Arts 4 Alzheimer’s draws relief for patients and caregivers

Even though the disease robs people of their memories and recognitions, there is also a secondary sufferer of Alzheimer’s. Caregivers provide day-to-day help for loved ones battling the disease, but have to stand by and take on the emotional pain, as well.

Providing relief for people with early-stage memory loss, and their caregivers, is the the Arts 4 Alzheimer’s program developed by Tania Becker, president of the board of the Spruill Center in Atlanta with the help of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Alzheimer’s Association.

via Arts 4 Alzheimer’s Draws Relief For Patients and Caregivers – Tonic.

Alzheimer’s experts: Don’t hesitate to get paid help

Marilyn Blum is like a lot of wives with a retired husband around the house. She loves the man she has been married to for 33 years but says, “It’s just not normal to be together 24/7.”

Blum’s comment is more poignant when she explains that her husband, Steve, 65, has had Alzheimer’s disease for five years and needs help dressing, grooming, eating and using the toilet.

“I wish I had gotten paid help right away. I waited two years,” says Blum, 61, of Owings Mills, Md.

Now Steve participates in an adult day care program. A paid companion, Evadne Cummins, visits the house three times a week to keep Steve company, make lunch, go on walks and help with basic grooming.

via Alzheimer’s experts: Don’t hesitate to get paid help – USATODAY.com.

Dr. Robert Butler, pioneer in field of aging, dead

Dr. Robert Butler, a pioneer in the field of aging, died this week. Dr. Butler will be remembered for many things; He founded the National Institute on Aging, he coined the term “ageism,” he authored many books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Why Survive? Being Old in America” and he founded the nation’s first department of geriatrics, at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical School. Here’s a PBS interview with Dr. Butler from the show Life (Part 2).

NEW YORK — Dr. Robert Butler, a Pulitzer Prize-winning expert on aging who coined the phrase “ageism,” has died in New York City, his daughter said Tuesday. He was 83.

He died Sunday of leukemia at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Christine Butler said.

Butler, a gerontologist and psychiatrist, was the founding director of the National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health. He wrote several books on aging, including the 1976 Pulitzer-winning “Why Survive: Being Old in America.”

via Robert Butler, who coined ‘ageism,’ dies at 83 – Health – msnbc.com.

SafetyNet available in Marshfield, Mass., to find people with autism, Alzheimer’s who wander

Marshfield —With training having been completed June 22, the Marshfield Police Department has officially added Safety Net to its public safety arsenal.

The program, which has been implemented by police and fire departments nationwide, will provide Marshfield officials the tools they need to swiftly track down and rescue those who have wandered from their caregivers.

“People who want to sign up can go online with Safety Net or come here,” said veteran Marshfield police officer Ralph Poland, who on a recent afternoon behind the police station learned first-hand — along with several other officers and firefighters — how to use the advanced tracking equipment.

Poland, who is helping to implement the program, said police and fire officials know that it only takes a moment for a resident with Alzheimer’s disease, autism or any other condition that may predispose them to do so to wander off or disappear. In North America alone, according to Safety Net figures, more than 5.8 million people have Alzheimer’s disease, and the majority may have a tendency to wander.

via Police, fire officers complete SafetyNet training – Marshfield, MA – Marshfield Mariner.

Multigenerational Homes on the Rise

Multigenerational homes – when three or more generations are living together as a single family – are again on the rise. More and more, middle generations find themselves caring for young children (or even adult children) and their parents at the same time. This trend is the result of a poor economy, in which many families find the costs of long-term care overwhelming, and many families opt to have aging loved ones move in with them to ease the financial burden.

The arrangement is full of both challenges and opportunities. Some families hesitate to take on such a big responsibility, fearing a loss of privacy and increased stress. Another consideration for families contemplating a multigenerational living arrangement is cost.

On the surface, moving mom or dad in might seem like a money-saving opportunity, but one spouse may have to cut back on hours or even quit a job altogether in order to provide care. Financial stress can take a toll on families already struggling with the unknown terrain of caring for an aging loved one.

via Multigenerational Homes on the Rise | OregonLive.com.

Golfers play 42 courses in 24 hours for Alzheimer’s charity

We’ve seen a lot of golf fundraisers for Alzheimer’s — but this is fundraiser in northeast England is a lot of golf for Alzheimer’s!

FORTY two courses, 365 miles, 24 hours – that’s the novel challenge facing four plucky golfers.

Peter Simpson and three golfing buddies are aiming to play a hole at every course in Northumberland today.

Peter, the full-time manager and secretary at Alnmouth Golf Club, has organised the challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, after his 87- year-old mum Florence suffered from dementia prior to her death last year.

via JournalLive – News – Today’s News – Golfers to play 42 courses in 24 hours for Alzheimer’s charity.

10 Signs of Caregiver Stress

Caregiving is stressful, and sometimes that stress sneaks up on you. Here, the blogger at Sunflower Ranch has a useful list of 10 Signs of Caregiver Stress. Read the list and watch for the signs. Caregiver stress is bad for your health!

Caregiving is one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever have. Many are called to perform these duties — but few people want to do them. No one wants to see a loved one slip away physically and/or mentally. Certainly the loved one does not want to be put into the situation. I know, I’ve been there as a caregiver. And it’s not easy. But what can happen to the caregiver is like the storm on the horizon — a tremendous potential for danger and long-lasting effects.

I wish I’d had this list when we started caring for my Dad. He’s been gone now for almost two years, but the feelings can linger long after the whole episode is finished. This list and the links below are very helpful in understanding just how tough caregiving can be.

via Sunflower Ranch: 10 Signs of Caregiver Stress.

When boomers get dementia; Caregiving, stress and other costs

The New York Times’ Room for Debate blog looks at dementia, Alzheimer’s and caregiving this week with interesting views from experts on aging and health care. Read on:

But as the United States population ages, the number of people with Alzheimer’s is projected to double from the current 5.3 million in the next few decades. Who will provide the care? What social policies might be needed to help the U.S. deal with growing numbers of older patients?

via When Boomers Get Dementia – Room for Debate Blog – NYTimes.com.

Unified, Utah, offers monitors for those with cognitive conditions at risk of wandering

The Unified Police Department is offering search monitors to people with cognitive conditions linked to wandering, such as Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome and dementia.

The SafetyNet monitor emits a radio signal from a device worn on the ankle or wrist, police wrote in a news statement Monday. If the wearer is reported missing, officers can use the signal to find the person.

There is a $99 enrollment fee and a monthly fee of $30.

For more information, call 877-434-6384.

via Monitors offered for those with cognitive conditions – Salt Lake Tribune.

‘Sandwich generation’ stressed over looking after kids and aging parents

OTTAWA — Kathyrn Harrison was watching her mother tear pages out of magazines to make collages when it hit her.

Bonnie Harrison was a former real-estate agent. She’d run an inn with her husband, Now, in the throes of dementia, she was participating in art therapy that often saw her filling in colouring books.

“My mom wasn’t even aware that there was something wrong with her,” said Harrison, a 41-year-old from Toronto.”I started crying,” she recalled. “She came over and hugged me.”

Harrison is part of a group of Canadians that has been dubbed the Sandwich Generation, because they are caught between the needs of their own families and children, and the needs of their aging parents.

via ‘Sandwich generation’ stressed over looking after kids and aging parents.