Alzheimer’s Caregivers: Is Your Health at Risk?

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Alzheimer's Caregiver, Caregiver Health

Caregiver HealthCaregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other memory impairment face huge health risks. It’s likely that if you are a caregiver, you’ve heard this before, but WAIT! Before you stop reading, please remember that your health is too important to risk.

I want to get your attention by reminding you that as a caregiver your own mortality and life expectancy is at a greater risk than your loved ones. This isn’t necessarily because you don’t try to take good care of yourself. It’s often because caregivers devote so much time and energy caring for their loved one and their own family, that they simply run out of time to focus on their own needs.

This, coupled with managing the huge toll that stress takes as the disease progresses on your physical and emotional well-being, is not something to be ignored. Remember that study after study has shown that it is irrelevant how old you are, what race you are, or what your socioeconomic status is – you can expect a drastically shortened life expectancy if the stress of caring for your one is not managed.

So what can you do about it? How can you figure out how to manage your own health and stress and still manage to care for your family and your loved one?

First, reach out for help. I know that for some of us this isn’t an easy thing to do. But I promise you, you need to do it. If you live in Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River or Okeechobee counties in South Florida, call the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, a not-for-profit organization that provides a host of programs and services just for Alzheimer’s caregivers, at 877-760-9199.  They offer a free Coaching for Caregivers session that you can arrange right away. If you live outside of South Florida, visit your local Alzheimer’s Association’s website or call them directly. They can help you find similar resources in your area.

Second, try to make time between now and the time you meet with a care manager or other professional who will help you create a plan that will actually work for you, to carve out some time each day to take a walk or get some sort of exercise. This is so important to your health and to reduce your stress.

Third, you must sleep. Not in bursts. But a solid 6-8 hours per night. If your loved one is up all night and you are helping them, you will never get the sleep you need to stay healthy and be an effective caregiver during the day.  Consider asking other family members to give you time to sleep by providing you with respite relief.  Or contact a nurse registry to help you find affordable private duty care.

In South Florida we recommend ElderCare at Home. Some of their referred caregivers who specialize in Alzheimer’s disease, charge as little as $13.50 per hour. You can reach them at 888-285-0963. Outside of South Florida, call your local Area Agency on Aging for referrals to affordable home care providers.

Fourth, you must eat right. Even if this is easier said than done, you can try throwing some vegetables and meat into a crock pot to reduce your time in the kitchen. Most grocery stores offer pre-made meals that if paired correctly, will offer a healthy and quick alternative to a drive-through fast food joint. Take advantage and learn to say “yes, thank you”, to friends or neighbors who offer to bring in meals, run to the store or cook for you.

Fifth, see  number one.  Reach out today. You are so important to the person you care for. They need you. Your family needs you. There are some wonderful professionals in our South Florida community, and in other communities throughout this country who can guide you, support you, and help you create a healthy plan that works best for you!

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Finding In Home Care West Palm Beach

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Alzheimer's Care at Home, Alzheimer's Care Boca Raton, Alzheimer's Care West Palm Beach, Home Care for Alzheimer's Patients, In Home Care, Private Duty Home Care

In Home Care West Palm BeachFinding In Home Care West Palm Beach

Finding in home care in West Palm Beach begins with Elder Care at Home. Their referred caregivers provide in home care, senior care, respite care, personal care, and live-in care services.

The best and most affordable in home care services allow seniors to remain living independently and in their own home. Caregivers assist patients with their activities of daily living which can help to reduce the risk of injury, illness or hospitalization.

If you are not sure where to turn to begin to locate in home care West Palm Beach, call ElderCare at Home at 877-960-0245. Their staff can help you determine exactly what type of care your loved one may need.

In home care services in West Palm Beach include private duty care provided by companions, CNA’s, HHA’s, LPN’ and RN’s.  Although ElderCare at Home’s network of caregivers specialize in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and provide excellent Alzheimer’s Care at Home services, they are also experienced working with patients that have other medical conditions.  This includes in home care services for cardiac care, diabetic care, orthopedic care, as well as pre-operative and post-operative care.

Finding in home care West Palm Beach begins with calling Elder Care at Home. Call today! 877-960-0245

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When Roles and Relationships Change Due to Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Alzheimer's Caregiver, Caregiver Support

When Roles and Relationships Change Due to Alzheimer’s Disease

ChangeChanges in relationships with the person with Alzheimer’s, family members and friends are quite normal, yet can be difficult to understand.  You may find yourself taking on a new role in your relationship as the person’s memory declines.

He or she may no longer be able to perform certain tasks, such as balancing a checkbook, doing taxes, handling financial and legal matters or doing certain household chores.  Making important decisions on your own may feel overwhelming.

To be prepared for this role, you may need to turn to family, friends, professionals or community resources for assistance.

You may feel socially isolated because your family and friends have pulled back from your relationship or you have little time to spend with them. Your family and friends may hesitate to spend time with you and the person with Alzheimer’s disease because they worry about not knowing what to do or say.

Take the initiative to contact family and friends and explain that while Alzheimer’s disease has changed your lives in some ways, you value their friendship and support.

It’s important that you have a strong support network as you provide care for your loved one.

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TrialReach Names ElderCare at Home One of Best Blogs in the Country!

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Alzheimer's News

ElderCare at Home - Alzheimer's Top Blog

“Top Alzheimer’s Voices for 2014”

by Trial Reach.com

Alzheimer’s disease affects an increasing number of people worldwide, with a new diagnosis happening every 67 seconds (in the US alone). There is currently no cure, and an even more worrying fact is that the vast majority of clinical trials fail. As a result, participation in research is critical to finding a cure.

The efforts of the following advocates in raising awareness are therefore more important than ever before. Thank you!

The following blogs and digital influencers all share the interest in documenting the journey of how Alzheimer’s and Dementia affects those in our communities and offer tips and advice on how the best ways to sustain a good quality of life for patients, families and friends.

Mom, Me and Alzheimer’s Blog – This blog has many different types of posts — the older ones give tips on helping your loved one living with Alzheimer’s and the more current posts share the experiences of the writer’s loss of her loved one.  Very inspirational!

Had A Dad – My author’s  father’s 1253-day journey through Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and my feelings about it. Now my aunt appears to have dementia, so this is her chronicle as well.

Lewy Body Dementia – Tales from my eventful and ongoing journey as a Generation X caregiver for my father and as an advocate for Lewy Body Dementia caregivers.

Elder Care at Home – Blog – This blog focuses on the needs of older adults, caregivers, and family members living with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive impairments.

Caregiving, Mothering Mother and More – A blog about the guilt, frustrations, humor and sweet times that come with caregiving with a focus on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Living in the Shadow of Alzheimer’s – This blog is about life with my husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Frontal Lobe Dementia in 2008.

My Demented Mom – My name is Kathy Ritchie and my mom is demented. She was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2010. She has lost so many memories, words and all of her freedom. Still she’s a happy, loving human being…………. who doesn’t even know my name.

I am an Alzheimer’s Caregiver – My name is Bob DeMarco, I am an Alzheimer’s Caregiver. My mother Dorothy lived with Alzheimer’s Disease. We lived our lives one day at a time. IAAAC is a companion site of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room.

Dealing with Alzheimer’s Blog –  I was diagnosed with Early On Set Alzheimer’s when I was 46 years old. I am now 54 and working in Advocacy to help fight this disease. I speak on a local and national level about dealing with Alzheimer’s while living it. Hopefully, my perspective can and will help others.

Stranger in Our House – Lori shares her honest journey with her spouse’s condition. Heartfelt.

Dementia Diaries: A Journey with Dementia – I began this blog, shortly after my mom’s diagnosis, as a means of therapy to express how I was feeling and what we were experiencing. Eventually, I opened it up to close friends and family members.

Alzheimer’s Speaks – Alzheimer’s Speaks was created.  To bring voice back to the disease in many formats and fashions: while encouraging, assisting, and engaging those in need.

Early Onset – Early onset dementia before age 65. Live life to the fullest and find humor in everyday life.

The Alzheimer’s Spouse – a website I started in July 07, when the shock of what Alzheimer’s Disease was doing to a decades long loving marriage had me in emotional turmoil.

Parkblog-Sliverfox – This blog documents how Lewy Body Dementia has changed my life. It is a continuation of the previous title; “Sharing my life with Parkinson’s and Dementia” because the diagnosis has become more firm.

Surviving Alzheimer’s – Blog run by Paula Spencer Scott, the author of ‘Surviving Alzheimer’s’. It covers some practical time and provides ‘soul-saving’ wisdom for caregivers.

Steps & Stages – An excellent resource for family caregivers run by one of our partners – Caring.com

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Caring for a Person With Early Onset or Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Alzheimer's Care at Home, Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Caring for a Person Early Onset or Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Early Onset Alzheimer'sIf you are caring for a person younger than 65 years old who has been diagnosed with dementia, (this is called younger-onset or early onset Alzheimer’s), you not only face the caregiving challenges that all Alzheimer’s caregivers must deal with,  but you might face these issues as well:

Physical Condition

The person may be fit and strong, and not frail. This can make some daily care tasks more challenging. If the person with dementia becomes agitated or combative, this can create safety issues for both the caregiver and the care receiver.

Kids

If children or teems are living at home, they may have questions and concerns about the future.  The Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, a not-for-profit organization in West Palm Beach, has a special Coaching for Kids™ program, as well as other programs and services to help kids and teens cope with Alzheimer’s disease.  You can reach them at 877-760-9199 or visit their site here.

The Reactions of Others

When a younger person has Alzheimer’s disease, their age and outward signs of a more youthful appearance can cause reactions such as “She doesn’t look sick”, “He can’t have Alzheimer’s”, or you may even hear “Oh, he’ll get better”.  These reactions can be very upsetting to the person with early onset or younger onset Alzheimer’s as well as to their caregiver.  Learning how to best respond to these remarks can help mitigate a stressful situation.

Employment

May people with younger onset or early onset Alzheimer’s disease continue to work for quite some time.  Changes in job performance or behavior may not be understood or addressed in the workplace.  The person may have to change jobs, reduce their work hours, retire early or resign.  This may leave a big gap in the family’s income and deplete retirement benefits.  Meeting with a trusted Financial Adviser, as soon as possible, can be invaluable!

Paying for Alzheimer’s Care

Insurance and other benefits may be more difficult to get to help pay for care. Almost 1/3 of people with younger onset dementia have no health insurance, creating a significant financial strain. If the person is mot covered by Medicare, Medicaid or an employee plan, they may not be able to afford health care and other essential living expenses.

Contact the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center’s 24 Hour Caregiver Line at 877-760-9199 for specific guidance and support.

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