Embarrassing Things People With Dementia Say

Many people with dementia lose their social filters and no longer understand what is or is not appropriate to say in public.  They do not say embarrassing things intentionally, but have indeed lost the lens they used to live with.  You may have encountered situations like these:

Person with Dementia: (upon hearing someone speaking a different language) “Speak English!” Or use a racial slur to describe them.

I have seen and heard many elders using racial references that were, to say the least, disrespectful. It doesn’t necessarily mean the people are racist, though some are.  Many of our elders grew up in much less diverse communities than we have today.  They have simply lost whatever inhibitions they may have had. So when they see someone of another ethnicity, they blurt out labels that they heard as youths, embarrassing everyone involved. Continue reading

Holidays Are a Time To Notice Care Needs

Family gatherings during the holidays are times when you may notice changes and declines in your older relatives.  You haven’t seen them for a while or you haven’t seen them having to interact with lots of other people where they need to keep up with the conversation.  Some families only get together during the holidays and often they begin to notice subtle changes in an older relative that weren’t there the previous year. Continue reading

When Caring For The Dementia Patient Is Hard On The Caregiver

When you are caring for someone with dementia, you need support.  It isn’t something you can do alone without getting burned out quickly.  There are other caregivers out there in similar situations who can share tips and ideas with you to make your days more manageable. There are local support groups as well as online blogs and forums.  In fact, there are so many online options you can get lost in them and never get away from the computer screen.  Pick a few that seem to work for you and stick with them.  When I have a question about a specific problem, I usually go to the Alzheimer’s Association.  For example, I get asked frequently how to deal with the constant questions from a person living with dementia?  Here’s an entry from a site full of ideas, The Alzheimer’s Reading Room.

Alzheimer's Reading Room


The author who shared her suggestions for dealing with those constant questions has her own blog about living with dementia, Dementia By Day.  She is the coordinator of a memory care home and shares her stories and successes and observations.  Her blog is great for caregivers or family members who are new to the world of dementia.  One of her reminders to all of us caring for someone with dementia, which is my favorite, is “It’s never about the outcome when someone has dementia—it’s all about the process.”


Keeping The Brain Active Helps Delay Dementia

Despite the fact that research on whether cognitive activities and exercises are effective at holding off Alzheimer’s has not been very conclusive, most of us have a gut level sense that keeping our brain active just has to be a good thing.

Now, two new studies report that stimulating your brain in mid to late life, as well as in your younger years, does indeed help fend off cognitive impairment.  When it comes to investing in your brain health, early is best, but it’s never too late to work on it.alzforum logo

One of those studies was done by the Mayo Clinic and published in the JAMA Neurology journal.  They found that higher levels of educational, occupational, and cognitive activity are associated with a lower risk of dementia.  The onset of cognitive impairment happened a good 81/2 years later for people in the top 25% of intellectual enrichment.

For the rest of us, they found that cognitive activity in mid to late life is still effective in delaying cognitive problems by at least 3 years.  The study tracked people who engaged in several brain activities at least 3 times each week.  These activities can include reading books and magazines, playing games and music, artistic activities, crafts, group activities, social activities, and computer activities.

Overall, the findings show that keeping the brain active throughout life may help protect against cognitive decline in old age, and that it’s never too late to start these activities

Michele – Dignity Care

Alzheimer’s Caregiving – Rummaging Behavior

Rummaging and hoarding are common behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  Although these actions may seem random and meaningless to the frustrated caregiver, rummaging actually serves a purpose in the middle stages of dementia. You won’t be able to stop the behavior but understanding what’s behind it may make it easier for you to cope with it. Continue reading