Every caregiver needs a break from time to time. Options for respite care range from informal agreements with friends and neighbors to formal contracts for services with an agency or onsite at a facility. Here are 8 ways to get occasional or regular backup help for a few hours, a few days, or longer.
Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – in which there is deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. Consciousness is not affected. The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour, or motivation.
We are getting older, and the aging of society affects our social structures, including our workplaces. This is particularly evident in the intersection of family caregiving and engagement in the workforce. The implications of caregiving on employment, and vice versa, are enormous. But if we face the facts, we have an opportunity to frame the future.
National Certification Board for Aging and Alzheimer Care (NCBAC) confers certifications to students who are employees of the southern New Jersey facility. Each of the certificants successfully completed a standardized, proctored exam to earn the credential of CAC(tm) or Certified Alzheimer Caregiver.
“This year will be different,” author and mom of four Alexandra Kuykendall inevitably tells herself every year as she pulls out her Christmas decorations. This year she won’t be tired or stressed. This year she won’t be ready for the holidays to be over.
And this year it is different, because she’s vowed to focus on loving her actual Christmas, to be present in her life as it really is. Which she documents in her new book aptly titled, Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season.
There’s a happy-making little film on YouTube of a man dancing by himself at a music festival. Some people sitting on the grass nearby look on, curious and amused. Most ignore him or don’t notice him; their backs are turned and their attention elsewhere. Then after a minute or so, another person gets up and joins in, grinning and a bit self-conscious, but with him nevertheless. Now there are two people dancing. Another stands up, hesitates and then starts to dance. Now there are three: three makes it a group. There are four, five, 10, more and more. Too many to count.And soon a whole field of people is dancing. It’s become a movement. The people who started it don’t matter any more.
As a clinical social worker and care coordinator at Montefiore Health System's Center for the Aging Brain, I've learned that older adults face similar barriers when it comes to navigating health care. Many predict that by the year 2030, the amount of older American's will double and account for a significant amount of our population. As this population continues to grow, it's important that caregivers are aware of some common issues faced by older adults to ensure their loved ones receive the best care. Here are things to consider when planning for care.
Because they both affect the memory, it can be hard to differentiate between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what you need to know to be able to distinguish the two:
What are dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms that impact everyday life, like impaired memory and thinking. Rather than a standalone disease, it is a way to explain symptoms someone is experiencing.
Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia. Nearly 60-70 percent of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s, making it the most common form of dementia.
The national narrative on family caregiving has been largely negative. Not a week goes by without the publication of a new caregiver memoir about how trying it was to care for a parent with dementia. Not a month elapses without some news item of a caregiver killing his care recipient and then himself somewhere in America. The websites of caregiver advocacy groups add to this negative impression with a steady stream of reports about the effects of caregiver stress among different cultural groups struggling with various kinds of arduous caregiving. It is enough to discourage any family member from taking up the caregiving cudgel or, at the least, to approach it with fear and dread.
Six years ago, at age 49, Julie Gregory paid an online service to sequence her genes, hoping to turn up clues about her poor circulation, blood-sugar swings and general ill health. Instead she learned she had a time bomb hidden in her DNA: two copies of a gene variant, ApoE4, that is strongly linked to Alzheimer’s. Most Americans with this genotype go on to develop late-onset dementia.
In most U.S. medical schools, lessons about death naturally focus on the care of the dying patient. But there is another group of people to whom health professionals need to learn to attend: the dying patient’s family and friends. In nearly every case, mortality’s collateral damage reaches more widely and endures longer than the patient’s travails, which cease at the moment of death.
Alzheimer's disease affects newly learned information or recent memories first. Memories of the more distant past -- including arcane details such as names and places -- may endure for some time. The majority of longer-held memories don't typically erode noticeably until the middle stage of the disease. That's why someone recently diagnosed can often recall things in the past quite well.