Tips for Dealing With People Who Don’t Know They Have Dementia

This article comes to us from Personal Health Records, another WordPress blog. I couldn’t find a description on the website, but, from what I gather, it has articles about all sorts of health issues, with a particular focus on celebrities who have health issues. You can click on the title, below, to go to their website and look around. This article talks specifically about anosognosia, which is when someone with cognitive symptoms is unaware of their condition or impairments.

Tips for Dealing With People Who Don’t Know They Have Dementia

When President Woodrow Wilson had a stroke in 1919 his physical health was slightly impacted, but his mental health suffered. Film director Errol Morris, in an opinion column in the New York Times, wrote, “his close associates noticed a change in his personality. He became increasingly suspicious, even paranoid, without having the dimmest awareness of the fact that he was perhaps becoming a different person.” Edwin Weinstein, a neuropsychiatrist who reviewed Wilson’s case in the 1970s, deemed this a classic case of anosognosia – a lack of awareness that one is impaired. Continue reading

10 Ways to Love Your Brain

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Given the growing evidence that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline, and in recognition of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month in June, the Alzheimer’s Association and its experts are sharing 10 Ways to Love Your Brain, tips that may reduce the risk of cognitive decline:

1. Break a sweat. Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.

2. Hit the books. Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. For example, take a class at a local college, community center or online.

3. Butt out. Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce that risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.

4. Follow your heart…

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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
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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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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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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