December 23, 2008

How to Have Patience with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients (2)

Knowing all of the bad things, how does one go about developing patience? Is there some simple method? In a word, the answer is no. Developing patience takes time, but there is a method to do it. First, remember to take every day one at a time. When you’re with an Alzheimer’s patient, take each activity one at a time. Make sure that two activities don’t rely on each other. That way, if the first activity doesn’t work out, you’ll still have the second one to go to. Next, make sure that you’re accepting the reality of the situation you’re in. When you’re with an Alzheimer’s patient, you have to learn to accept the limitations that the disease has placed on them. Don’t give them more than they can handle. Now is not the time to see how far you can push somebody, as you’ll both just end up frustrated.

In developing patience, make sure you’re not worrying about the past or the future. If the Alzheimer’s patient did something wrong in the past, you need to learn to let it go. Also, you can’t worry about how they will act in the future, or if they’ll get to where you want them to be. Every time you’re with them, let it be a new start for the both of you.

Help the Alzheimer’s patient to break down the larger goal into smaller ones. For example, if you were trying to build a house of cars, would you simply say, “It has to be 3 feet high”, and then start to build it just to be that high? No, sure you wouldn’t. You would start by putting two cards together, then adding another two, so on and so forth. Remember to strive to achieve all the little goals, and celebrate each one with the patient.

From time to time when a person is attempting to help an Alzheimer’s patient they just become too controlling. Don’t be that person. You have to learn to hand over some control to the patient, and then simply let go. Let them bring about whatever it is at their own pace. The more you rush them, the worse the outcome will be.

Patience with Alzheimer’s patients may be very difficult to have, but there is a reason why patience is a virtue. Do your best to achieve that virtue, and your life and the patient’s life will be better for it.

December 16, 2008

How to Have Patience with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients (1)

Having patience when someone has a devastating disease like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be extremely difficult. Oftentimes, people begin to get frustrated, and perhaps even feel guilty that they are frustrated. The focus is more on increasing your patience than dealing with dementia patients, which is a whole other subject. Increasing your patience will not just help you with dementia patients, but it will improve your life as a whole. It is never easy have endurance all the time, but there are things you can do to help.

To learn how to obtain patience, you first must understand exactly what patience is. If you are patient, then you don’t need immediate gratification, and you are capable of just sitting back, and waiting for something to happen without experiencing either worry of frustration. If you are patient you have the ability to tolerate others, and be more understanding. With patience you’ll be able to hang onto a relationship, even when the going gets tough. Instead of riding on the emotional rollercoaster, you’ll be able to level off the ups and the downs, and wait for what’s coming to you. You’ll be able to relax in spite of the challenges that you face on a daily basis.

And how do all of these qualities relate to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia? As we know, those patients often need to have something repeated several times, and they may struggle with relatively simple activities. This is no fault of theirs of course, but rather of the disease. If you’re capable of relaxing, and waiting for them to process the information, it will supply a stronger basis for your relationship with them. To start with, you won’t feel rushed for them to accomplish their goal, and neither will they. If you hurry the patient, they’ll simply become frustrated, and their self-esteem will drop. You will become frustrated, and even angry, and the relationship between you and the patient will be heavily strained.

December 09, 2008

Alzheimer’s Specialized Care And Hospice – Is It Right for You? (2)

Hospice care also delves into spiritual care. Since everyone is different, and has different spiritual beliefs, the type of care hospice provides is changed on a person-to-person basis, to meet the main needs of the Alzheimer's patient.

Another benefit of hospice care is the fact that the nurse or social work involved in the patient’s case will often call family conferences. This allows the family to stay informed, open up to each other, and helps prepare for them for what to expect later on. It takes a huge weight off of the family.

As mentioned before, hospice care can take place in a large selection of places. The preferred method of hospice care is in the patient’s home, with up to 90% of people on hospice care choosing to receive their treatment that way – and why not? After all, most people find it much more comforting to be in their home, rather than a bland hospital that holds no memories for them. A family member who is living with the patient generally administers home hospice care. After a short training period, professionals such as nurses will begin to check in every now and then. They will help you learn what you can improve upon, and what you can do to make the patient’s life easier.

Hospital-based hospices are usually found in those hospitals that treat extremely ill patients. The hospice program is set up in a way that the family and patient both have access to all the support and health services in the hospital. Due to the close proximity of everything that is needed, a hospital can be good if a variety of different medical professionals are needed.

Lastly, there are the long-term facility-based hospices. Basically these are nursing homes, only they have a specially trained nursing staff to help care for the people that need them.

To decide if a hospice treatment is right for you, you first have to look at your options. After looking at your options, decide if it’s worth it to continue medical treatment, or if you should revert to a hospice treatment to ease the suffering of the last few days. Finally, it’s up to the patient, and what they would prefer.

December 02, 2008

Alzheimer’s Specialized Care And Hospice – Is It Right for You? (1)

Hospice is unfamiliar to lots of people, and understandably so. Rather than attempting to cure people, hospice attempts to make the last stages of an incurable disease as pleasant as possible, choosing to treat the person rather than treating the disease. As a result of this, hospice is considered one of the most humane and compassionate forms of care, and many people are very gratified they have the option to use it in the later stages of a disease such as Alzheimer’s.

The hospice philosophy simply stated is that it neither hastens nor postpones death, but rather places emphasis on quality of life, rather than length of life. Hospice supporters believe in family centered care, involving both the patient and the family in the care, rather than some doctor deciding what’s best for the patient. One of the advantages of hospice care is that it can be administered in a variety of locations, including a hospital, a nursing home, a private hospice facility, or even the patient’s home. In the vast majority of hospice in the U.S., the primary caregiver is a family member.

Hospice care is only given when medicine has done all it can do, and the life expectancy of the patient is six months or less. The patient, the patient’s family and the doctor decide when hospice should begin.

There are some different types of hospice care to be aware of. The first type is what’s more commonly known as an interdisciplinary team, which is compromised of various professionals, such as nurses, doctors, councilors, therapists and volunteers. They each specialize in a different part of caring for the patient.

A different thing that distinguishes hospice from traditional medicine is the fact that hospice focuses on pain and symptom control. The basic practice behind that is that the patient is to remain free of pain, while being able to make any important decisions.

November 28, 2008

Terry Pratchett Discussing Having Alzheimer’s Disease

Listen Terry Pratchett's speech to the Alzheimer's Research Trust when he donates one million dollars to the cause. He discussing having Alzheimer's, the effect on his writing, eating voles, and Dirty Harry the crack dealer.

November 25, 2008

Several Tips to Create a Care Plan for Alzheimer Family Members (2)

Living conditions and exactly what to do are always high on the care plan. Firstly, make a note of where the Alzheimer’s patient is living at the moment. Now, think about exactly what Alzheimer’s is going to do to them. If they’re on their own, are they going to be safe? If they’re living with someone, is the person they’re living with going to be able to care for them? Will they be capable to do it all the time? If not, you should start to look at long-term care facilities, or assisted living. Both of those options can help out a tremendous amount, and may or may not be paid for by health care.

Speaking of health care, you need to decide who is going to make all the decisions regarding the health of the person once they are unable to. It is best to decide on one or two people (preferably one), as any more than that and a bunch of conflicting thoughts may arise. When there is conflict, nothing will get done.

Finally, prepare for emergencies. What happens if the primary caregiver is unable to be with the patient on short notice? What if they’re away on vacation? You need to make up a back-up plan, just in case. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. You should make certain that all members of the family, as well as the neighbors are aware of the back-up plan. It doesn’t do much good if it just sits there.

Only if you follow all of the above points, you should be able to make a care plan suitable for the patients needs. Remember to do this as soon as possible after the initial diagnosis, as that is when it will be easiest, and you’ll be able to hear the wishes of the patient themselves.

November 21, 2008

Are Alzheimer’s Medicines Dangerous?

There is a growing concern that many of Alzheimer's patients are being given dangerous medicines which as a result, are hastening their death.

Is it true?

November 18, 2008

Several Tips to Create a Care Plan for Alzheimer Family Members (1)

Even though it is someone no one wants to look forward to, it is best if you plan ahead. Once Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, you should be looking to create a care plan for the afflicted person. There are some key questions that you need to be asking yourself, and to insure that you create the best plan possible, you need to answer them all as deeply as possible.

Typically the first thing that crops up is the financial and legal concerns. It is not entirely uncommon for a person with a disease like Alzheimer’s to enter a state where they are unable to make decisions for themselves, and because of that someone needs to be able to make the decision for them. So first thing: who is going to decide on what to do with the person’s finances once they are unable to do anything themselves? Normally you’ll want to choose someone who is good with money. Next, create a living will. A living will essentially decides whether or not the person will choose to remain on life support or not, if things become such bad. Finally, insure that the Alzheimer’s patient has a will, and if not, consult a lawyer immediately to make one. This have to be done before the person is unable to communicate what they would want in a will themselves.

Perhaps most important, and one of the most difficult to decide categories, is care. The main question you should be asking is figuring out who will be the main caregiver, and what role will everyone else in the family play? Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is a very demanding job, and to leave it to one person may not be very good idea. Figure out who the primary caregiver is, and make sure that they are both able enough to do it, and that they have the time to do it. An adult daycare facility may not be out of the question, and it will certainly take a mountain of pressure off the primary caregiver. In deciding what role the other family members will play, first make a list of the various roles there are (taking the person for walks, helping out around the house), and then have people volunteer for various positions. Make sure that each of the people volunteering can commit the time to the task they volunteered to, or they will be useless.

November 12, 2008

Activities for Kids to Perform with Family Members who Have Alzheimer’s (2)

Other types of activities that may not be as fun for the child, but are still great ideas, are those that make the Alzheimer’s patient feel mostly useful – after all, that’s another boost to their esteem, and every little boost helps. Activities that make the patient feel useful include simple things, like watering the garden, raking the leaves or folding the clothes. Each of these activities has also without doubt been repeated several times in the patient’s life, so they’ll be somewhat easier for them to do than something they’ve only done a couple times. Make sure that you give them an area of responsibility, even if it is miniscule. Moreover, be prepared to adapt in case the patient is unable to handle the responsibility you’ve placed on them. Always make sure you have a back up plan, something else that is simpler for them to do.

The point of the activities for both the child and the patient are to give him or her relaxation, enjoyment, or both. Even if the patient will soon forget the moment, it still should be enjoyed. The social interaction with the child will only help this, and if they’re with the child, the patient may even feel a little extra responsibility, which can be a good thing.

Make certain all the activities have meaning to the patient. If they used to knit a lot, they can knit now; it will just have to be something simpler. If he or she was a carpenter, they can still complete smaller projects with the aid of a child, as long as the project has been simplified. You have to try and find some common ground between both the child and the patient – something the patient once enjoyed, and something the child does enjoy. This positive atmosphere will help them both feel more relaxed.

It may be hard to think up activities for a person with Alzheimer’s, especially when a child is involved. You just have to try to remember who that person is – essentially what their core is – and figure out what activities they liked. Make simpler the activity, and both the child and the patient are bound to have a good time.

November 07, 2008

Alzheimer's Protest Against the Lack of Care

A protest held on June 20th 2008 to stress the lack of care and financial support for people with dementia.

Actor Kevin Whately and MP George Galloway also attended.

Dementia occurs when the brain is affected by specific diseases or conditions. The most common form is Alzheimer's disease. Other types include vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. As the condition gets worse, people need help, support and care. Services are not properly funded and some people are forced to sell their homes to get the help they need.

November 04, 2008

Activities for Kids to Perform with Family Members who Have Alzheimer’s (1)

It’s tough enough for kids to realize exactly what Alzheimer’s is, and what it does, and it’s even harder for them to stay involved with whomever it is that is afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Still, there are several activities out there that both kids and the Alzheimer’s patient can enjoy.

First of all, you must know what to look for in an activity. There are a few things each activity should include. To start with, they should compensate for any abilities that the person with Alzheimer’s may have lost. Second, any activity that is created must promote self-esteem. Though they may be losing their memory, patients with Alzheimer’s still need to feel that they have some worth to somebody, and activities are an ideal way to show this. Activities should be very socially oriented, providing a rare chance for an Alzheimer’s patient to interact with those around them. This will also allow the child to act with the patient in some way, improving their relationship. Experts in this field say that activities should not include those things that may involve the patient learning something new. You should never spotlight the limits of the patient, as that will cripple their self-esteem, and be completely counter-productive to the activity.

When you’re thinking of an activity, remember to consider what made that person special prior to their bout with Alzheimer’s. For instance, some people are immaculately dressed, so try to figure out a way for the activity to focus on that. That will help boost the Alzheimer’s patient’s self-esteem.

Every activity you decide on should attempt to re-establish old roles. For example, if someone was an improbable piano player, maybe try putting him or her in front of a piano to play for a bit. They could play something simple with the child, allowing them to interact socially, and further their relationship, while at the same time building the self-esteem of the Alzheimer’s patient.

October 28, 2008

How You Can Use Adult Daycare for Alzheimer’s Patients (2)

How does one go about finding an adult daycare? The easiest way to find one that’s near you is to look at your local agency on aging. Most have a full database, and some of the better ones even include which daycares deal with which stages of Alzheimer’s. Yet, you have to make sure that you actually visit the daycare before sending off the person, just to ensure that the facility is up to your standards, and are capable of dealing with the person with Alzheimer’s.

A different big question on everyone’s mind is that of cost. Just how much does it cost to put an adult in daycare? The prices range from $1800 to $4500 a month, or $60 to $150 a day. Those are just general ranges though, and the actual price can vary dramatically depending on where the daycare is located, and the amount of services it offers. Generally speaking, the medical daycares will be closer to the $4500 a month mark, where as the socializing daycares will be much lower. The less care required, the less you’re going to have to pay.

A lot of people wonder whether they can use health care or insurance to pay for adult daycare. Typically, the answer varies. As a rule social daycares aren’t eligible for healthcare, although some private insurance plans may cover the cost. You have to check with each individual daycare to discover, as the answer will vary from place to place. Medical daycare on the other hand, most of which are in someway connected to a nursing home or healthcare provider, are sometimes covered my health care. You have to check your health care plan, and see if it’s provided. The general consensus, unfortunately, is that healthcare does not cover even medical daycares.

In general, are adult daycares a good option? While they’re not perfect, they do provide a great atmosphere that the adult may not otherwise receive, and it can take the heavy weight off of whoever is taking care of the person during the rest of the day. Adult daycares provide an option that people never used to have, so why not take advantage?

October 23, 2008

How You Can Use Adult Daycare for Alzheimer’s Patients (1)

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the more hard diseases for families to care for. That is why more and more people are trying what’s known as “adult daycare” for Alzheimer’s patients. Mainly people start by wondering if it’s a good idea, particularly with people being in the condition that Alzheimer’s victims are in. Well, during the past few years, more and more daycares have cropped up, and some even specialize in Alzheimer’s patients.

There are two special types of adult daycares. The first type is a social daycare. The second type is a medical daycare. There are not many things in common with both types. To start with, both places provide anywhere for an Alzheimer’s victim to go during the day, which allows them to socialize – something that is very important to Alzheimer’s victims. It also allows the Alzheimer’s patient to stay productive, and makes sure they still enjoy life. The majority daycares offer one or two meals a day, depending on the timing. Several of the higher priced centers have transportation from door to door, but you’ll have to ask to find out if this is included in the cost or not.

There is one obvious difference between the two types of daycares though. That difference would be that social daycare is specifically designed for adults to go to during the day, socialize, and be active with the people around them. On the contrary, the medical daycare usually provides the same purpose, however, the people in the daycare may be nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals. In general, although the medical daycares are preferred over the social daycares, they also cost more due to the amount of medical professionals on the premises.

When choosing a daycare, be sure to note that not every daycare has the ability to care for people with Alzheimer’s. Some daycares are completely unequipped to deal with it, while others will only deal with certain stages of it. Even rarer are those that specialize in Alzheimer’s, and therefore are willing to care for the patient throughout the whole stage of the disease. Since everyone afflicted with Alzheimer’s has different symptoms and different stages, you must look really hard to make sure that the daycare is capable of dealing with Alzheimer’s patients.

October 17, 2008

Alzheimer's Is a Sort of Diabetes?

Is Alzheimer's disease simply a kind of diabetes? New research is begining to support that idea.

As this video reports, it could have implications for treating Alzheimer's.

October 15, 2008

What to Take Care Of Before You Really Suffer From Alzheimer’s

After the primary diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, there are several legal issues that should be taken care of as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more complicated the decisions will be, as the victims of Alzheimer’s may soon lose the capacity to even take part in the decisions that will affect their life dramatically.

The first thing you should do after the diagnosis, is get a group of people together to begin planning for all the potential legal issues that could come up. Start by looking around the family for people suitable to come in and help with those decisions. Preferably, this group of people shouldn’t be too large, or there may be too much conflict to be helpful. To start with, the person afflicted with Alzheimer’s should be present, as well as their significant other. The main caregivers and those closest should also be present. Any person who is either a distant relative, or isn’t directly involved with the victim’s life should probably be kept on the outside of this meeting.

At the beginning, start talking about advance directives. Advance directives are essentially documents that will speak for you, if you are unable to speak at anytime. These documents generally specify which type of healthcare you would prefer, and who you would want to make decisions for you. Using advance directives, you can designate someone to make decisions regarding the type of healthcare you want for you. This can be an incredible amount of pressure onto whoever is chosen, so choose carefully.

The first type of advance directive that should be discussed is the “Power of Attorney”. Basically what the power of attorney does is it gives one person the power to act on the behalf of another. These can be either general, or very particular. For example, you could decide that one person should have whole control. In that case, that person would make all decisions regarding the victim’s future. This is done in the event that the victim was unable to speak for him or herself. On the other hand, the power of attorney can be as specific as managing the sales of the victim’s home, or just deal with the healthcare of the person. Many arguments may come up over who should do what, but its best if everyone works together to decide on a small group of people, rather than everyone being included.

Apparently, a will, a living will, and a living trust should be created. The first document that you’ll deal with, a living will, essentially discusses what should be done regarding to life support. Do you keep the person on life support, or do you pull the plug, to break it down to layman’s terms. Next, a living trust determines who will manage the victim’s assets when they are unable to manage them themselves. This includes both money and any property they may have. At last, a will, the most common, determines how assets will be distributed upon death.

After you’ve decided everything as clear as you can, it is time to find a lawyer who can finalize everything. It may not be cheap, but it will avoid any major family struggles in the long run. Look particularly for a lawyer who specializes in elder care. Most states have a directory specifically for them. After you’ve found your lawyer, send two people from the aforementioned meeting to go and meet with them. Ensure to bring copies of whatever agreement it was that was arranged, so that the lawyer can review them and draw them up into a contract.

Dealing with Alzheimer’s can be really difficult. That’s why it is in your best interest to deal with any legal possibilities as soon as possible, while the afflicted one can still communicate what they would prefer to happen. Always make sure that you listen to them, and follow their wishes as well as you possibly can. Many family members may fight over what is wrong and what is right, but if the person who has Alzheimer’s is there, he or she can be the voice of reason. Nevertheless, you are there to help them do what is best for them – according to their beliefs. Make sure you do that.

October 07, 2008

How to Talk About Alzheimer’s Disease with your Young Children

When a loved member of the family gets a crippling disease, it can be nearly impossible to discuss it with a young child. There will be many differing emotions and questions that develop in the ignorant mind. Unfortunately, children very rarely come right out and say what it is they’re feeling, be it because they don’t know what it is they’re feeling, or because they simply don’t want to talk about it. Either way, it makes the job of the parent a lot more difficult. There are a several ways to help the child cope, and there are also a few activities to try, to keep the child in touch with the family member.

Before discussing a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, you must plan in advance for what the child could feel. You need to be prepared for every possible way the child could take the news, so you’re ready no matter what happens. The first and most common emotion when a child learns of the disease is that of sadness. The child is sad and uncomfortable with what is happening to the relative. This is followed directly by confusion and fear. Children don’t have a very good grasp on what Alzheimer’s is, and even with the best of explanations they’re still going to be confused about why Grandma has begun to behave differently than usual. After they’ve figured out what exactly Alzheimer’s is, many children will be hesitant to spend time with Grandma, believing they might catch the disease, or that their parents will. You must put that fear to rest immediately, so that the children know they have nothing to fear.

On the other side of the emotional scale, some children may begin to develop somewhat darker emotions. These include anger, frustration, guilt and jealousy. The reasons for those are varied. Some will be angry because they have to repeat questions, or will have trouble doing activities with the relative. After that, they’ll feel guilty for being angry, believing that they should know better. Later on, they may even become jealous or resentful of the Alzheimer’s victim, mostly because of the increased time that the rest of the family seems to spend worrying about them.

To talk about Alzheimer’s with a child, you have to keep everything simple, while at the same time preparing them for what’s to come. Make sure you fully understand it, so that you know how to answer questions when they inevitably pop up. Tell them that Grandma is still the same person she always was, but that she won’t remember things that well and sometimes she won’t know what she’s doing. Make sure you mention that the disease is not contagious.

After the initial talk, be prepared to help the child cope with the fact that Grandma has Alzheimer’s. You always need to be around to offer support, and give them a shoulder to cry on if they need it. Be sure to reassure them that any feelings they have are normal, and are nothing to be afraid of. Tell them that if they have any questions they can ask you, and be sure to answer them honestly. There’s no sense in telling the child to ask questions if you’re just going to lie, even if it’s about the grimmer parts of the disease. “Sugar coat” if you must, but do not lie.

Finally, there are several activities that a child can do with the individual who has Alzheimer’s, preferably with the whole family. Simple things, like taking a walk together as a family, will do wonders for a child who is still unsure of what is happening. Make sure you involve Grandma in the child’s life, so they aren’t left in the dark about what’s going on. Other things, such as singing and dancing are also enjoyable for both parties. Some people have found success by simple things like making a family tree, or watching a movie.

Remember that when you’re talking about a younger person about a disease such as Alzheimer’s, to keep things simple enough for them to understand, and answer any questions they have. There is nothing worse for a child than for them to be both scared and confused. Keep that in mind, keep your arms open to them and you’ll help them through.

October 01, 2008

How to Evaluate Eating Time For Alzheimer’s Patient

Eating time for Alzheimer’s patients should be a very simple, step-by-step activity, one that is routine and enjoyable. Still, some problems can arise. Many patients have difficulty eating, whether because of a sudden loss of appetite or from having difficulty evaluating food. A patient might also overlook that he or she has eaten and ask to eat again. By evaluating eating time, and taking some important reminders into concern, caretakers can make eating time easier and more pleasant.

1. Is your patient in good health? Mouth sores, poor-fitting dentures, gum disease or dry mouth will certainly make eating a hard task. Intestinal or cardiac problems, diabetes, constipation and depression are also serious conditions that could contribute to a loss of appetite. Regular visits to the doctor or physician might be a good idea to make sure the patient is healthy and enjoying his eating time.

2. A patient should enjoy his eating time. Eating is a pleasure and an enjoyable activity. If a patient is showing signs of distraction or confrontation then try and find the cause. Remove any distractions in the room and ask the patient if he or she is comfortable. Distractions can even be very small, such as loud tablecloths or colorful patterns on plates.

3. Make routines. Meals be served consistently and at scheduled times. It might help to use visual aids as a reminder for mealtime. A clock with large numbers or a chalkboard listing the scheduled times would be helpful in getting the patient to assist.

4. Create a comfortable and safe environment. Remove any odors or excessive noise that might interfere with a good meal and proper digestion. Even sudden movements can be a distraction. A safe and steady environment is necessary to creating a healthy mealtime.

5. Be careful in evaluating food quality. Remember that you are dealing with a person who has become accustomed to certain tastes and preferences when it comes to eating time. As much as possible try and keep the patient’s likes and dislikes in mind when preparing a meal. Make sure the food is appealing in smell, appearance and moderate temperature.

6. Use a warm, easier style when giving instructions. Make sure the instructions are clearly stated. To-the-point commands like “Pick up your fork. Put some food on it. Now raise it to your mouth,” work fine and can even be repeated if necessary.

7. Tolerance is needed. Be careful not to criticize the person’s eating habits or rush him to finish his meal. The patient should look forward to eating time and see it as a pleasant activity free from stress.

8. Stay away from foods that would cause indigestion or difficulty in swallowing. A protection against this would be cutting or grinding some foods into bite sized pieces. Some food like popcorn, nuts or raw carrots may get lodged into a person’s throat and are best avoided. With some types of food it might be a good idea to explain to the patient that he should chew slowly and swallow carefully.

9. An Alzheimer’s patient may forget that he or she has eaten or have no concept of how much is too much. It is best for the caretaker to serve healthy portions and restrict further portions when appropriate. If a patient continues to ask for additional meals after eating time, it might be a good idea to start separating breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively, into several smaller courses. In fact, planning for several small meals in the day is a healthier choice than serving three large meals.

10. Set a good after meal routine. After eating time is over, check to see if the patient has swallowed the food completely and that nothing remains in his mouth. Help the patient to perform good oral hygiene, including regular visits to the dentist. If may be easier to use oral swabs than a toothbrush, just whatever works. Good hygiene is not only healthy but also good for a patient’s self-esteem.

Learning more about Alzheimer’s disease care and treatment makes planning eating time that much easier. By taking into account these small but important reminders in evaluating eating time, a caregiver can take better care of a patient and see more positive results in behavior.

September 26, 2008

Late Stage Alzheimer's - What We Can Expect

Late stage Alzheimer's disease is scary, but it can help to have information about what to expect.

September 23, 2008

Do You Believe These Myths about Alzheimer’s Disease?

To help an Alzheimer's patient, a caregiver must have patience and a true understanding of what the disease really is. General myths about Alzheimer's disease only add to the stress of an already difficult situation. The more caregivers and family members can learn about this disease, and better recognize the problem, the more effort can be put towards helping the patient.

Let’s consider five common myths about Alzheimer's disease as well as the reality.

Myth: My parent or grandparent has Alzheimer's disease. That means I’ll probably get it too.

Reality: Although genetics can be involved in the disease, only five to ten percent of total cases are actually the direct result of genes. The majority of cases have no definite or identifiable cause. Nothing can explain why Alzheimer’s disease develops or who is sure to inherit it. Even a healthy lifestyle and good diet, while generally a good defense against ill health, is not a sure protection. Alzheimer's disease can affect any person. Understanding this fact can help others to be sensitive to patients’ needs as well as better informed on the reality of this disease.

Myth: I’ve heard there is a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Reality: While that would be wonderful news, unfortunately there is no cure at this time. There are medications and forms of therapy that can manage the symptoms in some persons. As far as a definite cure goes, researchers continue to look into this disease and remain optimistic.

Myth: What if someone I love develops the disease? What do I do or say? How long do I have to say goodbye?

Reality: Just because someone has the disease does not mean his or her life is over. Many patients continue to live meaningful lives, just like anyone else would, and don’t feel as if their lives are over. They are still able of showing love to family members and finding happiness in the things they do. Medications and treatments are also helping sufferers of the disease to manage. The most important thing to ensure a patient’s comfort and happiness would be to supply good services, pleasant surroundings and willing support.

Myth: I’ve heard stories of nice people becoming violent or at least extremely difficult after getting the disease. Is this true?

Reality: Just as there is no sure explanation of why Alzheimer’s disease develops, there is no sure way to predict how a person will behave because of the symptoms. The disease affects each person in a different way. For patients, the loss of memory and the state of confusion it causes can be a very frustrating experience. It can even be a frightening one, and some patients could react aggressively because of confusion or fear. By learning about the disease, adapting to the patient’s surroundings and changing the style of communication, caregivers and family members can prevent aggressive activity if it ever comes up.

Myth: People with Alzheimer’s disease are insane or unable to understand what is happening around them.

Reality: It is an especially important myth to dispel. There is no way to go over the mindset for the entire population of patients for this disease. Many patients do understand what is going on around them and some might have difficulty. Alzheimer’s disease affects a person’s ability to communicate and make sense of the world around them. But to what extent this is observed in each person is different. Assuming that a patient does not understand what is being stated, implied, or even said to the company of others, is a mistake that can cause misunderstandings or even hurt feelings.

Bear in mind that a person with Alzheimer’s disease is in pain, and deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. He or she is still the same person as before and should always be shown dignity. Believing common myths about the condition rather than learning the reality can only make living conditions trickier. Don’t be satisfied with the myths about Alzheimer’s disease. Get educated. Learn about the disease. Seek help. Learn the best ways to help care for patients. With a little patience and a lot of understanding, caregivers and family members can help to fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

September 19, 2008

Some Important Information About Alzheimer's and Dementia

See this short video about two-part Alzheimer's disease program that meets State requirements for home health personnel in Florida.

September 16, 2008

How to Help Alzheimer’s Patients with Dressing

It is significant when dealing with Alzheimer’s patients to uphold feelings of comfort and safety in every activity. Severely affected patients frequently forget how to dress or may not recognize the need to change clothes. Such mental conditions can leave them emotionally fragile and more physically dependent upon their caregiver, especially as later stages progress. Good care is thus needed in helping a patient through various daily routines, including dressing. Consider some tips that will not only help you in directing support, but will also let the patient feel comfortable and respected.

1. Help the person to look forward to the regular activities of the day, dressing as well as bathing, eating, social interaction, and other daily routines. Speak of the upcoming activities as a highlight of their day, something you are willing to help them with without complaint.

2. Have a positive attitude. A cheerful attitude, even if not always contagious, can go a long way in creating and mending relationships. Many Alzheimer’s patients are still able to read body language and sense the temper as well as the tone of their caregiver’s voice. They respond to the attitudes they observe. A warm and positive disposition will get the best results.

3. Help patients to retain a sense of self-worth and independence. Wherever possible, let the patient take some initiative in dressing him or her self. In primary or moderate stages of Alzheimer’s, a person could still be capable of changing clothes on their own and may just need assistance in laying out the clothing in order or verbal suggestions on which thing should be worn. In progressive stages of disease, an explanation on how to put the clothing may be required or even some physical assistance. In cases where the patient is totally dependent on you as the caregiver to change them, it is a fine idea to give verbal assurances that they are the ones putting forth the effort to get dressed, even though you are helping. Be careful not to let the voice of annoyance, or any strong negative feelings, come through as if it is a burden to help them.

4. Create a harmless atmosphere in the room. This involves allowing adequate time for the patients to dress, not rushing them or creating any unease. In addition to adequate time, make sure the feeling in the room is peaceful and warm. Any startling noises or uncomfortable temperatures could cause discomfort or hurting to the patient. Building stable routines and keeping a familiar atmosphere is very important in caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Impulsive or surprising developments are not helpful at this stage in life.

5. Make certain the clothes are comfortable. Whether dressing a patient out of need or assisting him or her to dress, some items of clothing may be difficult to put on. So, it is a good idea to use wide necked tops, baggy trousers and slip on shoes. This not only makes the dressing process easier, but also protects the patient against accidental harm or discomfort. Be sure and draw the person out, getting his or her opinion on the clothing, letting them feel involved in the selection process. The patient’s comfort in this time of difficulty is the main concern.

6. Keep in mind that your patient, no matter how affected by the disease, is still a human being with feelings and self-respect. Even if they don’t seem to respond your acts of kindness, the person deserves to be loved, touched, spoken to and treated kindly. The Alzheimer’s patient is not a child to be disciplined. The patient is suffering from a medical condition and may not be aware of how he or she is behaving. A caregiver needs a lot of tolerance in times of handling personal care. If a patient is treated badly, feelings of rejection, loneliness, grief and pain can arise, even in extreme cases of mind deterioration. Warm and supportive care is important to the patient’s emotional and physical well-being.

These tips will prove helpful in helping Alzheimer patients in dressing. Feel free to write these tips down and adapt them to your own personal style. Many people consider dressing their infirm loved ones as a way of being involved with them, or even a sharing activity. While not each person may see it that way, caring for an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient in personal matters, like dress and grooming, is certainly a demonstration of unconditional love.

September 09, 2008

How to Solve Some Problems Between an Alzheimer’s Patient and a Caregiver (2)

Problem: A caretaker asks a simple question of a patient. The patient delays in answering so the caretaker repeats once more. The patient still waits, and the caretaker decides to reshape the question in simpler terms. The communication deteriorates into conflict.

Solution: It is significant to allow enough time for a response when conversing with an Alzheimer’s patient. Interrupting, or even rephrasing the question, can confuse a person who is trying to process and state how he feels. The most efficient way to get a response is to ask one question at a time and then wait for an answer. Alternatively, if a patient struggles to find a word or express a feeling, kindly suggesting the word he or she is looking for could help. Common politeness in this case would be the best advice.

Problem: A caretaker notices that a patient is feeling opposing to help or consistently depressed. He can’t think of anything impolite or disrespectful he might have done. The patient expresses no concerns when asked if there’s a problem.

Solution: A positive and warm disposition is important to keep when handling an Alzheimer’s patient. Whether it’s merely validating their feelings or acknowledging frustrations, or even joking and singing to get a smile, a patient must understand that you care about them. Try framing questions and especially instructions in a positive way, always mindful of the patient’s comfort.

Problem: A caretaker is tired and stressed out. This attitude seems contagious and begins to influence the patient. The patient refuses to go behind directions and puts up resistance.

Solution: Alzheimer’s disease is not easy on anybody, the patient or the caretaker. It is a complicated situation and much tolerance is needed during this very vulnerable time. If a patient refuses to cooperate, then let him or her say no. You can approach them again later when they are in a better temper. There is nothing wrong with taking a few minutes away from your patient and relaxing. In fact, it is the advisable thing to do in most cases. When you return, you will be feeling better and your patient, maybe in a better mood himself, will be more willing to respond.

Communication between caregivers and Alzheimer’s patients can lead to frustrations. Nevertheless, with patience and a good understanding of what Alzheimer’s patients need in a caretaker, some of these common frustrations can be dealt with.

September 05, 2008

Alzheimer's Patients Say They Are Quite Well

Interviews with Alzheimer's patients indicated that an overwhelming majority are, in fact, perfectly fine.

Yes, Alzheimer's disease is a terrific thing. But let us have some fun...

September 02, 2008

How to Solve Some Problems Between an Alzheimer’s Patient and a Caregiver (1)

Building communication with an Alzheimer’s patient isn’t an easy job. Whether you are a family member or a caregiver, regularly communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s disease is surely going to need patience and understanding. Alzheimer’s disease involves a weakening of the intellectual process, which can disrupt a patient’s ability to speak as well as hear and process information. This doesn’t mean that communication is useless in general. Speaking to and expressing love to an Alzheimer’s patient is still very important. Consider at least some common communication frustrations and the effective way to deal with them.

Problem: A caregiver becomes annoyed that a patient can’t follow what she is saying. The problem only seems to escalate the more the caretaker repeats herself and increases her volume.

Solution: Remember not to use complicated thoughts or ask questions with too many options if you don’t have to. The best way to communicate with a patient is to use short, accurate sentences and simple words. Tone is also very important. A quiet and gentle way of speaking always lets the patient know you are there to help.

Problem: A caregiver simplifies his sentences and speaks affectionately to his patient. But the patient is not responding well and seems to be getting angrier as the conversation goes on.

Solution: Be careful not to oversimplify your statement as if talking to the patient like he or she were a child. You are still speaking to a full grown adult and some patients can pick up on a patronizing tone. The tone of voice should be compassionate, not schmaltzy.

Problem: Two family members are discussing their Alzheimer’s affected relative and his inability to carry out some daily routine. One family member goes over ready to help the patient dress but senses some resistance.

Solution: Just because a person has Alzheimer’s disease, even an advanced state, does not necessarily mean they are unaware to what is happening around them. A patient may hear what others are saying about him.

Problem: A caretaker enters and finds her patient in bed watching television. As she passes by, she tells him they are going out for lunch and that later a friend of the patient will drop by. The patient doesn’t respond and so she quickly moves in closer and repeats herself. The patient seems anxious.

Solution: Extra sound such as the television or radio can be distracting, especially if you are trying to communicate directions. For the best results get rid of any distractions first and try not to make impulsive movements. Move in slowly, standing or sitting in front of the person and making eye contact. Use the patient’s name and make certain you have his or her attention before speaking. This helps the person focus on what you are saying and remain tranquil.

August 29, 2008

Japan Scientists Find the Drug for Alzheimer's Disease?

Scientists from the Laboratory for Proteolytic Neuroscience at RIKEN are providing various research on Alzheimer's disease especially in the study of somatostatin, a neuropeptide that inhibits the secretion of growth hormone and could lead to the discovery of new drugs for Alzheimer's disease.

RIKEN is currently conducting bio-chemical and histological analysis of the brain using an Alzheimer's disease model mouse.

August 26, 2008

A Caregiver’s Guidance on Bathing for Alzheimer’s Patients (2)

As far bathing goes, it is significant to simplify the process. Let them do as much as they can. Sometimes patients recognize they need a bath but may have forgotten how to wash. If that happens, quietly remind them of the necessary steps to take and as much as possible let them wash alone if possible. It’s important to allow the patients do as much as they can. Your loved one might be proud and independent-minded and never wanted anyone to do him or her favors. You might see some of your patients or loved ones feel the same way. That’s why the advice is to allow the patient as much self-esteem as possible and let them feel proud of the effort they put forth, even if it’s just a little.

It’s possible that in such an intimate situation as bath time, an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient will feel uncomfortable. This is perfectly natural and it is advisable that if they feel very self-conscious to go ahead and cover private areas of their body with a rag or towel. If will help them feel comfortable and will help establish trust with your patient, so it is worth doing.

There may come some times when your patient refuses to take a bath and can’t be reasoned with. If that happens, don’t try and force him or her to go after your orders. It’s best that you just let it go, let the patient feel comfortable again, and then try at a later time when their frame of mind might have changed. This generally works, but if you notice it becoming a persistent problem then you may have to seek professional support and get someone else to do it.

Be sure and keep the bathroom a safe place. Bathrooms are a wet and slippery place to be and the patient’s safety, as well as the caregiver’s, is a concern. A fine idea would be to buy some grab rails, a non-slip mat and an extra chair for support. Just a few extra dollars spent can prevent some very serious accidents.

Yes, it is the least you can do for your loved one - to give back some of the expense and hardship he or she once showed you when you were a baby. While these situations were not always pleasant, let them show you that they serve reminders that you have unconditional love for your family. If you are a caregiver, while you might not be personally dealing with a family member, always keep in mind that these are full grown human beings you’re dealing with, with real feelings and hearts. Many of them had children at one time and probably sacrificed a great deal for them. When you show as much love and tolerance as you can, even in such personal matters like bath time, you are showing your patients that you care. It’s essential for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to know that it’s a caregiver’s will, not just his job, to provide help.

August 22, 2008

Alzheimer's Disease - What Will it Take to Cure It?

In this short video you'll see, how an Alzheimer's patient talks with her granddaughter about the Alzheimer's disease.

August 19, 2008

A Caregiver’s Guidance on Bathing for Alzheimer’s Patients (1)

If you know somebody with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you might say, “It is the least I can do.” You may feel that he or she gave so much of his or her time in you youth when you were a baby, and then on into you teenage years, as well. You might even think about the period when even into young adulthood he or she still lent me his or her time and understanding. When your loved one have Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia) it is devastating to the family. As the disease gets poorer, he or she may become unable to carry out basic activities and daily routines. Before long, he or she might be unable to clothe him or herself or bathe and will become totally dependent upon the family.

A number of caregivers might say something like, “I took care of him for several years before his death and I did have to regularly bathe him. It was a hard situation, and so I understand what many people are going through right now, whether you’re a family member that has taken in a relative with Alzheimer’s disease, or another form of dementia, or if you’re just a caregiver that gives generously of your time”. You might have to read up on the topic and get a lot of advice when the disease was first diagnosed. It is a new experience for most, and it might be hard to understand the idea of giving a full-grown person a bath. Of course, you might have bathed your children in years past, but this is different. What is the most dignified way to handle this situation? Are there any safety issues you should know about?

Education and experience are your best teachers in this case. You should look up a professional caregiver’s advice, but also put your heart into the job and learn new things along the way. One of the first things that you might learn is that the experience is whatever you put into it. You do not want it be a forced chore that makes you both uncomfortable. Do your best to make the activity enjoyable and relaxing.

You must remember that you as the caregiver are the one required to set up the schedule of bath time. A patient with dementia may forget to take bath, may not recognize the need or even forget how to do it. So it’s not only a caregiver’s job to bathe a person, but also to plan convenient and regular times to do so. You have to set the schedule and stick to it.

At times it might be a test to get your loved one motivated into wanting to take a bath. There are times when he or she will resist, which make the experience frustrating. What you can study, however, is that when you associate bath time with a social activity, it can prompt a person to want to wash. You may tell him or her that you have to wash first before he or she goes out to dinner or has a visitor over. That positive reinforcement makes him or her more agreeable to bathing. You should not force your loved one to wash; just try to make it an enjoyable experience. Rather than criticize a patient because of their cleanliness, try and use praise and encouragement to get them to wash.

Some advice is to not use showers for bath time unless the patients have been used to it for quite a while. A shower can be alarming and the person’s comfort is the most important factor.

August 15, 2008

Ask the Doctor About Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease is the Number One type of dementia in the elderly -- about 60-80% of cases, about 4 million Americans. Occurs between ages 40-90, is progressive, and causes memory loss, global cognitive dysfunction, personality changes, and loss of independence due to poor executive functioning. It comes on slowly, generally starting with short-term memory loss.

We don't know what causes Alzheimer's Disease and we don't have a cure, though medicines help delay the progressive symptoms.

August 12, 2008

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease - Why Some Treatments are so Similar (2)

While a one hundred percent correct diagnosis is not possible until brain tissue is examined, which are usually only done in autopsies, a complete diagnosis have to be made through the process of elimination. An accurate diagnosis can sometimes be not easy to make, the more particular details are learned. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease and multi-infarct (or vascular) dementia can exist together. Also, if a person is aged and is showing signs of severe and progressive brain dysfunction, while it could technically be some another irremediable form of the condition, Alzheimer’s disease is generally diagnosed since it is the most regular type. It is possible, though largely improbable, that a misdiagnosis will be given to a dementia patient. Nevertheless, treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other irreversible forms of dementia remain largely the same.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other severe forms of dementia. Thus, medication and alternative therapy is available to reduce the symptoms as well as to enhance the memory. For Alzheimer’s disease, the drug Aricept is often prescribed to delay the worsening of symptoms, like memory loss and disorientation. In dealing with multi-infarct dementia, it is imperative to control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and so treating those conditions with medication would be an option. Medication for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can also be prescribed to reduce agitation, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Still, medication for behavioral symptoms is not always necessary. This is particularly advised in mild to moderate cases of dementia, where Alzheimer’s disease has not been diagnosed, or even in a few cases where the dementia is reversible. Instead of medication, alternative forms of therapy like psychotherapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and herbal supplements have been used. A plan of healthy dieting and regular activity can be a treatment against dementia. Plain strategies designed to naturally enhance the patient’s memory, like visual aids or planning a schedule of daily routines, are also helpful.

Treatments in dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers are similar because Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. Yet, as we learn more about the disease, we also see that not every case of dementia requires the same kind of treatment. A patient and his or her family should consult a doctor to find out what treatment is best for them.

August 08, 2008

Two Popular Drugs May be Able to Fight Off the Alzheimer’s Disease.

Now researchers are trying to discover medications that can prevent or slow down Alzheimer's disease. What does the new research shows? See this video...

August 05, 2008

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease - Why Some Treatments are so Similar (1)

Treatments in dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers are a lot similar because while not the same thing, the two conditions can be related to one another. Dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction that eventually leads to the restriction of daily activities. Dementia is not a disease, but a general description of symptoms, which could include various different specifics depending on the cause. There are many causes of dementia, some fifty different types of diagnosis, and among them are Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Pick’s disease, brain tumors and even some cases of HIV or syphilis.

Alzheimer’s disease is a specific kind of dementia and it’s defined as a form of degenerative brain disease resulting in progressive mental deterioration. This deterioration can lead to memory disorder and confusion just like other cases of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the mainly common type of dementia, accounting for seventy percent of diagnosed cases, and certainly one of the most severe cases, as it is incurable.

The symptoms that affect Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers are also similar. Symptoms of dementia include asking the same questions repeatedly, getting lost in familiar surroundings, being unable to follow directions, disorientation of time and people, and neglecting hygiene and nutrition. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are generally the same, yet in many cases become more severe as the disease progressively worsens. Finally some patients need constant care as serious mental impairments begin to set in.

Treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers are similar in many ways because of the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. What happens first is that a diagnosis is needed. Sometimes symptoms of forgetfulness and general confusion are not proof of dementia at all, let alone a severe case of Alzheimer’s disease. If a doctor believes the symptoms to be serious a thorough physical, neurological and psychiatric evaluation is then ordered for the sufferer. A complete medical history is also required, including prescription and OTC medicines that have been taken, diet, and any other general health issues. An accurate diagnosis depends on accurate information and so the doctor may also ask a family member for more information about the person.

August 01, 2008

The Young Boy And The Alzheimer’s Disease

See this video and the boy who writes a book about his grandmother's Alzheimer's disease.

July 29, 2008

Why Do You Need the New Alzheimer's Awareness Bracelet

Medical alert bracelets have been around for some time. People with chronic conditions that need particular attention have found them to be utter lifesavers at times. Doctors can be alerted to the condition itself, or to allergies to common medications, and so on. Still, there is a new Alzheimer's awareness bracelet that goes one step further - it really works as a tracking device for the Alzheimer's patient.

Using an Alzheimer's awareness bracelet is an excellent idea to let medical personnel and law enforcement agencies know that the person wearing the bracelet has Alzheimer's, as these patients do occasionally have a tendency to wander away from their home or caregiver. It can be tricky for these to return the patient to their home if the patient himself or herself does not remember where they live, or even who they are. Moreover, there have been some fateful circumstances of Alzheimer's patients walking out of their private home or nursing home in the middle of the night or in very poor weather, without the caregiver noticing. These new Alzheimer's awareness bracelets can really trigger an alarm when the patient crosses a certain point. These bracelets work much like the security systems in stores that get triggered when someone walks out the door with merchandise that still has the security tag attached.

Miniature global satellite positioning (GSP) chips have been made to fit into the newest models of Alzheimer's awareness bracelets, meaning that if the patient wanders off, the bracelet can be easily tracked, just like stolen cars.

These Alzheimer's awareness bracelets are not meant to be degrading or embarrassing to the patients. Many of them come in very stylish models with crystal beads and charms, and for the men, there are thick silver chain styles. Some are also made of nylon and come in a diversity of colors. Alzheimer's awareness bracelets are simply meant as a safeguard for the patients in case something happens to them and they are admitted to an emergency room without their caregiver, or if they should leave the home at unsuitable times. They can be lifesavers to those patients whose caregivers obviously cannot watch over them twenty-four hours per day.

Numerous brands of Alzheimer's awareness bracelets also donate a portion of their prices to Alzheimer's research funding, so you are not only protecting your patient, you are supporting a great cause as well.

July 25, 2008

July 22, 2008

What Does Alzheimer's Care Involves

When somebody you love is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, you know that being a caregiver may be the hardest job you've ever had. There is continuous work to take care of the patient physically, and the sight of him or her slowly slipping away is very difficult on you emotionally. So it's important to understand that Alzheimer's care involves more than just the patient himself or herself! It is very easy for any Alzheimer's caregiver to become mentally, emotionally, and physically drained when trying to handle this weight alone.

The Physical Fee of Alzheimer's Care

Particularly in the later stages of the disease will Alzheimer's patients need more and more care with their physical needs. They frequently have difficulty swallowing and with reflexes. They may need help even with basic hygiene, including using the restroom. All of this can take quite a physical fee on those giving the Alzheimer's care. It's difficult enough to care for the many physical needs of babies that can be carried and bathed, but Alzheimer's patients are adults! Trying to get them in and out of a tub or even out of a chair can be very complicated.

Alzheimer's patients also need regular oversight, as they may have a tendency to wander away or leave the home at inappropriate times. When giving Alzheimer's care, this is a twenty-four hour job, and many caregivers can go days and days without enough sleep.

The Emotional Fee of Alzheimer's Care

Seeing a dearly loved parent or spouse regress into somebody that doesn't even know your name or worse, fears that you're a stranger and gets angry at you constantly can be shocking for those giving Alzheimer's care. This type of condition can also subconsciously remind them of what they have to look forward to in their own coming years, making them intensely aware of their own mortality.

Recruiting Help for Alzheimer's Care

There are possibly other people that can support you in giving Alzheimer's care if you simply ask them, and let them know directly what you need. Brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, and any other relatives that live near by should be doing all they can to help even if the patient lives with you. They may also be willing to share the cost of professional visiting nurses and medics to assist in the patient's Alzheimer's care. You can ask your doctor for such referrals if necessary.

July 19, 2008

You Can Overcome Alzheimer’s Disease!

Listen to this extended interview with Alzheimer's patient, Don Hayen.
He is a retired doctor and former medical director of an HMO. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2005, at age 71.

More than the past two years, Don has managed well with the disease -- so well he's been unable to meet the requirements to take part in clinical trials of experimental Alzheimer's drugs.

July 15, 2008

Be Careful of the Alzheimer's Caregiver

If you are an Alzheimer's caregiver, you need to be careful to watch your own health and not hesitate to speak up when you need help. Why do we say this?

Being an Alzheimer's caregiver can be one of the hardest jobs one could have. To watch a beloved parent or spouse slowly slip away as they continue to forget things can be absolutely upsetting. The formerly strong father that taught you to ride a bike or mother that walked you to school when you were a child is now the child himself or herself. To see that the husband or wife that you've build a life with is quickly thinking of you as a stranger can be almost too much to bear. Being an Alzheimer's caregiver can take an emotional toll on someone like almost nothing else can.

There is a danger too of becoming physically exhausted when you're an Alzheimer's caregiver. The patient can need virtually round-the-clock care and attention. Some patients do not know to stay in their own home and have been known to walk out the door in the middle of the night, or when they're still in their pajamas, or have no place to go. This can happen even in the nasty weather, putting them in great physical risk. An Alzheimer's caregiver can be always on the alert while keeping an eye on the patient.

Many Alzheimer's caregivers are hesitant to ask for help, thinking that it's their responsibility to take care of their parent or spouse twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. They think that a "good" son or daughter would never ask for assistance in caring for a parent, and a spouse may be afraid that somebody will put both the patient and him or her in a nursing home if they consider they can't take care of themselves. Yet, all Alzheimer's caregivers can use assistance. They need time to themselves, and time to rest as well. They can suffer from physical tiredness as they try to care for the patient's physical needs such as hygiene, feeding, dressing, and so on. Such things can be especially difficult if the Alzheimer's caregiver is also getting a bit older himself or herself. So if this sounds like you, don't hesitate to ask for support from other family members or friends before you become exhausted yourself.

July 11, 2008

What Does Alzheimer’s Caregiver Say?

Reporter spoke with Rick Gomez from San Diego who quit his job to look after his father who is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. The two men see this time as a chance to reconnect.

July 08, 2008

More About Alzheimer's Patients Day Care

Despite how much you may care for and be responsible for an Alzheimer's disease patient, you will surely ultimately need some assistance in caring for your patient. This may be on a impermanent basis for a few hours or may need to be on a more regular basis, such as for when you work. Finding Alzheimer's day care requires that you carry on certain thoughts in mind before signing up your parent or spouse.

It's significant to remember that there is a difference between adult day care and Alzheimer's day care. Not each adult day care facility is capable of taking care of someone with Alzheimer's. Some adult day care facilities are there simply as a recreational facility for seniors, something like a safe place for them to «hang out» whiles their adult children are at work. Finding Alzheimer's day care means finding a facility that is completely capable of taking care of the mental and physical needs of an Alzheimer's patient.

Various Alzheimer's day care facilities are part of an actual nursing home or hospital, and so are staffed with those that focus in medical care. These are not permanent residences for their patients evidently, as they are still expected to go home at night, just like any other day care. Some provide transportation to and from their center as well.

When choosing an Alzheimer's day care, you will need to be clear about how limited your patient is or isn't. For instance, many in the early stages of Alzheimer's need only limited supervision, while those in the later stages may need regular care and supervision. Alzheimer's does in time affect the patient physically, as they begin to develop troubles swallowing, sitting up, and so on. Since each patient is different in their particular needs, you have to make sure that any potential Alzheimer's day care center is able of handling the disease to the extent that it's affecting your parent or spouse.

Carefully check out any probable Alzheimer's day care facilities just as you would a child's day care. Walk through it to check on its purity and see how the other patients seem. How many caregivers do they have opposed to how many patients? Do they offer meals and assistance eating? Are they capable of managing the hygiene and bathroom issues of your particular patient?

You can as well ask your doctor for a referral to a local Alzheimer's day care facility.

July 04, 2008

How Pets Can Treat Alzheimer’s

Look this short video of the woman in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and pit bull. You’ll see how animals can be just a good therapy for people with any illness, and Alzheimer’s disease in particular.

July 01, 2008

Sources of Alzheimer's Disease

A lot of people today are concerned with Alzheimer's disease, either because they are concerned with getting it themselves or are concerned with an aging parent or spouse who may by now be showing symptoms. If you can identify what causes Alzheimer's disease, maybe there's somewhat you can do to stay away from getting it, or delay it as much as possible.

Scientists and biologists have a lot to learn about the human brain, and Alzheimer's disease in particular. They have so far to pinpoint exactly what causes it or why it affects definite people and not others. Certainly, they are making new discoveries every single day, but again, they still have quite a ways to go.

It's supposed that genetics plays a large part in whether or not someone gets Alzheimer's disease, and at what age. It is also worth mentioning that Alzheimer's disease is degenerative, meaning that it gets worse over time. How it progresses is also very different between every patient, and over again, genetics no doubt plays a vast role in this. If you have a family history of the disease, your risk factor increases, although a lack of history with the disease does not promise that you won't get it either.

Age is obviously a factor. The risk of contracting it doubles every five years after the age of 65, meaning that if genetics gives you a 10% risk of getting it at 65, you have a 20% chance at 70, a 40% chance at 75, an 80% chance at 80, and so on.

There is some idea that there are outer factors that increase one's risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. This includes such things as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, lack of certain vitamins and minerals, and a lack of exercise and social contact may increase one's risk.

Maybe in the next few years scientists and doctors will come to realize what causes Alzheimer's disease and from there will be able to find a cure, or even prevent it from developing in the first place. But in the meantime, all that someone can do is take the best care of themselves that they possibly can. Eat a nutritious diet, take a multi-vitamin, get regular exercise, build your family bonds, and watch your health generally. These things of course can't fully guarantee that you won't get Alzheimer's disease, but there is research to recommend that they can help to delay or offset it to some extent.

June 27, 2008

Alzheimer's Disease - More Success Stories

With the appropriate medication and the right background, the Alzheimer's disease can be handled with easiness.

Various support groups are ready to assist families comprehend and work with the condition.

June 24, 2008

Why Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis is Complicated to Handle

When someone in your family has gotten an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, you may be distressed and wonder just what is ahead of you. For others, nevertheless, they may have purposely put off seeing their doctor when their family member has shown symptoms of the disease simply because they don't want to hear that bad news of an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. However, it's crucial that anyone showing signs of Alzheimer's see their doctor as soon as possible.

There is no one authentic test for Alzheimer's disease, no spike on a screen or hormone insufficiency that will show up in a lab report. An Alzheimer's disease diagnosis is reached through a sequence of neurological exams and questions, and when all other results are ruled out. Parkinson's disease, stroke, certain tumors and other medical and physical impairments may cause problems with memory, coordination, and personality changes, so it is important that these be ruled out first. But, if there are not other causes for a person's symptoms, then an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis may be rendered.

When diagnosing Alzheimer's, patient may be asked a series of questions that will assess his or her level of cognitive functions. These may include questions about past personal history, names of family members and acquaintances, and so on. They may be given little problems to solve, such as math equations or spelling short words backwards. These types of questions are imperative in an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis because they assess the level of the patient's cognitive functions; even for someone very aged they should be able to handle these simple questions, and if not, there may be a diagnosis of Alzheimer's.

An early Alzheimer's disease diagnosis is essential. Like many diseases, finding out about it as soon as possible is crucial to its treatment. While doctors do not yet have a cure for Alzheimer's, there are new medications being researched every day that help delay its degeneration. So if you're someone that's been afraid of seeing the doctor for fear of Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, it's strongly encouraged that you do whatever you can to get past that fear and make an appointment with your physician today. Not only will this be very important in treating the physical symptoms of Alzheimer's for the patient, you as a caregiver can begin receiving help in understanding the disease and its progression. So don't wait; see your doctor as soon as possible.

June 20, 2008

New drugs propose optimism for Alzheimer's patients

About two years ago Howard joined a clinical drug trial for Alzheimer's disease. The drug he received, now known as Flurizan, has just entered phase three of the drug trial. See this video to learn more...

There are nine new Alzheimer's treatments in phase three trials-the final step before FDA approval. All offering hope to either slow down or prevent the onset of Alzheimer's.

June 17, 2008

Alzheimer's Disease - Looking for Help Online

When someone in your family has been diagnosed with this dreaded condition, there is a plenty of options for Alzheimer's disease help online. Many web sites have been launched that are dedicated to this condition and to its handling. Knowing how disturbing and complicated it is for the caregivers as well, many sites also have forums, discussion boards, and pages of information that can assist those taking care of Alzheimer's patients, whether it be for their medical care or their emotional care as well.

For instance, the Alzheimer's Association is a most important source of Alzheimer's disease help online. They are hosting one of the largest sites devoted to Alzheimer's disease help, including open forums and message boards where caregivers can meet one another for support and encouragement, or to get frequent questions answered. There is as well an interesting feature on this site wherein a caregiver can build a calendar that helps to manage the schedule of others that are helping with the patient's care. These ones can log on and know when they are expected to assist the one with Alzheimer's disease. Help in this form, of getting you organized, can be an important tool for someone that may already be overwhelmed with so many details.

But the Alzheimer's Association is more than just a website. They spearhead many political causes to petition congress for additional funding for research into treatment options. They advocate for patients' rights. They keep up a database of nearby physicians and specialists, and include nursing homes and hospices as well. Whatever the need of the patient with Alzheimer's disease, help is readily offered.

Certainly there are many other online sites specialize in Alzheimer's disease help. They include the National Institute on Aging, the Mayo Clinic, and the Alzheimer's Society in the U.K.

If you're stuck as to where to turn for Alzheimer's disease help, you should not hesitate to speak with your doctor about your apprehensions. There is absolutely no dishonor in asking for assistance, and it would be a mistake to think that a "good" son or daughter or spouse should be able to handle all the care and treatment of a patient without help. Doctors understand how difficult this is and have met many persons exactly like you. They are usually more than willing to offer more pointed and practical Alzheimer's disease help in whatever form that may be, if you simply speak out and ask for it.

June 13, 2008

Microchip for Alzheimer's. Boon or Evil?

Verichip Corporation designs the microchip which can be implanted to a body of Alzheimer's patient. It can collect some medical information from human’s organism to help in Alzheimer’s treatment. But is it ethical or not? See this video...

So what's better: be healthy or be free?

June 10, 2008

The Importance of Getting Exact Alzheimer's Information

When you or someone from you family is facing Alzheimer's disease, you want to be certain that you're getting perfect and up-to-date Alzheimer's information. It's easy to presume that you know what happens next or that you're helpless against its progression, but this thinking is just not accurate.

It is very important to get the latest Alzheimer's information because there are many doctors and researchers that are constantly looking for new medications and treatment options. Doctors do not yet have a cure for this dreaded disease, but they do have many medicines that can help delay the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease. Anyone that has an Alzheimer's patient in the family knows that time is valuable, as the disease is degenerative and gets worse over time. If you are doing the whole lot you can to delay that degeneration, you can protect the patient's health and mental faculties for that much longer. There is also a lot of Alzheimer's information regarding available medications and their effectiveness. Many have been found to delay the beginning of Alzheimer's and to protect the patient's cognitive abilities. Once only available in pill form, many are now available as a patch. This cuts down on many of their side effects and helps patients that have difficulty swallowing or staying on top of their schedule for medications.

Many caregivers and patients are also worried about the progressive stages of the disease. By getting accurate Alzheimer's information both can understand what to expect on each stage. Proper arrangements can be made, and medications can be adjusted (under a doctor's care of course).

The most up-to-date Alzheimer's information is naturally found online. There are many Alzheimer's organizations dedicated to not just the most recent information, but to the support of those who are caregivers too. They provide forums and boards to get help from others. They can even connect you with local resources for doctors, visiting nurses, home care, hospices, or specialists in the field of aging and Alzheimer's.

It's best if you get Alzheimer's information from an honest source though. Don't fall for any slick sales pitches that say that you can cure Alzheimer's with a certain herb or mix of vitamins. If you need support with finding a reputable site or organization, or aren't convinced about the information you're reading, consult with your doctor to be sure. Only he or she can be sure if the Alzheimer's information you're getting is correct.

June 06, 2008

Alzheimer's Disease May Be Caused by Infection

See these images of Borrelia DNA in Alzheimer's disease brain tissue - Including Specific DNA probes.

This is may be a great breakthrough for Alzheimer's medicine, there are some very compelling images of Borrellia (Lyme disease) spirochetes.

More research needs to be done on this topic. There is a very strong indication of borrelia spirochetal infection of the brain causing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's, etc. When autopsy reveals spirochetes in 7 out of 10 brains of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the medical community needs to get up.

June 05, 2008

Alzheimer's Medical Alert Bracelet – How to Use It

If you or a member of your family is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, you may want to think about a special Alzheimer's medical alert bracelet. It can come in handy if you ever have an issue with your parent or spouse or whoever the patient wandering off somewhere they shouldn't. It can be very difficult even for law enforcement or emergency medical personnel to assist such ones if they cannot verbalize themselves their condition, or give them an emergency contact name and phone number.

Such persons undergoing from chronic conditions have been using medical alert bracelets for years as a means to inform emergency services of their condition, allergies, medications, and so on in the event they are found unconscious. An Alzheimer's medical alert bracelet works in much the same way. It can alert medical personnel of the patient's condition and any medications they're on. Moreover, it can help law enforcement in the event that the patient is found wandering or someplace they shouldn't be.

There is an entire business now built around making good-looking Alzheimer's medical alert bracelet, so there's no need to think that some clunky military-style chain is your only option. In addition, there is no law or regulation that states what information must be on such a bracelet, so don't think that your patient will be neglected if they're not wearing the "right" style of bracelet. Normally anything with the medical alert charm will alert the proper personnel that the patient has a condition. Any additional information after that is helpful. Some Alzheimer's medical alert bracelets can even be homemade with regular beading kits, and you can add your own charms and links.

Apparently you don't need to make your own Alzheimer's medical alert bracelet if that's "not your cup of tea." There are many places online that sell them in a variety of styles. There are some companies that have even designed a small type of GPS system that fits into the bracelet to be able to find your patient if he or she should wander off. This type of Alzheimer's medical alert bracelet is helpful if your patient has a tendency to wander off or if he or she is experiencing uncertainty. It's rare that such a patient cannot be found but it does happen, and so this type of small chip in a bracelet may be worth the few extra dollars it costs.

June 04, 2008

Living With Alzheimer's Disease

See the story of living with this dreadful disease. How it affects the afflicted and their loved ones.

Nothing is more "Pro-Life" than curing deadly Alzheimer’s disease and helping the suffering.

June 03, 2008

What Is the Alzheimer's Patch

It's believed that the medication Exelon is to some extent successful at treating the early stages of Alzheimer's dementia. It helps to protect the brain's cognitive abilities and slows the progression of the disease. Nowadays, many patients are being offered Exelon in the form of an Alzheimer's patch rather than a pill and there are a few reasons why a caregiver might prefer the patch over the pill.

For one thing, sickness, vomiting and diarrhea were reported as common side effects of Exelon. Using the Alzheimer's patch seems to reduce on these side effects, as the medication is more easily absorbed into the system and does not wreak such havoc with the digestive system. It may also help the medication to work as it retains its full potency. When any medication is taken orally, it gets broken down in the stomach and goes through a partial digestive process before it is absorbed in the bloodstream. To neutralize this, oral medications are usually stronger than any other form, and have a greater tendency toward side effects. They also take longer to reach the intended area of the body that they need to affect. An Alzheimer's patch does not need to go through the digestive system this way. It can be better absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin and starts to work almost immediately.

There are also sensible reasons for choosing the Alzheimer's patch over pills. Most Exelon patches need to be adhered only once per day. This makes it easier for the patient who may suffer from lapses in memory and is not sure if they have taken their pills, or who may have difficulty remembering to take them at a definite time. They are easier to manage physically than pills themselves, as Alzheimer's patients often have difficulty with swallowing. Also, caregivers do not need to worry if the medication has been administered to their patient or not. They can easily check the Alzheimer's patch on their patient and see if it is new or needs replacing.

Side effects for the Alzheimer's patch seem to be minimal, and don't normally cause skin problems. There is still some nausea with some patients, but only about one-third the number of those who report nausea with the pills. In general, most patients and caregivers tend to prefer the use of the Alzheimer's patch over the pills.

June 02, 2008

Controversial Methods - Can Cannabis Cure the Alzheimer’s?

Some medical researches give us feeling that cannabis may become a new cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But is it really so?

Looking for Alzheimer’s cure?

May 30, 2008

Alzheimer's Research: The Present and the Future

Alzheimer's research are actually been provided by entire organizations. Among them are medical organizations searching for treatments and cures, and others work on the political aspect of getting increased funding for that research. Some even sponsor conferences that bring together doctors and scientists in the field of Alzheimer's research from all over the world. And there are some organizations that carry out all of these, with great benefit to the patients and their caregivers.

Alzheimer's research has yielded two types of medicines for Alzheimer's that treat the cognitive symptoms of the disease. Since the disease itself affects the chemicals and nerve endings in the brain, these medicines address those two

Cholinesterase and memantine are both inhibitors that stop the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain that's important for learning and memory. Both are suitable for mild to moderate Alzheimer's. Research shows that they don’t cure the disease, but both offset the progression of its symptoms for some time.

Alzheimer's disease affects more than only memory. Many patients experience behavior symptoms as well, including paranoia, irritability, annoyance, outbursts, impatience, and delusions. Alzheimer's research has shown that some medications can be prescribed to help control these side effects of the disease. Though, if you would like to try a non-medical approach, there are things that one can do. Understanding that their behavior problems are simply part of the disease helps the caregivers to cope tremendously.

Some Alzheimer's researchers believe that they have pinpointed a certain gene that causes or contributes to the disease. Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done in this area. Research data shows that those with the gene do not necessarily get the disease and those without it still can contract it. There is much controversy over the tests for this gene as they can be very misleading.

Organizations devoted to Alzheimer's research have done much good on the way to the treatment of the disease and the help needed for the caregivers. While doctors are still a long way off from finding a permanent cure, they are able to do quite a bit in helping to delay the progression of the disease in the meantime. And as long as they are able to go on funding Alzheimer's research, there is always hope that one day Alzheimer’s disease will be in the past.