Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease

When Alzheimer's is diagnosed before the age of 65, it's considered 'younger onset' Alzheimer's and about 250,000 people in the US live with it. Too Soon to Forget: The Journey of Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease is a documentary that shows what it is like living with this disease. This documentary shows the stories of nine families affected by the disease. It is narrated by B. Smith a former supermodel, chef and entrepreneur who was diagnosed at age 62, along with her husband Dan Gasby. Find airing dates and more information here.


Assisted Living or Memory Care - Which One is Right For Your Loved One?

When an elderly loved one needs to find a senior care community—it can be an overwhelming experience for the entire family. There are so many different options available and types of senior care communities that choosing the best option can seem nearly impossible. One of the biggest questions that families have regarding senior care is whether or not their loved one should be in a traditional assisted living and long-term care community or if they need to go to memory care.


With more seniors than ever dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, memory care has become a popular solution for many elderly adults. While there are assisted living communities that also have memory care units in them, there is a difference between the two types of communities.


Memory Care Vs. Assisted Living

When you have your loved one go to a memory care community, you are taking them to a place that specifically caters to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other types of memory issues. They are going to have a more immersive experience in this type of care facility than with simply going to a special floor in an assisted living community. There are going to be more staff members who specialize in memory care available, and your loved one will have a larger community of residents to socialize and interact with.


While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, there are treatments for Alzheimer’s that can help slow down the progression of this disease and help ensure a better quality of life during this difficult time. Memory care units can help make sure that your loved one is getting these types of treatment and the mental stimulation they need to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.


While both types of communities will be able to look after your loved one and their needs,memory care is simply more specialized and focused on memory issues. Many seniors who are already living in assisted living communities and start to develop memory issues will move first to a memory care floor in their existing home. Over time, as their dementia progresses, they may then decide to move to a new memory care community.


Finding a Memory Care Community for Your Loved One

Families who are trying to help their loved one find a memory care community to call their own, should make sure they have a memory care checklist of things that are important during their loved one’s care experience. This includes community amenities such as security services, physical therapy programs, medication management and social activities. These are all important things that can make or break a senior’s memory care experience.


Typically, communities that are entirely dedicated to memory care are going to have more amenities focused specifically on the needs of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This may include things like special layouts that prevent wandering.


What is most important, however, whether you choose memory care or a traditional assisted living community—is that you find a place that you and your family are comfortable with. The more comfortable you are with your senior loved one’s new home, the better off everyone will be with this experience. While making decisions about memory care can be difficult, you can rest assured knowing that your loved one is getting the care they deserve during this difficult time in their life.



To find senior care that suits your needs complete this form so we can connect you with the best care. Take a look at Nursing Home Ratings nationwide. 

Caregivers Can Experience Life with Dementia Using New App

When it comes to understanding dementia and Alzheimer's disease, we can read about the various symptoms and glean together an understanding from people we know who dealt with them. However, it can still be difficult to piece together the thought patterns of someone with dementia as they navigate through their daily life. A new app called "A Walk Through Dementia" aims to bridge the gap between those living with dementia and those on the outside by giving a glimpse into the thoughts of a person with dementia. 

The app focuses on creating a virtual reality experience for the user. Alzheimer's Research UK created the app after interviewing several people with dementia to understand how their symptoms affect their daily lives. The app features three different environments for the user to navigate through: at the supermarket, on the road and at home. 


The app uses Google Cardboard virtual reality to immerse the user in the experience. For this reason, the app is available exclusively for Android, but the app creators put together a set of YouTube videos to help people without Androids experience the app as well. 

Watching the YouTube videos, we see first-person the narrator walking down the street and encountering a decision point of which way to walk home. As the narrator walks, we hear her inner thoughts change from recognizing her surroundings to deciding to take an alleyway as a short cut. Then, we hear her realize it's not the right way home and increasing panic as she does not recognize her surroundings and cannot find her son. 

As the walk continues, we realize further difficulties in perception as the narrator comes across a puddle, but her mind cannot correctly identify it. To her, it looks more like a gaping hole in the middle of the sidewalk, and only her son's confirmation helps her recognize that it's just a bit of water. We hear her attempt to cover put he fact that she thought it was something else, but from first person it lends us the recognition that she truly could not tell the difference. 

This sort of first-person recognition will help caregivers better understand how senior clients with dementia experience the world around them. By having this app or these videos to watch, we can clearly see how to a person with dementia, a shallow puddle of water can look like a hole in the ground because of the brain's distortion of reality. 

If your senior client has dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, talk to them about their experiences with the world. It can be difficult, but letting them know that you will listen and support them through these situations can only help them feel more comfortable about opening up about their dementia.

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko


Alzheimer's Disease Treatment has had Little Progress since Dr. Alzheimer Identified Brain Plaques in 1906

Congress recently passed a budget bill in December, giving a few hundred million towards the research of Alzheimer's disease. 

While we are able to identify the existence of the same brain plaques Dr. Alzheimer found back in the early 1900's, we still are not sure why some people develop these plaques while others do not. 

Researcher Sam Cohen shares some of the facts around Alzheimer's disease research.  One reason Congress included research for finding a cure for Alzheimer's is because of the huge costs associated with full-time senior care for those with memory loss. Medicare does not currently pay for ongoing senior care needs but Medicaid, for low-income seniors, does.




Alzheimer's Research Charity: July Quilts

 

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative auctions 27 quilts online each month. Quilts range in size-- 9' x 12' and smaller. Please take some time to view the July quilts for auction the 1st through the 10th. All proceeds from the auction fund Alzheimer's research.

Read more on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Please look at a few of the quilts for auction below.

Review all July 2013 quilts here.

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative® is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's. The AAQI has raised more than $916,000 since January 2006. Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter. Her mother had Alzheimer's.

Medication Reminder App Helps Senior Caregivers

Caregiverlist Weekly Senior App Review

Balance, for Caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, is a new smartphone and notebook app to assist with keeping medications on track for seniors with Alzheimer's disease.

Senior caregivers must juggle many duties each day which may add to the challenges of keeping the senior's medication schedule on track.  Following the proper requirements for taking a medication are vital to benefit from the drug's prescribed benefits and this new app helps make the caregiver's job easier.

None of us have our eyes glued to the clock at all times, and this is especially true for senior caregivers, so trying to remember to take a medication at the same time daily can be a challenge, even if a senior is set in a fairly habitual routine.

Now, thanks to this new app for iPhones and iPads, caregivers and seniors can set reminders to take their pills and keep track of their medication schedule and when they have taken their medication. Think of it as a digital pillbox.

The National Alzheimer Center launched this new smartphone app last month.

In addition to the “pillbox” tool which lets the user track when a senior has taken medication, there is also a spot to keep notes on upcoming doctors appointments and tips for caregivers along with learning materials on Alzheimer's.

The Apple Applications Store lists it under “Balance: for Alzheimer's Caregivers” and has the following description:

“Balance is an essential tool for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients as it enables you to coordinate care among multiple caregivers in real-time. Track physical, behavioral and emotional changes and share them with other caregivers and doctors immediately, coordinate care and medications, learn about the latest Alzheimer’s research and information, and more.”

Launched in March, the app carries a one-time fee of $3.99 and once activated, multiple users may subscribe to the actions of one user in the application. For example, if a senior caregiver uses the application to track notes for an upcoming doctor's appointment and family member accompanies the senior to the appointment, that family member will be able to access the pertinent information for the appointment through the application. Additional features include a chat function to link caregivers with family members and access to the National Alzheimer's Center online store.

 

App Name:  Balance by The National Azlheimer Center for Caregivers of Alzheimer's Patients

Cost:  $3.99

Download the application for Apple products.

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help to relieve caregiver stress.  You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

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