Caregiving for your loved one with dementia, especially during a crisis, can present special challenges. Those with dementia often do not do well with changes in their routine, making it difficult to care for them when the unexpected happens.
Caring for anyone with memory loss is difficult. Patients with memory loss can be fearful. Unsure of what’s happening around them. Imagine, after all, forgetting the faces of your loved ones. Driving and suddenly realize you can’t recall your destination.
Especially during this time of year, many of us shift our mindsets to consider how we can spread aloha and do good in the world. Giving back to our community comes in many forms. There are ways that take no money — donating your voice and time. “Activist philanthropy” is a newer term, but it simply relates to people who embrace the role of public advocate to raise awareness and bring precedence to essential issues. These people are speaking up and sharing their stories to inspire real change.
Music is often the background of many of our memories. We grow up hearing it on the radio, on TV and in concerts. We sang in school and at special events. We often associate certain songs with our relationships, happy memories, sad memories, growing up and different seasons of life. Because of its constant presence in our lives, music is deeply woven into our memories, and can offer hope and helpful tools to those whose memories are fading.
Memory care communities that first began appearing in the 1990s are an important care option today for the growing number of families caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. When considering memory care, look for a community with a rich and lively activity program, and staff who are well-trained in dementia care, and exemplify a caring and kind spirit.
The Alzheimer’s Association, formed in 1980, is the country’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to continue to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia by driving risk reduction and early detection, and by advancing vital, global research regarding treatment and prevention in it’s continuing efforts to find a cure.
The vision of the Alzheimer’s Association is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. To realize this vision, we fund research to better diagnose, treat and ultimately cure the disease. In fact, we are the world’s largest nonprofit funder of dementia research. A few highlights of our progress…
In home care, a question I often get asked is how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s who asks the same questions over and over again. To better understand and manage what’s going on, it helps to first know a bit about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. It’s a progressive disease, where brain cells deteriorate and eventually a person can’t make sense of the world. When short-term memory is affected, it can lead to repetitive behaviors, like talking or asking about the same things over and over. In essence, your loved one can’t recall having already asked a question because of their memory loss.
At some point we’ve all had times of forgetfulness or misplacing things. Our keys get lost or we draw a blank trying to remember where the car is parked or what we just ate for breakfast. We can usually sort it out and remember things with some time and patience. But when is forgetfulness or memory loss of concern?
As we age, our hearing often loses its edge. Clinical research suggests that hearing loss can have a negative effect on some key measures of healthy aging as cognitive, physical and social functioning decline. A study by the National Institute on Aging indicates that people with untreated hearing loss are significantly more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Recognizing the growing burden of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Alzheimer’s Association launched “The Healthy Brain Initiative” in 2013 to improve the diagnosis of dementia, and find and institute preventive measures.