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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cat facts for activities in May and June

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

Cats

  • Cats are one of, if not the most, popular pet in the world.
  • There are over 500 million domestic cats in the world.
  • Cats and humans have been associated for nearly 10000 years.
  • Cats conserve energy by sleeping for an average of 13 to14 hours a day.
  • Cats have flexible bodies and teeth adapted for hunting small animals such as mice and rats.
  • A group of cats is called a clowder, a male cat is called a tom, a female cat is called a molly or queen while young cats are called kittens.
  • Domestic cats usually weight around 4 kilograms (8 lb 13 oz) to 5 kilograms (11 lb 0 oz).
  • The heaviest domestic cat on record is 21.297 kilograms (46 lb 15.2 oz).
  • Cats can be lethal hunters and very sneaky, when they walk their back paws step almost exactly in the same place as the front paws did beforehand, this keeps noise to a minimum and limits visible tracks.
  • Cats have powerful night vision, allowing them to see at light levels six times lower than what a human needs in order to see.
  • Cats also have excellent hearing and a powerful sense of smell.
  • Older cats can at times act aggressively towards kittens.
  • Domestic cats love to play, this is especially true with kittens who love to chase toys and play fight. Play fighting among kittens may be a way for them to practice and learn skills for hunting and fighting.
  • On average cats live for around 12 to 15 years.
  • Cats spend a large amount of time licking their coats to keep them clean.
  • Feral cats are often seen as pests and threats to native animals.

    Sunday, May 20, 2018

    Red Plates for Eating with Dementia

    Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

    Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

    Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

    Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

    Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

    Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

    The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

    Alzheimers and Dementia Weekly

    MEALTIME: 

    If you couldn’t see your mashed potatoes,  you probably wouldn’t eat them. That's why what "The Red Plate Study" found was astonishing! Alzheimer's patients eating from red plates consumed 25 percent more food than those eating from white plates. Find out why. 




    Boston University Biopsychologist Alice Cronin-Golomb and her research partners designed the “red plate study.” Their idea was to see whether seniors with advanced Alzheimer’s would eat more food from red plates than they did from white ones. The researchers in the Vision & Cognition Lab of the Center for Clinical Biopsychology, which Cronin-Golomb directs, had reason to hope that their experiment would succeed. 

    Nursing home staff often complain that Alzheimer’s patients do not finish the food on their plates even when staff encourages them to do so. 40% of individuals with severe Alzheimer’s lose an unhealthy amount of weight. Previous explanations for this phenomenon included depression, inability to concentrate on more than one food at a time, and inability to eat unassisted. Cronin-Golomb and her colleagues took a different approach. They believed this behavior might be explained by the visual-cognitive deficiencies caused by Alzheimer’s. Patients with the disease cannot process visual data—like contrast and depth perception—as well as most other seniors.

    So the research team tested advanced Alzheimer’s patients’ level of food intake with standard white plates and with bright-red ones. What they found was astonishing—patients eating from red plates consumed 25 percent more food than those eating from white plates.

    Since these findings were published in 2004, some nursing homes have made red plates the norm. Private companies even market special red plates for seniors with visual impairment.

    The CAS researchers’ approach to the problem of decreased functioning was what led to their breakthrough. Whereas many scientists look for drugs to treat degenerative cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Cronin-Golomb and her team focus instead on finding visual aids that can improve patients’ quality of life. By assisting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients with their visual perception, the researchers actually are able to improve the subjects’ mental functioning.

    Asks Cronin-Golomb,



    “If the information getting into their brain through their eyes is already degraded, how can you expect them to do much with that?”

    “If we can enhance how fast they are getting information in, then they can have a better shot at remembering it. For instance, we can improve their reading speed just by enhancing what they see.”
    It is generally known that memory problems are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but many people don’t realize that vision problems can plague these patients as much as their mental challenges do.

    Cronin-Golomb and her team put subjects through a battery of tests to determine their visual capabilities—visual psychophysics tests to look at contrast sensitivity, color discrimination, and depth perception; neuropsychological tests to examine object recognition, word reading, facial recognition, and pattern completion; and, finally, tests to determine whether the subjects perform better using visual aids, such as measuring cups with larger lettering. Once researchers understand each subject’s abilities, they can then assess how various visual aids improve a patient’s visual perception.

    One experiment the team conducted was to test which shades of gray pills were easiest for subjects to pick out. Seniors commonly take multiple daily medications, but pill manufacturers often don’t take into account patients’ vision problems when choosing pill colors. The researchers found that with the right shade of gray, they could help patients more easily locate their medications.

    The researchers also educate local caregivers for the elderly about how to use visual aids to improve patients’ functioning. Many of these caregivers are family members taking care of loved ones. Others are professional caregivers at day programs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients, as well as architects designing living spaces for older adults.

    Team member and PhD candidate Tom Laudate recalls an encounter following his talk to a local caregiver support group.

    “A woman came up to me and said that just the week before, her mother had been in the kitchen trying to pour milk into a mug. The mug was white, the milk was white, and the countertop was white. She poured milk all over the place, and it wasn’t until the daughter heard me talk that it clicked in her mind and she understood her mother’s vision problem. It’s a great feeling to be able to give some information to someone that can make a difference. It’s not huge; we are not solving Alzheimer’s, but we are helping people in their daily lives.”
    Cronin-Golomb’s goal is not only to train others; she is also driven by a personal connection to, and respect for, the elderly. While some people stigmatize Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and approach them with a sense of dread, she recognizes that the elderly, including some of her test subjects, are full of vitality.

    “I love working with Parkinson’s patients,” she says. “It is probably from my background. My grandma lived upstairs from me. She had all these brothers, sisters, and cousins, and they’d play these really competitive games of pinochle. So they weren’t doting old people. This gave me the idea of old people as very vivacious, and only later did I come across the attitude that old people are slow and frail.”



    Friday, May 18, 2018

    THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HUMOR AND LAUGHTER

    Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information


    Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,


    Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire




    Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be


    Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two


    Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

    The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

    Helpguide.org

    • Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far
         more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze.

    When laughter is shared, it binds people together and

    increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino

    effect of joy and amusement, laughter also triggers healthy

    physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter

    strengthen your immune system, boost your energy,

    diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of

    stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and

    easy to use. 


    Laughter is strong medicine for mind and body


    Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.
    With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

    Laughter is good for your health

    • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
    • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
    • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
    • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.




    Wednesday, May 16, 2018

    More fun and active ideas for engaging an Alzheimer’s patient


    Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

    Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

    Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

    Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

    Alzheimer's Caregivers Guide

    Gear activities to the patient’s ability to participate
    Plan activities that the patient is interested in, such as art, cooking, walking, swimming, or gardening. Focus on enjoyment, not achievement.
    If the person is lucid enough, involve them in making music, doing puzzles or crosswords, or playing memory games, card or board games. Or, the patient may passively enjoy hearing music, contact with pets, or sitting outside in the garden.

    Use humor
    Even when Alzheimer's patients no longer have the cognitive ability to understand your humor, they can still appreciate it. They may still smile or laugh and sharing that laughter can be a relief to both you and your charge. Use the same modes of humor as you always have: teasing, nonsense, clowning. Be even more silly than usual!

    Get outdoors
    Go for walks in the neighborhood, go for a drive, or spend time at a park.
    Walking is often therapeutic, although the pace may not be as vigorous as you might like. Develop a style of paying more attention to the beauty and novelty of your surroundings as you walk.

    Maintain an active social life
    To counteract isolation and loneliness, encourage family and friends to stay involved. Take the patient to family gatherings if it’s comfortable to do so. Schedule visitors, to avoid surprises and have something to look forward to. Even if the elder with dementia does not recognize those who visit, the contact is nonetheless valuable for them.

    Seek out organized group activities.
    Senior centers and adult day care facilities usually provide opportunities for structured activities such as exercise, sharing meals, group games and socializing. Some programs are set up specifically to meet the needs of dementia patients. This will provide social stimulation for the patient and respite for you, the caregiver.

    Join in
    Sometimes the caregiver will want to join the patient in family gatherings or stay in the home when visitors are present. Caregivers can start feeling isolated and lonely themselves as more and more of their time is built around the elder’s needs. If the patient feels safe with the visitors, the caregiver can use the visiting time as an opportunity for relief and respite. Adult day care has similar benefits: social stimulation for the patient and free time for the caregiver.

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Top ten Memorial Day activities for those with dementia

    Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

    Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

    Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two



    Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

    The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

    I cannot believe that Memorial Day
    is almost here

    Here are some easy, yet fun things to do together

    10. Arrange flowers real of fake. You can use red, white and blue flowers to make the bouquet or centerpiece look patriotic.

    9. Plan a picnic or a party from beginning to end

    8. Have a picnic perhaps using the ideas from your plans. If the person with dementia does not want to go outside, no problem, have the picnic inside.

    7. Go to the beach if it is warm enough or the park. Go at off times to avoid the crowd. Again if you fear a negative reaction to going to the beach, bring the beach to your home. Get some sand, sea shells and other beach paraphernalia.

    6 Have a small get together at home. Hire or have someone to assist the ADRD person.

    5. Draw some patriotic pictures. You can use paints, magic markers or crayons. Fireworks are easy to draw.

    4. Read a patriotic story or poem. Create your own story or poem.

    3. Discuss a simple recipe. See how many ingredients you can name. Give hints as necessary. Make a simple dish together.

    2. Watch a musical patriotic movie. Suggestions are: Yankee Doodle Dandy and Stars and Stripes Forever
    They may have to be watched in segments depending on the attention span of the dementia person.

    1. Make a list of all the patriotic songs you know. Give hints to the impaired person as necessary. A good book for tips on how to do this is Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful,Mind-Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged,Their Loved Ones,and Involved Professionals Then listen to and sing these songs.

    Remember all activities are person appropriate. Therefore knowing their likes and dislikes is helpful.
    Also you must be flexible. If things do not go as planned, have a backup plan.

    Saturday, May 12, 2018

    Top ways to help a veteran with dementia on Memorial day

    Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

    Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

    Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

    Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

    Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

    Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

    The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

    • Veterans who suffer from various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer disease, often have very specific care needs. It is important that these veterans are cared for by people who understand their condition and have the appropriate instruction and skills. Therefore encourage family members of veterans to gain the training they need to care for their loved one with dementia.

    • For those in nursing homes and other institutions, make sure veterans with dementia are visited often. All people, including those with memory loss, need human contact. They need to be hugged. They need to hear your voice. They may not know you but as long as you know who they are, that's all that matters.

    • Talk to them about their service to our country. Often they will share stories with you because their time in the service made a huge impression on them 

    • Tell them how proud you are of them. Thank them for their service. This is sure to make them feel good. Most likely, it will make them smile

    • Smile with a veteran. Laughter is wonderful medicine.

    • Sing patriotic songs with a veteran with dementia. Often they will be able o sing many familiar songs even though, they may not be able to speak.

    • Read to them. Have them read to you. Large simple statements are best.
    • Share pictures with them, especially large colorful ones

    • Make a visitor's packet for them.

    • For more ideas on things you can do with a veteran or anyone with dementia on this Memorial Day or any day, read the book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, 
    • Their Loved Ones, and Involved Professionals 

    • So please remember all our veterans on Memorial Day including those with dementia


    Thursday, May 10, 2018

    Communication strategies can benefit dementia patients and caregivers

    Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

    Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

    Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

    Medical News

    Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia represent an exponentially growing social and health care challenge for American families - not only family members who face the progressive brain disease, but also those who love them.

    Many spouses of those with dementia do more than watch as their partners deal with the disease's effects on brain functioning, memory, motor skills and emotional health. They often assume round-the-clock caregiving responsibilities as their husband or wife of many years faces progressive decline. Communication can become a particularly difficult issue.

    "We found that breakdowns in communication may trigger or deepen problem behaviors in family members with dementia," says Marie Savundranayagam, assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). "These problem behaviors by those with dementia, such as agitation and aggression, have consistently been linked with caregiver stress."

    Through a UWM Research Growth Initiative grant and an Alzheimer's Association New Investigator Research Grant, Savundranayagam is working to identify communication strategies used by caregivers to resolve communication breakdowns.

    Partners in long-lasting relationships are the focus of her research. "There's something very special about these relationships," she says. "These caregivers are less likely to place their spouses in a nursing home. They want to keep that family member at home as long as possible." New strategies can backfire

    "Communication breakdowns can also result from caregivers' use of ineffective communication strategies that they perceive to be helpful," says Savundranayagam.

    "Imagine the frustration that a wife, married to her husband for 40 years and now thrust into the role of caregiver, feels when their familiar conversational give-and-take no longer works," she continues. "When the wife tries to communicate differently, that strategy may work - or it may create even more problems.

    "For example, the wife may think that she can communicate better with her loved one by talking slower. But that's actually the opposite of what should be done. A person with dementia will actually forget what was said in the first part of the sentence before the caregiver finishes talking."Insights from everyday interactions

    Savundranayagam and co-investigator J.B. Orange, associate professor and director of the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Western Ontario, are now analyzing everyday activities and communication patterns of persons affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

    Caregiver/care receiver couples completed questionnaires and were then video-recorded as they interacted in their homes − at the dinner table, for example. Communication Sciences and Disorders students from UWM's College of Health Sciences, coached by Orange, are transcribing and coding these videos to help pinpoint the types of communication strategies the caregiver is using to resolve misunderstandings.

    The next step, says Savundranayagam, is assessing the effectiveness of caregiver carstrategies. "Do their approaches exacerbate a communication problem or resolve it?" Savundranayagam's work also will investigate the role of effective and ineffective communication strategies in predicting episodes of problem behaviors and caregiver stress.

    The goal is to lay the foundation and justification for designing empirically derived communication interventions for family caregivers that target both problems.

    "Sometimes a caregiver can deal with problem behaviors and it's not that distressing for them," says Savundranayagam. "But other times, the caregiver's appraisal is incorrect, and a strategy that they think is good really isn't. When we see that, we know that an intervention is necessary for a specific group of caregivers.

    "That's really where this project is going − to target the people who will really benefit from a communication intervention," says Savundranayagam.