Facts about the Covid-19 Vaccine for Gilbert, Arizona Seniors

We know there is a lot of information and confusion surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, so we wanted to help put together a Vaccine FAQ for all Mariposa Point senior care residents, and Gilbert Arizona seniors.


Vaccine Priority for Arizona Assisted Living:

The CDC is partnering with Arizona pharmacies to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for residents in all long-term care settings, including assisted living facilities where most individuals are over 65 years of age. Once a vaccine is available, the residents and staff at licensed communities, like ours in Gilbert, Arizona, will have priority through CVS Pharmacy. CVS will bill your insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid for the cost of administering the vaccine.

This means that if you are a resident or have taken financial possession of a room at one of our Arizona senior care communities prior to the initial vaccine clinics, then you will be included in the first tranche of recipients for the vaccine. As we all know, seniors are affected the most by COVID-19, so this is a crucial opportunity to stay safe and healthy.

Benefits of the Vaccine:

The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested through clinical trials over 20,000 times to make sure it is safe and approved for distribution. The test subjects include a diverse range of races, ethnicity, and age – including adults 65 and older. Ultimately, there were no serious safety concerns that outweigh the life-saving capability. The ACIP and CDC have agreed that the benefits of saving lives with the COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risk of possible side effects.

Possible Side Effects:

  • injection site pain
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • injection site swelling
  • injection site redness
  • nausea
  • feeling unwell
  • swollen lymph nodes

How It Works:

Each recipient of the vaccine will receive two shots of the vaccine into the muscle, spaced out over 3 weeks. If you receive one dose, it is recommended to receive the second dose as well. The duration of the vaccine is currently unknown.

What should you mention to your vaccination provider before you get the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine?

Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any allergies
  • have a fever
  • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine

Distributing The Vaccine Safely is Top Priority:

The FDA has implemented an emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination and plans to monitor the distribution closely along with the CDC. Using robust systems and specific data systems, the FDA and CDC will be able to quickly and safely track the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring. Additionally, the CDC is working with Arizona pharmacies and others who will be distributing the vaccine to help Gilbert long-term care facilities educate residents and their families.


Further FAQs from the CDC:

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19

None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests

Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19

While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness or they may even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you while you are sick. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.


Sources:

www.cdc.gov

www.fda.gov

www.mayoclinic.org

www.who.int

It’s extremely important to practice healthy aging throughout your life even well into your golden years. At our Gilbert, Arizona Surpass Senior Living communities, it’s a priority for us to make sure your loved ones are staying healthy, especially in this pandemic. If you have any further questions, please reach out to our Surpass team. You can contact one of our sales directors here.


Stay Safe in Gilbert, Arizona with Surpass and Mariposa Point Senior Living

With the recent approval by the FDA of two COVID-19 vaccines, assisted living communities will be amongst the safest places to live for seniors in Gilbert, Arizona.  Assisted living communities will have priority access to the vaccine for its residents and team members. The benefits and care of moving to an assisted living may largely outweigh the alternative of staying home. 


Vaccine clinics have been scheduled with CVS Pharmacy to administer the vaccine to Arizona residents and team members. Vaccination is the biggest step towards protecting our residents and team members to create a safer community.

Additionally, in our communities, residents have limited contact with outside visitors. The majority of visitors to our communities are health care professionals which prevent residents from having to travel in public.  Policies are in place to maintain safe visitation from essential visitors as we understand that seeing family is especially important during these times. Visitors to our building are required to submit temperature checks, questionnaires, and must adhere to our PPE requirements. 

Finally, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been committed to increased disinfection of common areas. We continue to have staff dedicated to keeping our senior living community clean. From having priority access to the vaccine to socially distanced companionship to increased cleaning measures, we work hard to mitigate risks to help keep our Gilbert residents safe in our communities.

If you are looking for compassionate senior living or memory care for a loved one, within these CDC guidelines, here in Gilbert, Arizona, consider giving us a call at Mariposa Point from Surpass Senior Living. You can contact one of our sales directors here.


10 Proven Ways in Gilbert, Arizona to Keep the Mind Sharp as You Age

It’s extremely important to practice healthy aging throughout your life even well into your golden years. At our Gilbert, Arizona Surpass Senior Living communities, it’s a priority for us to make sure your loved ones are staying sharp. From exercise and nutrition to intellectual stimulation, we make it our focus to incorporate these aspects into our residents’ daily routines. And, even though our priority is with your loved ones, it’s never too late to start stimulating your own mind!

  

1. Exercise for a healthier mind

Your mind and body are interconnected so, often, what benefits the body benefits the brain. Regular exercise, even taking a simple walk, goes a long way toward improving your memory care and cognitive skills, according to Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.

In fact, the foot’s impact during a walk sends pressure waves through the arteries, increasing blood flow and resulting in a healthier mind, according to researchers at New Mexico Highlands University. Try adding some of these physical activities to your daily or weekly routine to boost blood flow to your brain: 

  • Hiking on nearby Arizona nature trails
  • Tennis or pickle ball
  • Walking your dog
  • Water aerobics

 

2. Read for intellectual stimulation

In a study in the journal Neurology, regular reading and writing in late life reduced the rate of memory decline by 32%. 

Here are ideas to get reading more often:

  • Join or start a book club through your church, temple, or local library or book store.
  • Read to your grandchildren, whether  in person or via FaceTime or Skype.
  • Subscribe to a magazine or newspaper.
  • Set aside a time of day for reading.
  • Read only what you like — it’s OK to give up and choose something else.

 

3. Eat healthy to stimulate your brain

You may know that nuts, fish, and red wine have been linked to a healthy brain. For an extra brain boost, try including these foods in your diet, suggests Healthline:

  • Salmon is filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, major building blocks of the brain.
  • Green tea improves alertness and focus. It’s rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, and has been linked with a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
  • Eggs have many nutrients tied to brain health such as B6, B12, folate, and choline. Choline helps create a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which helps regulate mood and memory.
  • Blueberries have antioxidants, which have been shown to improve communication between brain cells, delay short-term memory loss, and reduce inflammation.

 

4. Strive for good posture

If your mother or teachers told you to sit up, they were right to — maintaining an upright posture improves circulation and blood flow to the brain. Here are three ways to improve yours:

  • Sleep with your spine aligned: Sleeping on your back or side is generally less stressful on your spine, according to Cleveland Clinic. In back sleeping, gravity keeps your body centered over your spine. If you sleep on your side, keep your head in neutral posture with your chin straight ahead.
  • Improve your balance: Staying balanced reduces the risk of falls and benefits the spine. Try online or in-person yoga for beginner’s classes to improve balance.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Carrying extra weight adds stress to your muscles and makes it more difficult to maintain proper posture.

 

5. Get plenty of sleep to improve memory

Sleep problems can lead to trouble with memory, concentration, and other cognitive functions, says the National Institute on Aging. Memories and newly learned skills move to more permanent regions of the brain while you sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). This makes them easier to recall.

Adults 65 and older should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep, says the NSF. If you’re between the ages of 26 and 64, the goal is to get seven to nine hours of sleep.

Do you want to ensure you’re getting the best sleep possible? Here are some tips to help:

  • Stay consistent: Pick a bedtime and stick with it — a routine will help you sleep better overall. This also includes setting a regular time to wake up on weekends.
  • Avoid heavy food: Large serving sizes can irritate your stomach causing you to lose sleep. Instead, when you’re hungry at night, have small snacks like nuts or slices of fruit.
  • Limit stimulants: Try to avoid coffee, cola, cigarettes, and chocolate for up to four to six hours before bed.
  • Limit alcohol: Alcohol disrupts REM and slow-wave sleep, which are important for memory. It’s best to avoid alcohol four to six hours before bed.

 

6. Play games or draw

Paint, color in an adult coloring book, or grab a pen and paper and draw. Whether it’s a masterpiece, or a mere doodle, making something artistic is a creative workout and an intellectual activity for the brain.

Games are another excellent and simple way to sharpen and stimulate your mind. Here are a few fun games for your brain: 

  • Sudoku
  • Chess
  • Scrabble
  • Trivia

 

8. Listen to music or play an instrument

Many people in Arizona find listening to or playing music enjoyable, but that’s not the only benefit — it also improves memory function in older adults, according to a 2019 study in Frontiers in Psychology. Finding your favorite tunes, or learning to read or play music is easier than ever thanks to versatile platforms and technology:

  • YouTube: A classic way to search for your favorite songs, music videos, or instrument tutorials. You can listen to your favorite songs while learning to play them.
  • Spotify: A popular platform that includes new and older songs from all around the world. Create playlists easily, and listen to your favorite songs anytime you want.
  • Pandora: Stream music for free and check out new artist or song recommendations. You can easily discover new music based on artists you already like and build your catalog.
  • Take Lessons: Schedule a lesson online or in-person with an instructor at a price that works for you. Group lessons are available too, so you can learn with loved ones.

 

8. Learn a foreign language to boost cognitive functioning

Even if international travel isn’t in your plans, learning a new language can be beneficial. It improves cognitive functioning in older adults, according to a review of several studies in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

 

9. Find a new hobby to strengthen your brain

Learning a craft or skill can stimulate your mind, relieve boredom, and liven up your daily routine. Many local Arizona colleges and Gilbert senior centers offer engaging, low-cost lectures and classes for older adults. Whether you’re learning a new recipe, beefing up your computer skills, ongoing education is a surefire way to stay sharp. What interests you?

  • Carpentry
  • Sewing
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Knitting
  • Photography
  • Fishing
  • Golfing
  • Swimming

 

10. Write frequently

Writing improves working memory and communication abilities. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you decide to write because simply expressing yourself will boost your brain activity.  These 9 easy writing exercises can jumpstart your creative energy. Have fun, and enjoy a brain workout by writing one of the following:

  • Poetry
  • Creative stories
  • Song lyrics
  • Hand-written letters
  • Emails
  • Blog posts
  • Cards

 

Source: https://www.aplaceformom.com/caregiver-resources/articles/sharp-mind/

Although there are no clinically proven ways to reverse the course of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, these tips may help combat normal, age-related mental decline. By continuing to find unique ways to stimulate your brain, you increase the odds your brain will thrive for years to come. And, if you are looking for memory care for yourself or a loved one, in Gilbert, Arizona, consider giving us a call at Mariposa Point Surpass Senior Living.


Is My Loved One Safe in Gilbert, Arizona Assisted Living and Memory Care (Especially During Covid-19)?

Moving your loved one to a Gilbert, Arizona senior living community can be a difficult and emotional decision, but oftentimes the correct one. There are a variety of aspects to consider, but the main question is: will they be safe? At Surpass Senior Living, here in Arizona, we pride ourselves on the quality of life we create for your loved one. 

We provide our residents with a homelike environment in a comfortable apartment to help foster independence and the peace of mind knowing that assistance is available should they require it. In this post, we have laid out a few different reasons explaining why assisted living and memory care is not only safe for your loved one but the right decision for you as well.

 

Quality of Care

Caring for your loved one requires a lot of time and effort, which you may not always be able to provide. That is why it can be a safer and more logical option to utilize the trained professionals at senior living communities. 

Our amazing Mariposa Point teams can provide the level of care that seniors may be unable to receive at home. Gilbert, Arizona Assisted Living and Memory Care may be most beneficial for seniors who:

  • Have a medical condition that requires attention throughout the day and a loved one or caregiver is not always there to provide it or does not have the expertise to address it.
  • Need assistance with bathing, going to the bathroom, or eating.
  • Need assistance with managing medications, transportation, cooking meals, and housekeeping.
  • Have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia can be cared for appropriately and safely.
  • Are living with others that cannot socially distance themselves.

 

Covid-19

On the note of social distancing, our Gilbert, Arizona senior care communities are following strict policies set by the CDC to keep our residents as safe as possible. These policies include, but are not limited to, hand hygiene, social distancing, face masks, routine cleaning of communal areas and limiting communal gatherings. We continually revisit these policies with the help of a clinical consultant to ensure we try to mitigate the virus. In addition, we have enhanced safety measures in place to provide peace of mind for you:

  • Staff trained to identify Covid-19 symptoms and testing is completed on-site if any symptoms arise.
  • Resident temperature checks two times daily with additional screening.
  • Covid testing completed on new residents prior to move-in.
  • Team members screened prior to each shift at the community.
  • Trained care staff on-site 24/7 to monitor health and wellness and provide direct care.
  • We utilize advanced geofencing technology to prohibit entry by people who have been to places with active Covid-19.

 

Social Interaction

According to various studies, isolation and loneliness can lead to depression, elevated blood pressure, and early mortality in Arizona seniors. This is especially concerning for seniors aging at home, who are unable to see family and friends or visit local Gilbert senior centers. 

At our Gilbert, Arizona senior communities, residents are safely quarantined and monitored to ensure they stay safe. Our teams have worked hard to continue activities and implement safe ways of social interaction and active engagement for our residents. 

 

Environment

Our purpose-built communities are designed to minimize the health risks that seniors face at home. All of our flooring surfaces are non-slip, including bathrooms in the apartments. Also, all carpeting is short pile, which reduces the risk of tripping and falling. Finally, all bathrooms have safety rails and hallways have handrails throughout the community.

 

On-call staff also provides peace of mind in medical emergencies. Rooms have nurse call systems to notify staff in case of falls or injuries. This means seniors don’t have to worry about struggling to contact help or waiting to be found after a medical emergency at home.

Also, you don’t have to worry about checking smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, or replacing fire extinguishers. In the event of an emergency — like a tornado, earthquake, or fire — our Gilbert, Arizona senior care staff is prepared to handle the situation.

Sources:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/social-isolation-loneliness-older-people-pose-health-risks

https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html

If you are looking for compassionate senior living or memory care for a loved one, within the CDC guidelines, here in Gilbert, Arizona, consider giving us a call at Mariposa Point from Surpass Senior Living. You can contact one of our sales directors here.