Exercise May Prevent Falls in Those with Alzheimer’s Disease

Falls are a leading cause of broken hips and disability in elderly men and women. They may even hasten death and older people with Alzheimer’s disease are especially susceptible to falls. Now a new study shows that exercise may decrease the risk of falling for older adults who have Alzheimer’s disease. The study, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that older men and women with Alzheimer’s disease, who had personality and mood changes, including depression, anxiety and irritability, were particularly prone to falling. However, a structured exercise program helped prevent falls in this group.

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By |2019-05-01T13:19:26-06:00May 1st, 2019|Alzheimer's, Blog, Caregiver Connection, Research|0 Comments

10 Ways to Preserve Dignity and Quality of Care

The ideas of dignity and quality of life mean different things to different people.  Those with Alzheimer’s disease must depend on their caregivers to help preserve quality of life for them.  Like people of all ages, the person with Alzheimer’s experiences feelings of joy, sadness, fear, anger, and jealousy.  As a caregiver, you need to recognize and respond to these feelings.  A person with this disease needs to be feel valued, worthwhile, and positive about life.

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8 Medication Questions for Caregivers to Ask Doctors

Taken from: Alzheimer’s Weekly at alzheimersweekly.com/2013/04/8-medication-questions-for-caregivers.html

Medication Care Tips: People with Alzheimer’s generally take a lot of medicine. Some drugs boost memory and cognition, while others help with mood, behavior and other conditions. Learn how caregivers can help ensure medication is taken safely & correctly. There are 2 things that can be said about all FDA-approved medications:

  1. They help many people.
  2. They have side-effects.

The key is to get the right balance. Here is where to start:

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By |2019-03-05T14:27:48-06:00March 5th, 2019|Alzheimer's, Blog, Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments

When Alzheimer’s Disrupts a Marriage

Taken from: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Weekly at http://www.alzheimersweekly.com/2015/07/when-alzheimers-disrupts-marriage.html

When a spouse is cognitively impaired, marital communication is impaired. As Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progresses, language problems increase in frequency – such as searching for the right word, repeating the same word, asking the same question over and over, or substituting one word for another.

As a result of the decline in communication, married couples affected by AD suffer isolation, depression and estrangement. Limited research has existed on communication in couples affected by AD and existing research primarily focuses on identifying communication deficits – until now.

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By |2019-03-05T14:29:27-06:00February 4th, 2019|Alzheimer's, Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Taken from: IlluminAge AgeWise at http://caringstrategies.com/2018/01/2018-new-years-resolutions-alzheimers-caregivers/

Do you make New Year’s resolutions before or after the first day of January? If you are caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder, you may think you don’t have time to make them at all! But now during the first week of the year, as the holiday hustle and bustle is settling down, why not create a list of things to consider during 2018? Here are 10 tips from experienced family members and dementia care experts that could make for a healthier, happier 2018 for you and your loved one alike. (more…)

By |2019-01-07T10:57:18-06:00January 7th, 2019|Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments

Alzheimer’s Disease Safety Precautions for Seniors

If you or someone in your family is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, you know that things that might have once been easy or routine all of a sudden become new challenges. Alzheimer’s patients and their families need to take some extra safety precautions to ensure that they are safe in their homes and that they have everything they need to live comfortably. The best environment for this is usually a memory care home or similar facility that is specifically designed for Alzheimer’s patients. Here are the safety precautions Alzheimer’s patients, their families, and their caregivers need to take.

Add safety precautions to appliances

One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is that tasks that were once very simple can suddenly become overwhelming. Your loved one may all of a sudden forget to turn off the stove or oven when necessary or have trouble operating the shower. There are many attachments you can add to appliances to prevent Alzheimer’s patients from burning the house down. Put safety knobs on the oven and stove, and make sure they have supervision while they are using these devices. You should also install an automatic thermostat, or set limits on how far up or down your loved one can adjust it.

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By |2019-01-07T10:57:50-06:00December 3rd, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Holidays and Gifts

Alzheimer’s disease affects every aspect of your family and community life.  Your holiday observances are no exception.  Holidays can be bittersweet for families affected by Alzheimer’s. The holiday season may bring mixed feelings and concerns about your loved one’s needs, his or her capacity to be involved in holiday festivities and your expectations for the experience.  Holiday memories from before your loved one developed Alzheimer’s may darken what usually is a joyful season.  Worries about how your loved one’s condition may disrupt your family’s plans and can overshadow the simple pleasure of being together.

Rather than dwelling on how much things have changed or worrying about what might go wrong, focus on making the holidays as enjoyable as possible.  Consider your loved one’s needs, but don’t forget about yourself.  These tips can make special times easier for everyone.

Preparing the Person with Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Talk about and show photos of the people who are coming to visit.
  • Play familiar holiday music and serve favorite traditional holiday foods.
  • Watch and/or help with decorations.
  • Persons with AD may recognize faces of family members and friends, but can’t recall their names – name tags may be helpful.
  • Have a “quiet” room if things get too hectic and have a familiar person stay with them so they don’t feel isolated or “left out”.
  • Prepare for distractions beforehand (i.e. use of a photo album) to divert attention if problem behaviors occur.

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By |2018-11-05T12:19:57-06:00November 5th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Qualifying for Social Security Disability with Alzheimer’s Disease

If you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly benefits to people who are no longer able to work due to a serious disability. You may be eligible for financial aid to help pay for any medical costs, childcare, in-home nursing, rent or a mortgage, or any other of your financial needs.

Technical Eligibility for Social Security

While the SSA offers both disability and retirement benefits, the two programs are different from one another. You cannot receive Social Security disability once you are eligible for Social Security retirement. This means that you cannot supplement your monthly retirement benefits with disability benefits, regardless of your diagnosis.

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By |2018-10-31T09:25:25-06:00October 31st, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Miraculous Music

Allen Power, M.D. has redefined dementia from the perspective of the person living with dementia as, “Dementia is a shift in the way a person experiences the world around her/him.”

What a universal human experience music can be. Music connects us with others who are present as well as connecting us with memories. Rhythm is usually preserved in a person living with dementia throughout the process and progression of their disease. As we see a decline in formal language skills (left-brain activity) in both understanding language as well as initiation of language, rhythm is usually preserved (right brain activity). Rhythm includes poetry, prayer and most universally music. Music is an effective tool for connecting not only with a person living with Alzheimer’s as well as those living with any related dementias.

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By |2018-09-05T15:09:11-06:00September 5th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Checklist for Providing Alzheimer’s Care

Even in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease, you will want to plan for the changes that will take place in the person’s daily life.

Types of care to consider for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Texas has several resource lists containing contacts for the following types of care.

  • Informal Care:
    • Family
    • Friends and neighbors
    • Community volunteers providing assistance as needed
  • Respite Care:
    • In-home respite care – providing private pay professional services in the home
    • Community Respite Centers – providing free respite with the use of volunteers in a faith based setting
    • Elderhaven Adult day centers – providing private pay professional services in a safe environment outside the home (www.ageofaustin.org)

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By |2018-08-06T09:32:55-06:00August 6th, 2018|Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments