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.
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
Go with the flow.....meet 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.
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.
© 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.
RVT 101 debuts as a new drug that to treat Alzheimer's disease and may be approved soon. This drug would create a giant step forward in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease by allowing those taking the medication to push back the effects of the disease which causes the loss of memory and cognitive abilities. Alzheimer’s disease affects a person with memory loss and other abilities that interferes with their daily activities.
RVT 101 will be the first drug in more than 13 years to be successful. If approved, RVT 101 will become only the 5th drug currently available for treating Alzheimer’s disease. RVT 101 clinical trials are allowing patients to push back the effects of the disease. During the trials, scientists saw that RVT 101 helps slow down the effects Alzheimer’s has on a person by at least 6 months. The greatest results were from participants that had taken RVT 101 for more than a year.
Aricept is one of the available drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and scientists are using it along with RVT 101. While RVT 101 rises the levels of neurotransmitters that sends messages between nerve cells, Aricept helps decrease the enzymes that shuts down those neurotransmitter. By pairing up the two drugs, patients receive a second barrier against Alzheimer’s disease and are able to perform better on cognitive and basic functions.
Alzheimer’s disease is advancing faster than the success of medication. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that by 2050 there will be 16 million Americans affected by Alzheimer’s. Until there is a cure, Caregiverlist can help families find senior care for their loved ones. Caregiverlist provides the daily rates for nursing home’s nationwide. In states such as New Jersey, with high amounts of people with Alzheimer’s, families can find nursing homes such as Oradell Health Care Center with a price of $439. This resources can help families find a place that will give the love and care that their loved one needs to plan for Alzheimer's senior caregiving needs. Family caregivers may also obtain online memory care training to learn how to best care for their loved one or may join the Professional Association of Caregivers.
Author: Christina Gustin
Alzheimer's disease continues to impact us, with the most recent discussions around Super Bowl this week where the Denver Bronco's team owner will not be attending the game due to his battle with Alzheimer's disease. We still do not know how to cure Alzheimer's disease and the only way to get closer to both a prevention and cure for this disease is to study the brains and behaviors of those who both do and do not have the disease. The financial impact of caring for seniors with Alzheimer's disease already is in the billions of dollars, as both our public tax dollars, through Medicare and Medicaid, and private funds go towards caring for these seniors.
You can assist in finding a cure for this disease by spreading the word about the A4 study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, Eli Lilly and Company and several philanthropic organizations. The University of Southern California Alzheimer's Therapeutic Research Institute is coordinating the A4 study and seeking participants who are NOT DIAGNOSED with Alzheimer's disease yet.
Senior caregivers and seniors can learn more about this study and join or refer a friend to join the study. Visit the website to learn more and find a location near you and just send an email to the contact to begin the application process. The eligibility requirements for this clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease are below.
- Age 65 to 85 years old
- Healthy (Normal) Thinking Ability and Memory
- Study Partner with Minimum Weekly Contact with You to Answer Questions Annually
- Willing to Receive IV Infusions of Treatment or Placebo for 36 Months (36 Monthly Infusions)
- Agree to Have Health Monitored During Study
- Health monitoring includes memory and thinking tests, ECG's, PET scans, MRI scans, blood and urine tests
- Already Receiving Treatment for Alzheimer's disease
- Current Diagnosis with Serious or Unstable Illness
- Reside in a Skilled Nursing Facility of Nursing Home
Caregivers assisting seniors with memory loss can take an online caregiver training course to learn more about positive ways to manage caregiving for memory loss diseases and learn about the various types of memory loss diseases.
Alzheimer's disease, which causes memory loss involving forgetting person, place and time, has been diagnosed in 44 million people worldwide. This month, as the Denver Broncos compete in the Super Bowl, they will strive for their NFL championship as their owner, Pat Bowlen, continues to battle Alzheimer's disease. The Bowlen family did plan ahead effectively and the football team was securely placed in a family trust years before the announcement of Pat's Alzheimer's disease diagnosis.
It was in 2009 that Bowlen's memory loss was first discussed with a newspaper columnist and in 2010 he no longer played a role in the team's business decisions. His family will attend Super Bowl 50 but he will not (he is the father of 7 children).
The cause of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown, and the Denver Bronco's owner certainly engaged his brain in activity throughout his life, as he was also an attorney and involved in other business interests, in addition to having the challenge of operating a successful NFL franchise.
Recently Congress approved more funding to research Alzheimer's disease, which the Alzheimer's Association estimates costs the U.S. $226 billion in caregiving in 2015 as 5.3 million Americans live with the disease (1 in 9 Americans over the age of 65).
Regardless of which team you are cheering for in the Super Bowl, take the time to learn how you can become more involved in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. Plan ahead for your senior care needs and if you are interested in becoming a senior caregiver, either part-time or full-time, take an online caregiver training course to begin working as a caregiver as more caregivers are needed to assist with caring for America's growing number of seniors.
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.
More than 15 million caregivers assist a senior diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This month, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law legislation authorizing a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research funding in 2016’s budget.
Disease modifying drugs and a cure will be the best way to allow the U.S.A. to be able to effectively care for seniors with the current Medicare and Medicaid benefits. The Alzheimer’s Association supported a research study to find how much money will be needed to adequately care for the growing number of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, finding Medicare spending will more than quadruple in the next generation to $589 billion annually in 2050. By this time, if no cure or improved treatments are found, more than 16 million Americans will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
However, research funding for cures for cancer, AIDS/HIV and heart disease exceed $2 billion each. As someone in the U.S.A. gets Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds, this will also become an even larger economic issue for both American citizens and the government senior Medicare and Medicaid health care programs.
Women over the age of 60 are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than breast cancer.
Studying our brains will be the key to more than just a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which is another reason more money should be invested in this research.
Participation in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease is one step senior caregivers can learn more about along with joining Maria Shriver’s The Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge to emphasize brain research. Share your story as an advocate, caregiver and activist for Alzheimer’s disease care and research.
Senior caregivers may obtain caregiver training for activities to engage with seniors with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease in the digital caregiver certification training program. More caregivers are needed to assist senior's who may need part-time or full-time senior home care. Join Caregiverlist to be considered for caregiving jobs in your area. Anyone with a caring and trustworthy personality can become a senior caregiver.
A rare form of Alzheimer's disease is passed on via a faulty gene, which strikes much before retirement years. Chris Graham's father died when he was just 42 years old and his aunt passed away at age 38. His brother now lives in a nursing home, at the age of 43. Now, Chris knows he is carrying the faulty gene too and will develop Alzheimer's disease.
Chris has decided to make the most of his life now, and has began a 16,000 mile bike ride across the U.S.A. and Canada to fund raise for dementia research. He started the bike ride in April, 2015, after discovering he had the faulty gene in 2010. He has lost four relatives from this disease, all passing away in their 40's.
One of four kids, he knew he had a 50-50 chance of inheriting the gene. He and his brother did inherit the gene while his two sisters did not. You read Chris Graham's blog posts on Alzheimer's Research UK.
As the number of seniors with memory loss continues to increase, as more seniors are living longer, having more professional senior caregivers has become a concern. Learn about how you can become a part-time or full-time caregiver or refer-a-friend to a caregiving job.
Brain health may soon be proved to be the most important component of healthy living and aging, as our brains connect to all the other functions in our bodies. The human operating system is turning out to be greatly impacted by our state of mind. Researchers now say our brains are the most important organ, creating memories, driving emotions and controlling every movement in our bodies. Now you can be proactive about managing your brain health with an online brain check-up tool.
One of our favorite authors, Deepak Chopra, and his pal Dr. Rudi Tanzi, also have a new book coming out called "Super Genes, Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being", as a follow-up to their book "Super Brain" and you can pre-order it. This book discusses how 95% of disease-related gene mutations are fully deterministic and influenced by diet, behavior and other environmental conditions.
Cleveland Clinic's Six Pillars of Brain Health can help us preserve our memory and lower our risk for brain disease. The recent suicide of actor Robin Williams, who was suffering from Lewy Body dementia, we now know, reminds us how vital it is to be able to properly diagnose our health issues. However, some types of dementia are difficult to diagnose in the early stages. Especially when there is an early onset of Alzheimer's disease, it can be mistaken for schizophrenia, drug abuse and all kinds of ailments that add even more stress to the situation.
Keep Memory Alive is a non-profit organization created to increase awareness and raise funds for the research, management and treatment of brain disorders (they are located in Las Vegas and receive sponsorship money from Caesar's - it's good to know there are gambling dollars going towards something positive). The Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is supported by Keep Memory Alive and treats patients with:
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Huntington's Disease
- Parkinson's Disease
- Fronto-temporal Dementia
- Multiple Sclerosis
The Healthy Brains free brain check-up will help you manage your brain health and to be "mindful" of how to best care for your brain. When you take the Cleveland Clinic's free online brain check-up, you can also join their healthy brains research registry which also connects you to a community of people who are willing to participate in clinical research as we work to better understand how to treat illnesses impacting the brain. 6 Pillars for Brain Health
- Physical Exercise
- Mental Fitness
- Food & Nutrition
- Sleep & Relaxation
- Social Interaction
- Medical Health
Clinical trials are necessary to study better ways to treat memory loss. Right now, more than 70,000 volunteer participants are needed for more than 150,000 Alzheimer's Disease and dementia clinical trials. Participants are needed who are both healthy as well as those who already have a diagnosis of memory loss. Find clinical trial openings at Cleveland Clinic. Plan ahead for senior care needs or those of a loved one by learning about what Medicare and Medicaid cover and available care options near you.