November 2019 Newsletter

Holidays Are The Time To Check Up On Aging Parent

Hands

When families live at a distance, the holidays can be the only time to assess how an aging parent or relative is doing. It is useful to use the time together to evaluate possible changes in health and safety. When visiting here are 6 areas of change to pay attention to:

  1. Change in weight
  2. Change in emotional state
  3. Change in cognitive functioning    
  4. Change in energy level
  5. Change in mobility and gait
  6. Change in hygiene
  7. Change in home environment

Indicators that there is a change in cognitive functioning can be found in the person or the environment.

Signs of changes in the person include:

  • Decline in retaining new information
  • Repeated questions
  • Searching for familiar items such as wallet, keys, hearing aids
  • Challenges with planning
  • Withdrawal during social activities

http://www.alz.org/10-signs-sy...

Signs of changes in the environment include:

  • Is a parent or relative who has been very neat, organized and independent no longer so?
  • Is there clutter in their living space?
  • Are items laying around or misplaced?
  • Is there spoiled food in the refrigerator?
  • Dirty dishes?
  • Burnt pots & pans?
  • Foul odors?
  • Significant items out of order or in need of repair?
  • Check prescription bottles- count the # of pills and the correspondence to the refill date?
  • Are there unpaid bills?

If your parent or relative is driving, check the vehicle both inside and out. Is there a change in the condition? Go for a ride as a passenger to assess their driving skills as a safe and competent driver.

Once information has been gathered, the next step is communicating your concerns to your parent or relative. It is important to be available for their input and together discuss ideas to improve the situation. The appropriate time and place for the conversation and conveying your concerns in a non- threatening manner are critical to a successful outcome.

I am here to help. If you need suggestions on techniques and ways to work on a plan together, to handle possible resistance or to connect you with resources, contact me at: http://www.viviangreenkorner.c...


Dementia Care Specialist to the Rescue

Hands

As older adults are living longer, there is a greater likelihood that they will develop a form of Alzheimer’s dementia. The biggest risk factor for developing a form of dementia is aging.  In fact, 20% of 60 year olds have dementia and that rises to 45% by age 85. https://www.alz.org/facts/

This disease requires the need to have others involved to monitor and to assure the individual’s health, safety and involvement in activities.  Family and friends who live close by or long distance may offer assistance, but with the best intentions there is a tipping point when this is no longer effective.

You know when you have reached a tipping point if the following has occurred:

  • There is a lack of the necessary understanding or skills to meet the dementia care needs
  • Care needs have increased in frequency and demand
  • There is a lack of time available to meet caregiving responsibilities
  • There is a lack of information and support from family members to make needed decisions
  • An increase in exhaustion and stress that prevents meeting the challenges of an individual with Alzheimer’s dementia

Should I Hire A Dementia Specialist?

Once any of the above mentioned occurs, it is time to hire a dementia specialist as a professional advisor who is trained to:

  • Assess the needs of the individual with Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Develop an individualized care plan based upon specific strategies enabling caregivers to render effective compassionate care
  • Educate the caregiver on effective practices of dementia care at all stages of dementia
  • Help with decisions making
  • Assist with short and long range planning
  • Monitor and supervise care
  • Connect caregivers with programs, services and network of professionals

It is common for families not to know what to do, what the available options are, and what resources are available.  As a dementia care specialist, I offer tips and strategies to engage individuals with Alzheimer’s Dementia. I help caregivers identify triggers that can cause agitation and offer solutions to combat resistance to care. My first hand knowledge of  resources in the area such as day care, home care services; respite care and memory care facilities saves families time and effort. I am committed to helping families find solutions.

When you need my services contact me at: http://www.viviangreenkorner.c...


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