Tea & Brain Health – A Look at My Favorite Drink

Woman drinking tea

Tea has been found to have positive effects on cognitive health.

 

Tea is my go-to drink every day, every part of the day.  Having read that regular tea drinkers may have better cognitive health I knew I had to do my own research and learn more. I was excited to learn that drinking black tea regularly may give us better cognitive function than non-tea drinkers.

In this episode, I discuss the research and many of the lesser-known specifics of brewing and enjoying this brain-healthy drink. I wanted to bring you this lighter topic as part of my brain health episodes. Taking care of ourselves when we’re caregiving is a challenge. It’s nice to find simple ways to do good things for ourselves.

The main research studies were on the effects of reducing cognitive decline. It focused on the structure of the brain and how it’s organized.   Structure and organization work together to produce brain function. In other words, the organization of the brains’ structure works together for proper brain function.

There are two components of tea that seem to help maintain a healthy brain. Caffeine and L-Theanine. We know how caffeine affects us but L-Theanine is an amino acid that has calming effects. This combination is also only found naturally in tea. This combination is one reason that Monks drink tea before settling down for a long meditation session.

Tea’s Wikipedia Page

Interested in more brain-healthy advice?

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Dementia Dogs for Caregiving

Dementia dog in action

There are many positive attributes that a trained dementia dog can bring to a memory residence.

Dementia dogs are an asset I wasn’t aware of previously.  Having had dogs all my life I was surprised to learn that many breeds make great caregivers for those living with dementia.

A dog trained to be a caregiver can perform many tasks and be a substantial help to their human counterparts. A dementia dog can break repetitive behaviors, calm anxieties, give someone a purpose, or return a lost loved one home. These are just a few examples of what a furry caregiver can offer.

Since learning about canine caregivers in early 2019, I talked to the executive director of the residence my Mom lives in. I wanted to get his opinion on the practicality of having a dementia dog working in their community. Honestly, I suspected more hesitation than I got. In hindsight, this shouldn’t have been a surprise since they allowed Mom to have her dog when she moved in.

While speaking to Alberto, he brought up additional tasks a service dog can provide for seniors. At the conclusion of our conversation, we both agreed that learning more about a community level dementia dog might be a good idea.

Stay tuned for a future episode when I learn what I can about dementia dogs.

 

More on Dogs Here

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Medication Adherence & Management

Dosecast App screen shots

Medication adherence is crucial to improving health & DoseCast can make it easier.

 

Medication adherence is a fancy term for taking our medications as they’ve been prescribed. While adherence is an important part of our health care it is one that is often overlooked. It’s too easy to improperly take our medications. Just the other day, my husband was out of town, and I realized I had neglected to give our oldest dog his arthritis medication for two days!

Talk about failure to manage medications properly. When I went to give him his morning pill he waited till I was out of his line of sight then spit out the pill. The simple act of giving my dog his pain medication and his reaction to the process is common. Too common.

When caring for someone with memory loss the possibility of not taking prescription medications properly skyrockets. Failing to take medications as prescribed contributes to increases in disease, mortality and health care costs. Some think that improving medication adherence would have a greater influence on our health than in the discovery of any new therapy!

Struggling to achieve higher rates of adherence may be due to a gap in our knowledge. Lacking a clear understanding of how and why the medications work may be part of the problem.

If you’re looking for a simple way to manage your loved ones meds, keep listening to hear about DoseCast. DoseCast is a prescription management app.

Find DoseCast in your App Store

Pill Map Episode – Another Option

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I Love Someone With Dementia …

I Love Someone W/Dementia...

Loving someone with dementia frequently makes us feel like we’re losing our minds too.

 

When you love someone with dementia it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re losing your mind too. In this episode, I talk to Beth Friesen about practical tips for coping with this problem. Beth is the author of the book “I Love Someone With Dementia, So Why Am I Losing My Mind?”. She’s also a nurse in a family of medical professionals. If their family struggled, we shouldn’t feel bad about our struggles.

Some families have a member who doesn’t fully understand the disease which leads to negative situations. Understanding how to be in “their reality” is a key survival tip for anyone who is caregiving. In fact, it took two years of explaining strange behaviors before it dawned on Beth that her Mother had Alzheimer’s.

Learning practical tips will help caregivers feel less like they’re losing their minds and more in control. One of the first fundamental things to understand is dementia is more than memory loss. I like to describe it as an old computer that fires up but really doesn’t do the computing we need it to do. This old computer runs slowly, doesn’t find files and doesn’t work with modern apps and websites.

Once you’ve heard this episode be sure to check out Beth’s book.

Living With Dementia Part 1

Living With Dementia Part 2

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Managing Difficult Behaviors

Challenging behavior image

Difficult behavior is an unfortunate by-product of Alzheimer’s disease.

Managing difficult behaviors is one of the biggest caregiver challenges we face. People living with memory loss don’t realize they’re being unreasonable. Difficult behavior is an unfortunate by-product of their disease.

Navigating our loved one’s behaviors and our own emotions is crucial to caregiving success. However, no one has a clear path to making that happen. In this episode, I talk to Dr. Natali Edmonds and get specific advice on managing difficult behaviors.

I started with one that I’m currently facing. The caregivers who help Mom with showers have told me that she’s started fighting their help. There are times when it takes an extra person to hold her hands which sounds truly unpleasant for all involved.

Caring for my Mom is a challenge because she’s very independent and refuses help. Helping her, even offering help makes her mad. Allowing her to do things on her own and keeping her safe is extremely difficult.

Thankfully, this conversation gave me tips and ideas on how to help Mom without upsetting her. Mom always wants to be helpful so I need to use that to my advantage. Giving her “helpful” things to do makes Mom feel useful. Not only does this make her happy it also makes her more compliant.

You’ll gain new tips and a new resource in less than an hour. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

 

Care Blazers Website

Care Blazers YouTube Channel

Understand How to Help Someone With Memory Loss

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

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