Why Assisted-Living Is Better Than In-Home Care

Most senior loved ones have more than one chronic health issue they’re dealing with. In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that at least 75% of the elderly deal with one or two chronic health conditions in their later years.

When a senior loved one reaches a certain age where they require around-the-clock assistance but also wish to retain their independence, a senior living community proves to be the best choice. Not only do such communities provide engaging social activities, and nutritious and fulfilling food, they also have 24/7 medical care.

Here are a few reasons why assisted-living is better than in-home care:

1. Assistance with Personal Care

For most senior loved ones, a number of daily activities such as brushing their hair or brushing their teeth can get a bit difficult to carry out on their own.  If your senior loved one needs assistance with personal care, assisted living communities have round-the-clock nurses on board that help the residents carry out their daily tasks.

2. Transportation

Many seniors stop driving in old age, either because a medical condition prohibits them or because driving becomes too strenuous. At a senior living community, residents will have access to chauffeured transportation. They can take a ride to their medical appointments and even for leisure activities such as going out to watch a movie or to a restaurant.

3. Home-cooked Meals

As we mature in age, our appetite automatically gets lesser. Proper nutrition is the key to good health, even in old age. A good assisted living community will provide your senior loved one with wholesome nutritious food that’s freshly cooked by their chefs. They can also be provided with meals that are customized to their medical conditions, and some places even offer gourmet dining.

4. Activities for Socialization

Socializing with peers is an important aspect of a person’s life, especially for the elderly. Our senior loved ones need care and company. Assisted living communities are a better option for socialization than in-home care. With many senior loved ones together in one place, it works wonders for mingling with fellow senior residents and engaging in fun social activities with them.

5. A Safe Living Environment

Communal living is much safer than living at home for many senior adults. If 24/7 in-home care is not possible, assisted living communities are a much safer option. With staff members always around to help, senior residents can live in a secured and gated community. They can summon help immediately in case of any emergency situation.

If you’re in search of quality senior care, get in touch with AvantGarde. We are a luxurious senior living community in Hollywood, CA and provide a number of amenities to our residents.

Spotting Depression in the Elderly

Depression has long been chalked off as “just feeling blue” or a state of sadness, but a recent increase in awareness has shed much-needed light on the mental health issue. Unfortunately, while depression in young or middle-aged people is more recognized, depression in the elderly often goes undetected.

According to the CDC, there are over 7 million adults who age 65 or above and 17% of that age group suffers from depression. Many experience depressive episodes after the age of 60. But only 10% of the group receive any treatment.

A major reason why depression is so under-recognized in the elderly is that the symptoms of depression in old age are different than those in younger people. Those symptoms are often just attributed as a normal part of aging and so senior adults seldom receive proper treatment.

How Is Depression in the Elderly Different From Those That Are Younger?

The common signs of depression that manifest in younger people are usually not there in case of depression in the elderly. Later-life depression is often accompanied by various other medical illnesses and usually tends to last longer as well.

Depression in the elderly often brings with it increased risks of heart diseases. Psychosis is another secondary sign accompanied by depression. 3.6% of the elderly who have been hospitalized with depression experience psychosis afterward. 17% of the people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s have depression as well.

Symptoms of Depression in the Elderly

If you want your senior loved one to lead a healthy and happy life, keep a look out for the following symptoms:

  • Persistent sadness or constant feelings of despair
  • Unexplained pains and aches
  • Isolating from others and losing interest in socialization
  • Drastic weight loss and a loss of appetite
  • Persistent feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Irregularities in sleeping patterns (insomnia, difficulty staying asleep, drowsiness, oversleeping, etc.)
  • Feelings of worthlessness and loss of self-worth, worrying about being a burden
  • Slowed speech or movement
  • Possible increase in the use of substances like alcohol
  • Persistent thoughts about death
  • Memory problems, dementia, etc.
  • Neglecting their personal care, hygiene, forgetting to take medicines, skipping meals.

The elderly will often not be vocal about their depression so it’s up to their caregivers to keep a lookout for any red flags and get them immediate care.

Living together with an age-mate can make a world of difference in warding off depression. With a wider social circle to interact with and keep them company, living in a senior care community can help your senior loved ones. Get in touch with us at AvantGarde today for more details.

Signs Your Aging Loved One Needs Care-Giving Services

While having your elderly loved one live in a senior housing community may seem like an uncertain and intimidating task, having them continue living on their own can have dangerous consequences on their health and well-being. If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time for them to move to a senior care unit!


Has your loved one been avoiding meeting family and friends lately? Do they appear to be distant and disconnected from everybody, preferring to stay at home all alone? If you’ve noticed them isolating themselves and declining lunch invitations and family get-togethers, it’s a sign that they need care and help.

Having a support system is important in all stages of life. This need multiplies in old age, when your physical and mental capabilities gradually start to deteriorate. This is why they need to be surrounded by people who can help them get through basic and complex tasks.

Isolation is also an indication of loneliness and if left unresolved, can have severe consequences on their health. Being in a senior care community can help them socialize with likeminded individuals and continue participating in activities they enjoy. It can also lead to new friendships and hobbies.

Injuries & Bruises

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 suffer serious injuries due to slip and fall accidents. In fact, the leading cause of death from injuries in older adults is attributed to falls. The risks of such deadly injuries only increase with age, making the outcomes even worse.

If your aging loved one seems to have odd bruises and cuts on their body, than it may be because of repeated falls and slips. In more severe cases, they may even fracture their bones and develop other health complications. If they live alone or in a house with slippery tiles and staircase, then they’re even more susceptible to falls.

Act before the situation escalates. If your loved one has had instances of fall-related injuries, than it’s highly recommended that they be shifted to a senior care unit where their health and activities can be supervised to prevent injuries.

Neglected Home Maintenance

Does the house look like it hasn’t been dusted, mopped, or vacuumed in weeks? Are there piles of dirty dishes in the kitchen? Is their mailbox stuffed with unopened envelopes and bills?

If so, it may be because your loved one’s having a hard time doing household activities and chores. Unkemptness is often a sign that assistance is needed, and assisted living communities offer exactly that!

AvantGarde Senior Living & Memory Care is a senior living community in Hollywood, California that provides independent living as well as assisted living services.

Call us at (818) 881-0055 to learn more!


Caring for the Emotional Needs of the Elderly

Growing older has its pros and cons. Older people enjoy being free from hectic jobs, having more time at their disposal to spend on their favorite pastimes, or moving to their vacation homes to enjoy nature.

On the other hand, growing older can bring a lot of problems with it as well. It’s common for older people to get bored, feel insecure and lonely, and miss the hustle and bustle of daily life. Around 40 million Americans are now above the age of 60. Let’s see what their emotional needs are and how they may be fulfilled.


A little child needs great support from their parents as they grow up, and most parents adequately provide this support in the form of unconditional love and security. These roles are reversed as parents grow older.

An older person can’t possibly take care of themselves alone when health issues creep in. Therefore, they need to be taken care of. Ideally, these needs would be fulfilled by their loved ones, but if they can’t, a good assisted living community is quite capable of catering to them.


As our health depreciates and our mobility becomes limited, we start to feel insecure. This includes worrying about our physical and financial security.

Installing safety systems at our older loved one’s homes and providing them with a financial fallback option is a great way of ensuring they don’t worry needlessly.

Human Connection

It’s human nature to want meaningful connections and company. According to the AARP Foundation, social isolation has adverse health effects that are as severe as daily smoking. Since a lot of older people’s friends and family pass away, it’s advised that their immediate children take some time out for them or that they have communal bonds in an assisted living community.


Everyone needs some enjoyment on a daily basis. Seniors might enjoy gardening, reading, or video games. Make time for them and try to help them through their favorite hobbies. Gardening with them, for instance, is a great way of becoming closer to your older loved one. On the other hand, an assisted living community can also give them the ability to practice their hobbies.

Luxury Old Age Home in Hollywood, CA

AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care in Hollywood, California is a luxury old age home service.

Security is ensured with state-of-the-art technology and your senior loved ones get a lot of enjoyment opportunities, such as a pool table, outdoor BBQ, mini golf, restaurant style dining, Wi-Fi, etc.

We guarantee that when you come to visit your loved one, you’ll be happy to know that they’re cared for like our own. Visit our website or call us now at (818) 881-0055 for more details.

Mistakes to Avoid When Talking to Elderly

Communicating with an elderly person may appear to be an ordinary task, but most of us end up using ineffective communication strategies when we speak to our senior loved ones. Without even realizing it, we end up disrespecting and upsetting our elderly relatives.

This can be avoided if we use an elder-friendly approach and avoid these mistakes.

Not Adapting To Their Issues

Old age brings about a set of lifestyle changes. Your loved one may be affected by minute environmental changes that you can easily ignore, and have a new set of needs and requirements.

It’s imperative that you adapt to these changes. If they’re bothered by background noises and harsh light, consider making changes accordingly. Use thoughtful gestures during conversation to make it easier for them to keep up with the flow of words. For instance, a lot of senior individuals take aid of lip-reading while they communicate. Avoid covering your lips when you speak so that they can see them clearly and recognize what you’re saying.

Being Patronizing

Communicating respectfully is essential for all healthy conversations, regardless of how old the person you’re speaking to is. However, we often tend to do the opposite when we talk to our elderly relatives and acquaintances, unintentionally being disrespectful instead.

This can manifest in different ways. For example, you may be trying to help them when you offer your advice, but using a patronizing tone irks them and communicates disrespect. A common mistake people make when speaking to older individuals is assuming that they’re all short of hearing. Unless you know they have a hearing difficulty, talking extra slow, loud, and repeating sentences can come across as extremely disrespectful.

Similarly, don’t invalidate their lived experiences and feelings. They may not be able to comprehend the views that evolve with changing times, holding steadfast to their beliefs. While it’s okay to disagree, don’t belittle them for thinking differently than you do and invalidating their opinions and life experiences.

Being Impatient

We’ve all had bursts of impatience at some point while communicating with our elderly loved ones. It may have happened while you tried explaining how a particular device works to your grandmother, or when you had to listen to your uncle recall a story you had already heard several times before.

Here’s the thing about being impatient, though: your elderly relatives can detect it.  They understand body language just as well as you do, and if you indicate annoyance and impatience through your tone or facial expressions, they’ll know. This can be extremely hurtful and insensitive to them, and they may feel like they’re taking up too much of your time and burdening you.

It’s very important that you’re patient when speaking to your older acquaintances and loved ones. Their memory isn’t as sharp as yours, their movements not as quick, and it may take them longer to grasp something new. Be mindful of their needs and remain patient to avoid upsetting them.

AvantGarde Senior Living & Memory Care is a senior living community in Hollywood, California that provides independent living, assisted living, and memory care services.

Call us at (818) 881-0055 to learn more about our luxurious senior housing unit!

Communication in the Early Stages of Dementia

Imagine losing all memory of faces you’ve grew old and struggling to recall names that were there in each prayer; dementia is indeed as debilitating and tragic a disease as it can be.

Dementia doesn’t only affect the person it happens to but also their loved ones and family members. The agony of living without any memory of your own flesh and blood is as great for the sufferer as for those who hold them dear. It’s emotionally taxing to not only live with this disease but also communicate in the early stages of dementia.

Early Trauma

Being diagnosed with dementia is a life-changing moments. Learning about this disease first-hand in the form of a diagnosis can be disturbing for an individual. The initial response is worry and confusion. Most anecdotes suggested that they were more affected by people’s reactions to their condition than the disease itself. They have complained how people quit making meaningful conversations with them, considering them intellectually challenged. They feel hurt by the way people start treating them, which adds to the early trauma of the diagnosis.

 Drop Expectations

The burden of expectations strains the quality of conversations with a person with dementia the most. Expectations can work both ways: expect communication to be the same as old or expect to be drastically different with dementia. It’s more helpful to be flexible about communication is now going to be. Pick cues on the go and keep the conversation going spontaneously. Be open to new ideas or new ways of communicating. Take interest in how messages are transmitted and received. This will help adapt to the newer forms of communication. Most importantly, don’t trivialize the person’s ability to communicate at all because of their disease.

Company Over Communication

Conversations become stressful if they’re perceived as a performance metric. Try not setting any utilitarian goals while talking to someone with dementia. The purpose of communication shouldn’t then be to exchange maximum information or to attain maximum comprehension. Conversations should revolve around the notion of being with rather than talking about. Communication must primarily strengthen relationships and what could be a better way than communicating for the sake of company. Focus on being with them, rather than wanting them to be or talk a certain way. This is a person-centered psychotherapy technique introduced by Carl R. Rogers who showed how to enjoy someone’s company unconditionally.

At AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care, we welcomeelders with dementia and provide them the care they need. We provide luxurious senior living homes with a range of amenities including memory care to help them lead normal lives. If you’re looking for a comfortable place for assisted living for a parent or elder in Van Nuys, CA, we’re here to care for them.


Is Dementia a Normal Part of Aging?

As our body ages, it undergoes several changes which are a normal part of the aging process. Elders experience some variations in their cognitive abilities. They include slowed thinking, inability to focus, snappy attention span and retaining information. Elders also find it hard to manage multiple tasks at once and are often at a loss of words.

Research has shown that the hippocampal, frontal and temporal lobes in the brain deteriorate with age. Since these regions are responsible for all thinking-related function, memory also suffers with age. Although the age factor plays a major role in cognitive functioning, it’s not normal for dementia to be part of the natural process.

Normal Aging vs. Dementia

Most normal outcomes of aging affect the speed and span of thinking but a healthy elder is not naturally bound to suffer from dementia. For instance, slowed responses and shorter attention spans are normal for elders but dementia isn’t. The healthy process of aging impacts thinking abilities very subtly so as to ease the individual into the changing state of the mind.

But abnormal aging impacts cognition much more severely. You may encounter problems like inability to navigate, solve ordinary problems, express something verbally, or forget rapidly. But dementia is a more aggravated version of memory loss because you may forget personal details like names or faces of family members. You may stutter while speaking because of a lost train of thought or lack of words. But most importantly a person suffering from dementia doesn’t recognize the problem themselves; only their caretakers do.

Abnormal Aging: Mild Cognitive Impairment vs. Dementia

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia are medical conditions that indicate that the damage is greater than expected. However, both–MCI and dementia–are at different stages on the spectrum from normalcy to dementia. MCI doesn’t affect the ability to carry out routine tasks like driving or cooking whereas dementia will disrupt everyday functioning of an aging adult. While these two terms only describe the severity of the problem, the causes are still undefined and various. Dementia can be a result of Alzheimer’s, Lewy body disease, vascular disease or frontotemporal degeneration.


  • Changes in diet/eating habits
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Forgetfulness of recent events
  • Imbalance causing trips and falls
  • Personality changes
  • Repetitive questioning/confusion
  • Impaired planning and organizational skills
  • Affected hygiene
  • Odd or inappropriate behaviors
  • Increased apathy
  • Changes in language and ability to comprehend

At AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care, we offer elders with dementia the care they need. We provide luxurious senior living homes with a range of amenities including memory care for elders suffering from dementia. If you’re looking for a comfortable place for assisted livingfor a loved one in Van Nuys, CA, we’re here to provide for you.


The Many Benefits of Meditation for the Elderly

Wisdom, like good wine, only gets better with time.

But after a lifetime spent gathering wisdom from various life experiences, there’s a need for restoring lost energy. Old age can be unimaginably harsh for elders who have to cope with weak bones and lost muscles. With every inch in the body aching with age and weakness, they need to have mental peace at least to get through life. Meditation is an excellent way to relax the mind and detox negativities from your system.

Here are many benefits of meditation in old age.

Improves Condition With Alzheimer’s

The onset of Alzheimer’s in old age are significantly high. Almost one third Americans who are above the age of 85 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This makes Alzheimer’s a major cause of concern for the elderly. Since it’s a progressive disease, dementia and other symptoms related to it worsen with age. It can have debilitating side-effects like raging emotions and memory loss. However, studies have shown that breathing exercises and mindfulness through meditation can slow the pace of this disease. It is also known to help with mental conditions like depression, anxiety and stress that are experienced alongside dementia.

Improves Digestion

With weaker limbs and a sedentary lifestyle, elders often complain about digestive problems. It’s true; the digestive system can suffer greatly if there’s no physical activity. Even with it, diet and age can have an adverse impact on your digestion. Luckily, there’s a way to combat it through meditation. The deep breathing exercises included in meditation help revive the blood circulation that oxygenates blood. Unless digestion is affected by another medical condition, meditation should resolve the issue.

Sharp and Focused Mind

How often have you noticed yourself losing focus over the simplest of things? This is because sharpness of the mind is in decline after a certain age. What elders wish the most for is alertness and a stress-free attitude, both of which can be attained through meditation. Through meditation, parts of the bran responsible for planning, personality development and self-awareness enlarge so as to make this side dominant. On the contrary, the amygdala responsibility for stress and anxiety shrinks in real.

Do you feel like you’re losing agency as an individual because of old age? You need engage with meditative practices that will help you age like wine.

We, at AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care, offer luxurious senior living homes with a range of amenities like transportation, laundry services, house help, and entertainment in Van Nuys, CA. If you’re looking for a comfortable place for assisted living, we’re here to help.

How the Lack of Sleep Triggers Alzheimer’s

Insomnia isn’t the only problem that can affect you if you’ve been losing more sleep than is necessary. According to sources, the daily requirement for sleep for adults aged older than 65 is a solid 9 hours. That sleep deprivation has links with dementia is something that has been proven by many researches and studies, among them Washington University School of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. In this blog we explore what actually happens inside the brain and why sleep is so important, especially for the older gentry who need the right amount of sleep in order to ward off some of dementia’s adverse effects.

Beta Amyloid

Between the neurons in the brain are filled with beta-amyloid, which is a metabolic waste product. When this waste product accumulates in the brain it leads to impairment in many brain functions, and ends up causing Alzheimer’s, or other forms of dementia. When someone suffers from Alzheimer’s in particular, beta-amyloid gets clumped together in clots which harden into plaques, and thus the smooth communication between neurons is hindered.

What does all of this have to with sleep though? Read on.

Sleep and Beta-amyloid

When you sleep, the beta-amyloid is restricted from accumulating in your brain, and is kept duly off neural premises. Losing sleep, thus, speeds up the process of having this metabolic waste accumulate inside your brain, and Alzheimer’s is also more speedily acquired. Combine having Alzheimer’s already and losing sleep, and the problem is exacerbated tenfold, with double the usual hassle.

Lack of sleep thus doesn’t just affect the brain cells but also causes dementia to take hold. When someone has Alzheimer’s, their beta-amyloid level increases by 43%. And it doesn’t just subside when you’ve had a good night’s rest. What you need, therefore, is a regular sleep pattern that can fight this negative phenomenon.

How to Ensure You’re Getting the Right Amount of Sleep

Having an environment that is relaxing so as to help put you or your loved one to sleep is important. A comfortable surrounding and cozy bedding, the right kind of lighting and proper meals, an overall relaxed physical state and a stress-free disposition—all contribute to a good night’s sleep.

Looking for a Senior Living Community Near You in Van Nuys?

AvantGarde ensures that is environment is luxurious and relaxing enough for elderly members to go comfortably to sleep. We can be reached at (818) 881-0055 or you can leave us a message here.

Your Parent’s Dementia Diagnosis – Finding the Right Words to Say

No matter how much we evolve and how significantly we develop our language skills, there will always be times when we’ll be at a loss of words. Times such as when you meet someone who has recently lost someone close, or when you find out that a loved one has just been diagnosed with a disease such as cancer or dementia.

All your life it’s been your parents who have known what to say, and how to say it. Now, all of a sudden, there’s a reversal of roles, with you having become the caregivers and the parents becoming dependent on you. Role reversal in itself is a big change which comes with its own set of psychological issues and dilemmas; that can actually take some time adjusting, according to further studies.

The first thoughts that strike you aren’t even thoughts but an amalgam of the feelings of confusion, disbelief, and despair.

Why did this happen to my parent?”

Have I been somehow at fault with this?”

“How am I going to cope with this and what am I going to say to my parent about this?”

Dementia is, at the moment, an incurable condition. This makes matters worse for when you’re trying to think of something appropriate to say to your parent. But don’t worry—for we have some ideas.

Prepare Yourself


Anticipation makes the best warriors. When in a battlefield, it is not the countering of the bullet or the shell but it anticipation that helps soldiers fight well. So let it be with you. Take some time before you can say anything to your parent. Don’t blurt out but think, ponder, reflect upon the prospect. Also ensure that they themselves are ready to have a conversation initiated with you on the matter. Read their body language: do they have their arms crossed across their chest? Are they looking down or averting their gaze from you?

Tone it Down

Your words on their own will not have much impact if they are not delivered in just the right tone: a helpful tone, not a pitiful or a pathetic one, mind you. Let them know, through the modulation of your tone and voice, that you’re here for them and that you’ll stand by them regardless of what comes their way. Don’t try to downplay the severity of their condition, don’t try to dismiss the diagnosis, and don’t let your sadness show through. Take pauses where needed, and avoid talking about their condition to others while they themselves are present in the room.

What NOT to Say

Most importantly, here’s a checklist on what you should NEVER say or do to a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia:

  • “You’re making me repeat myself, I already told you that”
  • Longer sentences, with a ton of ideas stuffed in between. Remember (because at least youcan) that it will be very difficult for your loved one to keep track
  • Absolutely refrain from treating your parent like a child. You still are, and will always be, their child.
  • Don’t ask them what they did a couple of hours ago—stick to the present.
  • Please refrain from trying to make them remember things because (a) you’re not a professional and (b) you’ll only confuse your loved one.

Connect with AvantGarde Today

If you’re looking for a credible senior living community in California with staff that has been trained for dementia patients, get in touch with us today.