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You’re a poet and didn’t know it… Cause you have Alzheimer

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:55


Fewer than 50% of people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are actually told about their diagnosis, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Doctors tend to leave out this tidbit because they don’t want to distress the patient, but they’re actually doing them a disservice. First of all, “there are lots of other fatal diseases a doctor give diagnoses for,” as vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer's Association Beth Kallmyer put it. Moreover, the patient’s family is left with less time to make financial plans and establish a caregiving team. Regarding that, the report also highlighted the financial toll of the condition – approximately $218 billion for the 85% of patient relatives who provide unpaid caregiving duties. The direct cost of Alzheimer is expected to reach $226 billion this year, in terms of medical, hospice, and long-term care.

In addition to doctors not wanting to be the bearers of bad news – and if that’s the case, they might want to revise their career choice – they may also lack the time and/or the training to provide a diagnosis. “Primary care doctors have very, very limited time to spend with patients. And to assess someone with brain failure, you need a substantial bit of time,” geriatric psychiatrist and director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Pierre Tariot said. “Everybody understands that doctors are under enormous pressure to do a lot in a short period of time, and talking about Alzheimer's disease takes time,” Kallmyer added. Doctors were found more likely to offer a diagnosis in the later stages of the disease.

10 ways to promote self-expression in Alzheimer’s patients

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 15:45

Like Madonna once said, “you know, you know you’ve got to make him express how he feels.” Or help her express how she feels too. The following pieces of advice may help caregivers help Alzheimer’s disease patients to express themselves.

  1. Be a good listener. You can’t tell people with dementia “don’t bore us, get to the chorus;” you have to listen to the whole song – which may involve a repetitive refrain – to get to what you really need to hear. Just like when you listen patiently to all of Cheap Trick’s Surrender to get to the “we’re all alright” part. Be patient and go one step at a time, listen without interrupting, and nod in agreement and say things to signify that you’re interested and paying attention.

Caregiving: What is compassion fatigue?

Submitted by Mariela Miranda on 13:50

Compassion fatigue

In caregiving we are used to hear and read about caregiver stress, caregiving fatigue or caregiver burnout; however the term compassion fatigue is not commonly mentioned yet it  holds the same importance and need of attention.  

Compassion fatigue was first discovered back in the 1950s on health workers such as nurses, doctors and first responders.  This condition has also been called secondary traumatic stress or STS, and it results in levels of compassion towards a patient decreasing over time.  The symptoms exposed by sufferers of STS are among the following:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Decreased experiences of pleasure
  • Ongoing stress and anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nightmares
  • Persuasive Negativity

Caregivers, All you need is Glove

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 15:48

Caregivers glove

Is the glove you take equal to the love you make? Or as John Lennon would misquote it, is the glove you give equal to the love you get? Either way, when it comes to caregiving, one of the best ways to show how much you love your aging/disabled/sick relative is to use the proper type of glove. In other words, using the right glove means never having to say you’re sorry. On the other hand, the wrong kind of glove can lead to undesired instances of contamination and infection. You know, the sort of horror story that H.P. Glovecraft would write.

Hiring a Caregiver: Importance of Personality Traits

Submitted by Mariela Miranda on 15:47

Hiring a caregiver

Not everyone is fit to be a caregiver.  If you are that type of person you go not have to feel bad about it.  However, this means you might have to find someone good enough to take care of a loved one.  So if you have to go caregiver hunting, here are a few tips you can take into account so it does not turn into a complicated scavenger hunt. Caregivers must have certain personality traits that need to be present before the take care of someone you loved.

Your caregiver must be compassionate and empathetic

A caregiver you can trust will have empathy and compassion in their heart. They will thrive upon serving others with altruism and respect. They are human beings that want to make a change in the world by being the strong pillar of someone who needs caring.  By having compassion and empathy in their hearts they are able to undergo the difficulties that come with the job especially when they have to care for combative or uncooperative people.

Dementia Frustration: Be a healer not a hater

Submitted by Mariela Miranda on 09:23

Dementia frustration

As patients with dementia start losing their capabilities they become extremely anxious and very frustrated. There comes a moment, before they fully forget how to do things, that they remember they could carry on tasks on their own yet can’t seem to get them right. It is a time that can be very frustrating for the person suffering from dementia as well as their caregiver.  This time is extremely trying for the caregiver as they might not understand the frustration and losing their patience is as easy as pie.

Positive Reinforcement

Focusing on positivity and making it the center of everything you do is the very first step you have to take to deal with the frustration that your loved one might be going through. Remember that their frustration will also affect you and will put your caregiver capabilities to the test. It is said that happiness and positivity are contagious. This is something you will want to pass on to your loved one and make sure they get well infected!  When they are mad about not being able to do something on their own, focus on the things they can still do. Tell them you are there for them and that he or she is not alone. Remind them we all need a little help from friend every now and then.

Getting ready for the most gratifying task of your life!

Submitted by Mariela Miranda on 09:22

Most gratifying task

I said gratifying, not easy!  It is actually going to be one of the hardest tasks you take on.  However, filling your heart with kindness, love and compassion for the person you will be taking care of will be the best and most gratifying thing you can do in a lifetime.  Many people who become caregivers do not have time to prepare for the “job” and have to learn as they go, making it very hard to keep up with the changing world behind the unexpected.  However, if you are one of the lucky ones to have the luxury of preparing for the care you will provide your elder parent or relative, I suggest you take that opportunity.

10 tips for communicating with a person with Alzheimer’s disease

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 12:10

10 tips for communicating

Caregivers may find that patients with Alzheimer have trouble finding the correct words, repeat the same words or phrases over and over, substitute similar-sounding words, make up new words, lose their train of thought, have trouble organizing words, revert to a native language, start cursing, speak less often, rely on non-verbal gestures, or have difficulty understand conversations, questions, and instructions. Establishing communication with a person with dementia is not easy, but it’s not impossible either, and these tips may help.

Elderly at the bath: Medical Supplies for the elderly

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 09:04

Elderly at the bath

Medical supplies for the elderly are especially helpful for allowing aged individuals to perform satisfactorily in the bathroom – including shower, tub, and toilet. Not being able to go to the bathroom by themselves deprives the elderly of both privacy and independence, but these supplies can allow them to preserve much of those two attributes, even if a caregiver must be present to supervise the proceedings and lend a hand when needed.

23 resources for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers to relieve stress and anxiety

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 09:21

23 resources for Alzheimer's disease

Caregiver stress is real, and so are these articles, books, and other resources which are available – either for free or for a small sum – to help you relieve anxiety and avoid burnout.


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