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February 25, 2015
by Samantha Jeckewicz
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11 Tips on Personality & Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s

untitled In dementia, the brain loses a number of abilities. This can change a person’s personality and behavior. Use this tip sheet’s suggestions to better understand them.

Changes in the way people act can be one of the biggest challenges in caring for people with Alzheimer’s. There is much you can do to smooth the journey.

Common Changes in Personality and Behavior

Common personality and behavior changes you may see include:

  • Getting upset, worried, and angry more easily
  • Acting depressed or not interested in things
  • Hiding things or believing other people are hiding things
  • Imagining things that aren’t there
  • Wandering away from home
  • Pacing a lot
  • Showing unusual sexual behavior
  • Hitting you or other people
  • Misunderstanding what he or she sees or hears

You also may notice that the person stops caring about how he or she looks, stops bathing, and wants to wear the same clothes every day. In addition to changes in the brain, other things may affect how people with Alzheimer’s behave:

  • Feelings such as sadness, fear, stress, confusion, or anxiety
  • Health-related problems, including illness, pain, new medications, or lack of sleep
  • Other physical issues like infections, constipation, hunger or thirst, or problems seeing or hearing
  • Problems in their surroundings, like too much noise or being in an unfamiliar place

If you don’t know what is causing the problem, call the doctor. It could be caused by a physical or medical issue.

Keep Things Simple…and Other Tips

Caregivers cannot stop Alzheimer’s-related changes in personality and behavior, but   they can learn to cope with them. Here are some tips:

  1.      Keep things simple. Ask or say one thing at a time.
  2.      Have a daily routine, so the person knows when certain things will     happen.
  3.      Reassure the person that he or she is safe and you are there to help.
  4.      Focus on his or her feelings rather than words. For example, say,     “You seem worried.”
  5.      Don’t argue or try to reason with the person.
  6.      Try not to show your frustration or anger. If you get upset, take deep breaths and count to 10. If it’s safe, leave the room    for a few minutes.
  7.      Use humor when you can.
  8.      Give people who pace a lot a safe place to walk.
  9.      Try using music, singing, or dancing to distract the person.
  10.      Ask for help. For instance, say, “Let’s set the table” or “I need help folding the clothes.”

Talk with the person’s doctor about problems like hitting, biting, depression, or   hallucinations. Medications are available to treat some behavioral symptoms.

 

SOURCE:
  • The Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center is a service of the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. The Center offers information and publications for families, caregivers,  and professionals about Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive changes.

February 24, 2015
by Samantha Jeckewicz
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5 Tips the CDC, NHTSA, and Safe Drive Systems Caution Every Man 50+ to Remember Before Driving

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5 Tips the CDC, NHTSA, and Safe Drive Systems Caution Every Man 50+ to Remember Before Driving

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12528341.htm

How One Company is Eliminating the Need for Seniors to Give Up Freedom

Miami, Florida (PRWEB) February 20, 2015

Getting older used to mean driving less.  Not anymore. Men over 50 are feeling younger, more adventurous and more independent than ever before, and it shows in the front-end collision and car crash statistics reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In fact, the NHTSA has seen a 23% increase in licensed older drivers since 1999.

Combine that with an increase in accidents as adults age, because of visual and hearing impairments, reaction times, and other factors, and it’s no wonder the CDC is urging drivers over 50 to take extra precautions.

While the NHTSA and CDC both site a dramatic decline in accidents with the use of advanced collision warning systems, all involved agencies believe that the ultimate responsibility lay with the driver.

So does Safe Drive Systems, the leading provider of the after-market anti-collision radar system that is designed to provide an extra boost, much like an extra pair of eyes and ears might, to those over 50 who care about safe driving habits.

“I was raised to believe that when you can make a difference, you do. At Safe Drive Systems we’re leveraging the power of advanced collision warning and lane departure technologies to provide men 50-85 additional protection against fatal or injury increasing collisions. Our affordable after-market system provides escalating light and audible warnings up to 480 ft in advance, alerting drivers with distractions, or dulled senses to the potential of imminent danger,” says Joseph Shuford, CEO at Safe Drive Systems.

Here are 5 Helpful Tips to Bolster Safety Before Driving Begins

1.    Drowsiness and side-effects can lead to death, so asking a doctor or pharmacist to review medications (prescription and over the counter) can reduce risk of related collisions.

2.    Schedule regular visits with your eye doctor, and make sure to wear glasses and corrective lenses as suggested.

3.    Leave a large following distance

4.    If possible, plan the route taken in advance

There is a 5th tip to consider. One that may lead many to say limits the freedom of seniors. Which controversial tip is causing waves? Don’t drive during bad weather, or at night.

“Bad weather is unpredictable,” says Mr. Shuford, “It can strike at any time, and Men over 50 shouldn’t have to give up their freedom if they take extra precautions, like installing an aftermarket anti-collision warning system that even the IIHL agrees can reduce the risk of a fatal or injury related accident by up to 40%. And since the RD140 Radar from Safe Drive Systems fits on practically every car made since 2000, there is no longer an excuse forcing men over 50 to give up their freedom, especially since it works after dark, in dense fog, and inclement weather.”

Interestingly enough, this is the same type of anti-collision warning system the NHTSA is considering making mandatory on all new release vehicles, because it is shown to reduce one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., by more than 5,000 per year.

About Safe Drive Systems. Safe Drive Systems is a leading developer and distributor of advanced, active auto safety technologies. Its team of engineers is dedicated to providing safety systems that are reliable, affordable, and user friendly to nearly all vehicle owners. Its anti-collision avoidance system (Radar) is specifically designed to prevent or greatly reduce the severity of an accident. To learn more about how to stay safe while driving at any age visit safedrivesystems.com.

February 10, 2015
by Samantha Jeckewicz
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Here’s Your Health Excuse to Take a Nap

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Time Magazine posted an interesting article about naps!

http://time.com/3703317/napping-good-for-you/

New study finds negative effects of a sleepless night can be undone by forty winks

In a small study of 11 healthy men published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), researchers found that even if the men got only two hours of sleep the night before, they could combat the hormonal havoc caused by poor sleep if they took a couple of brief naps.

To reach these results, the researchers had the men undergo two sleep sessions in a lab. In the first, the men only got two hours of sleep and then had their urine and saliva measured and analyzed for hormonal changes. In the second session, the men once again only got two hours of sleep, but this time they also took two 30-minute naps the following day. The men provided saliva and urine samples once again.

The study found that when men only slept for two hours, they had a 2.5 increase in norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter which responds to stress. That increase can up the body’s heart rate and blood pressure. The men also had low levels of the protein interleukin-6 which is critical for having a proper immune response. However, when the men were sleep-deprived but napped the following day, the researchers found there were no changes in either their protein or hormone levels.

According to the researchers, the findings suggest that taking a nap can restore out-of-whack hormone levels, and improve immune system health. But to avoid the sluggishness and medical problems that can come from not getting enough shut eye, try to get the recommended amount of sleep every night. For adults, that’s 7-9 hours.

January 29, 2015
by Samantha Jeckewicz
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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month.  It is a nationally recognized campaign.

More than 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older suffer from glaucoma. Nearly half do not know they have the disease due to the fact it causes no early symptoms.  Www.PreventBlindness.org and Www.Glaucoma.org  are two websites that offer the latest on information, care and treatment, research initiatives and how you can get involved.

WWW.Glaucoma.Org offers the following information on the two types of glaucoma.  Be sure to visit their website for more great information!

Open-Angle Glaucoma poag_illus.jpg

Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases:

  • Is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals, resulting in increased eye pressure
  • Has a wide and open angle between the iris and cornea
  • Develops slowly and is a lifelong condition
  • Has symptoms and damage that are not noticed.

“Open-angle” means that the angle where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be. Open-angle glaucoma is also called primary or chronic glaucoma. It is the most common type of glaucoma, affecting about three million Americans.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma acg_illus.jpg

Angle-closure glaucoma, a less common form of glaucoma:

  • Is caused by blocked drainage canals, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure
  • Has a closed or narrow angle between the iris and cornea
  • Develops very quickly
  • Has symptoms and damage that are usually very noticeable
  • Demands immediate medical attention.

It is also called acute glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma is a result of the angle between the iris and cornea closing.

Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG)

Also called low-tension or normal-pressure glaucoma. In normal-tension glaucoma the optic nerve is damaged even though the eye pressure is not very high. We still don’t know why some people’s optic nerves are damaged even though they have almost normal pressure levels.

Congenital Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs in babies when there is incorrect or incomplete development of the eye’s drainage canals during the prenatal period. This is a rare condition that may be inherited. When uncomplicated, microsurgery can often correct the structural defects. Other cases are treated with medication and surgery.

Other Types of Glaucoma

Variants of open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma include:

  • Secondary Glaucoma
  • Pigmentary Glaucoma
  • Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma
  • Traumatic Glaucoma
  • Neovascular Glaucoma
  • Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE)

 

October 29, 2014
by Clayton
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New study suggests unskilled care is a more fiscally sound decision than involving family as caregivers

Family Caregivers in USRAND Corporation, the non-profit global policy think tank, has recently published a study that shows a cost of $301 billion per year in the US from consumed family caregivers’ hours.  Published by the online journal Health Services Research, this research analyzed the 39.6 million people surveyed by the BLS and calculated out the potential income of each individual based on variables such as age, education, and gender against the hours spent giving care.

 

The results of the study show the cost of family/informal care came to $522 billion annually.  In contrast, the study estimates that the same care, when replaced with unskilled caregivers, would cost the US $221 billion.  That’s a deficit of $301 billion per year at current trends.

 

“Our findings provide a new and better estimate of the monetary value of the care that millions of relatives and friends provide to the nation’s elderly,” explains Amalavoyal V. Chari, the study’s lead author, former researcher at RAND and current lecturer at the University of Sussex.

 

If you are a family caregiver who could be investing your hours more fruitfully for the betterment of you and your family, ask Arcadia for a free assessment on how home care can ease your stress and help the wellness of your loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

October 15, 2014
by Clayton
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Praise for Arcadia Caregiver Marietta

Given the immensely personal nature of home care, from time to time we receive stories or praise from our clients’ families.

The following is a recent recognition of our caregiver Marietta, in CA:

Arcadia Home Care & Staffing recently sent a new caregiver to our home to assist my brother who is a special needs client.

I was very impressed by Marietta, as she flies above and beyond what is typically expected of an in-home service professional.

On the first day, she stepped up and assumed responsibility of my brother. She escorted him to the bathroom, washed his face and assisted him with a shave- something he hasn’t done in two weeks since leaving the hospital!

She had ensured that his meals are cooked to his liking, completed laundry tasks and performed light housekeeping duties upon request from my brother.

We couldn’t be happier with her! She is always on time and extremely competent with all needed tasks. She goes the extra mile; when she sees a job that needs to be done, she takes the initiative and completes it without being asked. Most importantly, Marietta handles my brother with loving care.

What a tremendous difference she has made in our home. This has truly been an amazing experience and Marietta is a wonderful gift to our family!

 

October 7, 2014
by Clayton
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In-home monitoring with focus on privacy

Health SensorsIn-home monitoring technology is still a young industry, but evolving rapidly.  With new less-invasive devices, more variables being monitored, and massive databases of this collected information, the goal is for these devices to start predicting issues before they have an opportunity to occur.

One article from Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news organization, details Good Samaritan’s use of monitoring devices.  Good Samaritan, the largest not-for-profit provider of senior services in the US, received an $8.1 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to study the effects of monitoring devices on the impact of overall cost of health care, level of independence, and quality of care.  KHN highlights a series of sensor devices which are able to collect and interpret information on daily routines without the use of invasive cameras or collecting audio.  The data collected by these devices is translated into an overview of a senior’s daily activities and, through their algorithms, identified as being normal or potentially having irregularities.  The data collected is then analyzed by nurses and appropriate action is taken.

“We think the use of the technology can reduce the need for physical visits and will save expense and time,” explains Jacci Nickell, VP of development and operation delivery systems at Good Samaritan.

President and CEO of Arcadia Home Care, John Elliott, agrees with the future of integrating new technology in care, saying “I believe in the promise of this type of technology to enhance wellbeing, save on health costs through prevention, and encourage senior’s independence.”

Follow Arcadia’s blog for updates on new programs and the latest on Home Care at the Highest Standard.

 

 

 

 

September 12, 2014
by Clayton
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Is there really a need for caregivers in older adults’ lives?

Caregiver helpingA new study out of the University of Michigan would suggest so.  With an estimated 18 million people admitting to struggling with daily activities or already receiving help; that’s nearly half (49%) of the population of older adults.

“Although 51 percent reported having no difficulty in the previous month, 29 percent reported receiving help with taking care of themselves or their households or getting around,” according to Vicki Freedman, U of M researcher and co-author of the report. “And another 20 percent said they had difficulty carrying out these activities on their own.”

Co-author Brenda Spillman, of the Urban Institute, continues that of the 18 million who reported facing difficulty with daily activities, “30 percent had an adverse consequence in the last month related to unmet need”.

If you have an aging loved one that could benefit from having a caregiver’s aide, contact Arcadia Home Care.  One of our care coordinators can guide you through your questions and set up a free assessment.

 

 

September 4, 2014
by Clayton
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Low vitamin D increases risk for dementia in seniors

Fish oil is a common source of vitamin D

Fish oil is a common source of vitamin D

A recent study published by the American Academy of Neurology finds that vitamin D deficiency could more than double the risk for seniors to develop dementia.Over a six year span, researchers studied the vitamin D levels of more than 1,500 dementia free individuals over the age of 65.  The study’s author David J. Llewellyn, PhD, of the University of Exeter Medical School, UK, explains “We expected to find an association between low Vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but the results were surprising”.

The study found that having a lower level of vitamin D could increase the risk of dementia by 70%.  Those who were considered severely deficient had over a 120% chance of developing the disease, as Llewellyn explains as being “twice as strong as we anticipated”, even with outside factors considered.

Llewellyn cautions that the “results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia”, but does suggest that “even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia”.

If you have an aging loved one that may be exhibiting symptoms of early stages of dementia, you may want to have their vitamin D levels checked as well as regularly monitor their dietary nutrition.  For assistance or if you have any concerns about your family member, reach out to Arcadia Home Care for a free assessment and see how home care might be the right choice for you.

July 18, 2014
by Clayton
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Arcadia introduces AlzBetter to the Lansing, MI Area

Another successful  Interactive Community Education workshop was held on June 4th in the Okemos office.  Topic was our newly introduced dementia program, AlzBetter, a unique, holistic approach to memory care at home.  AlzBetter creates a meaningful and enjoyable day for our clients, based on activities that are individualized and appropriate for the client’s interests and current level of dementia.  Special activities include proprietary books written specifically for people with dementia that match a client’s ability level, custom puzzles using client’s family pictures which match a client’s ability level, and music offered on a complimentary IPod (and portable speaker) loaded with a client’s favorite songs.

 

AlzBetter also offers advanced training to our Arcadia memory care caregivers, as well as education and Care Manual to family and other unpaid caregivers.

 

AlzBetter was enthusiastically received by all in attendance!