Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s Association of America

Best Holiday Gifts for Caregivers

Posted by on December 11, 2013 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Daugher and Mother smiling at Christmas

Finding the right gift for someone you love can be a challenge.  Caregivers devote so much time, love and attention to those in their care that often they have little free time to themselves. The best holiday gift for the caregiver in your life may simply be help from friends and family – but how do you turn that help into a stocking-stuffer?

The Alzheimer’s Association has created an easy, printable Caregiver Coupon Book for the holiday season!  Just click, print, and present in any way you wish.  Caregiver coupons include:

  • A Home-Cooked Meal
  • A Free Day of Caregiving for “Me Time” or Time with Friends
  • 30 Minutes of Relaxation
  • A Helpline Call on Behalf of the Caregiver
  • 3 Hours of Respite Care
  • Chauffeur for the Day
  • Coffee Breaks and more!

Caregiver Coupons

To download the complete Caregivers Coupon Book, visit the Alzheimer’s Association Blog, or download this Alzheimer’s Association Holiday Coupon Book in PDF format.

For more Caregiver support and resources, visit Caregiver Corner on the TotalHomeCareSupplies Blog.

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Is it Alzheimer’s? 5 Treatable Conditions Mistaken for Alzheimer’s

Posted by on February 7, 2013 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Are you concerned about increasing forgetfulness?  Is your loved one showing signs of Dementia?  If you’re afraid you’re overreacting, you’re not alone: according to the Sun Herald, a recent report looked at nearly 1,000 people with Dementia and found that up to 30% didn’t have Alzheimer’s Disease.  Instead, the true culprits were treatable medical conditions that caused Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, including negative reactions to medication.

worried woman image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some treatable medical conditions include:

  1. Vitamin deficiencies.  Extremely low levels of folic acid, niacin, or vitamins B-1, B-6 or B-12 can cause Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.  Not sure what your vitamin levels are?  Ask your doctor for a blood test to rule a vitamin deficiency out!  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, older people are at a higher risk for low levels of B-6 and B-12.
  2. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).  A lesser-known culprit, bladder infections can cause delirium in the elderly.  And when incontinence is part of the diagnosis, signs and symptoms of a bladder or urinary tract infection can be hard to spot.  Need to check?  Contact your doctor right away if you have any suspicions.  Signs and symptoms in the elderly can include sudden onset confusion, loss of appetite, or incontinence.  Untreated UTIs can lead to kidney damage or even life-threatening blood infections, so don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you’re concerned.
  3. Underactive Thyroid.  20% of women and 5% of men over 60 suffer from an underactive thyroid gland, which slows down the metabolism to unhealthy levels.  This condition, called hypothyroidism, can cause fatigue, weakness, depression and forgetfulness.  A simple blood test to check hormone levels is all it takes to rule this condition out.
  4. Depression.  Depression in the elderly is a widespread problem, but it’s not normal.  Many common symptoms of depression can be part of the aging process, making it difficult to detect and diagnose.  Some of the most visible symptoms include fatigue, appetite loss, and trouble sleeping, all of which can increase confusion and forgetfulness.  Fortunately, when diagnosed, depression is very treatable – just ask your doctor do a depression evaluation.
  5. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH).  Another underdiagnosed condition, NPH may be difficult to pronounce, but thankfully it’s not as difficult to treat.   NPH is an abnormal increase of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, which happens when the normal flow is blocked in some way.  The elderly are a high-risk group for NPH, although it can happen at any age; causes include head trauma, infection, tumors or surgery, among others.  The increased pressure on the brain causes symptoms that mimic Alzheimer’s, including mental impairment or dementia, difficulty walking or slower movements, and impaired bladder control.  Once the extra fluid is shunted away, behavior usually return to normal.  Only a medical professional can diagnose NPH.

In addition, some medications used to treat depression, anxiety, acid reflux, Parkinson’s disease, allergies and overactive bladder can trigger dementia-like side effects.  These drugs block acetylcholine, which Alzheimer’s patients already have in reduced levels.  Another medication that could be a culprit is digoxin – which is used to slow your heart rate if you have atrial fibrillation or heart failure. If you notice a change in behavior shortly after starting a new medicine regimen, call your doctor immediately.

For more information on Alzheimer’s signs and symptoms, visit the Alzheimer’s Association: http://www.alz.org/.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Announces Free Educational Conference For Caregivers| New York, May 18, 2012

Posted by on May 3, 2012 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

This just in from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to host a free educational conference for caregiver in New York on May 18, 2012.  Entertainer David Cassidy, Nutrition Expert Joy Bauer will address caregivers

NEW YORK, NY—As government leaders increasingly acknowledge the need for greater education about Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) will provide an understanding of the disease and practical strategies to handle daily challenges at a free, care-focused conference on May 18 in New York City.

The all-day “Five Boroughs Concepts in Care Conference” at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Times Square will include separate sessions specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, family caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Award-winning entertainer and multi-platinum recording artist David Cassidy, well-known for starring in TV’s “The Partridge Family” and numerous roles on other TV shows and Broadway, will share “A Son’s Story” as the keynote luncheon speaker. Cassidy’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease seven years ago, and he has since become a spokesperson and activist for the cause.

The conference will also feature Joy Bauer, nutrition and health expert for the “Today” show and a best-selling author, who will discuss smart lifestyle choices for brain health.

Also on the agenda is Teepa Snow, a renowned dementia care expert whose engaging presentations are packed with practical tips. Snow will present strategies to manage challenging behaviors, and to ensure better communication and safety.

Among other experts, Max Rudansky, M.D., chief of neurology at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, NY, will present a medical update on Alzheimer’s disease.

It is estimated that more than 450,000 New Yorkers have Alzheimer’s disease, according to a report by the New York State Coordinating Council for Services Related to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. In the report, council members emphasized that “one of the greatest challenges is debunking myths and demystifying Alzheimer’s disease,” and identified the immediate need to provide accurate information and outreach to the public and healthcare professionals.

The conference, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., will also include an exhibit hall and interactive activities.

Addressing the emotional toll of dementia, attendees will participate in a candle lighting ceremony to pay tribute to individuals with the disease. Also, AFA will display about 40 heartfelt panels from its AFA Quilt to Remember, the nation’s first large-scale quilt that portrays life stories of people affected by the brain disorder.

Focusing on symptoms of the disease, AFA will offer confidential memory screenings—a non-diagnostic tool that can signal a need for further evaluation; and the Virtual Dementia Tour, an interactive tool developed by Second Wind Dreams that helps people better understand what it feels like to have dementia.

The conference will also include breakfast and lunch, as well as respite care for individuals with dementia who need supervision while their family members attend the conference.

For more information call 866.232.8484

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