Thursday, July 24, 2014

6 Tips To Guide You When Visiting Your Loved One in Memory Care

You just dropped off your loved one at a memory care community. You’re experiencing a range of emotions right now: sadness, guilt, anxiety, and maybe even a little relief.

By Rachael Wonderlin
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Forget me Not

It’s completely normal to have these feelings. When you go to visit your loved one it’s going to be a little different. He or she won’t have been with you all day, and you’re no longer his or her 24- hour caregiver.

Here are some tips to help guide you when visiting your loved one in memory care.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Have a Problem Getting My Wife to Do Self Care

I have one problem of getting my wife to do self care like getting up in the morning and brushing her teeth.

By +Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Always Seek Knowledge

Our reader Chavalit wrote the comment below under the article - Learning How to Communicate with Someone Living with Alzheimer's
I have one problem of getting my wife to do self care like getting up in the morning and brushing her teeth.
Do you have idea to get her to do something. I usually give her time and eventually she did it. What ever she said I did what you did.
If you have insight or words of wisdom for Chavalit, please use the comments section below this article to respond.

I'll go first.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Caregivers May Face Roller Coaster Effect with Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms

The combination of the motor signs of Parkinson’s disease (slowed mobility, stooped posture and tremor) and mental confusion, especially if the degree of confusion fluctuates day to day, should raise a red flag for suspicion of Lewy Body Dementia.

+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Lewy Body Dementia
“I watched my husband experience a decline in cognition followed by a period of what seemed like improved function only to plunge again into confusion with more frequent hallucinations,” says one caregiver newly acquainted with Lewy body dementia (LBD).

According to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA), these ups and downs in function are sometimes refer to by family caregivers as the “roller-coaster effect” of LBD.

Fluctuating levels of cognitive ability, attention and alertness are one of the core features of LBD.

Learning How to Communicate with Someone Living with Alzheimer's

I finally realized that I was fighting Alzheimer's and this was not working. I needed to change. Like it or not reality had changed. This understanding lead me to a new place that I now call Alzheimer's World.

By +Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Learning How to Communicate with Someone Living with Alzheimer's

Carole Larkin wrote an interesting article -- How the Loss of Memory Works in Alzheimer’s Disease, and How Understanding This Could Help You

The article described in layman's terms how problems with short term memory are directly related to the region of the brain known as the hippocampus; and, how when this brain region stops functioning properly a person losses their ability to store information.

The person living with Alzheimer's disease can hear you and even respond to you. What they don't do well is remember what you just said.

I grappled with this problem for years as I was constructing my own understanding of how Dotty was thinking (or not thinking) and feeling.

I named the parallel universe that Dotty lived in -- Alzheimer's World.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Well, She Loves It

By +Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

The following comment from Kevin Nuckels appeared under the article Can a Person Living with Dementia Become Happier and More Aware ?

Quote Guides Will Appear
After reading about your success with Petey and Harvey, I purchased a parrot for my mom Bobbe, who was diagnosed 1-1/2 years ago. I had it shipped to her house, and was on my way up there to set it up, and was feeling a little anxious about it. I didn't know how she would react to a kid's toy.

Well, she loves it.
It took her a little while to get the hang of communicating with Pete, but once she did she really enjoys the company.
Pete is a pet and a friend to her now, and when I speak with her on the phone (I live about 300 miles away from her), I can hear Pete in the background chiming in.

The best part is when Bobbe laughs at/with Pete, a real belly laugh which I haven't heard much lately. Pete is a great addition to our Family, thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How Alzheimer’s Changed Everything - Dining Out With Ed

Being in love with a person who has Alzheimer’s can be like living on another planet.

By Marie Marley
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Flash of Light

As many of you know I had a thirty-year relationship with Edward Theodoru, my beloved Romanian life partner, who later developed Alzheimer’s.

Dotty Did Not Allow Alzheimer's to Define Her

Dotty 2 months before her death, why did she look better than she had in over 8 years?

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Click to play and listen.

Dotty 2 months before her death,
why did she look better than she had in over 8 years?

I'm sitting here thinking about my mom, Dotty.

Many of you are new here to the Alzheimer's Reading Room, so let me bring you up to date.

I took care of my mother from November 17, 2003 until she went to Heaven on May 25, 2012.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dealing with Difficult Behavior Caused by Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

I often get asked questions about how I dealt with my mother when she engaged in difficult to manage behaviors.

By +Bob DeMarco 
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

I read these six coping strategies for dementia-related behavior problems some time ago.

Dr. Peter Rabins is a Johns Hopkins neurologist. He touches on the following behaviors: outbursts, agitation, aggression, wandering, vocalizations, hoarding and hiding things, and inappropriate sexual behavior.

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People living with dementia often exhibit aggression and behaviors that are frustrating, embarrassing, and sometimes even dangerous to the Alzheimer's caregiver and others.

These may include angry outbursts, agitation, aggression, wandering, vocalizations, hoarding or hiding things, and inappropriate sexual behavior. For many caregivers, these difficult behaviors are the most challenging and exhausting aspect of caring for a person with dementia.

Loneliness and Caregiving

Loneliness is a complex emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Caregiver Heart

Loneliness often includes anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or communality with others.

The causes of loneliness are varied and include feelings of social, mental and emotional isolation.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Could Your Family Benefit From Family Therapy? When to Think About Getting Professional Help

Family therapy is “a type of psychological counseling done to help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts.”

Marie Marley
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's Reading Room

The three Mackey children never got along well, and things got even worse when their father, Ralph, remarried after their mother died. His second wife, Becky, now finds herself functioning as the primary caregiver for Ralph, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago.

The children never liked Becky either, and now they like her even less. In fact, Brent, the oldest sibling, positively detests her. The children’s fights about how Becky should care for their father increase with every passing day.

Their conflicts with Becky are escalating lately, too. They never miss a chance to criticize or berate her – often in the presence of their father, who is simply bewildered by it all.

Family Conflict and Alzheimer’s: The Mackey family isn’t necessarily unusual. In a previous article, What to Do When Alzheimer’s Threatens to Tear Your Family Apart, I discussed the conflicts that can arise when a family member has Alzheimer’s.

I quoted Carole Larkin, who says that 30% of her family clients experience conflict. And she says that is doubled for blended families (like the Mackeys.)