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So far Alzheimer's Texas has created 64 blog entries.

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

Alzheimer’s and Spirituality

Spirit can be defined as the animating force traditionally believed to be within living beings; a human being’s essence.  It is the part of the human being association with the mind and feelings as distinguished from the physical body.  Spirituality is not a doctrine.  It is a remembrance.  It is a feeling.  It is the knowledge that you are more than your physical body, that you are an eternally living being.  It is self-exploration, self-realization.  Alzheimer’s disease cannot steal your spirituality.

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By |2018-07-02T09:23:56-06:00July 2nd, 2018|Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments

Lewy Body Rollercoaster

Article by www.alzheimersweekly.com

Attention, alertness and cognition have dramatic fluctuations in Lewy Body dementia. Caregivers call these ups and downs “The Roller-Coaster of LBD.” Learn more about it and where to get essential support.

“I watched my husband experience a decline in cognition followed by a period of what seemed like improved function only to plunge again into confusion with more frequent hallucinations,” says one caregiver newly acquainted with Lewy body dementia (LBD). According to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA), these ups and downs in function are sometimes refer to by family caregivers as the “roller-coaster effect” of LBD. Fluctuating levels of cognitive ability, attention and alertness are one of the core features of LBD. (more…)

By |2018-05-29T08:46:57-06:00May 29th, 2018|Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments

Helping Your Loved One Get Accustomed to an In-Home Caregiver

As Alzheimer’s progresses, the person with the disease will likely need a level of supervision and assistance that one caregiver can’t provide without assistance.  Often, this situation necessitates that professional caregivers come into the home.

It’s not uncommon for people with dementia to resist this change.  Having to spend the day with a person you’ve never met and allowing them to help you perform some of the most intimate self-care tasks understandably makes some people with dementia feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.  People with dementia don’t have the cognitive skills and emotional control to cope with major changes.  Also, cognitive changes make it more likely for the person to feel threatened by or suspicious of a new person in their home.  And the person doesn’t have the reasoning skills to understand why it’s necessary for the professional caregiver to be there.  Keep all of this in mind if you encounter resistance from the person.  Rather than trying to reason with them, validate their feelings, reassure them that everything is going to be OK, and focus on the positives in the situation.  Try some of the following approaches to ease the transition.

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By |2018-05-29T08:46:48-06:00May 2nd, 2018|Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments

Dealing with Family Conflict

Conflicts are common as family members struggle to deal with the situations that arise when a loved-one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  According to Mayo Clinic staff, families should work through conflicts together so that they can move on to more important things – caring for loved-ones and enjoying the time together as much as possible.

Share responsibility.  Choices include hands-on care, respite care, household chores, errands, sorting the mail, handling financial issues, and tending to legal matters.  Assigning others some of the tasks is one way to reduce caregiver stress.  Caregivers shouldn’t worry about being inadequate or selfish if they ask for help.  Most of your friends and family want to help, but do not know how.  If a friend enjoys cooking, ask him to help with meal preparation.  A family member who likes to drive might be able to drive your loved-one to the doctor or to the park.

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By |2018-05-29T08:46:37-06:00April 2nd, 2018|Caregiver Connection, Caregiving|0 Comments