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.

Memory Books: Telling Your Senior’s Life Story

Posted by: The Bristal

“I wish you had known Mom when she was younger.”

“If only you could have gotten to know Dad before the Alzheimer’s.”

Have you ever said something like this? Sometimes you may feel as if Alzheimer’s or dementia has not only stolen memories but also diminished part of what made your loved one special. You may long for ways to preserve those memories and keep them alive.

One avenue for doing that is creating a “memory book”—a homemade compilation of photos, stories, and mementoes that help tell the life history of a person with dementia. A memory book can help create a … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Caregiving & Family
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Dementia Care: Six Tips for Coping With Delusions

Posted by: The Bristal

You’ve been helping Dad with his bills and investments for years—and now he’s suddenly convinced you’re trying to steal his money.

Or you’ve shared a happy marriage for decades with your beloved wife, but now, out of the blue, she’s accusing you of having an affair.

These are disturbing and, unfortunately, familiar scenarios for many who care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It’s not uncommon for people with dementia to exhibit paranoid or delusional thinking or, in some cases, to experience hallucinations. Approximately 30–40 percent of people with Alzheimer’s will develop delusions, typically paranoid delusions, at some … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Alzheimer’s & Mealtime: Tips for Success

Posted by: The Bristal

Caring for a senior loved one who has Alzheimer’s can present many challenges for a family caregiver. Making mealtime go smoothly might be one of them. It’s important to identify what your family member’s struggles are and develop strategies to work around them.

Mealtime Struggles for People with Alzheimer’s Disease

A few mealtime challenges that are common for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia include:

• Diminished appetite: Your loved one may not recognize their body’s hunger triggers any longer or they may be taking a medication that decreases their appetite. A loss of smell or … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Step Into My Shoes: Living with Dementia

Posted by: Kate Schneider, Reflections Programming Specialist

“Step into my shoes and walk the life I’m living and if you get as far as I am, just maybe you will see how strong I really am.”
— Anonymous

When interacting with someone who is ill, sadly, we often see the illness instead of the person. But if we could look past the illness, we would also see considerable strength.

“Step into my shoes” is exactly what we ask our staff to do at The Bristal, by including The Virtual Dementia Tour ® (VDT®) as part of their sensitivity training at orientation. This insightful program was created … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Low Energy and Alzheimer’s: Overcoming Dementia Fatigue

Posted by: The Bristal

Dementia fatigue is a term used to describe the decreased energy level that is fairly common in early Alzheimer’s. While people associate memory loss and confusion with the beginning stages of the disease, low energy is an equally challenging symptom to manage. Determining the cause and finding ways to safely improve it without increasing agitation can help you improve the quality of life for your senior loved one.

What Causes Low Energy for People with Alzheimer’s Disease?

There are a variety of factors that may be contributing to chronic fatigue for a person living with Alzheimer’s. They include:

• Depression: It … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Creating Quality Time: Dementia and Improvisation

Posted by: The Bristal

Spending quality time with someone who has dementia can become more difficult as their disease progresses. Many times adult children and family members aren’t quite sure how to deal with issues that commonly arise. When a senior with Alzheimer’s disease fails to remember important things such as where their home is or that a spouse has passed away, it isn’t easy to know how to respond.

Alzheimer’s experts have long encouraged families to “step into their world.” But for many, that advice isn’t enough. They aren’t sure what that really means and how to do it. Interestingly enough, the answers … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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The Montessori Method in Memory Care

Posted by: The Bristal

Some exciting new work is being done in the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia care that has linked the much-celebrated Montessori method of teaching children as an effective way for reaching, engaging, and reducing anxiety in patients suffering from memory-related diseases. The core tenet of the Montessori method is to consider children’s needs and capabilities in concert with one another. So, in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, blending the knowledge of what patients like to do with what they are able to do is proving a successful approach.

For example, Montessori teachers create lessons and activities designed to engage the brain, … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Transfusions of Young Blood Could Treat Alzheimer’s

Posted by: The Bristal

You might want to file this one under “never would have believed it.” But yes, serious research has been conducted into what some are calling “vampire therapy” — where transfusions of young blood, according to scientists, could help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

As reported online in National Post, researchers found that young blood:

• Recharges the brain

• Forms new blood vessels

• Improves memory and learning

This is breakthrough research that could very well herald a new dawn in anti-aging treatments. In a parallel study that seems to confirm these findings, researchers at Harvard University discovered that a “youth protein” identified as “GDF11,” read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Exercise Can Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by: The Bristal

What if it were true that exercise could halt or diminish the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

Would you add it to your regimen? Would you encourage loved ones to do the same?

As reported by The Washington Post online, proof is steadily mounting that physical activity can help hold off the changes in the brain that are commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and maybe even the debilitating symptoms themselves. The latest findings come from researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The study followed 317 late-middle aged adults and found that those who exercised five times … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Lifestyle Blog
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Women & Alzheimer’s: Are They Disproportionately Affected by the Disease?

Posted by: The Bristal

It is estimated that 500,000 Americans are affected each year due to some role that Alzheimer’s disease has played in their lives. That number was projected to grow beyond 700,000 as we now enter 2015. This has lead to a total of 5.1 million Americans currently confronting the disease today. Perhaps the only thing scarier than these findings is the suggestion that women are more frequently impacted. These figures come as a result of a recent study released by the Alzheimer’s Association and reported by USA Today online.

As revealed by the study, women are far more likely to develop … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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