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October 2014

Dementia Caregivers Grief Soul Deep, Defies Labeling

When a beloved elder dies, we may have varying reactions, frequently changing moment by moment. Naturally, there’s grief and the realization that we’ve seen the last of our loved one’s physical presence. Often, however, if the death follows a long illness or significant pain, we can also feel a sense of relief that their suffering is over and we can get on with healing. It’s often the in between time – the caregiving years – that are the most difficult to label.

Read more on HealthCentral about dementia caregivers' grief:

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Dementia Service Dogs an Idea That Needs Support

Most of us are aware of service dogs, especially guide dogs for people with sight impairment, because we see them around our communities. These dogs are not pets. They are working animals and are allowed wherever the person they serve goes. Increasingly, other service dogs are being trained to help people with impaired hearing, people who have grand mal seizures and people with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. 

With more than five million people in the U.S. alone coping with the effects of Alzheimer’s, any attempt to help people with dementia have a better quality of life is welcome. So why not have trained service dogs for people with dementia?

Read more on Healthcentral about service dogs for people who have Alzheimer's:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Safety In the Kitchen When People Have Dementia

Cooking and eating are basic daily functions for us all, and since we strive to provide as normal an existence as possible to our loved ones with dementia, if you share a home, sharing the kitchen may need to be part of the experience. However, safety for everyone must be taken into account.

Read more on agingcare about kitchen safety for people with Alzheimer's and their families:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Agitation, Aggression in Alzheimer’s Challenge Caregivers

Caregivers to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia often have the unsettling, frustrating challenge of trying to quiet an agitated and possibly aggressive elder who is unable to communicate the source of his or her distress. We know that the behavior is an expression of discomfort either of body or mind, yet we are left trying to comfort our loved ones with few clues as to the root problem. Even experienced clinicians are often baffled.

Read more on HealthCentral and calming agitation and aggression in Alzheimers:

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Accept That Elders May Refuse Help but Make Contingency Plans

Dear Carol: My mother still smokes even though she has lung disease. She’s also got severe osteoarthritis and is at least 50 pounds overweight. She lives in the same house that’s been her home for 35 years. I’ve asked her to let me line up some in-home care just to help her out as well as give her company but she says she doesn’t want strangers in her home. I live in another city though I drive to see her every weekend. I hate to see her living like this.

Read more on Inforum about convincing aging mother to make changes:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Alzheimer’s Does Not Diminish Pain Sensitivity

Many people with Alzheimer's disease have been administered less pain medication than peers with no dementia who suffer from similar painful diseases or injuries. Since people in the later stages of Alzheimer’s can’t communicate well other than by generally acting in an aggressive manner, they can’t self-report pain. Some professionals have, in the past, concluded that the neurodegeneration caused by the disease must lower the sensitivity to pain, so they administer less medication for pain relief.

Read more on HealthCentral about Alzheimer's and pain sensitivity:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Sleep Deprivation May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Risk

A study published in JAMA Neurology reports that participants with evidence of preclinical Alzheimer's experienced worse sleep efficiency than those with no evidence of potential Alzheimer’s. One hundred forty five people between ages 45 and 75 took part in the study conducted by researchers at the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Washington University School of Medicine.

Read more on HealthCentral about sleep deprivation and Alzheimer's Risk:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: 


Long-term Caregiving May Shorten Life Up To Eight Years

 A study by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging has shown that adult children caring for their parents, as well as parents caring for chronically ill children, may have their life span shortened by four to eight years...This team wanted to expand on earlier work by other researchers that concluded  mothers who cared for chronically ill children often developed changes in their chromosomes that amounted to several years of additional aging.

Read more on HealthCentral about how long term caregiving affects the caregiver's health:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”

This team wanted to expand on earlier work by other researchers that concluded  mothers who cared for chronically ill children often developed changes in their chromosomes that amounted to several years of additional aging. - See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/alzheimers/c/62/169268/caregiving-shorten-years#sthash.77x0yIeB.dpuf

Stair Lifts for Seniors Can Extend Independent Living

Many elders could stay in their own homes if  only they didn’t have to navigate steps to use the bathroom or to reach their bedrooms. Sometimes the situation isn’t as dire as that, but they’d love to go to a lower level to use a workshop for a hobby or to do laundry. The steps are the only barrier.

Since most people can’t afford to build an elevator for their own purposes, a convenient, affordable option can be stair lifts for seniors. These safe, sturdy chairs are attached to the side of the steps with the handrail. A person simply sits in the chair, secures the guard and pushes a button. The chair does the work and the person who can no longer handle stairs enjoys the return of lost freedom.

The independence, mobility and quality of life offered by having a stairlift installed in a home are priceless. With a Handicare 'Age UK Stairlift' you are selecting a high quality stairlift, designed with ease of use, safety and reliability in mind.

Handicare’s manufacturing skills have been combined with the Age UK Group's own experience, along with feedback from stairlift users and healthcare professionals, to make sure the stairlift range suits different needs and different budgets.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider a Handicare 'Age UK Stairlift'.

  • Free professional stairlift advice service
  • Personal & efficient service
  • Stylish stairlifts in a range of colours to suit your home
  • Quiet, unobtrusive and slim fitting
  • Stairlifts to suit nearly all staircases - both straight and curved
  • A wide range of stairlifts with useful added features designed to make your stairlift just right for you
  • No high pressure selling or confusing literature
  • A nationwide network of professional installers and service engineers
  • Your purchase helps further the work of Age UK (a registered charity)
  • From a name you can trust – Handicare

We’ve used a stair lift in my family to great advantage. I’m hoping that you’ll consider this option if you or a loved one can no longer enjoy your own home simply because of the challenge of stairs.

Sponsored Post


Interview with Dr. Jonny Bowden AKA “The Nutrition Myth Buster”™

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is widely known as "The Rogue Nutritionist" and has now trademarked the name “The Nutritional Myth Buster.” He’s out to tell the truth about nutrition and health the way he sees it. 

Dr. Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He is a board-certified nutritionist with a master’s degree in psychology and the author of fourteen books on health, healing, food and longevity. I feel fortunate that Dr. Bowden took time to answer some of my questions on health, memory issues and Alzheimer’s so that I can share his answers with you.

Read more on HealthCentral about Dr. Bowden and his advice on maintaing our brain:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders e-mail Carol: