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ComfortCare Homes Wichita Blog

“I’ll Be Me”: What We Can Learn About Alzheimer’s Care from Glen Campbell

Friday, October 20th, 2017 7:16:11 PM
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This November, the Kansas Education Conference on Dementia will host keynote speaker Kim Campbell. Wife and caregiver to country music star Glen Campbell, Kim will be speaking about the challenges her family faced during her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s. Glen passed away in August of this year and Kim has continued to share her honest, relatable experience with providing Alzheimer’s care for a spouse.

When Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, he and his family made the courageous decision to share their experience with filmmakers. The documentary “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” follows Glen, Kim, and their 3 adult children on Glen’s Goodbye Tour. [Source]

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, irreversible and untreatable disease. While researchers continue their work, there is currently no cure. Many communities throughout the country participate in fundraisers like The Walk to End Alzheimer’s to contribute to the cause. But even with all of this awareness, few people truly see those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

ComfortCare Homes provides Alzheimer’s care to our senior Residents every day. Our caregivers support seniors as they forget how to do activities they once loved. We offer resources for family members who witness the drawn-out loss of loved ones who no longer recognize them.

The Glen Campbell documentary offers a unique, and often unseen, look into the wide scope of challenges brought on by Alzheimer’s disease. The “I’ll Be Me” documentary captures Glen’s final year on the road. No one knew how this decision would turn out; if Glen would be able to play, remember the lyrics, and function under the stress of tour. [Source]

Without giving away too much of the story, both Glen’s family and his medical team were astonished at how much the music seemed to benefit his Alzheimer’s care. While some of this may be attributed to his personal drive and determination, it seems that continuing to do what he loved helped Glen maintain some sense of self as his world became unfamiliar. [Source]

What We Can Learn From Glen Campbell’s Story

Although Glenn eventually passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, his story is not a hopeless one. The legacy of his career and music will live on in the hearts of Americans for years to come. His courage and that of his wife and children to share their experience has given the world a unique look into how Alzheimer’s impacts the lives of loved ones.

For those who provide Alzheimer’s care for a loved one or as a vocation, you are not alone. Feeling sad, lost, angry, and helpless are all legitimate. Finding care assistance for your loved one or participating in local support groups may help you deal with the grief of slowly losing someone to Alzheimer’s disease.

For those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or are close to someone who has, continue to do what you love. For Glen Campbell, he was still able to play the guitar even after his memory and verbal skills diminished, causing him to forget the lyrics to songs he had performed for 4 or 5 decards.

Continuing an active lifestyle surrounded by loved ones and those who provide Alzheimer’s care can help those battling the disease. This can mean maintaining hobbies like playing an instrument, knitting, reading, and taking walks. As the disease progresses, simply listening to favorite music can provide comfort.

What we can learn most from the Glen Campbell story is a breakthrough attitude about Alzheimer’s disease. Kim Campbell continues to share her insights on caregiving, particular what it is like to provide Alzheimer’s care for a spouse. She stresses the importance of caring for yourself and knowing when to reach out for help.

ComfortCare Homes proudly offers expert Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Wichita, KS. We are happy to speak with you about your care options and any resources you and your loved one may need. Continue to check our blog for updates and contact us with any questions!

For more information about memory care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

Speaker Spotlight: Kim Campbell and CareLiving

Thursday, October 12th, 2017 7:23:30 AM
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An inspiring, honest presentation for those impacted by Alzheimer’s or dementia

Coming up on November 2nd, the 6th Annual Kansas Education Conference on Dementia will feature a variety of educational breakout sessions and presentations. There will be two keynote speakers, Vallerie Gleason and Kim Campbell, each using their unique journeys and experiences with Alzheimer’s disease to educate participants.

This event is open to the public and medical professionals, nurses, administrators, adult home care operators, family members, caregivers, and adults in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia are encouraged to attend.

Want to learn more about this year’s Kansas Education Conference on Dementia? Read our blog, with complete event details and registration by clicking here!

Get to Know Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell was married to legendary country music star Glen Campbell for 25 years. Glenn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011. After his diagnosis, Glenn and his family decided to share their battle with the disease with film makers. The documentary “Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me” follows Kim, Glenn, and their 3 adult children on Glenn’s Goodbye Tour. [Source]

Kim remained by Glenn’s side throughout the entire tour, being a caregiver for Glenn and watching as Alzheimer’s changed her family’s life forever. In August of 2017, Glenn passed away. During her time as her husband’s caregiver and since his passing, Kim has dedicated herself to educating people about Alzheimer’s disease and the role of caregivers.

In her lifestyle and social movement guide CareLiving.org, Kim strives to improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers. She is an advocate for self-care and, based on personal experience, offers honest advice for caregivers of all types. Kim knows the importance of caring for yourself while caring for others, in particular a spouse or parent with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Kim has received many awards and accolades for her contributions to the Alzheimer’s research and caregiver communities. She has been named an honorary faculty member of the University of Maryland Baltimore, providing an essential connection between a leading research university and the practical experience of senior service leaders across the nation. [Source]

Resources for Alzheimer’s or Dementia Caregivers

The 6th Annual Kansas Education Conference on  Dementia is open to caregivers, family members, and those with dementia. The devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease can impact everyone in the family, not just the spouse or partner. Insights from conference speakers like Kim Campbell can offer unique insights and tips.

If you are not sure the conference is for you, don’t worry. ComfortCare Homes will be posting weekly blogs and recaps of conference events. Simply check back with the “Alzheimer’s Care Updates” to receive weekly articles and resources.

If you are the primary caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia and are searching for help, consider ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS. ComfortCare Homes offers a variety of memory care services for seniors in a residential setting. Truly a home experience, CareGivers care for Residents as if they are a member of their own families.

For more information about our caregiver training or senior care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

6th Annual Kansas Education Conference on Dementia

Friday, October 6th, 2017 5:24:00 PM
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Learn about this year’s event & how you can participate

The 6th Annual Kansas Education Conference on Dementia is on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Each year this event invites healthcare professionals, care partners, family, friends, and students to attend presentations by Alzheimer’s experts. For those dealing with dementia, both seniors and their families, this event is a wonderful opportunity to not only learn but connect with others experiencing the same challenges.

What is the Kansas Education Conference on Dementia?

This annual conference brings together local professionals, families, students, and adults dealing with dementia to learn from one another. This event provides a unique opportunity for the Alzheimer’s community to come together to learn about recent clinical research updates, caregiving strategies, advocacy activities, and mores.

The day features two keynote speakers and a variety of breakout sessions. Topics vary and participants can attend breakout sessions that interest them most. For some, this may be topics such as cutting-edge research and Alzheimer’s trial opportunities while others may want to know more about local care facilities and senior programs.

Continuing education opportunities are available for nurses, administrators, and operators of adult care homes. Certificates of attendance can be provided to those who pre-register for the conference. Comfort Care Homes of Wichita is proud to attend the event as a renewed dedication to ongoing education.

Keynote Speakers

This year, the Kansas Education Conference on Dementia is proud to welcome Vallerie L. Gleason as a keynote speaker. Vallerie is a Registered Nurse who has worked in healthcare since 1975 and is currently the CEO and Board President of Newton Medical Center. Drawing from her nursing and hospital administration background, Vallerie will be speaking about the importance of community and teamwork for dementia care.

Kim Campbell, the wife of former country music star Glen Campbell, will be featured as the second keynote speaker. Her husband Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 and passed away earlier this year from the disease. Her inspirational presentation will explore her personal journey as a caregiver, including many often overlooked subjects related to caregiving. She is gracious, engaging, and boldly honest about the devastating toll the Alzheimer’s can have.

Learn More!

If you or a loved one are dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, this conference is for you. Not only is the Kansas Education Conference on Dementia an incredible educational opportunity, it is also a chance to truly connect with others facing similar challenges. Family members and family caregivers can register for a discounted rate and standard pricing is available through October 25th.

If you would like to learn more or register online, please visit the official registration website here. For more information, contact the Alzheimer’s Association Central and Western Kansas Chapter by calling (800) 272-3900.

Comfort Care Homes will continue to post information about the event and recap speakers after the conference has ended. If you are unable to attend, simply check back with the Comfort Care Homes “Alzheimer’s Care Updates” blog for complete conference information.

 

For more information about our caregiver training or senior care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

Support ComfortCare Homes in the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s this October

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 5:13:20 PM
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2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Wichita, KS

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is a nationwide event. Held in more than 600 communities across the United States, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises funds and awareness to support research, Alzheimer’s care, and family resources. This year, Wichita is hosting its own Walk on October 21, 2017.

About the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Wichita, KS

This year’s event is on Saturday, October 21st. The 2.4 mile route is along the scenic Water Walk in the heart of Wichita. Participants of all ages are encouraged to come to the walk to join the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. You can register as a participant, make a monetary donation, or sign up as a volunteer. Visit the ComfortCare Homes team page by clicking here to learn more about how to contribute.

When you participate in the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Wichita, KS, you’re helping to change the level of Alzheimer’s awareness in our community. The money raised will go directly to the national fund, which supports care and research for those suffering from the disease.

Raising Alzheimer’s Awareness

Many people in our community have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, whether a family member or friends suffers from the disease or they provide care for senior with dementia. If you want to learn more about why our team at ComfortCare Homes is walking to end Alzheimer’s read our weekly “Why I Walk” blog. Each Wednesday until our event, our staff, families, and friends will share personal experiences of how Alzheimer’s has impacted their lives.

Fast Facts

Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading care of death in the United States? More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease and every 66 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s.

Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women.

In 2016, 15.9 caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care. This means that family caregivers, often times adult children with families of their own to raise, are providing dementia care for a parent with Alzheimer’s.

Want to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease? Check out these and more facts from the Alzheimer’s association: http://www.alz.org

Finding a Cure: How You Can Help

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease – yet. With the help of events like the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Wichita, KS, we can work to fund research that may lead to lifesaving treatment. The funds raised from our event also go towards support and care. This means that we can provide better care for those living with Alzheimer’s now while fighting for a future freed of the disease.

Every dollar we raise benefits those affected by Alzheimer’s in our community. See how our Team Comfort Crusaders has lead the way in local fundraising: http://www.kwch.com/video/?vid=441396293

If you would like to make a donation to our team, register as a participant, or sign up as a volunteer, please visit our event page here. You can also call our office with any questions about how to get involved.

Together we can end Alzheimer’s disease. Join the fight today!

Quality Dementia Treatment Training Goes Beyond Basic Requirements

Friday, September 15th, 2017 6:38:02 PM
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ComfortCare Homes provides additional training in Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment to caregivers

ComfortCare Homes is dedicated to providing the highest quality memory care for our Residents in Wichita, KS. We work with seniors and their families to create a plan of care that meets their unique needs and preferences. Part of ensuring that our Residents receive expert care at all times is continuing education for our caregiving staff.

This summer, ComfortCare Homes began a rigorous training program. We partnered with local organizations to provide dementia treatment education. Our caregiving staff had the opportunity to learn about person-centered care and the importance of performing at their best. For more information about our training partners, read our blog “Learning Never Stops: Comfort Care Homes Caregivers Ongoing Education” here.

Why Dementia Treatment Training Is Important

Each member of our caregiving staff is specially chosen and trained to provide compassionate, professional senior care services for our Residents. To ensure that our caregivers continue to perform at their best, ComfortCare Homes has begun a more specialized dementia treatment training program.

These certification courses go above and beyond what is required of caregivers in Wichita, KS. For seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it is incredibly important for their caregivers to have specialized training. The nature of dementia and memory illnesses is different from other conditions because it causes major behavioral, cognitive, and memory changes.

Caregivers providing dementia care need to be skilled in responding to confused seniors, calming seniors who are agitated, and remaining patient and positive during difficult situations. As medical researchers learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and the causes of these behavioral changes, dementia treatment changes. It is essential that our caregiving staff is up to date on these changes and can implement improvements into the care they provide to our Residents.

Communicating with seniors who have dementia or Alzheimer’s is a required skill for ComfortCare Homes caregivers. Proper dementia treatment encourages non-threatening, calm communication. Often times, trying to ask questions or reason with a confused senior only causes more agitation. Because our caregivers work with Residents every day, they are able to recognize what communication techniques work for each individual senior.

Dementia treatment advancements also help our caregivers prepare for future care. Knowing how degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, progress allows our staff to respond to changes in our Residents’ health. Going beyond the required qualifications allows ComfortCare Homes to provide a standard of care that is above other memory care facilities.

Find out more – contact us today!

If you are searching for local dementia and Alzheimer’s care providers, consider ComfortCare Homes. You can browse our website to learn more about our services, location, and caregiving staff.

For more information about our caregiver training or senior care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

Learning Never Stops: Comfort Care Homes Caregivers Ongoing Education

Thursday, September 7th, 2017 1:18:37 PM
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ComfortCare Homes caregivers receive comprehensive senior care training in Wichita, KS

The decision to bring a caregiver into your home or have a senior parent move into an assisted living facility is a challenging task. For families with loved ones suffering from memory illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, there are many factors to consider. You want your senior loved one to feel comfortable, supported, safe and happy. Caregivers should be friendly, highly-skilled, and educated in the specialized care needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Why Continuing Education is Important

At Comfort Care Homes, we understand that you and your family want the best care for your senior loved one. While continuing education has been standard practice for our caregivers since the beginning, this year we began a new comprehensive training plan.

Comfort Care Homes partnered with local career training, employee assistance, and senior service organizations to create on-going education opportunities for caregivers. Our staff began this training in August and will continue to develop their skills in the coming year. Not only does improved continuing education enhance care for our Residents, it also shows that we support and believe in our caregiving staff.

Our Training Partners

Advancements in Alzheimer’s and dementia care continue to be made as medical professionals learn more about the signs, symptoms, and triggers of the diseases. Comfort Care Homes provide senior care specifically for those adults with memory care needs. We work with many local and national organizations to ensure our staff is up to date on the latest Alzheimer’s and dementia care techniques.

In August 2017, our staff had the opportunity to learn from a variety of local organizations. The training completed by our care staff surpasses the requirements and expectation of their state certification requirements.

Three of these partners included Allied Health Career Training, LLC, EMPAC, and Senior Care Pharmacy. Each of these groups offers information and resources for our caregivers in Wichita, KS. Our partners presented information and training sessions to our staff, but these organizations can potentially benefit the families of our clients as well.

Visit our Family Resources center to learn more about the support and literature available to family caregivers. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about memory care in Wichita, KS.

Allied Health Career Training, LLC

Allied Health Career Training, LLC is a company that strives to enhance learning through dementia training, cultural change, and person-centered care. They offer classes at local facilities to provide the training that a staff of caregivers need.

EMPAC Employee Assistance Programs

EMPAC provides individualized resources and training for employees. Their services have a positive impact on employees, their families, and overall company morale. EMPAC helps employees expand their capabilities and perform the best they can.

Senior Care Pharmacy

Senior Care Pharmacy is a locally owned operation that aims to improve convenience for long-term care, assisted living facilities, patients, and their families. They present how their services and methods can be implemented to improve you or a loved one’s care.

Trusting Our Team of Caregivers

Comfort Care Homes believes in the ability and potential of our staff.  The care training completed by our staff exceeds the expectations and requirements of their state certification. We have seen their successes and invest in their continued growth. On-going education improves the lives of our caregivers and our Residents.

Going above and beyond what is required helps ensure that our care staff provides the best, most effective, and kindest care to your senior loved one. Comfort Care Homes is a real home for Residents with memory care needs. We strive to make sure they receive the comforts, attention, and expert care they deserve.

For more information about our caregiver training or senior care services provided by Comfort Care Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website: http://comfortcarehomeswichita.com/

How Hospice and Comfort Care Support Spouses of Seniors With Dementia

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 7:05:55 PM
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Comfort care provides more than physical assistance: companionship, emotional support, and understanding

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease lay a heavy burden not only on the senior suffering from the condition but on their family caregivers, children and spouses too. As the disease progresses, dementia brings on new sets of challenges and obstacles. Many family members find themselves in the role of caregiver, taking on responsibilities that change their relationship as a daughter, son, husband, or wife. In the late stages of dementia, it often becomes necessary to bring in professional comfort care or hospice care. While these services are essential to the physical comfort of seniors, comfort and hospice care providers can also offer precious emotional support and companionship for spouses and loved ones.

Challenges Faced by Family Members

Family members, especially adult children and spouses, often suddenly find themselves taking on the role of caregiver for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Providing adequate care for a person whose memory is deteriorating can be incredibly difficult. Many family caregivers have no formal training or experience in caregiving. Watching a spouse or any other loved one struggle without being able to do anything about it can be frustrating.

For the spouses of dementia patients, the hardship of caregiving adds an unfamiliar facet to their relationship. A husband or wife may feel like they have failed their spouse if they are unable to provide adequate care on their own. Additionally, as their loved one’s condition worsens, they may become unrecognizable to their spouse. It is devastating for someone with whom you have spent years of your life with to see you as a stranger or even a threat. Dementia causes spouses to lose pieces of their loved one slowly, sometimes over many years, until the person they knew seems to no longer exist.

For these and many more reasons, spouses and family caregivers of loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease often experience feelings of isolation, helplessness, and depression. When hospice or comfort care providers are brought into the situation, they provide much-needed assistance with providing care, companionship, spiritual guidance and grief support.

How Comfort Care Helps Spouses and Family

Hospice and comfort caregivers are uniquely trained to provide more than physical, personal care for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Today’s hospice care is considered to be the model for compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness such as Alzheimer’s disease. [Source: Huffington Post]

For family caregivers, comfort care providers offer a helping hand, easing the burden of being the primary caregiver for a parent, sibling, grandparent, or other loved one. While a caregiver takes over the majority of responsibilities, you will have the opportunity to sort through your own emotions and feelings. Dementia can be like losing a loved one in slow motion and the disease changes your relationship to one another. It is okay to grieve over this loss. Allow yourself to focus on the time you have with your loved one while a trained care provider ensures their comfort and well-being.

For spouses, hospice or comfort care provides support immediately. Professionals can provide a compassionate, listening ear and offer factual information. Despite practical matters, a comfort care provider can offer advice and companionship based on experience. They can help a husband or wife understand the realities of the situation and offer strategies for dealing with stress, depression, anger, and grief. Comfort bereavement can also be continued after the passing of a spouse, with care providers checking in periodically.

Finding the Resources and Help You Need

Unique challenges are present for family members as their loved one moved through the different stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. You may find that you need assistance providing adequate care for a loved one. There are a variety of types of care assistance, from adult day can and part-time care to assisted living and 24-hour comfort care.

Educate yourself on the options available to you and your family. If your loved one is able, talk to them about which options they feel comfortable with. If they are no longer able to make these types of decisions on their own, know that you have resources and support available to you. Comfort care professionals can help you understand your options and make the best care decision for you and your family.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia and how comfort care can help, please call ComfortCare Home of Wichita at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website by clicking here.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s Symptoms: Know the Signs and Find the Help You Need

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 8:24:32 PM
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Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not new illnesses. Before the findings of modern medicine, Alzheimer’s patients were often misdiagnosed as senile and memory loss was just an unfortunate symptom of aging. Today we know more than ever about dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms and continued research works to find the cause and cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

A specific type of Alzheimer’s, known as Early-onset or Younger Alzheimer’s affects adults under the age of 65. Typically, adults with early-onset will display Alzheimer’s symptoms in their 40s and 50s. Their disease typically goes either unnoticed or misdiagnosed by primary physicians, who attribute symptoms to stress or other neurological factors. Dementia may be common among elderly adults, but younger adults are at risk as well.

What is Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is split into three general stages: early stage, middle stage, and late stage. The disease affects each person differently in each stage and the symptoms vary. Alzheimer’s typically progresses slowly over time in adults over the age of 65. What makes early-onset dementia unique is that it occurs in younger adults.

Doctors do not know why early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms appear in such young brains. There have been studies that indicate several genetic mutations that directly cause Alzheimer’s. For this reason, early-onset Alzheimer’s is often referred to as “familial dementia.” These genes account for 60-70% of early-onset Alzheimer’s cases.

[http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/alzheimers/art-20048356?pg=1]

Genetic testing for these mutations is available, but talking extensively with a doctor is recommended as a good first step. Getting an accurate diagnosis for early-onset Alzheimer’s can be difficult and require many neurological exams, brain mapping, and extensive tests. If you suspect you or a loved one are experiencing early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms below, consult with a medical professional immediately.

What are Early-onset Alzheimer’s Symptoms?

Alzheimer’s symptoms focus on memory loss that disrupts daily life. This can include challenges in planning or solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks at home or work, misplacing things, and changes in mood and personality.

[http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_early_onset.asp]

Early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms typically introduce new problems at work or at home for younger adults. Talking with a doctor is essential to determining the true cause of these symptoms and whether or not they are related to early dementia.

There are some major differences between forgetfulness and dementia. Read our “Forgetfulness vs. Alzheimer’s of Dementia” to learn more!

How to Plan for the Future

If you have been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, know that you are never alone. Below are some steps suggested by the Alzheimer’s Association for coping after a diagnosis:

  1. Educate Yourself on the Impact of the Disease on Your Life

Early-onset Alzheimer’s and dementia will inevitably have an impact on your life as a spouse, parent, and employee. It is normal to grief over anticipated changes. Taking care of your emotional and physical needs is essential. Educating yourself as much as possible about your disease and utilizing support groups can help your entire family move forward after a diagnosis.

  1. Make Plans for Your Financial Future

Many times, early-onset dementia impacts a young adult’s ability to work. Talking with your employer about the limitations of your disease is important. You should be open and honest about how you see your professional future fitting into your disease. Your employer may offer benefits such as disability insurable, early retirement, family and medical leave, and other health insurance benefits. View a detailed brochure about financial and health care benefits for Alzheimer’s patients here: https://www.alz.org/i-have-alz/if-you-have-younger-onset-alzheimers.asp

  1. Plan for Future Care

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, you are able to put critical plans into place. This can include the type of care you want to receive in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. Talk to your doctor about participating in a research study. Explore long term care options and assisted living facilities in your area. While it will no doubt be difficult, choosing how you want to spend your life with Alzheimer’s will make coping with the disease manageable for you and your family.

  1. Live Well

Early-onset Alzheimer’s presents a variety of unexpected challenges. The silver lining lies in your choice of how to live. Take care of yourself by maintaining your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Find activities or professionals that help you reduce stress. Taking each day as it comes is important to coping with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Download the Alzheimer’s Association’s brochure on younger-onset Alzheimer’s Disease here.

 

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia and how specialized care can help, please call ComfortCare Home of Wichita at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website by clicking here.

Caregiver Tips: Calming a Confused Senior with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

Friday, August 18th, 2017 2:32:30 PM
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Ease stress and frustration through assisted living techniques

For seniors in the early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss is common. While the rest of their cognitive abilities may still be strong, remembering names, places, and words become difficult. They may become frustrated at this new-found confusion, agitated that they are unable to recall familiar things. As their disease progresses seniors with dementia will have increased confusion, leading to agitation, panic, and even aggression.

As a family member or primary caregiver for a person with severe memory loss, these episodes of confusion can be alarming. Seeing a loved one frightened by newly unfamiliar surroundings is heartbreaking. If you find yourself wishing you could do more to calm and console your loved one, there are support and resources available. Assisted living professionals who interact with and care for residents with severe dementia and Alzheimer’s have advice for family members and loved ones of seniors with dementia.

What causes agitation in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients?

Dementia is a progressive disease and over time it causes brain cells to deteriorate. It is this deterioration that dementia symptoms including memory loss, confusion, agitation, restlessness, and fatigue. Because there is not yet a cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, there is nothing that can be done to stop or reverse this deterioration.

However, environmental factors can exacerbate their symptoms. Being aware of your loved one’s surroundings, daily routine, preferences, and triggers can help you maintain a comforting environment for them. Change is a major cause of confusion and agitation in dementia patients. Their world is becoming increasingly unfamiliar to them and seemingly small changes can disrupt the comfort of their daily routine.

Common environmental changes that affect behavior include:

– Being suddenly admitted to a hospital or assisted living facility

– Changes in scheduled caregiving

– New visitors or too many people visiting at once

– Confrontation or perceived threats                     [Source]

Tips to Prevent Confusion

While you can try to monitor the daily situations and interactions your loved one faces, ultimately you cannot control the world around them. Accidents and emergencies happen. Being prepared to respond, console and care for a confused senior is the best way to support their well-being.

Assisted living professionals offer the following tips to family members seeking to prevent confusion and agitation:

Create a calm environment

Being overstimulated by loud talking, commotion, and unfamiliar faces causes stress for seniors with dementia. Having a quiet space that is comfortable can provide refuge to an overwhelmed loved one. Comfort objects such as blankets or clothing items can provide a distraction and added security.

Monitor personal comfort and any additional symptoms

Make sure your loved one has taken their medications properly. Ensuring that they have eaten, had enough water to drink, and received adequate sleep is also important. Being vigilant about personal care can help seniors with dementia be more comfortable.

Avoid surprises and sudden changes in routine when possible.

We have learned that change is a major cause of confusion and agitation for seniors with dementia. As your loved one’s illness progresses, there may come a time when they need professional care. Before moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, consider part-time care or adult day care options. If these options are introduced in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, your loved one has the opportunity to familiarize themselves with caregivers and become comfortable in surroundings outside the home.

For more information about adult day can as a transition into full-time assisted living, read our “Why Adult Day Care is Important” article.

How to Respond to A Confused Senior

Even if you do everything within your power to provide a comfortable, safe environment for your loved one, the nature of the disease makes confusion and agitation inevitable. Know that you are not responsible and that help is available for you both.

Follow these 4 Steps to Responding to a Confused Senior with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease:

  1. Listen to frustrations – Validate their emotions and sympathize with their situation.
  2. Provide reassurance – Although you may not understand, provide comfort and reassurance. Trying to reason with a confused senior may not be affective because their brain simply doesn’t process information the way a healthy brain would. Make sure they know they are safe and that you support them.
  3. Modify the situation – If they seem agitated by loud sounds, try moving to a quiet area. In overwhelming situations filled with new faces or places, distraction can be helpful. Give your loved on a task to focus on, something simple like folding towels, buttoning a sweater, or completing a puzzle. Occupying their mind with something other than confusion can ease behavioral symptoms.
  4. Share your experience – Speaking with your loved one medical professional or assisted living care providers is essential. These specialists will be able to alter medications or therapy plans and provide advice on how to respond in the future. [Source]

Know Where to Find Help

As your loved one’s disease progresses, you may need additional support and help providing adequate memory care. Preparing for this reality in advance is beneficial to both you and your senior loved one. Trained assisted living professionals are able to meet the unique needs of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

To learn more about memory care and how specialized care can help, please call ComfortCare Home of Wichita at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website by clicking here.

Additional Resources

Anxiety and Agitation – Alz.org

Treatments for Behavior – Alz.org

Dementia Care Relaxation Techniques & Therapies

Brain Games and Activities to Make Memory Care Fun

Thursday, August 10th, 2017 7:34:48 PM
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Professional memory care providers know how to keep seniors active and engaged

A major challenge faced by family caregivers of loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is the unpredictability. As dementia progresses, memory and word retrieval become more difficult. Behavioral changes and mood swings can be common as well as disinterest in favorite hobbies and a desire to be left alone. Providing adequate memory care can be challenging because you are not certain how your loved one will respond from one day to the next.

Facing the uncertainty and seemingly randomness of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can make interacting with a loved one difficult. You want to support their health and happiness without causing confusion or irritation. In coordination with other methods, professional memory care providers suggest brain games and activities as a fun way of engaging seniors.

Brain games, in a way, disguise dementia and Alzheimer’s care as a fun activity. While you and your loved one will definitely enjoy these activities, brain games do more than pass the time and offer a few laughs. Specific activities and games help the brain relearn how to recall specific words, exercise cognitive abilities, encourage focus, and increase alertness. Brain games don’t have to be high-tech or on your smart phone. Often times, the simplest of games are the most beneficial to seniors with dementia.

Memory Care Games for Seniors and Family Caregivers

Bingo – Bingo is an ideal game for seniors with dementia because it can be easily modified based on their personal abilities. It requires matching of letters and numbers or colors and shapes, which are both beneficial on a cognitive level. Bingo is enjoyed and understood by people of all ages, so the whole family can be involved. These social interactions can have a positive impact on your loved one’s mood. [Source]

Card  Matching – Like Bingo, card matching games can be easily adjusted for seniors of all levels of memory loss. For early stage dementia, try placing the cards in even rows and columns face up for 2 minutes, then flipping them so the back side shows. Try to find matching pairs by flipping over two cards at a time. If a match is found, remove the pair from the rows. Repeat until all matches have been found. For advanced dementia, leave all the cards face up and have your senior loved one point out pairs. Card matching games help seniors recognize familiar objects and utilize short term memory.

Puzzles – Completing puzzles can be a fun activity to do together and promotes cognitive and tactile abilities. While the main purpose of brain games is to have fun, seniors with dementia may become agitated or frustrated by tasks they are unable to complete. Keeping high-spirits through conversation and friendly assistance can help make puzzles an enjoyable activity.

Want more brain games and activities? Check out 101 Activities for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.

Help is Available When You Need It

Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise, especially for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Assistance from a professional memory care provider or facility can help your loved one stay mentally active on a regular basis. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s well-being while you’re away at work, adult day care services are available. Not only do professional care providers know how to keep your senior safe, other senior residents provide companionship and conversation.

Your senior loved one’s dementia or Alzheimer’s disease will continue to progress and their symptoms will change. As you find your family in need of long term care options, consider specialized care facilities. Adult day care can be a great way to ease your loved one into the idea of assisted living so the transition into full-time care is more comfortable.

If you are providing senior care for a loved one with dementia, know that you are not alone. Utilize local resources and expert assistance from ComfortCare Homes of Wichita.

To learn more about memory care and how specialized care can help, please call ComfortCare Home of Wichita at (316) 444-0532 or visit our website by clicking here.

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