Alzheimer’s & Memory Care Blog

We offer useful information to benefit family members who require memory care. Those with dementia and Alzheimer’s require memory activities in order to preserve their cognitive function. In this section of our blog, you can find the answers you need to help coordinate memory care for loved ones who may be dealing with dementia.

Delirium Is Not Always Related to Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

When an older adult suddenly exhibits confused behavior, loved ones may fear that he or she is experiencing the onset of dementia. Such fear may be unwarranted, however. The cause of the senior’s behavior might well be delirium.

Delirium, says the Alzheimer’s Association (AA), is a “medical condition that results in confusion and other disruptions in thinking and behavior, including changes in perception, attention, mood and activity level.” However, the AA stresses that delirium is not the same as dementia, even though “individuals living with dementia are highly susceptible to delirium.”

To help distinguish between the two conditions, the … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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How Games May Benefit People Living with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

Games – who doesn’t love them? From our earliest years, we learn, socialize and expand our knowledge of the world by playing all kinds of games: card games, board games, word games, games of chance and many others.

Game-playing is a mentally stimulating activity, and evidence exists that such mentally-stimulating activities can have a positive impact on older adults suffering from dementia.

Let’s take a look at the many ways that games have been found to have value, making the lives of older adults with dementia more fun, engaging and healthy.

Evidence that game-playing is associated with healthier brains

In March 2017, Mayo Clinic … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Dementia: Safety Tips for Different Settings

Posted by: The Bristal

Caring for a loved one with dementia requires both an understanding of the unique challenges posed by the disease and a plan to maximize safety and security on a day-to-day basis. Here are some tips that can enhance safety in a variety of settings:

Prevent falls in the bathroom. As indicated in the Alzheimer’s Association’s article, Staying Safe: Steps to Take for a Person with Dementia, “most accidents in the home occur during daily activities such as eating, bathing, and using the restroom.” To create a safer bathroom, attach textured stickers to slippery surfaces and secure throw rugs … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Alzheimer’s Disease: Tips for Maintaining Independence

Posted by: The Bristal

People with early stage Alzheimer’s disease may notice impairment in language, memory, insight and social skills. The changes in ability to remember, follow instructions and carry out tasks that used to be routine, can become challenging. “Accepting changes in your abilities and adapting new coping skills can help you restore balance to your life…,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. In doing so, you can better remain active and retain a sense of control over your life.

What does a coping strategy look like?

Focus on what daily or frequent goals are most important to you. Be realistic about what you … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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New Link Between Poor Sleep and Alzheimer’s

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a loss of mental ability that is progressive and has a severe impact on daily life. New longitudinal study evidence presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in the summer of 2017 points to a connection between breathing disorders that interrupt sleep (sleep apnea), and certain biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease.

In people with sleep apnea, the breath can pause for seconds up to minutes, as much as 30 times in an hour, causing the sleeper to go from deep to light sleep, or jerk awake. The condition cannot … read more

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How Alzheimer’s Disease Was Discovered

Posted by: The Bristal

The neurodegenerative disease we call Alzheimer’s is named for the German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first identified and described it more than a hundred years ago.

In 1901, Dr. Alzheimer, grief-stricken because of the recent death of his wife, plunged himself into clinical work with extraordinary fervor. To divert his mind from sorrow, he began personally examining all new patients admitted to his Frankfurt-based hospital at length, compiling extensive documentation on their conditions and prognoses.

Among the patient examined by Dr. Alzheimer was Auguste Deter, a 50-year-old woman experiencing memory loss, suspicion, agitation and other extreme psychological problems.  After … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Senior Care
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How Dementia Can Affect Communication

Posted by: The Bristal

People with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia can find themselves gradually closed off from the world due to increasing cognitive dysfunction. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this condition affects their ability to remember, speak and understand what they hear from others. Other challenges can include difficulties with writing and reading.

Your loved one may notice difficulty in finding the right words when speaking. He or she may describe a familiar object because they cannot recall its name—nouns are the first type of words to be affected. Trains of thought are frequently derailed, and logical word sequences … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Understanding the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease progresses slowly through a series of stages, gradually worsening over the period of a decade or more. By understanding those stages, a caregiver is better prepared to support his or her loved one, and to benefit from the activities and emotional connections that are still viable in the early and middle stages.

Because experts differ on how precisely they characterize each stage of the disease, opinions as to the actual number of stages vary. The Mayo Clinic, for example, delineates five stages, while other authoritative sources break down the characteristics of the disease into more or fewer categories. For … read more

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Helpful Relaxation Techniques for People with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

Anxiety and panic attacks often afflict people with symptoms of dementia, especially in the early stages of the disease, as they first come to grips with the loss of memory and declining cognitive capabilities. Caregivers can help calm their loved ones with a number of time-tested relaxation techniques. Not all of them will work in every circumstance, or with every individual, so a caregiver may have to take a trial and error approach to determine what steps are most helpful in getting a loved one to relax.

Begin by making your own assessment as to what factors seem to trigger anxiety … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Caregiving & Family
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Understanding the Common Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease causes changes in the anatomy of the brain, which leads to declining mental functioning and memory loss. The range of symptoms, and the rate at which they progress, vary from person to person. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. In the early stage of Alzheimer’s, the patient or people around him or her may notice changes in cognition. Most people can do things to compensate for cognitive deficits in the early stages.

It’s always important to consult with a medical professional and receive a proper diagnosis when deficits in cognition are noted. Some … read more

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