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Fun in the Sun: Summertime activities for Dementia Patients

Submitted by Maria Jose Chaves on 13:28

It’s summer time! Yey! So now what do we do with grandma? How do we incorporate her to our summer activities? How do we get her outside to enjoy some fun in the sun, even with her onset dementia? Sounds familiar?... This question is being part of many households this time of the year. So here I gathered a few ideas from several web places specialized on dementia.

It is like a simple recipe, it takes a pinch of patience, a mixture of humor and a full spoon of creativity. It is always important to have the person with dementia at the center and mold the activities according to what he or she may like and once loved doing. And above all, treat them with respect, remember they are not children, in the end you will find yourself having fun too.

Discount Medical Supplies in the house at the Fearless Caregiver Conference

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 11:04

Our very own Dr. Jon Segal has been invited to a new edition of the Fearless Caregiver Conferences. This event has been attended previously by Henry Winkler himself. Putting two and two together, that means Dr. Jon is just about as cool as The Fonz. This edition of the conference will take place in Boca Raton, Florida (Embassy Suites Hotel 661 NW 53rd Street Boca Raton, FL 33487 to be precise), and it will be hosted by Gary Barg, editor in chief of Today’s Caregiver magazine -which has had its cover graced by the likes of the aforementioned Fonzie, and actors Marlo Thomas (That Girl), Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Louis Zorich (Mad About You), Olympia Dukakis (Steel Magnolias, Moonstruck), and country singer Clay Walker.

Today’s agenda includes registration in exhibit area, expert Q&A panel, networking for exhibitors, lunch/guest speakers/awards, and fearless caregiver training. In the question and answer session, a panel of expert caregivers will take questions from the audience and provide advice on subjects like respite alternative, financial and legal issues, persuading an aged parent to stop driving, Alzheimer’s care, grandparent caregiving and depression, stress management, and adult daycare services. Moreover, the fearless caregiver training will feature Gary Barg educating the attendees on how to become an essential asset in their loved ones’ care team, using journaling, respite and the Reverse Gift List as well as learning to create a personal family team.

Caregiving on a Budget: Discount Medical Tips for Caregivers

Submitted by Alberto Chaves on 17:10

Nursing and caring for a loved one of a family member can be a sacrifice that comes at a high costs, emotionally and financially. Seeking discount medical costs and staying on a budget is at times critical in order to sustain the needs for the person you are caring for. In the past, in previous articles we have touched upon this subject already. It is perfectly normal that when you are caregiving for a closed relative or loved one that you wish to provide the best available supplies and treatment money can buy, but unfortunately in hard times we might not be able to afford such care, that is why it is critical to be frugal and set a strict budget.

When setting up a budget, there are a few things that you need to do first. The first one is to set up a list of priorities and vital supplies required for day-to-day life. Setting and separating what’s indispensable and what is not is the first step you need to take. Then see if the facilities on which the care receiver is living in and decide if modifications to the premises are needed. Read more about this subject by clicking here.

How to choose the right Caregiver App?

Submitted by Maria Jose Chaves on 09:45

Caregiving is already a complicated task that is not for those faint of heart, it is a labor that needs all the help it can get, more so in this technological era. Today there are thousands of apps created for even the most absurd idea, so why not caregiving, here are a few tips on how to choose the right caregiver app. Just think of what you need and not the things that later might stand in your way.

Must be USER FRIENDLY. We are not all technology savvy. Having a Smartphone doesn’t make its owner smart enough to know off hand how to use it. Avoid complicated apps that make you jump through many hoops and make it seem like an endless labyrinth. The more simple the app the better for the caregiver. Also, since current caregivers are part of a generation that wasn’t born to cell phones and tablets everywhere, the best app would need to have bright colors and large letters.

Smart(phone) caregiving: helpful apps for caregivers

Submitted by Charles Brown on 12:51

This Wednesday at 3pm EST we will have a Twitter chat about the topic of Apps for Caregivers, using the hashtag #DMSHealth.

We’ve been reading up on some reviews, and these are some apps you might find interesting:

Cozi: this is a family management app. In their words: “It helps you manage the chaos of family life with a shared calendar, shopping lists, to do lists and more. Cozi keeps track of everything from school schedules and sports activities to grocery lists, meals and chores — all in one place the whole family can access anytime, anywhere.”

Lotsa Helping Hands: This app helps you coordinate helpers for food drop offs, prescription pick-ups, or anything else you need help with. They say:” We connect people through the power of community — whether you need help or you want to provide help. You may be caring for an ill loved one, an aging parent, a child with special needs or a veteran. You may want to volunteer to help a friend or others in your neighborhood. However you define help — this is your home.”

Going on a trip with Dementia

Submitted by Maria Jose Chaves on 12:51

Planning a trip may seem easy for anyone, and the worst case scenario anyone might think is that the airline loses the luggage. But how about the hazards of going on a trip with dementia? How safe or how difficult can it get to travel with someone with this cognitive impairment?

It will require a good amount of planning, keep everything that could happen in mind when creating your trip’s blue print. Another equally if not the most important aspect to consider is the progression of the disease, it is better to travel on the early stages of dementia, since the person may enjoy the experience as opposed to the later stages in which he or she is very dependent in most of his or her needs and abilities. On those later cases, travel is not recommended.

Even in the early stages of dementia, the smallest change in their routine could cause high levels of anxiety. Consider travelling to familiar places and have the fewest changes in their routine as possible. If the person has never travelled in a plane then it might be best to go by car or train. Keep in mind that high levels of stress and anxiety could be present at any moment of the trip. A key phrase to note here: stick with the familiar.

Embrace your feelings as a Caregiver

Submitted by Alberto Chaves on 10:17

Caregiving can be a very emotionally draining task, one that can’t be achieved by many, but it is ultimately one of the most beautiful and noble ones.  Being a caregiver demands love, compassion, patience and perseverance twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As a normal human being, during day-to-day life, and different hectic situations that caregiving can give you moments of great emotional stress.  You might experience a whole deal of a great variety of emotions that could eventually take a toll on you.

Caregiving will put you face to face to very intense emotional states and difficult situations that might cause you to encounter feelings that you might even be embarrassed to experience. The very first thing you need to realize is that no matter the circumstances, you need to accept your feelings. Do not chastise yourself over for feeling anger, guilt, fear, or even helplessness, these are all perfectly normal emotions that you as a living breathing human being can experience while taking care of others. It is very important to understand something very crucial: these feelings do not make you a bad person. These feelings can be more complicated if you are taking care of a family member, by no means to they mean that you do not love them.

Visiting someone with Dementia

Submitted by Maria Jose Chaves on 12:55

Whether your loved one lives in an assisted home or is cared for at home by a professional or relative caregiver, there are certain “rules” to follow when visiting someone with dementia to make your stay a breeze of fresh air on all. The family situation is already difficult to make a small mistake and create a confusion and conflict with the person living with dementia and those who tend for him or her.

There are a few tips to follow that are adjustable to the different stages of this disease. As you may be able to have the grandchildren play catch with their grandpa, at later stages it might be best to just sit holding their hand. Here is a compiled list of recommendations to pursue when visiting someone with dementia.

Alzheimer’s: Through My Mother’s Eyes Book Review

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:30

Mrs. Suzette Brown makes good on her promise to allow the reader to see through the eyes of someone who has Alzheimer’s disease; or, at the very least, the eyes of someone whose loved one has this degenerative condition. To an unsophisticated reader, this book might seem repetitive, disjointed, fragmentary, and ambiguous. But therein lies the genius of it. Reading Mrs. Brown’s account is without a shadow of a doubt the closest you will ever get to experience what Alzheimer’s disease must really be like without actually being diagnosed with this illness.  

Take for instance this phrase which seems to be Mrs. Brown’s mantra: “I have since learned…,” that keeps cropping up here and there in the book. Not only does it convey the constant learning process that the author goes undergoes from the moment her mother is diagnosed, but it also provides a sort of hypnotic rhythm; the ticking of a mechanical metronome that may sound monotone on its own but which keeps the pace of the story being told. And make no mistake; this is a story full of leitmotifs and idées fixe.

The Sandwich Generation of Caregivers

Submitted by Maria Jose Chaves on 16:22

It is a relatively new term in the world of caregiving and I wouldn’t be able to tell you who came up with that term but it is a graphic way of describing those caregivers who tend for their children and an elder relative. The sandwich generation of caregivers is not new, but it is certainly becoming more common as the elder community keeps growing at this fast pace.

Just as my favorite sandwich, a big and crunchy BLT, caregiving has a series of layers in which the caregiver is “squeezed” in between two generations. Caregiving is hard work, but even harder to try and balancing it with another equally demanding labor like work of tending for your children. Caregivers are constantly at risk of burning out and having an extra task can easily push them to the edge. Which is why it is important to keep in mind the different alternatives of respite support they can turn to.


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