Assisted Living Feed

Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

GuitarLack of enjoyable, stimulating activity can lead to apathy for anyone but particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), apathy is one of the most common neurobehavioral symptoms in dementia. Strong, focused stimulation can help people with Alzheimer's disease overcome apathy.    People with mild dementia will decline more quickly into severe dementia if they also suffer from apathy, therefore engaging, stimulating activities are especially vital to this group.

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Re-imagine a Picnic for an Elder in a Senior Living Community

  Picnic3...Picnics are symbolic of shared good times, casual but special. While generally held outdoors, they need not be. A quick look at the dictionary tells us that the word picnic means an informal good time. With that definition as a guide, we can come up with our own variations.

Read more on Agingcare about planning and enjoying a picnic with your loved ones in a care 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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Convincing A Parent to Move to Assisted Living

AssistedLiving...Deep inside their gut, they harbor the outdated image of an "old folk's home." They consider a move from the family home one more step away from independence and one step closer toward death. They think a move to assisted living signifies to the world that they now have the proverbial "one foot on a banana peel and one foot in the grave." 

Read full article on Agingcare about convincing a parent to move 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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


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

GrandmotherDaughterAccording 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 living choices as we age:

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


When Addressing Elders begin with Respectful Formality

FriendlyOlderWomanTwenty-five years ago, my aunt and uncle moved from the Washington, D.C. area to be with my family here on the Great Plains. One of the few complaints that I heard from my aunt about the move was that when she went to their new bank, the tellers called her by her first name. To someone of her generation, a younger person should have been calling her “Mrs. Kelly.” Yes, she understood their intent and she now lived in a more open, friendlier community than before, but she felt that first names lacked dignity. Additionally, while she was obviously aging, her mind was quick and her memory accurate. All she wanted was a little respect.

Read full article on HealthCentral about dignity in names:

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


Determining Nursing Home Quality Requires Patience and In-Person Visits

StickynotesDear Carol: With reluctance, I’m looking for a good nursing home for my wife who has had multiple sclerosis for decades. I’ve cared for her all along but my own body is breaking down.  I’ve checked Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare and that’s helpful. However, I feel that is too removed from the everyday life of most nursing homes. Some care homes look good in ratings and but in reality they seem lifeless and institutional. One that I like the feel of doesn’t have the highest rating, though the rating isn’t low. What are the best tools for choosing? Mike

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Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


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: 

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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:

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