Tips For Caregivers On How To Manage Their Financials While Taking Care Of An Alzheimer's Senior

Tips For Caregivers On How To Manage Their Financials While Taking Care Of An Alzheimer Senior

Alzheimer’s takes years to spread & show its symptoms. Having a future plan & active conversation with aging parents is an essential act of the preparation for such an adverse life event. Alzheimer's is a slow-progressing disease & can keep lingering for years & decades. Such prolonged duration can bring a strain on your financial planning when you are trying to build proper care & facility for your loved one. The loved ones fighting against the disease of Alzheimer’s & the caregivers keep fighting a continual struggle to manage a sustained long-term care mechanism. Here are some of the essential pointers, that you would find handy while taking care of your loved ones during their tough times.

Tips To Manage Your Financials While Taking Care Of An Alzheimer’s Senior Involve Family Members:

The primary caregivers for the Alzheimer’s seniors should call for a family meeting to discuss alternatives available. The care cost will have a significant dependency on the place where you live. Hence, a cohesive solution for financial planning should happen with the help of professional legal & financial advisors.

Futuristic Planning:

One should not wait for a prolonged period to create effective financial planning to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Owing to the probable duration of the diseases, it becomes imperative to reduce expenditures from the beginning itself to bring the overall care & medical cost under control.

Thorough Assessment Of Family Resources & Available Funds:

The primary caregivers in association with the rest of the family members should take stock of the family resources. Each legal & financial matter should be up to date & made aware to all responsible family members. Active vigilance should be exercised because a person with Alzheimer’s may make bad decisions & be a victim of fraud.

Explore Various Options:

It is essential to consider & assess all the available options while preparing to offer care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. In some instances, caregivers may need to explore the senior living community. Such alternatives give some breathing space to the caregivers, as people living with Alzheimer’s are the highest users of long-term care.

Take Support Of Law:

As soon as you figure out that a loved one has Alzheimer’s, the caregiver should consult the law attorney for seniors. This will help the caregivers to protect their collective income & assets. Doing this on a timely basis is also very crucial as, by law, one needs to have the adequate mental capacity to comprehend & approve the financial plan designed for him.

Take Help From Insurance Plan:

In case your loved one is already covered under a private health insurance plan, find out the clauses & coverage for the medical expenses related to Alzheimer’s. Discuss the same with the insurance advisor & take necessary action to avail maximum coverage for Alzheimer’s. These early essential changes will be a huge help for the forthcoming disease-related expenses.

An EndNote

As soon as you suspect the emergence of Alzheimer’s disease in your loved one, quick planning should happen. Along with the critical physical & medical safety measures, financial preparation should also take place. Such preparation will be a great help for the loved ones as well as the caregivers during the tough times. It offers sustainable mental & emotional strength for the caregivers to carry on with an appropriate care facility. We hope these tips would be of some help to you & your family for the noble cause of caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s.

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Researchers uncover new insights into Alzheimer's disease

Researchers uncover new insights into Alzheimer's disease

A new study by Florida State University researchers may help answer some of the most perplexing questions surrounding Alzheimer's disease, an incurable and progressive illness affecting millions of families around the globe.

FSU Assistant Professor of Psychology Aaron Wilber and graduate student Sarah Danielle Benthem showed that the way two parts of the brain interact during sleep may explain symptoms experienced by Alzheimer's patients, a finding that opens up new doors in dementia research. It is believed that these interactions during sleep allow memories to form and thus failure of this normal system in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease may explain why memory is impaired.

The study, a collaboration among the FSU Program in Neuroscience, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, was published online in the journal Current Biology and will appear in the publication's July 6 issue.

"This research is important because it looks at possible mechanisms underlying the decline of memory in Alzheimer's disease and understanding how it causes memory decline could help identify treatments," Benthem said.

Wilber and Benthem's study, based on measuring brain waves in mouse models of the disease, gave researchers a number of new insights into Alzheimer's including how the way that two parts of the brain—the parietal cortex and the hippocampus—interact during sleep may contribute to symptoms experienced by Alzheimer's patients, such as impaired memory and cognition, and getting lost in new surroundings.

The team had examined a phenomenon known as memory replay—the playing back of activity patterns from waking experience in subsequent sleep periods—in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease as a potential cause of impaired spatial learning and memory.

During these memory replay periods, they found that the mice modeling aspects of Alzheimer's Disease in humans had impaired functional interactions between the hippocampus and the parietal cortex.

The hippocampal formation is crucial for the storage of "episodic" memories—a type of long-term memory of a past experience—and is thought to be important for assisting other parts of the brain in extracting generalized knowledge from these personal experiences.

"Surprisingly, a better predictor of performance and the first impairment to emerge was not 'memory replay' per se, but was instead the relative strength of the post-learning coupling between two brain regions known to be important for learning and memory: the hippocampus and the parietal cortex," Wilber said.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 47 million people worldwide are living with the disease , a number projected to soar to 76 million over the next decade. It is currently the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting one out of every 10 people ages 65 and older.

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Link to Story:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-06-uncover-insights-alzheimer-disease.html

The Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

The Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a slowly progressing, irreversible neurodegenerative brain disease with a long preclinical phase (up to 20 years) and an average clinical duration of 8 to 10 years. The progression of AD is accompanied by changes to the brain that serve as biomarkers of the disease.

Normal aging vs Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms often start subtly. People with early Alzheimer’s disease (and their families) may mistake the early signs for normal aging and put off going to a doctor.
Disease progression typically spans several stages. These stages include preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease dementia varying from mild to severe.

MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease is a critical stage of the disease continuum

During this stage, clinicians may be able to detect very early features of Alzheimer’s disease compared to other causes of memory loss or other forms of cognitive impairment. These features can be detected using validated tools such as Mini-Cog, General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG), Memory Impairment Screen (MIS), and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).7-9

The time between MCI due to AD and AD dementia is limited

The rate of cognitive decline increases sharply in the years before dementia. Since MCI is the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease with observable symptoms, this leaves limited time between diagnosis and dementia—with estimates ranging from 2 to 6 years.1,5,6.
Patients with MCI due to AD have been shown to convert to AD dementia at an annual rate of 31%.

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Thinking Of Transferring Your Loved One To A Memory Care Facility?

Thinking Of Transferring Your Loved One To A Memory Care Facility?

When you’ve decided that the right choice for your loved one is to transition to a memory care facility, there are some steps you can take to make it easier and less stressful for all those involved.

1. Do your research. Talk to your loved ones first to understand their needs. Before choosing a memory care facility, research facilities and their amenities to know whether it is the right choice for your loved one. Know the community policies and procedures, the security available, and the features and treatments available. When you do choose a facility, make frequent visits there, bringing your loved one along if possible, before the move. This will help your loved one get familiar with the setting and the staff.

2. Tell staff about your loved one’s background. If the staff of the memory care facility is aware of your loved one’s hobbies and interests, it helps them build a relationship, putting your loved one more at ease in their new situation. It also aids the staff in helping your loved one make new friends with similar interests. Having someone to relate to and talk to can ease the transition to the memory care facility.

3. Keep it familiar. To help ease your loved ones into their new living arrangements, bring items from home that are meaningful and familiar. Try to arrange the room to be similar to the way the bedroom back home was. Keeping familiar belongings close by can help aid in the feeling of comfort and security.

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Most suitable memory care options for seniors with low-income

Most suitable memory care options for seniors with low-income


Alzheimer’s & other forms of dementia need to be dealt with utmost care and concern. With the remarkable increase in the number of Alzheimer’s cases, huge numbers of memory care communities are being built to support the complex care requirements. This is useful when taking care of a senior is no longer an option under residential care. Memory care service is a long-term committed care facility observed inside a secured property & having a support staff specialized in dealing with people suffering from different forms of dementia. The activities and programs in such facilities are customized according to the distinguished needs of the residents. These programs have been flexibly designed to cope up with the progressive nature of the disease.

Memory Care Facilities for Low-Income Seniors

Under the memory care facility, seniors with mild to moderate loss of memory have been taken care of in an apartment kind of set-up. Here, maximum health support & skilled nursing staff is available to assist with the daily chores. These facilities may include some engaging meal programs for active participation from the residents. These set-ups support the residents dealing with memory loss to maintain a certain level of independence along with a secured facility, which is safe & warm like their home. These memory care units help those who are living in with additional assistance for routine tasks & also ensure safety measures for those who are prone to wandering. The residents housed in such facilities also support for medication management along with medication administration.

A superior skilled memory care unit is ideal for seniors dealing with mid to late-stage memory loss challenges. These care units are popularly known as nursing homes. These nursing homes offer greater assistance with better safety measures. Here the residents may share a private room & have access to communal spots such as activity area, dining room and a lounge room. Here the residents are accessible to the nursing home staff along with authorized visitors only.

Alternative Non-Residential Memory Care for Low-Income Seniors

For those who can continue living in their own homes alone or alongside help on a full-time or part-time basis, home care facilities may be an alternative. Here, the hiring of personal care assistance through an agency may prove to be a costly affair. However, the cost will certainly be lesser than residential memory care.
There are other programs available which may reduce the financial strain on the caregiver. For example, caregiver homes provide a special in-house care-giving facility, which helps the family caregivers for routine activities.

Advantages of Memory Care for seniors with Low Income

It is indeed more appropriate to have the right kind of specialized care for you or your loved one during the fight against dementia & such illnesses. This offers great peace of mind because the loved ones are in a safe & warm environment. These aided living set-ups also provide an alternative for you as well as your loved one to manage a certain level of independence alongside the progressing memory impairment. These facilities ensure a perfect set-up to offer comfort to your loved ones until their last days.
Memory care facilities are indeed a boon for the loved ones as well as the caregivers. They offer the much-needed alternative for the secured & warm residential care environment of the home. Under various circumstances, it is not possible to keep seniors with low income under residential care. Here, the above-suggested memory care alternatives may be of some help. These care facilities will provide a great solution for the illness when finances are constrained.


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Home safety for dementia patients

How to keep your loved ones with Alzheimer’s comfortable at home?

Home safety for dementia patients; Those who take the responsibility to look after their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s can find it to be draining task. However, caregivers can simplify this process by doing some minor changes in the furniture, fixtures & the atmosphere around them. Such basic adjustments can accentuate caregivers’ stamina to overcome their limitations. These changes & alterations can help the patients to feel more relaxed, comfortable & confident.

Necessary changes in the home environment to provide comfort to Alzheimer seniors

Given below are some of the suggested changes & adjustments that will make an Alzheimer senior feel more comfortable:

Interior & Fixture Changes in Surrounding:

 

  1. The house needs to be well lit & ventilated. Things like shadow & sundowning should be avoided. Such changes help in dealing with perceptual difficulties faced by Alzheimer's seniors.
  2. Any scattered rugs & fabrics should be removed from the floors. As these items can be a cause for falling down. Also, the walls should be painted in solid colors. Patterns on the walls & floors can be quite confusing & distracting for the patients.
  3. Important spots like toilet & washbasin need to be of light color. The wall behind such spots needs to be painted using solid colors to make them stand out for clear sight.
  4. In addition to this, the seat cover in the toilet needs to be a colored one to make the patient understand precisely where they are required to sit or aim.
  5. You can use multiple prominent signs in the house towards the necessary spots. Like bold letter signage with an arrow on the wall will be of great help. It will make them feel independent & confident at the same time. Also, life for the caregivers will be a little easy.

Atmospheric Changes

 

  1. Try to keep minimum noise distractions in their surroundings. Having a lot of noise can be very much confusing as well as overwhelming for the patients.
  2. Visual markers will be of great help. For instance, marking the socks or shoe drawer.
  3. The early stages of the disease affect the language of the patient thus caregivers must avoid naming labels with complex words.
  4. For food consumption, plates can be used of bold red color to create visual contrast & enhanced appetite.
  5. Try to mask the exit doors & big windows using similar colored wallpapers or big curtains. This will reduce the risk of them leaving the safe zone without the knowledge of the caregivers.
  6. For patients hallucinating & sensing the presence of people who are not around, mirrors & pictures from their accessible vicinity should be removed. This shall help in the reduced extent of hallucination.

Generic Guidelines

The caregiver needs to understand that even simple & routine household items such as dish soap, shampoo & laundry detergent can be deadly if consumed. Your loved ones with Alzheimer’s have already lost their ability to protect themselves. Here, it is likely to happen that unattended access to these things can be harmful. Hence, the caregiver needs to look around cautiously for all such objects & make the surroundings safer for the patient.

 

An EndNote

 

Every caregiver feels exhausted & discouraged at some or another point in time. In such a situation, alterations in the home environment using these tricks will make things relatively smooth & safe for the patients. These tricks can prove to be a great help in keeping the home atmosphere positive & safe. It will help caregivers & patients to improve their quality of life & reduce stress. Also, the patients will feel much more relaxed, sorted & positive.

 

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Guiding Patients From First Signs And Symptoms To Intervention

Guiding Patients from First Signs and Symptoms to Intervention

people in a living room

Diagnosis of MCI due to AD is an opportunity for meaningful interventions.

Doctors have access to a range of evidence-based early interventions after diagnosis of MCI due to AD.3 Early diagnosis of Alzheimer´s disease also provides the opportunity to prepare financial and end-of-life plans while cognitive impairment remains mild.

The current pharmacological landscape for managing patients with Alzheimer’s disease includes symptomatic treatments, clinical trials, and treatments for comorbidities such as depression.

Nonpharmacological interventions may help change the direction of cognitive decline

In the 2-year observational FINGER study, elderly patients showed 25 to 150% improvements in cognition due to non-pharmaceutical post-testing interventions.

Care partner interventions are an important component of overall care

As of 2017, 48% of care partners were unpaid while caring for a spouse, parent, or family member. Dementia care partners tend to provide more extensive assistance as the disease progresses, with an emphasis on self-care and mobility.

The care required of family members can result in increased emotional stress and feelings of depression. Tailored interventions can have a positive impact on the well-being of care partners. Continued support for care partners is instrumental in treating Alzheimer’s disease holistically.

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How To Take Care Of Your Loved Ones With Dementia And Alzheimer’s During The Holiday Season?

How to take care of your loved ones with Dementia and Alzheimer’s during the holiday season?

A group of ladies showing their artwork

Holiday seasons are warm and welcoming as friends and families get together and celebrate several cultural events. But if there is a loved one at home who has dementia or Alzheimer’s you, as a caregiver, might have to do things a bit differently this time. With careful planning and understanding, caregivers can still celebrate and have fun and include their loved ones on Christmas with Dementia.

Ways to Help Loved Ones with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Enjoy the Holidays

➢   Adjust Your Expectations

Individuals with Alzheimer’s generally do best when a routine is kept up – and the holidays are nothing but a routine. If you are a family caregiver, you are the best judge of the limits you have to set. The professionals point out that your circumstance is different now and you don’t need to satisfy the desires of other people. Acknowledge the fact that numerous family traditions may require a bit of tweaking so as to suit your present situation.

➢   Involve the seniors in the preparations

Ensure you incorporate your adored ones in planning the event. This will enable them to be prepared, so when guests arrive, they won’t be overwhelmed. This will likewise give them a sense of purpose just as a stake in having the event be a success. If they feel like cooking, welcome them to help and have them decorate the table. If there will be a gift exchange, have them with you in wrapping gifts.

➢   Acquaint others with the situation

The holidays are loaded with emotions, so it can tell visitors what’s in store before they arrive. If the individual is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, relatives and companions probably won’t see any changes. In any case, the person with dementia may experience difficulty following discussion or will in general repeat him-or herself. Family can help with communication by being understanding, not interrupting or correcting, and giving the individual time to complete his or her thoughts.

If the person is in the middle or late stage of Alzheimer’s, there might be critical changes in intellectual abilities since the last time an out-of-town companion or relative has visited. These progressions can be difficult to accept. Ensure visitors understand that the disease and not the person brings about changes in the behavior and memory.

➢   Be flexible

If your loved one becomes overwhelmed, have a calm space ready where they can go. If they begin carrying on such that’s inappropriate, be prepared and have the plan of activity prepared.

➢   Keep holiday gatherings small

Large groups can be extremely confusing and upsetting to somebody with Alzheimer’s, so it’s best to keep the get-together more private. Rather than a gathering with individuals milling about, you might need to have a sit-down supper. If caregiving has reduced the amount of time, you need to plan, make it a potluck.

Enjoy holiday season best with precautions

It’s alright to invest energy preparing for and enjoying the majority of the “things” that make up the holidays. However, putting feelings ahead of the festivities for you and your cherished one may end up being the best blessing, an ideal approach to celebrate the season of all.

 

If you need ideas to be more creative with your loved ones during the holiday season, you can schedule a visit with us, and we will provide you the best support.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease Stages

Alzheimer’s Disease Stages

Disease progression may vary person to person, but patients generally experience seven distinct stages:

7 stages of Alzheimer´s

Stage 1: Alzheimer’s patients will not know they have the disease as they are fully independent. However, as mentioned before, Alzheimer’s can begin in the brain up to decades before symptoms become noticeable.

 

 

Stage 2: Patients will display normal forgetfulness for their age, but the memory of those with Alzheimer’s will decline quicker than those without. Often symptoms at this age are unnoticeable to observers, but they generally include forgetting words or misplacing objects.

 

 

Stage 3: This stage lasts about seven years, but symptoms become apparent to those close to the patient around two to four years. Patients may have trouble concentrating or forget things they just read. Some people may have to stop working.

 

 

Stage 4: A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is now possible. Patients have trouble with some everyday tasks, may forget memories from their personal life, and show limited emotional responses.

 

 

Stage 5: This stage lasts 1.5 years and patients need lots of support. They will forget major events, their current address, and can no longer live independently.

 

 

Stage 6: Memory is severely impaired to the point where patients will confuse family members, experience personality changes, and become paranoid. They will also need help with personal hygiene, dressing themselves, and eating.

 

 

Stage 7: Severe Alzheimer’s has set in and occurs in phases that may last a couple years. Speech will become limited to simple sentences and may decrease to only single recognizable words. Patients may be unable to sit up on their own or hold up their head. Patients essentially become infantile.

 

Dementia: Time To Make Yourself Aware Of The Disease

Dementia: Time To Make Yourself Aware Of The Disease

Woman with DementiaDementia is an umbrella term for a set of symptoms of cognitive decline lie underlying forgetfulness diseases and brain disorders. The proximity of having dementia increases with age, but it is not a normal part of aging. Stay one step ahead and know important dementia facts.

According to an analysis, “4.7 million people above 65 years of age were living with Alzheimer’s in 2010.”

Dementia affects families globally, and the number is believed to rise over the coming years. People rarely know the warning signs and look out for, or the different kinds of care only when they have been diagnosed.

Here are a few dementia facts that every individual must know:

Clearing the air of misconceptions

 

It’s a common misconception that dementia only affects the elderly. Thus, many times the symptoms of dementia go mistaken for other conditions in young people. Dementia is progressive. It consists of a wide number of symptoms that gradually get worse with time. Dementia straightaway affects the brain; hence it is impossible to cure any injury caused by dementia. However, if detected in earlier stages, some treatments can either slow down or prevent further injuries or damage to the brain.

Not limited to memory loss

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a part of dementia. Dementia is not limited to memory loss. It may affect the way individuals think, feel, speak and behave. Head trauma, Jakob disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, to name a few, all come under the umbrella of dementia. According to what part of the brain is affected, the symptoms vary. But, there are a few symptoms that are common. For instance, forgetting things on a day-to-day basis, problems in concentrating or frequent mood changes, etc.

Even though having a few of these symptoms does not state that you have dementia; however, it’s advised to consult a doctor as a precaution. There are a lot of other reasons as to why someone may show symptoms similar to dementia. Some include chest and urinary tract infections, depression, vitamin and thyroid deficiencies, and even brain tumors.

Dementia: Not a part of the natural aging

 

Memory problems are one of the symptoms of dementia. Dementia doesn’t fall under the aging process and they don’t just affect old people. People, in whom the symptoms of dementia started before they were 65, are often described as ‘younger people with dementia’ or as having young-onset dementia.

Why is it not the end of the world for people with Dementia?

 

Individuals who are affected with dementia can still live a happy life despite their current situation. Here is how there is much hope for affected individuals that we think:

People can live well even with dementia

 

Even though there is no defined cure for dementia there are still treatments that help with managing symptoms and daily life. This can help people suffering from dementia to lead an active life. Along with the drugs certain other practices can help in dealing with dementia such as discussing current affairs, solving word puzzles or creating a life story book by sharing their life’s story with nurses or caretakers, etc. Dementia patients should take up an active lifestyle that will help boost their memory and self-esteem and as a way to avoid depression.

Dementia is not the end of life

 

Help is always available for dementia patients. Dementia care involves medications that slow symptoms down, help with lifestyle changes and also advise the family members. Researchers are looking at the possibilities of how to prevent and diagnose dementia and how to improve the quality of life for people living with that condition. The more the people understand, the more people can help these individuals to become independent and live happily.

An end note

 

People living with dementia can live active and independent lives for a long time but knowing that there is support available out there, one can make the journey much more manageable.