Medication Management Made Easy!

Medication management made easy

Pill Map takes the worry out of medication management.

 

Staggering numbers of hospital readmissions are due to medication management errors made by the patient or caregiver.  Taking the right pill, at the right time, in the right amount sounds simple, right? Not so much.

Speaking with Kimber Westmore introduced me Pill Map. Pill Map is a medication management solution. What it’s not is a pill box. Pill Map takes the worry and confusion of managing your loved ones medications.

For example, when my Dad was released from the hospital my sister and I had to manage his medications for the paid caregivers. There was a long list of medications to discontinue, change as well as add. Many of his pills were white ovals in varying yet similar sizes. Worrying that we were not medicating him properly was overwhelming!

Ours was a common concern.  As a result, we looked up pills on the internet, a common way to manage new meds. Even that solution didn’t give us the peace of mind we were medicating him correctly.

Similarly, many families find themselves in this situation. Even spouses may not be unaware of their loved ones medications specifications. Consequently, if there is an emergency correctly informing the medical staff what is prescribed is a challenge.

As a result, there could be a delay in treatment until it’s clear what the patient is taking. This situation is definitely not ideal. However, Pill Map is an ideal solution to these situations.

After listening to Kimber’s story, check out their website. End the medication management nightmare by getting your own Pill Map. Caregiving is a tough journey. However, finding a solution to one of the biggest challenges is very rewarding.

Pill Map website

Pill Map Video

The Importance of Health Care Advocates

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

 

Connected Horse- Healing for Dementia Patients & Caregivers

 

Connected Horse participant

Connected Horse – Equine therapy for people living with dementia.

 

Participating in a Connected Horse workshop provides unique opportunities for people living with early-stage dementia and their care partners. It’s time to be together and experience non-riding activities with horses. By experiencing the power of the human-horse connection participants feel relaxed, confident, and happy. Learning self-compassion, stress reduction strategies, communication and awareness practices is the goal.

Connected Horse was founded in 2015 by Nancy Schier Anzelmo and Paula Hertel. Both horse lovers and are professionals in senior and dementia care in addition to gerontology. Their nonprofit is committed to the belief that horses can provide humans with valuable insights into the healing process.

As a result, workshop attendees find a reconnection with the spouse they used to know, reawakened childhood memories or simply, exactly what the doctor ordered. Having a purpose is crucial for all people. But, providing that sense of purpose gets more difficult as our loved one progresses with their disease.

It’s also important to give both people a chance to reconnect. This program has utilized a lot of research to allow them to give the participants the best possible outcomes. For example, they’ve measured stress reduction and life indicators for those living with the disease. This research is ongoing with Stanford and UC Davis.

Speaking with Paula and Nancy was very eye-opening. I’d dare say almost inspiring. Watching the person I knew as my Mother disappear, unable to do even simplified activities is devastating. It’s too late for us to reconnect, she’s far from the early stages of her disease. However, I can see how she would have enjoyed a program like this. Getting her there may have been the biggest challenge, however.

Reducing Stigmas & Gaining Support

Most importantly is reducing the stigma attached to this disease. We’ve done it with others like cancer and Aids, now we need to do it for Alzheimer’s. As a result of reducing stigmas. more people will seek out programs that help them.

Above all, learning about the support and programs available will go a long way in helping.  Having Alzheimer’s is bad enough, consequently, we need to learn all we can.

Connected Horse website

Unconditional Love – Therapy Dogs in Action!

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Knowledge, Friendships & Memories

On an Alzheimer’s specific cruise you’ll gain valuable knowledge, friendships, and memories.

 

Offering something everyone on the Alzheimer’s path needs, knowledge, is one of the benefits of adding an Alzheimer’s cruise to your vacation list.  This one-of-a-kind cruise is a unique experience for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and their care partners. Cruising together you’ll gain valuable knowledge, important friendships, and happy memories.

In this podcast episode, I talk to Lisa Marie Chirco, the woman behind this cruise. With an extensive background in event planning as well as a history of caregiving.  Lisa put together a must take a cruise. For example, people newly diagnosed with Alzheimers have lots of questions. In addition, their care partner has questions and concerns unique to themselves.

On the inaugural cruise, attendees had daily opportunities to learn.  Many of the topics covered will make their journey together as easy as possible. During morning sessions on board, the topics covered included financial planning, safety, caregiving techniques and more.

Learning in a small group environment fosters a sense of camaraderie where friendships can blossom. As a result, you leave the cruise with the knowledge that you can handle what’s coming. In addition, you’ll have a group of people on the same journey to lean on when needed.

Give this episode a listen. I’m certain when you’re done, you’ll be adding this cruise to your must-do list.

Book Your Cruise Today

Hear from an Inaugural Attendee

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Knowledge As A Coping Technique

 

Knowledge can make you a Caregiver Superhero

Seeking knowledge allows us to cope better & become CareHero’s!

 

These days there’s a lot more knowledge about Alzheimer’s and I am truly grateful for that. I’m grateful to be part of the knowledge space. By learning more we are better able to handle challenging situations and keep our stress as low as possible. This episode is about how I use knowledge as a coping technique.

When I started my podcast I wanted to share what I had already learned. Fearing that that knowledge wouldn’t provide too many episodes I started staking out other people and their knowledge. Needing to know more myself was another reason.

Producing this podcast gives me knowledge and a wide network of people. I can reach out to this network when I need them.  Reaching out to other caregivers is also an excellent way to manage some of our self-care.

But back to knowledge as a coping technique. Let me tell you a story. Many of you know my Mom does not remember that my Dad died.  Frequently, she asks me if “her husband” knows where she’s going. She used to ask me every 2 minutes. Frustrating doesn’t begin to explain how I felt. One day I had an “ah-ha” moment. I realized that by answering her with “yes, Dad knows…” it didn’t really answer her concern. Lacking the understanding of our relationship made my answer non-sensical.

Having this “a-ha” moment was only possible because of what I’ve learned. That is the reason I have sought out a guest who can help us all with specific challenges.

Let me tell you about what I got from the Savvy Caregiver training.

Savvy Caregivers

First, if you think the savvy caregiver program is going to teach you how to make your loved one be better, remember more I can tell you that’s not the case at all.  This program trains us, the caregiver.  Alzheimer’s & dementia affect each person differently so each of us has our own unique struggles.  Despite the differences, however, each of us has to learn how WE have to change, to make this journey with our loved one more bearable.

Guiding the behavior of our loved ones will take up a considerable part of our day. The term behavior only means action in this context, not good or bad behavior.  Learning how to make this happen isn’t hard. Ask yourself these questions;

        • What has your loved one always liked to do?
        • In everyday life, what have they done to get through the day?
        • What do you like to do and share with this person?

Make your list and keep revising it as you go.  Some tips to consider as they progress with the disease.

        • What parts of an activity to try with the person
        • How much and what kind of control to exert?
        • Do we need to provide help & if so, how much?
        • What to watch out for that tells you when to back off or try something else.
Simplifying Projects

Six months after Mom moved into the memory residence I wanted to help her create Christmas gifts for the grandkids. Working on the advice to simplify activities they’ve always enjoyed. I selected a project that I thought she’d enjoy. Having to continually remind her of what we were doing should have been my first clue. Mom constantly worried about doing it wrong.

What I thought was poor memory as the cause wasn’t the case. Because Mom’s visual-spatial processing is poor, I didn’t realize that she didn’t comprehend what she was doing. What could have been an enjoyable afternoon turned into a frustrating one? At this point all I do with Mom is people watch.

Other Challenging Behaviors
Walking or Pacing

Walking and pacing are common and frustrating behaviors. Many people with dementia walk a lot. It is important to distinguish between good walking from disturbed walking. Pacing can provide a way to wear off excess energy.  Some folks who walk or pace a lot seem to be searching for something.  There is often a troubled quality in the way they move. Do they look concerned, lost or troubled?

Look for a pattern in their walking. Is there a repetitive quality that might allow you to “break” the cycle they’re in?  Some people living with memory loss get into loops and don’t know how to stop. If we’re vigilant, we might see the place where we can ease them into a different activity.

Nighttime Wakefulness

Another common issue is nighttime wakefulness. This may be because they wake up to use the bathroom and not understanding that it’s still night. Sometimes their sleep pattern may be disrupted due to the disorder.  Sometimes they sleep short periods of time.  Some suggestions that I’ve learned may help.

Guide your person back to bed.  Hopefully, this cue may be enough to reinitiate sleep.  This guiding may be more effective the sooner it is done.  Hopefully, if you catch them quickly enough they won’t be in complete wakeful mode and go back to sleep.

Failing that, stay with them for a while.  They may be more confused in the night and the added comfort of your presence will soothe them back to sleep.  Maybe give a comfort snack a try, like cookies and milk. Try to keep your loved one quiet to foster sleep either way.

Have them help with the evening chores to help tire them out. Maybe go for a walk together before settling down for the evening.

If all else fails, consult their physician. Careful management of drugs can help the person to sleep without being drowsy the next day.

These techniques are just a few things caregivers can learn to make their job easier. Providing care is already challenging enough, we need to do all we can to make it easier.

 

Teepa Snow’s Hand-Over-Hand Technique for Getting Dressed (Video)

Moms Crafty Christmas Gifts

 

 

 

 

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers! Thanks. You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!