Mar 092012
 
Caregiver Facts and Figures: A Bittersweet Reality

This post originally appeared on the ChicagoNow blog, “Ask Dr. Chill: Practical Answers to the Toughest Caregiving Questions.” It is being reposted here with the author’s permission. Almost eight years at the Alzheimer’s Association — five at the Utah Chapter and close to three at the National Office right here in Chicago — left equally enduring imprints on my mind and heart. The mental imprint is analytical, bridging science and people in the shape of a fervent belief [...]

Feb 242012
 
Caregivers Take Note – Music as Therapy

When Glen Campbell took the stage at the Grammy Awards and accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award, he did so as one of the more than 5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  What is inspiring about the 75-year-old Campbell’s Grammy night appearance is that he has not retired from his love of making music despite his recent diagnosis.  In fact, he is starting his Farewell Tour and is cutting a new album. Is music one [...]

Feb 032012
 
The Love Story of a Football Wife Who Tackled Dementia

As millions tune in to the Super Bowl this Sunday, I am cheering for one football wife who tackled her husband’s dementia with a game plan to keep their lives as normal as possible and in the process found her calling as a caregiving advocate. Her passionate plea to the NFL, one of the most powerful organizations in sports, resulted in the “88 Plan,” a break-through long-term care plan that gives security and support to [...]

Jan 132012
 
How to Keep the Promise We Make To Ourselves This Year

Answer: One Resolution for Caregivers –52 Chances to Make It Work Ahh the New Year is here – the hectic pace of the holidays is over, the frenzy over buying gifts and seeing  friends and family is done (at least for another 12 months).  You can finally breathe.  That is, unless you are one of the 65 million Americans who are caring for a loved one – that moment to put the world on “pause” [...]

Dec 232011
 
The Gift of Perspective

There are some topics on our message boards that pop up to surprise us, while others follow a pretty predictable cycle. Every year, around the holidays, calls to our helpline and posts on our message boards indicate many family members notice the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or advancing dementia. This is especially true of out-of-town family members who don’t see the person with dementia every day; they compare behaviors to previous times — [...]

Oct 312011
 
Facing Early-Onset Alzheimer's with Family, Humor & Love

November is National Family Caregiver Month, and I wanted to share some personal thoughts on the subject of caregivers.   I was a caregiver for my father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s 15 years ago, and I was diagnosed with the disease two-and -a-half years ago. The past. It has been almost 25 years since my father started to exhibit the signs of dementia.  Back in those days, Alzheimer’s was not well- known by doctors [...]

Oct 212011
 
Sudden Change in Behavior? Urinary Tract Infection Could Be the Cause

As someone who works for the Alzheimer’s Association with support programs for caregivers, I decided to do a little research today on our Message Boards, where Alzheimer’s caregivers are able to communicate with each other about their concerns and get information and support from peers. For those who have been providing care to someone with Alzheimer’s disease for some time, the result will come as no surprise, but for those who are newer to caregiving, [...]

Sep 202011
 
This Is How the End of Alzheimer’s Starts with Me

February 16, 2004. That’s the day we lost my grandfather. Well, my dad’s stepdad, but he was always considered my grandfather, affectionately P-Pa, from the time I was born. That year, I was in my final semester of college and didn’t expect the end so soon. The Diagnosis I’ll never forget my grandmother sitting us down to tell us the diagnosis. My sister and I were in our early teens. Alzheimer’s disease. Sure, we had [...]

May 092011
 
Change and Adapt, but Don’t Stop: How to Provide Meaningful Activities for Those with Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias

I hate Bingo. There, I said it. That popular activity which people of all ages enjoy at local fire halls, senior living communities and kindergarten classrooms across the country is one of my least favorite ways to pass the time. As a former assisted living activities director, I can tell you that — in my book — the only thing worse than playing Bingo is calling Bingo. Round and round the cage would spin, as [...]

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