Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’

15 Tips for Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Friday, December 19th, 2014
  1. Become an educated caregiver: Some useful sites for educating yourself are the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. Also, attend any caregiving seminars presented in your community.
  2. Ask for help – and accept it: Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Getting help can make a major difference in your life.
  3. Take care of yourself: Try to eat well, exercise regularly and visit your doctor when needed.
  4. Give yourself credit – not guilt: Make a list of all the things you are doing correctly and look at it frequently.
  5. Consult a geriatric care manager: Geriatric care managers are specialists who help families care for elderly relatives. They can provide valuable information and resources you will need to help you through these difficult times.
  6. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association for help: The Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) has a 24/7 help line. Just call 1-800-272-3900.
  7. Contact the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America for help: This organization (alzfdn.org) has a help line operated between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Call 1-866-232-8484.
  8. Study and put into practice “The Caregiver’s Bill of Rights:” You can find this document here.
  9. See a psychotherapist: If your stress level is very high or if you are feeling depressed, a therapist might be able to help you.
  10. Consult with your spiritual leader: If you are a religious person your spiritual leader might also be able to help you.
  11. Join a support group: Support groups can be helpful for Alzheimer’s caregivers, even if you just listen in.
  12. See a family therapist if there is conflict in your family: If there is a lot of conflict among family members consider seeing a family therapist.
  13. Keep a journal: Writing about your experiences and feelings every day can also be therapeutic.
  14. Learn how to get along better with your loved one: Here are three quick tips: Don’t contradict or argue with them, Don’t bring up subjects that might upset them, and if they do get upset quickly change the subject. Following these tips will lead to a better relationship.
  15. Take up a hobby about which you become passionate. It’s important to have time to yourself. Find a hobby you love. It can make a big difference.

NOTE: A few of these tips are based on ones presented by the Alzheimer’s Association.

A Resource for You: The Alzheimer’s Reading Room

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The Alzheimer’s Reading Room (www.AlzheimersReadingRoom.com) is the largest blog of its type and the number one source of life news for the entire Alzheimer’s community, with more than 3,500 articles in its knowledge base.  It has more than 7,600 subscribers and averages over 50,000 unique visitors per month. This site is a “must follow” for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Its goal is: to Educate, sometimes Entertain, and Empower Alzheimer’s caregivers, their families, and the entire Alzheimer’s community.

Founded by Bob DeMarco, who cared for his mother with Alzheimer’s for eight years, the articles on the site discuss issues that are important to Alzheimer’s caregivers. They provide specific insight, advice, and solutions based on real life experience. To review the articles I have published there go to the site and type my name in the search box half way down on the home page.

What a Person With Alzheimer’s Taught Me About Love and Beauty

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

When we think about a person with Alzheimer’s we rarely think they could teach us anything about life, love or beauty. And in many cases they don’t.

I, however, was most fortunate. Ed, my beloved Romanian soul mate of 30 years, saw beauty in the staff at his long-term care facility and those who visited him there. He expressed it freely – not only in words but also by holding and kissing the hands of these people.

In addition, he felt that I was beautiful and he frequently told me how beautiful I was. So often that I actually asked him to stop at one point! He also expressed his love for me and it was far more often than he ever did before he developed Alzheimer’s.

Ed said repeatedly how lucky he was to be at the Alois Alzheimer Center and how joyful he was to have all the people there who took care of him. He thanked every person whenever they did anything for him – no matter how small.

Mary, the housekeeper, went in one day and emptied his waste paper basket. He thanked her then kissed her hand.

“You are so beautiful and I am so lucky to have your help. I really mean it,” he added. “It’s from my heart – not just words from my lips”

A week later, I was singing out when Maria, the receptionist on duty that day, turned from her computer screen and told me, “I bet that Edward was a real lady’s man in his day. Every time he comes up here he tells me I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, and that it’s not just words from his lips – but that he really means it from his heart.”

Then I realized that no matter how advanced his dementia, Ed still had the innate capacity to feel and express beauty.

How wonderful it would be if we all experienced and expressed the beauty we see in people and the love we feel for them.

This is what I learned from my loved on with Alzheimer’s.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s?