Dementia/Alzhiemer's Feed

Make your facial expression pleasant when appropriate. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, the physical act may boost your own mood. Smiling can also reflect itself in your voice. Unless the situation is better suited to a compassionate expression, smile. When appropriate, try humor. Sharing gentle humor can make someone’s day. Read more →


Dear Carol: My mom was diagnosed with an early stage of dementia. Unfortunately, she thinks that there’s still a strong stigma surrounding dementia and she doesn’t want her friends to know about her diagnosis. I understand and respect her feelings, but when I asked her if she’d tell them if she had cancer, she said that she probably would. I tried to tell her that this shouldn’t be any different. Since her best friends don’t live close by, and she sounds like her normal self during most phone conversations as well as in her emails, there may be no rush. Still, while I don’t want to go against Mom’s wishes, I think that she could use their support and they are the type of people who would be behind her 100 percent. There will likely come a time when they should know. When is that time? – CT Read more →


Prior to the mid1980s, accepted psychiatric theory was that people with dementia had to be re-oriented. In other words, the people needed to be brought back into the real world – meaning the real world as we who do not have dementia see it. They were wrong. My dad had dementia brought on by surgery that was meant to correct the effects that a World War II brain injury. Tragically, the surgery failed and Dad came out of the operation with severe dementia. I, a completely uninformed person when it came to dementia, became Dad's primary caregiver. Read more →


Relationships are important to all of us whether or not we live with dementia. However, often due to the fear of not knowing how to handle changes in a friend or relative who is diagnosed with dementia, relationships can evaporate, leaving the person living with dementia, as well as the caregiver, isolated. Helping others understand that with a little shift in their method of communication is part of the goal of awareness campaigns. Read more →


How can faith help both caregivers and people with dementia get through something that makes no sense even to those who believe in a loving God - or maybe especially to those who believe in a loving God? Many people have asked me this question. My own spiritual beliefs have been vital to my caregiving life, but I wanted to give people more depth than I could provide on my own. With that in mind, I asked Dr. Benjamin Mast, a licensed clinical psychologist... Read more →


Most Alzheimer's organizations have found that, in general, people are more afraid of a dementia diagnosis than finding out that they have cancer. One reason for this fear is the stigma that accompanies dementia. While sympathetic to those who have Alzheimer's and other dementias, people who haven't been close to anyone with the disease often think that any type of satisfying life is out of reach after such a diagnosis. Read more →


Alzheimer's disease can't be cured. There are medications that help slow the development of symptoms for some people, but the type of care that seems to help most people with Alzheimer's is  hands-on attention. This often means that caregivers need to use a tool-box approach to providing care. Thus, opening our minds to ancient medicine can give us additional options. One ancient technique that's been studied by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the use of aromatherapy. Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My dad enjoys going to the park and watching kids play. Since I try hard to give him the best life he can have considering that he has Alzheimer’s disease, I find this a positive experience. The problem is that there are times when Dad is glaringly inappropriate and I don’t know how to handle these moments. As an example, last week, he saw a child in the park dipping his toes in a pond.   Read more →


Attitude adjustments can be powerful. Everyone has problems. Some become bitter because of one setback, while others will face life with a smile even after facing certifiable tragedy. What’s the difference between these two personalities? It’s how they look at life. It’s attitude. A positive, resilient attitude leads to less stress. Read more →


If the risk of a stroke or heart attack doesn’t scare us into controlling our blood pressure, surely a heightened risk for vascular dementia should. While Alzheimer’s is considered by experts to be the most common form of dementia, vascular dementia follows closely behind in ranking. The two mixed together are also common, so we should consider ourselves at risk for dementia unless we have a healthy vascular system. Read more →