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Try This Creative and Effective Dementia Senior Care Idea: A Memory Book

dementia senior care - memory book

A memory book is a great tool for dementia senior care.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

Memories are what bind together our past experiences with who we are today; and for a person with dementia, confusion around these memories may have a powerful impact. One of our goals in providing dementia senior care is to help them keep and share memories in order to make sense of daily life.

A wonderful way to help with this is through the creation of a memory book, which includes photographs and short descriptions to refer back to when an older adult has questions relating to his or her identity, friends and family, etc. Memory books  are great for answering repeated questions as well as for helping to clear any muddied waters. For example, if an older adult asks who his sister is, whether he’s married (and to whom), where he used to live, etc., a simple response of, “Let’s look at the memory book,” can be very effective – and, can help with redirection as well for a senior experiencing difficult emotions or behaviors.

The book can (and should) be basic and straightforward. Simply select a sturdy binder, photo album, or scrapbook and place 1 or 2 photos on each page, with a brief description underneath. Include details such as:

  • Close family and friends, including those from the senior’s childhood, if at all possible
  • The older adult’s workplace
  • Special events and milestones
  • Hobbies/interests
  • Pets
  • Previous homes
  • And more

You could set up separate sections for each category, so it will be quicker to locate a particular photo when desired. For a more extensive or elaborate book, you can use the template found here , identifying which pages you want to include that’ll be most helpful for your senior loved one.

For more creative Alzheimer’s resources and care tips, call Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of in home senior care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas, at (954) 486-6440. We are also pleased to offer a no-cost in-home assessment to share more about how we can help with the particular challenges your senior loved one is facing. Our highly trained, compassionate dementia caregivers can:

  • Improve socialization
  • Offer creative approaches to manage difficult behaviors
  • Ensure safety in bathing/showering, dressing, etc. in addition to reducing fall risk
  • Provide trusted relief care for family caregivers to take time for self-care
  • Engage older adults in meaningful, enjoyable activities
  • Assistance with preparing meals and clean-up
  • Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
  • And so much more

Reach out to our dementia care specialists today to discover an increased quality of life for a senior you love with trusted, personalized home care services.

Searching for an Alzheimer’s Cure: The Surprising New Link Between Cold Water and Dementia

Alzheimer's cure - link between cold water and dementia

There may be a link between cold water and fighting dementia, according to experts.

In this striking new development towards an Alzheimer’s cure, a “cold-shock” protein, which is found in swimmers’ blood, is showing promising results in slowing and even reversing the progression of dementia in mice – leading researchers to further explore this link between cold water and dementia.

Related to the hibernation capacity in all mammals when exposed to cold weather, the research ties in to knowledge we already possess about how cooling body temperature can sometimes protect the brain. For example, those who experience a head injury are often cooled during surgical procedures.

And while it’s not yet fully understood, researchers know that even though some brain connections are lost during hibernation, they’re fully restored upon the mammals’ awakening in the spring. For those with Alzheimer’s disease, the lost connections lead to confusion, loss of memory, behavioral challenges and mood swings, and more – and to date, once lost, cannot be restored.

In the study, both healthy mice and those with Alzheimer’s were cooled to a level of hypothermia. Rewarming the healthy mice showed a restoration of synapses that the Alzheimer’s mice did not experience – thought to be due to the “cold-shock” protein RBM3 that was evident in only the healthy mice. As a result, researchers surmise that RBM3 may be the key to regaining functionality of brain connections.

At the time of the study, RBM3 had not yet been detected in humans, leading researchers to seek out volunteer winter swimmers, who were already becoming hypothermic on a regular basis and could help researchers determine whether the cold prompted the production of RBM3. The result: a significant portion of the volunteers were found to have high levels of RBM3 in their blood.

There are inherent dangers in exposure to the cold, however. It raises heart rate and blood pressure, slows responses, and increases breathing rate, and is too risky for researchers to recommend for seniors with dementia. The goal is to develop a drug to stimulate RBM3 production in humans and to determine its impact on dementia, in particular, to delay or prevent the disease.

“If you slowed the progress of dementia by even a couple of years on a whole population, that would have an enormous impact economically and health-wise,” explains Professor Giovanna Mallucci, head of the UK Dementia Research Institute’s Centre at the University of Cambridge.

We look forward to learning more about this link between cold water and dementia, and other promising research to help diminish the effects of dementia or possibly lead to an Alzheimer’s cure. As the leaders in dementia care in Hollywood, FL and surrounding areas, we at Responsive Home Care are always here with trusted, highly skilled and creative dementia care. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to learn more.

New Research Finds Certain Common Medications Increase Dementia Risk

Research has connected certain medications commonly prescribed to an increase in dementia risk.

They’re currently understood to cause various short-term side effects, such as memory issues and confusion, but new research connects a number of the stronger anticholinergic drugs (such as those prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, and overactive bladder) to a markedly higher risk for dementia.

The study included two groups of seniors: 59,000 patients with dementia, and 225,000 without. About 57% of those with dementia, and 51% without, were provided at least one (and up to six) potent anticholinergic medications. Looking at other known dementia risk factors, the outcomes were an unexpected 50% greater chance of dementia in people who were taking strong anticholinergics daily for three or more years, with the greatest risk to men and women who received a dementia diagnosis before age 80.

It is worthwhile to note that there was no correlation observed between dementia and other kinds of anticholinergics (for example, antihistamines like Benadryl and GI medications).

While these findings do not prove anticholinergics as a cause for dementia, at the very least, “This study provides further evidence that doctors should be careful when prescribing certain drugs that have anticholinergic properties,” said Tom Dening, study co-author and head of Nottingham’s Center for Dementia. Dening also stressed that people currently prescribed these medications should not cease taking them suddenly, which can cause a great deal more harm.

The suggestion is for any person worried about this possible link to consult with his / her doctors to consider the advantages against any potential risks, and to investigate alternative means of treatment when possible. As an example, individuals taking medications for assistance with sleeping – something that has grown to be more and more common in older adults – can contemplate behavioral changes and a more therapeutic plan over insomnia medications.

And no matter what the medications a senior loved one takes, proper medication management is key – something that’s easier said than done with many seniors taking multiple medications in a variety of doses at differing times during the day. Responsive Home Care’s medication reminder services are perfect to be sure that older adults take the correct medications at the proper time – each and every time.

Our specially trained and experienced dementia care team is also readily available to provide unique, compassionate, effective care strategies to help minimize the challenging components of the disease, bringing about an increased quality of life for seniors and their loved ones.  Responsive Home Care, provider of in home senior care Fort Lauderdale families trust, is here to help!  Call us at 954-486-6440 at any time to learn more.

Dementia Care Tips: Best Approaches to Avoid Personal Care Resistance

alzheimers care ft. lauderdale

Use these tips to help a senior loved one with dementia manage personal care tasks.

Of all the challenges related to providing care for a senior loved one with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent difficulty is with personal hygiene, for a variety of reasons:

  • Diminished sense of vision and smell
  • Comfort associated with familiarity (i.e., wanting to wear the same clothes again and again)
  • The challenges of bathing, compounded by cognitive impairment and confusion
  • Anxiety about falling, the sounds and feelings associated with the water, and so much more

Cajoling, quarreling, and reasoning are rarely practical techniques to employ with those impacted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Alternatively, consider these creative approaches in the event your loved one resists maintaining suitable hygiene:

  • Organize the bathroom ahead of time so the room is likely to be comfortable and you won’t need to juggle acquiring supplies together with helping the senior. Warm the room with a space heater, and set soap, shampoo, towels, washcloth, etc. within easy reach, plus eliminate any throw rugs or any other tripping hazards.
  • A shower chair and hand-held sprayer frequently make an even more calming bathing experience for anyone with dementia. Position the chair away from the faucet, and use towels to cover up parts of the body before and after they have been cleaned to help keep the senior warm and to prevent feelings of exposure.
  • Have the senior help with bathing tasks whenever possible to maintain independence. It could be as basic as providing a washcloth or the shampoo bottle for the senior to hold on to.
  • If hair washing is hard for either of you, forego that task during bath time, and schedule regular outings to the salon instead.
  • Arrange a special excursion together with the senior, such as a lunch date with a good friend, and center bath time around getting ready for the event.
  • Bring in the assistance of a healthcare professional, who can advise the senior regarding the increased chance of infection or skin issues without proper hygiene. Often hearing from a dependable third party holds more weight than hearing the same information from family members.
  • Engage the services of a caregiver, providing your loved one the dignity of having personal care needs tended to by a professional, rather than a relative.

At Responsive Home Care, the leaders in home health services in Pembroke Pines, FL, each of our caregivers is experienced in safe hygiene procedures for older adults, with specific training to help those with Alzheimer’s disease to feel comfortable with personal hygiene tasks, including creative approaches to safe bathing, skin, hair, and oral care, restroom assistance, and much more. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 or contact us online to discover practical solutions to the worries you and your loved one are facing!