If this is your first holiday season as a caregiver of someone with a dementia diagnosis, naturally, you may feel anxious about what that means for your holiday plans. The hours you spent in years past creating place settings and cooking 5-course meals may be spent helping your loved one bathe or stay occupied. The four-hour road trip you take every year may not seem realistic with your new reality. The first step to enjoying the holiday season with your loved one is accepting that things will be different. If you spend your time trying to force things to be how they once were, you will find yourself disappointed. Reset your expectations and find creative ways to incorporate your loved one and simplify your usual tasks.
When most people think of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, they think of men and women over the age of 65. However, over 200,000 people in the United States have what is known as Early Onset Alzheimer's, a form of dementia that can affect adults as young as 30 years old.
For people with mild to moderate dementia, intentional regular cognitive stimulation is proven to slow the rate of cognitive decline. According to “Cognitive Stimulation to Improve Cognitive Functioning in People with Dementia” a study in the Cochrane Systematic Review published in 2012, those who participated in two 45 minute sessions a week showed improved communication and perception of their quality of life after 3 months. If you are caring for a loved one in the early stages of dementia, consider incorporating these activities into their routines.
People with Dementia can have difficulty remembering, thinking clearly, communicating and taking care of themselves. Dementia like any brain disorder can cause mood swings and changes in personality and behavior that can damage relationships and cause frustration for the one suffering from the illness and those who care for them. This post will include tips for how to care for yourself and ease the stress of unpaid care giving.
As we age, we become accustomed to a more sedentary lifestyle. No longer are we working 8 hour days or running our children from place to place. Although new aches and pains or even cognitive barriers may make exercise seem daunting and out of reach, physical activity is just as important if not more so in older age. Studies show that consistent physical activity in older adults increases their independence, lowers their risk for injury, and improves their general mood and overall cognitive ability. The CDC states that older adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week along with targeted muscle strengthening activities. While that may sound like a large chunk of time, it can be broken down into 30 minutes a day in one setting or three ten minute sessions a day over five days.
In a time when over medication of seniors is extensive and drug losses are frequent, caregiver management of elder medications is absolutely crucial.
Supervision of numerous prescriptions for seniors can be challenging for caregivers on many levels. Besides the what, when and how, we must question the why, questioning doctors and informing ourselves about the health needs of our senior.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s, you know firsthand that communicating can be extremely challenging and wearing. Similar to caring for a child, it requires patience and understanding on the part of the caregiver. The difference is that a child is still growing and learning new things, while someone with Alzheimer’s is progressively regressing. Here are Five Tips to follow when communicating with someone who has Alzheimer’s
Top 10 Ways to Celebrate National Family Caregivers Month 2017
There are many ways to celebrate family caregivers and to take action and communicate the important messages of NFC Month. The following are ideas and guides to help you create a successful National Family Caregivers Month in your community:
It’s the holiday season and Halloween is just around the corner. This is the time to begin getting into the holiday spirit and reveling in the festivities. Here are some tips for staying safe and enjoying Halloween with your loved one or in a senior community.
It takes a little muscle and it takes a little grit,