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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


Celebrating Love: Dementia Caregivers Speak Up

RosesYellowValentine’s Day, anniversaries, and birthdays have traditionally been celebrated with balloons, gifts, cards, parties, and food. Sadly, when dementia enters into the picture, such general mayhem may overwhelm a person already confused by his or her surroundings. Even attempting to celebrate love can become a challenge. The choice about whether or not to mark special days is often fraught with pain for the caregiver.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how dementia caregivers (and other caregivers) show love:

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


Home for Elders Is a Symbol of Safety More Than a Place

Home...The actual location of our home may be dynamic rather than static—ever-changing as our personal world changes. Yet the meaning of home remains the same: a place of comfort. Most of us who've cared for people with dementia have heard the sad, repetitive lament, "I want to go home." If the person lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, relatives naturally think that the home the elder wants to return to is the last place he or she lived before going to the care home.

Read complete article on Agingcare about home and the heart:

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

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703


Do You Need a Specialist for a Dementia Diagnosis?

DoctorPatient6Alzheimer's disease (AD) may be the most common type of dementia, but AD is followed closely by vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), mixed dementia, frontotemporal dementia and many more types. Therefore, while your family doctor may correctly diagnose dementia, he or she may not have the background to correctly target treatment for a specific type.

This is important because some treatments that are helpful for one type of dementia may actually be harmful with another. A specialist is likely the best person to determine if dementia is present and what type of dementia that may be.

Read full article on HealthCentral about why you may need a specialist for your dementia diagnosis:

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


Restructuring Life After Caregiving Ends

CaregiverGroupDear Carol: I helped my mom take care of dad for years after he’d had a stroke. Dad died last year and Mom was diagnosed with cancer shortly after his death. Apparently, she had cancer symptoms for some time but was so focused on dad that she didn’t follow up on her own health. Mom died last month under the care of a wonderful hospice organization, but now I am lost. I’m divorced and never had children. Caregiving was my life for over ten years. I have enough money not to have to work so I just sit and watch TV, not even registering what I'm watching. I once thought I’d travel but now I have no desire to do so. I understand that I need to build a new life for myself but I don’t even know where to start. How do people “recover” from caregiving once it’s over? MB

Read more on Inforum about how to help yourself find a new normal after caregiving ends:

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


Alzheimer’s Symptoms: Navigational Skills May Deteriorate Long Before Memory

Walker2Typically, when we think of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease we think of memory problems. Words go missing, names escape one's grasp, daily tasks are forgotten. Now, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have shown that making mental maps of where we have been and where we are going is a process the brain may lose before memory problems begin to show. People with these early symptoms can no longer navigate even a familiar area as they once did.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how navigational skills need to be considered when assessing brain health:

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

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


Group Activities Reduce Depression among Older Population

SeniorGroupActivitiesWhen our elders are suffering from physical pain, mental stress, loneliness or the effects of ageism in our society, the result can be depression. Research done at Sweden’s Umeå University and reported on by Medical News Today finds that when group activities were introduced into the elders' environments depressive symptoms were often improved and the need for medication reduced or eliminated. Two separate programs were used for the research. One was a group high-intensity functional exercise program and the other was a non-exercise group activity. They were conducted with people in an elder care facility, all of whom had dementia.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how group activities can help elders stay mentally healthy:

Safety for your Elders - Peace of Mind for You:  Simple Smart Phone with Large Screen, Jitterbug flip phone, Urgent Response Device   For help CALL:  1-866-222-0703

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


Keep Blood Pressure Under Control to Lower Risk for Vascular Dementia

BloodPressureWhat is new about these findings is that while high blood pressure is a known risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease, some studies conflicted over the risk for vascular dementia. Some even indicated that low blood pressure was associated with an increased risk of dementia. The number of medical records used for this study -- again, records for more than four million people -- should put those ideas to rest.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how controlling blood pressure can reduce your risk of developing vascular 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

Photo credit (above )Think Stock


Failing New Year's Resolutions 101

3d-desktop-calendar-10034886Whether or not it’s a conscious thought, many of us look at a new year as a time to make changes in our lives. We become energized for a few days. However, most of us are quickly caught up in routine. Whether or not we like the routine, it’s familiar, and the status quo often provides the path of least resistance. Therefore, even if we’re stuck in a life that’s not satisfying, we stay with the familiar. Change seems too hard. This is a glaring truth that most caregivers recognize.

Read full story on HealthCentral about New Years resolutions and why we should not worry about "succeeding" with them:

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