Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Get moving to slow down Alzheimer's

While we still may not have found a way to stop Alzheimer's disease, we have found a way to prevent it ... even to slow it down. So, what is this magical cure? It isn’t a pill. It isn’t an elixir. It’s the human body.

The findings of one study published by the Cleveland Clinic reported that even moderate amounts of physical activity can help to slow the progression of Alzheimer's.

Here are a few highlights worth considering:

Researchers found that elderly people with the gene associated with Alzheimer's disease who exercised regularly had significantly more brain activity during cognitive tests than people with the same gene who did not exercise. This suggests that the exercisers’ brains were functioning better.

The brains of physically active volunteers at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease looked just like the brains of people at much lower risk for the disease. Exercise appeared to have been protective.

Many of us do not carry the gene associated with Alzheimer's, but everyone has some chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. And if exercise reduces that risk in any way, then why not get up and move?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let's celebrate National Blueberry Month!

July is the time when everything great about summer comes together to make one long, beautiful month. Bring child-like energy and life back to these lazy summer days with a few simple adjustments.

Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month? It's true! This superfruit is one that people everywhere should take notice to. New research has shown that it might even help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's! When we heard that, we were inspired to share with you:

Tweet: 3 #superfoods U need 2 incorporate into UR summer diet today…4 a #healthy, Alzheimer’s-free tomorrow! 3 #superfoods U need 2 incorporate into UR summer diet today…4 a #healthy, Alzheimer’s-free tomorrow!

1. Blueberries Researchers from the National Institute at Tufts University in Boston treated rats to bring on the affects of Alzheimer’s disease, and then fed a group of them a diet supplemented with blueberry extract for eight weeks. Compared to those rats fed a normal diet, the rats that ate blueberries lost fewer brain cells and were able to find their way around a maze more easily. You may not be a rat, but you can learn from one! Blueberries are sweetest in July. Let’s eat!

2. Dark Leafy Greens Deficiency of certain B vitamins, particularly folate, can make it difficult to perform some cognitive tasks. New evidence shows that even slightly low levels can have a similar effect because folate, along with vitamins B6 and B12, helps to keep homocysteine levels in check, an amino acid that impairs brain function and can increase a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease. Find folate in such healthy foods as kale, collards, swiss chard, and spinach.

3. Strawberries Strawberries are in season! Slice them! Toss them in a salad! Dust them with sugar! Whatever you do, eat them! In a study conducted by researchers at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, people who consumed the most vitamin E from foods like strawberries had a risk of Alzheimer's that was a whopping 67 percent lower than that of people who consumed the least. Pick up a bushel today!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Three tips to help this July

To us, caregivers make the world go 'round. They're brave, kind, generous, and never seem to ask for anything in return. Well, July is your month to take care of yourself. And this blog post is all about you!

Here are three simple ways to take care of yourself this summer. Take a breath, relax, and just focus on yourself for a moment!

1. Be able to recognize the signs of caregiver stress. Once you do, we'll arm you with the right strategies for getting rid of it fast.
• Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
• Feeling tired most of the time
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Gaining or losing a lot of weight
• Becoming easily irritated or angry
• Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
• Feeling sad
• Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems
• Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications

2. Accept help. Be prepared with a list of ways that others can help you, and let the helper choose what he or she would like to do.

3. Set personal health goals. For example, set a goal to establish a good sleep routine or to find time to be physically active on most days of the week. It’ll do wonders!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Get ready for Blondes vs. Brunettes!

It's the age-old rivalry ... You know the one. Blondes versus brunettes. Do blondes have more fun? Are brunettes really more dependable? This year, we put it to an end!

In an epic battle, the Alzheimer Association's Blondes VS Brunettes will meet at St. Francis Desales High School on June 27. Each year, they come together to fight for yards, glory, flags and, most of all, a cure!

Don't miss Columbus' most prominent young leaders as they play to raise money and awareness in support of the programs and services of the Alzheimer's Association, Central Ohio Chapter. See you there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Get your team together for The Longest Day!

The Longest Day is just 11 days away and on June 21, we're going to celebrate in a BIG way!

We're inviting ALZ advocates like you from all over Central Ohio to work from sunrise to sunset, honoring the strength, heart and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s disease. It's the perfect way to celebrate the summer solstice, have fun with family and friends and advocate for the end of Alzheimer's!

Tweet: Not sure how to get started on #TheLongestDay? Here’s a simple list to get the ball rolling #EndALZ #TLD Not sure how to get started on #TheLongestDay? Here’s a simple list to get the ball rolling #EndALZ #TLD

1. Start a team or join a team! Easy-peezy!

2. Choose your activity! Your team will work together from sunrise to sunset, so start planning your day and check out these activities for inspiration!

3. Raise some funds! It can be easy. Here are a few ideas!

4. Enjoy yourself! The more fun you have, the brighter your light will shine and the farther our mission will be spread!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Get involved for Brain Awareness Month

Welcome to June! While you're basking in the sunshine and feeling the grass between your toes, we're cooking up something brilliant! We’ve moved our awareness month from September to June and now Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month (ABAM) can be celebrated during some of the happiest days of the year.

Among all of those neighborhood block parties, family BBQ's, and days spent poolside ... squeeze the most you can out of the summer by remembering those who cannot speak up for themselves.

Tweet: This #Alzheimers & Brain Awareness Month there are 3 BIG things you can do to show your #support #EndALZ This #Alzheimers & Brain Awareness Month there are 3 BIG things you can do to show your #support #EndALZ

Go Casual for a Cause at your office or school. In exchange for a small donation, encourage colleagues and friends to dress down and wear "The End of Alzheimer's Starts with Me" stickers. Order your free stickers here!

Help us reclaim the future for millions. Start a team. Join a team. Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Create a team for The Longest Day, on June 21. Honor a person affected by Alzheimer's with dawn to dusk fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Longest Day: Best Ideas for a Great Day

The Longest Day, on June 21st, enlists teams from all over Central Ohio to work from sunrise to sunset, honoring the strength, heart, and endurance of those facing Alzheimer's disease. It's the perfect way to celebrate the summer solstice, have fun with family and friends, and advocate for the end of Alzheimer’s! There are a few things you might be curious about before you decide to get onboard and we're here to clear up any questions you might have! And once you get started, we're here to inspire you!

Here are a few of our best ideas on how you can spend The Longest Day in style:

1. Father's Day Cookout: Grab a few of your neighborhood friends and host a Father’s Day Cookout, complete with BBQ, outdoor games, and plenty of sunshine! Invite family and friends to come and go as they please … But we’re guessing they’ll want to stay for the fun! You can also host competitive challenges to help fundraise to move the Alzheimer’s mission forward.

2. Artist's Retreat: For those of us with creativity running through our veins, try grabbing some friends for a all-day painting or sculpting extravaganza. The inspiration will be like electricity in the air!

3. Jam It Out: Host The Longest Day jam session by inviting local musicians to play at an outdoor venue that the whole community can enjoy. Ahhh! Music to our ears!

It's up to you! Let your creativity and passion take over, but tart planning now! The Longest Day is almost here!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Forget Me Not Days: May 16 and 17

It's true what they say! April showers bring May flowers ... But this May, your generosity brings those pretty little petals we call "Forget-Me-Not's". As we enter into the hottest months of summer, we're hoping to plant a few seeds of our own!

Look for volunteers sprouting up on your local street corners. They're collecting donations to help fight Alzheimer's disease during Bankers Life and Casualty Company's Forget Me Not Days. And as thanks for your donation, you'll receive Forget-Me-Not flower seeds to plant in honor of the more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer's.

Don't have a green thumb? Plant a virtual Forget-Me-Not!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Central Ohio Alzheimer’s Association Rallies for the End of Alzheimer’s Disease on The Longest Day

This Solstice Marks the Beginning of Summer and the End of Alzheimer's

The Central Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and supporters across Ohio will participate in a nationwide event on June 21 to advocate for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease as well as their families and caregivers. This event is called The Longest Day and is a team event to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association. Held annually on the summer solstice, the duration of this sunrise-to-sunset event symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers. Participants are encouraged to create their own experience by spending the day with like-minded individuals participating in one favorite activity of a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

On June 21, from sunrise to sunset, teams throughout the nation will participate in the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day in order to advocate for the end of Alzheimer’s disease. By simply gathering a group of friends and family and choosing an activity that best allows them to honor those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, participants have the ability to start a movement in their own backyard. This grassroots advocacy is what helps to distinguish this unique event from others. In addition to participating in the event, each team is asked to fundraise money, which will go directly towards research, treatment, and supporting families in need. With coaching, tools, and resources, teams will be able to reach their fundraising goals and help to end Alzheimer’s by relying on a support network that stretches across the nation.

“The Longest Day is the perfect opportunity for Ohioans to advocate for the end of Alzheimer’s while educating their friends, families, and neighbors about the harrowing effects of this disease,” says Vince McGrail, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio. “The summer solstice, being the longest day of the year, allows those not directly impacted by the disease to better understand just what a challenging journey it is for those who are.”

The Alzheimer’s Association offers a variety of family and clinical support, education, advocacy and resources on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients and their families living throughout 14 counties in Central Ohio. They work closely with both patients and caregivers to maintain the highest quality of life for everyone involved. Today, with more than 5 million living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is the sixth leading cause of death. Events like The Longest Day are crucial to the organization’s success, advocating for the health and safety of the community and a world without Alzheimer’s disease. Join The Longest Day initiative by forming a team, fundraising, and advocating for the Alzheimer’s Association. Learn more about The Longest Day and register at

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stand Up and Help

This spring, find your voice. It’s the perfect time! Each day is an opportunity to wake up with hope, to take on each challenge with courage, and to remember to do small things with great love.

As you begin to spring clean the clutter from your closets, we challenge you to do one thing. Just one ... Are you on board? Yes?

We’re trusting you nodded in response to that last inquiry. Great! Here’s your challenge this spring: Clear the cobwebs and stereotypes about Alzheimer’s disease from your mind and watch the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2015 Facts and Figures video. It’s full of amazing statistics that just might inspire enough people to take a stand. Whether you choose to share it via Facebook or Twitter or by Pinning on Pinterest, know that this simple act could lead to something profound ... ultimately, the end of Alzheimer’s disease!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Celebrate Mother's Day with Us!

On May 10, we'll celebrate Mother's Day and, for those living with Alzheimer's, it can be a day filled to the brim with unspoken words and forgotten memories. In honor of all of our mother’s past and present who have suffered from this disease, we invite you to #remember.

Share with us on Facebook what makes your mother so special! Whether through a sweet photo or a little anecdote, just tag your post with #remember and our community will soon swell the love that Alzheimer’s disease could never diminish. And don’t forget to check out our special memory app!

This Mother's Day do a little big thing ... And become and advocate. We're fiercely loyal to this cause and we hope you are too! See you on May 10!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Come Check Out First Fridays!

If you’re a warrior in this fight to #EndALZ, you’ll want to attend our First Friday lecture today. If you’re a pure foodie, you’ll need to.

Join us today from 11:30 AM to 1 PM at the Worthington United Methodist Church for some culinary comfort food! Former Executive Chef and Vitas Hospice Volunteer George Mrus will be there to give us the low down on top nutrition! Learn more about George Mrus and get involved!

It’s a true gift to have so many resources at our fingertips. Take advantage of this First Friday and feed your mind and your appetite! Don’t forget to share our First Friday calendar with someone you love. We’re sure they’ll be just as excited about it as we are!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Longest Day: How To Get Started

The Longest Day is on June 21st! Are you ready to celebrate the summer solstice in the best way we know how? On the longest day of the year, you can advocate for a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

Whether you choose to host a sunrise to sunset party, play golf, or read amongst fellow book lovers, there’s an endless list of activities you can do! Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Register! Start a team or join a team and make June 21 a day you’ll share with your friends for years to come!

Step 2: Plan! What would you LOVE to do from sunrise to sunset? Gather friends and family for a brainstorming session. Honor the strength, heart, and endurance of those facing this devastating disease by doing something you’re passionate about!

Step 3: Fundraise! Every team is asked to register and raise a minimum of $1,600 to further the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Fundraise leading up to and on The Longest Day!

Step 4: Stay updated! Join us on Facebook for updates and lots of share-worthy posts that will have you hash tagging #EndALZ loud and proud!

Monday, April 20, 2015

3 Tips To Help This April

April brings with it so many opportunities to get out there and help move the cause forward. In our fight to #EndALZ, how will you choose to act this month?

1. Learn to love Fridays (even more!) First Fridays, that is. Have you marked your calendar for May 1? That's when our next First Friday series is happening ... and it's a session you won't want to miss! Can comfort food pack nutrition too? You bet! Join us for lunch with former executive chef George Mrus, bring your loved one along, and ... ah. Take a breath. Learn more here.

2. Experience The ... Longest ... Day. We're excited about celebrating The Longest Day this year with our entire Alzheimer's community! For caregivers, every day can be a very long day. Walk a day in their shoes, doing something you LOVE from sun up to sun down. You'll raise money along the way, gain a better understanding of Alzheimer's Disease and how it affects caregivers AND honor your loved ones! Check it out.

3. Celebrate National Volunteer Month! April brings spring showers, flowers, sunshine, fresh air ... and a whole lot of opportunities to make a difference by volunteering! It's National Volunteer Month, and we want YOU! We're always looking for passionate volunteers to help in so many ways. Want to learn more? We're waiting for your call!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Longest Day: 3 Things You Should Know

The Longest Day is a revolutionary event created by the Alzheimer’s Association. It puts this harrowing disease into perspective for those who have never been close enough to fully understand its effects. The elusive idea that perhaps the ones we love might lose their memory to Alzheimer’s disease is foreign and oftentimes difficult to wrap our minds around ... Even for those fighting in the trenches.

On June 21st, will your team work from sunrise to sunset, honoring the strength, heart, and endurance of those facing this devastating disease? Here are 3 things you should know:

1. Where do I start? Teams are encouraged to create their own experience as they fundraise and participate in an activity to honor someone who has faced or is facing the disease. From bowling to gardening to partying, there’s so much you can do!

2. Why June 21st? The summer solstice falls on June 21st, marking the first day of summer. It’s also the longest day of the year from sunrise to sunset. By joining us on The Longest Day, you honor those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers each and every day.

3. Where do the funds raised go? Each penny donated on The Longest Day gets put to good use. From face-to-face support to online education programs and promising worldwide research initiatives, the money you raise makes a difference in the lives of those facing Alzheimer’s as well as their families.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Get Ready for Memory Day

It's almost Memory Day, friends! This year on April 15th, passionate Ohioans like you will raise their voices to advocate for the end of Alzheimer’s disease. Will you contribute yours?

Isn’t it time that better programs and services for people with dementia be put into place? Isn’t it time that funding for sate-supported services increase? Isn’t it time that improvements in quality of care for those receiving long-term care services come to pass? Of course it is!

Your voice matters. You will have the opportunity on Memory Day to reach state elected officials and ask them to produce real policy change. Your involvement is part of a movement to change the way your government and the public addresses the Alzheimer’s epidemic … and it is an epidemic. RSVP today!

Can’t make it on April 15th? Learn how you can join the fight to #EndALZ!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Celebrate National Volunteer Month

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

National Volunteer Month this April is the perfect time to live well. It's a quick-paced, sometimes bumpy, and often times chaotic life that we lead. So when you have the urge to hide under a blanket at the end of the week and recuperate with a plate of comfort food, remembering these things can help you make someone's day a little brighter:

You are one-of-a-kind. Volunteering can give you a healthy boost of confidence. When you are doing good for others and the community, don’t you feel accomplished? Find something that inspires you to leave the world in better condition than when you came into it!

You have a beautiful spirit. Volunteering sheds light on the beauty in your own soul. Let your light shine and share with the world a spirit they’ll never forget!

You are strong. Volunteering is good for your health! Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants!

So, what do you say? Here's the perfect place to kick off National Volunteer Month with a bang!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Enjoy the Little Things

When Alzheimer's affects your loved one, it's much too easy to get trapped into a negative mindset and swept away in the drama of it all. There are ways, however, that you can combat the darkness that inevitably follows such a taxing disease. After all, spring is well on its way and there seems to be new life all around us! Try these tips to be happy ... NOW.

Start simply. A great rest tonight puts you exactly where you need to be to have a better tomorrow. So, tip #1 is, Go to bed at a decent hour. A consistent bedtime will rejuvenate your mind and body, preparing you for whatever lies ahead. Keep yourself healthy!

Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate. However, that's not to say that we don't need a shoulder to lean on now and then. Consider joining a support group where you can spend some time with people who understand your daily challenges and struggles because, well, they're struggling with them too.

Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters. Now that the weather is warming up, commit to spending some time outside. Whether you take a 10 minute walk around the block or work in the garden, you’ll give yourself a boost with each inhale of that sweet spring air.

Happiness lies in the little things. It's about enjoying each smile you get from your loved one. It's about appreciating your time spent with them. It's about finding the silver lining to each situation. So, are you ready?

It's time to commit to happiness.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Celebrate Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week, March 16-22, is here! To fully engage in this global campaign, we invite you to explore the brain with us. As an advocate educated in how Alzheimer’s affects the brain, you’ll have more power and your words will carry more weight. What do you say?

What do we know today?

Your brain is your most powerful organ, yet weighs only about three pounds. Alzheimer's disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. As the brain shrinks, all of its functions, from hearing words to problem solving, are stifled. Take a guided, interactive tour of the brain to learn more!

While scientists now know that Alzheimer’s is linked to progressive cell failure in the brain, the reason for this cell failure remains unclear. There have, however, been a number of risk factors identified, including age, family history, and genetics. Take a closer look here.

What is your role in all of this?

As an advocate, it is important to keep your brain healthy and active while educating your loved ones on how to do the same. Here’s just one way to do so: Stay mentally active. Mentally stimulating activities are shown to strengthen brain cells. Try a crossword puzzle every now and then!

The future of Alzheimer’s is in our hands and Brain Awareness Week is a great way to take advantage of that knowledge!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3 Tips To Help This March

Spring is coming! Regardless of what the weather may suggest, the first official day of spring is on March 20th. For those of us who started the countdown at the first sight of snowflakes, it has been a long winter.

Now it's on to some spring cleaning! When you’re de-cluttering your bookshelves and tossing out clothes that have been sitting at the back of your closet, consider getting back to the basics when it comes to your caregiving routine too! Here are a few tips that are important to remember no matter what stage of Alzheimer's you and your loved one may be experiencing:

1. Create a daily plan: Structured activities for those living with Alzheimer's can often reduce agitation. Consider your loved one's likes, dislikes, strengths, and abilities while taking into consideration how they used to structure their day! It's also crucial to get out and move. Spend some time with the sun on your face today!

2. Communication is key: While communication may become increasingly more difficult through the various stages of Alzheimer’s, there are ways you can help your loved one to express him or herself. AVOID arguing, criticizing or correcting, and distractions. DO focus on feelings and not facts, offer a guess as to what they’re trying to communicate, and offer comfort.

3. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition: Remember that, for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia, poor nutrition may increase behavioral symptoms and cause weight loss. Encourage fluids and offer a balanced diet.

Alzheimer's is a difficult disease that often times takes patience and experience to maneuver. Starting with a clean slate this spring will make for a strong start to the year!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shop Marshalls Take a Dollar Campaign!

For the third year in a row, Marshalls will be raising awareness and funds for the fight to end Alzheimer's. Shoppers who visit a store March 1 through March 14 can donate
$1, $5 or $10 to the Alzheimer's Association at checkout. We can’t think of a better time to shop!

Monday, February 23, 2015

African American History Month

February is African American History Month! From the beautiful mind of poet Zora Neale Hurston to the musical creativity of musician Miles Davis, there is an abundance to celebrate! That's why we want to raise awareness this month in particular.

Did you know that African Americans are at a greater risk for Alzheimer's disease? As a matter of fact, African Americans are two times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer's and are less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition. So, what have we done to work against this earth-shattering trend?

When we know the facts, we are better able to prevent this epidemic from spreading any further. Celebrate African American History Month by advocating for someone you love today!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is this February 14th! We love shamelessly celebrating love because we know that enjoying the company of a loved one is a luxury many take for granted.

That’s why we’re using this Valentine’s Day to show our gratitude (and love!) to those living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. What better way to celebrate than to say “thank you”? Thank you for the good moments, thank you for the irreplaceable memories, thank you for touching my life in so many ways, thank you for reminding me that love and friendship are unconditional.

You can show your gratitude through something as simple as a heartfelt hug or maybe by participating in an event to #EndALZ! How will you say ‘thank you’ this year? Share a memory of someone you love on our Facebook page!

Monday, February 2, 2015

3 Tips To Help This February

Those living with Alzheimer's do not have to stop living their lives as a result of this disease. Their once favorite activities can still bring just as much joy! With a little bit more conscientiousness in choosing how to keep your loved one engaged, you can enhance their quality of life while reducing the risk of agitation or wandering.

Here are 3 easy tips to keep in mind:

1. Choose wisely: In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, many patients tend to withdraw from the activities they once enjoyed. Choose activities that suit your loved one’s skills and abilities. Notice those that make him or her confused, anxious, joyful, or calmed.

2. Adjust: Depending upon which stage of Alzheimer's you loved one is in, you may need to adjust your chosen activities. For instance, more repetitive tasks tend to be more soothing for those in later stages. If you notice your loved one’s attention drifting, it might be time to end or modify the activity.

3. Encourage self-expression: Often times, those with Alzheimer’s can feel frustrated as a result of not being able to express themselves. Help to open up the lines of communication by allowing him or her to paint, draw, listen to music, or engage in conversation
Above all, find joy in everything you do! Living with Alzheimer’s, whether you are a patient or a caregiver, is a challenge. Learning how to enjoy even the simplest of pleasures is something we all should take advantage of.

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!