California camp for Alzheimer’s patients isn’t about memories

When Samara Howard recently dropped off her elderly mother Johnnye Jennings at a three-day camp for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, it was the first night she’d been away from Jennings in seven years.

“Normally, I only sleep maybe two hours a night because she wakes up and she wanders and she turns on the stove,” says Howard, who eventually had to quit her job to take care of her mother full-time.

“I haven’t slept through the night in years.

You hear these stories of exhaustion and frustration often from the families of the roughly 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Confusion, wandering and agitation are common with dementia, and usually any break in the daily routine only increases those reactions.

via Camp For Alzheimer’s Patients Isn’t About Memories : NPR.

Adult night-care service for Alzheimer’s patients who may wander

Nighttime is when some Alzheimer’s patients are most restless, creating an anxious, sleepless time for caregivers who worry about their loved ones wandering.

“It is common for them to get their circadian rhythms off,” said Jean Van Den Beldt, administrator of Byron Center Manor, which plans to begin a new dawn-to-dusk activity program called Twilight Care.

The dementia-care and adult-day services community at 2115 84th St. SW is starting the program, which will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., to keep restless patients in a safe, stimulating environment. The cost is $120 per night.

via New service keeps restless Alzheimer’s patients busy at night | MLive.com.

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.

How to care for someone with Alzheimer’s without losing yourself

If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, read this great advice from the Geriatric Care Management blog. It may change your caregiving experience for the better — for you and your loved one.

There are many things to be struck by whenever I meet with the daughter, son, spouse or friend of someone with Alzheimer’s. Strong, compassionate, patient – these words describe but never capture the essence of the person in front of me.

And as we talk, I’m invited into their unique experience of the illness. They share the good days with me and offer up the parts they wouldn’t change for anything.

But something else emerges too.  It’s a sense of being lost – unable to tell any more where their needs begin and the needs of the person they are caring for, end.

http://www.geriatriccaremanagement.com/2010/03/how-to-care-for-someone-with-alzheimers-without-losing-yourself/.

How to find the best adult daycare center for your elderly loved one

The senior years can often be filled with many challenges such as sickness, loneliness and reduced mobility and these sometimes cause frustration and stress for both the seniors and the caregivers. Adult day care is a welcome break and a win/win situation for both the elderly family member and the primary caregiver. It provides your family with a safe, caring and friendly environment to get the needed medical and social attention. In addition, it provides caregivers with a breathing space to do other things and reduces the likelihood of burnout from the 24/7 care, while at the same time knowing that their loved ones are getting good care.

via Adult Day Care, How to find the best adult daycare center for your elderly loved one.

Taking Care of Parents Without Going Broke

Denise Egebrecht needed a break.

It had been three years since her 86-year-old mother, Eleanor Schwartz, moved in with her and her husband in their home in Johnsburg, Ill. Mrs. Schwartz has Alzheimer’s disease and has trouble moving around, so Mrs. Egebrecht helps her mother with her shower each day, makes sure she’s fed and takes her on small excursions to the mall in a portable wheelchair. The routine includes occasionally reminding her mother of what day it is and where she’s living.

via Taking Care of Parents Without Going Broke – NYTimes.com.