Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and related dementias affect millions around the globe, and AD accounts for 60 to 70% of all dementias, making it the most common form of dementia. World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness, reducing stigma, and promoting early diagnosis.
Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is a global healthcare event observed for the entire month of June every year for the last four decades, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and the impact of this disease on individuals and families. Many families are dealing with the impact of Alzheimer’s or dementia, but they may have limited knowledge of these diseases and the resources they will need.
Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood, and yet mental health in later life is often sidelined as other health challenges are prioritized. However, there is a cyclical relationship between physical health and mental health: The presence of chronic conditions and illness is associated with an increased risk for mental illness, and we know that mental illness, in turn, increases the risk for many types of physical health problems.
Moving a loved one to assisted living can be an overwhelming transition for everyone involved, even when your loved one understands and accepts that they need to move. We have compiled an Assisted Living Move-In Checklist as a resource for families, based on our experience placing individuals in communities and providing ongoing care management and concierge care services.
Perhaps you’ve seen that your loved one can no longer live alone safely, or maybe you care for your loved one in your home and have realized that their care needs exceed what you can provide. You’ve decided it’s time to find an assisted living community in Maryland that will provide the best care and quality of life possible, while within your budget and at a comfortable driving distance.
Now that 2022 has come to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on the year that has passed all too quickly (or perhaps for some, it seemed to drag on forever…) and think about what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to change in the year ahead. Perhaps you’re completely worn out with caregiving and realize you need some outside help. Maybe you have neglected yourself amid all the demands of caregiving. Or are you a “sandwich” caregiver, still caring for children at home while also caring for a parent and wondering how you can do it all in the year ahead?
Family and togetherness are key themes for the holidays. Scenes of holiday hustle and bustle, idyllic decorations, and happy families can inspire us and get us into the holiday spirit. Perhaps your own family will be gathering together, your home is beautifully decorated, and your holidays are all that you hope them to be. Or maybe not! All the television commercials, Hallmark Christmas movies, and holiday activities can make this time of year awfully difficult for people who are grieving a loss. If the grief is fresh, holiday cheer can seem like an affront. The holidays can also be challenging if you have no family nearby, and celebrations can underscore how alone people feel.
Anyone caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia will at some point struggle with how to spend meaningful time with their loved one or add purpose to their lives. Family visits can feel awkward, pointless, or sad as we grapple with our loved one’s cognitive decline and memory loss, and it can become very challenging to have a meaningful visit. However, those with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia still have the need and capacity for meaning and purpose in life – they just need someone to guide them into appropriate activities that can add greatly to their happiness and quality of life.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. That probably explains why many people often use the terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” interchangeably, but there are real differences. It’s helpful to think of dementia — a condition that includes problems with memory, reasoning, thinking, mood, and behavior — as an umbrella, with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) comprising about 70% of the umbrella. However, there are several other types of dementia.
Many factors affect brain health, and research demonstrates that certain activities appear to slow cognitive decline, including exercise, adequate sleep, social interaction, and cognitive engagement (also called cognitive stimulation). One study found that mentally intact individuals in their 70s and 80s were asked how frequently they participated in six activities that required active cognitive engagement—reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles, playing board or card games, engaging in group discussions, and playing music.