Take action in the fight against Alzheimers disease

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Oct 08, 2015

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Idaho - Boise and the Treasure Valley

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is reaching epidemic proportions, as the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. Currently, 5.2 Americans are living with the disease and the number is expected to triple by the year 2050. The Alzheimer's Association is taking action to change these numbers and we need your help!
Alzheimer's Association Trial Match
Scientists are constantly working to advance research. Clinical research, with the help of human volunteers, is the only way to find better treatments, prevention and cures. Trial Match is a free, easy-to-use clinical studies matching service that connects individuals with AD, caregivers, healthy volunteers and physicians with current studies. Our continuously updated database of over 130 AD clinical trials includes both pharmacological (drug) and non-drug studies being conducted at 500 trial sites across the country. To learn more, visit www.alz.org/trialmatch or call 1.800.272.3900 to speak directly with a clinical trials specialist.

Become an Advocate for Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's advocates play an important role in improving the quality of care and quality of life for people with AD and their families by carrying our message to elected officials at the federal, state and local levels. As an advocate you will receive regular updates about current legislative and public policy issues; invited to communicate with elected officials via petitions, phone calls and other calls-to-action; and asked to share your story with others. Make your voice heard by signing up today. Join us in helping achieve our vision of creating a world without Alzheimer's. Go to www.alz.org/advocacy to get involved right away!

Walk to End Alzheimer's
Walk to End Alzheimer's is the worlds largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions of people. Families, friends, co-workers, social and religious groups are invited to be a part of this fun experience. There is no fee to participate but all walkers are asked to set individual fund raising goals. It is easy to sign up a team online and use our interactive tools to reach out to others to raise awareness and funds which support local resources and research throughout the world. The Treasure Valley Walk is held in early October each year, followed by a Walk in the Magic Valley. Go online today to sign up and join in the fight at www.alz.org/walk!

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Navigating the Alzheimers Journey: Supporting Loved Ones with Compassion and Care

Navigating the challenges of Alzheimers disease is a demanding journey for both the patients and their caregivers. The Alzheimers Association reports that as of 2023, approximately 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimers, a number projected to nearly double by 2050. Understanding how to support loved ones facing this condition is crucial in making their journey easier and more dignified.Executive Home Care offers specialized care for individuals with Alzheimers and dementia, providing a range of services tailored to the specific stages of the disease. Our approach to Alzheimers care is comprehensive and compassionate, focusing on maximizing the independence of early-stage patients, offering consistent support during the mid-stage, and providing around-the-clock care in the late stages. The caregivers are trained to ensure the safety, comfort, and well-being of Alzheimers patients, adapting to the changing needs as the disease progresses. Executive Home Cares commitment to personalized care plans and their understanding of the complexities of Alzheimers caregiving make them a valuable resource for families navigating this difficult journey.Patience: A Cornerstone of Alzheimers CarePatience is paramount when caring for someone with Alzheimers. The changes in cognitive function and behavior can be distressing and difficult to cope with. According to the Mayo Clinic, patience and understanding are vital in communicating effectively with Alzheimers patients. Its important to recognize that the disease affects each person differently, and adjusting your expectations to the individuals current abilities is key.Effective Communication StrategiesRegular communication is essential but can be challenging as Alzheimers progresses. Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests simple, clear language and the use of nonverbal cues to aid understanding. Maintaining eye contact, speaking slowly, and using gestures can greatly improve communication. Its also important to listen with empathy and offer reassurance, as individuals with Alzheimers often feel confused, anxious, or uncertain.Creating a Safe and Familiar EnvironmentSafety is a major concern in Alzheimers care. The National Institute on Aging recommends making modifications to the home to create a safer environment. This can include removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars in critical areas, and ensuring the home is well-lit. Keeping the environment familiar and consistent can also help reduce anxiety and confusion for Alzheimers patients.Emotional Support and UnderstandingUnderstanding the emotional needs of someone with Alzheimers is just as important as attending to their physical safety. The Alzheimers Association emphasizes the importance of emotional support, recognizing that individuals with Alzheimers may experience a range of emotions, from confusion and frustration to sadness and anger. Being there to offer comfort, maintaining a routine, and engaging in activities they enjoy can provide a sense of stability and well-being.The Role of Professional Caregiving and Support GroupsIn many cases, the support of professional caregivers becomes necessary. These professionals are trained to handle the unique challenges of Alzheimers care, providing respite and support to families. Additionally, support groups can be invaluable resources for caregivers, offering a platform to share experiences, advice, and emotional support.Caring for a loved one with Alzheimers is undoubtedly challenging, but it can also be an experience filled with moments of connection and deepening relationships. Patience, effective communication, a safe environment, and emotional support are key components in providing compassionate care. By coming together as a community and sharing knowledge and resources, we can make the Alzheimers journey a more navigable and compassionate experience for all involved.

How to Respond When Loved Ones with Dementia are Confused

How to Respond When Loved Ones with Dementia are ConfusedIf you have elderly loved ones with dementia, you most likely have witnessed their depressing battle with memory loss and other cognitive limitations. It can be heart-wrenching to hear them forget family members and friends, fail to recall recent events, or talk about deceased loved ones who they believe are alive.You may be feeling helpless and dejected, but there are strategies you can use to reduce stress, circumvent confusion, and maintain a healthy relationship with your aging loved ones.5 Ways to Deal with Dementia and ConfusionDementia can cause your elderly loved ones to say outlandish things or become befuddled when out in public. You may shudder with embarrassment as they clumsily interact with neighbors, talk to store owners, or even chat with complete strangers.Dealing with loved ones exhibiting dementia-related behavior, in private and public, can be disturbing. The following tips can help you manage difficult interactions caused by your seniors illness:        Step into their realitySeniors with dementia can find it hard to keep track of what is reality and what is memory or imagination. If you pull seniors with dementia into the real world by correcting them, you can sometimes cause more confusion, stress, fear, or even anger which only worsens symptoms of dementia.Experts recommend, whenever possible, that you affirm and join your loved ones reality. If your senior occasionally speaks as though they are living in the past, keep the conversation going without correcting them as long as it is not causing them harm. For example, if your senior thinks its Saturday but its Wednesday, there is no need to correct them just let it go.        Use distractions and diversionsExperts encourage using situational distractions to help people with dementia stay calm and avoid worsening symptoms. For example, if telling your senior you are taking them for a medical checkup causes distress, you may tell them, instead, that you are going on a trip to the park and will stop for a doctors appointment on your way back.You may also choose to distract your senior from topics that cause stress or if you find they are stuck repeating themselves. Changing the subject to the weather or asking them to assist with a simple task can help diffuse the situation.Some people may feel guilty about using therapeutic distractions or diversions, and that is perfectly normal. Just remember the goal is to make your loved one feel comfortable and find a balance that works for both of you.        Use brief explanations and gentle correctionsSometimes, you may have to correct a confused senior. In situations like this, do so as gently and briefly as possible. Reduce confusion and other negative emotions by phrasing your corrections as suggestions. For example, you could say, Why dont we take a walk together? instead of, I cant let you go out alone because youll get lost or fall.Be sure to use simple words and phrases that your loved one will recognize. Physical reminders, such as photographs, can also be helpful in gently reorienting a senior with dementia when necessary.        Respond to feelings, not wordsAsk yourself what emotion might be behind your loved ones words. If they are lashing out, perhaps its because they are afraid. In this case, you can reassure them that everything is okay, and perhaps offer them a hug or hold their hand. At all times, its important to respond calmly.        Take care of yourselfAlthough following these tips can help reduce stress for you and your senior, caring for a loved one with dementia can still be very demanding. Remember that taking care of yourself is important to avoid caregiver burnout. If you find yourself hurt by comments your senior has made, remind yourself they arent doing it on purpose.If you need additional support in caring for your elderly loved one with dementia or Alzheimers disease, consider hiring a Visiting Angels caregiver. Our Visiting Angels care coordinators are available to discuss your loved ones needs during a free care consultation.  

How to Have Meaningful Conversations with Dementia Patients

If you have a loved one with dementia, you probably already know how frustrating it can be to communicate sometimes. Limited understanding and cognitive decline can be very overwhelming for both the patient and the caregiver, but there are ways to make it easier. Here are some tips to considerFirstly, be determined to make the conversation the best it can possibly be. Going into it already frustrated or with negative energy will affect you as well as your loved one! Try to bear in mind that while you may feel like you are losing your loved one, they are still the person youve always loved. While the specific circumstances may make it tough to communicate, your positive attitude will be a game-changer!Second, create a comfortable environment that feels safe. Remove any distractions and just make sure youre in a quiet space without a lot of outside stimuli.Get their Full Attention. Use light physical touch and affection and use their name. The more relaxed and pleasant your body language is, the more they will also relax and enjoy the conversation. If the patient is non-verbal, your demeanor is even more important!Keep eye contact. Sit where you can see each other. This will help them feel safe and comfortable.Keep the conversation light and easy! They may be unable to understand or process some topics, so if your loved one suffers from dementia, its a good idea to limit topics to easy things that dont require a lot of thought. Remember to slow down, be calm, take a breath, and just enjoy as many meaningful chats as you can!Speak clearly and slowly. You need to give them a chance to process what youve just said. This means that you need to slow down and give a pause between sentences.Instead of pronouns, use names. Dementia makes it hard to remember who you are talking about. So, rather than saying pronouns such as he or she, use the name of the person you are talking about. Be sure to use your own name too.Dont load them with more than one topic. Try to avoid jumping to different topics or changing the subject without a clear introduction to the new topic. If they show signs of not understanding what youve said or who youre talking about, try rephrasing rather than repeating things.Finally, dont forget the non-verbal communication such as a smile, a hug, wink of the eye, and anything that is reassuring to them. This will help them feel respected and safe.For more information on communicating with dementia patients, please contact us!Home Helpers of Metro Denver is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Denver, Centennial, Arvada, Littleton, Aurora, Lakewood, Greenwood Village, Cherry Creek, Englewood, Bailey, Golden, The Highlands, Wheat Ridge, Glendale, Cherry Hills Village, and Evergreen, Colorado.Legal DisclaimerThis blog provides general information and discussions about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician or other healthcare workers.Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which may have been mentioned or linked to in the article.