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The Holidays and a Loved One With Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on October 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM

When someone in the family has dementia, two important facts need to be respected, particularly around the winter holidays:

We want to spend the time we can with our loved ones. Yet, people, noise and activity can easily overwhelm those with dementia.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Holidays

Brain Functions Preserved the Longest With Dementia

Posted by ComForCare on September 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM

People with dementia have many abilities and functions preserved for a long time – even through the end of life. When we take time to understand what people with dementia can still do, we are taking the first steps in creating better days for them.

Here are two examples of how focusing on what is still possible can make a difference (all identifying information has been changed for privacy reasons).

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Aging, Home Care Planning

Making the Grade: The Link Between Elementary School Performance and Dementia

Posted by Helen Beamer on September 5, 2018 at 9:15 AM

The new school year is well underway and the first report cards will be out soon. Most children started off to elementary school with new backpacks, shiny three-ring binders and pencils sharpened in hopes of academic success. Parents also work to promote good learning, with the understanding that their children’s school performance can influence future co-curricular activities, college choices and vocation.

It turns out that those elementary grades may carry more weight than most parents realize. Some recent research suggests that how well kids do in school may be an indication of how their brains will function as they grow old.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia

Normal Age-Related Forgetfulness

Posted by Helen Beamer on June 27, 2018 at 8:00 AM

You want to do some shopping – but you can’t seem to find your keys. After a few minutes of frantic searching, you spot them on the kitchen counter, next to a pile of junk mail. “Now I remember,” you say, “That’s right where I put them yesterday when I brought in the mail.”
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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Aging

Communication and Dementia: Speaking Through the Silence

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on March 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Certain types of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Lewy body, Parkinson’s and frontotemporal dementia) may affect language ability. People who have these conditions may forget the names of people and things. They could use words that mean something entirely unrelated. Sometimes, they speak in “word salad,” using a combination of words and sounds that seem to make no sense. Over time, many might stop speaking entirely.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Aging, Caregiving

Not All Memory Loss Is Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on March 7, 2018 at 9:00 AM

When you or someone you love experiences a memory lapse, you may worry it is the start of dementia. Yet, most of us who have memory challenges as we age are not experiencing dementia.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Aging

Medications Can Mimic Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on December 28, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Did you know many common medications can mimic dementia in older adults? Or, that these medications can make pre-existing symptoms worse in someone who has dementia? These medications include both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that could be in your loved one’s medicine cabinet.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Aging, Healthy Living

Malcolm Young, David Cassidy and Young Onset Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 21, 2017 at 1:13 PM

Both Malcolm Young, guitarist with the band AC/DC, and David Cassidy, 1970s teen musical sensation, have been in the news lately due to their  young onset  dementia. Young, 64, died Nov.18, and Cassidy, 67, died Nov. 21.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living, Aging

Happy Holidays and Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

When there is dementia in the family, we encounter new challenges with holiday gatherings. Dad wants to tell his World War II story many times over Christmas dinner. Mom gets overheated from the cheerful fire in the fireplace and removes her shirt. 

Where you had hoped for smiles, hugs and happy chatter, instead there are shouts, tears and toileting accidents.

With the right approach, everyone can enjoy the holidays, especially the person with dementia. Keep these three important ideas in mind:

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Caregiving, Aging

Respecting Preferences Makes a Difference

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM

How do you make a parent’s birthday special? Maybe Mom or Dad has their favorite breakfast in bed. Maybe there’s a special card, gift or places to go together. Everything is meant to say “You’re important to me, I know what makes you happy and I love you.” This is communicated through the choices made: Mom’s favorite coffee. A shirt for Dad in his favorite color. Specially chosen sights and sounds that hit them right in their “Ahhhhh!” spots as we try to make them feel happy and honored.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living, Aging

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