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.