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

Traveling With Dementia

Having dementia doesn’t mean no more vacations or travels or trips.  It just means you may have to plan more carefully ahead of time to ensure the comfort and safety of everyone in your group.

I was accompanying a client with dementia on a weekend trip and thought I was prepared for every possible situation – until we got to security at the airport.  Our wheelchair escort had been ready for us at the airport door, zipped us onto the elevators, zipped us past the long line at security, zipped us up to the checkpoint.  It all seemed too easy to be true.  Things fell apart when the escort zipped my client through one security checkpoint and left me to go through another, where as luck would have it I was pulled aside for an additional scan.  My client was 50 feet away beginning to get agitated and I discovered that trying to explain to the TSA agent while she was doing the extra scanning was the wrong time to be talking.  She wanted me to stand still and be quiet.  Fortunately I had nothing hidden on me and it didn’t take long before I was able to rescue my client from his agitation. Continue reading