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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It’s the Simple Things: 10 Family Activities for Those Facing Alzheimer’s

There are many ways to engage and socialize with loved ones battling Alzheimer’s and dementia. Check out 10 fun and simple activities that could have a great impact on the health and happiness of your loved ones.
  1. Read aloud. Read a favorite book aloud and talk about parts you like.
  2. String beads. Crafting can be very relaxing, especially with just a few steps in the process.
  3. Bake cookies. From mixing ingredients and eating the dough to waiting for the delicious result, this can be a great family bonding time.
  4. Scrapbook. Going through old and recent photographs is a really great way to bring up conversation and use a little creativity by collaging.
  5. Plant seeds for indoor or outdoor plants. Planting seeds in small pots to be placed around the house, or at the doorstep is an easy activity that shows progress week after week.
  6. Fold laundry. This is a simple task that can be a great sense of accomplishment during the day.
  7. Play with a pup. Animals are a great way to bring some fun cuddles into the day. Having a friend visit with their adorable dog is a great way to share in experiences.
  8. Have a picnic. You don’t have to go far, just take lunch outside. Enjoy the beautiful day with a little music and split a sandwich.
  9. Write a letter to a friend or family member. This can be a great way to talk about memories and future plans your loved one has with friends and family members.
  10. Feed the ducks. Take any chance to get out of the house and see something new or familiar. A loaf of bread and an afternoon at the park is a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
For more information about Alzheimer’s and dementia and how you can help empower those living with these disorders, please visit us here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Columbus Walk to End Alzheimer's - This Saturday!

Walk to End Alzheimer’s (or run a 5K) this Saturday, September 20 at Huntington Park! Join us and Columbus in the fight against this devastating disease by registering yourself, family and friends to walk or join in the Ohio Health 5K.

If you’re uncertain about walking or running, you can still get involved by volunteering at the walk! Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, registration, water stops, promise garden, the T-shirt tent and so much more. Visit our Volunteers Page for more information!

Event Information
Columbus Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Date: September 20, 2014
Location: Huntington Park 330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus, OH 43215
Time of Events:
  • 5K Run: Arrive at 7 AM; run begins 8 AM
  • Ceremony: 9 AM
  • Walk: Arrive at 8 AM; walk begins at 9:15 AM

A special thank-you to Barbasol and Pure Silk for sponsoring the
Walk to End Alzheimer's!
BarbasolPure Silk