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caregivers gilbert az

We Can All Lend a Hand in the Search for an Alzheimer’s Cure

The world of Alzheimer’s disease research is expanding, and now there’s an easy way all of us can bring about the discovery of an Alzheimer’s cure. With an online game, Stall Catchers, many people are dedicating time to going through slides of mouse brains to aid research workers in establishing the effectiveness of addressing cerebral blood flow issues to reverse loss of memory.

An element of the developing trend in “citizen science,” Stall Catchers blends today’s technology with the overall population’s desire to really make a difference in the world around them. Huge numbers of volunteers give their valuable time every day to causes that include diagnosing malaria, storm damage tracking, and even attempting to find signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

And it’s already helping. Stall Catchers volunteers’ hard work made a direct impact on achieving the finding that impaired circulation is not related to the amyloid plaques connected with Alzheimer’s disease, processing slides at a speed that might take a single lab researcher an entire week in as little as an hour. With government funding for Alzheimer’s research capped out at $986 million during the past year (and at least $2 billion needed every year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association), volunteer researchers are indispensable.

The next phase in this particular study is to search for a treatment that can address these blood flow blockages without reducing patients’ immune systems – an effort that involves the monotonous examination of more than tens of thousands of images. And even though it’s going to take a lot of time, even with an enthusiastic audience of volunteers, people that have a loved one dealing with the disease find purpose in the ability to do something to work towards an Alzheimer’s cure, at any time the urge arises. According to Judy Johanson, whose father is dealing with the disease, “You don’t have to wait for the walk or the triathlon to do this. You can do this whenever you need to.”

If you’ve got a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re able to register to be part of the Stall Catchers community  in order to assist, and contact Endeavor Home Care’s San Diego dementia care team and our Arizona senior care experts for in-home assistance with specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Our fully trained, experienced, and compassionate caregivers are available as much or as little as needed – whether only a few hours a week to supply family caregivers with a little time to themselves, or full-time, around-the-clock care to keep seniors safe and well. Call us at (480) 535-6800 to learn more.

Get some rest! – Help Awaits Those Suffering from Sundowning – Dementia

Help Awaits Those Suffering from Sundowning - DementiaOftentimes at the end of a day caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, instead of the stress winding down, it can ramp up. As the sun goes down, many persons with Alzheimer’s experience agitation, fearfulness and restlessness. This condition, called sundowning, can be stressful for both the caregiver and the person with Alzheimer’s. Aggravations intensify as family members try to keep the senior suffering from sundowning – dementia calm and safe, while trying to get some rest themselves.

One extraordinary program  provides a solution: overnight care that offers services specifically to people with sundowning troubles. Described as a slumber party ambiance, aging adults take part in a complete variety of structured activities in a safe environment: music and dancing, puzzles, movies, food preparation, and more – delivering family caregivers a much appreciated chance to rest themselves. “Many family members want to care for relatives with Alzheimer’s at home, but in order to do that, the caregivers themselves have to remain healthy. You cannot stay healthy if you don’t get a good night’s sleep,” explains Ruth Drew of the Alzheimer’s Association.

There are certain steps one can take to try and restore a healthier sleep pattern for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Make sure the senior is exercising daily (early in the day).
  • Make sure he or she experiences the sunlight in the morning.
  • Have a set routine for meals, bedtime and wake-up time.
  • Use a softly lit nightlight at nighttime and keep the bedroom a comfortable temperature.
  • Have the senior avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol.
  • If the person with Alzheimer’s is restless or unable to sleep, encourage him or her to get out of bed. This way, the bed will be seen as a place for sleeping only.
  • Find quiet, calming activities for the senior to engage in during wakeful times, but avoid watching TV.

If none of the alternative approaches are working for the senior, the doctor may recommend a medication, such as:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Particular antipsychotics (noting that some antipsychotics are related to an increase of stroke and even death in those with dementia – so proceed with caution)
  • Drugs to aide in falling and staying asleep
  • Benzodiazepines

Make sure to look at the risks vs. benefits of any treatment option recommended by the senior’s physician. And, keep in mind that a treatment plan that works now may not be as effective as the disease progresses – and vice versa.

Arizona’s best home care company, Endeavor Home Care, can also help with overnight caregivers in the home to help restore peace to your loved one suffering from sundowning dementia. Contact us at (480) 535-6800 to learn more.

Alzheimer's disease

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease?If only providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia came with a handbook, rather than the trial-and-error-and-trial-again method so many of us are faced with. The various stages of the disease that have to be worked through cause it to become increasingly challenging; the moment we start to feel reasonably adept at managing one phase, we’re on to the next.

At Endeavor Home Care in Arizona, we recognize firsthand how challenging dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care can be, and present the following suggestions to keep in mind that may help:

  • It is ok to make mistakes. Being human means being imperfect. Keep your expectations of yourself within reason, understanding that there will be times when you have sufficient patience and discernment, and times you wish you could do over. Don’t forget to take care of yourself; and be sure to remind yourself often that you are doing the best you can.
  • Redirecting works better than correcting. When a person with dementia is disoriented, using logic to attempt to reorient the individual can lead to disappointment for both of you. For example, if the person is looking for a childhood friend, instead of explaining that this friend died a long time ago, ask the person to tell you more information about the friend or to talk about a fun adventure they shared.
  • Don’t be afraid to accept your loved one’s alternate reality. We place a high value on truthfulness in our society, and being dishonest with a senior loved one makes us feel uncomfortable. However, if the person truly believes that he’s the author of the book you’re reading, it’s often a wise course of action to simply play along and maintain the peace.
  • Be realistic in both what the person can and cannot do. Even though our inclination may be to take control and take over everything for a person with Alzheimer’s, it’s better to stop and see what he or she is still capable of doing independently. Similarly, if the older adult begins to experience agitation over a task, it’s time to step up and help.
  • Doctors can learn something new, too. Make sure to discuss everything you’re witnessing in your loved one with the doctor during medical appointments. He or she can only deliver the best treatment plan when all of the details are on the table.

Most importantly, it’s essential for family members providing Alzheimer’s disease care to develop a good system of support. Endeavor Home Care is available to partner with you in delivering customized Arizona dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care; contact us at 480-535-6800 for more details.

Breaking the Darkness with a New Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy Option

New Alzheimer’s Disease TherapyScientists are shedding new light on treatments to potentially have an impact on Alzheimer’s disease: light therapy. The benefits of light are only just starting to be tapped, and already are exhibiting some intriguing and encouraging results.

For instance, MIT analysts are experimenting with a form of flickering light Alzheimer’s disease therapy, in which the visual cortex of mice is exhibiting a short-term decrease in beta amyloid plaques. And even though there’s no indication as of yet on how this will correlate to human studies, it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

An additional study with really positive results in seniors with Alzheimer’s is exposure to light which has a blue tint , which is thought to help normalize the body’s circadian rhythm – bringing about better sleeping patterns. Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center at the New York Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, along with geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Guerman Ermolenko, tested the effects of blue light on patients with Alzheimer’s who were having trouble sleeping at night. The seniors were exposed to blue light during the day. After the treatment, in each case, the patients were able to sleep through the night.

Oddly enough, the thinking behind these outcomes comes from the concept that the blue light imitates the blue sky, encouraging our circadian rhythm to be in wake-up mode, and that it may also increase our levels of melatonin through evening – resulting in more wakefulness during the daytime and a more restful night’s sleep.

Something to be aware of: a few Alzheimer’s patients have become over-stimulated by being exposed to blue light. It is necessary to attentively monitor seniors’ responses, and increase yellow light accordingly in the event that unwanted side effects are noticed.

At Endeavor Home Care, as we keep an eye on further Alzheimer’s disease treatment developments, we’re aiding those with dementia, along with the families who care for them, with a selection of individualized Arizona dementia care services to improve quality of life. Endeavor’s caregivers are thoughtfully trained in dementia care and learn the unique approach required to gently encourage someone with Alzheimer’s. We work hard to ensure seniors are safe and living life to their highest potential at all times. Contact us at 480-535-6800 to learn more.

Alzheimer’s Disease Medication in Final Human Trials – Hope Is Rising

Alzheimer’s diseaseWe’re always thrilled to share the latest developments in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease, but none have looked quite so promising as the latest: aducanumab. In its first clinical study, analysts discovered that a considerable amount of amyloid plaque in the patients’ brains disappeared, and even more remarkable, “This is the first antibody tested where the people who had the greatest removal of amyloid from their brains also saw the greatest stabilization of their clinical decline,” according to Dr.Adam Boxer of the San Francisco Memory and Aging Center at the University of California.

Unlike existing Alzheimer’s treatment options with limited and short-term effects, aducanumab’s halting of further memory loss offers an amazing level of hope – and may be available to patients in as early as five years. The goal will be to treat those who are known to be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease before the onset of symptoms.

Even though we are excited about these developments, of course there are possible negatives to address. In those who received the highest dose of the drug in the first phase of testing, brain bleeding and swelling were noted. The next trials will include a larger amount of participants, for a longer amount of time, and careful evaluation of risks vs. advantages.

Impacting nearly 5.3 million Americans, and forecasting to increase to an estimated 16 million by the year 2050, the effect of Alzheimer’s disease on the American public is tragic. One in three seniors dies with some form of dementia, and at this point it’s the only cause of death within the top ten in our country without a cure or prevention.

Additionally, the financial stress is staggering to our nation: $236 billion in 2016 alone, with half of that cost associated with Medicare – ready to grow to a whopping $1.1 trillion by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

At Endeavor Home Care, it’s our dream to see the day when the struggles of Alzheimer’s disease become a memory. But for now, we offer specialized dementia care at home, provided by trained professionals who bring increased quality of life and wellbeing to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Whether the need is for help with personalized care such as with bathing and dressing, light housework and laundry, transportation and errand-running, or merely a kind, patient companion to engage the senior to the best of his or her ability, Endeavor Home Care can help.

Contact us at (480) 535-6800 for more resources and caregiving information, or so that we can share more about how we can travel with you and your loved one throughout the journey of Alzheimer’s disease.

Tips for Alzheimers Care

alzheimers care

Some days are better than others, so the more flexible and adaptable you are, the better care you will be able to offer your loved one.

Having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult process, especially if you are the primary caregiver. Your loved one likely requires constant support, and having to know what to do and how can make you feel almost as confused as your loved one. But there are a few ways to improve the quality of Alzheimer’s care you provide:

Use schedules to your advantage. With careful scheduling, you can plan your loved one’s days so that they are as comfortable as possible. The more consistent a routine you can establish, the less confusion they will experience. In addition, if they have to do something complicated or deviate from the routine, schedule that during the time of day they are the most alert and agreeable.

Don’t turn the schedule into a crutch, however. If you rely too much on the schedule, it can actually make things more difficult for your loved one. Things may often take longer than scheduled, and that’s perfectly fine. The important part is that a routine exists, not that each day is perfectly orchestrated down to the minute.

Remain adaptable. Alzheimer’s disease progresses as time goes on, so the capabilities your loved one has now may not be there in a few years. In addition, some days are better than others. Sometimes your loved one will be worse than their usual, and sometimes they will be better. The more flexible and adaptable you are, the better care you will be able to offer them.

Take care of yourself. Just as you are responsible for caring for your loved one, you are also responsible for caring for yourself. There is no shame in needing a break or asking for help. Don’t forget that you can’t help them if you aren’t at your best.

The most important part of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is the love and care needed to support your loved one in this difficult time in their life. As long as you try your best and are open to improvement, you will do a good job.

Contact us for more information on Alzheimer’s care.

Does Your Diabetic Loved One Also Need Dementia Care?

Did you know that if diabetics don’t take proper care of themselves they could end up needing dementia care? A study that appeared in the July 2015 edition of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicates it’s true and encourages diabetics to take action sooner than later. Research also shows that people suffering from both may benefit from additional care.

What kind of additional care? The type and level vary per individual. However, in-home caregivers may help people in each of the above situations we’ve described. For example, they may remind diabetics and dementia patients to take their insulin injections or tablets. Licensed nurses, on the other hand, are tasked with skilled, medication management and administration tasks.

By staying on top of their insulin regimen

dementia care

Staying on top of diabetes management is crucial to avoid a higher risk of dementia.

s, both dementia and diabetic patients have a better chance of keeping their minds sharp for as long as possible. Plus, they are less likely to have episodes of hyper or hypoglycemia. Such episodes could do more than just jeopardize their thinking further. They could lead to unconsciousness, increased falls risk and other complications.

Having in-home caregivers present could keep diabetics and dementia patients safe during hypo and hyperglycemicevents. For instance, they could offer patients a glass of juice or other simple carbohydrates to bring their glucose levels back to normal during hyperglycemic events. Conversely, they could help patients with a history of hypoglycemia by monitoring their food intake. This includes preparing menu items like thickened liquids and pureed foods.

In addition, people with both illnesses often become incontinent. Those with dementia may be unable to care for themselves after accidents, which could lead to skin breakdown and infections. In-home caregivers could lower that risk by cleaning dementia patients’ skin after accidents and helping them put on fresh clothes. To learn more about how diabetes and dementia care may be given simultaneously, please contact Endeavor Senior Care.

3 Simple Ways to Support a Dementia Caregiver

dementia caregiver

Caregiving provided by a loving person can make a huge difference in the person’s life, but the process of caring for someone suffering from dementia can also become all-consuming.

When a person is caring for someone with dementia, the journey can be extremely emotional, stressful and long. It is made even more difficult because there is currently no cure for dementia and very few medical treatments are helpful. Fortunately, caregiving that is provided by a loving person can make a huge difference in the person’s life, but the process of caring for this person can also become all-consuming.

Because of the struggles involved, a caregiver for a dementia patient needs quite a bit of support from those around them. Knowing that there are people who can be relied on will help make the journey much easier. Here are three simple ways to offer support to a dementia caregiver.

Complete Simple Tasks

When providing dementia care even simple tasks, like picking up groceries, can be a challenge. In order to support a caregiver, an outsider can easily complete errands and other simple tasks around the home.

Offer an Outlet

Sometimes a caregiver simply needs a shoulder to lean on when they are struggling. Offering comfort in these times is one of the best ways that a person can help a dementia caregiver. Friends can help give the caregiver time away from their struggles so that they can relax and unwind.

Care for the Medical Needs

Sometimes the dementia patient isn’t the only person who requires medical attention. Plus, it is easy for the caregiver to ignore issues with their own health when they are caring for someone with dementia. In order to support a caregiver, watch for signs that they require medical attention themselves. It is also helpful to ensure that the caregiver is taking care of their health by eating properly and receiving medical assessments.

Although being a dementia caregiver can be a struggle, there are many ways that others can make the journey a little easier. To learn more about how to care for a dementia caregiver, be sure to contact us today.

Home health care: not synonymous to home care

home care

Home care is provided by non-medical caregivers, who are screened and employed by senior care facilities who assist with activities of daily living.

The phrases “home care” and “home health care” are sometimes used interchangeably, but recently, with an increasing emphasis on geriatric care, there seems to be an emerging need to distinguish one from the other.”Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury” as defined by Medicare, which covers most of its services.

While in both cases, care is provided to your loved one in the comfort of his or her home, the type of care and the provider may be different. Home care is provided by non-medical caregivers, who are screened and employed by senior care facilities such as Endeavor Senior Care and who assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as preparing meals, cleaning the house, doing groceries, taking medications, etc. Home health care, on the other hand, is provided by licensed healthcare workers such as nurses, occupational therapists and medical social workers. These professionals provide in-home medical care, which is “just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF)” according to Medicare.

A medical doctor will decide if home health care is the right option. After prescribing it, he or she may either choose to refer you to a home health agency available in your area or may allow you to contact one that will best meet your loved one’s needs. Either way, the home health staff will constantly be reporting back to the doctor about your loved one’s care and progress.

There may be times when both home care and home health care services are required. For example, your loved one may be in need of both personal and medical assistance. In that case, what do you do? Fortunately, Endeavor Senior Care has a registered nurse on hand and many caretakers in the Phoenix and Tuscon area. For more information on how these services differ from each other and how we can assist your loved one, please contact us at (480) 535-6800.

Terry Pratchett Gives Dementia Care a Patient’s Face

The recent passing of Sir Terry Pratchett offers a rare view of dementia care, a view from the patient’s perspective. If you don’t know Sir Terry, he wrote fantasy and science fiction, publishing more than 70 books. He is best known for his whimsical Discworld series, which includes some 40 volumes set in “a flat world perched on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle.” His obituary from the BBC recounts the details of a remarkable life.

dementia care

Terry Prachett wrote poignantly about the effects of dementia.

It is another of his works that provides his unique view of dementia. You see, Sir Terry suffered from posterior cortical atrophy, a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease which affects vision. He was diagnosed in 2008 and put his fame behind a push for more research. In 2013, he was asked to provide the inaugural entry to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s dementia blog, which is dedicated to telling the stories in dementia patients. He wrote:

“There isn’t one kind of dementia. There aren’t a dozen kinds. There are hundreds of thousands. Each person who lives with one of these diseases will be affected in uniquely destructive ways. . . . Dementia attacks those facets which make us who we are, and it’s a deeply personal attack that defies prediction.”

Sir Terry wrote about the fear the dementia inspires in all of us. “Dementia vies with cancer in an unsavoury battle of the scariest, but it must be said that some lucky people will survive cancer.” That fear infects not only the patients, but their family and friends as well. Those loved ones are the foundation of what he calls “a trained and compassionate care system” which includes family and caregivers working together.

If your loved one has dementia, selecting a caregiver is one of the most important decisions that you will make. Contact us to help you find someone with the training and compassion that your loved one needs.