The Spectrum of Hope by Gayatri Devi

The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias was written by neurologist Dr. Gayatri Devi. She has been specializing in dementia and memory loss for over 20 years. With this book she changes the way we look at Alzheimer's disease by defining it as a spectrum disorder. She offers practical advice and wisdom for caregivers and anyone affected by Alzheimer's disease. 

Read more about Dr. Gayatri Devi and her book here. 

Movie of the Week: Still Alice

Still Alice follows the story of Alice Howland, a renowned professor and mother of three. She is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's shortly after her 50th birthday and the film shows the hardships that come along with the diagnosis.  The movie raises awareness for caregivers who care for Alzheimer's patients as we see her family struggle in this role and with her disease. It is a poignant story worth watching by any caregiver.

The Link between Alzheimer's and Sugar

Alzheimer's disease affects many, every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops it.  A recent study was published by the journal Diabetologia that involved 5,189 participants over 10 years and the results showed that people with higher levels of blood sugar had more accelerated cognitive decline. Several other studies have been done and the results all show: the higher the level of sugar intake the higher the risk for cognitive decline. 

In Dr. Oz's latest episode, brain health researcher Mark Lugavere and NYU professor and researcher Melissa Schilling explain this link between sugar and Alzheimer's. They also go into what foods we should trade off to prevent high sugar intake.  We have to lower consumption of high-glycemic foods like white rice and potatoes and switch them up for better options like brown rice and sweet potatoes. 

What we eat and how we live has a big impact on our lives and future. Although there are many other factors that influence this disease, food is one that we can control. 

Read more on this article by The Atlantic


App of the Week: Sea Hero Quest

This week's featured app of the week is Sea Hero Quest. This innovative app is a fun mobile game that also contributes to research on dementia. The app was designed by a British game company, Glitchers along with Alzheimer's Research UK and University College London. By playing the game you contribute to research on dementia and in only a few minutes you provide scientists data that would typically take hours to collect. Read more about the research here.

Caregivers who want training on Dementia and Alzheimer's can purchase our course for Alzheimer's Disease here. 

Alzheimer's Caregiver Training for Senior Caregivers

Memory loss for seniors varies, based on the type of forgetfulness they are experiencing. However, Alzheimer's disease has become the most frequent type of memory loss, with some estimates at 80% of all memory loss.

Alzheimer's disease progresses at a different rate for each person which can make the diagnosis initially more difficult.

A medical doctor can provide a senior with a test to find out the type of memory loss they are experiencing. Alzheimer's disease impacts these specific types of memory and confusion:

  • Person
  • Place
  • Time
Online caregiver training will educate you about how to understand the progression of Alzheimer's disease and provide tools for interacting with someone with this type of memory loss.

Senior Care Education

Caregiver education has evolved to become state-specific as senior caregiving services have moved to the home. Senior care has become it's own industry with both state and federal regulations which now include training certification requirements.

Senior care education includes learning about:

  • Communicating with Seniors
  • Age-related Illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease
  • Infection Control and Environmental Safety
  • Emergency Game Plan
  • Safe Transfers and Assistance with Activities of Daily Living
  • Personal Care and Toileting 
These are some of the basics that are typically required by each state's health department or social services department across the U.S.A. Senior home care education requirements have not been passed into a federal law. The national association switched gears and began promoting their members to present legislation state-by-state to be passed into law. More than half of the 50 states have passed caregiver training mandates.

Find the state caregiver training requirements in your state and take an online training course to the learn the basic caregiving skills.

Buy Online Training and Maintain Ongoing Access with the Caregiverlist Certified Training courses.

Caregiver Buddy App for Caregivers

Alzheimer's caregivers now have a new friend to support them through their caregiving journey. Alzheimer's disease progresses through stages, or levels, as the forgetting eventually impacts all of the body's functions. The changes in the senior's personality can be especially stressful for caregivers. This is why having a "digital" buddy helps you to stay on the best path for each day of the Alzheimer's caregiver journey.

Caregiver Buddy App allows caregivers to access:

24/7 Alzheimer's Helpline

Daily Care Tips for Tasks Related to Hygiene and Meal Times

Fun Activity Ideas to Stimulate Body and Mind

Behavior Coping Tips for Overwhelming Behaviors of Aggression and Hallucination

Refresher about Alzheimer's Disease

COST:  Free

The Caregiver Buddy App was developed by the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter.

Alzheimer's caregivers can also take notes on the App to maintain daily care notes and quickly access care information.

Caregivers will be presented with the App's capabilities upon starting it and prompted to view the search function and notes section and given instructions on how to navigate the Caregiver Buddy.

Caregivers will then choose a topic, such as Wellbeing or Communication and then be provided with more information on the topic. This App can be a nice accompaniment to the Caregiver Basic Training which explains the different types of memory loss, including Alzheimer's disease.

Senior caregivers please give us your feedback on the Caregiver Buddy App.
Know about any additional caregiver Apps that excel at assisting with caregiving duties? Let us know. 

Enter to Win: $25 gift card by sharing your caregiver certificate on Instagram or retweeting our Stress Relief Photo of the week.

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

How to Communicate with Someone with Alzheimer's Disease

How do you talk to someone with Alzheimer's Disease?

How do you begin a conversation with someone with dementia?

These are common questions asked by caregivers for those with memory loss. Alzheimer's disease affects a person’s communication skills which leads to difficulty with concentrating, thinking clearly, remembering names and topics of conversation and causing confusion. As the illness gets worse so do these problems. 

Caregivers that are taking care of Alzheimer’s patients may have a client with one or more of these challenges and should become trained in how to communicate effectively when interacting with someone with memory loss (online caregiver training courses include information on activities for seniors with memory loss and communication skills).

How to Communicate with someone with Memory Loss:

  • Always talk to Alzheimer’s patients from the front - approaching them from behind may startle them

  • Use a gentle and relaxed tone

  • Identify yourself each day (hey may not remember you every day so don’t be offended by this)

  • Ask questions with “yes” or “no” answers and avoid lengthy sentences which may overwhelm them

  • Give patients extra time to respond to better understand what you have said

  • Alzheimer's patients tend to copy people’s actions so use positive body language

  • Be patient and supportive and expect that they may not always cooperate with you

  • Use positive encouragement such as “good job” or “you’re doing great”

  • Always call your patient by their name and be respectful

  • Help them feel like the healthy adult that they once were

  • Smile

  • Go with the them where they are each day

Caregivers should remember that communicating with someone with Alzheimer's disease requires understanding, good listening skills, and most importantly, patience. Caregiverlist provides a caregiver training course for Alzheimer’s disease care that caregivers can take to learn more about helping people with the Alzheimer’s.

The Caregiver Stress Relief Photos of the Week also are nice conversation starters and a way to just sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Think of a common activity that you can keep as part of the routine each day, as a way to consistently have a conversation ice-breaker. Photos are one way to have daily conversation starters.

Senior Caregiving Activities: Check out Live Bald Eagle Cam of Baby Eagles

Caregivers may check out this live eagle camera monitoring the daily activities of two newborn eaglets in a nest in our nation's capital. If you are looking for a new activity to add to the Activities of Daily Living you assist a senior with each day, this could be a nice new addition. You will witness the eagle parents, appropriately named Mr. President and First Lady, caring for their little eagles with all the excitement living in a nest in a Tulip Poplar tree among the azalea bushes at the U.S. National Arboretum brings. "Anything can happen" the American Eagle Foundation warns.

Engaging in daily activities delivers healthy mental stimulation and socialization for seniors, including for senior's with Alzheimer's disease. By watching the eagles caregivers may engage in many topics of conversation about eagles, including how the bird became the national symbol for the U.S.A., what they like to eat (yes, you will see Mr. President and First Lady fly in freshly killed fish), how eagles were an endangered species and siblicide.

Siblicide means the killing of an infant by its close relative (and you though adult children had challenges when deciding on the best senior care plan for a parent)! Many times baby eagles will perform siblicide in the early weeks of their birth as a survival defense, with the older sibling usually killing the younger sibling. But now these eaglets are out of the woods on this, so to speak. Human siblings also can stay out of the woods with arguments on senior care by researching to create a senior care plan and by working with a Care Manager to assist with planning and implementing the senior care. Transamerica offers a complimentary financial planning consultation to understand senior care costs and a free caregiving guide.

Displaying Screenshot 2016-04-06 at 1.10.17 PM.png

Displaying Screenshot 2016-04-06 at 1.10.17 PM.png

© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.

© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.

Visit the DC Eagle Nest Cam

Caregiverlist® provides adult siblings with resources to find the best senior care options for their loved ones, including the

daily rates of nursing homes nationwide and ratings on the most important criteria to help siblings find the best place for their parents.

Log in