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5 Tips for Maintaining Relationships with Friends when Dementia Joins the Party

HandsComfort3Memory loss can be one of the first symptoms a person experiences with Alzheimer’s, and those living with Lewy body dementia may also become easily confused. These varied symptoms can make maintaining relationships more difficult, but friendships are no less important for people with dementia than for the rest of us. Maintaining relationships, however, especially among friends who are not pressured to continue involvement because of a new sense of duty over a person with dementia, can take work. This guide discusses how caregivers can help by educating willing visitors who want to be helpful but simply don’t know how to make a visit tolerable, let alone, meaningful.

Read full article on HealthCentral for tips on maintaining relationships with dementia in the mix:

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“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


Faith Helps Some Caregivers Relieve Stress According to Study

Prayer3As a longtime family caregiver who provided, and continues to provide, differing levels of care for loved ones with illnesses, I can attest to the fact that caregiving can be unimaginably stressful. For dementia caregivers, the stress is even more extreme. Only lately have we seen the results of studies that have followed family caregivers. One of the most scientific, in that it uses hard physical evidence, was published last spring. The study, by Ohio State University in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging, showed that caregivers may have their life span shortened by four to eight years.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how faith helps many caregivers:

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


Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

Hands12Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care.The crux of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how hospice care is "doing something."

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


Dementia: Is It As Hard on the Caregiver As the Person with the Disease?

AnxietyIt seems shocking to hear people ask whether dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s since it’s the best known, is as hard on the caregiver as it is on the person with the disease. After all, developing dementia of any kind is one of our greatest fears, even overtaking cancer. A caregiver who asks this question must be incredibly heartless and selfish, right? Yet, people who've never been a caregiver for someone with dementia need to think this through. When a loved one develops dementia, both the care receiver and the caregiver have entered an incredibly challenging time of their lives.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the stress and frustration - then the guilt - that dementia caregivers cope with

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


Memory Impairment May Not Be First Sign of Alzheimer’s

Memory1Because Alzheimer’s disease is thought to develop for years before symptoms become evident, the earliest possible detection is very important, so that the onset of the disease may be delayed and the overall care improved through the years. and hopefully, as therapies are developed, reversed. But how do you know if you or your loved one may have it?

Read full article on HealthCentral about the true early signs of 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


Valentines Day, Anniversaries Can Be Painful for Caregivers

Heart...Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. This year, you will help your parents give each other Valentines cards. Or, you will comfort your widowed mother or father on this day that celebrates love. It's all around us. We can't deny it. So, we cope the best we can.

Read full article on HealthCentral about celebrating Valentine's Day 

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

as a caregiver:

“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


A Speech Pathologist Explains Common Swallowing Issues Part 1: Causes and Coping

Motherdaughter2Something most of us take for granted is our ability to swallow. There are many things that can contribute to swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) including stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS, oral cancer or problems with teeth or dentures. In some situations the symptoms are obvious, but in others a person may see gradual changes and not realize that the problems a person is having could be due to dysphagia.

Read more on HealthCentral about swallowing problems and how they can be helped:

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


Elder Is Welcome In Home but Private Time Still Needed

Couple2

Dear Carol: My father-in-law has had two strokes. Even though doctors have cleared his health he seems insecure on his own so we moved him in with us. We have a great setup since our kids have left home so he has a nice area all to himself. What’s happened, though, is that the easy back and forth we’d planned on has turned into Dad being my shadow. I love him and am glad to have him join us for meals and for many evenings, but my husband and I have no time alone. My husband won’t say anything for fear of upsetting Dad. I’ve gently suggested to Dad that he may want to watch different programs on his TV than those we watch. I’ve also tried to help him find ways to amuse himself at least a couple of evenings a week but he isn't interested. This situation is grating on me and I’m afraid I’ll start resenting Dad. Am I selfish? DV

Read more on Inforum about caregivers needing couple time:

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 


Evidence of Dementia Clear to Neighbor but Adult Children Are in Denial

Comfort4Dear Carol: I’m certain that my 76-year-old neighbor, a good friend of mine, has dementia. She forgets what day it is, what groceries she needs, and she seems terribly confused when she has to plan anything. Sometimes she seems frightened because of her confusion. I’ve contacted her grown children who live out of town to let them know what I see, but when they come to visit she perks up and seems fine so they think I’m just the nosey neighbor. I've suggested that they ask her to bake something where she has to follow a recipe or give her a list of a few things to get at the store and see if she can follow through. That way they’d have some reference points. I've also told them that I feel that she’d feel safer in an assisted living environment, or at least with in-home caregivers. I don’t think she’d resist a change if her kids would encourage her. What else can I do to convince the adult children that their mom needs help? FC

Read full column on Inforum about a woman who wants to help her friend get more help:

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


Surprising Changes that May Indicate Dementia

Caregiverstress3When the average person thinks of dementia, generally Alzheimer’s disease comes to mind. At the same time, the person will likely think of memory loss. Both of these conclusions are understandable since Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and memory issues are often, though not always, the first symptom of that disease. Surprising then, to many people, is the fact that there may be earlier indicators of potential Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia than frequent memory lapses.

Read full article on HealthCentral about changes other than memory that could indicated dementia:

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