully. Construction began on July 4, 1951 with the laying of the cornerstone. On June 25, 1952, Bishop Bartholome blessed the altar and dedicated the new church. 

Fr. Joseph Vogrin

Born in Slovenia, Fr. Joseph Vogrin spoke only passable English. He came to the area to be an associate pastor at St. Mary’s in Alexandria. Because of his broken English, he was passed over for the job and took a temporary position at St. William’s in Parkers Prairie instead. 

That temporary position would turn into 37 years of dedicated service to the community, and would lead to the formation of St. William’s Living Center as we know it today. Join us for our next installment, where we reveal how St. Raphael’s Hospital became a nursing home facility. 

Did you know that St. William’s Living Center offers physical, occupational, and speech therapy? Visit our website to learn about the many services we offer to the Parkers Prairie community!

Information for this post was taken from the book Beyond Measure, written by Fr. Jeff Ethen, copyright 2000 Central Minnesota Catholic Publishers

Did You Know? A History of St. William’s Living Center – Part 1

On the corner of McCornell Avenue and West Soo Street in the sleepy country town of Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, sits the beautiful, sprawling campus of St. William’s Living Center. Across the street from the nursing home and assisted living facility is the church of the same name. If you drive by the campus on a Sunday morning, you’ll hear the cheerful jangle of the church bells calling the area Catholic community home for Mass.  

Many local residents consider the 5-star rated nursing home as an extension of the church, merging excellent healthcare with the strong, Christian beliefs that molded the surrounding community. But it might surprise you to learn that there was a healthcare center on the corner of McCornell and West Soo long before there was ever a Catholic church in Parkers Prairie. 

Join us for Part 1 of our series about the history of St. William’s Living Center. We begin this series at the turn of the 20th century, not with a Priest, but with a doctor.

Dr. Herbert Leibold

In the early 1900s, rural Minnesota communities received their medical care from the town doctor. These doctors would open up their own small clinics and make house calls when needed. When they moved on, they took their practices with them and made room for the next doctor to come to town.

In October of 1909, Dr. Herbert Leibold and his wife Amelia came to Parkers Prairie and he opened up a clinic in the Gagnagle building. During those early years, he made house calls by horseback. And when the snow piles grew too high for horses, he traveled by snowshoe to take care of his beloved patients. 

In 1915, Dr. Leibold built a small, square, two-story building on the corner of McCornell and West Soo. This first hospital held a clinic on the ground level and an operating room on the second floor where Dr. Leibold, who was a skilled surgeon, operated on patients. There was no elevator, so patients had to walk to the second floor on their own or be carried up using a gurney. 

Eventually, Dr. Leibold expanded the Leibold Hospital into a larger, more comfortable space and he ran the hospital until he retired in 1945. Another doctor took over the operations in 1945, but after only three years, he was forced to shut down the facility because of financial troubles. This was a huge blow to the residents of Parkers Prairie. They had come to see the hospital is an important landmark and a symbol of their prosperous small town. 

The City Votes

The city stepped in and proposed a bond referendum to save the iconic building and keep the hospital running. The bond received 166 votes in favor and 125 votes against. 

Although this was a majority vote, the bond did not pass because a state law dictated that there must be at least 62.5% in favor to approve. Supporters of the hospital were crushed at the defeat. 

The Church Steps In

On the evening of March 7, 1949, the city held its regular council meeting to discuss the failed bond vote. Mother Mary Ohmann, Reverend Mother of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, attended that meeting. The Franciscans were responsible for running several healthcare facilities in the area and she put forward a proposal to allow the nuns to run the hospital and keep it staffed. 

The prospect of having the church operate the hospital was a new one to the members of the city council. Although the Catholic population was growing at the time, the closest Catholic church was Sacred Heart in Urbank. It took some residents almost a full day of travel to get back and forth between Urbank and Parkers Prairie for Mass. 

But with few other options, the city agreed to the proposal, and on July 16, 1949, the contract was signed allowing the Franciscans to assemble a nursing staff and reopen Leipold Hospital with a new name – St. Raphael’s Hospital. 

Healthcare and Catholicism Grow In Parkers Prairie

In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at how St. Raphael’s became St. William’s and how the church grew up around this vital healthcare hub. 

St. William’s Living Center is the home with a heart in the heart of central Minnesota. Call us today to find out about the healthcare services we offer to the residents of Parkers Prairie!

Information for this post was taken from the book Beyond Measure, written by Fr. Jeff Ethen, copyright 2000 Central Minnesota Catholic Publishers

They Served for Us…

They fought for rights. They fought for values. They fought for freedom. They fought to defend Old Glory. They fought because someone else fought before they did. They fought for what was right.

They fought on foreign soil where they were hated. They fought against those who had no regard for human life. They fought to save women and children. They fought to free the oppressed.

They provided security to those who lived in constant fear. They gave medical care to the wounded. They brought food to the starving and water to the desperate. They gave hope to those who had lost everything.

They are men. They are women. They are young and full of life. They are aging gracefully. They come from all backgrounds. And they all have one thing in common…

They served for us.

Veterans are our nation’s greatest treasure. They protect our lives. They protect our liberties. They protect our happiness. They hold our history in their hands. 

On behalf of the St. William’s Living Center community, we thank you, veterans. 

You served us. Now we serve you. 

How to Spot the Signs of Memory Problems in a Loved One

Did you know that about 40% of people aged 65 and older have issues with memory?

For most people, this is just a sign of an aging brain and not a major health issue. But, in about 1% of these cases, the person goes on to develop dementia or other forms of advanced memory loss.

It’s important that you learn to spot the signs of memory problems in your elderly loved one. Keep reading to learn how.

They’ll Fight the War of the Words

If you’ve ever tried and failed to come up with the right word to describe something, you know how frustrating it is. People who have issues with memory experience this war of the words often and you’ll notice it happening more and more as they age.

Your loved one might have to pause longer when speaking in order to get the words out correctly. They may stop in the middle of a sentence and get lost in thought. Or they may fail to join conversations at all for fear of not being able to speak how they’d like to speak.

This applies to written words too. You may notice their handwriting becomes shakier and uneven. They also might make more spelling and grammar errors than you’re used to seeing.

You’ll See All the Emotions

As we mentioned, not being able to remember words is super frustrating. And you might notice your loved one getting angry when they can’t participate in a conversation. Someone who’s normally sweet and kind might lash out at others in situations where they can’t think of the right words.

You also might notice more frequent mood swings. They may be happy one moment and sad or withdrawn the next because they can’t remember something from their past.

Other common emotions are fear and anxiety. If they’re having issues remembering what they did in recent days, they may become anxious or even suspicious of those around them.

The Familiar Becomes Unfamiliar

Simple daily tasks, like shaving or cooking breakfast, may become more difficult for them to perform. They may forget how to turn on their oven or how to hold a razor. Or they may repeat things because they’ve forgotten they did them in the first place.

Misplacing items is common with those suffering from memory problems. You might find a cell phone sitting in the sugar bowl or other strange occurrences like that. And they’ll lose common items, like car keys and gloves, more often because they’ll lose the ability to retrace their steps.

Social Butterfly, No More

It’s often difficult for people to deal with the changes that come with memory loss. They’ll know there’s something wrong, but won’t be able to put their finger on it. A normally social person may become withdrawn and depressed.

You might notice that they have a hard time planning ahead and remembering when they need to be at certain places. They may lose interest in hobbies or attending activities because of fear that they’ll forget how to participate.

When to Seek Help for Memory Problems

There are some things that you can do to help your loved one improve their memory. You can talk to them often and make sure they’re eating a good diet and drinking plenty of water. Many times, memory problems are caused by dehydration or fatigue.

But if you notice that the issues are getting worse and memory lapses are becoming more frequent and distressing, it’s time to get some help. Make an appointment with their doctor to discuss your concerns about their memory problems.

At St. William’s Living Center, we offer a variety of care services to help our residents navigate life as they age. Call us today to talk to one of our experienced staff members.