June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month – the ideal time to recommit ourselves to combating Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, while providing the best possible care and support to loved ones living with the disease.
Alzheimer’s continues to be one of the leading causes of death and declining quality of life for senior adults in America and around the world. And with increased awareness and publicity about the disease, including stories of famous people’s struggles with Alzheimer’s, it has become a very public affair and part of our daily social conscience.
As beautiful as winter can be with its snow-covered landscapes and glistening, ice-laden trees, the winter season can be especially challenging for the health and safety of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Winter’s cold temperatures, icy sidewalks and other seasonal hazards mean that at-home caregivers must be especially vigilant in safeguarding their loved ones’ well-being.
Dementia care authorities at the Alzheimer’s Association and the Mayo Clinic have long recognized the therapeutic benefits of music for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Recently, the scientific knowledge on the effects of music on the symptoms of dementia was advanced further in a report published in the July 2018 edition of JAMDA, the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
“Today, many at-home caregivers struggle with creating daily routines that are beneficial to their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” says Heather Miller, Personal Care Administrator at Impressions Memory Careat Bryn Mawr located in Bryn Mawr, PA.
“Caregivers commonly express a variety of concerns such as: How do I organize their day? What routines will mom or dad respond to best? How do I know if I’m doing the right things to relieve their dementia symptoms and improve their quality of life?
Many people mistakenly believe that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the same things. The truth is that Alzheimer’s is only one form of a broader category of cognitive decline known as dementia. In fact, there are many other types of dementia with vascular multi-infarct dementia being one. Each form has its own unique causes, characteristics and suggested treatments.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can create numerous challenges for devoted caregivers and their families. Because the future can be unpredictable and dementia progresses at different rates for each person, dementia care authorities advise that it is important to begin planning early for end-of-life care.
Your life as a caregiver is important, too! Unfortunately, in the daily routine of their highly challenging roles, at-home caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often lose sight of that fundamental fact.
“We all look forward to the holiday season, a time for friends, family, special gatherings, good food and good cheer,” says Steve Carney,Wellness Coordinator/Administrator at ImpressionsMemory Careat Bryn Mawr located in Bryn Mawr, PA.