Caring for a loved one with even mild dementia can be challenging. Advice and support from a professional source can help ease the burden. The following story is a typical day in the life of couples when someone in the partnership is experiencing memory loss and confusion. It offers some tips about how to handle difficult situations.
Myron starts his day around 7am. He gets up and goes through his morning routine, which includes washing up, getting dressed, and starting the coffee. At around 8am, he goes in to wake up his wife, Talia. She would sleep longer if Myron did not wake her up.
Financial abuse targeting seniors is on the rise. According to the Federal Trade Commission, seniors lose more money to scammers than people much younger. Seniors over the age of 80 lost an average of $1,700 compared to $188 lost by people 19 and younger, according to the FTC.
So why are seniors common targets? There are many factors. Older Americans have had more time to accumulate wealth, which is often invested in their homes and retirement savings. Some scams target older adults because of perceived or real frailty. Today’s seniors also grew up in a more trusting time. When older adults are scammed, they’re often too embarrassed to report the crime.
Stress usually involves feeling under pressure when the demands of a situation require too much emotional and physical energy. Under stress, a person may try to gain more control so that things will get better.
Burnout, on the other hand, happens when a person reaches a point where they have nothing left to give. They often feel mentally and physically exhausted to the point where they are beyond caring. It often feels that there is no end in sight to their situation.
To avoid reaching a breaking point, the important thing is to lower your stress and avoid caregiver burnout altogether.
Communication is a fundamental aspect of human relationships and the way we connect with others. All too often that communication breaks down as loved-ones age and develop disabilities. Although communication disorders affect people of all ages, the prevalence and complexity of these conditions increase with age and the onset of conditions that cause cognitive decline, including stroke and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.
I recently spoke to Jana Galvin, Community Life Leader at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. She and her team of life-enhancement experts offer tools that stimulate the senses, which in turn, enhance communication and maintain, or strengthen ties with loved-ones. Here are their tips.
So many of us grapple with what to say and do with an elderly loved one when visiting. Memory and cognitive impairment can be additionally challenging. My advice is paradoxical – get creative and keep it simple. Here are a few ideas to consider when planning your visit.
It’s no secret that getting out and about can become harder with age, especially for seniors with complex health conditions. But this doesn’t mean that meaningful recreation has to go out the window. At Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC), staff from Life Enhancement, Nursing, IT, and the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) have come together with volunteers and family members to help launch a creative solution to this dilemma.
Getting the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease today is much like what getting a cancer diagnosis used to be for some people: devastating, often debilitating, and leaving one not knowing who to tell or where to turn. Years ago when I was a nurse, some patients didn’t want their families to know they had cancer. While cancer patients have gotten braver about their need for support and advocating for treatments and cures, many individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease still fear the stigma…and the confusion over what to do next.
Hospice care provides comfort and improves quality of life for many patients, but it is still underutilized even though the Medicare hospice benefit has been available to qualified patients since the early 1980s.
Anne is a memory care patient in long-term chronic care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale. To learn more about our memory care offerings, please click here.
Families personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are robbed of many things others take for granted, but though speech and other faculties may decline, a person’s light and spirit are indelible. Now living with advanced dementia, Anne radiates kindness and warmth and is a valued member of our community. See her story.