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Friday, September 30, 2011

A way to trigger happy memories in those with dementia

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

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caring.com

Old Sayings or Adages

What you need:

A prepared list of sayings (or a good memory for old adages)

What to know:

  • Finishing sentences from prompts can feel good, and using well-worn adages that are deeply embedded in memory makes it easy.
  • Start by bringing up a complete old saying: "A penny saved is a penny earned." Talk about what that means. This can be a wonderful jumping-off point about saving money, living through the Depression, piggy banks, and so on.
  • You can couch this activity as a game or make it more naturally part of conversation: "I thought of this old saying but I can't remember how the whole thing goes, do you know it?" Or, "What's that old saying you used to tell me when I was a kid? A penny saved is what?"
    • Sample sayings:
    • "Penny wise and... pound foolish."
    • "The early bird catches... the worm."
    • "Early to bed, early to rise... makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
    • "Pretty is as... pretty does."
    • "Seen but not... heard."
    • "He who lives by the sword... dies by the sword."
    • "The way to a man's heart... is through his stomach."
    • "A stitch in time... saves nine."
    • "Ask not what your country can do for you... but what you can do for your country."
    • "Many hands make... light work."
    • "An ounce of prevention is worth... a pound of cure."
    • "If you can't say anything nice... don't say anything at all."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Essential Tips for Dementia Caregivers (part 2)


Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals.Benevolant Society

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Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

Marguerite Manteau-Rao

6. Put your emotions out, either in writing, collages or other expressive art forms.When emotions run strong, and you don't know what to do anymore, one practice is to put your emotions out through simple, expressive art techniques. No need for fancy supplies. You can journal, you can write poetry. You can do self-collages, tearing images that grab you in old magazines and placing them on a sheet of paper, without giving too much thought to it. You are turning off your rational brain and letting your heart speak through words or found images. The point is not to be a poet or an artist -- it is about you literally "expressing" what is inside of you.
7. Share your joys and struggles with other care partners like you.
There are plenty of support groups out there, where you can find emotional relief in the telling of your story and the sharing of your joys and your struggles. You need to guard against the temptation of isolation, however. As a family caregiver, you are at high risk of depression and consequently are more likely to be tempted into retreating and not reaching out to others for emotional support. A good rule of thumb is this: The less you want to socialize, the more you need it for your own sanity and also the well-being of your loved one.
8. Get others to help you.
If it takes a village to raise as child, it takes a whole care team to provide good care to a loved one with dementia. It is not humanly possible for a single person to do this, particularly as the years unfold and your loved one requires more and more assistance cognitively, emotionally and physically. If you are someone who has always prided herself in being self-sufficient, you will have to shift your attitude. Getting the help you and your loved one need is a sign of psychological strength. There are many who are there to help you: geriatricians, neurologists, geriatric care managers, nurses, home health agencies, other family members, physical therapists, psychotherapists, financial planners, volunteers, etc.
9. Get enough sleep, eat well and exercise.
As important as your emotional health is keeping your body strong and healthy. With the stress from dementia caregiving, one may be tempted to eat not enough or too much, or stop exercising altogether. Worries about your loved one wandering or accumulated nervous fatigue from a long day of care may dampen one's ability to sleep. Associated with these lifestyle changes are recent statistics from the Alzheimer's Association showing that caregivers are at a substantial increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. You need to remember that your physical health comes first. Make it a point of having only healthy foods in the home and of walking as much as possible.
10. Validate the person's reality.
The person's experience of the world and their relation to it has changed, and there is nothing he or she can do about it. You, on the other hand, have it in you to make some adjustments. Not doing so will only cause more suffering for your loved one and more trouble for you, since your loved one will have to act out his or her suffering in one way or another. Yes, you may be attached to the idea of your loved one as your husband, but if he insists on calling you his daughter, go with the flow and remember that for him, you have fallen into the more general "love" category. The fine distinctions we usually make between various roles no longer apply.
11. Still see the person as a whole person, and behave accordingly.
Beware of falling into the trap of positioning the person as incompetent, as a child or someone who is no longer there. Holding these ideas will act as a self-fulfilling prophecy and influence your behavior in such a way as to cause the person to behave more and more as if there is no one there. Rather, operate from the premise that the person is still very much there, no matter what it may look like from the outside. Do not expect anything and welcome the surprises when they come, as they often times do with persons with dementia. A smile, a word, a sentence, singing an old song, dancing -- you never know.
12. Meet the person's five universal emotional needs.
Regardless of their cognitive, emotional, physical state, human beings all have five universal emotional needs: 1.) to be needed and useful, 2.) to have the opportunity to care, 3.) to love and be loved, 4.) to have self-esteem boosted, 5.) to have the power to choose. When caring for your loved one, make sure that each of these needs is being met. Failure to do so will negatively impact his or her well-being and will lead to either shutting down or agitation. For someone who no longer speaks or moves, honoring that person's need to be needed may mean telling them how sitting next to them brings you a sense of peace.
13. View the person's difficult behaviors as expressions of unmet needs.
Adopt the point of view that any behaviors, particularly difficult ones, are the person's attempt to communicate distress, using the limited means of communication at their disposal. They are not being difficult, they are simply telling you that something needs to be attended to urgently. Too much noise or not enough, a brief that needs to be changed, being thirsty, not being "seen" for the person they are, pain somewhere in the body, temperature that's too hot or too cold, a sense of personal space that's being invaded, words that don't come out as intended ... so many possible reasons to get upset that may not be obvious to you. You need to become a detective and figure things out. But before you do, take your loved one's distress seriously, not personally.
And remember, this is not just for you alone to practice. Instead, get the whole care team to join you, and together become more mindful and understanding. It will be good for you, and it will be good for your loved one.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thanksgiving activity

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals.Benevolant Society

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


Its hard to believe, Thanksgiving is almost here



Here are song links for the Thanksgiving Alzheimer’s activity









Thursday, September 22, 2011

List of positive affirmations

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



by Evelyn Linn

Positive Daily Affirmations For Self Esteem

Examples of positive daily affirmations for self esteem include:
1. I am sure of my ability to do what is necessary to improve my life.
2. If I make mistakes, I am able to give myself the benefit of the doubt.
3. I feel basically worthy as a person.
4. I am able to take risks and try new things without fear.
5. I feel good about the way I do my job.
6. I feel about myself pretty much what others think of me.
7. I have compassion for myself and the way my life has developed.
8. I am deserving of all the good things in my life.

Positive Daily Affirmations for Abundance

1. All the things I want and need come to me.
2. I always receive more than what I need.
3. I have a bank account with more than enough.
4. I am an abundant person.
5. I create abundance in all that I say and do.
6. I accept abundance.
7. I welcome, and am open to receive all abundance that comes.
8. I draw abundance to myself today and every day.

Positive Daily Affirmations For Success

Examples of positive daily affirmations for success include:
1. I am successful.
2. Everything I do turns into success.
3. I am filled with success.
4. Success comes effortlessly to my direction.
5. My success is contagious, other people like it, seek it and respect it.
6. I attract positive-minded people to me; I draw all things positive to myself.

Positive Daily Affirmations For Health

Examples of positive daily affirmations for health include:
1. I am glowing with health and wholeness.
2. I behave in ways that promote my health more every day.
3. I deserve to be in perfect health.
4. I am highly motivated to exercise my body because I find exercise as fun.
5. I love nutritious healthy food, and I enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
6. I am healthy since my practices are healthy.
7. I let go of the past so I can create health now.
8. I create health by expressing love, understanding and compassion


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Focus on: Advanced Marketing Skills

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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Friday, September 16, 2011

Poetry for those with dementia

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

Philly.com

She suddenly found that the final stanza of Philip Larkin's "Talking in Bed," for instance, "captures a truth about trying to talk to a person with dementia that I have rarely seen acknowledged, let alone so crisply and authoritatively put":
It becomes still more difficult to find
Words at once true and kind
Or not untrue and not unkind.
As for her own poems, the one that may capture what she has gone through as crisply and authoritatively as Larkin's is "Hotel," originally titled "Dementia Blues," Hadas' "sole experiment in the blues form." Here are the first two stanzas:
Living with dementia is like riding on a carousel.
I said dementia is a big old carousel.
And you can't get off, but it turns into a hotel.
Year after year they reserve you the same space.
Year after year they save you the same old place.
They forget your name, but they never forget your face.
The way literary habits come to her aid is perhaps clearest in the chapter called "Similes." As Hadas explains:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What to know about World Alzheimer's Day

World Alzheimer's Day


Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is interesting information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Healthnews-stat.com



Author Susan Berg says "It is everyone’s duty to embrace this day because there is no time to lose when fighting the battle of preventing this terrible disease." Here are some simple things you can do

What do you know about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias?

How can you decrease your chances of getting these disease?

How can you help someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia?

This year’s theme is 'Faces of Dementia!'
Yes, there is an urgency for all to learn about these diseases and do what they can to prevent them in themselves. Also legislators need to contacted so more funds can be allocated for research. World Alzheimer’s day, on Sept 21, is the perfect time to do this.

Approximately 5.5 million people in the United States already have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. The number will continue to grow as the baby boomers reach the age of retirement.

What can you do right now to lessen your chances of getting these diseases?

1. Stop smoking! There is nothing positive about smoking. Studies have shown that smoking not only raises your chances of developing dementia, but it also increases your chances of getting other diseases.

2. Eat a healthy diet. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet staves off the onset of dementia

3. Keep mentally active. Again studies have shown this, to be a way to delay the onset of dementia.

4. Keep physically active. Research indicates that moderate exercise at least a half an hour three times a week is another way to keep dementia from affecting you.

How can you help others?

Donate to the Alzheimer’s Association. Give your time and/ or money. Help with special events. Organize fund raisers.

Susan Berg has written a book called, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby, for those with dementia, their caregivers, and interested professionals.
She is donating money to the Alzheimer’s Association for each book she sells. She is passionate about educating others on these diseases. Visit her blog at http://dementiaviews.blogspot.com.

You or someone you know could develop symptoms tomorrow. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia is expensive monetarily, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

So please acknowledge World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21

Monday, September 12, 2011

Focus on: Alzheimer'​s and Dementia Care

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

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

How music can help those with dementia

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

Huffington Post
Leann Reynolds

Celia shares a picture of herself as a 7-year-old girl. Her young mother is leading her in a dance. Then she pulls out a second photograph, taken one week before her mother passed away from Alzheimer's at the age of 78. In this image, they are dancing again. This time, Celia is leading.

"As soon as I felt her lose herself to Alzheimer's, I would bring in my iTunes and play Spanish music for her," said Mrs. Pomerantz. "Then I could convince her to do anything -- we would dance over to the shower or out to get a meal."

Mrs. Pomerantz intuitively found what experts say is useful tool in helping people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

"Music speaks to a person's feelings, so it is a sensory and not intellectual experience," said Martha Tierney of the Alzheimer's Association. "That is partly why it works -- there is no pressure to understand it and they can just experience it."

Tapping into her mother's lifelong love of salsa music by world-renowned musicians such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Pancho Sanchez, from her native Puerto Rico, Mrs. Pomerantz found a way to interact with her mother even after her mother lost her ability to talk.

"When my mother would hear music, she would give life to the music," she said, adding that her mother became known as the "dancing queen" at her final nursing home. "It brought her back to happy moments of maybe dancing with her own mother, or even her grandmother. It gave her a confidence, peace and serenity." Mrs. Pomerantz chronicled her mother's Alzheimer's in a Kindle book, "Alzheimer's: A Mother Daughter Journey."
While not everyone can rely on a history of family dancing and cultural music, it is important to find out what type of music your loved likes and keep playing it for them.

"I had a client who attacked his wife while they were driving," said Nataly Rubenstein of Alzheimer's Care Consultants in Miami Beach, Florida, explaining that the patient's dementia led him to feel agitated in a car. "It turns out his favorite music was the Bee Gees, and now he sits in the car holding the CD case while listening that music."
After her own mother was diagnosed with Tick's Disease (a form of dementia), Ms. Rubenstein was her primary caregiver for 16 years. She recalled that one day when her mother was in a particularly "nasty" mood, the sound of Tom Jones' "What's Up Pussycat?" on the radio calmed her down.

Despite being an expert in dementia care, Ms. Rubenstein stumbled into this soothing tool to help her mother's combative and belligerent nature, which she said is very pronounced with Tick's disease. However, she cautions caregivers to be extremely sensitive to finding music that their loved one will feel a connection to and not just randomly turn on the radio.

"If it wasn't familiar music to them, then it could aggravate them," she said. (She added half-jokingly: "If I ever get dementia, please dear God, I hope my caregivers don't play rap!")

Alzheimer's robs people of their short-term memory, explained Ms. Tierney, but their long-term memory can remain largely intact. "They maintain vivid memories of the past," she said. "A woman may look at her elderly husband and not recognize him as her husband because he does not look 35 years old anymore. So if you were to play music from that time period it would speak to her current reality."

In addition to finding the right music to soothe a loved one with Alzheimer's, a caregiver needs to also be aware of minimizing other sensory stimulation. "A radio can be too distracting with ads," Ms. Tierney said. "And headphones may work for some, but not others. There should not be a TV on in the same room, or other distracting noise."

That said, many people have found that live music can be particularly welcome for many Alzheimer's patients. This can be in the form of someone singing old camp songs, Christmas carols, church hymns, small symphonies and more.

Find out more about how therapeutic music can be for loved ones with Alzheimer's and other illnesses at the American Music Therapy Association's website, www.musictherapy.org.
"A person with Alzheimer's feels like everything is unfamiliar all of the time," Ms. Tierney said. "Allowing them to spend time with music that they recognize and retain memories of gives them the sense of familiarity in a world that is otherwise extremely confusing."

To learn more about treatment options visit Homewatch CareGivers'
Pathways to Memory page. Pathways to Memory is a program offered exclusively by Homewatch CareGivers and is comprised of two distinct service options: Specialized Dementia Care and Focused Memory Training.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dementia agitation and alternate therapies

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

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Myoptimumhealth.com

Jane Harrison R.D.

Scientists are trying to find new ways to preserve memory and perhaps even prevent Alzheimer's. But what if a loved one already has this debilitating disease?
There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but you can try to enhance the person's quality of life. One way to do this is with therapies that take aim at the anxiety, depression and agitated behaviors that often come with dementia. You can talk to your doctor about using these therapies along with medication or as an alternative.
Alternative treatments
Music therapy, massage, exercise and aromatherapy have all shown promise in helping to ease the depressive and anxious behaviors of dementia. But aside from a few small studies, solid proof is lacking on these treatments. Large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the results.
All the same, some caregivers and people who work with Alzheimer's patients report seeing improvements from using the following alternative therapies:
Music therapy

Music that is familiar and likable may help to ease depression and agitation in people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. In some cases it can also improve sociability and movement. This is especially true if it has personal meaning for someone or is connected with events from his or her past. Even if someone cannot name the tune, familiar songs can bring a sense of happiness, calm or peace.
Pet therapy

Some people with dementia seem to respond to the comforting presence of an animal even if they respond to little else. Just petting, walking or playing with dogs (or other animals) can bring out feelings of calm and well-being. It makes some people with Alzheimer's remember pets from the past and brings others out of their shells. Regular contact with a pet can help lessen anxiety and agitation and promote social skills.
Massage

There is some evidence that massage therapy may reduce behaviors such as wandering, aggression and agitation. In two studies, hand massage and gentle touching during conversation helped ease agitation and restore appetite in dementia patients over short periods of about an hour. Some researchers and caregivers also believe that massage may help improve memory and cognition in those with dementia.
Exercise

Light exercise and walking appear to reduce wandering, aggression and agitation in some people with Alzheimer's. Mixing exercise into daily routines and scheduled activities can also help ease problem behaviors, some studies found. The type of exercise should be tailored to the person's abilities. Always check with your doctor before you start any type of exercise program.
Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils from fragrant plants. Some research suggests that aromatherapy can promote relaxation and sleep, relieve pain and reduce depression. One small trial showed that aromatherapy significantly helped to relieve agitation and other psychiatric symptoms. Larger trials are underway.
Melatonin and Bright light therapy

Sleep disorders are very common with dementia. Along with the hormone melatonin, exposure to bright light is known to play a role in our sleep/wake cycles. In one well-controlled study, researchers learned that people exposed to specific amounts of daytime bright light showed modest improvements in dementia symptoms such as depression, mood and sleep. One small study, though, showed that melatonin could reverse this good effect. But more research is needed to see the effects of melatonin and light therapy on people with dementia. Some research has not found that melatonin improves any cognitive or behavioral problems seen with dementia.
In any case, do not take any supplements without first talking to your doctor.
A word on vitamin E and ginkgo
  • Vitamin E. Some studies have shown that vitamin E can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, while other studies have shown no benefit. Doctors now warn people against taking large dosages of vitamin E, because it can raise your risk of cardiovascular death.
  • Ginkgo. It was once thought that extracts from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree could help slow the progression of memory problems. A large-scale scientific study debunked that theory, though.
View the original Alternative therapies that may help ease the struggles of Alzheimer's dementia article on myOptumHealth.com