Monday, December 7, 2009

Alzheimer's Therapeutic Activities

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

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here is a dementia music activity

Activities for People with Alzheimer's
•There are many different stages that a person with Alzheimer's and dementia will go through, therefore activities for individuals in the early or middle stage of the disease will differ from the end stages of Alzheimer's.
•When planning activities for the person with Alzheimer's disease, creating routine and structure is extremely important.
•In order to improve quality of life at each stage of the disease it is important to focus on the patients strengths and abilities. It is important to look at what the patient can do, instead of what they cannot do. Planning activities is a process of trial and error involving continual exploration, experimentation and adjustment.
•Activities can be passive or active. Some patients may participate in an activity, while others may only observe or watch.

Communicating with An Alzheimer's Patient
•As Alzheimer's disease affects each area of the brain, certain functions or abilities can be lost. It is important for caregivers to remember that changes in a persons behavior and ability to communicate may be related to the disease process.
•Alzheimer's disease has a profound effect on language. The disease affects speech and the use of words, as well as the understanding of words. As the disease progresses, language as a means of communicating becomes less effective. Caregivers need to use different ways of communicating their message and staying in touch.
•When speaking to an Alzheimer's patient make sure there are few distractions. It is easier to communicate if other things are not happening at the same time. Television or Radio should be turned off.
•The tone of your voice is very important in speech. Speak slowly and articulate to help the person hear and process the words. Sit facing or stand in front of the person and make eye contact.

Facts About Alzheimer's Disease
•Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia affecting 4.5 to 4.7 million Americans.
•1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 and nearly 1 in 2 Americans over age 85 currently have Alzheimer's disease.
•Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease which advances in stages from mild forgetfulness and cognitive impairment to wide spread loss of mental abilities and total dependence on a caregiver. The time from the onset of symptoms until death ranges from 3 to 20 years with the average duration lasting about 8 years.
•The progressive loss of cognitive function is accompanied by pathologic (disease associated) changes in the brain.

The Importance of Pre-Planning: Alzheimer's Disease and Health Care Proxies
•Alzheimer's disease is one of the most emotionally draining and traumatic diseases for patients and families alike. The progressive, degenerative nature of Alzheimer's disease presents unique challenges for health care proxies.
•During the end stages of Alzheimer's disease the patient typically loses the ability to communicate effectively with their loved ones; adding an additional burden to the health care proxy.
•It is essential for families to openly discuss the kind of end-of-life care early, while the person with Alzheimer's still has the ability to communicate their wishes.
•Families can often benefit from a mediator (an independent third party, usually a social worker) to facilitate the discussion of end-of-life care.

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