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.

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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Benefits of a Memory Care Support Group

Posted by: The Bristal

Memory care support groups offer an opportunity for caregivers, family, friends or those with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia to provide support to one another in group settings. In meetings held at regular intervals and led either by trained facilitators or a group member, the groups offer people in similar circumstances the chance to share practical advice and coping skills, as well as to discuss feelings, concerns and frustrations.

Some people dealing with the onset of memory loss withdraw from social activities because it can be a painful reminder of their daily challenges. In a memory care support … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Why Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Is Important

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, creates challenges for an individual’s memory, thinking skills and behavior. While the symptoms typically develop slowly and become worse over time, the Alzheimer’s Association says the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is important.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person, and while during the early stage, an individual may still be able to drive, work and participate in daily activities, he or she may notice some cognitive changes. Those changes result in problems that include, but are not limited to, difficulty in identifying the right word or name, remembering names when introduced … read more

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How to Use Nonverbal Skills to Communicate with Someone with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

Older adults with dementia may experience decreased communication skills. It can be helpful for a family member or caregiver to use certain techniques to help alleviate the communication hurdles. We recently wrote a blog about the verbal techniques that can be useful in communicating with your loved one. Nonverbal skills are particularly important and we provide some suggestions in this post.

Carol Kinsey Gorman, a contributor with Forbes magazine wrote, “Nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.” She goes on to explain various techniques to help improve nonverbal communication. Below are … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Daily Living Tips to Help Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

Alzheimer’s disease can have an impact on daily living. There are some practical tips that the caregiver of a person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease may find useful in helping to maintain their loved one’s independence.

At times, your loved one may become frustrated because the daily tasks that were once easy to carry out have now become difficult. It can be valuable if a caregiver understands that a certain level of patience, love and support are needed in helping a person with Alzheimer’s disease take on tasks each day.

Here is some advice from the Alzheimer’s Association, … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Speed Training May Delay Onset of Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

It’s widely known that certain brain exercises, such as memory games, reasoning tests and crossword puzzles, have the potential to boost our brain health. However, a relatively new method called “Speed Training” that tests mental quickness is getting a lot of attention among dementia and Alzheimer’s disease experts, after some promising research has been put forth.

The results of a new study called ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly), led by Jerri Edwards, director of the School of Aging Studies and Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida, compared different types of cognitive training in a 10-year … read more

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Important Tips for Communicating with Someone with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

People with dementia can often find it challenging to communicate. They may face difficulties in finding the right words to say or in maintaining their train of thought. They also may even speak less often. As a result, they may lose confidence, become frustrated and/or feel depressed, isolated or withdrawn.

For the caregiver, specific verbal communication skills and techniques can be learned to help prevent these feelings for someone with dementia.

Here are some helpful tips for caregivers to keep in mind:

Speak Clearly & Calmly. When talking to your loved one, speak clearly and calmly and at a slightly slower pace. Try … read more

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How Imagery & Music via Technology Can Benefit Seniors with Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

In this age of advanced technology, the focus is not always on the young. Technology designed for the aging population is enabling seniors to reap many benefits. While high-tech devices that monitor a senior’s safety and health are now widely known and available, the authors of this suggest that caregivers can effectively use nature images and music to help those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

The study was conducted on 300 participants, who resided in an assisted living community. The researchers analyzed the effects of exposure to music and nature images using specific cognitive ability and agitation measurement tools … read more

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Dementia Therapies Used at The Bristal

Posted by: The Bristal

Although there is no cure for most types of dementia, many effective therapies can greatly improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. The dementia therapies we use at The Bristal are cases in point. Here are a few that are particularly effective:

Movement Programs

Our movement programs are not your typical trip to the gym. The objective is to incorporate movement into recreational group activities, such as dancing, bowling, volleyball or Wii games. We tailor these activities to the specific needs of participants, each of whom is carefully evaluated by physical and occupational therapists. As a result, participants benefit … read more

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How to Soothe Someone With Dementia Who Says “I Want to Go Home!”

Posted by: The Bristal

How do you soothe someone with dementia who says “I want to go home?” This refrain, common among people with dementia, can perplex family and friends, especially if the person is already at home. What does the person mean, and what are some appropriate ways to respond? Expert advice follows:

What Does “I Want to Go Home” Mean?

According to Paula Spencer Scott, the author of Surviving Alzheimer’s:  Practical tips and soul-saving wisdom for caregivers, “I want to go home” is “an expression of discomfort.”  She explains:  “At this point in dementia, memories of the distant past are strongest and are often … read more

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