Assisted Living Feed

Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer’s Advances

Medical_drugs_tablets_222894While Alzheimer’s specific drugs may help slow symptoms for some people, they also may increase the risk of hip fractures, fainting, urinary problems and other health issues. Most researchers now think that a time comes when many medications for the elderly are no longer beneficial and may be harmful. According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester looked at 5,406 nursing home residents who had late-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia with more than half of them being older than 85. The scientists found that 2,911 of the patients – nearly 54 percent - were taking at least one medication of questionable benefit. 

Continue reading on HealthCentral about when it's time to start pulling back on Alzheimer's medications:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Group Singing Offers Multiple Benefits for People with Dementia

Piano...Why would we be surprised? People with dementia are not less intelligent after they develop the disease than they were before. They aren’t less talented. They aren’t less in any way except that portions of their brains are being damaged so that they can’t always function well in the world as we know it. Anything that can level the playing field for people with dementia is bound to give them joy and renewed confidence.

Read more on HealthCentral about the benefits of group singing for people with dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Visiting an Elder in Senior Housing? Signs of Good Care

Alzheimers_elder_caregiver6Have you ever entered someone's home and felt good things about it even if it's cluttered or decorated in a way you find tacky? We find that a home can have an aura of happiness or lightness about it and we feel comfortable. Conversely, other homes feel as if the air is heavy and burdensome. The same can be said for senior housing. While, by definition, senior housing facilities will be handling death situations on a fairly regular basis, the atmosphere itself should be one of lightness most of the time. Much of this atmosphere comes from the staff member's interaction with colleagues, the families and residents and their overall contentment with their jobs.

Read more on Agingcare about the "vibe" of a senior facility: 

Support a caregiving friend at Christmas with a gift of Minding Our Elders 

Related articles


Family Denial Can Delay Dementia Diagnosis

10 Tips to Ease Alzheimer's Sundowning

Acceptance of Reality Precedes Gratitude

Tips to Encourage Socialization Care Home Settings

Visiting8For most of my parents' marriage, Mom was the social butterfly, while Dad was more quiet and self-contained. He was fine in social situations, but attended group events mainly to please Mom. Then, overnight, our family's world turned up-side-down. Dad needed surgery to correct effects from a World War II brain injury. The surgery backfired, sending him into the world of dementia. He needed to be moved into a nearby nursing home. Three years later, Mom's own health problems led to her moving into the same facility.

Read more on agingcare about encouraging socialization in facility settings:

Support a caregiving friend at Christmas with a gift of Minding Our Elders


Elders Talking to Themselves Not Necessarily Dementia Flag

FatherDaughterDear Carol: My 73-year-old dad was widowed five years ago. He lives alone and considering all that he’s been through, he seems quite happy. He putters around the house doing projects he enjoys, watches TV, reads and has friends that he enjoys seeing occasionally. He’s included in all family gatherings and I stop by to see him a couple of times a week. I’ve noticed, lately though, that when he’s alone in a room he’ll talk to himself. Not just an occasional mumble, but really quite a bit of talking. I’m wondering if he’s lonely or even if this is a sign of dementia. T.M.

Read more about loneliness and dementia symptoms on Inforum:

Support a caregiving friend at Christmas with a gift of Minding Our Elders


Should We Tell Elders With Dementia That Family Home Must Be Sold?

Farm

Dear Carol: My mother has been in a nursing home for two years because of strokes and vascular dementia combined with Alzheimer’s. It’s obvious that she’ll never go home. Dad died years ago, but Mom stayed in the family home where we kids grew up. While my siblings and I know that this house must be sold to pay for the nursing home, Mom talks about the house and going back to it. Do we tell her that we have to sell it or do we just pretend that it’s still hers? I hate being dishonest with her, but I know that she’ll be talking about the house and she’ll be terribly upset if we tell her we’re selling it.  How do we handle this? - Dave

Read more on Inforum about selling the family home:

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


Could Pursing Creative Arts Prevent or Delay Alzheimer's

ArtBrushesCompleting crosswords, making a habit of Sudoku and playing challenging brain games on the Internet have long been suggested as methods of maintaining our cognitive health. These are all fine pursuits, but recent research by Mayo Clinic has shown that creative arts such as painting, drawing and sculpting may protect the mind against cognitive decline even better than the commonly used forms of brain exercise. 

Read more on HealthCentral about creative arts and Alzheimer's:

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

Find local resources for walk-in tubs:


How To Emotionally Unplug From Caregiving

CoupleRelaxWhile you could ask for time off at your office job, who would care for your parents? Even if you could arrange care, how would you be able to go without being mired in guilt and mentally stuck back home?Thanks to the caregiver "fit-it" mentality, you probably won't be able to totally avoid some concern about what is happening at home. But it may be possible that you can, with planning, take advantage of a break and come home refreshed.

Read more on Agingcare about learning to occasionally unplug from caregiving:

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


Interview with Carol: Helping a Parent Downsize

Forest3

Via Paige Estrigarribia

As a parent ages, you may find the notion of an assisted living facility coming up more often. But how do you know that it's time for that kind of move? And how do you begin to downsize for this transition? To answer some of our questions about transitioning to an assisted living facility, we reached out to Carol Bradley Bursack of Minding Our Elders. She offered some excellent advice for anyone attempting to downsize before moving to an assisted situation.

Read the full interview on Helping your parents downsize before moving to assisted living:

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


Aging in Place or Assisted Living: It’s About Choices

WetdryAccording to an AARP survey, the vast majority of boomers have stated that they want to stay in their current homes rather than move to another setting for their later years. This attitude has been the springboard for many aging in place advocates as well as businesses like contractors and high tech companies. It’s not hard to understand why 60-year-olds would say that they want to remain in their home for life rather than move to assisted living or a nursing home. These are generally people who are relatively healthy and feel that they can hire help for whatever they need down the road.

Read more on HealthCentral about aging in place and other choices:

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