The dementia carer’s Christmas product check list

The dementia carer’s Christmas product check list

 This article comes to us from Check them out for plenty of tips, ideas, and interesting articles related to memory and dementia:

For those living with dementia it is easy to be forgotten.

For the family and professional carers it can seem overwhelming and hopeless.

Unforgettable can help on every step of the journey with practical advice, specialised products and a supportive community.

The dementia carer’s Christmas product check list

If you’re looking after someone with dementia at Christmas, this last-minute list will ensure you have everything you need to make the festive season go as smoothly as possible.

Let’s face it, most people’s pre-Christmas to-do lists can stretch on a fair bit, from buying presents and food shopping, to decorating and Christmas card-writing. But if you’re also playing host to a loved one with dementia, chances are you’re going to be feeling like that list suddenly got a whole lot longer. Similarly, if you and your loved are heading off to someone else’s house, you want to make sure that you’ve packed all the necessary items they need over the Christmas period.

While there may be a few more things to think about, your best option is to take note of our list of questions and start preparing with suitable products, so that the days before, during and after the Christmas holidays run as smoothly as possible. This could be anything from checking you’ve got enough dementia-appropriate activities to do, to ensuring they’re comfy and warm in their room.

Ask yourself these questions:

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Mapping dementia-friendly communities across Europe

Europe is facing unprecedented demographic changes with an increasing ageing population. There are an estimated 8.7 million people living with dementia in Europe and this number is expected to rise. Although dementia is not a natural consequence of ageing, the impact of the condition on the elderly is set to grow. In the absence of a cure or universally effective treatments for dementia, in the foreseeable future, there is both the opportunity and necessity for creative, positive community-based initiatives to support people living with dementia, not only to live well but also be active participants in their communities. It is crucial that ‘dementia-friendly community’ initiatives situate people with dementia at the centre, maintaining a view of them as people, citizens, and equal members of society, not just service users or patients.

Click on the title below to read the report:

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Dementia care in Japan is being solved through volunteer schemes, not government

This post comes to us from the UK source, The Guardian. You can read the original article by clicking on the title below. I think that utilizing volunteers to support dementia is a wonderful strategy! It serves to train and educate the wider public, getting them involved in compassionate care, and also raises awareness and reduces stigma. PLUS, then there is a whole force of people who are trained, ready, and able to help people with dementia to stay active and engaged in their communities and lives.

By Mayumi Hayashi on November 18, 2014

Community projects, such as open houses which provide all-day care, are innovative and low-cost

japan dementia

4.6 million people in Japan are living with dementia. Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA

With the world’s fastest ageing population where one in four are over 65 and there are 4.6 million people (15% of the older population) living with dementia, Japan is struggling to find sustainable and affordable solutions. With the world’s highest level of debt – 230% of national GDP – these solutions to the challenge of dementia must be both innovative and cost-effective. Continue reading

Rural communities as a radical idea for dementia-friendly living

With the promotion in the past few years to create age-friendly communities and dementia-friendly communities, my brain has been thinking of how this could change our way of looking at community living and intergenerational socialization.

Today, over my cup of coffee and thinking about a documentary I had seen on aging in Japan, I had one of those spark moments. You know, when you get an idea that seems like it could really make a difference in the world. Continue reading

Review! Alzheimer Syndrome – Part 2

Last week, I joined the Alzheimer’s Speaks Talk Radio for their show on Alzheimer Syndrome. Dr. Cameron Camp, the Director of Research for the Center for Applied Research in Dementia was joining to share his ideas on Alzheimer Syndrome and how it affects the culture of care.

When I came across the Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog post about their radio show with Dr. Camp on this very topic, I was excited to join in and hear more about it. I was hoping that he had further information on these barriers, doors, and stigma and a (good) explanation for why they would now want to change the name of Alzheimer’s.

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Dementia village coming to Denmark!

Odense to build Denmark’s first dementia village

Du kan også læse denne indlæg på dansk her.

04. June 2015
Odense bygger Danmarks første bydel til demente

OK-Fund contacted Odense Municipality about a year ago to create a one-of-a-kind dementia offer in Denmark. It happens now with the construction of an entire new district with dementia. The key for us was to find a municipality that is willing to take the lead and dare to think new , says OK Foundation director Michael Brostrøm who here signs the agreement with the Mayor Anker Boye ( S ) , Councilman per Berga (EL ) and urban and cultural councilor Jane Jegind (V).

Inspired by Holland included new dementia city precinct – OK Foundation builds and operates the “City of Life.” The ground has yet been found.

Odense: “City for Life” is the name of a whole new city precinct; a district which from 2018 will house between 200 and 300 people with dementia.

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Being outdoors and traveling with dementia

This post comes from the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. It’s an international collaborative formed to launch a new era of Alzheimer’s prevention research. Go ahead an check out their website when you’re done reading!

As the weather warms up, our thoughts naturally turn to outdoor activities and travel. These activities can be challenging for someone with Alzheimer’s, but they can also provide powerful ways to enrich their lives and brighten their spirits and yours. As an Alzheimer’s caregiver, though, you’ll need to plan carefully for each outing or journey.
Going Out
Getting outside can be a good activity both for someone with Alzheimer’s and for their caregiver. Some activities can be enjoyed close to home, such as taking care of (or just watering) plants in the garden or yard. If you and your person with Alzheimer’s are comfortable with it, you can also plan trips to a botanical garden, museum or art exhibit, or to the pool (at a quiet time) or park. You’ll want to plan outings for the time of day when the person is at his or her best. And, be sure to keep outings from becoming too long, since you’ll want to be careful that the person with Alzheimer’s doesn’t become tired or confused.
Travel presents special problems for someone with Alzheimer’s because it naturally takes them out of their home routines. To test whether travel is a good idea or not, you might plan a “staycation” first by spending the night at a hotel in your town or city and eating three meals out. If this experience causes the person with Alzheimer’s distress, travel may not be a good idea.
When you do travel, if you can, go with another friend or family member, and be sure to have help at the airport or train station. Bring personal items or keepsakes that you know will comfort the person with Alzheimer’s, and also be sure to have copies of important phone numbers, documents and medical records, just in case. Also, be prepared for your person to wander in the airport or train station if given the opportunity. You may want to dress him or her distinctively and to include an ID bracelet as part of the wardrobe. It’s often helpful meet with a doctor beforehand to discuss medications that may calm someone who becomes distressed.
When you arrive at your destination, try to maintain a routine as close to your home rhythm as possible: schedule meals, sleep and bathroom breaks at the same time as at home, for example. At night, be sure to have a light on in the bathroom and a clear path to get there. Leave plenty of time for rest, and don’t plan too many activities. Finally, be prepared to cut your visit short if the situation turns out to be too much for the person with Alzheimer’s.
Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
National Institute on Aging:
Alzheimer’s Association:
Upcoming Webinar:
Dementia Dialogues: Planning Successful Travel
Just in time for summer travel, learn tactics to make your trips as successful as possible.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 3-4 pm Eastern

5 great hotels for traveling with dementia

This is a re-post from AlzLive. It highlights 5 places to stay in the UK if you are planning to travel with someone with dementia.



Five great vacation homes-away-from-home for you and your relative with dementia.

When it comes to offering the services required for safe vacationing with a dementia patient, the U.K. is years ahead of most countries. It’s critically important that caregivers, who are often on call 24 hours a day, get a break for their own health and sanity. For that reason–not to mention the breathtaking scenery, historic tours and R+R potential–consider going across the pond for your next vacation. Here are five U.K. destinations we love. 

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Shopping we all can enjoy, the rise of aging-friendly stores

I came across the following article this morning. It’s about a grocery store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin that has become dementia-friendly, in partnership with their local Aging and Disability Resource Center and the global Purple Angel Campaign.

Inspired, I did a bit more digging around on the internet, and wrote this post about how communities and businesses are becoming more age-friendly and dementia-friendly. Examples from New York, Wisconsin, the UK, Germany, and Japan are highlighted.

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Dementia-friendly travel with EasyJet

The article below is about EasyJet, a low-cost airline based out of the UK, is joining Dementia Friends! The UK is really doing great things to make businesses and communities dementia-friendly. Awesome!!

This article is a repost from AlzLive, a great website to check out, by the way. Happy reading and happy travels!


By Susan Grimbly, Managing Editor

easyJet, the short-haul budget British airline carrier with the long orange type, is the first airline to step in line with the dementia challenge issued by British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012.

Flying with dementia is a growing challenge in the aviation industry. As Roberto Castiglioni, at, reports:

The travel experience of a passenger with Alzheimer’s can plunge into chaos at its early stages, as soon as the person reaches the airport terminal.

The travel experience of a passenger with Alzheimer’s can plunge into chaos at its early stages, as soon as the person reaches the airport terminal building.

A new, largely unknown location or a crowded departure hall can be sufficient to cause disorientation.

Reduced Mobility Rights has come across reports of passengers with dementia wandering off airport premises.

“The in-flight experience, and external factors such as cabin pressurization, a crowded flight, and seating restrictions (safety belts) may also cause unexpected behavior.”

To read the rest of the story “Is Dementia The Next Challenge For The Air Travel Industry?” go to here. Those are sobering thoughts.

Easyjet interior spoke to an easyJet spokesperson about the company’s forward-thinking strategy.

Why easyJet?

The initiative, called Dementia Friends, was launched by the Alzheimer’s Society and the Cabinet Office, and includes names such as Marks & Spencer, EDF, FirstGroup and Lloyds Bank.

Who is the executive within your company pushing for this?

easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall proposed this change as an integral part of our strategy and on the advice of easyJet’s Special Assistance Advisory Group, which is chaired by the Right Hon. David Blunkett MP, and includes Age UK among its members. The group has been discussing the issue for some time.

How big is the company and would the dementia-friendly staff be on all flights?

easyJet is the U.K.’s largest airline and the fourth largest in Europe. easyJet plans to roll this out to all of its staff.

How many staff would you hire to start with?

This will be part of the comprehensive special assistance training we already provide to all staff and will help raise awareness of the issue.

Have issues with handling those with dementia come up on flights in the past?

We cannot comment on any specific cases, but dementia sufferers are known to sometimes wander off. The U.S. Alzheimer’s Association explains that 60 percent of persons with Alzheimer’s will wander at some stage, which is why pre-notification is so important. A dementia sufferer on board can also pose a challenge for any crew unaware of the condition.

This can be a difficult and unpleasant experience for both the sufferer and the crew. We also need to consider the safety implications for of all our passengers on board as this is our number one priority.

How many people with dementia, would you guess, are now flying/travelling?

This is difficult to assess as pre-notification remains low in this area. easyJet flies around 300,000 passengers requiring special assistance every year.

Do you think this passenger group will grow?

There is no doubt that with Europe’s population living longer, out of 61 million passengers annually, the number of possible sufferers flying with easyJet is likely to increase. A Eurostat survey has shown that in 2040, 25.5 percent of the population will be over 65 years old and 8.4 percent over 80, whereas today the numbers are 16 percent and 4 percent respectively.

We want to make travel easy and affordable for all of our passengers which is why we have joined the campaign.

Do you think other airlines will develop a dementia-friendly policy?

We are the first airline to join the Dementia Friends program. This is a challenge that concerns the whole industry and we have no doubt that other airlines will follow suit.

For more, go to:

Global Initiative Against Dementia

Global initiative against dementia

February 20, 2015 by Kasper Jørgensen for the National Research Center for Dementia in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In response to the ever-growing global challenge of dementia, an international expert group recommends a number of policy and legislative initiatives. The recommendations are aimed primarily at policy and decision makers. According to the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) Dementia Forum, the economic challenges associated with dementia in the heavyweight class.

Cost of care globally amounts to more than $600 billion in 2010, equivalent to one percent of global gross domestic product. As a result of the expected population growth with rising life expectancy and more demented, it is estimated that the global cost will increase by 85% by the year 2030. In the US alone is expected to cost in 2050 to exceed one trillion dollars (a million million).

Get resources for research into the treatment of dementia

One of the issues in the report that has attracted the most attention is the problem of financing the development of a cure – or at least a disease-modifying treatment – against dementia. Compared with other diseases characterized research and development in dementia of under investment. For example, awarded HIV / AIDS in the United States about five times as much public funding as Alzheimer’s disease, although the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s about five times as high as the number of HIV-infected.

Costly failures

Since the 1990s, research in the development and testing of new drugs against dementia was characterized by numerous failures, but costly experiments and projects petered out. The last time a new drug for dementia was approved was in 2002.

In response to the massive setbacks, the major pharmaceutical companies in the period from 2009 to 2014 have halved the number of development projects. It is estimated that researchers have become more cautious and less likely to try out new and unconventional ideas. At the same time turned down for parallel testing whether already known drugs against other diseases also works against dementia.

The report by the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) Dementia Forum contains 10 recommendations on how governments can address the global challenges of dementia.

10 recommendations to the governments of the world:

  1. Formulate a national action plan for dementia
  2. Generate increased knowledge and awareness of dementia in the population. For example, through awareness campaigns, developing dementia friendly environments and establishment of patient organizations
  3. Think brain health into public health strategies. Healthy aging should be viewed in a lifelong perspective
  4. Build better scientific evidence for the prevention of dementia. Support research on risk reduction and delay of dementia development
  5. Create better dementia care. Introduce evidence-based and cost-effective approaches in dementia care
  6. Create a strong and effective care sector. Introduce financial incentives that support a skilled workforce
  7. Initiate and support longitudinal studies. Support longitudinal studies of larger patient groups in order to better understand the disease development
  8. Support the development of new drugs. Make way from research and development of drugs to market shorter and more streamlined
  9. Strengthen public research budgets. Invest in basic research, clinical research and applied research in dementia
  10. Support the development of innovative financing models for research, which makes it easier to attract private investors to dementia research

WISH is an initiative launched by the Qatar Foundation, a charitable organization based in the small, wealthy emirate on the Persian Gulf. You can read their full report as a downloadable PDF file here or visit the WISH website here.

Dementia Days 2015 in Copenhagen

The theme for Dementia Days 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark is “A dementia friendly society.” The conference takes place May 11-12 in Copenhagen and is largely targeted towards the Danish professional sector.

Dementia Days is an annual multidisciplinary conference on dementia, where more than 900 professionals from across the country meet over two days. Dementia Days appeals to both professionals and managers who work with the diagnosis, treatment, social work, and care of people with dementia. The conference is an opportunity for further training for employees and managers in health and social care. Relatives and volunteers in associations may also benefit from taking part in the conference.

The conference will begin this year with a joint symposium where participants will be inspired by Britain and the Netherlands, who are working in different ways to make society more dementia friendly. You can further choose from a number of parallel symposia:

  • Technological options
  • The digital society – a dementia friendly society?
  • Memory impairment but not dementia
  • When behavior challenges
  • Alzheimer’s disease – the latest news
  • Physical activity in the home
  • Reminiscence
  • Visual experiences and misconceptions
  • Sleep and dementia
  • Remember the relatives
  • Free lectures with news from the development and research projects

“Having dementia is an adventure, not a disease”

I came across these inspiring articles about living with dementia. You can also find the original articles by clicking on the headlines.

The message is clear: they still have the capacity to enjoy life and want to be involved in their community. So let’s encourage and support them by making sure people with dementia have a good social network and live in the right environment. This is key to their health and wellbeing.

The Momentia movement helps people with dementia contribute to society, and lessens the stigma that can accompany diagnosis

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Redesigning dementia care

This is a re-post from Crisis Prevention Intervention. Amy Schoenemann gives some great insight into design considerations for care!

Spotlight on Design for Dementia Care: An Interview With PDC Midwest’s Amy Schoenemann

By Terry Vittone | Posted on 06.04.2014

Spotlight on Design for Dementia Care: An Interview With PDC Midwest’s Amy Schoenemann

CPI recently had a chance to catch up with Amy Schoenemann, Director of Design Development and Project Architect for PDC Midwest, a Wisconsin-based architect-led design-build firm that specializes in senior living.

Throughout the last 18 years, PDC has been commissioned by regional and national senior care owner-operators to provide nearly 490 senior care projects in 27 states, and they are on the forefront of the trend in memory care facilities toward designing environments that engage and support residents.

Firms like PDC Midwest are of special interest to CPI’s Dementia Care Specialists, because we believe strongly that physical environments are critical components of successful memory care programs, where the combination of specialized care and environment create an optimum level of function, safety, and quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s/dementia.
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Caregiving at a Cookout

Caregiving at a Cookout:  Tips for a Good Time

This is a re-post from, a great website with plenty of ideas and resources for caregivers.

Almost everyone looks forward to gathering with family and friends for a backyard barbecue. But if you’ve been dreading going to one because of your responsibilities as a caregiver, never fear: Both you and your elderly loved one can have a fine time, if you plan ahead.

But first, make sure that your relative is in good enough health to attend a party where there will be heat, bugs, noise, smoke from the grill and possibly rambunctious children. Also, check with your hosts to ensure that they understand and can accommodate your loved one’s limitations. If not, find another caregiver to look after your relative while you attend alone; it’s important for you to socialize and recharge.

However, if your hosts are amenable and your loved one is up to it, don’t leave him or her behind. Joan Wright, a certified geriatric manager at NVNA and Hospice in Norwell, Mass., told AgingCare that you should remember that every elderly person was once young, mobile and eager to socialize. “Those desires are still there even if their physical capacity to fulfill them is not.”

Here are some tips from Ms. Wright and others to ensure that everyone has a good time:

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