Empathy for Seniors Feed

10 Tips to Ease Alzheimer’s Sundowning

NighttreesMany people who have Alzheimer’s disease experience times, generally as daylight fades and evening approaches, when their symptoms intensify. This phenomenon is called sundowning. It’s thought that sundowning stems from a combination of factors such as disorientation due to lack of light, natural fatigue and abnormal disruptions in the body clock. While there’s no cure for sundowning some medications can help. Lifestyle changes can be a vital part of managing sundowning behavior, as well. Below are some tips that may help you and your loved one cope with this often frustrating end-of-day behavior: 

Read more on HealthCentral about sundowning and some tips that may help you control your loved one's behavior:

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


Tips to Help Someone with Dementia Bathe Without a Battle

BathingBathing issues can be one of the most frustrating parts of dementia care, but the stress can be lowered by flexibility and insight on the part of the caregiver. While your loved one with dementia may need a good deal of washing up of face, hands and private areas, a  daily bath or shower is rarely necessary. Once or twice a week in a shower or bath should be enough for a complete body wash. If necessary, large bathing cloths can be used on the full body. The idea is not to become ridged in your thinking when it comes to how often a full bath is needed.

View slide show on HealthCentral about bathing tips:

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


Alzheimer's Sleep Issues Challenge Exhausted Caregivers

MoonExhausted caregivers often say that one of the hardest things for them is that they can’t get quality sleep. Even caregivers who have loved ones outside of their homes can have problems since they are still on call day and night for frequent emergencies. However, it’s the Alzheimer’s caregivers who have the hardest time since Alzheimer’s disease can cause severe sleep disruption.   Experts still aren’t sure about all of the reasons for the poor sleeping patterns of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors feel that there may be some change in the brain, perhaps the same as with other aging people but more intense, that cause this distressing situation. 

Read more on HealthCentral about the challenge of Alzheimer's sleep issues - for the caregiver:

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


Independent, Capable Elder Should Be Celebrated Rather than Restrained

DrivingRelaxDear Carol: My mother is 84-years old, exceptionally healthy and stubbornly independent.  She hires people to do outdoor work for her small home and does the rest herself. She’s still driving. Mom hasn’t had any accidents and she doesn’t drive at night or in busy areas. She has assigned me Power Of Attorney, but she shows no signs of poor thinking so I haven’t needed the documents yet. Mom really is remarkable and she wants to stay in her own home but my brother and I worry about her.  How do I get her to accept more help or to move to a place where she’ll at least have people available in an emergency? I live about a half hour away. Stuart

Read more on Inforum about spunky elder who wants to remain independent:

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


Dementia Boot Camp: Training to Be a Caregiver, Part 2

Brain7An aide pushed a wheelchair toward me, mentioning “the one in the black pants.” I was wearing black jeans.

“This one’s hospice?” she asked the woman who brought me in.

“Yeah,” she said. “I’ll put her in this chair,” the woman said. “No one who uses this chair lives long, anyway.”

Read Part 2 of Dementia Boot Camp on HealthCentral:

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


Dementia Boot Camp: Training to Be a Caregiver, Part 1

Minding Our EldersPlease wipe this mess off of my face. Please!

Don’t go so fast, I can’t swallow! I’m not ready for a drink yet.

Is this bite going to be hot or cold? Sweet or bitter? Pureed meat or pudding?  

Please wipe my face!

Let me start at the beginning: Read Part 1 of Dementia Bootcamp on HealthCentral :

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


Interview with Alzheimer's Association Stresses Economic Devastation Dementia Can Bring to Families

HandsSpouseA recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Association revealed that over half of our Alzheimer’s caregivers are cutting back on everyday necessities to cover the cost of Alzheimer’s care. To gain further insight into the findings of the survey, I interviewed Beth Kallmyer, Vice President of Constituent Services for the Alzheimer’s Association, along with Paul Hornback who attended the enormously successful conference in Washington, D.C. held by Alzheimer’s advocates to draw attention to the need for significantly more funding for Alzheimer's research.

Read more on HealthCentral about the new Alzheimer's Association survey on financial issues:

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


How Elders Can Fool Doctors and How to Help

DoctorElderlyManA frequent problem expressed among adult children is that their parents aren't truthful with their doctors. While the parent may complain at home of pain, exhibit memory problems and accuse family of theft when he or she can't locate a commonly used item, the moment the parent faces their doctor a change occurs. Like an actor on stage, the person sitting in front of the doctor becomes animated and charming. 

Read more on Agingcare about how elders can fool doctors: 

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


Celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day by Ordering Amazon Best Seller "Wishes to Die For"

WishesToDieForBestSellerLast year, I reviewed the first edition of "Wishes to Die For" for my newspaper column. The review can be read below.   I was later asked to write the foreword for this second edition. It was an honor to do so because I still consider this the best book available for people who want to learn how to take control of living until they die.  - Carol

“Code Blue!: A voice cries out in the Emergency Department. “Is there a doctor who can ‘tube’ a patient in Cardiac Cath Lab?”

These beginning lines of “Wishes To Die For: Expanding Upon Doing Less in Advanced Care Directives” by Kevin J. Haselhorst, MD prepare the reader for an adventure in self-examination...

Read full article on Inforum about mapping about your healthcare decisions: 

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


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

Hands10While people with Alzheimer’s experience memory loss as their first symptom, people with Lewy body dementia may become easily confused. These varied symptoms can make maintaining relationships more difficult, but friendships are no less important for people with dementia than for than for the rest of us. Maintaining relationships, however, especially among friends who are not pressured to continue involvement because of a sense of duty, can take work. 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 more on HealthCentral about maintaining friendships when people have 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