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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.

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.

Early Warning Signs that in Home Care is Needed

There is nothing easy about watching our loved ones grow old. They are the ones that we have always turned to in a time of need, but now the roles are reversed and they find themselves leaning more on others. Becoming the caregiver to someone who has always given back to you can be difficult. One of the most important things that you can do when in this situation is to look for early warning signs that in home care is needed.

in home care

It’s time to consider in home care if your loved one is showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

One early sign that a loved one may need homecare is related to their memory. While it is common for people to repeat themselves on occasion, you should definitely note if your loved one does so more than normal. This could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia or could even be the sign that a stroke has occurred.

Another sign that you should look for is your loved one forgetting common things and misplacing things. Keep in mind that it is not abnormal to forget or misplace something, but putting things like a purse or a pair of shoes in the refrigeratormay be a sign that something more serious is going on.

Other more subtle issues may be reason for concern as well. For example, dramatic mood changes or sudden decreases in interests, appetite or energy may also be a sign that homecare is needed. While these problems can appear in anyone, they often point to more serious health concerns in the elderly.

If you notice any of these changes in your loved one, you may be surprised to find that this could be an indication thathomecare is needed. For best results, consult your loved one’s regular doctor privately about their specific needs. In order to learn more about the signs that indicate that your loved one may need homecare, please contact us.

Home Healthcare Solutions Exist for People with PTSD Dementia

Have you ever experienced trauma in your life? According to the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’s ongoing research, almost all of us have gone through such events. Unfortunately, a May 2015 article that appeared in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry indicates having those types of experiences puts us at risk of developing something many families don’t anticipate.

home healthcare

There are treatment options for PTSD dementia patients, and we can help your family find the right one.

If you guessed dementia, you’d be correct. On a good note, the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder also believes that people suffering from one or both illnesses would benefit from home healthcare. It is one item on a list of treatment options the center released previously to interested caregivers. A registered nurse or physician can go over, in detail, the other items on the list for families that are interested.

Based on those published treatment recommendations, it’s apparent that the agency’s experts widely believe that everything from medically necessary assistance to companion care services may help. So families should know that it is normal to see both types of care included on a PTSD dementia patient’s care plan.

There are a number of ways to pay for home healthcare for PTSD dementia patients. As such, specialized care plans and related treatments are in reach for those that need it. For example, treatment for trauma experienced as part of service to our country may be covered by Veterans Administration programs and private insurance. Our team members are willing to sit down and offer guidance to families in need of PTSD dementia in-home care.

To learn more about obtaining care for people with PTSD related dementia and receive personalized assistance, pleasecontact us at Endeavor Senior Care. We specialize in caring for people with various forms of dementia, including post-traumatic, LBD, Alzheimer’s and TBI. All of our caregivers are screened. Plus, we’re bonded and insured.

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.

Dementia Care: Hard on Them, Hard on You

Over five million people live with Alzheimer’s Disease in the U.S. What makes that figure even more staggering is that Alzheimer’s is not the only type of dementia affecting elders. When you consider the number of people who struggle with dementia of all kinds, that figure balloons. Being the caregiver for a loved one who is ill can be difficult. Dementia care adds another dimension. Dementia is usually progressive. That means we lose a bit more of our loved one every day. Communication is harder. Daily activities like bathing and caring for teeth can become confrontations.

dementia care

Reminiscing together may be a comfort to your loved one, as long-term memories are often retained.

Living with dementia can be hard on your loved one and on you, the caregiver; a few hints might help lighten your task.

There are reasons for behaviors like emptying a pots- and- pans drawer or sleeping on the floor. Maybe the person is feeling useless and needs a purpose. Folding washcloths could satisfy that need. Perhaps she is frightened of sleeping in a “high” bed and feels more comfortable on the floor where she can’t roll off. Look for the cause of a behavior and then try to accommodate it, not control it. There are worse things in life than sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Behaviors like tantrums can be terrifying for the adult and for his caregiver. Watch for “triggers” that seem to accompany the behavior. Perhaps there was a change in his routine or someone used specific words that elicited fear or anger.

Wandering is a major concern for the caregiver of a person with dementia. You might try placing alarms on the doors, or changing latches to be more challenging. Another idea is to set a regular exercise time, or a daily walk with you. One novel idea is to paint a black square or place a black mat on exit thresholds. The wanderer may perceive that as a barrier or a deep ravine that cannot be crossed.

Communication with a loved one who has dementia is hard–and becomes harder as the condition progresses. Remember that your attitude and body language telegraph a lot of information without saying a word. Get the person’s attention by saying her name and touching her. Then keep it simple. If you have to ask questions, keep the answers “yes” and “no.” If you are offering choices, show them: use the actual object or pictures and be patient while waiting for a response. Remember the person for whom you are caring is still the person he or she always was. Reminiscing may be comforting and enjoyable for both of you. Short-term memory almost always fails, but long-term memories may still be intact.

Caring for someone with dementia is exhausting physically and emotionally. Fatigue and frustration can make you resentful. Eventually, you might find it to be more than you can manage. When that time comes, a senior care service provider can save your health and your relationship with your loved one. In-home respite care can give you some free time, knowing your family member was safe and cared-for; live-in care could allow your loved one to remain in a familiar environment and free you to pursue other activities again.

Contact us if you have questions about how we could help you live more successfully as a caregiver for someone with dementia.