Thursday, January 15, 2015

3 Great Resolutions for Caregivers

Alzheimer’s Disease is incredibly difficult for those battling this disease, but it’s all too easy to forget about the heroic amounts of stress and anxiety that accompany the caregivers as well. So, caregivers out there, this blog post is for you!

We invite you to join us, and thousands of others, in resolving to make 2015 the year to take a stand against Alzheimer’s disease. What do you say? Are you up for making the most of this life and leaving a legacy generations after you will remember?

This is the year we say “Enough!” Ready? Let’s go!
1. I resolve to ... sign the pledge to support the fight to end Alzheimer's. By signing this pledge, you are making a statement to Congress. You are saying, we won’t stand for this and neither should you. This is the important first step in making a lasting difference for yourself, for your loved one, and for others.

2. I resolve to ... find an outlet for myself. As Eleanor Brownn, Speaker and Healthy Lifestyle Consultant, said, “You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” It is far from selfish to take some time for yourself. Whether that means making lunch plans with a friend once a week, finding a support group, or picking up an old favorite hobby, it’s important to remember that life is meant to be lived and full of love.

3. I resolve to ... find one Alzheimer’s Association sponsored event and attend. When you attend an event, you become a champion for all of those living with Alzheimer’s disease as well as people like you, their caregivers. There are so many ways to move the cause forward. Choose one and dig in!


Are you inspired yet? This is OUR year. It may have started with Alzheimer's, but it ends with us!

Monday, January 5, 2015

3 Tips this January

Now that the holidays are over, life may begin to feel a little calmer. That’s not to say, however, that it will remain that way. Just as Alzheimer’s Disease continues to change as it progresses, so does one’s role as caregiver. Even if you’re not the primary caregiver for your loved one battling this disease, your relationship with Alzheimer’s is bound to continue shifting as well.

Here are three tips to help prepare you for whatever stage you’re experiencing right now or transitioning into:
1. Early-Stage Caregiving: In the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, you are more likely to fall into the role of “care partner” rather than that of “caregiver”. Remember that your loved one will primarily need love, support, and friendship at this point. Tap into the person's strengths and encourage him or her to continue living as independently as possible.

2. Middle-Stage Caregiving: As a caregiver to someone in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, you will need to educate yourself on what to expect in the coming months. Perhaps most importantly, develop some strategies to help you to cope in the particularly trying moments. For instance, you might consider joining a support group.

3. Late-Stage Caregiving: It is important to realize that, as the disease advances, intensive, around-the-clock care is usually required. Focus on preserving your loved one’s quality of life. This might mean playing his or her favorite music, looking at old photos, or preparing his or her favorite foods.

Although a person in the late stage of Alzheimer's typically loses the ability to talk and express needs, research tells us that some core of the person's self may remain. Remember that, as a caregiver, you are not alone. There is a strong community of people just like you ready to reach out and help!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Avoid Stress and Overstimulation Over the Holidays

The holidays are a time to be joyful! For many, they mean seeing family and friends that have traveled near and far to spend this special time together. There’s always something delicious cooking in the kitchen, large groups of people gather around the fire to reminisce about fond memories, and the laughter often doesn’t die down until late into the night.


But, for those living with Alzheimer’s, the holidays can mean increased feelings of agitation, a great deal of unease – and even prompt wandering. Here are a few ways you can quell the feelings of stress in your loved one this year:

1. Stay Well Rested: "Sundowning" is a state of increased agitation occurring late in the day through the evening hours. Research now indicates that being overly tired may have more to do with “sundowning” than previously thought. If a nap is out of the question for your loved one, try to encourage some quiet time away from the TV and other sources of stimulation.

2. Plan Wisely: Those with Alzheimer’s are generally better able to tolerate outings and events earlier in the day. Manage expectations with your family and friends so that they know when to expect you and what to expect. Try coordinating a quiet breakfast or brunch in the morning rather than a busy dinner in the evening.

3. Calm in the Face of the Storm: If an episode begins to come on, try guiding your loved one away from that particular source of stimulation. A quiet space where they can feel comfortable may be all they need when the world around them seems so loud.

Alzheimer’s Disease is unpredictable, but if you can prepare for unexpected episodes and look for the sources of stimulation that might trigger one, we can focus on what the holidays were meant to be about. Enjoying and relishing the company of those we love.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November is National Family Caregivers Month

All caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s – both women and men – face a devastating toll.

Alzheimer’s disease affects men and women equally and knows no social or economic boundaries. Today, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65.

It is estimated that there are 15.5 million caregivers caring for someone with Alzheimer’s across the nation. Caregiving is a costly job – financially, physically and emotionally. Alzheimer’s disease costs American society approximately $214 billion annually - taking into account everything from lost employee productivity to increased healthcare costs. More than 3 in 5 unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers are women; among women caregivers who also work, 20 percent have gone from working full-time to part-time because of their caregiving duties.

As the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease grows, so will the needs of caregivers. Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional healthcare costs of their own in 2013. Moreover, unlike most diseases, the financial and emotional impact of Alzheimer’s on the caregiver is nearly equal to that of the affected person, thus increasing its overall societal threat. 

To honor the many caregivers who may or may not receive thanks for their hard work, dedication, and love, November is National Family Caregivers Month.

During National Family Caregivers Month, contact your legislator and share what caregiving means to you. Urge them to place Alzheimer’s disease at the top of their health public policy agenda by advocating for adequate funding for care and support. For more on what you can do as an advocate, visit the Ohio Council of the Alzheimer's Association.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paint the Night Purple for Alzheimer’s Awareness!

Join us on November 7th for the Central Ohio Alzheimer’s Association’s Annual Gala as we Paint the Night Purple to raise funds for the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Check out what this year’s Gala has to offer:
  • Cocktails, hor d’oeuvres and a lavish dinner buffet
  • Dessert buffet and coffee bar
  • Special 2014 Ralph and Billie Hazelbaker Award Recipient Joanie Johnson
  • Live Auction Trips and Glitz:
    • Hilton Head Sea Pine vacation home
    • Summer fun at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah
    • Experience Cape Cod
    • Gorgeous 14ct white gold necklace with a 10ct oval shaped smokey quarts rimmed in diamonds.
    • Treasure-filled Silent Auction
Purple is the new black this year, so wear your favorite Alzheimer's gear! Call to reserve your tickets today at (614) 457-6003! Click for more information, or contact Suzy Rudolph at srudolph@alz.org.