Happy Holidays

Written by Gerry Fioriglio on . Posted in Family Caregivers Blog

 

Happy Holidays from our Home to Yours

From our Home to Yours…Seasons Greetings

Happy Holidays; or is it when your caring for an aging loved one?  The holidays can add extra stress on family caregivers with trying to care for loved ones, decorate, buy presents, and find down time.    When you are caring for an aging loved one during the holidays it is especially important to ask for extra help.  The holidays are a time we feel too pressured to do to0 much for others and not enough time for ourselves.  Resources are low because even the hired caregivers want time off over the holidays.  The stress can become overwhelming and begin to harm your health.  By following a few tips you will have a successful holiday season.

Maintaining a sense of familiarity with the loved one you are caring for is very important.  This helps to reduce the stress for both of you.  Confusion with so many activities brings out the worst in us.  If you keep your care needs consistent and prioritize the activities that are most important you will reduce your stress.  Focus on the strengths and capabilities of aging loved ones with what they can do to participate in festive activities.  Keeping loved ones engaged will help reduce the risk for accidents.

When decorating your home try to keep the same furniture pattern in your home.  Moving furniture can confuse a loved one with memory issues or cause safety hazards for individuals with limited mobility.  It is important to decorate for the holidays but keep the decorations at a minimum.  Avoid the use of extra extension cords needed for lights, they can be a fall hazard.

Reduce the number of guests who visit especially all at the same time.  This helps lessen the amount of noise and confusion.  The holidays will flow a lot smoother if everyone understands the needs and limitations of your aging loved one.  It is okay to say “No that time won’t work, afternoons are not a good time because Mom has to take a nap.”  Most importantly make your loved one feel secure and protected by keeping their routine as normal as possible.  Incorporating the activities they remember doing in past holidays such as holiday music and singing will bring smiles to everyone’s face.

May you be blessed with the joy of family and friends, and good health this Holiday Season.

From the staff of Family Caregivers Network, Happy Holidays!

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Written by Gerry Fioriglio on . Posted in Family Caregivers Blog

Alzheimer's disease November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and a way to bring a voice to this disease.   By 2050 an estimated 28 million American Baby Boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease.   Are you prepared to be a person with the disease or be a caregiver of a person with Alzheimer’s disease?  The Alzheimer’s Association works tiredlessly to bring Awareness, Advocacy, Research, Care, and Support to everyone afflicted with this long term illness.  Because that is what it is, an illness that lasts a long time, 15-20 or more years.  The cost to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is over $60,000 a year.  As the disease progresses to end stage that cost only increases.  Bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s disease is essential for families.  The more we know about the disease, and how to care for a loved one with the disease the better quality of life there will be for everyone touched by Alzheimer’s disease.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness month.  You may ask yourself how can I help?

  • Tell everyone about the 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900).  It is a key starting point to find out about programs and services in your area.
  • Start a conversation with your local legislatures about the impact of Alzheimer’s disease.  Tell them it must be eradicated.
  • Learn about clinical trial research through the Alzheimer’s association.  There is exciting progress being made in Alzheimer’s and Dementia research.
  • Attend a free educational program in your area.   Family Caregivers Network, a home care agency in Pennsburg offers many free programs throughout the year.
  • Attend a Virtual Dementia Tour program.  Learn what it is like to walk in the shoes of someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Participate in a support group.  Take along a friend.  There is safety in numbers.
  • Participate in “Walk to End Alzheimer’s”; a signature program by the Alzheimer’s Association.  To find a walk in your area go to the Alzheimer’s association website. 
  • Show your support with “#GivingTuesday” on December 1st.   To donate click here.
  • Be a voice for those who can’t.  Keep the energy going by telling others about the disease and how they can also become involved.

For more information about Alzheimer’s or Dementia disease go to the Caregiver Center website or call Family Caregivers Network, 866-539-7515.

 

 

A Virtual Dementia Tour

Written by Gerry Fioriglio on . Posted in Family Caregivers Blog

Have you ever wondered what it is like to have Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a person with the disease.  A special program called The Virtual Dementia Tour developed by Second Wind Dreams does just that.  It offers families a better understanding to these questions.  Watch the ABC special of one son’s journey through the process.  

The Virtual Dementia Tour touches the heart of family members caring for a loved one with Dementia by giving them a glimpse of what it is like to walk in their shoes.  A family members senses are altered and then given a list of tasks to carry out.  It quickly becomes very difficult for the individual to do much of anything.  The Virtual Dementia Tour can cause anxiety just like the person with Dementia experiences.  Learn what your loved one is going through. Learn how difficult it is to get through a day.  Llearn what it means to have patience and to never take another day for granted.   Experience a Virtual Dementia Tour.   At Family Caregivers Network we have two staff members trained to facilitate the Virtual Dementia Tour. To schedule a Virtual Dementia Tour at your local facility, church, school, or organization contact us at Family Caregivers Network at 215-541-9030.