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ComfortCare Homes Wichita Blog

Alzheimer’s Disease Support for Seniors, Caregivers, and Family in Wichita, KS

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 9:18:39 PM
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Local support groups help those with dementia and their loved ones receive support they need

Receiving an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is always a difficult thing. For the person with Alzheimer’s disease, this diagnosis can be unsettling. Together with their family and loved ones, navigating through the disease is emotionally and physically challenging. Family caregivers and even professional dementia care providers often deal with stress and depression when caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s.

The good news is that no matter what stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in or your role in their life, you are never alone. As researchers and organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, the better we are able to care for those people impacted by it. You should never feel ashamed of your feelings and after reading this article, perhaps consider utilizing local resources to find comfort and support.

Central and Western Kansas Support Groups

Our local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is a great resource for families, caregivers, and adults with Alzheimer’s disease. With monthly group meetings in town throughout Central and Western Kansas, in-person support groups are a good way to interact with others in situations similar to yours. For family caregivers, support groups can be a kind of social activity, allowing you to talk about your experiences and share insight.

Caregiver and grief-specific support groups, as well as peer-to-peer scheduled sessions, are also available.

For a complete list of Alzheimer’s Association Chapter support group, please click here!

Hotlines and 24 Hour Support

The demanding, and often unpredictable, schedule of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can make scheduled support groups unrealistic. For immediate support, 24/7 you can call the Alzheimer’s Association Hotline at (800) 272-3900. With trained professions who understand your situation, sometimes just having a listening ear can make a big difference.

Care and Support for Those with Alzheimer’s Disease

While an early-diagnosis is considered beneficial, the truth is that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. For adults under the age of 65 who receive an early-onset diagnosis or for seniors who are just beginning to experience symptoms, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be devastating. Learning to accept to cope with the disease may be beneficial as the symptoms worsen.

Planning for the future can be helpful for many seniors who feel as though dementia takes away their control of their lives. Learning about memory care options, including adult day programs and long-term care facilities can be beneficial for families and their loved ones. This way, as the disease progresses, families can focus on one another rather than struggling to make care decisions.

To learn more about the memory care services and caregiver support offered by ComfortCare Homes in Wichita, KS, please contact our office today.

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/

Working as a Team to Provide Alzheimer’s Disease Care

Thursday, October 26th, 2017 1:31:34 PM
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Keynote speaker Vallerie Gleason will present “A Community of Care” at 6th Annual Kansas Education Conference on Dementia

Next week, November 2nd, the 6th Annual Kansas Education Conference on Dementia will begin at the Kansas Star Event Center in Mulvane, KS. This conference welcomes local professionals, families, friends, and students to join the discussion on Alzheimer’s disease care and the learn about the most up-to-date research.

The structure of this year’s event is built around two keynote speakers and multiple break-out sessions. Topics for the breakout sessions include cutting-edge research and Alzheimer’s disease trial opportunities, local memory care facilities, senior activity programs, on-going education opportunities, and professional networks. Those in attendance can pick those topics which interest them most and choose which breakout sessions to attend.

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.

Meet Keynote Speaker Vallerie Gleason

One of the two keynote speakers at this year’s event is Vallerie Gleason. Currently, Val is the president and chief executive officer at Newton Medical Center in Kansas. She is also a Registered Nurse who has worked in healthcare in various capacities since 1975. [Source]

After both of her parents were diagnosed with dementia in 2016, Val found herself taking on a new and unprecedented role. She learned that it takes a community to care for someone with dementia. Val’s presentation at this year’s Kansas Education Conference on Dementia will focus on her journey with her parents, as a health professional, and the oldest daughter living 975 miles away.

“A Community of Care, Built on Trust and Communication”

Vallerie has experienced first-hand that it takes a team of individuals working together to provide adequate Alzheimer’s disease care and dementia care. This is the basis of her presentation and also something that resonates with many family caregivers. Providing care for a loved one with dementia brings about emotional and critical decisions that require support and assistance. Having a deep bench of family, friends, professional caregivers, and healthcare professionals to offer helping hand in a crisis can make a major difference in your loved one’s well-being as well as your own.

For Vallerie, she was hundreds of miles away when her parents were dealing with a dementia diagnosis. Many adult children live far away from senior parents and are unable to drop their careers, family responsibilities, and personal lives to move back with their parents. This may cause feelings of guilt, being unable to provide primary care for a loved one. Building a trusted community of care providers can help ensure your loved one is receiving quality care even when you can’t be there.

Creating a Care Community for Your Loved one

There is not one singular plan of care for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Each person presents symptoms differently and has preferences on how they would like to live. Families can work with their loved ones to create a dementia care plan that works best for their unique situation. In the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, this may include adult day programs and part-time in-home care. As the diseases progress, full-time memory care in an assisted living facility may provide the best support.

In her presentation, Vallerie will talk about the importance of sharing in the learning. Family caregivers should find opportunities to share their experiences with others in similar situations. Building trust between healthcare professionals and patients and their families is important for communication and learning. This community built on trust can help those who need it most: family caregivers and their loved ones with dementia.

At this year’s conference, there will be an opportunity to talk with healthcare professionals, care facility operators, and caregivers. If you are unable to attend, consider researching local dementia care professionals in Wichita, KS. ComfortCare Homes is a leading provider of memory care in a residential facility. Our care staff is happy to speak to you about our services as well as connect you to other local resources.

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

Why I Walk – Sheryll Lathrop McClenny

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 7:50:12 PM
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Sheryll is a family member of one of our Residents. Read her story to find out why she walks to end Alzheimer’s disease:

I walk for Alzheimer’s for those that can’t.

Our family lost our mother to Alzheimer’s in 2009 after a three year battle. This disease robbed her of dignity and memory.

In 2016 our father, who cared for our beautiful mom with love and kindness till the very end, was diagnosed with this horrible diagnosis. At 92, we watch as we lose him bit by bit and know the outcome.

So I support and walk where they and so many, many others cannot.

How could I not?

Help Sheryll by making a donation to the Comfort Crusaders Team – Click here to make a donation. Help us make sure no one walks alone.

For more information about The Walk to End Alzheimer’s and how you can get involved, please visit our event page here. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office at 316-267-7333

Why I Walk – Jessica Dean

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 5:28:14 PM
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Jessica is a nurse at Founders Crest. She frequently works with our Residents and their families. Here’s her story:

I was only 10 years old when I received, what I believe now to be, my calling. My Great-grandfather had just passed away and we gathered at a Relative’s home following his service. My Great-grandmother was relentlessly searching for him in every room. She would yell out for him and then tell me, “I know Ed is around here somewhere.” Moments after this repetitive statement you would hear a harsh voice, coming from a distance, shout, “He passed away, Juanita. We just went to his funeral earlier today! Don’t you remember?”

I saw her face change with every “reminder” while she grabbed her chest and gasped, as if it was the first time she had been told. I knew at that moment, at 10 years old, that we were doing her a grave injustice. It was the pivotal moment that I realized this disease, Alzheimer’s, was a taboo.

I knew my family wanted to do right by Juanita but were never equipped with the resources needed to do so. It was because of this that we missed out on our own memories with her.

As time went on my Great Grandmother was bounced around from care home to care home. She was a great escape artist who also had “behaviors” commonly associated with her disease, but few places were equipped to meet her needs.

Years later, after her passing, I remember feeling a void. Only remembering the shell of who my Great-grandmother really was. I knew that THIS is not the way things should be.

Because of these events, I walk. I walk for every Resident I have cared for, for every family who has ever endured this long good bye. I walk to end the taboo associated with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I walk to bring awareness. I walk to END Alzheimer’s.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”

Help Jessica by making a donation to the Comfort Crusaders Team – Click here to make a donation.

For more information about The Walk to End Alzheimer’s and how you can get involved, please visit our event page here. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office at 316-267-7333.

Why I Walk – Stacie Grimes

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 12:25:17 PM
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As a CareGiver participating in the Walk, I am representing my Residents, their family members, and all other CareGivers.

Being in this position, I see all sides of the spectrum. I see the family members and the tears of frustration and sadness they cry for their mother, father, sister, brother, or grandparent who no longer knows them.

I also see the Resident who struggles to express what they are feeling or who is confused as to who the person sitting next to them is, even if it is their wife or child.

I am praying that with the money raised in this Walk and others that we will find a cure! Please consider donating or joining our team and making a difference.

Help Stacie by making a donation to the Comfort Crusaders Team – Click here to make a donation.

For more information about The Walk to End Alzheimer’s and how you can get involved, please visit our event page here. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office at 316-267-7333.

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.

Why I Walk – Robert Miller

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 1:30:00 PM
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My maternal grandparents were like magical creatures. They were the amazement of Christmas. They showed up for all my choir events. They coddled and comforted me when I was down or not feeling well. They were present.

And through it all, my grandfather, Alfred Smart, was a rock. He was my hero. He was a positive male role model. And I was his “little buddy.”

I miss hearing him call me that.

I was fortunate to be an adult as he aged and to know him well. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s with dementia and he seemed to decline quickly. But through it all, I continued to be his little buddy. And I stood next to him to the last days of his life. Our entire family did.

He inspires me today. I walk for him.

Help  Robert by making a donation to the Comfort Crusaders Team – Click here to make a donation.

For more information about The Walk to End Alzheimer’s and how you can get involved, please visit our event page here. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office at 316-267-7333.

Why I Walk – Kasey Briedenthal

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 12:20:08 PM
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I walk for many reasons. I walk for my maternal grandma, paternal grandpa and great grandparents who had dementia and Alzheimer’s.

I walk for my paternal grandma who is living with end stages of dementia and Parkinson’s disease. I walk for my mother-in-law who is battling early-onset dementia at the age of 65.

I walk for my family, friends, children and husband who I hope are never afflicted with the disease. I walk for the wonderful residents and families that I serve at ComfortCare Homes.

I have watched this terrible disease steal the memories, personality, and identity of many people close to me. Unfortunately, there will be many more in my lifetime.

I pray that with the donations raised at the Walk to END Alzheimer’s we will get one step closer to a cure or at minimum better treatments.

Help Kasey by making a donation to the Comfort Crusaders Team – Click here to make a donation.

For more information about The Walk to End Alzheimer’s and how you can get involved, please visit our event page here. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office at 316-267-7333.

Testimonials

I just want you to know that I feel very thankful for the facility and the staff. I have had people from out of town visit here, and the comment is always – I wish we had one in our town. Thanks.

- Ron Spangenberg

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