How Reminiscence Therapy Can Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s Stay Engaged

eminiscence therapy

To help seniors stay engaged, reminiscence therapy provides a way to walk down memory lane.

Memory loss and dementia may seem synonymous. Yet it is crucial to realize that long-term memory frequently remains intact long into the progression of the disease. Because of this, tapping into those distant memories is an easy strategy to help a loved one with Alzheimer’s stay engaged in current conversations by connecting to the past.

Known as reminiscence therapy, these walks down memory lane help seniors:

  • Minimize some of the adverse effects of Alzheimer’s, for example , restlessness, anger, wandering, and more
  • Decrease negative emotions and stress by shifting the focus to happier times
  • Instill self-confidence by bringing to mind the many accomplishments they have made as well as the lives they’ve impacted
  • Better connect to others through sharing stories

Implementing reminiscence therapy doesn’t need to be elaborate. Start with opening a photo album and simply taking a look at pictures together. Let the person drive the next steps. If a particular photograph sparks a memory and the senior wants to share that, keep the conversation going as long as they would like. If they choose instead to view the photographs silently, you can do the same, while assessing the person’s expression to make sure they are calm and relaxed.

Just as photos can bring enjoyable memories to the surface, they can also remind the senior of friends and family lost, or of a particularly hard time in their life. If the activity invokes anxiety, close the book and move on to something else. It may take a little coaxing to switch gears if the person seems distraught. Moving to a different location, such as outdoors or to the kitchen for a snack, can help. Or try bringing up an alternative memory from a period you know was a positive experience for the older adult.

Other ideas for reminiscing include:

  • Smelling familiar, enjoyable scents which could have meaning for the person: freshly mowed grass, flowers that grew around their family home as a young child, a particular brand of shampoo, bubble bath, or soap they used to bathe the kids when they were little, etc.
  • Making a recipe the older adult especially enjoys and eating it together
  • Engage in an ability-appropriate activity that holds meaning to the past: sorting buttons or nuts and bolts, filing papers, painting, knitting, playing a musical instrument, etc.
  • Listening to favorite music from the past

Let our creative dementia care team help! We provide home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area. We’ve got lots of ideas for effective reminiscence therapy that will help a senior you love live life to the fullest. Contact us at 954.486.6440 to learn more.

Safely Living at Home with Dementia: Is it Possible?

Senior woman holding a tea cup looking into the distance

Safely living at home with dementia is possible with assistance.

There has been a belief that once someone received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of progressive dementia, the only option was nursing home care. After all, it’s not possible for someone with cognitive decline to continue safely living at home with dementia, particularly when they live alone – or is it?

Statistics demand the need for all of us to think this through for the people we love, and possibly even for ourselves one day. Nearly 14 million seniors are currently residing at home alone – 33% with dementia, and 15% specifically with Alzheimer’s disease. Even more alarming, half of this population not only lives alone, but has no identified caregiver.

There are a number of key aspects of concern for an older adult who lives alone with dementia:

  • The ability to take care of activities of daily living independently, such as meals, personal hygiene, household management, and problem-solving
  • An elevated risk to senior scams and exploitation
  • The isolation that stems from an anxiety about unfamiliar places and situations as confusion increases

Yet we also recognize that remaining in the home throughout aging for someone with dementia offers many great benefits, such as:

  • The comfort of familiar surroundings and belongings, which provides stability
  • The ability to help keep regular routines, making life navigation easier
  • Self-identity that comes through protecting a feeling of belonging

One solution that is beneficial for a great many is bringing in an expertly trained dementia caregiver to provide just the right level of support to nurture as much freedom and independence as possible, while making sure of safety and wellbeing.

It’s essential to note that the earlier you can bring in support for someone with Alzheimer’s, the better. Even during the very earliest stages of the disease, the progression can happen rapidly, at which time the transition to care would have to occur immediately. By starting slowly with just a little assistance, perhaps with housework, laundry, and meals, you can then work up to an increased amount of care seamlessly as needed.

At Responsive Home Care, we create a customized plan of care that is reviewed and adjusted as needed ongoing – so if the need is for just a couple hours each week of assistance, or full-time, around-the-clock care, we are available to help older adults continue to live at home for a lifetime.

Our fully trained Alzheimer’s care team can ensure safety and comfort throughout each stage of the disease, easing challenges such as:

  • Wandering
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Frustration
  • Cognitive challenges
  • And more

Our caregivers offer the social interaction, mental stimulation, and encouragement to remain physically active which all lead to a significantly better quality of life. Our home care company serves Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area. Email or call us at (954) 486-6440 for a complimentary consultation for more information on how we can help someone you love continue to live where it is most comfortable – at home – for a lifetime.

Is the Alzheimer’s Vaccine, Protollin, Close to Being a Reality?

Protollin

Researchers are studying Protollin, an Alzheimer’s vaccine to help in the fight against dementia.

If 2021 will be recalled as the year for COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps 2022 will make its mark with a different kind of life-changing vaccine: an Alzheimer’s vaccine that can slow or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The very first human trial of Protollin, delivered by way of nasal spray, is underway in 16 seniors between the ages of 60 and 85 with early-stage Alzheimer’s symptoms. The predicted outcome is to activate immune cells that will eliminate the beta-amyloid plaque believed to cause the disease.

Coming on the heels of controversial results of Biogen’s Aduhelm, the first new approved drug for Alzheimer’s in decades, the stakes are high. Aduhelm is an antibody infusion that at first seemed to fail in its goal of improving memory and cognition functioning, leading Biogen to discontinue clinical trials. However, several months later, there did seem to be a beneficial impact in a small group of participants, leading the FDA to approve its use – even if the results are not definitively clear.

Finding an effective treatment or preventative option is vitally important. The latest data show approximately 6 million Americans currently identified as having the disease. It’s also one of the leading causes of death in adults in the United States, with a steep incline in mortality rate of 88% between 1999 and 2019. And that figure might only be scratching the surface because it represents only those clinically diagnosed. We all know that people with cognitive impairment may have trouble with receiving an appropriate diagnosis, and they often are challenged by other medical conditions as well.

Researchers are hopeful that Protollin, as well as Aduhelm and other antibody drugs undergoing study, are putting us on a promising path forward. Jeffrey Cummings, a brain-science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, goes so far as to say, “It just feels like we have turned a corner.”

Our senior caregivers are helping older adults with Alzheimer’s every day, and we excitedly anticipate a point in the future when the disease is defeated. Until then, we’re here for you with creative, personalized care in order to make life the very best it can be for seniors with dementia.

It’s also very important for loved ones caring for someone with dementia to protect their own health by ensuring plenty of time for self-care. Our dementia respite care team is available to help you set up a schedule for regular time away – as much or as little as you want. We’re skilled in effective management of many difficult signs of the disease, including wandering, agitation, aggression, sundowning, and others.

Give us a call 24/7 at 954-486-6440 for a complimentary consultation to receive more information about how our professional caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, FL and throughout the area can help.

Solutions for Aggression in Alzheimer’s: How to Safely Respond Using the 6 R’s

adult-son-talking-to-senior-father-with-dementia

Try these solutions for aggression in Alzheimer’s to restore peace and calm.

Of the many difficult behaviors common in Alzheimer’s, probably the most challenging to manage is aggression. A senior who may have always been mild-mannered can abruptly lash out in outbursts that can be truly alarming: hitting, cursing, kicking, yelling, biting, or throwing objects. How can you, as a family care provider, find solutions for aggression in Alzheimer’s and safely help reestablish a feeling of calm?

First of all, remind yourself that the aggression is a result of the disease. It’s not something the senior can control, and it is not intentional. That said, it needs to be diffused in order to keep both you and the older adult protected from harm.

The 6 R’s of Managing Difficult Behavior,” developed by Dr. Peter Rabins and Nancy Mace in their book The 36-Hour Day, could be an effective solution for aggression in Alzheimer’s. Read through and refer back to them so you’re prepared for the next burst of aggression.

The 6 R’s

  • Restrict. Maintain a calm demeanor and tone of voice while you work to help the individual withdraw from the behavior.
  • Reassess. Think through what could have provoked the incident. Causes may include physical pain, too much noise or other distractions in the room, hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc. Keeping a journal of what was occurring before and during each incident can help provide clues.
  • Reconsider. Empathize with the older adult by picturing yourself fighting a disease that impedes your ability to clearly communicate your needs and wishes, to accomplish tasks independently which were once so easy, to feel disoriented and confused, etc.
  • Rechannel. Redirect the person to a pursuit the individual enjoys, or relocate to an alternative environment, such as moving out onto the front porch or going to the dining area together for a snack.
  • Reassure. Let the older adult know that everything is ok and that you are there. In the event that the individual responds favorably to touch, place your hand on their shoulder, offer a pat on the back or hug, or take their hand in yours.
  • Review. Note in your journal what went well – or what did not – to help in using the most effective response if the aggression arises again.

Knowing that aggression may develop at any time in a person with Alzheimer’s, it is helpful to evaluate the home environment and take measures to ensure it is as comfortable and calming as possible, for example:

  • Playing relaxing music the senior enjoys in the background.
  • Placing comforting and familiar objects within quick access.
  • Staying clear of television shows that may show violence or other unsettling images.
  • Opening the window blinds during the day to allow lots of sunlight to stream in.

Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of home health care in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding areas, understands the intricacies of Alzheimer’s and how to best manage the related challenges. Reach out to us for more information on our in-home dementia care. See our website for a comprehensive list of the communities we serve.

How to Help Your Loved One When Alzheimer’s Affects Sleep

If it feels like a senior with Alzheimer’s has completely rewritten the rules on when and how to sleep, you are not dreaming—Alzheimer’s affects sleep. For reasons that are not yet fully understood, a number of people with dementia experience changes to their circadian rhythm, leading to sleepless nights and drowsy days.

The progression of the disease is one contributing factor. Damage to brain cells causes increased weakness, making everyday activities and tasks exhausting. Medication side effects from commonly-prescribed dementia treatments can further exacerbate the issue.

Why a Good Night’s Sleep Is Crucial for a Senior with Dementia

Decreased sleep quality in dementia may lead to an increase in restlessness and delusions and can result in serious safety concerns, including the potential for a senior to wander away and become injured or lost. Not just that, but a senior loved one who is sleepy during the day will also be less likely to engage in healthy activities, such as spending time outdoors and exercising.

And, for a busy family caregiver who also needs rest, it is typically quite a challenge to meet all of the person’s care needs during the day and throughout the night as well.

Ways to Help

Try these strategies for a senior whose sleep patterns are disrupted:

  • Talk to the physician, first of all, for a review of medications. Changing the dosage timing every day may be all it will require to make a difference.
  • Maintain a routine like going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Limit caffeine, naps, and heavy meals later in the day.
  • Incorporate bedtime activities that are soothing, for example, a warm bath, reading, turning off the television, and playing quiet, calming music.
  • If wandering is a concern, a wireless bed exit pad can notify you as soon as the senior gets up so that you can assist.
  • Try placing a clock that distinguishes between nighttime and daytime near the senior’s bed.

You may want to encourage a senior to try sleeping on their side rather than the back or stomach as well. Recent reports revealed a possible link between side sleeping and much more effective clearing of brain waste, such as excess beta-amyloid. Note that this study was conducted on laboratory animals, and it’s unclear yet whether the results carry over to humans.

Responsive Home Care is available to help as well, with overnight caregivers who are awake and alert, looking after the older adult’s needs throughout the night, so you can get the rest you need. Our care team members are fully trained and experienced in creative, patient approaches to meeting the unique care needs of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our specialized Fort Lauderdale elderly care offered throughout the greater metropolitan area.

Is It a Potential Dementia Diagnosis or Medication Side Effects?

dementia diagnosisDisorientation. Confusion. Memory loss. While these are definitely hallmark warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, they can also come about from taking specific medications. Before automatically assuming an inevitable dementia diagnosis, review the following list of prescription medications that may cause similar effects.

Pain Medications

Opioids specifically are reported to affect short-term memory. The good news is that the issue is usually resolved once pain remedies are no longer being taken.

Acetylcholine Blockers

Prescribed for insomnia, IBS, urinary incontinence, depression, heart disease, vertigo, and Parkinson’s, along with other conditions, treatments with anticholinergic effects that block acetylcholine’s effects in the brain may cause memory disturbance, confusion, agitation, and delirium, and other significant health conditions. An example is tolteridine.

Benzodiazepines

These medications help treat both insomnia and anxiety, with sedative qualities that can also cause cognitive problems. Long-term usage of benzodiazepines may also be a risk factor for developing dementia. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan) and temazepam (Restoril).

Corticosteroids

Mood and cognitive changes, psychotic symptoms, and delirium are just some of the complications connected with corticosteroid use. Prednisone is one common example.

Chemotherapy Medications

Known as “chemo brain,” chemotherapy drugs impact some individuals in the areas of memory, attention and focus, and executive functioning. These changes may persist, even after finishing chemo treatment.

Statins

Statins, prescribed to lower cholesterol, have a suspected link to memory and mental slowing and decline. While there are inconsistent results from a variety of studies, it is important to know about the potential for cognitive complications.

It’s also important to note that many medications affect older adults differently than those who are younger. This is due in part to the decreased efficiency in an older person’s kidneys and liver, in addition to interactions with other medications being taken and a reduced cognitive reserve in the brain. Complications can also be further exacerbated by alcohol use.

Make sure to speak with the physician prior to starting, stopping, or changing any medication, and about whether any cognitive complications you’re witnessing in an older adult might be the result of a medication.

Responsive Home Care, the top provider of senior home care in Pembroke Pines and nearby areas, is also readily available to assist older adults in many ways – medication reminders to ensure meds are taken just as prescribed, picking up prescriptions, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and keeping an eye out for any changes in condition and reporting them immediately, just to name a few. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for help and support any time.

How to Talk with the Doctor if You Suspect an Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis

senior-discussing-dementia-diagnosis-with-doctorDistress. Fear. Embarrassment. The thoughts and feelings surrounding a potential Alzheimer’s diagnosis may cause older adults to keep their suspicions to themselves. A recently available AARP survey peeled away a few of the layers of emotion to get to the reason – namely, a concern over losing independence and becoming a problem to others.

While there is some truth to those worries, there are also some misconceptions fueling them. As an example, nearly 50% of the participants, who were adults age 40 and over, believe they’re likely to get dementia as they get older. The truth is that just over 10% of seniors over age 65 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

As a result, it is essential for seniors to communicate with their physicians for the practical, straightforward information they need – particularly if any warning signs of dementia [MS2] are being detected, such as:

  • Memory decline which is disruptive to everyday life
  • Planning/problem-solving challenges
  • Problems with accomplishing once-familiar tasks
  • Confusion and disorientation to time and place
  • Vision issues and difficulty identifying color/contrast and judging distance
  • Writing/speaking changes
  • Losing things and leaving them in unusual spots
  • A decline in judgment
  • Social withdrawal
  • Mood/personality changes

The following are some suggestions to help overcome any reluctance in talking to a doctor about dementia, and how to make the conversation as productive as you possibly can.

  • Don’t put it off. The natural impulse might be to procrastinate bringing up something that may potentially be so life-changing. Nevertheless, time is of the essence in obtaining a proper diagnosis together with the most effective treatment.
  • Bring a friend. It is comforting to have the support of a dependable friend, family member, or caregiver at the appointment. Ideally, this person can provide additional information to the physician as well as any concerns being noticed from their perspective.
  • Make comparisons to then and now. Share with the physician the particular changes that are causing concern. For instance, a loved one may be a retired math teacher who, up until last month, didn’t need to think twice about balancing the checkbook, but recently is experiencing some frustration with the task.

The physician can review prescription drugs to see if adverse reactions are creating a problem, and schedule assessments and test to discover the best course of action.

Responsive Home Care’s kind and friendly caregiving companions are always on hand to accompany seniors to medical appointments and procedures, and also to help make life easier and more manageable in a number of other ways as well. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for more details on our home care services in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.

Learn Why the Progression of Dementia May Vary for Latinos

progression of dementia in senior hugging caregiverA new study sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association is uncovering some striking findings in how dementia may present differently in Hispanic people. While additional exploration is required to fully understand whether these differences are the result of social/cultural nuances or perhaps the dementia itself, it’s worthwhile information for Latino families to know.

Daily Activities

One feature of the study was the considerably faster decline in the capability to execute everyday activities, like walking, getting dressed, and taking a shower, when compared with other ethnicities. Andrea Ochoa Lopez, the University of Houston doctoral student who conducted the research, clarified that the cultural dedication to looking after older loved ones may be a contributing factor.

“Some families want to start doing everything for their older members to try and remove some of the burdens and make their lives easier,” she mentioned. “But there is research showing that when cognition is declining, older people actually do better when they stay active. And there is also still stigma. They may not want their elder family member to be seen as ill or mentally unstable.”

Depression and Anxiety

While we realize anxiety and depression are risk factors for dementia, a separate research study of 5,000 people showed a significantly higher percentage of Hispanic individuals reporting these issues: more than 25%, as compared to approximately 16% and 11% in black and non-Hispanic white participants, respectively. Centering on the mental health of people with dementia is vital. Clinical psychologist Michael Cuccaro points out, “We have lots of great evidence that medications and talk therapy help, but minorities have the lowest rate of getting this help.”

Although more thorough scientific studies are necessary to better comprehend these ethnic differences in dementia, finding minorities to be involved in research is still challenging. Latinos currently comprise fewer than 8% of present dementia scientific studies – regardless of the fact the prevalence of dementia in Latinos is as much as 50% more than it is in non-Hispanic whites.

Families interested in current Latino dementia research opportunities can visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch website to learn more.

At Responsive Home Care, our professional caregivers are fully trained and experienced in helping seniors with whatever their particular challenges are, making life the very best it can be. We accomplish this by consulting with each senior in his or her home before the start of services, enabling us to create a customized care plan. We then carefully monitor the care plan over time to make certain that needs are always completely met, both now and as needs change as time passes.

If the need is for only a little assistance with housework and meals, transportation and companionship, or if some more specialized dementia care is needed, Responsive Home Care, the expert provider of in-home caregiver services in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas, provides the ideal solution. Contact us to set up your free in-home consultation to learn more.

Dementia Tips: Understand the Newly Defined 4 Subgroups of Alzheimer’s

happy adult daughter with senior mother with dementia

For many years, experts have been exploring the development of Alzheimer’s through one particular basic model, despite the fact that the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s can vary from person to person.

Now, however, a large, new collaborative study between the US, Sweden, Canada, and Korea is revealing some interesting data to help us more fully understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Rather than one universal, dominant diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, researchers have discovered that there are four distinguishable variants that occur in as many as 18 – 30% of cases. This change in thinking is helping researchers better comprehend the variations in the disease from one person to another.

With these findings, specialists are now able to customize treatment plans based on the particular subgroup diagnosed.

The study looked at data from more than 1,600 men and women, identifying over 1,100 who were either in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease or who were not cognitively impaired at all. Researchers followed these participants for more than two years, funneling each person who presented tau abnormalities into four distinct sub-groups:

  • Subgroup 1: Occurring in as many as one out of three diagnoses, this variant features the spreading of tau within the temporal lobe. The predominant impact is on memory.
  • Subgroup 2: Impacting the cerebral cortex, the second variant has less of an impact on memory and more on executive functioning, such as carrying out actions or planning activities. It affects about one in five individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
  • Subgroup 3: In this variant, the visual cortex is impacted, affecting a person’s orientation to self, ability to distinguish shapes, distance, contours, movement, and an object’s location in relation to other objects. As with the first variant, it occurs in about one in three diagnoses.
  • Subgroup 4: This variant represents an asymmetrical spreading of tau in the left hemisphere of the brain, causing the greatest impact on language and occurring in about one out of five cases of Alzheimer’s.

Oskar Hansson, supervisor of the study and professor of neurology at Lund University, explains future steps: “…we need a longer follow-up study over five to ten years to be able to confirm the four patterns with even greater accuracy.”

No matter which type of dementia an older adult has, Responsive Home Care’s caregivers receive significant training in helping manage any challenges while focusing on his/her strengths. Contact us to learn more about in-home senior care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas and let us develop a plan of care to enhance life for a cherished older adult with dementia.

How Does Dementia Progress? What Families Should Expect

Female home carer hugging senior male with dementia

“How does dementia progress?” is one of the top questions asked after a loved one is diagnosed.

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, one of the first questions in most people’s minds is how does dementia progress in the weeks, months, and years to come. We know that the hallmark of dementia is the progressive decline in cognitive abilities and the skills required to manage daily life. Yet each person progresses through these changes differently. There are a variety of factors that can impact the rate of decline, including:

  • Medications the senior is taking
  • Overall health and physical makeup
  • The network of support in place
  • The person’s general emotional wellbeing and resilience

There are additional determinants to factor in based upon the specific type of dementia diagnosed. For instance:

  • MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment): Mild cognitive impairment impacts up to 20% of seniors. More than the normal minor cognitive decline experienced in aging, MCI involves problems with language, judgment, thinking, and memory that are obvious to the senior individually and often to others as well. Researchers found that about 38% of seniors with MCI later developed dementia. The other 62% never progressed further than MCI – and in some cases, their condition actually improved, for unknown reasons. Signs of MCI include forgetfulness, depression, impulsiveness, anxiety, apathy, aggression and irritability, and more.
  • Vascular Dementia: Because vascular dementia is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain, the type of blockage will impact the progression of the disease. If small blood vessels are blocked, for instance, the decline will typically occur gradually. Major blood vessel blockage can cause a sudden onset of symptoms, followed by intense periods of change thereafter.
  • Lewy Body Dementia: Progression of Lewy body dementia may be gradual, but may also include widely varying degrees of alertness and attention in the early stages. One day may find the senior lucid, while the next day – or even several hours later – could bring confusion, hallucinations, and memory loss. In the later stages of the disease, agitation, restlessness, aggression, tremors, and stiffness become more prevalent.
  • Frontotemporal Dementia: Unlike other types of dementia, short-term memory is usually not impacted in the early stages of frontotemporal dementia. Instead, early symptoms include behavioral changes, such as distraction, apathy, rudeness, and disregard for social norms. As the disease advances, problems with language become apparent as well, along with memory loss, vision problems, and other typical symptoms seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

Contact the dementia care team at Responsive Home Care for more helpful resources to help you better understand and care for someone you love with dementia. We’re always here to assist with compassionate, creative care to make life more fulfilling for a senior with dementia, and to help family members achieve a better life balance. Reach out to us online or give us a call us at (954) 486-6440 to learn more about our elder care in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.

When Cognitive Functioning Returns in the Final Stage of Dementia

The return of cognitive functioning temporarily in the final stage of dementia can be an incredible gift to families.

Even when confusion and memory loss escalate during the final stage of dementia, there’s a fascinating and welcome reprieve that often occurs. Previously coined “terminal lucidity,” it is more frequently referred to now as “paradoxical lucidity.” It represents a sudden, short-term return of clarity to a nearly pre-dementia cognitive state. During this time period, the effects can cover anything from nonverbal but emotional connections to significant cognitive recovery.

For members of the family, it’s a gift to be treasured. It provides the opportunity for meaningful conversations and reminiscing, and also the mutual sharing of thoughts and feelings, if only for a brief period of time. For scientists, it means much more.

Dr. Basil Eldadah, supervisory medical officer at the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology at the US National Institute on Aging, sees the opportunities as remarkable. “It gives us some pause with regard to our current theories and understanding about the nature of dementia. We’ve seen enough examples of this to be reassured that dementia can be reversed – albeit temporarily, very transiently – nevertheless, it does reverse. And so the question then is how.”

Currently, there are six scientific studies underway to answer that very question, and also to gain more comprehensive insight into the condition and to examine future therapeutic approaches. Based on preliminary data from the studies, it’s clear that it’s an even more common phenomenon than previously realized. Dr. Sam Parnia, head researcher and critical care physician, pulmonologist, and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center states, “If you talk to hospice nurses and palliative care doctors, they all know about this. But no one’s ever studied it properly because no one ever thought anyone would take it seriously enough. So what I wanted to do is to help move this into the scientific realm.”

Education for families caring for a senior loved one with dementia is also crucial. It’s important to be aware that this short-lived clarity may come about, allowing for the chance to reconnect with the senior loved one, while understanding that it isn’t indicative of improvement in his or her condition.

To get more dementia educational materials and care resources, get in touch with Responsive Home Care, the leaders of in home senior care in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. We are also always here to provide specialized in-home dementia care to make life the best it can be for anyone with dementia together with the families who love them, through services including:

  • Memory-stimulating games, conversations, activities, and reminiscing
  • Specialized, compassionate help with the distinct challenges of dementia, for example, wandering, aggression, sundowning, and so much more
  • Help with safe bathing and other personal care needs
  • Meals and household chores to allow family members to relish more high quality time with the older adult they love
  • And more

Contact us online or call us at (954) 486-6440 to discover the best possible quality of life for a person you love with dementia.

Low Vision and Dementia Caregiver Tips: 6 Engaging Activity Ideas

Dementia Caregiver Tips

These low vision and dementia caregiver tips help make each day more enjoyable.

Finding activities that are fun and engaging for a loved one with dementia can be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it may seem overwhelming. Yet it’s vitally important to ensure each day holds opportunities for joy, purpose, and meaning – reducing the level of frustration, agitation, and other difficult emotions and behaviors in dementia. Never fear; we have the low vision and dementia caregiver tips you need!

The first step is to think through the senior’s current and past interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Then brainstorm ways to tap into those preferences. We’ve compiled a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Put together a playlist of the senior’s favorite songs or genre of music, and then dance, sing along, keep the beat with a tambourine or simply a sealed container of dried beans. Reminisce about memories the music invokes.
  • Read aloud, choosing stories or articles that are easy to follow and on topics that are of interest to the senior. For instance, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite teams and players, and then talking about highlights from the past as well.
  • Get up and moving for improved circulation and muscle tone, as well as to help encourage daytime wakefulness and better nighttime sleeping. If weather permits, exercising outdoors is a wonderful way to add in fresh air and vitamin D. Try walks in nature, pointing out the particular birds, flowers, trees, etc. that you pass along the way.
  • Experiment with a variety of tactile art mediums that can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing buttons, shells, dried pasta, etc. into a pattern or shape.
  • Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the home. Food preparation offers a variety of options, such as washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for a cake. Or ask the senior to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
  • Give pet therapy a try. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted cat or dog for the senior to pet or hold. While this may seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending time with an animal can be significant.

At Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of home care assistance in Plantation, FL and nearby areas, our care specialists are skilled in creative ideas to engage seniors of any ability level to help make daily life more enjoyable. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for a trusted care partner today!