A sense of purpose and meaning is fundamental to our health and well-being. Interestingly, it appears that it doesn’t really matter what your life purpose is, as long as you have one. For example, someone’s life purpose might be to help a charitable organization or to be a loving and supportive person for their loved ones. For another, it might be to travel or to build custom furniture. The idea is that the life purpose should reflect personal vision, values, beliefs, and goals.
Discussing one’s own death can be difficult for many of us. It’s easy to avoid what can feel like a morbid conversation, and many of us put off such talks, feeling we have plenty of time to figure out what we would want at the end of our lives. However, none of us knows our fate and when the end of our life will be.
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.
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.
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.
Being a caregiver can be rewarding, overwhelming, inspiring, draining, and more. And being a caregiver for someone with dementia presents a host of unique and often intense challenges. As the disease progresses and your loved one changes, you may find you have more questions than answers.