We’re welcoming brighter days while continuing to promote health and safety.
Rita Altman, vice president, Memory Care Services, discusses what to do when you start to notice increased memory decline in your loved one and are unsure if your loved one is ready for the move to assisted living or not.
Being a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be greatly rewarding and equally demanding. Caregivers often do not have the time to take care of their own health and well-being and can suffer from the effects of stress. It’s important for caregivers to find ways to manage their stress in order to remain healthy for their own emotional welfare, as well as to continue to provide care for their loved one. Stress can be reduced by incorporating walking into a regular daily routine. Now that the weather is warming, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and get moving.
Dementia remains a very real presence in senior living, as millions of Americans are affected by the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that, as the illness continues to lead to increasing demand for senior care, the need for understanding the cognitive disease is paramount. According to CDC, up to 5.3 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease with that number projected to more than double by 2050.
“Sundowning,” formally known as Sundown Syndrome, is characterized by a series of behaviors and emotions that become apparent in certain seniors when the sun begins to go down in the late afternoon or evening. The fact that the majority of people diagnosed with dementia experience trouble with sleeping (i.e. bouts of insomnia, irregular sleep patterns, etc.) suggests that sundowning can often occur in persons with dementia. There are some researchers that question the existence of sundowning and consider the disruptive behaviors in individuals with memory loss that occur late in the day as simply an escalation of their day time behaviors.
Whether Alzheimer’s disease is preventable is a commonly asked question, and the answer has yet to be scientifically determined. Researchers are focusing enormous efforts on finding a cure along with investigating preventative strategies, many of which consider how nutrition affects the brain.
Valentine’s Day is synonymous with love and romance. For caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of memory loss, it is also a perfect opportunity to show how much you care about your loved one. Even if they are unable to reciprocate, it is important for those with memory loss to know you are there to provide your love and support.
It’s that time of year when we all make a list of the things we want do better or differently in the New Year. You might be considering reading more, going on a diet or spending more time with your kids. Well, I’ve got a resolution I think we should all make in 2013 – improve our brain health.
Most extreme weather and natural disasters, such as the recent Superstorm Sandy on the east coast and rain and wildfires on the west coast, strike with little to no warning. It is important that every family is prepared for what Mother Nature may bring, especially if they have loved ones with memory loss, who may need additional support before, during and after any storm or weather event. In my most recent Huffington Post blog, I provide tips for preparing for and coping with natural disasters.