Sunday, December 15, 2013

2014 Caregiver Overtime Law - Effective January 1st in California | LinkedIn

2014 Caregiver Overtime Law - Effective January 1st in California | LinkedIn: 2014 Caregiver Overtime Law - Effective January 1st in California

Jeromy Meyer Community Liaison at Raya's Paradise Board & Care and CARE Homecare - West Hollywood

I wanted to share some news about the new law regarding caregiver overtime. As you are well aware I'm sure, on January 1, 2014 the state of California will be requiring ALL licensed, insured & bonded in-home caregiver/companion providers to pay Caregivers overtime. As a provider also of Caregivers in the home, Raya's Paradise/CARE Homecare have come up with a way to fairly accommodate those clients and families who's rates will become impossible to maintain.

Jeromy Meyer, Community Liaison

CARE Homecare and Raya's Paradise Board & Care

cell: 323-599-6056

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wound Care Basics Today's Caregiver magazine November/December Issue


 Wound Care Basics

Studies have shown that more than one-third of caregivers believe wound care is a challenging task and want better education on treatment.

Whether your loved one is living with diabetes, skin tears or pressure ulcers, wound care is an important topic for family caregivers to learn more about.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Avoid Getting Sick from Your Food | National Institute on Aging

Avoid Getting Sick from Your Food | National Institute on Aging: Avoid Getting Sick from Your Food

For an older person, a food-related illness can be life threatening. As you age, you have more trouble fighting off microbes. Health problems, like diabetes or kidney disease, also make you more likely to get sick from eating foods that are unsafe. So if you are over age 65, be very careful about how food is prepared and stored.

 For recommended refrigerator and freezer storage times for common foods, download our Storing Cold Food tip sheet (PDF, 75K).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Your Seniors Net Worth

Your Seniors Net Worth:

Unless your parent is single (or divorced or widowed) and has few or no assets, you will have to know his or her financial situation before you can make long term care plans. Except for those with very low income and almost no assets, in the United States long term care is primarily a private pay affair. How do you know what your parent can afford?

You calculate their net worth, and look at where the money is. Is it in a place where you can access it easily, such as a bank account? Will it be "liquid" within a matter of months or a few years, such as in a CD? Will your parent take a large loss if you have to liquidate something prematurely, such as stocks or bonds? Are most of your parent's assets tied up in real estate? You need to know this before you can make some important decisions.

Use the Senior Net Worth Estimator to begin your calculations. With this information you will be able to plan realistically and productively. Remember that for a host of reasons it makes most sense to use your parent's funds before your own when paying for care.

Download the Senior Net Worth Estimator

Caregiver Daily Log

Caregiver Daily Log

If you've hired your caregiver privately, unless you provide an easy-to-use form the chances that your caregiver will consistently make note of what you need and want to know is slim. Some families ask their caregivers to record notes in a loose-leaf or spiral notebook, but without guidance about what to record, these notes tend to become shorter and shorter as time goes by.

The Caregiver Daily Log form is available for you to download and use. Remember to save it to your computer in a place you can remember. Print one two-sided sheet per caregiver per day. The easiest way to keep them organized for your caregiver(s) is to use a three-hole punch and keep them in a three-ring binder.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Palliative Care Services: Support For the Entire Family | Griswold

Palliative Care Services: Support For the Entire Family | Griswold: Caring For More Than Just the Patient

Palliative care services are also not focused solely on the patient. The palliative care team understands the important role that family members and friends play in the recovery and comfort of the patient. Part of the services offered include dealing with the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and family. A chronic or life threatening illness can take a heavy emotional toll. The palliative care team will help reduce the stress of the family caretakers.

Costs are always a concern when it comes to medical issues. As most palliative care takes place in a hospital or nursing home, for the most part it is typically covered by insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. If payment is an issue, a palliative care team member can help determine which payment options are best for you.

Palliative care teams understand the stresses that you and your family face. The anxiety, fatigue, depression, and pain that can become part of coping with a chronic illness do not have to become the center of everyone’s attention and the focus of their energy. For an older adult with a serious or chronic disease, palliative care can add an additional layer of support and care for the patient and family members.

Quick & Easy Tip: Help A Senior Who is No Longer Driving | Ensemble of Care Café

Quick & Easy Tip: Help A Senior Who is No Longer Driving | Ensemble of Care Café: It’s hard to imagine a day without our cars to get us where we need to go.

Think about the mature adults in your life–maybe a neighbor or friend, mom or dad, grandma or grandpa–who are feeling lonely and cut-off from the world because they just aren’t getting around like they used to. Many times, older adults stay home and remain isolated when they stop or limit their driving.

Take a minute to think about how you would get to the places you needed to go if you could not use your car this week. Oh my, this takes a bit of planning doesn’t it? What if you need to haul some groceries home? Wow, there may be some loopholes you never thought out!

If you want to lend a helping hand to a senior in your life, here’s one way you can help out that is fairly quick and easy. Simply fill out the chart we’ve prepared below and hand it off to your someone special. We’ve created a sample to guide you. Let us know how they liked it!


(800) 974-1323 | Lake County |
Local Transportation Options Worksheet

Sunday, October 20, 2013

10 Things You Need to Know About Debts After Death, Part 2

10 Things You Need to Know About Debts After Death, Part 2: 10 Things You Need to Know About Debts After Death, Part 2 of 2
October 18, 2013 By Kathryn Flanigan

piggy bank on cash  When a loved one dies, do their debts die with them? The answer is, it depends. Following are the second 5 of 10 things you need to know about debts after the death of a loved one:

Wait to distribute assets. No assets from the estate should be distributed until all debts are settled. If assets are distributed and there is not enough left in the estate to handle outstanding debts, the heirs could become responsible for the debts.

Work with a probate attorney.  When it comes to questions about debts after death, the law can be complicated in community property states like California.  It is best to contact a probate attorney for help.
The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services.  When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Links | GeriPal - Geriatrics and Palliative Care Blog

Links | GeriPal - Geriatrics and Palliative Care Blog: Home

We are populating a new list of links for national geriatrics and palliative care organizations (in addition to the blog role that is on our main page). Let us know if you have other sites that you think should be on this list!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Jewish Family Service of Metrowest (JFS) social, health and community services to people in need.

Our Services | ElderCare: Home

We provide a wide range of services to the elderly, helping clients maintain independence and self-esteem, address present needs, and plan for the future. Caregivers need support too! You and your family members have enormous demands on your time and energy. We'll help relieve your worries. Guidance, support, and concrete services are provided at the highest personal and professional standards, helping your relative age with dignity.

Here is a great article on the growing elder care crisis in America today and how Baby Boomers are now the primary caregivers to their aging parents. Click here to read more.

Our Mission
Nuestros Servicios
Care Management
Home Care
Healthy Partners
Friendly Visitors
Patient Navigator

Services | Metrowest Accounting and Tax Solutions :: Babineau CPA, LLC

Services | Metrowest Accounting and Tax Solutions :: Babineau CPA, LLC: Babineau CPA offers a complete range of accounting services. Some of our clients engage us for “full cycle” bookkeeping: recording cash receipts and disbursements, reconciling bank statements, preparing payroll and preparing monthly financial statements. Other clients hire us for part of this process. We work with each client on an individual basis to develop custom solutions for a common goal: creating and maintaining an accounting system that allows the clients to efficiently and profitably operate their business.

Our firm can prepare financial statements for use by banks, investors or simply to help business owners manage their business.
Tax Preparation, Planning and Representation

We prepare federal and state individual, partnership, corporate and fiduciary income tax returns for clients all over the country. Our goal is to see that our clients pay the legal minimum amount of tax.

Besides assisting clients with federal and state tax filing requirements, we also offer tax planning services. We help clients project potential future tax liabilities, develop strategies for minimizing tax burdens, and plan for adequate cash flows to satisfy tax debts.

Friday, September 27, 2013

inflatable moving and handling and bathing equipment

About - Mangar | Mangar - - page.php: Established in 1981, Mangar International is a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of inflatable moving and handling and bathing equipment. We are an award winning company who serve a global healthcare market.

To enable people to retain their independence and dignity
To reduce strain and injury risk for carers

We achieve these by designing products and rehabilitation equipment for disabled and elderly people to help with everyday tasks such as getting in and out of bed, taking a bath, and lifting a fallen person from the floor.

 Elk Inflatable Emergency Lifting Cushion  approx: $2300.00

Elk Lifting Cushion

The Mangar Elk is a lifting cushion designed to lift a person from the floor with the help of only one person

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Interview with Jaime Estremera-Fitzgerald about Area Agencies on Aging

An Interview with Jaime Estremera-Fitzgerald: Jaime Estremera-Fitzgerald: Area Agencies on Aging were set up to oversee the whole older Americans Act system, which is really to keep having support and services available in every county in America for seniors and their caregivers as they age in place. That’s the key. And the mission has always been to keep people at home for as long as possible, with dignity and independence.

The new designation of Aging and Disability Resource Centers speaks to a whole national movement of bringing together all the pieces that older Americans are involved with as they age. And many Americans in this country have children that are disabled, who themselves have aged quite a bit. They may even be seniors. And guess what? The seniors, the parents or family members are now older themselves and they’re developing problems and needs.

Coping with Death for Carers and Professionals

Coping with Death for Carers and Professionals: Coping with death is something we have to learn to do.....

Grief and Sympathy is written by , Elizabeth Postle (usually known as Betty). The site  is built and edited by Lesley Postle .

When you join the caring professions, whether as a nurse or a doctor, a paramedic, or a police officer, you are going to have to accept that you will come across death in your line of work.

Your roles are some of the most rewarding in the world, and you will gain immense satisfaction working in the caring professions. But coping with death is something that we have to learn to do. It is not easy, but by supporting each other, we can learn to deal with it and stay positive.

There are many emotional highs and lows in our jobs. When someone recovers or is rescued from a dangerous position, you will feel on top of the world. Other days, you will have some terrible lows when someone dies or is badly injured. You will have to cope with many grieving relatives and people in shock. It is never easy.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alzheimer's Navigator Map out a plan to approach Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Navigator: Map out a plan to approach Alzheimer's

When facing Alzheimer's disease, there are a lot of things to consider. Alzheimer's Navigator helps guide you to answers by creating a personalized action plan and linking you to information, support and local resources.

You can move at your own pace

Create your private profile and complete the Welcome Survey.

Take short surveys pertaining to your needs with:

Planning for the Future

Working with Doctor/Healthcare Professionals

Caregiver Support

Activities of Daily Living

Home Safety


Knowledge of Alzheimer's

Review your action plan to get more information, support and local resources.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Questions to Ask When Your Aging Parent is Discharged from the Hospital - eCaring Forum

 Questions to Ask When Your Aging Parent is Discharged from the Hospital

Posted on September 9, 2013 by Melody Wilding

If your parent is returning home after discharge, be prepared with this comprehensive list of questions to ask the discharge planner. 

About your loved one’s health condition:

  • Please explain the diagnosis at discharge.

  • What milestones and setbacks can we expect during recovery?

  • What follow-up appointments are needed and with whom? Who is scheduling them?

  • Where will these appointments take place? At home? In the office?

  • Who can I call with questions?

  • What types of health care services have been prescribed? (physical therapy, home health service)

  • How long are these services needed for?

  • Who is paying for them?

About scheduling:

  • What date and time will my loved one be discharged?

  • How do you suggest the transfer to the home be made (car, taxi, ambulance)? Is an escort necessary?

About the home environment:

  • What equipment will we need in the home? (hospital bed, oxygen tank, wheelchair, bedside commode)

  • Can you demonstrate how to use equipment we are unfamiliar with?

  • Who pays for this equipment?

  • How do reorder supplies and who do we call with problems?

About providing care:

  • What type of supervision and level of personal care will my loved one need?

  • Can you or the appropriate person teach me techniques for skills I need to perform such as giving injections or changing dressings?

  • What, if any, special dietary restrictions does my loved one have?

About medications:

  • What medication has been prescribed?

  • What side effects are associated with these medications? (falls, confusion, nausea) | Better Lives through Better Care | About Us: eCaring was started by family members responsible for coordinating and planning 24 hour home care for their elderly parents.

to the difficulties and challenges of providing such care, they reached
out to find the best professional and practical expertise of health
care-industry professionals.

In doing so, they created eCaring:

a complete, Web-based system

for recording, monitoring, and managing

health at home


eCaring Payroll Module

For families paying for home health care, and agencies providing it, eCaring provides the best possible report for time worked and wages, up-to-date and easily accessible

 Questions to Ask When Your Aging Parent is Discharged from the Hospital - eCaring Forum:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Improve the care of people with in hospitals

New innovative training to improve the care of people with dementia in general hospitals: Pat Graham, Senior Nurse for Older People at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s so important for the care of people with dementia that all staff understand them and how best to meet their needs. The programme can be delivered in a very flexible way which means it can be accessed easily. Our staff have benefited greatly from the training and therefore so have our patients.”

The “Getting to Know Me” training materials can be downloaded free of charge from

The project was funded by Greater Manchester Health, Innovation and Education Cluster (GM-HIEC).

Monday, September 9, 2013

Interior Organization | Clear the Clutter and Simplify Life

Interior Organization | Clear the Clutter and Simplify Life

 Interior Organization is a Professional Organization Firm providing organizing services and products to residential and commercial clients in the Greater Detroit Area.  Our goal is to provide exceptional Professional Organizing services to our clients by restoring function and accessibility to spaces both small and large. We help put the joy back into places that have been a source of stress or disfunction.

 Holly Amato

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Welcome to the I CAN! I WILL! Library | Alzheimer's Disease International

Welcome to the I CAN! I WILL! Library | Alzheimer's Disease International

Welcome to the I CAN! I WILL! Library

I CAN! I WILL! is a library of ideas to help people around the world stand up and speak out about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

These ideas, which raise awareness about dementia and help to erase the stigma, have been contributed by people just like you - people with dementia, care partners, medical professionals, volunteers and advocates - so that you can learn from their experiences and they can learn from you.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Entry Alerts that Alarm You When Someone Enters Your Facility

Entry Alerts that Alarm You When Someone Enters Your Facility

 This is the new "A" system, not compatible with older models. Please call us for availability on models to match your system.The "DA50L-A Wireless Door Chime Set" is a highly versatile passive infrared (PIR) door announcer that senses the infrared emitted by a person or object crossing through its field of view. The DA50L-A wireless door chime operates without reflectors or light beam projectors and therefore is immune to false alerts caused by transient light. You can use with door opened or closed. The DA50L-A Wireless Door Chime is battery powered and does not require electrical wiring. This unique PIR makes the DA50L-A wireless door chime set the best solution for virtually any installation. It can also be used on warehouse roll up doors, inside display cabinets, restricted area protection, or (patio, bedroom, bathroom) window alerting device.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vigil Health Solutions Inc. - Products

Vigil Health Solutions Inc. - Products: Vigil Dementia System

The Vigil Dementia System provides residents suffering from dementia with a means of summoning help without being cognitively alert. The Vigil Dementia System's intelligent software and passive sensors continually monitor resident rooms to detect unexpected behavior for example: extended time out of bed or in the restroom, leaving the room, even incontinence. Incidents are automatically reported to the appropriate caregiver via silent pager, wireless phones or email enabled smart phone, facilitating a calm home-like environment, and eliminating the need for audible alarms or flashing lights that agitate residents.

Take a room tour of the award-winning Vigil Dementia System.

About Senior Housing Forum

Senior Housing Forum exists to address issues and ideas that directly relate to the senior housing industry. It is published by Steve Moran a 30+ year senior housing veteran.

The following article was authored by Karen Austin

While teaching college English for 30 years, I thought I knew a great deal about the human mind. After all, I was teaching critical thinking. Entering the field of gerontology has brought me to a greater awareness of how the brain works. As people experience changes based on trauma, disease or even just the passing of time, we can see brain functions that we take for granted.

Because of my area of research and my blog, I frequently have friends and acquaintances ask me if a parent’s changing cognition is a sign of dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. I am not a neurologist, so I am not qualified to assess. I ask them to schedule an appointment with their parent’s general practitioner.

Nevertheless, I provide an overview of some of the many reasons why an aging parent might demonstrate a change in cognition.

Age-related Cognitive Changes. By the time people reach their 40s, they usually notice it’s harder to retrieve names with ease. As we age, we experience cognitive slowing. This makes it harder to multi-task, and it takes longer to retrieve information. We also think better with fewer distractions.

Mild Cognitive Impairment. This diagnosis emerged in the 1990s as a midpoint between normal age-related changes and dementia. People with MCI experience cognitive changes greater than their age and educational level; however, they can still perform day-to-day functions. Only 30% will progress to dementia over 10 years. The rest hold steady or return to former cognitive levels.

Delirium. Often rapid change in cognition is due to delirium, brought on by dehydration, infection, sleep deprivation or incorrect use of prescription medication. It’s important to get immediate medical attention to treat the underlying problem causing the mental confusion.

Hospital-induced psychosis. Many people suffering from the shock of a medical problem will have a dramatic change in cognition affecting memory. Infection or pain medication can cause or contribute to an altered mental state. The effects sometimes extend beyond the hospital stay, morphing into post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychological Disorders. Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are just a few of the psychological disorders that can affect a person’s attention, concentration, executive function and memory. Depression is particularly under diagnosed and under-treated among older adults.

Drug or Alcohol Abuse. If a younger person behaves oddly, people will too often assume drug or alcohol abuse when it could be something else. Too often older people are pronounced “senile” when the cause for their cognitive disorder could be substance abuse.

Strokes or TIAs. If the cognitive change is sudden, the underlying cause could be a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). The person needs immediate medical attention.

Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury. If a person has suffered a blow to the head from a fall or another type of accident, they might have a concussion. Or the injury could result in a traumatic brain injury, which is more serious.

Dementia. Yes, sometimes cognitive changes to signal the early stages of dementia from Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington Disease or another disease. It’s vital to get an assessment with a cognitive tool such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). A doctor might first administer a shorter test in the office before referring to a neurologist or another specialist for more extensive testing.

Most often, cognitive changes are age-related, and the adult child is overly concerned. Nevertheless, sometimes a more serious problem causes the change in mental functioning, which requires attention from a medical professional. Learn more about the causes listed above by consulting qualified sources on the Internet, in print or in person.

When you are dealing with family members of residents who have cognitive changes, how do you help them with this painful reality?

Karen Austin blogs about aging at The Generation Above Me

Presented with permission from Steve Moran -

Steve's Bio

I am the publisher of Senior Housing Forum. In the early 80's shortly after graduating from college I stumbled into the senior housing industry. I started by operating and later developing a number of small 15 bed buildings (I was young, foolish and not terribly successful). For the next 20 or so years I worked in and around the senior housing developing and operating CCRC's and freestanding single level of care communities.

I took a 10 year detour into high tech but found that senior housing was my first love.

I am currently an account manager for Vigil Health Solutions where we provide the finest emergency call systems for independent living, assisted living, skilled living and dementia units. (


Friday, July 19, 2013

TaskRabbit Support : About TaskRabbit

Prices of Popular Tasks:

Grocery Shopping
Avg. $35 groceries
House Cleaning
Avg. $60 cleaning supplies
Avg. $85 tools

 Support Center/About TaskRabbit

Overview | Recent

Instant Answers for New Users (21) »

Why can't I log in to the Support Center?

How do I deactivate my account?

How can I see tasks that are posted on the website?

Marketplace Rules (6) »

Can I pay for a task using cash?

Can someone who is not a TaskRabbit do a task?

TaskRabbit's Guiding Principles

Trust and Safety (7) »

Are TaskPosters background-checked?

What if I have a question, dispute, or other problem?

Why do you need my credit card information? How does payment work?

Community Support For Developers (24) »

How do I access your API?

Can I start a taskrabbit in my hometown?

How do I get an 'access token' through OAuth

Ten Questions To Ask When Choosing A Home Care Provider | Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

What is the background of your company?

Search out the history and ownership of the company. What type of license do they have? Find out who owns the company and weigh how the ownership affects the company’s service and reliability. Is this agency backed by a nationally strong firm? Is it reputable and in good standing? Is it involved in professional organizations?

2. How long has your company been in business?

The number of years an agency has been in business is not always pertinent to the quality of care given, but it does reflect on the stability and success of the company.

3. What qualifications, certifications, experience and training do you require of your workers?

read more


Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

Serving as a designated Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)

Main Office – Pinellas County, Florida20130221 DSC_0054 for web

9549 Koger Blvd.

Gadsden Building, Suite 100

St Petersburg, FL 33702

Phone: (727) 570-9696

Helpline 1-800-963-5337
For inquiries from outside of the area call
(727) 217-8111

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tender Book Teaches Children about Alzheimer’s Disease | Alzheimer's Speaks Blog

Alzheimer's Speaks Blog
Trailblazing Teen Researcher

Wins Accolades for Best-Seller

Tender Book Teaches Children

about Alzheimer’s Disease

July 18, 2013, Boston, MA– At age five, Max Wallack learned to cope with his great-grandmother’s Alzheimer’s symptoms. Forgetfulness was the least of her problems: Max experienced her fears, episodes of irrational behavior, incontinence – even escape attempts. But Wallack didn’t just cope. He devoted himself to easing her suffering. By second grade, he had invented adaptive equipment to help her with mobility, and at age 12 he founded, a non-profit charity that distributes therapeutic puzzles at no cost to Alzheimer’s facilities worldwide.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Caregiver Partnership Agreement Program™ to organizations and care facilities that provide specialized care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Home - Remembering4you - Alzheimer’s Coaching:

Dr. Ethelle Lord,
Remembering 4 You
P. O. Box 193
Mapleton, ME 04757
Phone: (207) 764-1214

a unique Caregiver Partnership Agreement Program™ to organizations and care facilities that provide specialized care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In this program physicians, administrators, social workers, nursing staff, and families are trained and certified to work as a cohesive team known as Care Partners™ in a number of important areas such as instituting a care model versus the medical model to save about 50% in costs, speaking Alzheimer’s, adopting a seamless transfer method from home to long-term care, improved family communications, and many more.

Our perspective is that the medical model of care for Alzheimer’s and many dementias is not appropriate. Healthcare systems cannot continue to sustain in this way and change must begin with top decision makers. We must educate both family caregivers and professional caregivers in ways that will improve careDisclaimer: is NOT a medical website. It was developed to provide useful information for individuals and facilities who give care to individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. We do not have medical personnel on staff or on retainer to answer your questions. We do not make any medical referrals or offer a second opinion to an existing medical condition such as Alzheimer's, and we cannot offer replies to any specific case because every case is different. Instead, we hope that you will use the many links offered throughout the website to locate other sites of interest; utilize our contact page to share ideas and ask questions; send us your personal story for publication on our Stories section; and to sign up for our class offerings if you feel those classes are of interest to you or to your organization. Remembering 4 You reserves the right to refuse to post any story that may be objectionable and if photos are mailed to us, we are unable to return them to you.

The information on the World Wide Web comes from many sources and changes on a daily basis. Please note that it is possible to find errors and omissions in such information. To the best of its knowledge Remembering 4 You, contributors and sponsors to this website believe the information presented on this website is accurate and complete.

The goal at is to support and encourage caregivers all over the world, family caregivers and professional caregivers, in their quest to provide care for individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. It is our intent to create a safe place to meet and retreat together. We do not endorse any miracle cure or easy way to provide the care, but we do encourage visitors to our site to explore and challenge themselves whether it be through gathering information or taking a class. A link to an outside product or site should never be viewed as a recommendation or an endorsement of a particular product. Always consult your doctor first.

Note: Remembering 4 You believes you should always direct medical or health questions to your medical provider. and lower costs.

We can all learn something from your personal story. Please send your 1-2 pages personal story (with or without pictures) to:

Dr. Ethelle Lord, P. O. Box 193, Mapleton, Me 04757

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hospices Directory | Best Hospices |

Hospices Directory | Best Hospices |

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Hospice Program There are more than 3,100 hospices in this country and the hospice in your community can provide information and help you answer some of the difficult decisions that accomp...

What is Dementia?

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a combination of several symptoms that are associated with the declining abilities of the brain and its functions. There may be a decline in thinking, memory, cognition, language skills, understanding and judgement.

Over time people with dementia worsen and may have problems controlling their emotions or behaviour. They may need the help of their family, friends or caregivers in making decisions. They may eventually become apathetic to their surroundings. The cause of dementia lies in the damage to the structure of the brain.

Dementia epidemiology

Dementia is a common condition. In England there are 570,000 people living with dementia. With the rise of the elderly population and increase in life expectancy the number of people with dementia is predicted to rise over the next three decades.

Usually dementia occurs in people who are 65 or over. It is rarely diagnosed in the under 40s. By the age of 80 about one in five are affected, and 1 in 3 people in the UK will have dementia by the time they die. Dementia is slightly more common in women than in men.

Types of dementia

Dementia may be of 100 different types. Some of them include:

  • Alzheimer's disease is where small clumps of protein, known as plaques, begin to develop around brain cells. This may lead to severe loss of memory over time.
  • Another type is vascular dementia where there are problems in the blood supply to the brain. The brain does not receive adequate oxygen.
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies is another form of dementia where small abnormal structures, known as Lewy bodies, develop inside the brain.
  • Frontotemporal dementia is said to occur when frontal and temporal lobes (two parts of the brain) start shrinking. This may occur in individuals under 65 years of age. It is much rarer than other types of dementia.

Dementia and other disorders

Sometimes dementia may be accompanied by other mental disorders like mood swings, anxiety and depression and confusion.

Many other illnesses can cause dementia. These may include viral infections such as HIV, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, chronic heavy alcohol intake, Huntington's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and normal pressure hydrocephalus, Multiple sclerosis and Motor neurone disease.

Prognosis or outlook of dementia

There is no cure for dementia. In most patients the symptoms worsen over time.

Reviewed by April Cashin-Garbutt, BA Hons (Cantab)



What is Dementia? article

What is Dementia?: Types of dementia

Dementia may be of 100 different types. Some of them include:

Alzheimer’s disease is where small clumps of protein, known as plaques, begin to develop around brain cells. This may lead to severe loss of memory over time.

Another type is vascular dementia where there are problems in the blood supply to the brain. The brain does not receive adequate oxygen.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is another form of dementia where small abnormal structures, known as Lewy bodies, develop inside the brain.

Frontotemporal dementia is said to occur when frontal and temporal lobes (two parts of the brain) start shrinking. This may occur in individuals under 65 years of age. It is much rarer than other types of dementia.

Dementia and other disorders

Sometimes dementia may be accompanied by other mental disorders like mood swings, anxiety and depression and confusion.

Many other illnesses can cause dementia. These may include viral infections such as HIV, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, chronic heavy alcohol intake, Huntington's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and normal pressure hydrocephalus, Multiple sclerosis and Motor neurone disease.

Prognosis or outlook of dementia

There is no cure for dementia. In most patients the symptoms worsen over time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What is an Elder Law Attorney? | Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

What is an Elder Law Attorney? | Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.: What is an Elder Law Attorney?


Attorneys who work in the field of elder law bring more to their practice than an expertise in the appropriate area of law. They also have knowledge of the senior population and their unique needs as well as the myths related to competence and aging. They are aware of the physical and mental difficulties that often accompany the aging process. Because of their broad knowledge base they are able to more thoroughly address the legal needs of their clients.

For example, when planning an estate, an elder law attorney would take into consideration the health of the person or couple, the potential for nursing home care and the wishes and concerns of the person or couple if that event were to occur. If need arises, the elder law attorney will associate other legal experts.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall | Alzheimer's Reading Room: By +Bob DeMarco

+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall

Print and tape to the wall. Follow the directions in the circle.

If you are like me, you probably felt like you could put everything you knew about Alzheimer's disease in a thimble the day you received the diagnosis.

And, if you are like me, you probably realized over time that you developed some skills over the course of your life that would help you to deal with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

With this in mind, you will need to learn how to engage in new and different kinds of communication while interacting with someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease in order to remain sane.

You can use some of the communication tools you developed over the course of your life that work; and then, you develop new communication tools that you use only while in Alzheimer's World.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Dementia Book Every Family & Professional Needs

A Dementia Book Every Family & Professional Needs | Alzheimer's Speaks Blog: A Dementia Book

Every Family & Professional Needs

This book shows and explains to the reader what is happening and why.
It answers the questions of what do we do now? It shows the reader how to interact with someone who has been diagnosed in a loving and respectful fashion. It teaches us not to loose our relationship to illness, but to adapt life to the imperfections we all have. Lori La Bey

Friday, June 28, 2013

Top Ten Articles of June 2013

Top Ten Articles of June 2013:

 Here are the top ten articles you read in June

Which one was your favorite?

Avoiding Mistakes when Buying a Power Lift Chair Recliner

Emotional First Aid

10 Tips to Protect a Wandering Loved One

Heat Stress in the Elderly

Arthritis Tips

Ten Tips for Ensuring Medication Safety

Nine Ways to Get Someone to Eat

A Caregiver's Bill of Rights

Parkinson's Disease: Tips for Caregivers

Bipolar Disorder: Preventing Manic Episodes

Read them now!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

- Smart911 data etc

What is Smart911? - Smart911: What is Smart911?

Smart911 is a free service that allows citizens across the U.S. to create a Safety Profile for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency. Then, when anyone in that household dials 9-1-1 from a phone associated with their Safety Profile, their profile is immediately displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker providing additional information that can be used to facilitate the proper response to the proper location. At a time when seconds count, being about to provide 9-1-1 with all details that could impact response the second an emergency call is placed could be the difference between life and death.

Be Smart About Safety. Sign Up Today.

Give 9-1-1 the information they need to better help you and your family in the event of an emergency.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nursing News: Nurses Setting Up Primary Care Practices | LeAnn Thieman

Nursing News: Nurses Setting Up Primary Care Practices | LeAnn Thieman: If the proposals, which face opposition from some physicians’ groups, succeed, the number of states allowing nurses to practice without any type of physician supervision would increase from 16 to 30, in addition to the District.

The legislation being proposed could spur tens of thousands of nurses to set up primary-care practices that would be virtually indistinguishable from those run by doctors. The last big legislative push of this type, a state-by-state effort that began in the late 1980s, sputtered by the early 1990s. This time, however, the campaign is being coordinated nationally by the Nurse Practioners Association and other nursing groups and is getting a critical boost from state officials concerned about the 2010 health-care law’s looming impact on the availability of doctors.

Beginning in January 2014, about 27 million uninsured Americans are expected to get coverage under the law, contributing to a projected shortage of about 45,000 primary-care physicians by 2020, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Disability Indicator Program

Disability Indicator Program: Disability Indicator Program

Disability Indicator Form

The disability indicator program is voluntary for both the community and it's residents. The disability indicator form pdf format of disability_info_and_form.pdf was created by a group of several different organizations representing the mobility, hearing, speech and sight impaired communities.


The information provided on the disability indicator form enables a special code to appear on the 911 call takers screen which alerts the call taker that a person residing at that address may require special assistance during an emergency.

It is a standardized form created to encourage participation from all persons with disabilities. As you are aware, there are an extensive range of disabilities and medical conditions. The disability indicator categories listed on the form may be considered too broad for some; when you consider the extensive range of disabilities. However, information requested on the form must remain sensitive to those who may not wish to provide detailed information.
Always remember information on the disability indicator form is confidential.

The disability indicator form is available through the State 911 Department or it can be downloaded from this website. Originally, the form had to be filled out in triplicate. The new disability indicator procedure form only requires that when a person in your community submits a signed disability indicator form, the 911 Municipal Coordinator signs the form and faxes it to the Verizon Database Center at 1-800-839-6020 for entry into the 911 Verizon database. It is no longer necessary to mail your original. You retain that original copy as part of your permanent records to be used later for the annual verification of your database. Remember these are important confidential documents and should be stored in the same manner as all municipal records.

Annually, Verizon will send the Municipal Coordinator a current listing of those persons in their community who are enrolled in the disability indicator program for updating. Verizon enters the new information into the 911 database. A new Disability Indicator Form should be submitted for the following:

1. a person moves or no longer resides at that address

2. the apartment number changes

3. the telephone number changes

4. to add or delete a disability

Remember to review the lists carefully to maintain accurate records which will ensure the proper response in the event of an emergency.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Driving Miss Daisy North Shore / North Burnaby Team | “Through the door” Personalized Transportation & Accompaniment Service

Driving Miss Daisy North Shore / North Burnaby Team | “Through the door” Personalized Transportation & Accompaniment Service: “Through the door” Personalized Transportation & Accompaniment Service. We offer our clients independence, security and peace of mind. We are a part of an award-winning Corporation which was founded in January 2002 in Alberta by Bev Halisky and expanded its services to BC, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Driving Miss Daisy Corporate Website

Thursday, June 13, 2013



20 Common Nursing Home Problems and
How to Resolve Them
Copyright ©2010 by the
National Senior Citizens Law Center.

read their pdf

NSCLC provides education and counseling to local legal services
advocates, but does not educate or provide advice or counsel to
individuals. If you are looking for legal advice, you can find local
resources by clicking here.

1444 Eye Street, NW Suite 1100

Washington, DC 20005


3701 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 750

Los Angeles, CA 90010


1330 Broadway, Suite 525

Oakland, CA 94612


Partners All |

Partners All: Once we have succeeded in finding our physicians, personal support staff, physical therapists and even pharmacists, then it’s time to find the partners we need as we choose the products and equipment that our loved ones require. And frankly, with the Internet, these choices have become exponentially more difficult. I think the way you choose such a partner successfully is similar to how you choose your other care professionals. Certainly, in this case, price is an extremely important element, but there’s a lot more involved. Will they become a trusted resource for information and training? Will they be there when you have questions? Have they created an easy system to navigate? Are they accessible by phone or is it a Web-only wall that you cannot seem to climb over in order to find any human support? And (of course) do they stand by their products?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Discussing Homecare with Your Loved One | Living Assistance Services

Discussing Homecare with Your Loved One | Living Assistance Services:
Discussing Homecare with Your Loved One
May 21st, 2013

Here are three questions for you to consider…

1) How do you help your elderly loved one get past family customs and cultural beliefs, to accept assistance in their homes?

2) How do you tell your loved one that you and your siblings are concerned about them living alone at home?

     3)    How do you help them keep their independence without appearing to be interfering in their lives or making decisions for them?

These are issues that will not go away with time. To the contrary, everyone involved should be proactive about such complicated topics. With advance planning, and open and frank discussions within the family, the problem-solving process can work quite well. However, it will take some concerted effort on the part of you,

read more
 Discussing Homecare with Your Loved One | Living Assistance Services:

Heat Stress in the Elderly

 (read orginal three pages)  Heat Stress in the Elderly

Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.

They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.

They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

5 Things You Need to Know When Your Loved One is in ICU

5 Things You Need to Know When Your Loved One is in ICU
By Susan Montminy, MSN, RN and Meredith Dodge, MSN, RN

read full story
It is the middle of the night and the phone rings. Your family member has been in a car accident and is rushed to the hospital. He is currently in the intensive care unit (ICU). You race to the hospital and are met by the intensive care doctor. All you hear is “critical, unstable, and surgery.” Later, as you sit out in the waiting room, you wonder, What can I do to help my loved one through this?
This article contains key information on assisting family members survive when a loved one is in the intensive care unit. Communication, decision making, multi-disciplinary meetings, pain/comfort, and sleep are discussed. Hopefully, knowing this information will help you and your loved one have a positive experience and survive your time in the ICU.
Thorough communication is the best tool that you have when your loved one is in the ICU. You are going to be overwhelmed with information from many different people. Here are some tips to help you understand everything that you are being told.
  • Write everything down. During this stressful time, it is difficult for you to process all of the information you are given. If you write everything down, you can read it at a later time and absorb what you are reading.
  • Have someone with you. If you have a second set of ears to listen to what you are being told, then you can discuss it afterwards to be sure that you heard everything that was said.
  • Nurses are excellent resources and can assist you in many ways. If at all possible, make sure that the nurse is present when having discussions with the doctor. The nurse can help to explain medical terminology or translate what was discussed so that you can understand it better.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your nurse. Nurses are patient advocates and can help make sure that the patient’s wishes are carried out. Communicate openly and honestly with your loved one’s nurse; let him or her know your questions and thoughts. Nurses can better assist you if they know what you are struggling with.
  • The Internet is not always the best resource. While looking up information on the Internet may be helpful for you to better understand certain things; the internet can be overwhelming because it has so much extra information on it. This extra information can leave you confused and stressed; often the worst case scenarios are included in your search results. Listen to what the doctors are telling you about your loved one. They are looking at the entire picture, not just the specific disease or injury.
The bottom line is that open communication with all members of the healthcare team will help you to better understand what is going on with your loved one.

Friday, May 31, 2013

How to Apply For a Senior Care Job -

How to Apply For a Senior Care Job -

 List A:

  • U.S. Passport (expired or unexpired)

  • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card

  • Unexpired foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp

  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph

  • Unexpired foreign passport with unexpired Arrival-departure dates

  • Form I-94, bearing the same name as the passport and containing an endorsement of the alien's nonimmigrant status, if that status authorizes the alien to work for the employer

List B (Must also have an item from List C):
  • Driver's license or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address

  • School ID card with a photograph

  • Military dependent's ID card

  • U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card

  • Native American tribal document

  • Driver's license issued by a Canadian government authority

List C (Must also have an item from List B):
  • U.S. Social Security card issued by the Social Security Administration (other than a card stating it is not valid for employment)

  • Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350)

  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal

  • Native American tribal document

  • U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)

  • ID Card for use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)

  • Unexpired employment authorization document issued by DHS (other than those listed under List A)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

STI 46100 Wireless Motion-Activated Chime, Know When Someone Enters Detection Zone -

STI 46100 Wireless Motion-Activated Chime, Know When Someone Enters Detection Zone - Chime sounds when motion is detected
Signal passes through doors, walls and floors Up to100 foot operating range
Switch located on transmitter selects Alarm or Chime mode There are thirteen chimes selectable with the push of a button on the transmitter
32 selectable codes block interference from outside signals Medline Advantage Magnetic Patient Alarms: Health & Personal Care Medline Advantage Magnetic Patient Alarms: Health & Personal Care: Mounts on bed or chair
Tether clips to patient's clothing
Recessed on/off switch on side of alarm
Battery cover securely fastened with screws; uses 2 AAA batteries included
Adjustable cord AliMed Tamper Proof Magnetic Pull Cord Alarm: Health & Personal Care AliMed Tamper Proof Magnetic Pull Cord Alarm: Health & Personal Care: When magnetic pull switch is removed, alarm is activated
Pull switch can be activated from any direction
Convenient On/Off switch for easy activation-deactivation
Easily mounted on wheelchair or bed
Cord Adjusts from 28" to 58" WMU - 2 In 1 Motion Sensor Alarm and Chime: Home & Kitchen WMU - 2 In 1 Motion Sensor Alarm and Chime: Home & Kitchen: Secures Your Home From Intruders! Piercing Alarm or Pleas' Chime."Feel Safe and Secure anywhere. Infrared Motion Sensor Technology. No installation required. Panic button 'ivates the alarm. Includes 1 mountable alarm unit and 2 remote control units."Great for doors, sheds, garages and more. 4.75 x 3.75 x 1.75 and includes retail packaging Techko S189D Ultra Slim Pool Safety Alarm with Extra Sensor: Camera & Photo Techko S189D Ultra Slim Pool Safety Alarm with Extra Sensor: Camera & Photo: Magnetic sensor entry alarm
"Always on" alarm protection
Adult pass-through auto reset button
Magnetic sensor for additional door/screen door
Additional pass-through button for delayed entry from either side of door or fence SECURE® Motion Detector Sensor PIR Alarm for Fall & Wandering Prevention- One Year Warranty - Free Shipping: Health & Personal Care SECURE® Motion Detector Sensor PIR Alarm for Fall & Wandering Prevention- One Year Warranty - Free Shipping: Health & Personal Care: Choice of 85 dB alarm or chime settings
Continuing alarm sound until shut off by caregiver for resident safety
An invisible fan-like detection area measuring 4 degrees wide and 98 degrees high
A detection range covering 10 feet in length or the approximate length of a bed
Battery included - Attach to a bed or wall with Velcro® strip or screws included - Flexible bracket shwon in third picture is an optional accessory (Search ASIN: B00CYMGNTY)

Product Description
Ideal for both fall management and wandering management. Can be used with or without nurse call interface. Can be affixed to a wall or a bed, placed on the floor or on a table in either a vertical or horizontal position. Attach to a bed or wall with Velcro® strip or screws included. Optional Secure® Flexible Bracket (FB-1) available. Adjust to provide precise movement detection. One year warranty

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Downsizing: Tips for Seniors Moving to a Smaller Home | Orange County Active Seniors

Downsizing: Tips for Seniors Moving to a Smaller Home | Orange County Active Seniors: By Austin Kilham, author

If you’re a boomer or even a little older, your kids have likely grown and moved on to their own homes. Maybe you’re feeling like an empty nester, or maybe taking care of a large house is feeling harder and you’re looking to simplify your life. In either case, you may be considering downsizing to a smaller home or even an independent living community.

Moving is always stressful, and it can feel even more so when you have to condense your life into a smaller space. The process can be emotionally and physically challenging as you decide what to keep and what has to go. We spoke with Donna Quinn Robbins, CEO of Ultimate Moves and author of Moving Mom and Dad, for insights into how to make the process run smoothly.

Have a plan. It’s important to be organized, says Robbins. “If you’re not organized, everything is scattered: You’re scattered, the house is scattered.” Make a list of everything you need to do and p

Friday, May 24, 2013

Young Adult Carers blog | Carers Trust | The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care are now Carers Trust. Action, help and advice for carers

Young Adult Carers blog | Carers Trust | The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care are now Carers Trust. Action, help and advice for carers

 the Young Adult Carers blog, a place for 14-25 year-old carers to share their stories, express their views and share valuable advice. As part of our Charity of the Year work with The Co-operative, Carers Trust is carrying out a range of

projects to support and raise awareness of young adult carers. Find out more on our Charity of the Year pages.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Activities of Daily Living – Checklist, Definitions and Importance - Paying For Senior Care

Activities of Daily Living – Checklist, Definitions and Importance - Paying For Senior Care

What are the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)?

The Activities of Daily Living are a series of basic activities performed by individuals on a daily basis necessary for independent living at home or in the community.  There are many variations on the definition of the activities of daily living but most organizations agree there are 5 basic categories.

1. Personal hygiene such bathing, grooming and oral care

2. Dressing including the ability to make appropriate clothing decisions

3. Eating, the ability to feed oneself though not necessarily prepare food

4. Maintaining continence or the ability to use a restroom

5. Transferring oneself from seated to standing and get in and out of bed

Whether or not an individual is capable of performing these activities on their own or if they rely on a family caregiver to perform the ADLs serves a comparative measure of their independence. 

What are the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)?

IADLs are actions that are important to being able to live independently but are not necessarily required activities on a daily basis.  The instrumental activities are more subtle and can help more finely determine the level of assistance required by the elderly or disabled.  The IADLs include:

1. Basic communication such as using a telephone

2. Transportation, either by driving, arranging rides or the ability to use public transportation

3. Meal preparation and the ability to safely use kitchen equipment

4. Shopping and the ability to make appropriate food and clothing purchase decisions

5. Housework such as doing laundry and cleaning dishes

6. Managing medications such as taking accurate dosages at appropriate times and managing re-fills

7. Managing personal finances, operating within a budget, writing checks and paying bills

 The American Elder Care Research Organization

736 Cole Street

San Francisco, California 94117

Telephone: 641-715-3900 Ext. 606151#


 Eldercare FAQs and Helpful Guides - Paying For Senior Care

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Let's Look Together | by Rae-Lynn Cebul Ziegler

Let's Look Together | by Rae-Lynn Cebul Ziegler

Let's Look Together: An Interactive Picture Book for People with Alzheimer's and Other Forms of Memory Loss (A Dementia Activity Book) [Paperback]

October 1, 2009 1932529519 978-1932529517 1
NOW WITH FREE USER'S GUIDE!! VISIT HEALTH PROFESSIONS PRESS WEBSITE TO GET YOURS TODAY. Wake up someone's brain with every turn of the page in this delightfully engaging resource. Featuring evocative images of children, this picture book for adults is to be shared between a family (or professional) caregiver and a person with memory loss to encourage meaningful emotional connections and conversations through therapeutic brain stimulation.

Users of Let's Look Together are encouraged to

Relate to the feelings suggested by the photos, Reminisce about situations triggered in the person's memory, Describe what might precede or follow the photo's action, Tell a story about the child or image, and Find pleasure in sharing the book together.

Twenty-nine full-color photographs portray an array of easily recognized emotions and activities. Joy, tears, surprise, contentment and stubbornness are interspersed with edible delights, unexpected encounters, nurturing family interactions, and more. Simple conversation starters are provided for each image. It all comes together to create a new visual and emotional journey for each person every time the book is opened.

Let's Look Together is for use one-on-one or in groups at home or in formal care settings ranging from adult day services to hospitals and nursing homes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Memory loss from cholesterol drugs real:

Memory loss from cholesterol drugs real: How it might happen: Statins effect on the brain is real

Researchers from University of Arizona discovered brain cells treated with statins swell, causing a sort of traffic jam in signaling cells of the brain known as neurons; revealed in lab studies. The result could explain why some people taking cholesterol lowering drugs report difficulty thinking and memory loss.

The scientists have dubbed what they saw in the lab as the "beads-on-a-string" effect that is probably more severe than what really happens to people sensitive to statins who suffer memory problems. The study authors say the swelling seen in the brain’s neuron was significant.

 There is also still a lot we don’t know about how they affect behavior and cognition.
Another side effect reported by patients who take the drugs is muscle pain

Friday, May 10, 2013

Getting Good Information: Caregivers, Sundowners Syndrome, Dementia

from Aging Wisely Blog

Getting Good Information: Caregivers, Sundowners Syndrome, Dementia: We read a lot of forums, websites, books and articles about all matter of topics related to aging and elder care. With the explosion of information available on the web and, in particular, social media and forums for comments and feedback, there are many caregivers benefiting from sharing information and connecting with others in similar circumstances.

However, the downside to the information superhighway is that it can take you on a lot of wrong turns. We all know the stories of ways the internet has been used by con artists for scams, but another less obvious concern is filtering through information to ensure you are getting accurate information or advice.

Both online and offline, we see a lot of misinformation about dementia and related terms like sundowners syndrome, Alzheimer's disease and memory loss.  It is not uncommon when a family comes to see us to hear that they have not been able to get specific answers about what is going on with a loved one who is having cognitive issues.  Sometimes this is due to fear and no one wanting to seek a specific diagnosis, other times certain assumptions have been made (the symptoms are just "old age") and occasionally the family has gotten blatently incorrect information.

Here are some words of advice for seeking information as a caregiver, whether on issues like sundowners syndrome, dementia, caregiving or preparing for eldercare:

  1. Seek expert sites on the specific topic.  Start with sites such as disease-specific organizations and trusted resources with long histories. 

  2. Find out who is providing the information and review their "about us" closely.  What are the academic backgrounds and qualifications of the people writing the information?  If you cannot locate an "about us" page, you should probably seek information elsewhere.

  3. The best information to get from other caregivers is support and ideas on how they have handled situations.  When it comes to diagnoses, care planning and choosing specific resources, a professional opinion usually serves you better.  Here are some areas where we see particularly bad (or just misguided) information being shared: legal advice, qualifying for benefits/programs and how to do so, diagnosis and treatment information, terminology and resources.  Many times it is not that the information is purposely harmful, it just doesn't necessarily apply to your situation.

  4. Stay away from judgmental or negative commentary.  It is the last thing you need as a caregiver.  If you review a Facebook group or forum site and notice people sharing strong opinions of what a caregiver should or should not do, this may not be a supportive atmosphere for you.  Negativity (and even things like political ranting) can cause you greater anxiety.

  5. Just like with other aspects of caregiving, strategize which ways the internet and technology can help you most.  For example, reading too much about a relative's diagnosis might be scary at first.  Instead, seek information on which physicians or hospitals specialize in treatment or who offers local support groups.  Setting up an online personal health record or using a communications system/online community can be very helpful to caregivers.

  6. Use a combination of information sources to seek resources/care providers.  When you are trying to find options such as in-home care, assisted living, and benefit programs, you may be best served by having professional help in pulling together a care plan.  This can save you a lot of hours of research and heading down the wrong roads