Holidays are not always happy for the carer

I was browsing through LinkedIn today and came across this good article. It resonates with me and I hope you find it interesting and helpful as well!

You hear it all the time: everything boils down to attitude. Whereas it’s true that attitude can have a profound effect on your reality, this doesn’t mean that you ignore what you’re feeling. This is when optimism becomes outright denial…

Gaining self-awareness is one of the most difficult challenges we face as human beings. When are we overreacting? When are we “under-reacting?” When are we in that Goldilocks zone of “just right?” And what do we do when we feel like we’re in the middle of the darker parts of our journey? How do we find our way when it’s nearly impossible to even see the path before us?

When a New Year is less than happy

Post-Christmas: Worried about a loved one’s memory?

Post-Christmas: Worried about a loved one’s memory?

 Many family members only see each other during the holidays. As parents and relatives get older, seeing them after one year can bring to light some of the physical and/or mental health changes that have been taking place.
This article comes to us from Unforgettable.org. 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.

Post-Christmas: Worried about a loved one’s memory?

Spending time with a loved one at Christmas is often the first opportunity family members have to notice symptoms of memory loss. Here’s what to do if you’re worried about someone’s memory.

It may have been a few months since you spent time with family members, but when Christmas comes round, you often find you’re living in each other’s pockets for days (especially if you get stuck indoors with cold, wintry weather and a box of Roses).

So it’s no surprise that it’s often during and after the Christmas break that you may notice changes in a loved one’s memory. Where before they may have seemed quite lucid and able to cope with everyday tasks, suddenly you’re noticing that they’ve deteriorated.

And over the Christmas break, you may find that your normally sharp and ‘with it’ relative seems confused, unsure, withdrawn or even a little depressed, raising concerns that all may not be what it seems.

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Christmas can be an isolating time for people with dementia

Christmas can be an isolating time for people with dementia

This article comes to us from Unforgettable.org. 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.

Christmas can be an isolating time for people with dementia

The Alzheimer’s Society has discovered over half of people with dementia see their family less often during Christmas than they did before they were diagnosed

The song may claim ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’, but for many people with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, it can become the opposite, as Christmas can be very isolating.

That’s what a recent report from the Alzheimer’s Society is hoping to highlight.

They’ve carried out research which has found over half of people affected by dementia find Christmas the most isolating time of the year, with many saying that they actually dread the festive season. Just over half (54%) say the see their friends and family less often over the Christmas period than they did before their diagnosis.

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Reminiscence TV: Our 12 picks of Christmas

Reminiscence TV: Our 12 picks of Christmas

 Looking for some familiar classics this holiday season? This article comes to us from Unforgettable.org. 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.

 

Reminiscence TV: Our 12 picks of Christmas

Settling down on the sofa to watch a TV show is as much a part of the festive season as turkey and mince pies. Here’s our selection of the best shows airing this Christmas that will trigger memories and special moments for someone with dementia

Television can play a useful role at Christmas when you’re caring for someone with dementia. The right shows at the right time can help loved ones to relax, and may even stir good memories and great conversation. But with so many channels and programmes to choose from, simply selecting something what they (and you) might enjoy could take quite some time…So we’ve done the leg work for you! Here’s 12 dementia-friendly dramas, comedies and films which will be screened over Christmas.

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8 questions if a loved one is visiting from a care home this Christmas

 

8 questions if a loved one is visiting from a care home this Christmas

 This article comes to us from Unforgettable.org. 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.

8 questions if a loved one is visiting from a care home this Christmas

If your loved one with dementia lives in a care home you might be wondering whether to bring them home for Christmas, and whether that’s even the best thing for them. Here’s eight questions to ask yourself before making a decision.

You may hate the idea of the person you love spending Christmas in a care home, but although emotions might be running high, it’s important to think carefully and calmly and weigh up all the pros and cons before deciding what to do.

1. How long have they been in the care home and how settled are they?

If your loved one has been in residential care for some time and seems quite content, they may really enjoy a day out, or even an overnight stay. However, if they always seem restless when you visit – perhaps they keep packing their bags or asking ‘when are we going home?’ – taking them out may seem like the ‘right’ thing to do…but may result in them becoming angry and aggressive when they return. If you’re still adamant they should come home with you, then any upsetting behaviour when they return may be a price worth paying… or maybe not.

2. How well do outings generally go?

Be honest: Even if it’s stressful for you, does the person you love seem to enjoy getting out…

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Make Christmas Day special for a loved one with dementia

Make Christmas Day special for a loved one with dementia

 This article comes to us from Unforgettable.org. 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.

 

Make Christmas Day special for a loved one with dementia

 

Are you worried that the person you care for will find it difficult to cope on Christmas Day? Find out how to make the big day enjoyable for the whole family.

Whether you’ve got a houseful of guests on Christmas Day, are invited out for lunch, or are celebrating quietly in your own home, here’s how to overcome all the potential pitfalls and ensure events go as smoothly as possible if you have someone with dementia staying with you.

1. Opening presents

It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone enjoys receiving presents. A person with dementia might not remember what the occasion is, but if you hand them a present with a smile and say ‘Merry Christmas’ they’ll soon get the idea.

Give them time to open it without feeling rushed. Offer help if they need it but don’t try to rush them. If they don’t want to open it yet, that’s fine too. Leave it until later. A person with dementia can become stressed if they feel everyone’s watching them, so keep present-giving calm and casual.

Try not to take it personally if they don’t seem grateful or don’t react in the way they normally would to a generous or thoughtful gift. Remember, they’re doing the best they can and they still love you as much as they always have.

Watch out for tripping hazards. Presents and wrapping paper scattered all over the floor can be dangerous for a person who’s frail and prone to stumbling. Have a recycling bag ready to clear up wrapping paper and make sure gifts are put somewhere safe

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The dementia carer’s Christmas product check list

The dementia carer’s Christmas product check list

 This article comes to us from Unforgettable.org. 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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Daily life with dementia: Holiday and Vacation

This information comes to us from Dementia Guide, part of the National Social Services Board. These are some important considerations to help you plan and enjoy your holiday with a person with dementia.

Holiday with dementia

Going on vacation together can provide shared experiences and a break from everyday life for both people with dementia and caregivers. To make the holiday a good experience, it is important to prepare thoroughly. The person with dementia may find new surroundings confusing or respond inappropriately. As a caregiver, you may use as much energy to ensure that the person with dementia will have a good journey, you do not even get anything out of the holiday. Therefore, it is important that you carefully consider what kind of holiday that is most suitable for you. Continue reading

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
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.
Resources:
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 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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7 tips for easier air travel with dementia

Plan ahead for a smoother, more pleasant airport and flying experience.

Many Alzheimer’s patients enjoy travelling, but as the disease progresses, patients (and caregivers!) will find it increasingly difficult. These tips will help make your next air travel experience less stressful

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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.

TOP HOTELS

by YUKI HAYASHI

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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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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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!

FLY THE DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY SKIES OF EASYJET

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 ReducedMobility.eu, 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 ReducedMobility.eu here. Those are sobering thoughts.

Easyjet interior

Alzlive.com 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: http://www.easyjet.com/en/

Safety tips for traveling alone

I came across this article on the AARP website. It must be a frightening thing to drop off a loved one with dementia at the airport, not knowing what is going to happen until they are picked up on the other side. This article is about making it as safe as you can for loved ones with dementia who are traveling alone. The tips can help the travel go smoothy and safely.  Hope these tips can help!

7 Tips for Safety When Loved Ones Travel Alone

If your older loved ones are traveling alone, there are precautions and services you, as their supporters and caregivers, can take advantage of to ensure their safety.

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