5 Therapeutic Activities for Alzheimer’s Care Partners

This post comes to us from familyaffaires.com. I came across it on a LinkedIn post by a gentleman I met in a fantastic online course about dementia, Mike Good. Mike Good is founder of Together in This, an online community helping family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Through short, informative articles and easy-to-use tools, such as the Introductory Guide to Alzheimer’s, he helps them take control and have peace-of-mind they are doing the right things.

You can access the original article on familyaffaires.com by clicking on the title, below.

5 Therapeutic Activities for the Alzheimer’s Care Partners

We often hear about therapeutic activities that are beneficial for the person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia but it’s just as important to consider their care partner – the caregiver.

Living successfully with the disease requires that both care partners enjoy therapeutic enrichment that benefits their mind, body, and spirit.

But because the caregiver is often the only person caring for their loved one, it is difficult for them to find time to enjoy activities that are beneficial for them as well.

There are activities that can be done together that simultaneously meet the needs of the caregiver while providing beneficial sensory stimulation for the person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia:

Read the rest of this article at familyaffaires.com

Smart Apps for Dementia Carers

Apps for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Here are the seven of the best and worst apps for caregivers that A Place for Mom reviewed, including information about their features, the devices for which they’re available, and our overall opinion of their usefulness and value. Of course every caregiver’s needs are different, so don’t necessarily rule out an app they didn’t praise or count on a highly praised app to work perfectly for your family.

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Who takes care of the caregiver?

This is a re-post from Jessica Kingsley Publishers. You can also read the article on their website by clicking here.

Shake up your view of your demanding and relentless work so that you can start to put yourself at the centre of your caregiving work. Cheryl Rezek, author of Mindfulness for Carers, has written an incredibly honest blog on why it’s important to say ‘no’, putting yourself first, and being mindful of your emotions as a carer.

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8 companies that are changing aging

This article comes from CNBC, and is a topic I am particularly interested in as I also like studying and being an entrepreneur in the gerontology and gerontechnology field! Aging2.0 is a GREAT program that is helping to launch many innovative and socially-beneficial companies, all focused on making life more enjoyable for aging adults! I had the pleasure of meeting with Stephen Johnston, the other co-founder of Aging2.0, when working on launching a start-up focused on making it easier to find a helpful and useful Assistive Technology. You can read more about that on my page on Adventures in Entrepreneurship in Dementia Care.

Tapping into the longevity economy

—By Julie Halpert, special to CNBC.com
Posted 08 April 2015

The longevity economy, representing all economic activity serving the needs of Americans over 50, is expected to top $13.5 trillion by 2032, according to Oxford Economics. This opportunity isn’t lost on savvy entrepreneurs.

Out of a total 290 entrepreneurs who attended the annual Boomer Summit last month in Chicago, 40 percent were entrepreneurs hoping to pitch their products to potential investors and get ideas on how to best appeal to this demographic. That was twice the amount as the previous year, and for the first time, they came from many different countries.

Katy Fike, co-founder of Aging2.0, a start-up accelerator program, and founding partner of Generator Ventures, a venture fund focused on aging and long-term care, said the industry is attracting graduates from top-tier business schools. Some entrepreneurs have already developed particularly successful products geared toward the demographic shift. Many of these ideas sprung from a personal experience and a desire to solve a problem endured by a loved one.

Here are 8 business owners who have already found millions in the longevity economy.

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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

10 Lessons Learned Through Caring

I found this article on the Alzheimer’s Speaks blog. If you are interested in dementias, and especially in dementia care, check out their blog and website – they have some great information. This article is written by one woman, sharing her lessons learned through her experiences of caring for her mother dementia.

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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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