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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Celebrating Grandparents Day

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

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

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





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Healthnews-stat.com

Folks with dementia love children, especially babies. Take advantage of Grandparent’s day to allow these two groups of people to connect. Kids make most people smile especially those with dementia

Over 5.3 million Americans have dementia. Most of them are grandparents. Folks with dementia love children, especially babies. Take advantage of Grandparent’s day to allow these two groups of people to connect. Kids make most people smile especially those with dementia

Even though Grandparent’s day is Sept 12, extend it to Grandparent’s week if you are dealing with someone who has dementia. If too many grand kids visit at once, the excitement and confusion might be too much for a dementia person. Have the grandchildren visit one or two at a time. That way quality time is exchanged and the level of confusion is kept at a minimum.

Keep visits short. Discuss dementia with the children before the visit. There are many good books to assist you in helping a child to understand dementia. One such book is The Magic Tape Recorder by Joyce Simard. This is a thoughtful and well written book that explains the effects of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to children in a light and entertaining way. If the youngsters are familiar with the disease, the time spent together will be more meaningful for all.

What should you do during the visit?
There are many activities that both the dementia person and children enjoy.
*Look at family pictures and recall the stories that go with them. Of course, you would have told the child that he may hear the same story several times. If you do not have old family photos or have not organized them yet, use this book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful, Mind Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, their Loved Ones and Involved Professionals, by Susan Berg. It not only has cute conversation stimulating baby pictures, but activity ideas related to the photos are suggested.
*Sing familiar songs together. Patriotic songs are ideal because most people, young and old, know them. Some good songs are: America, America the Beautiful, and God Bless America
*Watch a portion of a classic musical movie. Do not try to watch too long because the dementia person or child may lose interest. Movie suggestions are: any Shirley Temple movie, Judy Garland movies including, The Wizard of Oz, and The Sound of Music.
*Have a snack or meal together. Everyone loves ice cream.
*Make an old family favorite recipe together. Then eat it
*Go for a ride. Because gasoline prices are high and attention spans are short, a short trip is best.

So this Grandparents day, September 12, include a loved one with dementia and a grandchild in a lovely experience for both.

alzheimers ideas

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Specialized center helps seniors with memory loss(part 3)

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

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

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Staples acknowledged there are more women out there than men — women tend to outlive their partners — and that many senior men aren’t as social as women; they prefer to stay in their homes where everything is familiar, Staples said.

Alzheimer’s program director Zullo said his organization was in the process of referring to Aspen several men showing early stage memory loss who attend monthly counseling sessions at the Utah Chapter.

Cost for a full day is $58, including lunch catered by three different restaurants in the area. Or clients can pay $10 an hour, plus $9 for lunch.

“The idea is to serve the entire family by allowing family caregivers time off from the responsibilities of caring for their senior. Or, they can participate here with them,” said Staples.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Specialized center helps seniors with memory loss (part 2)

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

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

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

What Aspen hopes to provide through its approach to daytime senior care, called “unique and innovative” by officials at the Utah Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, is a solution for all her needs.

“We call Aspen a ‘transitional activity center’ where folks with early symptoms [of memory problems] can get help with cognitive activity, nutrition, exercise and social engagement,” said Nick Zullo, the Utah Chapter’s program director.

He and colleague Sylvia Brunisholz, a family services counselor, agree that Aspen’s transitional approach is in great need along the Wasatch Front.



“To our knowledge, there are only three such [daytime, transitional] centers in the Salt Lake Valley, two in the Utah County area and one in Davis County,” Brunisholz said. They act as a bridge between traditional centers where seniors go on their own to participate in various activities and centers that provide more hands-on help for moderate-to-serious memory-impaired adults.

Aspen’s owner and executive director, Gary Staples, a former software-marketing executive who has operated a home-care service — Aspen Senior Care — for the past six years, said he saw the need for a place where disabled seniors can get the daytime help they need to stay active and forestall extreme memory loss.

“Our services also are geared toward those with Parkinson’s disease, those who are wheelchair-bound and those who may be lonely and depressed,” Staples said. Socialization, he said, is key to the quality of life for such folks.

The center is licensed to care for 30 women and 15 men between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The ratio of staff-to-client is 1 to 6.

“As we grow, we will add staff as necessary to maintain that ratio,” he said. His first-year goal is to serve an average of 20 clients per weekday.

more about Specialized center helps seniors with memory loss soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why Alzheimer's isn't the end of the world

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

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

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine


Alzheimer's is one of the diseases we most dread.

But American expert John Zeisel, says there's a better – more positive – way to view it
Susanna Rustin The Guardian,
Shakespeare, says Alzheimer's expert John Zeisel, could not have been more wrong. In the famous seven ages of man speech in As You Like It he described old age as "second childishness and mere oblivion", when old people, even those in the advanced stages of dementia, are not like children at all. "They have lived through several historical eras," Zeisel writes in his new book, I'm Still Here. "They have seen technology develop, and political upheaval. Most have children and grandchildren."

Zeisel wants to change the way we view dementia, both within our families and society as a whole. He believes the media, egged on by pharmaceutical companies and fundraisers, have built up an appallingly negative view of Alzheimer's to the point where it is the illness we dread above all else. In the UK, the debate recently received a rocket boost when novelists Martin Amis and Terry Pratchett both jumped in: Pratchett, who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, argued in favour of euthanasia tribunals, while Amis suggested booths on street corners to enable a "population of demented very old people" to go quietly.

Zeisel insists the debate on assisted dying should remain separate from discussions of Alzheimer's care but his central argument, that dementia is not nearly so bad as we think, is highly relevant. "When they show someone with dementia," he says, "it's someone in the last year or two of the illness, not someone in the first 10 years. The message we get is, this is the worst possible thing that can happen to a person. This is a disease where you lose your memory, your family, yourself."

A sociologist by training, who now runs seven care homes in America and a foundation promoting access to the arts for people with dementia, Zeisel argues that an Alzheimer's diagnosis should be regarded not as a sentence but as a gift. "There are lots of cases where people have much better relationships with their parents after they got dementia," he says. "There was one woman whose mother was a very famous jazz drummer – she was always travelling all over the world – and the daughter said when she was a child she was furious. She now says she has a wonderful relationship with her mother, and all the pain of her childhood is being healed."

While cognitive skills diminish as the brain deteriorates, the possibility of emotional growth remains in the amygdala, the brain's emotional hub. For example, a woman with Alzheimer's whose frontal lobe is damaged will have difficulty with complex sequences and might put on her bra outside her clothes, "but that same woman when she sees someone in trouble, she will go and take their hand and say, 'What's wrong?'"

Much of what Zeisel says could be regarded as not beyond what a sensitive person might work out for themselves. Clearly, introducing yourself when greeting a person with Alzheimer's seems a brilliantly obvious tip: "Sit down next to her, hold her hand, look her in the eye and say, 'Hi, Mom, I'm your daughter Miriam, and I love talking to you about Oakland, where you were born.'"

We must train ourselves not to set tests ("Do you know who I am?"), which may upset those we care about, and instead offer as many cues and clues as we can. When we visit someone who has lost the knack of conversation, we can prepare ourselves to deliver a monologue by writing a list. We must learn to tell people with Alzheimer's that we love them.

It is for kind advice like this that Zeisel has won accolades from readers including John Bayley, whose wife, the writer Iris Murdoch, died of Alzheimer's in 1999 and whose celebrated memoir was made into a successful film credited with raising public awareness.


In Britain, 800,000 people have dementia and the number is likely to rise, so Zeisel is surely right that we must find better ways of being with them. But when he cheerfully offers up a radically altered mother/father/partner with Alzheimer's as "a new person whom you can embrace and enjoy", isn't he being too upbeat?

After his book came out in the US, a friend with dementia in her family told him he had not said enough about grief, and he tackles the point in a journal article he sent me after we talked. What it can't explain satisfactorily is timing: with a degenerative disease such as Alzheimer's, how do we know when it is time to give up the old ways of relating to our loved ones? Is mourning forbidden until they are dead?

He agrees that his recommendations are not for everyone. "Not everybody is up to the hard emotional work it takes to stay connected to somebody. Some people say 'I can't do this.' Some people didn't like their parents much in the first place."

Though not a Buddhist, Zeisel's self-help draws on meditation and mindfulness techniques focused on the present moment, which is where he believes the person with Alzheimer's really is. But he thinks the idea that Asian societies look after their old people better than we do in the west is a myth. "I've not seen any society that deals with dementia well," he says.

When he was growing up in Manhattan, Zeisel was used to the presence of his German-speaking grandfather, who was what was then described as senile, and later came to see this as a formative experience. "It gave me the deep knowledge that even if you couldn't speak someone's language, you could still have a profound relationship," he says. "The openness I had as a child, to people and who they were, because I didn't know any better, is an openness I am gaining again thanks to my contact with people with dementia."

Alzheimer's is one of the diseases we most dread.

Friday, August 6, 2010

First word four in a row.



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

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

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

This is a game that loosely combines “Connect 4” and scrabble. It is easy and quick to play but is quite mind stimulating.

Start by creating a 7 square by 6 square grid similar to the amount of spaces in a “Connect 4” game.

Now print or type large letters on paper or cardboard.
Each player will get 21 letters. It is up to you to determine which letters to use. I suggest eliminating rarely used letters like q,z,x,w,b etc. Each person should have multiples of some of the vowels.

The object of the game is to be the first player to make a four letter word by placing the letters in a similar fashion as in the game, “Connect 4”.

For “Connect 4” directions come back because I will be posting those directions soon.

Also please leave any questions or ideas in the comment section

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pizza facts: A useful tool for an activity idea

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

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

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

• In 1994, total pizza sales in the United States exceeded $20 billion.¹
• The 1995 Guiness Book of World Records lists the largest baked pizza on record was 37.4 meters in diameter (12,159 sq.ft.), in Norwood, South Africa December 8th 1990. Another notable pizza by size was a 10,000 sq.ft. pizza cooked by Lorenzo Amato, owner of Cafe di Lorenzo in Tallahassee Florida in 1991.¹
• The first known pizza shop, Port 'Alba in Naples, opened in 1830 and is still open today.²
• The first pizzeria in North America was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi at 53 1/3 Spring Street in New York City.³
• The first pizza delivery was in 1889, by Raffaele Esposito owner of the famous pizzeria Pietro il Pizzaiolo (Naples). The recipients were visiting King Umberto I and Queen Margherita. Refusing to go to the likes of a pizzeria, the queen ordered in, being anxious to try this food she heard so much about.²
• The first commercial pizza-pie mix was "Roman Pizza Mix", produced in 1948 in Worcester, Massachusetts by Frank A. Fiorello.¹
• The mozzarella originally used in Italy for pizza, was made from the milk of the water buffalo.²
• The tomato arrived in Naples, Italy around 1522 originating from seeds first arriving in Spain from Peru. Initially grown only as an ornamental plant, the 'golden apple', so called because they were small and yellow, were thought to be poisonous until around 1750, when it began to be used in cooking.³
• The origins of focaccia, one of the oldest styles of pizza (without the tomato) can be traced back to about 1000 B.C.E., when the Etruscans arrived in northern and central parts of Italy from Asia Minor.³
• Pizza is the number 2 entree in foodservice, outpacing the growth rate of all other food items. It represents more than 10% of all food sales and is expected to exceed the hamburger 1996.4
• Tuna is one of the most popular toppings in Europe.4
• North Americans eat more pizza than anyone else in the world, yet most are acquainted with little beyond the basic tomato and cheese style.³
• There are three major regional styles of pizza in the US. In the East, pizza is the traditional Neapolitan type with a light, thin crust, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a vegetable or meat topping. It is more commonly known as New York-style. On the West Coast, pizza takes on a sophisticated look. Individual pizzettes with light, chewy crusts and toppings ranging from sundried tomatoes to asparagus to boccocini cheese are the norm. The Midwestern states prefer the deep-dish Chicago style, a thick creation heaped with toppings requiring up to 45 minutes to bake.³
• Cookbooks specializing in Italian recipes have no reference to pizza prior to the 1950's.¹
• In non-Italian communities in the eastern states, pizza can be heard to be referred to as "tomato pie".¹