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.

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 Auguste … 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 become … 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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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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 types … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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When is the Right Time for a Memory Care Community & What to Consider?

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease is the common form of dementia, whose effect is a progressive loss of cognitive abilities. Some families may choose to place their loved one with Alzheimer’s into a memory care community, a type of long-term care that is designed to meet the needs of a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It provides around the clock care and assistance with the tasks of daily life, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, medications, etc. They also provide daily recreational programming and outings, all tailored to your loved one’s ability, so there is always something fun and social to do.

Memory care … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Tips for Caregivers of People with Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

Dementia, a decline in mental ability that can interfere with daily life, has more than 100 forms, but Alzheimer’s disease is by far its most common one. For those caring for people with Alzheimer’s, the symptoms of the disease can sometimes be hard to cope with. The more you know about the behaviors of people with Alzheimer’s, the easier it is to be an effective and affectionate caregiver.

Alzheimer’s causes changes in the anatomy of the brain. The range of symptoms, and the rate at which they progress, vary from person to person. Therefore, it’s always important … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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You Are Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s: What to Do Next

Posted by: The Bristal

You’ve just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or, perhaps, someone close to you has been diagnosed, and you’re wondering what to do next. First, you should know that you’re not alone. In the U.S., more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s. Also, there are various ways you can continue to experience a good quality of life with Alzheimer’s, by informing yourself and making some basic changes to day-to-day living.

The benefits of learning about Alzheimer’s

Getting educated about Alzheimer’s is the key first step. It’s important to know the types of signs and symptoms you may … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Knowing the Alzheimer’s Signs Unrelated to Memory Loss

Posted by: The Bristal

Those with Alzheimer’s disease know that the well-recognized sign is memory loss. However, it is not the only sign of the disease. There are non-memory-related Alzheimer’s signs; they can present themselves early and if attended to, can lead to a diagnosis.

Apathy. Often unrecognized, apathy is perhaps the most common behavioral change in a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Apathy presents as a decline in the person’s daily functioning and ability to think, along with an increased reliance on family or friends for care. It is associated with changes in the tissue of the brain. It can be mistaken for … read more

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Staying Mentally and Physically Fit While Caring for a Spouse with Alzheimer’s

Posted by: The Bristal

Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s can be challenging in many ways, but also can be richly rewarding. It can deepen the bonds between spouse and caregiver, and open the door to new relationships through education and support groups. However, much may depend on the caregiver’s determination not to allow the new circumstances to compromise his or her own mental and physical well-being.

As the day-to-day demands on the caregiver and the emotional toll of watching a loved one impacted by the disease increase, it is vital to remain positive and take proactive steps that ease the burdens on the caregiver, … read more

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