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 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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Questions to Ask When Choosing an Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Memory Care Facility

Posted by: The Bristal

If it is determined that a loved one’s signs of memory loss indicate dementia, you have some important decisions to make. One of these decisions could very well involve the selection of a memory care facility.

People turn to these specialized communities when they wish to prepare for their loved one’s future or when they are no longer able to care for their loved one themselves. The range of options varies, and doing research on each can be bewildering. How do you evaluate the quality of a memory care facility and ensure that it is the right fit for your … read more

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Early-Onset Alzheimer’s: What You Need to Know

Posted by: The Bristal

Most cases of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, occur in people who are over 65. In about five percent of cases, however, people develop Alzheimer’s in their 30s, 40s or 50s. Those cases are considered to be early-onset Alzheimer’s.

There are many questions surrounding early-onset Alzheimer’s and early-onset dementia. Does it differ from other cases of Alzheimer’s? What are its symptoms? How is it diagnosed and treated? How can caregivers manage? These questions are addressed below.

Types of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), there are two types of early-onset Alzheimer’s. One type is the same kind … read more

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Ways to Cope with the Symptoms of Sundowning Syndrome

Posted by: The Bristal

Sundowning, which the Alzheimer’s Association defines as “increases in behavioral problems that begin at dusk and last into the night,” can present major challenges for caregivers.

The syndrome, which affects up to 20 percent of people with Alzheimer’s, manifests itself in behaviors, including agitation, pacing, paranoia, and wandering.

Fortunately, there are effective methods of managing sundowning symptoms. Below are 13 suggestions:

1. Keep your home well-lit. Shadows and darkness could contribute to fear and confusion experienced by your loved one.

2. Try to maintain a quiet environment. Turn off the TV and radio, and save the use of machines (lawn … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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What are the Symptoms of Sundowning?

Posted by: The Bristal

Some seniors with Alzheimer’s experience “sundowning,” which the Alzheimer’s Association defines as “increases in behavioral problems that begin at dusk and last into the night.”

According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of sundowning include confusion, anxiety, aggression, ignoring directions, pacing or wandering. Additional symptoms noted by experts include crying, depression, paranoia and shadowing (following you from room to room). The symptoms and their severity, however, vary from person to person.

Is it Sundowning?

Many of the above symptoms characterize Alzheimer’s disease in general. How do you know, then, if they indicate sundowning? The best way to determine … read more

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What are the Types of Dementia & Their Causes?

Posted by: The Bristal

What exactly is dementia?  Is it Alzheimer’s?  Although many people equate the two, the terms are not synonymous. Dementia refers to a variety of conditions that cause memory loss. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a form of dementia. If a senior family member is suffering from dementia, it is important to determine which type it is. By doing so, it is possible to identify not only the probable causes of the condition, but also the most promising methods of managing its symptoms.

Types of Dementia

• Alzheimer’s: The majority of dementia cases stem from Alzheimer’s disease. According to the … read more

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How to Give Yourself a Break When Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s

Posted by: The Bristal

Caring for a parent or spouse who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be a stressful undertaking. In many cases, caregivers must maintain constant vigilance to ensure the safety of their loved one. For these caregivers, it might be difficult to take time to run errands, exercise, or simply enjoy a few minutes of relaxation. Caregivers who have full-time or part-time employment face an even more difficult balancing act. If you are a caregiver who is encountering these sorts of challenges, do not despair: There are ways to give yourself a break.

Below are three suggestions.

• Organize … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Caregiving & Family
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Is Alzheimer’s Hereditary? Am I at Risk?

Posted by: The Bristal

If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you may be worrying and wondering:

Is Alzheimer’s hereditary?

Am I or my children more likely to develop the disease than the general population? Is there anything we can do to reduce the risk? Scientists don’t have all the answers yet. But here’s what we do know about Alzheimer’s, and here are the steps you can take to reduce the chances of developing or delay the onset of this devastating disease.

Genetics

Genes do play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. In most cases, however, having a family member with … read more

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Storytelling: How to Deal with Dementia and Reach Your Loved One

Posted by: The Bristal

Remember how you loved making up stories as a child? Some scientists believe that human beings are hardwired to tell, hear and connect through stories.

The magic of stories extends to people with memory impairment too. New research suggests that creative storytelling activities for seniors with dementia can improve the quality of in-person interactions, as well as the overall quality of life.

How Creative Storytelling Works

The concept is simple: a caregiver shows a humorous photo to an individual or group of people with memory loss, and helps them improvise and tell a story about the image. The caregiver asks questions, and as … read more

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Activities for Seniors with Dementia: How to Create Quality Time

Posted by: The Bristal

Coming up with meaningful activities for seniors with dementia takes thought, care, and understanding. Your loved one may have difficulty following directions or joining a conversation. Outings and social gatherings might overwhelm or confuse them. Behavior can prove unpredictable.

Still, finding ways to occupy and engage your loved one is essential to maintaining quality of life. By focusing on what the person can do, rather than what they cannot do, and choosing activities appropriate to the person’s current stage, you can improve your chances of success.

Follow the Stage of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia typically progress gradually through three … read more

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