Frequently asked questions about Alzheimer's disease:

 

1. My mom (or dad) has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. What do I need to know right now?

 

2. How long do people with Alzheimer's disease live after developing the disease?

 

3. What exactly is dementia and Alzheimers disease?

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Alzheimer's Association link:

www.alz.org

 

 

Caregiver Alliance:

caregiver.org

 

 

Caregiving

101:

caregiver help

 

 

Caregiver Stress:

Stress Tips

 

 

Tip of the Day

A big problem for the family caregiver (and the professional caregiver) can be dealing with family members of the Alzheimer’s patient who are not involved on a regular basis with the patient. Many of these family members really have no clue what the day-to-day caregiving routine is like. They may even make some comments like “oh, things aren’t so bad, are they?” or “she seems like there is nothing wrong with her today”. This can become a source of great frustration for the primary caregiver. The key here is to try and rise above it. Know that you are doing what you can to be a good caregiver and that others often can’t handle the reality of it all. This takes a great deal of patience and wisdom for many to not get angry in these situations. Just know there are thousands and thousands of others doing what you are, and share your situation. Seek out strength by perhaps joining a local caregiver support group or find an online message board to exchange ideas. A few good ones are http://boards.webmd.com/webx?14@@.599cedaa and http://alzheimers.infopop.cc/eve

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Recent Tips 

 

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Altering routines for your Alzheimer’s patient may aggravate confusion and behavioral problems. But, there is a fine balance that can be achieved here. While you want to keep general routines the same, you should try to alter small elements as to add variety to normal everyday events.

 

Mealtime is often the best time to create some variety in the routine by preparing and presenting a variety of foods. Small changes will also make the job of caregiving more functional and productive. It is vitally important to keep yourself (the caregiver) aware of the perils of caregiver burnout. Caregivers often report a much higher rate of illness compared to the general population.

 

There are many techniques and practices the caregiver can undertake to ensure they stay as healthy as possible during their time as a caregiver. Check back at this site often, as there will be several tips each month related to caregiver stress.

 

 

 

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As alternative medicine gains more popularity among the general public, and even now is getting consideration within some circles of the medical community, alternative Alzheimer’s treatments are also being considered.

 

One treatment that some claim has had tremendous benefits has been the use of cinnamon. There are no long-term clinical studies that have shown any benefits, but many claim the use of cinnamon in relatively small doses on a daily basis has improved the condition of their Alzheimer’s patient dramatically. Reversing the effects of the disease by 12-24 months. Cinnamon has also been linked as a help with diabetes and as an anti-viral. But, warnings have also been issued that high doses of cinnamon can be toxic.

 

As with any potential remedy, you should research the internet and the reference section of your local library to come to your own conclusion as to whether to attempt any “self medication” for your Alzheimer’s patient. But, with the resources and information available to the general public these days, it most assuredly is worth the time and effort to research potential alternative courses of treatment.

 

 

 

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When one or more family members are in denial about a loved ones Alzheimer’s disease, it is very important for other family members or outside counsel to get involved. The longer there is denial, the more difficult it will be for all involved. Most communities have counseling resource referral services. Contacting your local Council of Aging should guide you in the right direction. Also, your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association usually has support groups that meet on a regular basis in most communities. These groups can be a wonderful resource for anyone struggling with acceptance of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. 

 

 

 

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People have been mispronouncing and misspelling the word Alzheimer’s for decades. Even those who work with Alzheimer’s patients and clients on a daily basis will say it or spell in wrong. Let’s face it, it’s not a common or easy word to say or spell. I have noticed though that many are hurt when they feel someone (who they feel should know the word) say it incorrectly. This sounds like a trivial matter, but it can be a source of deep frustration and hurt for some. So, as a caregiver you should take some time to learn the proper pronunciation.

 

The biggest mispronunciation and spelling is Altimers. Or using the name without the possessive S ( Alzheimer ). Also, some still call it Old Timers disease. This may be a funny play on words to some, but to many families struggling with a loved one having the disease, there is nothing funny about it. Even some physicians make light of the name and pronunciation. Some physicians even fail in their interaction with the Alzheimer’s patient (with the mind-set that the patient won’t know the difference). But more studies show that many with the disease (while unable to communicate as they once did) know when they are being ignored or dismissed. The tip today is the Alzheimer’s patient should always be treated with respect. NEVER treat the Alzheimer’s patient like a child.

 

 

 

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Most caregivers often ignore the signs of stress and burnout. When you are even mildly run down you need to take certain steps to avoid a major melt down. Of course the basics are providing yourself with proper nutrition and exercise. Beyond the basics you can incorporate a few simple things into your daily routine to help with caregiver stress. There is one technique that may sound silly but is often very effective. In decades past it was known as scream therapy. The easiest place to use this treatment is in the car when driving alone. Just start screaming for short intervals. Release as much frustration, pain, and overall tension you can through the scream. You may feel silly doing it, but it really can help.

 

 

 

 

 

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Recent studies have confirmed that looking at art (paintings and sculpture) is very effective at relieving stress. Now, we don’t all have a museum at close distance to dash off to on a daily basis. Luckily, the studies revealed that even art photos in a book help with stress levels. Bottom line is it sure seems like it is worth a try for any caregiver. Being a caregiver is among the most stressful activities in our society, so finding stress relief pursuits should always be a top priority for every caregiver. 

 

 

 

Alzheimer tip of the day archive:

-January 1st - 15th

 - January 16th -31st

- February 1st - 15th

- February 16th-29th

- March 1st - 15th

- March 16th - 31st

- April 1st - 15th

-April 16th - 30th

- May 1st - 15th

- May 16th -31st

- June 1st - 15th

- June 16th-30th

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- December 16th-31st

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