Tag Archives: Alzheimers

Series: Alzheimer’s in Other Countries

Posted by on August 27, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Alzheimer's around the world

This is the fourth post in a series on Alzheimer’s disease in places beyond the borders of the United States.

The “World Alzheimer Report 2015: The Global Impact of Dementia” was issued earlier this week. The report gave a grim view of dementia statistics around the world and called on governments and societies to begin making necessary changes to support older adults.

There is a chance that dementia is becoming less prevalent in high-income countries. Medscape reports:

Despite interest in the possibility that the age-specific prevalence of dementia may be declining in high-income countries because of public health improvements, “the evidence to support this is currently weak and inconclusive,” said the report.

You can find more information in Medscape’s article here.

Caregiving Blogs – February Highlight

Posted by on February 10, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Blogs written by caregivers

A new month is here and we’d once again like to take a look at blogs that show us the compassion and grace that caregivers give to their carees.

Jane is the mother of Nicole, who is 20 and has a congenital heart defect and pulmonary arterial hypertension. She’s been writing for four years about her journey with Nicole, Nicole’s health issues and their life together. Recently, she started on a series where she remembers the days when Nicole was first receiving her diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.

It’s been over five years since Karen’s son, Gavin, passed away, but Karen and her husband, Adam, continue to give their lives to helping children with special needs. They’ve adopted three special needs children since Gavin’s death, with issues that vary from cerebral palsy to feeding tubes. While Karen hasn’t updated the blog recently, it’s full of lots of amazing stories about their journey as a family.

Shelley Webb is a RN and has been a caregiver. She is the “Intentional Caregiver” of her site, which is much more than just a personal blog. It provides care to the caregivers and gives lots of advice. Shelley has other authors that contribute to the site, and has an extensive question section with lots of tips about how to handle various caregiver situations.

Do you have a caregiving blog that you’d like us to highlight? Let us know in the comments!

How to Keep a Senior’s Home Sweet-Smelling

Posted by on November 5, 2014 under BladderMatters, Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Nice smell in a senior's house

Everyone wants to make sure that their home smells lovely, and is inviting to their guests. But as seniors age, their sense of smell can become diminished. Additionally, they may not be able to perform the upkeep and cleaning tasks that can be necessary to keep a home or apartment or room smelling nice. Sometimes they need some help. Check out the below tips to keep the scents pleasant.

Make sure their incontinence products are a perfect fit
Small urine leaks can dry quickly and leave nary a sign that they ever existed … except for odor. If your loved one has a favorite chair, and a slight leak, their clothes may be washed within a few days, but perhaps not the chair. Incontinence products must fit correctly if they’re going to prevent leaks. Do not buy a larger size of diaper or pull-up because you think they may be more absorbent – that isn’t how they work.  You can read more about how to prevent leaks in our blog post here.

Get the carpets cleaned at least once a year
Regular vacuuming can help, but a proper steam cleaning can deal with stains, odor and more. You can rent a steam cleaner from the store, or get a professional cleaning.

Dispose of incontinence products correctly
Don’t just throw away disposable briefs any old place. Try to keep their disposal inside one room. Ideally, a garbage can that can individually package each diaper is best, such as ones from Akord.

Don’t just cover up smells – eliminate them
While diffusers, wall-plugs and other good smelling items can make a room smell nice, they’re not getting rid of the bacteria that is causing the odor. Try spraying Fabreeze or another product that specifically states that it eliminates odor-causing bacteria.

Check for UTIs
Urinary tract infections can cause pungent odors in urine, sometimes more than the average disposable brief can deal with. If you feel that your senior’s scent has changed dramatically for the worse in a small amount of time, or if there are any other side effects, like an unwillingness to use the restroom or a change in behavior, have a doctor test them. Checking for UTIs only involves a urine test, so can be diagnosed quickly.

What other tips do our blog readers have? We’d love to hear them!

Caregiving Blogs – September Highlight

Posted by on September 4, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Blogs written by caregivers

At the start of the new month, we’d like to take some time to highlight some caregiver bloggers. These bloggers are raising awareness of the difficulties their loved ones live or lived with and helping others to know they’re not alone.

Sometimes it seems that no matter how much I do, I still feel guilty. How do we live with that juggling act? That is what I want to write about.” That’s how Dauna Easley describes her reason for blogging. Her co-blogger is Marky Olson. They have written a book together called “Caregiving for Your Elderly Parents.” They tell their personal stories with warmth and humor.

Jill’s son John was born at just over 24 weeks gestation, making him a micro-preemie. At only a few days old, he experienced a brain bleed that gave him long-term disabilities. Through lots of hard work and John’s own determination, he walks with a walker and leads an almost entirely normal life. Every year, John, his family and his friends take part in a fundraising walk for other preemies. John has a very positive personality, and his little sister is a sprite!

Karen was a caregiver to her mother with Alzheimer’s for years, until her mother passed away in 2011. Karen continues her blog to help other caregivers and past caregivers. In her older posts she shares the joys and struggles of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. In her recent posts, she discusses Alzheimer’s support, life in Arkansas, and moving on from caregiving.

Do you write a blog or know of one that you’d like TotalHomeCareSupplies.com to highlight? Please provide us with a link in the comments. And if you’re a regular reader of any of these blogs, let us know and give them a shout out!

Alzheimer’s and Incontinence

Posted by on August 20, 2014 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

A restroom a clear path is necessary for those with dementia.

Imagine you’re sitting on the couch, at the end of the day, watching your favorite show. You’re relaxed, you’re in a good place, you’re comfortable.

Suddenly, you experience an unpleasant sensation as warm liquid pools under you, and the liquid quickly cools. How did that happen? You didn’t have to go to the bathroom a second ago, but apparently, your bladder decided otherwise.

This is what it can be like for someone with Alzheimer’s. During the disease, the messages that the bladder sends to the brain to tell it it’s time “go” can get mixed up, misdirected or lost altogether.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only reason why people with Alzheimer’s can become incontinent. Other factors can include the medications that patients take to deal with anxiety, not remembering the location of the restroom and underlying medical problems that may not yet be addressed.

These issues may not become evident until the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer’s, but they will have to be addressed. The caregiver can provide support by gently reminding the patient to use the restroom and by making sure the way to and from the restroom itself are easily accessible.

However, sometimes leaks happen. At that point, the caregiver may want to utilize incontinence supplies. These days, adult briefs can be an unobtrusive as the average pair of underwear. Or, if the patient refuses to wear protective underwear, an underpad can be placed on chairs and beds to manage the leak.

Alzheimer’s can be very distressing to both caregivers and patients. Taking the stress of incontinence out of the equation can help.

Caregiving Blogs – August Highlight

Posted by on August 6, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Blogs written by caregivers

At the start of the new month, we’d like to take some time to highlight some caregiver bloggers. These bloggers are raising awareness of the difficulties their loved ones live with and helping others to know they’re not alone.


Trish Hughes Kreis is the primary caregiver to her brother, who lives with intractable epilepsy. He was also recently diagnosed with Cumulative Traumatic Encephameylopathy. Trish kept her readers aware and informed throughout the process of getting the diagnosis. Trish also participates in a live chat once a month with Denise Brown of caregiving.com to discuss all things related to caregiving.


Ellen Seidman’s son, Max, had a stroke shortly after he was born and developed cerebral palsy. (It’s true, babies can have strokes.) Now Max is doing all sorts of things that the doctors told Ellen weren’t going to happen for her son. Reading about Max’s improvements is a joyful thing, and his younger sister is a ton of fun as well.


Martha Stettinius was a caregiver to her mother with Alzheimer’s for eight years, before her mom passed away. Now she continues to advocate and write for caregivers, sharing her experiences and what she wished she knew then. She also wrote a book, titled Inside the Dementia  Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir, which we have pinned to our Pinterest board of Caregiver Books.

Do you write a blog or know of one that you’d like TotalHomeCareSupplies.com to highlight? Please provide us with a link in the comments. And if you’re a regular reader of any of these blogs, let us know and give them a shout out!

Caregiver Resources: Locator Apps for Wandering Loved Ones

Posted by on July 16, 2013 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Safety and Security for Wandering Seniors and Youth 

Hands_phoneHave you ever felt guilty that your loved one with dementia is losing their quality of life? Do you feel uncomfortable leaving them alone, or allowing them any freedom of their own? These days technological advances are allowing rapid communication for people of all ages, and interactive maps and location services can help anyone find their destination. These tools utilize GPS navigation with location-based mapping, which basically is able to detect a device’s current location.

With these advancements, there have been numerous applications, or “apps”, developed for wireless devices that will help locate another device. Some of these apps are designed specifically for dementia patients and other wandering diagnoses such as autism.

Comfort Zone is an app created by the Alzheimer’s Association that can detect where the user is at all times.  Comfort Zone will notify family members or caregivers of their location and if they go out of a designated area.

WanderID was constructed to create a database for lost children. Those who enroll can take photos of their loved ones to put them into the system.  If the child is found by someone, those first responders can take a photo, upload it to WanderID and the facial recognition software will match the photos and help return them home.

RELATED: List of Discounts for Seniors: Senior Savings for 50+

Food Spotlight: Blueberries and Your Brain

Posted by on April 30, 2013 under Resources | Read the First Comment

blueberriesCould berries be medically-proven brain boosters?  According to several recent studies, blueberries and strawberries – two berries high in flavonoids called anthocyanidins – appear to reduce cognitive decline in older adults.  Anthocyanidins are plant compounds with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  A long-term study of over 16,000 participants over 70 years old suggests that cognitive aging could be delayed by up to 2.5 years in elderly who regularly consume the flavonoid-rich berries.

In a shorter study, researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center found the memory function of older adults with early memory decline was boosted by drinking the juice of wild blueberries for 12 weeks.

A much larger long-term study of over 134,000 women and 47,000 men found that those eating at least one serving a week reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10%.  Participants consuming the highest amounts of anthocyanins (found mainly in blueberries and strawberries in the US) were 8% less likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure than those consuming the lowest amounts. The effect was even stronger in participants under 60, and the effect was strongest for those who consumed blueberries as opposed to strawberries.

Curious about how anthocyanins work?  See this in-depth article on antioxidant health benefits. Blueberries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, although other contributing sources include blood oranges and orange juice, raspberries, tea, red wine and apples.  Packed with vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber, blueberries get their color from the rich density of anthocyanins.

For more everyday foods that improve memory and boost brain power, see this article on the Five Best Foods for your Brain.  For more health information and useful tips, visit our Resources Blog on TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.

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Walk Your Way To Better Health! The Six-Week Challenge

Posted by on April 3, 2013 under Resources | 2 Comments to Read

April 3rd is National Walking Day with the American Heart Association, and we’re asking you to join us on a Six-Week Challenge!  Walking daily improves cholesterol, boosts bone strength, lowers blood pressure, prevents weight gain and increases energy and stamina.   It also reduces glaucoma risk, halves your odds of catching a cold, and even reduces your risk for Alzheimer’s and colon cancer, among other benefits.  Join millions of men and women across America, and pledge to live a healthier lifestyle, get heart-healthy and fit!

Every Wednesday on the Total Home Care Supplies Blog, we’ll be giving tips on how to walk your way to better health, as well as posting weekly “Healthy Living” articles.  Are you a beginner?  No problem!  This Six-Week Beginner Walking Plan was developed by American Council on Exercise and the American Heart Association, and is suitable for every fitness level.  With just 30 minutes of walking a day, five days a week – that’s just 2 1/2 hours per week – the health benefits of walking are proven and measurable.  So get out your sneakers, and walk your way to better health in six weeks!

Six Week Beginner Walking Plan

Six Week Beginner Walking Plan developed by American Council on Exercise, in collaboration with the American Heart Association

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The Amazing Health Benefits of Antioxidants

Posted by on March 29, 2013 under Resources | Read the First Comment

We keep hearing about how terrific antioxidants are for us, but what exactly do they do?  Antioxidants sound like they can do miracles for our health – but to most of us they’re still a mystery.

BlueberriesAntioxidants benefit your health by cleaning free radicals out of your bloodstream.   Free radicals are electrically-charged molecules of oxygen that accumulate in our blood as we age through a process called “oxidation”.  Don’t worry, oxidation is a natural process – and nature provides abundant ways of filtering them out through our diet!  Antioxidants are found in everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to whole grains, nuts, chocolate and teas.

Coffee and PecansSo if it’s natural to have free radicals in our blood stream, what’s the big deal?  The problems come from too many free radicals accumulating too quickly, and sticking around far too long.  Free radicals can damage other cells by attacking healthy ones, and over time have the potential to cause damage to your cellular DNA.  This damage is linked to a wide range of diseases, including Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Autoimmune diseases, Cataracts, Macular degeneration and more.   Our bodies have natural defenses against free radicals, but those defenses weaken as we age, making us more susceptible to cellular damage over time – which is why many health experts believe a diet rich in antioxidants is key to fighting age-related diseases.

StrawberriesTo add to the mystery, there’s not just one type of antioxidant;  there are many kinds, some of which you’ve probably already heard about – such as the beta carotene in carrots.  Antioxidants have a wide range of health benefits, and different antioxidants benefit different parts of our bodies.  For example, beta carotene benefits eye health, while flavonoids benefit cardiovascular health, quercetin benefits memory, and proanthocyanidins (try saying that five times fast!) benefit the urinary tract, among other things.  Some studies have even shown that a combination of antioxidants can protect your skin from sun damage.  For more information about foods that can help stave off Dementia and Alzheimer’s, try this article on the Five Best Foods for your Brain.

Dark ChocolateAntioxidants have not been proven to treat any medical conditions, however research implicates that antioxidants may be key in the prevention of a number of degenerative, age-related diseases.

So what are you waiting for?  Dig into that fruit salad, enjoy your whole-grain pasta, and reach for the dark chocolate that’s been calling to you!  (within moderation, of course).  See this handy infographic for some of the health benefits of these 12 delicious, antioxidant-rich foods.


Did you know that drinking water in the morning can boost your metabolism and help fight infection?  For more health information or useful tips, visit our Resources blog on TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.

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