Articles tagged with: Alzheimer’s

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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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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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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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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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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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

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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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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

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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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: 6 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 … 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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