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Caregiver Blog

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Thanksgiving Tips 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012  by jhblogger

Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and friends, to share laughs, memories, and celebrate. The holidays can also be a time of sadness, stress, and disappointment. It is important as a caregiver to prepare for holidays, such as Thanksgiving, to have a happy and successful occassion.

Here are some tips for caregivers as we approach the holiday season:

- Have a meeting or phone conference with family or friends to discuss plans. This is a time to speak about your caregiving and discuss what you are reasonably able to do and not. Not all traditions can be upheld when you are a caregiver; traditions may need to be modified. Loved ones from out of town may not be aware of the changes in the loved one you are caring for you. You can help educate them ahead of time about what they may expect.

-Involve the person you are caring for. It is important for them to feel a part of the traditions and feel as though they are contributing to the preparation. They could assist with decorating, setting the table, and preparing the meal (i.e. peeling carrots).You may need to modify these tasks; giving simple instructions, and making sure the tasks are safe for the person.

-Maintain your daily routine as much as possible. The holidays can be a time of confusion and can be overwhelming for your loved one and you. You may need to limit the commitments you take on or minimize the time you spend out of the house at a meal or party with the person you are caring for.

The holidays should be a time to celebrate and enjoy the company of loved ones. Make this holiday easier on yourself by planning ahead and setting boundaries on what you are realistically able to do while caregiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month 

Saturday, November 17, 2012  by jhblogger

Since 1983, November has become National Alzheimer’s Disease month. According the Alzheimer’s Association, every 69 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. Therefore promoting awareness and educating individuals about the disease is crucial for early detection. Here are the ten early warning signs of Alzheimer’s:
•Memory loss that disrupts daily life
•Difficulty in planning and problem solving
•Difficulty completing familiar home, work or leisure tasks
•Confusion with time or place
•Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
•New problems with words in speaking or writing
•Misplacing everyday items and unable to retrace their steps
•Decreased or poor judgment
•Withdrawal from everyday activities, including work or social
•Changes in mood and personality

Diagnosis can only be made by a healthcare providers with a thorough medical evaluation including: medical history, mental status exam, physical and neurological testing as well as other diagnostic imaging and blood tests. If you are caring for a loved one you believe to have Alzheimer’s and don’t know where to begin, please call Jerome Home and Arbor Rose at 860-229-3707 or visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at www.alz.org for more information.

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Medicare Enrollment 

Monday, November 5, 2012  by jhblogger

Every year new prescription drug and health plan choices are available to individuals with Medicare. Now through December 7th is the time for open enrollment when current or newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries can review their current health and prescription plans and compare options for coverage. Open enrollment is  also the time to find out about lower prescription costs and new benefits that may be available.

 

Choosing the right plan or changing your plan can be difficult and confusing. If you are interested in changing your plan or helping a loved one compare plans you may go to Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). The website or customer service representatives by telephone will help you compare costs and coverage that will best suit you or your loved ones needs. One to one help is also available through CHOICES (Connecticut program for Health insurance assistance, Outreach, Information and referral, Counseling, Eligibility Screening) at 1-800-994-9422. CHOICES counselors are located throughout the state and are available for individual appointments. Both resources will help you in making the best decision for coverage in 2013.

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Caring for a Recently Diagnosed Loved One with Dementia 

Sunday, October 28, 2012  by jhblogger

hen your loved one is recently diagnosed with Dementia, so many questions circle around. What is dementia? What do I do to care for them? How can I help them? One of the best ways to care for your loved one is to better understand their disease. This allows the caregiver to focus their care for that person in their daily activities.

The Alzheimer’s Association defines dementia as a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. The cause of dementia is due to physical changes in the brain. There are many different types of dementia. The most common is Alzheimer’s Disease, which accounts for approximately 60-80% of all cases. Other forms of Dementia include:
• Vascular Dementia, caused by decreased oxygen to the brain or a stroke
• Lewy Body
• Mixed Dementia
• Parkinson’s disease
• Frontotemporal dementia
• Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
• Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
• Huntington’s Disease
• Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

By understanding the type of Dementia, one can better care for their loved one. For more information about the different types of Dementia, please visit http://www.alz.org/dementia/types-of-dementia.asp. Jerome Home and Arbor Rose can offer more information on caring for a loved one, please call the Senior Resource Coordinator at 860-229-3707.

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September is World Alzheimer’s Month 

Monday, September 24, 2012  by jhblogger

Those affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as well as, their caregivers are not alone. Worldwide 35 million people and their families are affected by dementia.  

 

Here are some tips to take action and become more involved:

 

  • Speak up for the rights and needs of those facing Alzheimer’s
  • Get involved by joining a support group
  • Get tips on managing daily life with the disease, updates on treatments, care and research
  • Help organize events or fundraisers for the cause
  • Call the Alzheimer’s Association helpline open 24/7 at 1-800-272-3900 for information

You can also join caregivers and those affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia to raise funds and awareness on October 14th, 2012, 9:00 a.m. at Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 

 

Visit the Alzheimer’s Association Website at www.alz.org for more information and to join the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

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