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Why people with Alzheimer's need to stay active

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 18, 2018 12:03:21 PM

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Finding activities that your loved one with Alzheimer's can still enjoy and participate in is so important to their overall well being. Most will respond positively to things that they had a personal interest in and enjoyed doing before the diagnosis. Set up a planner and create a list of activities that they once were interest in or plan things that may remind them of their previous daily tasks. 

By keeping your loved one engaged here are some of the improved benefits:

  • Improved sleep and less night time wandering
  • A decline in behaviors that are repetitive
  • Less nervous and anxiety
  • An improvement in restlessness and and irritability
  • Less agitation and argumentative interaction
  • Overall improvement in happiness
  • Promotes improvement in memory
  • Improves general health, flexibility, strength and reduces joint pain
  • Better interaction
  • Mental stimulation may slow down the progression of the disease
  • Social activities help decrease isolation and depression

Here are some things to consider when planning the activities:

Musicfor someone who sang, played an instrument, or danced, music will have a very positive stimulation.  Engage in a sing a long of favorite songs.  Offer and encourage the playing of an instrument or have them put on a record.  Take their hand and sway to the music. You will be amazed at the response music brings to someone with dementia and Alzheimer's.  

Mr. Fix ItFor the person who was always tinkering with something, give them an object to take apart and put together. An old toaster, toy car, or just nuts and bolts.

AccountantFor those whose career was spent in banking or a money related industry, set up a work station.  The station might include a calculator, paper and pencil, an old check book or register, stapler, paper clips, or rolling coins.

At Home WifeFor the hard working many who stayed and home and managed the household you can engage in tasks like setting the table, folding laundry, cutting coupons, dusting furniture, matching and rolling socks, making a simple dessert, water plants,or sweep the floor.

Depending on physical limitations, exercise is a must!  Take a walk, work in the garden, throw a beach ball, dance, or simple exercise like lifting small bottles of water repeatedly are great for the mind and body.

Other Activities:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Puzzles
  • Petting or holding a dog or cat
  • Looking through photo albums
  • Organize recipes
  • Drawing or coloring
  • Listen to music
  • Play a game
  • Knit/Crochet
  • Outings and car rides
  • Adult daycare can provide group activities
  • Spiritual interaction, church, prayer and meditation

Physical and mental activities for persons with dementia and Alzheimer's will almost always be a positive approach for both you and your loved one and this can mean a longer and happier life.

In-Home Care for Alzheimer's

Where do you turn when a love one needs more than you can manage on your own? What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care since 1994, Easy Living Services.    Flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, and personal care and attention.  Call us at 770-442-8664.

 

Topics: Alzheimer's, Memory Improvement, dementia

Alzheimer's-Caregiver Tips

Posted by Debby Franklin on Mar 9, 2018 1:23:05 PM

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Alzheimer's is an irreversible, progressive condition that slowly destroys memory, thinking, and the ability to carry out the most simple tasks.  Damage to the brain can begin as early as 10 to 20 years before problems are evident. 

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's can be an unrewarding and stressful job.  Your day will be filled with emotional ups and downs and you will need to make tough decisions.  Many times persons with Alzheimer's will develop behaviors and moods that are hard to cope with. 

Here are facts on the disease and tips that may help you get through the challenging days.

  • Everyone progresses at a different rate and not everyone will experience all symptoms at the various stages.
  • Some plateau at a stage for an extended time and other progress very rapidly.
  • Research has shown that a person with Alzheimer's will survive from two to twenty years.
  • Alzheimer's does not cause death, however, the disease progresses to the point of many of the body's organs shutting down with the end result being death.
  • 45% of American seniors 85 and older suffer from Alzheimer s.
  • Early stage can include; getting lost, trouble handling money, forgetfulness, repeating questions, taking an extended amount of time to do daily task, mood and personality changes, and poor judgment.
  • Mid stage can include; confusion, memory loss, difficulty recognizing family and friends, impulsive behavior, poor hygiene, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and inability to cope with new situations. 
  • Final stage can include; inability to communicate, dependent on other for complete care, difficulty with mobility and in bed until the organs and body shut down.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's can have extreme physical, emotional, and financial responsibility.  Caregivers have an increased likelihood of physical strain, mental and emotional stress, depression, financial issues and interpersonal strain.  

Important things to consider.

  • Learn all that you can about the disease.
  • The Alzheimer's Association offers classes and on line material that will educate you on the practical strategies for dealing with difficult situations.
  • Work on coping skills.
  • Develop a strong support system; family, friends, church and synagogue.
  • Join a support group, most people find this a critical lifeline.
  • Find out what respite services are offered.  Contact the local Senior Center or National Institute on Aging for information on government assisted programs. 
  • Take time to take care of yourself by staying physically active and spending time relaxing and enjoying things that make you happy.

In-Home Care for Alzheimer's

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all- work, family, errands and other demands that leave you over taxed. Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services, Inc.  We have supported families since 1994 in an effort to keep loved ones safe, and cared for with personal attention at home. 

Call us to learn more 770-442-8664

Topics: Alzheimer's

Am I At Risk For Developing Alzheimer's? Take This 5 Minute Test.

Posted by Natalie McDonald on Jan 14, 2016 12:10:04 PM

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Currently five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's or Dementia and the number of individuals with the disease but undiagnosed is likely much larger. The most prevalent symptoms is memory loss. Affected individuals may forget and may have to ask the same questions several times.  They have difficulty remembering recently learned information, forget dates, appointments, or where they left belongings.

 

Dementia is a general term used to describe a number of symptoms related to the loss of cognitive ability. Alzheimer's is a form of dementia. It is especially difficult to spot because of it's slow onset. This makes treatment more difficult as the disease is often not diagnosed until it has progressed to an advanced stage. 

A team of researches at Emory University developed a rapid screening test to detect mild cognitive impairment.  Published in the Journal of Alzheimer"s Disease, this new screening process allowed researchers to correctly classify the participants at 83% accuracy as cognitively: normal, demented or mildly impaired.

5 - Minute Test to Diagnose Alzheimer's

Here"s how to complete the 5 minute Test at Home (This requires the person being tested to be present with you)

Test 1: Name Three Words

State three unrelated words ( e.g. lamp, Bob, fridge) and ask the person being tested to repeat these objects back to you. If the person is unable to list these three words after several attempts, please speak with a physician immediately.  If the person can list these three words within one or a few attempts, move to step 2.

Test 2: Draw a Clock

Ask the person being tested to draw a clock. A normal clock would have a circle and numbers distributed fairly evenly around the circumference. If the drawing looks abnormal, this may be a sign of mild cognitive impairment.

Test 3: Repeat the Three Words

Ask the person to repeat the words from test 1. If the person can remember all three words, they are probably not suffering from dementia. However, if they are unable to remember any of these words, this could be a sign of mild cognitive impairment.

Test 4: Functional Activities

For this section, use the following scoring system to rate the person's ability:

- Dependent = 3

- Requires Assistance = 2

- Has Difficulty but does by Self = 1

- Normal = 0

- Never did ( the activity) but could do = 0

- Never did ( the activity) but suspect would have difficulty = 1

 

1. Writing checks, pay bills, balancing checkbook

2. Assembling tax records, business affairs, or papers

3. Shopping Alone for clothes, household necessities, or groceries

4. Playing a game of skill, working on a hobby

5. Heating water, making a cup of coffee, turning off the stove after use

6. Preparing a balanced meal

7. Keeping track of current events

8. Paying attention to, understanding, discussing TV, book, magazine

9. Remembering appointments, family occasions,holidays, medications

10. Traveling out of neighborhood, driving, arranging to take buses.

Add up the total score. If scored 9 or higher, this is a possible indication of impaired function or cognitive impairment.

What does this mean?

If after taking this test you are concerned, consult a physician who can conduct more formal testing. according to James Lal, MD, associate professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study, a test like this is critical and key to helping individuals detect this disease earlier and maintain a good quality of life for as long as possible.

 

Easy Living Services is Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care. We offer flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care to your loved ones all in the comfort of your home. Call us today for a complimentary consultation...770-442-8664

 

For more information click here:       /blog-0/bid/142477/How-Can-We-be-Certain-It-s-Alzheimer-s-Disease

In-Home Care for Alzheimer's

Topics: Alzheimer's

Music Helps Alzheimer's & Dementia Individuals

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jul 1, 2015 3:04:07 PM

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Listening to music is a deeply emotional experience especially for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.  It can spark a compelling outcome even in the very late stages of the illness.  

Studies show that people with dementia and Alzheimer's can recall memories and emotions, and have enhanced mental performance after singing familiar songs from the past.  Music can calm agitation and help to shift the mood to a more positive experience.  

Easy Living Services has been working with individuals with dementia and Alzheimer's for over 21 years. We have personally witnessed the powerful effect of music first hand.  We  have seen people who have the blank and silent look, who have lost the ability to interact and express their needs, light up and come alive once familiar music begins to play.  I can recall a client who was in the later stages who was no longer able to communicate and was extremely agitated.  This client would scream all day unless her favorite gospel CD was playing.  As long as the CD was on she would become calm, the screaming would cease, and she would sing every word of each song.    

Listening to music is a deeply emotional experience one that evokes memories and can renew lives lost to dementia.  Research has shown that participants who were lead through songs vs those who only listened to music scored higher on cognitive ability.  Here are a few reasons why researchers believe that music boosts brain activity and improves the quality of life:

  • Most people associate music with important events which which open the flood gates of emotions and memories.  A person's ability to engage in music remains intact late into the disease process. Musical aptitude and music appreciation remain long after other abilities have passed.  Researchers have shown that by pairing music with an every day task, a person can recall the memory and develop a rhythm of doing that task.
  • Engaging in singing, rhythm playing, dancing, even exercise, can work to diffuse agitation and redirect the attention from frustration to peaceful interaction.
  • In the later stages of dementia, individuals lose the ability to share thoughts and gestures of affection with family and friends.  Singing and dancing can lead to hugs and touching which bring a feeling of security and can awaken positive memories.  Singing has been associated with safety and security from the time that we were small children.   

If you have a loved one who has a cognitive decline, here are some music thearapies you can engage in:

  • Play music that the person enjoyed in their past.
  • Put on music and dance at home.
  • Use sheet music so the individual can sing along.
  • Use relaxing music to calm sundowning at night and to provide comfort.
  • Play music to exercise to.
  • Do activities that are rhythm based such as drumming on the table.
  • If the person played a musical instrument bring out the instrument for them to play.

For more information click on:    /blog-0/alzheimers-ways-to-prevent-wandering  and  /atlanta-alzheimers-care-guide

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services.  We offer flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, and companionship along with personal care assistance to provide a rest time for family caregivers.

Call us at 770-442-8664 

Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: Alzheimer's

Understanding & Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jun 24, 2014 4:18:00 PM

Alzheimer's, Alzheimers, Caregiver InformationYour loved one or close friend has received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding the disease is important so that you will best know how to care and support someone who has it.

What is Alzheimer’s? 

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.  It affects behavior, problem solving, and memory.  Most often it will progress to where it affects daily activities and all behavioral functions.  With Alzheimer’s each day can and will bring different challenges.

Alzheimer’s causes large numbers of nerve cells in the brain to die.  Those who are affected with Alzheimer’s become forgetful, easily confused, and have a hard time concentrating. As the disease progresses they may have trouble taking care of themselves and doing basic things like making meals, bathing, and getting dressed.

Alzheimer’s can progress faster in some people, and not everyone will have the same symptoms. In most cases Alzheimer’s takes years to develop, with it becoming increasingly severe over time.

Alzheimer's disease consists of three main stages: early-stage, moderate, and severe/late-stage. Understanding these stages can help you care for your loved one and make the necessary plan’s to prepare for the challenges ahead.

Early Alzheimer’s 

In the early stage of Alzheimer’s, people often have some memory loss and small changes in personality. They may have trouble remembering recent events or the names of familiar people or objects. They may no longer be able to solve simple problems or balance a checkbook. People with early Alzheimer’s also slowly lose the ability to plan and organize.  They may begin to have difficulty with shopping, driving, keeping appointments and remembering important events.

Moderate Alzheimer’s

With moderate Alzheimer’s, memory loss and confusion will become more obvious. They have more trouble organizing, planning, and following instructions. Your loved one may need help getting dressed and may start having problems with bladder or bowel control.

People with moderate Alzheimer’s may have trouble recognizing family members and friends. They may not know where they are or what day or year it is. They also may begin to wander, so they should not be left alone. Personality changes can become more serious. For example, people may make threats, accuse others of stealing, become very agitated.

Severe/Late-stage Alzheimer’s

In the severe stage of Alzheimer's, people usually need help with all of their daily living tasks. They may not be able to walk or sit up without help. They may not be able to talk and often cannot recognize family members. They may have trouble swallowing and refuse to eat.

Additional Things to Know

At this time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are treatments that can prevent some symptoms from getting worse for a limited time.  Alzheimer’s is most common in older adults bit it can and does affect those in their 30’s and up!  Known mostly for memory loss and confusion Alzheimer’s may be the nation’s third most deadly killer. 

Others often sense that something is wrong before they are told, Alzheimer’s disease is hard to keep secret.

You can help family and friends understand how to interact with the person who has Alzheimer’s.

  • Realize what the person can still do and how much he or she can still understand.
  • Give suggestions about how to start talking with the person. For example, "Hi Mary, I'm Susan. We used to work together."
  • Avoid correcting the person with Alzheimer’s if he or she makes a mistake or forgets something.
  • Plan fun activities with the person, such as going to family reunions or visiting old friends. Songs, photos and stories from the past often are most enjoyable for someone with Alzheimer's since these are memories that may not be forgotten. 

Caring for a loved one with Alheimer's Disease is undoubtedly challenging on so many levels; physically, mentally and emotionally.  Without proper rest and downtime, a caregiver can become "burned out" with negative implications for self and care recipient.  Consider arranging for frequent respite periods to recharge.  

At Easy Living Services, we specialize in providing secure, reliable care for Alzheimer's patients and their families.  Experienced, expertly trained professional caregivers are ready to care for your loved one for a few hours up to long term, full time care. 

Call people who understand your unique needs.  

Call Easy Living Services.

770-442-8664

In-Home Care for Alzheimer's

Topics: Caregiver Information, Alzheimers, Alzheimer's