Dementia: A Whole New Prospective

Caring for a loved one suffering from dementia?

Watch this short video and be ready to not only be moved in a wonderful way, but see it from a whole new prospective.

What is Dementia? 

Dementia – a broad category of brain disease that causes long term loss of the ability to think and reason clearly that is severe enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. For the diagnosis to be present it must be a change from previous baseline mental function.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dementia
For more information about dementia, visit https://www.carecompare.com/blog/category/dementia-care/

5 Food Services For Seniors

Food programs for seniorsWhen your parents live far away or they can’t regularly cook for themselves, there are wonderful alternatives to help make sure they’re getting healthy meals when needed. The 5 options we have listed below are served across the United States and have multiple locations. Also, each has options that can be tailored for your parents diet requirements. The only difference is that some offer delivery, either fresh or frozen while others need to be picked up from a local senior center.

Convenient food services for seniors:

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is one of the most oldest and largest senior food providers in the nation. They offer meals prepared and delivered to the senior. This is an umbrella organization that is composed of 5,000 different nutritional programs across America.

The cost of Meals on Wheels varies depending on your local branch. There is financial assistance available for those who qualify through individual Meals on Wheels programs. For more information, visit http://www.mowaa.org/

Personal Chef To Go

Personal Chef To Go is an international gourmet meal services that is delivered to the door of many seniors across the United States. Each meal delivered is fresh and healthy. Personal Chef To Go has multiple different menu options including busy singles, lunch and dinner, dinner only, couples on the go and family favorites. Their food is always rush shipped fresh and never frozen.

The cost for Chef To Go starts off at $69.50 per week. To get started you will pick a meal plan and how frequently you would like your items sent to you. Then select your 1st delivery date and then place your order. For more information, visit http://www.cheftogo.com.

Magickitchen.com

Magic Kitchen is a frozen prepared meal that is delivered nationwide. They offer a large range of diet options including diet plans that are tailored for diabetics and easy to reheat meals for seniors. On top of the meal plans, they also offer deserts, side dishes and breads.

The cost for Magic Kitchen varies depending on the items and meal options you select. For more information, visit http://www.Magickitchen.com

Senior Centers

Many senior centers throughout many different communities offer meal preparation for senior citizens at either low-cost or sometimes free. Most of the time, the meals will be need to be picked up or the senior can eat the meal at the senior center. Our suggestion would be to call different senior centers in your area to find out if this option is available.

Personal Chef

If your budget fits it, a personal chef is a great option for meal preparation for seniors. Depending on the location and experience of the personal chef, the price could vary greatly. The chef would be able to prepare meals that are fresh or easy to reheat. They could offer a meal plans that can be tailored around special diet requests.

7 Ways To Prevent Falls At Home

7 Ways To Prevent Falls At HomeIt’s estimated that nearly 8 million falls occur inside of the home every year and a large number of them are elderly people. This number could be cut down drastically if the proper measures are taken to prevent falls from happening.The tips below are not only helpful but they are a necessity for the safety of your aging parents. If you have any additional tips, make sure to leave them on our comments section on Facebook.

Prevent falls at home by following these simple 7 suggestions

Install hand rails:

Places such as stairs, bathtub / shower and the toilet areas are common places for seniors to slip and fall. The best way to prevent these types of falls, is to install hand rails or handle bars. The rails and bars should have non -slip grips that will help the senior from loosing grip on the bar when their hands are wet. Before installing hand rails, make sure to get the proper size for the area and learn where to have it installed.

Have proper lighting installed:

As we age, our eyesight tends to get weaker and we don’t see as well in low dimmed lighting. It’s important to have clean and clear lighting throughout the home. Having floor lamps is not a good idea because it can cause another fall risk due to another item being close or in the way of the persons walking path. We recommend table lamps that are sturdy and can be researched easily by the person.

Clean up clutter:

Clutter is a huge problem for many seniors because they tend to like to hold on to everything because the memories that come along with it. If your aging parent has many items that they really want to keep, try to install shelves, or place items that are not used regularly in boxes and store them in closets. Make sure to keep an eye on your parents so they don’t try to remove the boxes and later hurt themselves.

Avoid loose clothing:

Most of the day your aging parent may want to just spend their day relaxing in their favorite chair, so comfy clothes are necessary. It’s important to make sure their comfy and everyday clothes are not too loose. If their pants are too long or maybe your mother’s gown is too long or loose, she could get tangled or trip over her gown. It’s the best to make sure pants and gowns are right at the top on the ankle, for safety.

Avoid stairs:

Avoiding stairs is very important since they tend to be a place that seniors typically have the most issues with. As we age, out eye sight depth can change drastically and it’s harder for them to see how big the step may be. It’s the best to have your parents living in a single story home and if they have a washer and dryer, it should be placed on the first floor. If there are stairs outside of the door or a step down anywhere in the home, make sure to have hand rail installed to ensure safety.

Wear non-slip shoes:

Wearing shoes is very important for the elderly. There are many different types of non-slip shoes that are made for senior citizens who are at risk of falling. The shoes need to fit properly, not being too loose or too tight. It’s the best to have shoes with Velcro so they don’t have to worry about their shoe laces becoming untied or tangled.

Make repairs were needed:

When you notice that something is installed incorrectly or needs to be repaired, make sure to have it repaired as soon as possible. Also, until the area is fixed, have your parents stay clear of that area for their safety.

How to Explain Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behavior to Young Children

Young Children Alzheimer’s It’s pure agony for anybody whenever a loved one is dealing with an illness like Alzheimer’s and Dementia, especially for the young ones. They start to doubt their relationship with their grandparents.

Different children will react to people with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia differently. Some children might find it difficult to sleep, have nightmares or develop inappropriate behavior. If the children are intensely attached to their grandparents or elderly, it might even affect their schoolwork or social lives. It is best to have a word with their school teacher or school staff so that they are able to understand and help the children.

A child could either retreat or face the problem head on. They might just totally avoid the person who has Dementia or Alzheimer’s by hiding behind school or friends. They may be afraid to confront the situation because it’s confusing and they are left feeling unsure. On the other hand, they could try to help. It is good when children want to help take care of a person but once it starts to get in the way of their own responsibilities, it becomes a problem. The key word here is balance.

Dementia is hard to explain to young persons. Even if it is normal for children to avoid complicated situations it is always better to make them aware of what is happening.

Children are well aware of situations affecting them regardless of the fact whether they are confusing or not. If adults explain the situation thoroughly, the children will comprehend the problems and become more tolerant and empathetic towards them. Tell the child that it isn’t their fault and that it is an illness. Telling them how to cope is not enough. Setting an example on how to deal with such situations is invaluable in teaching them how to be tolerant and accepting during the management of distressing emotions.

The important thing here is to be honest to your children about the situation and reassure that it is an illness which has to be accepted as a part of life. Take into account the child’s age while explaining Dementia and Alzheimer’s so that they understand it well. Let them know it is okay to ask questions and to share their feelings about Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.

How to Break Alzheimer’s and Dementia Down To Your Kids

Explain what Dementia or Alzheimer’s is to your child calmly and in words that they can understand. Getting too technical will bore them and too much simplicity makes the illness look black and white.

Give as many examples as possible of what they can expect. Tell them about people with Dementia who keep on forgetting they made a cup of coffee or go to bed while wearing their shoes.

Patience is a virtue. You might end up explaining it several times over so keep calm and explain it again.

Encourage your child to ask many questions. The more they know, the more they’ll understand.

Give them comfort if they’re saddened by the situation and reassure them that they did not do anything to cause the illness.

What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Alzheimer’s and DementiaDementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often confused with one another. Most of the time, they are considered one and the same. It can get to the point where professional caregivers, suffering patients and concerned family members can’t tell the difference. More than 35 million people globally live with Dementia.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are misunderstood which can cause a lot of mix-up between them. Dementia is a condition of the brain that affects one from carrying out everyday activities and communication, whereas Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of Dementia that affects areas of the brain associated with language, memory and thought.

Dementia is a term that identifies a group of illnesses that have traits of impaired memory and thinking. It is a word that is usually related to mental decline caused by old age. There are other issues that cause Dementia aside from Alzheimer’s disease. Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Huntington’s disease, HIV, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and vascular diseases can all cause Dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of Dementia. More than half of all patients with Dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s symptoms include difficulty in speaking, thinking and confusion.

The Difference and similarities

DEMENTIA

When someone has been diagnosed with Dementia, they have a number of common symptoms. Think of it like when someone is diagnosed with a fever. Thermometers and their temperature might hint some illness but doctors have yet to identify the underlying cause of the fever. It could be malaria, a flu, infection, fatigue, etc. The same goes with Dementia. Dementia is a condition that happens due to injury or damage of brain cells. Apart from that the degenerated brain cells produce malformed proteins which lead to the signs of dementia.

Dementia can have a serious effect on a person’s ability to operate individually. Older people are especially vulnerable to Dementia and can be a heavy baggage for families financially and emotionally.

As Dementia worsens, confusion and forgetfulness become a bigger problem. They forget new names, faces and repeatedly ask questions. They do however occasionally remember things that happened before their Dementia had set in so they remember their children and friends.

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Another difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is that Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible. The degeneration of the brain is not curable. On the other hand, patients who have Dementia can take specialized drugs or vitamin supplements and get recovery permanently or temporarily from their illness. Around the age of 60 is when symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease usually start to show but there have been cases of young adults having it as well.

Brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease can happen long before symptoms start showing up. Protein deposits clump up and make plaques that start to get tangled up in the patient’s brain. Because of this, the connectors of the brain cells are lost and start to decline and fail. In extreme cases, the brain may start to shrink.

It is difficult to have a 100% accuracy rate when diagnosing somebody with Alzheimer’s disease. Diagnoses are assured to be correct once an autopsy has been performed and brain samples are studied under a microscope. Luckily, specialists can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease correctly 90% of the time.

Ways to Stop Fighting With Your Siblings Over Senior Care

Senior CareAccording to a famous saying, old age and childhood are similar in many ways because both of these stages need care and compassion always. The parents who once took care of us so well become burden on us and we start to fight over small issues. Family rivalries can be very disastrous and discomforting.

There can be several reasons due to which these problems arise such as:

Living Arrangements

Where should we keep the parents? In their home? Would it be safe? If not then where else should they go and who, out of the siblings, should take care of them? These are the questions that arise.

Money and Finances

It’s a competitive world and with the growing technology everything is getting expensive, so it’s difficult to divide the expenses. Who should pay for what? Who should handle the expenses if the parents aren’t able to do so and who would inherit what?

Medical Decisions

Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to treatments and medical care so that creates another dispute as what to follow or whom to believe?

Family Possessions

Who would get what after the death of the parents?

There can also be different problems which may arise from time to time and situation to situation. We should sit and find a solution to all these problems.

Here are some strategies by which the siblings can stop fighting over aging parents:

• Ask them once

Involve your parents in the decisions you make for their life. It would make it easy to divide the duties among you.

• Speak for yourself

Maybe a sibling doesn’t know you need his/her help. Tell them your situation and ask for help. Avoid misunderstandings by speaking out instead of keeping your feelings within yourself.

• Involve everyone in the work

You should divide the duties among yourselves so that only one person doesn’t have to suffer alone. Like if your parents are living in their home and they can’t afford the bills divide the months among yourselves to pay the bills and to avoid financial crisis.

• Divide the responsibilities according to each other’s strengths

You shouldn’t over burden anyone and should divide the responsibilities equally yet sensibly. Like if, a person is not that financially well off, you shouldn’t make him pay all the bills. Instead, someone who is financially stable can do the task. Then if someone doesn’t have a car shouldn’t be made to take the parents for medical checkup. These small arrangements and adjustments keep disputes at bay.

• Hold your tongue

You shouldn’t interfere in anyone matters. If your brother is made to do something and he doesn’t do it as you used to do not criticize him and concentrate on your duty.

• Don’t expect a miracle

Don’t expect anyone to change like a miracle. If your brother was always selfish you shouldn’t expect him to contribute for the financial responsibilities. Give him some time. He may change after watching you do your duties so well.

• Stay Calm

When it comes to fighting for your rights you tend to lose our cool. Even though it is very true, try to stay calm at all times. Being angry and fighting won’t help the situation.

10 Things to Never Say to your Aging Parents

Aging ParentsfIf you have aging parents who are driving you nuts and giving you a very hard time then you may end up saying something rude to them. However, you must think before reacting to their actions because at their age, they are prone to forgetfulness and stubbornness. Nobody is denying that you love your parents, but often, in times of frustration, a single word, comment or insult tumbling out of your mouth can do irredeemable damage to the well-being of your parents.

Your Dad and your Mom, they are the most important persons in your life and they have brought you up with care and comfort, provided the right education and supported you in times of crisis. With age, they are prone to illness, loss of memory and various other ailments that will affect their cognitive and physical abilities. Your aging parents may commit silly mistakes or grave errors, but you have to cope with such situations.

You have to make certain strong decisions about:

• Whether your parents need help?
• Are they thinking about having any Will?
• What kind of medical attention and intervention do they require?
• Do your parents want to live on their own?

Your aging parents may be slipping away and losing their mind but you need to take control of their life and discuss issues with your parents before arriving at any decision. However, while taking care of your parents or even if you are sending your parents to assisted living homes, you must always keep in mind the following 10 things that you should never say to your parents.

1. Never yell at your parents.

Your parents may lose their memory but you must never yell at them or remind them of their weak memory. You must always be polite and always avoid questioning their memory.

2. Never judge your parents.

You must never judge the actions of your aging parents. Your parents may be doing illogical things and running all over your house incessantly. However, you should try to calm your parents within judging their actions. You must never scold your parents for their actions because most often they do not understand what they are doing.

3. Never speak abusively to your parents.

You must never hurl expletives or abuses towards your parents. Manage all situations effectively by trying to help your parents. If you need professional help to complete the daily tasks of your parents then you may also engage professional caregivers. Assisted living is very common these days and can be the best solution for your parents’ needs.

4. Don’t get upset when your parents can’t work technical devices.

You should never yell at your parents if they cannot operate smartphone, television or computer. At old age, understanding technology can be very difficult, especially with failing eyesight and cognition. You must try to keep things simple and teach new features to your parents.

5. Understand elderly are often forgetful.

Try to never question your parents if they constantly jump from one topic of discussion to another. Elderly often lose track of their thought and they will appear confused in their thoughts but you must always be polite to them.

6. Keep their age out of the conversation.

Never tell your parents they are growing old. Nobody likes to hear concerns about their age, so you too should avoid it.

7. Don’t dictate their will.

Do not express your wish to capture your parents’ belongings upon their demise. Further you should not dictate terms while your parent tries to write the Will because the Will should be a testament of your parent’s wish, not yours.

8. Don’t put them down when they don’t remember family or friends.

Your parents may not recognize you or your relatives so do not force old memories upon them.

9. Do not question your parent’s wishes.

If your parents want to live alone then you must respect their decision. You may also contact assisted living facilities to find out what works best for your aging parents.

10. Do not speak resentful words.
Speaking resentful words can cause your parents to become depressed and push you and other loved ones away. Please make sure to speak respectfully when when you’re stressed and upset with your parents.

Elderly Care Guide: Finding The Right Care For Your Parents

Eldery CareOur parents were the ones who taught us everything we needed to know growing up. What we are today, is because of them and no matter where we go and whatever we do, we shouldn’t forget their importance and value in our lives. As time progresses, our parents become dependent on us as they are not able to do everything they used to do earlier in life. Researching senior care and learning how to provide the best care is one the most important things we can do for our parents.

In order to find the best care for your aging parents you need to look at the following things and adopt them:

1) Find out what type of place your parent would  be satisfied in?

Some great places include

• Adult day care for socialization
• Some daily-living supervision

These are nursing homes with 24/7 independent living facility that provides help with:

• Dressing
• Bathing
• Eating

2) Can your family afford it?

Even if we want the best, we need to find facilities that are pocket-friendly. You cannot over-stretch your pocket because you have to take care of the rest of your family also.

Following are the averages monthly fees on an average:

• Independent living $2,500
• Assisted living $3,400
• Nursing home $6,000

3) Involve your parents in the decision:

You should always ask your parents before choosing something for them as their consent is essential for something so important for them.

4) Make sure the facility is socially good for your parents:

For example, if your father is a master sergeant you wouldn’t want to place him in a place that had retired officers residing there since they’ll probably look down on him.

5) Inspect the place yourself before finalizing it:

Visit the place several times at different times and observe everything thoroughly. Keep a check on the staff, their behavior and the environment for some days so you have a clear idea about everything.

6) Inspect for Medicare and make an evaluation of the facilities you are looking for:

Look for deficiencies like no doctor available or lack of medicines and decide accordingly

7) Read the facility’s contract carefully:

Review the contract thoroughly to keep the future financial-obligation surprises to a minimum. You may also need to show it to an accountant or financial partner.

8) Above all , Plan ahead:

You need to make sure about everything before putting yourself in crisis because once you get into the crisis you can’t go back and do the research.

Even though all these tips to finding the right care for your parents can be very useful, if we were to ask seniors what they prefer, they would choose to live at home.Since they have spent all their lives there and don’t want to be parted from their home. With this being said, it can be very difficult to convince your parents that it’s the right time for assistance as they are unable to help themselves. It can be very harsh for them at the beginning but with time and patience, they will understand your concern.

To better take care of your parents it is better that you take care of them yourselves but sometimes that isn’t an option. Don’t feel guilty when you need to find care for your parents. Explain the situation to your parents and help them understand.

Babysitting Grandkids Could Lower Your Chances of Alzheimer’s

How do you cope with parents who are suffering from Alzheimer’s? This is a rare disease that may affect the brain and makes people forget basic things. Henry never thought that his mother would ever forget her own son’s name. However, the reality is far worse than fiction and Henry was devastated when his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Although the disease cannot be cured absolutely, there are medication and counselling relief that may be provided to the persons suffering from this disease. You may also keep your parents engaged in various activities that would keep their mind active and prevent onset of the disease.

Research and past studies have proved that older patients who babysit their grand kids can significantly lower their chances of Alzheimer’s. Grandparents can babysit their grandchildren to foster family care and cut down on child rearing costs. Further, by engaging in child caring, grandchildren can also lower risk of the disease. The time spent in looking after grandchildren can have a positive impact on the psychology of the older persons and cut down chances of dementia.

Looking after grandchildren also leads to social engagement, mental stimulation and positive mood enhancement for your parents. This will also put your parents under a constant learning process. Research has also proved that women after menopause are more prone to Alzheimer’s. Hence, it is recommended that women engage in activities with their grandchildren and babysit their grand kids whenever they have time.

Babysitting grand kids can have a positive mental impact on grandparents. Looking after grandchildren for at least 2 days a week will lower risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease or acquiring any other cognitive disorders. However, research has also proved, that spending more than 5 days a week with grandchildren can have some negative effect on the mental state of grandparents. The sharpness of the mind will lower when grandparents get stressed due to spending too much time with grand kids. You must regulate the amount of time your parents are spending with your children.

If your parents spend too much time with your kids then they might complain about being stressed and question your parenting abilities. You must allow your older parents to rest appropriately and get enough sleep before spending time looking after your kids. Kids require a lot of attention and can be very difficult to handle so you must ask your parents whether they are willing to babysit your kids.

Caring and babysitting grand kids can also provide several benefits to grandfathers. Although the research was primarily done on older women who were babysitting grand kids, but it is evident that even grandfathers can receive a lot of mental activity and relief if they look after their grand kids. Spending time with grand kids would provide a sense of purpose to grandfathers who do not find any reason to live. Caring for grand kids would prevent social isolation and depression. It is one of the best natural remedies available for grandparents to live their life to the fullest and enjoy every moment of their life. Thus, caring after grand kids can definitely have lower chances of Alzheimer’s in grandparents.

Best Dog Breeds For Senior Citizens

The best dog breeds for senior citizens can vary depending on the senior and what they are looking for in a dog companion. Owning a dog can be very therapeutic for anyone but when it comes to seniors, a dog can be the ticket to help them overcome depression. A friendly and loving dog can warm a senior’s heart instantly. It has been proven that dogs can work better than prescribed medicine.

A few ways a dog can help senior citizens:

• Lower blood pressure
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Decrease feelings of loneliness
• Encourage social activities
• Ease the loss of a loved one
• Offer entertainment
• Offer affection and unconditional love

Adopt an Older Dog or a Puppy?

Before you go out and buy yourself or your aging parent a four legged companion, it’s the best to do your research. Not every dog is the same and each of them requires didn’t levels of care. Getting a puppy at the age of 65 may not be the best idea either because they may live to be 15 years old. Will you or your loved one be able to care for a dog at the age of 80? A lot can happen in your golden years and it’s always best to be prepared. That’s why we suggest looking for a mid aged adult dog at a shelter.

Pugs

Pugs are one of the most popular dogs choose by senior citizens. They are great dogs because they have the chacterists that seniors typically love. They are small, affectionate, love to cuddle and have a great temperament. Since they are small, they are great for apartment living and don’t require a lot of exercise. Pugs also like routines and most seniors stick to a daily routine. Pugs are also great for providing protection. They may be small but they’re mighty and will alert their owners when strangers are present.

Shih Tzu

Another small and adorable dog that is great for senior citizens is a Shih Tzu. These dogs are lap dogs that love to have a lot of attention. They are great companions for people who have a lot of visitors. Shih Tzu also along with people of all ages and love other animals. They are also great dogs for apartment living because they prefer to play indoors over outdoors. A great advantage of Shih Tzu is that they hardly shed, but they do require regular grooming maintenance.

Cocker Spaniel

One of the most cheerful and always eager dogs to please their owners are cocker spaniels. They are very social dogs that are also gentle and trustworthy. They are great with other animals and people of all ages. They do have watchdog traits, but still have sweet temperaments. They are great for seniors because they are easy to train and gentle hearted.

Even though we only listed three breeds that are great for senior citizens, there are many others, including toy poodles, Chihuahuas, miniature terriers and Scottish terriers. There is a lot to consider when choosing a dog breed. You need to keep in mind the energy level of the senior and of caring for the dog. Having a dog around adds a lot of enjoyment and great companionship in your home!