Category Archives: Alzheimers & Dementia Care

Alzheimers & Dementia Care

World Alzheimer’s Month Beaverton, OR

September Is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, http://www.alz.org/braintour/alzheimers_changes.asp, takes on a special significance for millions of Americans, including CAREGiversSM from Home Instead Senior Care® of Beaverton who are on the front lines every day with seniors who need help because of the disease’s debilitating effects. While Alzheimer’s is associated with memory loss and dementia, it impacts all aspects of life. World Alzheimer's Month: Beaverton, OR“One of my clients is in the early stages of dementia, which can be challenging because I’m never sure which mood she’ll be in,” said a CAREGiver who earned a degree in biopsychology and neuroscience from a major American university and is waiting to get into medical school. “I also covered a shift for a client who was in her later stages of dementia and was extremely challenging because she couldn’t verbally express her needs. I was forced to do the best I could to make her comfortable as well as find an alternative method to communicate with her.” The CAREGiver would not disagree that the Alzheimer’s numbers are stark:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
  • An estimated 35.6 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • One in three people over the age of 85 has dementia.
  • Worldwide, a person develops Alzheimer’s every four seconds.
  • Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010; deaths from all other major diseases (heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, breast cancer, HIV) decreased.

The World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month campaign was designated to help increase awareness about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and its social and economic impact. “Working on research for dementia is a big sociological issue,” the CAREGiver said. “When society puts more emphasis on it, more people will donate the needed money to research the causes and solutions. We as a society need to make it a priority. We need to find something that will slow the process of brain deterioration.” Alzheimer's Care Month: Beaverton, ORWith respect to her work with Home Instead Senior Care of Beaverton, the CAREGiver draws on the knowledge she received from one of her key college classes, “Aging and Cognition.” “The class material started from the basis of examination from birth how our brains function. One thought process is that the brain deteriorates as you get older,” the CAREGiver said. “I understand that those who have dementia have no control over what they do. Patience is most important, and I don’t take anything personally. Following routines is also important. “When something gets stressful http://www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/dementia-support-network/aggression-anger/overview-aggression-and-anger/ for one of my clients who is in the later stages of dementia, I walk away from the situation, stay nearby out of sight and then come back in a couple of minutes. It is like hitting reset. You have to let her have her space, but yet be close enough to make sure she is safe. We get through everything OK.”

When asked about the prospects of a cure or medication that would prevent dementia, based on what she had studied, the CAREGiver said: “I am not sure about any cure being on the horizon. What we do know is that there are certain things you can do to slow down dementia. One thought is that you need to challenge your brain as much as possible. Reading, puzzles, anything that challenges the brain is good. You need to find exercise for the brain, and different forms of it. Things that become repetitive tend not to help after a while.”

The Home Instead Senior Care network also offers a number of tools to help families deal with the difficult behaviors of dementia illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, including the book “Confidence to Care” and a free mobile iOS or Android app http://www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/alzheimers-dementia-dealing/daily-companion/ that provides proven tips and strategies for family caregivers. “Things that help them are doing more activities http://www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/dementia-support-network/activities-engagement/ such as photo albums and tasks that help them reconnect with their past. Those sorts of activities help them use more areas of the brain.” Finally, the CAREGiver emphasized that her job is fulfilling. “Part of my job is being able to make the best of every situation because giving up on the client is not an option,” she said. “Maintaining a positive attitude and assuring him or her everything is going to be OK is how I overcome the challenges I face and make sure my clients know they are in charge.” Taking care of a senior loved one can be stressful for family caregivers.

Contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office in Beaverton for the assistance of a trained senior care professional. CAREGivers also are screened, bonded and ensured, and many are older adults who share the same interests as their senior clients. Many CAREGivers have completed the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Training Program, which also is available to family caregivers http://www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/family-caregiver-alzheimers-dementia-training/. CAREGivers trained in the CARE program have a passion to work with Alzheimer’s clients and receive ongoing classroom training and testing prior to caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The Home Instead program offers a personal approach to taking care of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease at home, where 60 to 70 percent live, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It is a unique program that has received acclaim and endorsements from experts. Caregiver Resources: Beaverton, OR For more information, contact Home Instead Senior Care Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood at (503) 747-4663 or Ask us a question about Senior Home Care.

Alzheimer’s documentary – Alive Inside

Blog post by Mike Brunt, September 2014

I recently heard about the movie, Alive Inside, directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett.  The movie is a Alive3documentary about seniors with advanced dementia and how introducing them to music they loved in their younger days brought back youthful memories and improved quality of life for those who were being warehoused in nursing homes.  I have heard its powerful message is incredible. I recommend the movie to anyone in this business.    You can see the Alive Inside movie trailer on YouTube and learn more about the movie and see when it’s being played in our area at www.aliveinside.us

Ten Tips for Success with People with Dementia

Blog post by Christy Turner, Golden Lifecare Solutions, LLCchristy-turner

Christy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) and Dementia Care Unit Manager (CDCM). She specializes in effective non-pharmalogical approaches to dementia care and is passionate about helping families create moments of joy in their caregiving journey. She has eleven years experience working with elders and their families. Christy offers these tips for success when with people who have Dementia:

  1. Offer positive reinforcement.  Encourage, reassure, and come to the rescue!
  2. Treat pain.  People with dementia are not always able to accurately report pain or where it hurts, but they are in high mileage bodies.  Give prescribed medications
  3. Give ample time to complete tasks.  Use concrete language, task segment to 1-2 steps at a time, use visual and non-verbal cues, keep it simple, and always allow extra time
  4. Don’t create dependence.  Give ample time to complete tasks, rather than falling into the trap of doing it for him/her because it’s quicker that way.  Calmly talk the person through the task while giving positive feedback and praise
  5. Create success.  Keep it simple, use visual and non-verbal cues, be positive, and allow ample time for task completion
  6. Be mindful of the environment you create.  Keep the environment calm, low-key, and stay positive.  People may not understand what you say, but they always understand how you make them feel.  That includes your body language and tone of voice.
  7. Be an example.  If you want the person to do a task or engage in an activity, show him/her what to do by starting the task yourself.  Use visual cues, such as starting to fold the laundry yourself
  8. DO NOT ARGUE.  EVER.  We always, always, always step into the person’s reality; we never try to drag him/her into our reality.  Be in the moment together
  9. Socialization is important.  Help the person make a connection with others by making introductions.  Set the person up for success
  10. How important is it?  Remember, a dementia-related behavior is only an attempt to communicate.  What you see as distressful may not be for the person with dementia.  Be sure to know the difference.

Please visit the Golden Lifecare Solutions website for more information on how Christy can help you through the challenges of making decisions about care, finances, living arrangements, driving, and more when dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

World Alzheimer’s Month Living with Alzheimer’s: A Journey of Caring

Blog post by Mike Brunt

Alzheimer’s and Dementia are major areas of emphasis for Home Instead Senior Care. In this letter Paul Hogan, founder of Home Instead Senior Care talks about some of the things we’ve done to help family caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
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Greetings,

There is no cure, but there is care.” What a great message from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.Language-Impairment

September 2013 is World Alzheimer’s Month, and this year’s theme is  “A Journey of Caring.” To help family caregivers, Alzheimer’s Disease International and Home Instead Senior Care are bringing together top dementia care experts to host roundtable discussions. The dialogues will examine the impact on family caregivers and their loved ones, as well as best practices for governments, healthcare providers, nonprofits and the private sector to support people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

We also launched a worldwide media and public education effort to coincide with World Alzheimer’s Month that includes the release of a new Home Instead book, Confidence to Care, and a mobile app to provide family caregivers with help at their fingertips.

To date, Home Instead Senior Care franchise offices have offered more than 600 sessions of our Alzheimer’s CARE training program free to family caregivers. The tremendous response from families affirms how desperately they need guidance on quality care.

Living with Alzheimer’s: A Journey of Caring – World Alzheimer’s Report 2013 Release & Roundtable Discussions, held in three international capitals beginning September 19, address the disease’s global implications. The host cities include:

  • Washington D.C., September 19,
  • London, September 20, and
  • Beijing, September 26.

Policymakers have a vital role in confronting this global health crisis through:

  • Learning about the challenges caregivers face.
  • Raising awareness of this issue that, too often, is overlooked.
  • Coming together to find new solutions.
  • Following and taking part in the World Alzheimer’s Report discussions on Facebook and Twitter using #Alztalk2013.

The World Alzheimer’s Report 2013 provides the most comprehensive, global view of the issues surrounding dementia, including examining the levels of mortality, disability, strain on caregivers and future outlook.

With approximately 7.7 million new cases of dementia worldwide each year, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia is a very personal crisis for family caregivers, who often put their own health in danger, due to the stress of providing care. Seventy percent of people with Alzheimer’s are cared for at home. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, the number of people living with dementia worldwide, estimated at 35.6 million in 2010, is set to nearly double every 20 years, reaching 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.

Until there is a cure, we stand united with advocates including Alzheimer’s Disease International to find solutions and raise awareness of this critical issue.

Sincerely,
Paul Hogan

Paul Hogan is Chairman & Founder of Home Instead Senior Care and, with his wife Lori, co-author of Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions.

September is World Alzheimer’s Care Month

Globally, over 35 million people and their families are affected by various dementias, especially Alzheimers. Home Instead Senior Care Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood will help your family adjust with these changes.

Alzheimer’s disease is more than just forgetfulness and confusion. Read more about symptoms and simple steps you can start taking now: Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care services. Learn what trained caregivers can do at different stages to cope with daily challenges, improve safety and quality of life.

Alzheimer’s Care, a global healthcare concern.

Home Instead Senior Care Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood provides experienced caregivers to help your loved one and family members. Whether it’s preparing meals, running errands around Beaverton, or simply being a companion, our Home Instead CAREGiverssm are there to help. With a little assistance, you will be a much happier person and capable of better care. Alzheimers Care at home

As the world population ages, more people are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementias. You may be dealing with a whole range of emotions and concerns, such as anger, grief, and shock. Adjusting to this new reality is not easy and it changes way to quickly. It’s important to reach out for quality help. The more support you and your family have, the better you will be able to help your loved one. One critical question is: Where will your loved one live? Their home is the most familiar and can help them cope better as their short term memory starts to fade. Home Instead will help where ever your loved one lives.

Reach out to trusted friends, family members, and research experienced Alzheimer’s Care services available through the Beaverton community. Alzheimer’s Care is good for all parties concerned, so call our team to get support for your loved one.

Let Home Instead Senior Care Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood help your family, call for a complimentary consultation: (503) 747-4663

Understanding Alzheimer’s disease, the search for a treatment for dementia continues

Blog post by Mike Brunt

From The Economist, Jun 22nd 2013 |From the print editionalzheimers

Mid September was the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Portland. Over 3500 people were at the walk and well over $300,000 had been raised locally in part for research to end this terrible disease. I read an interesting article recently that gave good information on what’s going on with research.  It’s a very slow process. Many Alzheimer’s drugs have seemed to succeed in animals, only to prove ineffective in people. Promising drugs have also been scuttled by safety problems or technical glitches. Only through continued research supported by foundations such as the Alzheimer’s Foundation will we find the answers.

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ALZHEIMER’S disease wrecks lives. And as people live longer, it will wreck more with every passing year. It also wrecks budgets. In America in 2010, the cost of treating those with dementia was $109 billion. That exceeds the cost of treating those with heart disease or with cancer. The RAND Corporation, a Californian think-tank, reckons this cost will more than double by 2040. A treatment for Alzheimer’s is therefore needed for fiscal as well as humanitarian reasons.

On the face of things, developing one does not look too hard a task. One of the main physical symptoms of the disease is the accumulation in the brain of sticky clumps, or “plaques”. These are composed of protein fragments (known as peptides) called amyloid beta. It has been widely presumed that if the plaques can be removed—or, better, stopped from forming in the first place—the confusion and loss of memory that are the main outward manifestations of Alzheimer’s will be relieved as well. It is just a question of inventing a drug that will do this.

Just…

Trial after trial has failed, to the point where researchers are tearing their hair out. But still they try. A paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science describes yet another attempt. Instead of attacking the peptide directly, Stuart Lipton of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues are trying to stop its effects. In doing so, they have characterised in new detail the way the peptide wreaks its damage. Which means that even if their specific approach eventually fails, they will have helped clear a trail through the thickets of plaques which others may be able to follow.

Bad connections
Experimental drugs intended to attack amyloid beta directly have proved disappointing. Last year clinical trials of the two most advanced such drugs did not slow the decline of most patients’ memories—though solanezumab, from Eli Lilly, did yield some positive results in a group of patients whose Alzheimer’s was mild.

A better approach might be pre-emption. Some groups of researchers are therefore testing solanezumab to see if it helps elderly people who show no clinical signs of Alzheimer’s, but whose brain scans reveal abnormal levels of amyloid beta.

Testing drugs in this way—to find out if they can stop a disease from starting—is an ethical minefield because it means experimenting on people who are, to all intents and purposes, healthy. Other such trials are nevertheless happening. Roche, a Swiss drug firm, is working with a large family in Colombia whose members frequently sport a mutation that guarantees anyone carrying it will get the disease. And a consortium of researchers in America, Australia, Britain and Germany is also testing the effect of anti-amyloid drugs on people with Alzheimer’s-inducing mutations.

Read the full article

App: Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias Daily Companion

Your On-the-Go Guide for Dementia Care Advice

How do you deal with a mother who is always accusing you of stealing from her?Alz App

That’s a common question asked by many sons and daughters caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The accusation scenario could just as easily be replaced with: who won’t eat her food, who refuses to shower, who hides her underwear in my purse, who curses at me, who urinates in the bedroom floor vent, or who doesn’t recognize me.

While the situation at hand may differ from day to day and from person to person, the core question remains:

How do I deal?

An App Designed to Help You Deal

We created the Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Daily Companion App as a pocket guide to help get you through all the dementia care situations you likely never dreamed you’d have to face.

You can download this free app now so when you have a question about the best way to handle a situation, you’ll have quick, helpful tips from experts and other caregivers instantly at your fingertips.

App Overview & Features

The Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Daily Companion is an iOS mobile app available in the app store for download at no cost. It offers immediate advice with close to 500 searchable tips and practical solutions to help deal with behaviors and situations related to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Features include:

  • 25 topic categories containing close to 500 searchable pieces of advice from experts and other caregivers regarding:
    • Behaviors and situations
    • Emotional support
    • Helpful resources
  • “Ask a Question” submission form if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for
  • Functionality to share advice from your own experience for the benefit of other caregivers
  • A built-in rating system for users to provide feedback on each tip so caregivers benefit from others’ insight and evaluation of the advice
  • 24-hour caregiving assistance available via a toll-free phone number or email submission
  • Access to free Alzheimer’s and other dementias caregiver resources and training materials
  • Ability to access all of the solutions and tips without Internet connectivity

A Companion to Confidence to Care

This app serves as an on-the-go companion piece to the bookConfidence to Care: A Resource for Family Caregivers Providing Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias Care at Home. The book combines personal stories with the same practical tips available through the app to help you confidently deal with the most common issues associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Alzheimer’s Caregiving: How to Help Prevent Your Loved One’s Needs from Adversely Affecting Your Own Health

Blog post by Mike Brunt

New research from the National Alliance for Caregiving shows that as dementia progresses, caregiver health can decline dramatically. Learn the risks and get tips to help preserve your own health. This is a very interesting article from Caregiverstress.com from which we can all learn a lot.
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Sometimes caregiving can feel like a tug-of-war. Your loved one’s needs may pull you away from fulfilling your own needs, but at some point you have to pull back to stay on your feet. You may relate to these caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias who feel that pull and are struggling:Senior lady and her granddaughter

“I used to go to yoga five times a week. Now my mom pleads with me to stay home.  How can I make time for me and my own health when her demands are so great?”

“Everyone keeps asking me if I’m looking after myself and that’s a very difficult challenge.”

“I am always so busy caring for my father that I never stop to take care of myself.  I have developed poor eating habits and am starting to get concerned about my health.”

Given these caregiving challenges, it’s hardly surprising that Alzheimer’s caregivers may suffer negative health effects, which new research by the National Alliance for Caregiving confirms. While the findings may paint a grim picture for Alzheimer’s caregivers, take heart. Becoming aware of the health costs and taking advantage of resources designed to help you maintain your well-being will help to set you on a path toward healthier caregiving.

The High Cost of Caring
An 18-month study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving titledDeclining Health in the Alzheimer’s Caregiver as Dementia Increases in the Care Recipient, compared the health status of non-caregivers to a diverse group of family caregivers across the country. Some of the significant findings:

  • Emergency room use was twice as high for Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • Physician visits were nearly triple compared to non-caregivers.
  • The average annual cost of healthcare for Alzheimer’s caregivers was $4,766 higher than for similar-aged non-caregivers. (US only)

As Dementia Progresses, Caregiver Health Declines
As the cognitive and physical abilities of dementia care recipients diminish, the health of those caring for them tends to decline also. According to the study, the caregivers’ own health declined steadily as their loved one’s need for assistance increased.

  • Caregivers’ use of all types of medical services increased 25 percent over the 18-month study.
  • Caregivers whose own health at the beginning of the study was only fair to poor were most vulnerable to the effects of increasing dependence of the care recipient.

How to Maintain Your Own Health
An important conclusion of the study suggests that caregiver assessments are important to identify those who may be at risk. Good places to start are the Family Caregiver Stress Assessment Scale, a helpful tool for evaluating your own situation and stress levels, and an annual visit to your physician.  Then, follow these tips to help stay healthy and relieve stress.

  1. Keep moving! While 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended, going to the gym or getting away for a run isn’t always practical. Fit in what you can—ride a stationary bike, do an exercise video or stretch while your loved one naps—even if you only have 10 or 15 minutes.
  2. Eat better. You don’t have to undertake a major diet plan. Try small changes:  don’t skip breakfast, drink plenty of water, have healthy snacks of fruits, vegetables and nuts on hand.
  3. Gather support. Even if you don’t have friends or family nearby, there are communities and online resources to help you understand dementia, find answers to your questions, share ideas and even talk with experts and other caregivers.
  4. Give yourself a break. Take time for yourself by looking intorespite care. For short trips like shopping or getting a haircut, and longer ventures like a much-needed vacation, relaxation breaks are critical for your long-term well-being.

By paying close attention to your own fitness and state-of-mind, you can help maintain your health and feel better prepared to deal with the demanding challenges of caring for someone with memory loss.

Senior Care Resources for Illnesses & Conditions

The Home Instead Senior Care® network’s goal is to help seniors live healthier, happier lives in their own homes. That’s why we’ve devoted a section of our Website to providing information about the illnesses and conditions that affect seniors most. Diseases like Alzheimer’s, arthritis, dementia, and others can have a devastating effect on both those people sufferering from the condition, and their families. We hope these resources help you to continue to make the best care decisions for you and your family.senior citizen

Alzheimer’s & Dementia

A devastating disease that gradually deteriorates an individual’s lifetime of memories, Alzheimer’s or related forms of dementia have a staggering impact on the lives of those affected. Individuals with this progressive, mind-altering disease require special care. While treatments to stop or reverse Alzheimer’s do not yet exist, resources and proven methods of care are available to help you and your loved one best manage the changes it brings.

Arthritis

Arthritis can mean serious pain and fatigue for people—chronic symptoms that inhibit daily activities and lowers quality of life. But having arthritis doesn’t have to mean immobility and loss of independence. A number of lifestyle enhancements, as recommended by the Arthritis Foundation, can reduce symptoms of arthritis and enable you or your loved one to get moving again.

Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25 percent of seniors age 65 and older have diabetes, a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels due to a lack of insulin. Diabetes affects women and men nearly equally. If you are over age 45, overweight or obese, and physically inactive, you may increase your chance of getting diabetes. Diabetes can cause sight and hearing loss, nerve damage, and high blood pressure. However, a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, exercise and strength training can limit and even prevent some forms of diabetes.