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Specialized Music Therapy for Alzheimer's and Other Types of Dementia

Guitar2..Fridays at the nursing home were very popular. Regular music groups would come by at the week’s end to play old favorites for the residents, always filling the room with cheer. My dad, who had dementia caused by failed surgery, loved the live music but also responded well to CDs of his favorites from the big band era. I know that his quality of life during his last ten years would have been diminished without music to help override the effects of dementia.

Read more on Agingcare about specialized music therapy for people with 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


Can Hospitalization be a Dementia Risk?

DeathSupposedly, people are hospitalized because they are ill. Then, barring a terminal condition, they are released because they are better. Once home, people recover further, and continue on with their lives as well as their original illness allows them to. Unfortunately, with elderly people, that best case scenario doesn't always happen. Readers ask about the cognitive decline of a post-hospitalized elder. They want to know what happened. They want to know if their parent will ever be cognitively the same as he or she was before a hospitalization. I tell them that each case is unique, but according to many studies, some elders may not cognitively recover from the trauma.

Read more on Agingcare about hospitalization and dementia risk:

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


Life Experience May Offset Cognitive Decline Due to Aging

Brain7Could life experience make up for some of the effects of age on the brain? According to researchers from the School of Business Administration at the University of California, Riverside, it can and does. The research group measured a person's decision making ability over their entire lifespan. Using two difference types of intelligence - fluid and crystallized – they found that experience and acquired knowledge from a lifetime of decision-making often offset the declining ability to learn new information. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how life experience can offset aging decline:

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


Summer Outings for Seniors and their Families

GrandfatherboyMany aging adults spend the bulk of their time just managing to get through the day. They take care of life's basics but often don't leave their home, assisted living center or nursing home, except for doctor appointments and an occasional holiday. Families and friends might like to take a senior out for some fun but they don't know how to go about it. Even seasoned caregivers can be stumped for ideas, so here are a few to get started:

Read about 10 summer outings on Agingcare:

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


Guilt Intrinsic to Caregiving: Most Is Unearned

CaregiverStressIf ever there’s a group of people who suffer deeply from unearned guilt it’s caregivers. Whether you’re the parent of a vulnerable adult, an adult child of aging parents or the spouse of a vulnerable adult, you are bound to have your “if only” times where you are sucked into the quicksand of guilt. The reality is that most things you could have done differently wouldn’t have made a huge difference overall. Even if another approach would have made a difference, you can’t go back. Staying mired in guilt is counterproductive for you as well as your care receiver. 

Read more on HealthCentral about unearned guilt for caregivers and how to cope with it:

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


Veteran Caregiver for Multiple Elders Tells It Like It Is

Minding Our EldersIt’s been nearly a decade since I began sharing my personal caregiving stories with the public, first via the book “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories” and later through a newspaper column, on my own blog and then contributing to major websites such as Healthcentral.com/alzheimers. When I first started sharing my stories and looking for others who had similar tales to tell, people tended to be reticent about speaking up. Now, sharing caregiver “in the trenches” stories has become a major part of caregiver self-care and even survival.

Read more on HealthCentral about lessons learned as a caregiver:

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 


Celebrating Father’s Day When Your Dad Has Dementia

FAtherSonFather's Day and my birthday always fall close together. Some years they are the same day. That always made Father's Day an extra special time in our house as I was growing up.   I was, of course, an adult and mother by the time Dad had the surgery that threw him into dementia for the following decade. However, my adulthood didn't shield me from the pain of missing "my real dad" when I'd bring Mom up to the nursing home and we brought cards and flowers.

Read more on HealthCentral about celebrating Father's day when your dad has 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

 


Some Forms of Dementia Can Develop Quickly

AnxietyDear Carol: My mother, at 76, had been doing exceptionally well. Her health was good except for high blood pressure. Her mind was active and quick. That all changed after a series of small strokes. Her doctor has said that these small strokes are the cause of Mom’s mental changes which have been diagnosed as vascular dementia. She used to be so level headed but now she’s confused, disoriented and frightened. I thought dementia developed slowly and that people had time to plan. Now I feel completely blindsided. I’m told this will just worsen and that she can’t be cured. I feel that this suddenness is almost worse than watching the gradual development of dementia. How do I handle this and move forward? SCR

Read full article about vascular dementia on Inforum: 

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


"Minding Our Elders" Featured on Alzheimer's Authors Blog for Brain Health Awareness month in June

MindingOurElderswebsite50%The Alzheimer’s Authors blog has presented me with the honor of featuring “Minding Our Elders” as one of their books for June as Brain Health Awareness Month. Take a few minutes to look over this terrific blog and then sign up to follow as they continue to feature wonderful books written by people who understand what caring for a person with dementia of any kind means.

The blog again? Alzheimer’s Authors

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


Give Your Dad the Best Father’s Day Gift Ever: Your Attention

CaregiverWheelchairAre you tired of listening to your elders repeat stories? Do you just chalk the repetition up to memory issues? If so, there are a lot of people who can relate. But here's something to think about. There may be a reason aside from memory issues that can explain the repetitive stories. As years go by, most of us gain – or attempt to gain – perspective. By retelling personal stories, elders are often, consciously or subconsciously, trying to re-frame their life from the perspective of time.

Read more on Agingcare about how your attention can be the best Father's Day ever:

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