Retirement Planning – 30 Questions You Should Ask To Plan For Your Future

Retirement Planning – 30 Questions You Should Ask To Plan For Your Future

Retirement planning doesn’t stop the day you retire. It continues as your life unfolds. As such, it’s important for you to talk with your adult children or other family members about what you want for your life now, and in the future.

It’s important for you, since it’s your life that you’re planning for. Continue reading

Wearable technologies that support living with dementia

Wearable devices are:
Wearable:  the device is worn on the body throughout its use, it should not need to be carried.
Controllable:  the device is controllable by the user, either actively or passively.
Enhancing:  the device will augment knowledge, facilitate learning, or enhance experiences.

One of my posts on Wearable Technology was viewed by a lot of people in the first week I posted it on my other blog (80 is a lot in my world!). When I originally came across the website (which I only summarized and repeated the information), I had intended to comb back through and discuss which ones could be relevant for many carers and people with dementia. This is what I have done my PhD on (you can read more at PhD is Finished!, with pictures!), so I am particularly excited to do this. This list is compiled with the intent for supporting living with dementia and in care, and many of the technologies will be appropriate for home care. Continue reading

Webinar on bridging the dementia divide

I am currently enrolled in an online course on Bridging the Dementia Divide from the University of Derby. I have not completed the course yet, so my review is yet to come. But, I did want to share some exciting news. I was invited by one of the course organizers to participate in the weekly summary webinar as a dementia expert! One of the questions during the week’s assignments was on the National Dementia Strategy in your country, and I gave the link to my blog post where I had translated and discussed Denmark’s National Strategy. The organizers read my response and checked out my blog and were interested in this Doctor Dementia 😉

The focus of last week’s course was on global perspectives in dementia, so they thought it would be good to have someone outside the UK participating in the webinar. It was a fairly casual webinar, mostly to summarize that week’s course content and to answer some of the questions that were posted during the week. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed the webinar! I liked the discussion, the Q&A, it all was a lot of fun for me! And this was my FIRST webinar that I have participated in on the panel, so it was all around a wonderful experience.

I have attached the video here for your viewing pleasure 🙂

5 criteria for dementia-friendly hotels

Feeling stuck at home? Here’s a guide to dementia-friendly travel with your loved one. You can do it!

This article is a re-post from Alzlive.com. Check them out for more travel tips and information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Do your pre-trip sleuthing to ensure your lodgings are safe and sound for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Not all hotel rooms are created equal! Here are five features to look for or request when booking travel in the United States, Canada or even further afield, if you are adventurous. These amenities provide a safer, better home-sweet-home experience for patients and caregivers.
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Q&A: Do I have dementia, too?

This question was posed on a support forum for people working with memory problems (family, professionals, anyone interested in memory issues and memory care). It’s not an uncommon question. In fact, many people who are close to someone with dementia worry that they are also showing signs of the degenerative syndrome. And it’s also known that people who care for someone with dementia tend to have more health risks and higher rates of depression – also risk factors for developing dementia. While depression, chronic lack of sleep, and stress can cause symptoms that can be mistaken for dementia, there are distinct differences. The takeaway:  dementia is not only about memory loss!

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Impact on Family Care Partners

Families who help care for a person with dementia are the unsung heroes in the global fight against dementia. They carry out the majority of care-related tasks, often unpaid, and often for several years.

If you know someone who is a carer, lend a helping hand! Start with 30 minutes of easy chatting, help them with laundry, offer to wash the dishes or to bring over dinner, clean out their car, or just let them know that they can call on you for support – ANYTHING will help 🙂 You can also read more tips in my post on Helping the Helpers.

As AARP says;

The unpaid contributions of family caregivers to the person being cared for and to society are huge. Yet the health risks and financial hardships that may accompany the caregiving role are substantial and well documented. Thus, there is strong interest in improving family caregivers’ experiences and outcomes, which may include helping to delay or prevent nursing home use or unnecessary hospitalizations of the care recipient.

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Helping the Helpers – EVERYONE can make dementia care better!

This is an inspirational and educational post – yea! The idea is that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US can help to improve dementia care. You don’t have to be providing direct care to make a difference in someone’s life. In fact, it could be as simple as smiling and holding a door for someone else.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. 

~His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama

Family members to provide personal care to someone with dementia are more likely to have higher levels of stress, higher rates of depression, and more health complications than people who care for other conditions and than non-carers. They are absorbing a lot of care responsibilities as dementia progresses and sacrificing their own privacy, personal time, relaxation, social activities, and often self-care activities. They are selflessly giving themselves to benefit someone else. And if that doesn’t bring some humanity warmth into your heart, then you need to watch some videos on kittens or something and then come back and read this post.

I have a ton of respect for family care partners. They are amazing, special people. 

And I kinda want everyone else to realize this as well. 

If you know someone who is a carer, you can lend a helping hand! And by doing even small things to make their day brighter, easier, and less stressful, you are not only helping them out but also helping to make them better able to provide care for someone else.

They may be hesitant at first, but if you really mean it, keep offering and give specific ideas of what you can do for them. Here are 20 ideas of how you can make a difference. ANYTHING will be a help. If you try any of these out, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

Happy helping 🙂

  1. Have a short coffee or tea break and hang out for 30 minutes of easy chatting
  2. Help them with laundry – offer to pick it up and bring it back all clean the next day, or spend time with them and help them sort and fold laundry in their own home
  3. Offer to wash the dishes
  4. Offer to bring over dinner “I doubled my recipe and have enough for 2 families, can I bring over some?”
  5. Clean out or wash their car
  6. Let them know that they can call on you for support
  7. Mow their lawn or rake their leaves “I’m doing yardwork this weekend, can I come over and do yours while I’m at it?”
  8. Shovel snow off their sidewalks
  9. Offer to clean their gutters in the Spring
  10. Put their garbage bins back after collection day
  11. Bring them their mail
  12. Hold a door for them
  13. Ask them how they are – but be sure to LISTEN to them as well
  14. Let them know you are going to the grocery store or pharmacy and ask if you can pick anything up for them
  15. Offer to sit in for them for a few hours one day so they can run errands, exercise, or have alone time
  16. Give them a gift certificate for a massage, pedicure, whatever they might enjoy, and offer to sit in for them during that time
  17. Send a card
  18. Make a phone call
  19. Send an email or text message
  20. Offer to pick up their kids from school or activities, or to take their kids for a slumber party night

Alzheimer’s Reading Room

If you haven’t checked out the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, I recommend heading over there after you finish reading my blog. It was founded by Bob DeMarco, who is a noted leader in the Alzheimer’s community, having done many lectures, speaking engagements, and building the Alzheimer’s Reading Room to educate all.

The goal of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room is to Educate and  Empower Alzheimer’s caregivers, their families, and the entire Alzheimer’s community.

At its core the Alzheimer’s Reading Room is about helping members of the Alzheimer’s Community understand, cope, and communicate with persons living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia.

Embracing Direct-to-Consumer Advertising by Focusing on Stopping Medications

This is a re-post from GeriPal – Geriatrics and Palliative Care Blog, you can also read the article at GeriPal and check out some of their other posts.

Embracing Direct-to-Consumer Advertising by Focusing on Stopping Medications

There are plenty of examples of direct-to-consumer advertising that the pharmaceutical industry use to lure new customers. Just like the Cancer Center ads we discussed in the last GeriPal post, these ads almost universally do this by making emotional appeals to the consumer, as well as focusing on the benefits rather than presenting any real discussion of risks.

What if someone used a similar concept, but instead of trying to get people to take a drug, they try to convince patients to stop one. That’s just what Cara Tannenbaum and colleagues did in a paper published in JAMA IM, albeit they called it direct-to-consumer patient education and empowerment.

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7 gode råd

Kender du nogen med demens ? Har du svært ved at regne ud, hvordan til at tale med dem, eller hvad du kan gøre for at hjælpe? Denne artikel er fra Alzheimersforeningen Danmark og giver 7 gode råd om, hvordan du kan hjælpe en person med demens (og hjælpe dig selv til lære mere om det undervejs).

God læsning og god oplevelse!

I have also translated this post into English, you can read it here.

7 gode råd til, hvordan du hjælper et menneske med demens

Få 7 gode råd gratis

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Alzheimer’s Association Denmark: 7 tips for how to help a person with dementia

Do you know someone with dementia? Do you have a hard time figuring out how to talk to them or what you can do to help? Are you not sure how to talk to friends about a recent diagnosis of dementia in your family? This article is from the Alzheimer’s Association in Denmark and gives 7 tips on how you can help a person with dementia (and help yourself to learn more about it on the way).

Happy reading and I hope it brings good experiences!

I have made my own translation from Danish, so some of the words may be changed, but the meaning has been preserved. I have also removed the videos, as they are in Danish. Dette indlæg er oprindeligt på dansk, læse det her (og med videoer).

“I love you, but I can’t remember who you are”

7 tips for how to help a person with dementia 

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Q&A: Do we continue family vacations with Alzheimer’s?

I came across this question on a Danish caregiving forum (DemensNet.dk) through the Danish Alzheimer’s Association (Alzheimerforeningen), and thought it would be relevant to include here. The questions are not uncommon to family situations, and the answers are superb!

Danish summer houses

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How to really piss-off older people with bad advertising

As I was writing my post on The Rise of Aging-Friendly Stores, I came across this little gem (article below).

When working on starting up a business a few months ago, my business partner and I had a great discussion with Aging2.0 co-founder Stephen Johnston. We discussed how marketing with terms like “silver, age-friendly, 50+, and elderly” are not good to use, mostly because people want to be thought of as consumers, not an age group. As he said, “senior doesn’t sell.”

But we were running into problems with how people would find our services (consulting with businesses to make their electronic products and services more age-friendly). We wanted to use principles of Universal Design, which, in a nutshell, is designing so that all people, regardless of age or disability could use a product or service. And, while the companies may have a better understanding of how Universal Design can be applied, we still weren’t sure how to let aging adults know that we were making sure products and services were specifically for them.

Well, anyway, this article is a great addition to the conversation on marketing towards aging adults. A guide of what NOT to do!

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10 Virtues of Caring

I came across this post on Huffington Post. I think this is a great article! Great advice and given from someone who is living it. At the end, she says she’s no expert, but many would beg to differ. An expert, by definition, is someone who is knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area. I would say her direct experience as a caregiver would at least qualify her as an expert in her own mother’s dementia. And she conveys her information in an easy-to-understand way – also an important quality that experts should have.

Go ahead, have a read, and let me know what you think in the comments. Do you find these also to work for you? Do you have other “virtues” you would include in the list? Don’t be shy, let us know what you think!

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4 tips for caregivers

I came across this post on Huffington Post today. They are some general tips for caregivers. I didn’t like their title, though. There is debate in the field of Gerontology about the phrase “successful aging,” which implies that there are also UN-successful agers, or that one can somehow fail at aging. This title also implies that you need these strategies to become better at caregiving, and that there is some difference between successful and unsuccessful caregivers.

In the beginning, the article states, “Armed with these tools, any person can find themselves better prepared to handle the challenges that come with being an Alzheimer’s caregiver.” And in closing, it states, “… and these simple tips can help anyone improve their work as an Alzheimer’s caregiver.” I would have expected a little bit more caution and sensitivity from the Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Global Initiative and the President and CEO for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).

Reading these 4 broad tips will not automatically make you a better caregiver. I’m sorry to disappoint you, dear readers, but these tips are not so simple – they actually require quite a bit of work, including some soul-searching and long-term commitments. I think the article gives great advice, and advice I would also give if I were writing to the general public and not a specific situation… which is why I share it here 🙂 I just want you to proceed with caution.

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