Of the many effects of Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps one of the most alarming is the person’s propensity for wandering and the potential dangers that can arise if the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Dementia wandering can occur if the senior is: (more…)
“I’m telling you, there’s a dog in my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to find its owner!”
Hearing your older loved one voice concerns such as this that you know to be untrue is unsettling – but not uncommon. Your first instinct may be to try to rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There’s no way a dog could have gotten into your closet!” Yet for a variety of reasons, this is often the least effective way to manage irrational thoughts and behaviors in the elderly. (more…)
The Alzheimer’s Association has issued its 2019 Facts and Figures Report, and with a full 5.8 million Americans presently diagnosed with the disease – including one out of every 10 older adults – it’s vital for people to understand the latest advancements in research and treatments.
As indicated by the report, the number of Americans identified as having Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to explode from 5.8 million in 2019 to an expected 13.8 million in 2050. Even though the effects are greatest on older adults, the disease begins to create modifications in the brain a full two decades or more before signs and symptoms are observable.
If you’re among the numerous family members providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you are well aware of the investment in time required: coupled with other family caregivers, totaling 18.5 billion hours in 2018 alone. In reality, 83% of dementia care is provided by relatives and friends. And the impact on a caregiver’s health is significant, with virtually 60% revealing emotional stress and nearly 40% struggling with physical stress.
Risk factors were also updated in this year’s report, including:
Age: Unsurprisingly, risk rises considerably with age, from as low as 3% in the 65 – 74 age-group, to 17% in those ages 75 – 84, to an astonishing 32% for anyone age 85 and older.
APOE gene: Of the 3 kinds of the APOE gene (e2, e3, and e4), which carries cholesterol in the bloodstream, the e4 form is related to the highest prevalence associated with the disease.
Family history: Those with at least one first-degree relative (parents, siblings) are at an increased risk for being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and the risk grows when shared lifestyle and environmental aspects are in play (i.e. unhealthy eating or obesity).
Of considerable importance is the finding that although health care providers are encouraged to routinely evaluate cognitive functioning for all seniors, only 16% of individuals over age 65 report receiving a routine assessment, and more than 50 percent have never received an assessment of any kind – despite the fact that 94% of health care professionals noted the need for such an evaluation.
Per Joanne Pike, Dr.P.H., chief program officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, “Early detection of cognitive decline offers numerous medical, social, emotional, financial and planning benefits, but these can only be achieved by having a conversation with doctors about any thinking or memory concerns and through routine cognitive assessments.”
At Home Independent Living, the Syracuse Alzheimer’s care you can trust, continues to be invested in following the most up-to-date advancements in Alzheimer’s disease, and to provide the exceptional, highly skilled care that allows for the highest possible quality of life at all times for everyone diagnosed with dementia. Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for additional educational resources related to Alzheimer’s, or if you want to learn more about our specialized Syracuse Alzheimer’s care.
Have you ever started your day and figured, “It’s probably going to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to quit working, plus the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Then envision if each and every day were “one of those days!” For an individual living with a chronic disease (and that’s the majority of the elderly population), daily struggles and challenges are often a given. (more…)
Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the public eye by discussing his experience of caring for his mother and the toll it took on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.” (more…)
Let’s face it: many of us put off going to the doctor’s office. It can be uncomfortable at best, and downright frightening when something’s wrong and we’re facing the prospect of an unwanted diagnosis. Yet we know it’s wise to do what’s best for our health and to be diligent about obtaining necessary medical care. (more…)
While millions of older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are struggling with taking care of them. Surprisingly, nearly 75% of family caregivers are managing their older loved ones’ dementia care needs on their own, with only 26% seeking professional care assistance. (more…)
Sometimes, the best lessons in life come through experiencing them firsthand; yet the wisdom we can glean from those who’ve walked a similar path before us is invaluable. If you’re providing care for a loved one with dementia and feeling a bit overwhelmed in this uncharted territory, the tips below can help: (more…)
The initial signs are likely to be so subtle that a lot of people wouldn’t even recognize that anything is amiss. Mom is outgoing, pleasant, and conversational while visiting friends and family and while running errands. However, those closest to her have begun to recognize concerns: being forgetful about the soup cooking on the stove, resulting in a scorched pan. Putting her keys in the cookie jar. Neglecting to pay bills.
Similar to broaching any confrontational topic of conversation, speaking with your senior loved one about the concerns you are seeing is likely to be met with resistance and defensiveness in the beginning. And yet, it’s useful to summarize the particular cause of your concern, and also the negative consequences if these signs and symptoms continue on or progress.
Be sure that a durable power of attorney has been assigned.
Affirm with your sisters and brothers that the issue must be addressed, and discuss together what choices are accessible for the senior’s care as needs continue to grow.
Remain loving but steady in your strategy. Explain the choices you’ve thought through. If she balks at the thought of relocating to an assisted living facility, which many older adults do, suggest an in-home caregiver instead, permitting her to stay independent and safe within the comfort of home.
Recognize that it will probably take many conversations before the older adult accepts the necessity for assistance – which is the reason why it is essential to start the process at the earliest opportunity.
At Home Independent Living’s care team is experienced in assisting older adults to feel safe and positive about how home care services will help enhance safety and overall quality of life and well-being. As soon as your family decides the time is right for assistance, we are able to assist with highly customized care that can meet a wide array of needs, including:
Meal planning and preparation
Housework and laundry
Highly specialized care for dementia
And so much more
Whether the need is for just a few hours weekly to improve safety and socialization, full-time care, or anything in between, partnering with the top providers of home care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding area, At Home Independent Living, improves quality of life for seniors and offers peace of mind for individuals who love them. Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for an in-home assessment to learn the ways we can help.
The most up-to-date Alzheimer’s data is sobering. The illness is currently the sixth leading cause of death, rising above both breast cancer and prostate cancer together. And while deaths from other chronic health conditions, like cardiovascular disease, are decreasing, those from Alzheimer’s have escalated more than 100%. The toll the disease takes on family caregivers is similarly shocking, with more than 16 million Americans providing over 18 billion hours of care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)