Dementia Week 2013: Be Aware of Signs and Symptoms and How to Seek Care

National Dementia Week, from May 19th through May 25th, highlights senior care needs for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia.  There are many ways of getting involved and being aware such as knowing the signs and symptoms of dementia and knowing how to find care for your family member or friend in need.

Dementia occurs when the brain slowly loses its ability to process thoughts and is a decline in the cognitive function.  There are many diseases that cause dementia-- Alzheimer’s being the most well-known.  Other diseases that cause dementia include Lewy body disease, fronto-temporal dementia, vascular dementia, and many more.

The neurological symptoms associated with dementia can unfortunately affect our loved ones. What can you do when dementia affects your mother, father, aunt or grandfather?  One should be aware of the signs and symptoms.  Your family member or friend may experience memory loss, moodiness and/or communication difficulties.  As the dementia progresses, all of these symptoms may lead to a serious struggle for your family member or friend to get through the day on their own. 

What can you do when your loved one can no longer take care of themselves? 

Are you able to take care of them yourself? Or, will you need outside and additional help?

Caregiverlist  provides information on quality senior care companies and the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide.  Anyone seeking senior care options may submit a request to “find senior care” to be connected with quality companies in their area.  You can specify type of care—such as home care, assisted living, nursing home, etc.— and additional information such as the monthly budget and unique needs.

Anyone who may have gained experience as a caregiver while caring for a loved one with memory loss, may consider becoming a professional senior caregiver and submit a job application to be connected with hiring companies in their area.   

This Dementia Awareness Week, take some time to get acquainted with dementia and what Caregiverlist can do to help out your family or friend! 

-Kristin Kruk

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease Author Online Chat May 16th

Senior caregivers assisting seniors with Alzheimer's disease care know the unique aspects of this disease.  Confusing person, time and place can create an added challenge.  A caregiver may arrive one day to discover the senior with Alzheimer's disease thinks the caregiver is their wife or sister or mother.  "Meet them where they are" is a common mantra used when caring for seniors with Alzheimer's.

A popular book for families and caregivers is "The 36-Hour Day", co-written by Dr. Peter Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.  As a member of the AARP Caregiving Advisory Panel, Dr. Rabins will offer an online chat to answer questions about caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia and discuss ways the caregiver can also care for themselves.

Creating a custom care plan for seniors with Alzheimer's disease is important along with understanding the emotional toll the caregiving can take on the caregivers, both professional caregivers and family caregivers.

My own grandfather suffered from the disease and would read the Wall Street Journal upside down and often confuse all of his family members with other people.  These are the extra heart-breaking aspects of the disease for caregivers.

Join Dr. Rabins on Thursday, May 16th from 2pm to 3pm Eastern Time for an interactive chat session.

Online Chat with Dr. Rabins, Co-Author of "The 36-Hour Day:  A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease".

Date:  May 16, 2013

Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Senior caregivers may also find online caregiver training and apply for a senior caregiving job near them, as more companion caregivers are always needed to assist seniors with memory loss.

 

Caregiver Jobs: Shortage of Caregivers Cause for Concern

Caregiving as a profession has grown significantly in the last decade, with a 40% growth in the number of senior home care agencies since 2008.  Caregiverlist's Employment Index profiles the growth in senior home care along with the top cities where seniors age-in-place (or relocate).

Last week, the Wall Street Journal profiled the shortage of C.N.A.'s for nursing homes along with the high turnover and potential need for higher pay and other benefits for certified nursing aides.

Another reason for the shortage of professional caregivers is because many people do not realize caregiving can be a professional job with a career path.  The large growth in senior home care agencies is because senior care is moving to the home.  Seniors often find they prefer one-on-one care in their own home rather than relocating to a nursing home or assisted living community.

This means anyone with a caring personality may be employed by a senior home care agency. In addition, the growth in the number of seniors with memory loss - the Alzheimer's Association reports that nearly 1/3rd of all Americans will have some memory loss, with the risk increasing the longer we live.  This means seniors who are physically healthy -or enjoying healthy aging, will suddenly need caregiving services just to maintain meals and daily activities. 

Companion caregivers assist with medication reminders, meal preparation and daily activities as well as just being a friend to the senior.  Certified Nursing Aides, however, must obtain a certificate in their state by passing a state exam after attending an approved school. C.N.A. programs can be anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks and some programs offer evening courses.

Anyone interested in exploring becoming a senior caregiver can apply for a caregiving job or Refer-a-Friend to be a caregiver to win t-shirts, training and gift certificates each week on Caregiverlist.  Remember, caregiving delivers fulfillment beyond a paycheck while also providing a needed service to seniors.  Online training is also available to gain the necessary skills to provide safe caregiving services and be obtained through Caregiverlist's Certified Training program.

 

 

Hilarity for Charity Raises Money for Alzheimer's Disease: April 25th in Los Angeles, California

Hilarity for Charity, presented by GIV Mobile, presents a variety show in Hollywood tomorrow to raise money for the fight against Alzheimer's Disease.  Actors Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller created Hilarity for Charity after being actively involved in the Alzheimer's community, in order to create awareness about the disease among the younger generation.

Part of the National Alzheimer's Association, money raised from this event will be directed towards assisting families struggling with caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease and assist with funding support groups and research for a cure.

Lauren Miller became involved in the fight against Alzheimer's disease after her Mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease at age 55.  She learned the challenges of caregiving and communicating how this disease impacts families.

Thursday's event will feature performances and appearances by Garfunkel & Oates, Sadie & The Blue Eyed Devils, Seth Rogen, Bo Burnham, John Mulaney and more.

Hilarity for Charity tickets may be purchased by buying a reserved table or an individual party crasher ticket at HilarityforCharity.com.  You also may make a donation to purchase a Hilarity for Charity Double Bracelet for $38.

Seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease will also need to plan ahead for long-term care needs and understand that Medicare does not pay for long-term care.  The Alzheimer's Association programs are helpful in assisting families to plan for senior care needs.  You can learn about nursing home daily costs nationwide on Caregiverlist.  As more caregivers are needed in the industry, remember that many times only companion caregivers are needed for those with memory loss and this can be fulfilling work for anyone with a caring personality.  Caregiverlist's Career Center connects caregivers with part-time and full-time senior caregiver jobs in their area (all with professional senior care companies).

Caregiver training also assists with learning caregiver skills in order to deliver quality care to seniors and you may also take an online caregiver training course.

And in the meantime, cheers to Hilarity for Charity to adding a laugh to the complexities of dealing with Alzheimer's Disease.

  

Alzheimer's and Dementia Responsible for 1 in 3 Senior Deaths, Report Shows

A new Alzheimer’s Association report, 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures, released yesterday, indicates that the disease is now the sixth leading cause of death, taking the lives of 1 in 3 seniors.

And while death from other diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke decline, Alzheimer's deaths continue to rise, increasing 68% from 2000-2010. The reason? According to the report, it is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, cure it or even slow its progression.

The mortality rate for Alzheimer’s and dementia, while certainly increasing as the population ages, isn’t a new phenomenon. However, the reporting of death from dementia and Alzheimer’s may have been previously under-reported, according to  Susan Mitchell, a professor of medicine at Harvard and a scientist at Hebrew Senior Life Institute for Aging Research.

Alzheimer's patients tend to have other health problems as well, she says. Alzheimer’s and dementia lead to the death of nerve cells. In the beginning stages of the disease, the cells damaged mostly affect memory and behavior. As the disease progresses, the brain cells damaged control body functions. For example, a person suffering from dementia may lose their ability to swallow correctly. Food goes down the wrong way, resulting in lung damage and finally pneumonia. And it is that pneumonia which has been listed as the cause of death, and not the underlying dementia from which it stemmed.

From a caregiving standpoint, almost 15% of those caregiving for loved ones are doing it long-distance — living an hour or more away and they pay nearly twice as much out-of-pocket for care as their onsite counterparts. However, the emotional toll is understandably greater for those who must deal with caregiving on their own. “More than 60 percent of Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; more than one-third report symptoms of depression.” These are the family caregivers who desperately need help in the form of respite caregivers.

Caregiving for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia requires a special skill set and the need for skilled caregivers is only going to increase. State training requirements vary, but Caregiverlist, along with Terra Nova Films, presents training videos to assist you with understanding how to care for special needs of older adults suffering with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

If you are a certified nursing aide, home health aide, companion caregiver or family caregiver, these videos will help you improve upon your current skills and learn about the latest approaches for successful caregiving.

And read Norm McNamara’s Caregiverlist Diary to gain a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by those living with Alzheimer’s.

Log in