Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

Understand How Dementia Progresses Differently Based on the Type of Dementia

Understand How Dementia Progresses Differently Based on the Type of Dementia One of the primary questions in most people’s minds when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia is how dementia progresses, and what to expect in the weeks, months, and years to come. We understand that the unmistakable sign of dementia is the increasing decline in cognitive abilities as well as the skills required to take care of daily life. However, each person progresses through these changes in a different way. There are a variety of factors that may impact how dementia progresses, such as: Prescribed medicines a senior is taking General health and physical makeup The circle of support established The person’s general emotional wellbeing and resilience There are other determinants to factor in based on the type of dementia diagnosed. As an example: MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment): Mild cognitive impairment impacts up to 20% of seniors. More than the normal minor cognitive decline experienced in aging, MCI involves difficulties with language, judgment, thinking, and memory which…

Low Vision and Dementia Tips and Activity Ideas

Low Vision and Dementia Tips and Activity Ideas Finding activities which can be fun and engaging for a senior with dementia tends to be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it could seem overwhelming. Even so, it is vitally important to make sure every day holds opportunities for purpose, joy, and meaning – minimizing the level of agitation, frustration, and other challenging emotions and behaviors in Alzheimer's. Our Windsor-Essex home care team has low vision and dementia tips to help. The first step is to think through the older adult's current and past hobbies, interests and lifestyle. Then brainstorm approaches to draw on those preferences. We’ve gathered some ideas to help you get started: Put together a playlist of the older adult's favorite songs or genre of music, and then dance, sing along, keep the beat with a tambourine or a sealed container of dried beans. Talk about the memories the music raises. Read aloud, choosing articles or stories that are easy to follow and on subjects which are interesting…

The Growing Trend of Elder Orphans and How to Best Prepare for the Future

The Growing Trend of Elder Orphans and How to Best Prepare for the Future Growing older presents a variety of new challenges: chronic health conditions, loss of family and friends, and increased frailty. For many of us, with these changes comes an increasing dependence on family members, particularly our adult children, whom we naturally expect to care for us when we have a need in our later years. But what happens when aging adults find themselves without family support? These “elder orphans” have additional concerns that result in not having built-in support. Although the exact number of aging adults with no family support is unknown, we do know from the 2016 Canadian census that 33% of seniors aged 65 and older are women who live alone, and 17.5% of men live alone. While many of these seniors have family support, some are considered to be “elder orphans.” With the explosion of aging baby boomers, a solution to this crisis needs to be put in place. Seniors who fall into this category are encouraged to take the following steps to plan ahead for their…

Family Counseling Can Help Relieve Caregiver Stress

Family Counseling Can Help Relieve Caregiver Stress There are specific milestones we might experience in our lives that, though not necessarily negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a new job. Getting married. Getting divorced. And one that individuals in the home care industry are particularly mindful of: caregiver stress as a result of caring for aging parents. So many conflicting emotions arise for those in the role of family caregiver, and these are exacerbated when trying to share tasks with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts that may surface, conflicts pertaining to decision-making, and the stress of navigating what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once provided for us. For these reasons and many more, family counseling may be an excellent addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to guarantee the very best possible care for senior parents, in addition to his or her own physical and mental wellbeing. Listed here are several benefits of family counseling as parents get…

Caring for Aging Parents from a Distance: How to Assess Mental Health Needs

Caring for Aging Parents from a Distance: How to Assess Mental Health Needs The isolation and fear as a result of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the wellbeing of the elderly, with nearly half of seniors surveyed in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll stating that their degree of stress and worry was negatively affecting their health. And even though it still may be hazardous to visit in person with older adults, it’s imperative to remain in regular and frequent contact, and also to look for any changes or signs that may signify a mental health concern when caring for aging parents from a distance. As stated by psychiatrist Judith Feld, MD, MPH, “If a senior usually really enjoys a call with a grandchild, for example, but that seems to have changed, maybe you need to ask more questions, such as, ‘How can we be of help?’” Additional symptoms and signs of depression to watch for include sleeping issues, loss of appetite, lethargy, and complaints about pain, which interestingly, can be one of the main signs of depression in seniors. Be aware of anything that…

How to Handle Shadowing in Dementia: Overcome the Fear of Being Alone

How to Handle Shadowing in Dementia: Overcome the Fear of Being Alone If you are a primary caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's disease, you may be interested in how to handle shadowing in dementia, as it is frequently an all too familiar experience that occurs whenever you’re trying to take a quiet minute or two alone – to use the bathroom, get a quick shower, and even walk into another room. Those diagnosed with Alzheimer's can experience enhanced fear when a family member is out of sight. And the resulting behaviors can be extremely hard to manage: crying, anger and meanness, or continuously asking where you are. It can help to understand the reasoning behind shadowing. You are the older adult's safe place, the one who tends to make sense of a disorienting and confusing world, and when you’re absent, life can seem frightening and uncertain. And recognize that shadowing isn’t a result of anything you have done, it is merely a typical aspect of the advancement of Alzheimer's disease. Our Windsor-Essex dementia care team provides…

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