Manage the Mean Monday

📷 Part 4: Aggressive Behavior in Dementia Some people with Alzheimer’s or dementia may enter a combative stage of dementia. This is a normal part of the disease and can happen even if your older adult’s typical personality has been kind and non-violent throughout their lives. It’s caused by the damage that’s happening in their brain. Because they’re not able to clearly communicate their needs, people with dementia may lash out when they’re afraid, frustrated, angry, or in

Masks Save Lives

August 27, 2020 © Dmitry Kalinovsky @123rf Reminding others that “masks save lives” isn’t just sound advice. It’s a scientific fact that wearing one in public can help to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. I’m very careful to wear a mask outside my home whenever I’m out and about. I do it not necessarily to protect myself, but to protect others. If by chance I’ve been exposed to the virus and am currentl

Manage the Mean Monday

Part 3: Ways to Reduce & Manage Mean Behavior 1. Calm the situation down The first thing to do is reduce the tension in the room. Start by limiting the distractions in the room, like turning off the TV or asking others to leave. And if you stay calm, they’re also more likely to calm down. Repeat to yourself “it’s the disease” as a reminder that they’re not intentionally doing this. If the current activity seemed to cause the agitation, try shifting to a more pleasant, calm

Manage the Mean Monday

Part 2: Why Someone with Dementia Says Mean Things First, it’s important to understand why this hurtful behavior is happening. Dementia is a brain disease that causes parts of the brain to shrink and lose their function, resulting in cognitive impairment. These different parts control functions like memory, personality, behavior, and speech. Dementia also damages the ability to control impulses, which means actions aren’t intentional. Even though it’s difficult, do your be

Manage the Mean Monday

Part 1 - Hurtful Things They May Say People with dementia might say hurtful things When you’re caring for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, they might make mean comments, use hurtful words, or accuse you of terrible (but untrue) things. It’s devastating to hear, but the most important thing to remember is that their disease is causing the behavior. Your older adult isn’t purposely saying these things to hurt you. The damage in their brain is causing it. H

Ways a Caregiver Can Encourage Independence

4 Ways a Caregiver Can Encourage a Loved One's Independence by Barry J. Jacobs, AARP Caregiving is not babysitting. Let those who can...do! During the years I provided loving care for my mother, I learned that helping her too much created its own set of problems. She was physically hampered by chronic knee and back pain; her thinking was marred by memory and language deficits caused by mild dementia. I thought it was my duty to do all I could to take care of her every need

Reducing Anger in Dementia Patients

1. Accept their limitations Avoid pushing seniors with dementia beyond their limits by expecting them to do things they’ve been struggling with. They aren’t refusing to do things because they’re lazy or refuse to remember. Their brains are failing and they’re losing the knowledge and abilities they need to accomplish those once-easy tasks. Accept where they are now. 2. Reduce complex decisions Making choices about every part of their day isn’t necessary, but there are some d

Table Talk Tuesday: Does Your Aging Parent Need Help Series

Mike Campbell | Updated June 9, 2020 Part 5: Warning Signs Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease or Some Other Cognitive Impairment How will you know when your elderly parents need help at home? One thing is certain: your parents aren’t likely to be the ones who tell you they need a helping hand! Admitting the need for help and accepting assistance are not easy for people as they age. One way to avoid this is to start regularly monitoring your parents’ physical and mental abilities

Table Talk Tuesday: Does Your Aging Parent Need Help Series

Part 4: Physical Clues That Your Parents Are Neglecting Household Responsibilities How will you know when your elderly parents need help at home? One thing is certain: your parents aren’t likely to be the ones who tell you they need a helping hand! Admitting the need for help and accepting assistance are not easy for people as they age. One way to avoid this is to start regularly monitoring your parents’ physical and mental abilities and researching long-term care options.

Table Talk Tuesday: Does Your Aging Parent Need Help Series

Part 3: Changes in Behavior or Mental Status How will you know when your elderly parents need help at home? One thing is certain: your parents aren’t likely to be the ones who tell you they need a helping hand! Admitting the need for help and accepting assistance are not easy for people as they age. One way to avoid this is to start regularly monitoring your parents’ physical and mental abilities and researching long-term care options. This will ensure you are prepared sho

Table Talk Tuesday: Does Your Aging Parent Need Help Series

Part 2: Changes in Physical Function or Appearance That Indicate a Need for Assistance Mike Campbell | Updated June 9, 2020 How will you know when your elderly parents need help at home? One thing is certain: your parents aren’t likely to be the ones who tell you they need a helping hand! Admitting the need for help and accepting assistance are not easy for people as they age. One way to avoid this is to start regularly monitoring your parents’ physical and mental abiliti

Table Talk Tuesday: Does Your Aging Parent Need Help Series

Part I: Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help At Home Mike Campbell | Updated June 9, 2020 How will you know when your elderly parents need help at home? One thing is certain: your parents aren’t likely to be the ones who tell you they need a helping hand! Admitting the need for help and accepting assistance are not easy for people as they age. The responsibility often falls on family members to recognize the signs that an aging loved one might need support with completing

Keep Your Marriage Healthy While Caregiving

Marlo Sollitto | Updated February 2, 2021 Tips for Balancing Marriage and Caring for Aging Parents While the things necessary for maintaining a strong marriage may be seem obvious, it is easy for them to fall by the wayside when life gets too hectic. Don’t procrastinate. If you struggle with finding the right time to have conversations, make a standing appointment for you and your significant other to check in with each other. 1. No topic is off limits. Talk about whatev

Fall Prevention Friday

Create a Fall-Proof Home Environment Most falls are caused by a loss of footing (tripping) and/or traction (slipping) associated with environmental hazards. An ideal, fall-proof home features even, non-slip walking surfaces throughout. While this may seem unattainable, especially for those living in multi-level residences, there are minor changes and home modifications that can reduce an elder’s fall risk. Keep all rooms free of clutter, especially the floors. Furniture shoul

Effective Responses to Criticism of Your Caregiving

Try a more effective response to caregiver criticism Getting criticized is unpleasant – especially from family or friends who don’t lift a finger to help care for your older adult. Yelling or getting upset might feel justified in the moment, but it won’t reduce your stress or cut down on future comments. You might even feel worse later because you didn’t get your point across or say what you really wanted. To help you change the tone of the conversation and hopefully redu

Ways a Caregiver Can Encourage Independence

by Barry J. Jacobs, AARP Caregiving is not babysitting. Let those who can...do! Many caregivers struggle with finding a balance between doing too much and too little. This is all the more complicated when a care receiver's abilities change from day to day or even hour to hour. There should be an understanding that caregivers won't take over any tasks unless they absolutely have to. But whether help is or isn't necessary is open to endless debate between earnest caregivers an

What are Activities of Daily Living - Part V

How are the ADLs Used in Senior Care? Together, ADLs and IADLs make up the skills a person generally needs to successfully and safely live independently. Therefore, a person’s ability or inability to perform ADLs and IADLs is used to gauge their need for care and/or occupational or physical therapy. Most healthcare service models use evaluations such as the Katz ADL Index to determine and evaluate their patient’s proficiencies and to then develop appropriate care plans to en

What are ADLs? Part III

What are ADLs - Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Instrumental Activities of Daily Living or IADLs are not essential for basic functioning; however, they enable a person to live independently within a community. They’re generally more complex than basic ADLs. IADLs are made up of activities which include, but are not limited to: - Housekeeping, laundry and other home care chores - Money management - Meal preparation - Moving/changing residences - Shopping for groceries

What Are ADLs? - Part IV

Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living There are many ADL and IADL evaluation tools used to measure the normal changes that occur due to aging and health problems. A functional assessment providing objective data is one of the best methods of evaluating the health status of older adults to determine future decline or improvement. The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living, generally referred to as the Katz ADL Index, is one of the best tool

What are ADLs? - Part II

What are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)? Activities of Daily Living or ADLs is a term used by healthcare professionals to refer to the basic self-care tasks an individual does on a day-to-day basis. These activities are fundamental in caring for oneself and maintaining independence. An individual's ability or inability to perform ADLs is often used by health professionals as a way of measuring an individual’s functional status, especially that of older adults or those with