Alzheimer’s Caregivers Need to be Prepared – Assisted Living, Richmond, VA

Posted: September 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Thousands of spouses, adult children, family members and friends may be dealing with caring for someone in their lives who has Alzheimer's disease which progressively erodes the mind.

The Alzheimer's Association offers support groups, hotlines, education and personal consultations to help Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers. In addition, there are community resources that also are available with services.
Here are ways that loved ones can begin to prepare and cope:

Become educated
Knowledge is power. It is recommended to put resources into place right away when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

The Alzheimer's Association provides free training programs for caregivers on topics from meeting challenges that will occur as Alzheimer's progresses and affects communication and behavior to making holidays more enjoyable.

Understanding Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's progresses through three stages that tends to last from eight to 20 years. In the beginning, people experiencing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's are able to hide it such as through isolating themselves.

The second stage is when abnormal behavior escalates, even though family members are likely to believe the changes aren't serious.

Alzheimer's often is first diagnosed after an emergency occurs.

In this stage, the patient's abnormal thought processes can cause delusions, paranoia and hallucinations.

This is when caregiver stress gets really high.

In late stages, patients become uncommunicative and may not be able to recognize that a visitor is a family member and not someone they only vaguely remember.

This doesn't mean that all patients exhibit the same symptoms or progress in the same way. They are still individuals.

Know what isn't Alzheimer's
Not all dementia is Alzheimer's and for some who are exhibiting signs of confusion and abnormal behavior, dementia can be reversed with the right diagnosis and medical care. There are about 10 conditions -- some quite common -- that can produce dementia as side effects.

Surprisingly, urinary tract infections, thyroid deficiencies, depression and loss of vision or hearing also can lead to dementia-like symptoms that disappear or improve after the basic cause is treated or corrected.

Create legal documents
Two important documents to have are powers of attorney and advance directives.

Powers of attorney allow people to name who should make medical and financial decisions in the event they are unable to do so. This should be created when the Alzheimer's patient is in early stages; otherwise it won't be legally recognized if the patient already was incapacitated.

An advanced directive states how much life-prolonging care, such as through ventilators or feeding tubes, someone wants in any future medical crisis.

Make an emergency plan
Emergencies occur in caring for Alzheimer's patients that involve the caregiver or the patient. Make back-up plans in advance -- with a list of who to call, starting with the first contact to be made and who to call next if that person can't be reached.

Also, a side effect of Alzheimer's is wandering. A program called Safe Return, that supplies identification bracelets for patients and puts out alerts about those who are lost, also can locate family members through its registry.

Get extra help
Being a caregiver for an Alzheimer's patient is notoriously stressful, but there are services that can provide respite care and in-home help. If you have done all that you can and it is time to bring your loved one to assisted living in Richmond, VA, contact Spring Arbor.

Assisted Living in Greensboro, NC for Alzheimer’s Patients

Posted: September 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

For those of you caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, life and care can be challenging, exhausting, expensive and lonely. Not only is the disease itself painful, but what caring for a loved one takes out of your life can be debilitating.

For those of you in North Carolina who are interested in a caring environment in which to place your parent or loved one for continuous and conscientious care, Spring Arbor offers assisted living in Greensboro, NC and other locations across the state.

Our standard of service is to provide basic senior assisted living services to every resident. Given that every senior assisted living and dementia care resident is unique, we work in conjunction with you, the caregiver, and physicians to customize unique senior care plans for every resident that we serve.

Spring Arbor in Greensboro features spacious apartments and a highly dedicated and experienced staff certified in assisted senior living and Alzheimer's and dementia care giving. Contact us.

Social Security will Fast Track Benefits for Those with Alzheimer’s

Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease emotionally, physically and socially, and also financially.  The costs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s are compounded not only by the expense of professional caregivers, adult day services, assisted living or skilled nursing care, but also by the impact on the income of the person affected or the family member caring for that loved one.

There are 5.4 million people in the US affected with Alzheimer’s. With 15 million caregivers, many families deal with Alzheimer’s at home long before accessing outside services and help.

Often a family member has to reduce or eliminate their job, thus income stream, in order to care for their loved one. For those with early-onset Alzheimer’s, which develops before age 65, this impact on income can be even more considerable.

In 2010, Social Security included Alzheimer’s as one of the 165 diseases and conditions on the “compassionate allowances listmaintained by Social Security. The list is the basis of Social Security’s fast-track disability application system, which expedites applications of people whose medical conditions are so severe that they will qualify for benefits.

Typically, the disability application process takes months. But the compassionate allowances track allows an application to be processed within days, thus helping to minimize waiting time to offset financial losses.

SSDI is an earned benefit paid to blind or disabled workers with physical and/or mental impairments that are so severe it prevents them from engaging in their normal occupations or any other work. This impairment must be expected to last at least 12 months or until one’s death.  SSI is for people who have very limited income and assets, typically over age 65 or disabled.

With more than 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 having early-onset Alzheimer’s, this special processing to obtain SSDI benefits is one bright light in an otherwise often dark journey.

For information on Alzheimer’s care and assisted living in Richmond, VA, contact Spring Arbor.
Patriot Ledger

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s – Assisted Living, Greensboro, NC

Posted: September 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

For Marya, the hard truth came crashing down on her the day her father plowed through his garage with his car.

Instead of braking and parking the vehicle, he hit the accelerator and ran straight through a wall. Her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“It definitely made me realize I couldn’t stay in my denial any longer,” said Kain.

For Barbara Sloop there wasn’t a single incident that gave her husband’s disease away. He became increasingly confused, repeated himself and forgot a lot.

After the diagnosis, she was at a loss for information and direction.

“You get this diagnosis and you hit a brick wall as a caregiver,” she said. “Where do I access more information? What am I looking at? What’s going to happen down the line?”

Many Alzheimer’s patients are being cared for by loved ones in their homes. More than 165,000 people provide $2.5 billion worth of unpaid care each year, which raises the concern for caregivers’ quality of life and health.

For Sloop, her journey as an Alzheimer's  caregiver was one of constant learning. Every time her husband advanced deeper into the disease, exhibiting new symptoms and behaviors, Sloop researched and sought experts.

Near the end of her husband’s life, Sloop needed more help. She took three months visiting and vetting facilities before finding one. And when Dick died in 2007, Sloop had to learn how to live for herself again.

Sloop thinks of her own journey when she says families recently receiving diagnoses need more support and information. They need help preparing for the years of deterioration they’re about to see in their loved one. They need help understanding why someone they’ve known for years will begin to behave like a different person. Most of all, they need to know they’re not alone.

After her husband died, she helped start a support group targeting those families.

Bill Whitney knows he has been fortunate to have the finances, insurance, and the expertise of his daughter, who has decades of experience as a geriatric care manager, to allow his access to services.

“Instead of living with fear, I live with hope,” Bill Whitney said.

He talks while expressing hope that all others with dementia can soon have similar options.

If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and would like to speak with a facility for Assisted Living in Greensboro, NC, contact Spring Arbor.

Excerpts- The StatesMan Journal

Binge Drinking Increases the Risk of Alzheimer’s

Posted: September 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

According to new research, binge drinking dramatically increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older people.

A study of over 65s found those who drank heavily at least twice a month were two and a half times as likely to suffer a severe decline in their mental ability and memory as they aged.

Consumption of four or more drinks on one occasion was considered binge drinking.

Doctors have linked alcohol consumption to the development of the condition in between 10 and 24 % of the estimated 700,000 people in the UK with the disease.

Dr Iain Lang, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, who carried out the research, said: 'In our group of community dwelling older adults, binge drinking is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline.

That is a real worry because there is a proven link between cognitive decline and risk of dementia.

Those who reported binge drinking at least twice a month were more than twice as likely to have higher levels of decline in cognitive function and memory.

These differences were present even when other factors were taken into account that are known to be related to cognitive decline such as age and level of education.'

The findings are the first to report the cognitive effects of binge drinking in older people.

The researchers analyzed participants in a health survey of US adults for eight years and found those who reported binge drinking at least once a month were 62% more likely to be in the group experiencing the greatest 10% of decline in mental abilities.

They were also 27 % more likely to be in the group experiencing the greatest 10% of memory loss.

Those reporting heavy episodic drinking twice a month or more were two-and-a-half times more likely to be among those in the 10% biggest decline in cognitive function and memory loss.

Interestingly, outcomes were similar in both sexes as women who drink a lot are believed to be at much greater risk than men of suffering problems with their cognitive functions, because they are physiologically less well able to cope with alcohol’s effects.

Drink is known to kill brain cells, but the estimate of its impact on neurological health indicates the problem may be much more widespread than previously thought.

Dr Lang said: 'We know binge drinking can be harmful, however, until we conducted our study it was not clear what the effect was of binge drinking on cognitive function and the risk of developing dementia.'

Added Dr Lang: 'This research has a number of implications. First, older people and their doctors should be aware that binge drinking may increase their risk of experiencing cognitive decline and encouraged to change their drinking behaviors accordingly.

Previous research has suggested heavy drinking may be to blame for one in four cases of dementia.

Doctors fear binge drinking is likely to produce an epidemic of alcohol-related brain damage in the future, which could see drinkers starting to experience serious memory problems in their 40s.

Another study showed consuming more than two drinks a day can bring forward the onset of Alzheimer’s by as much as 4.8 years.

Other research has shown moderate drinking, of up to two drinks a day, can help protect against the onset of dementia.

Daily Mail