Bonus – Live Episode on Driver Safety!

Senior Driver Safety image

When is the lack of driver safety an issue?

When is it Time to Take Away the Car Keys?

Driver safety is important. When to take away the car keys is a difficult yet important decisions.  It’s not to do and should not be made lightly. Most seniors see giving up their cars as the total loss of their independence. Solving this concern will go a long way in aiding them in maintaining driver safety.

The ability to drive helps older adults stay active and independent. However, the risk of being hurt or hurting someone else in an accident increases dramatically as we age.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 500 older adults are injured every day in crashes.

According to the NHTSA here are 20 signs we should watch out for.
  1. Drifting into other lanes.
  2. Straddling lanes.
  3. Making sudden lane changes for no reason.
  4. Ignoring or missing traffic signals or stop signs.
  5. Becoming confused in traffic.
  6. Braking or stopping abruptly without any reason.
  7. Hitting the accelerator suddenly without any cause.
  8. Coasting nearly to a complete stop in the midst of moving traffic.
  9. Presses on the brake and the accelerator at the same time while driving.
  10. Difficulty seeing pedestrians, objects, or even other vehicles.
  11. Getting more and more nervous when driving.
  12. Drives at a significantly slower speed than the posted speed or the general speed of surrounding vehicles.
  13. Backs up after missing an exit or road.
  14. Has difficulty reacting quickly as they process multiple images or sounds.
  15. Has problems with neck flexibility in turning to see traffic on the left or the right.
  16. She gets disoriented or lost easily, even if she is in familiar locations.
  17. Fails to use turn signals or even keeps the signal on without changing lanes.
  18. Has increased near misses on the road.
  19. Has been issued two or more traffic tickets or warnings in the past two years.
  20. There are dents or scrapes present on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, or even on curbs and very little understanding of how they got there.
How do we begin monitoring driving behavior?

Here are some questions you can ask your parent to help determine if they need to stop driving;

Can you read the street signs easily?

Do you have trouble looking over your shoulder?

Do you have difficulty moving your foot from the gas to the brakes?

How well do you see at night?

Are you comfortable with passengers or are they distracting?

Being honest with our loved ones goes a long way when determining if their driver’s safety is questionable. Services like Uber and Lyft will allow our loved ones to stay independent. Help them learn how to navigate these apps.

Sometimes, we have to be the “bad guy” and physically take away the car. If our loved one is determined to drive despite our serious concerns it may be necessary. Other options are to get a letter from their doctor stating that driving is no longer safe. You can also contact your local DMV and let them know a driver is unsafe.

My Dad told Mom one day that they were giving her car to my brother-in-law. For a long time, despite Alzheimer’s, Mom was still pretty angry over this “injustice”. Because of her Alzheimer’s she saw no logical reason she couldn’t drive anymore. It’s unfortunate that she was unable to enjoy the Karma when we took Dads’ car away.

Ensuring driver safety isn’t easy. A willingness to do all we can to aid in this transition is important. Having a discussion about their fears, struggles and how to address them might go a long way in getting compliance. Keeping in mind that losing even some independence is difficult is also important.

 

Assisted Living – Good Things To Know

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Walk To End Alzheimer’s – All About Fundraising & More

Each Walk to End Alzheimer’s flower color has a special meaning.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The walk is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, In talking to Ginny Roth, walk coordinator for a Northern California walk, I learned about the importance of the fundraising in helping find a cure.

In the United States, someone develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. Currently, there are more than 5 million people living with the disease. Additionally, there are over 16 million unpaid family caregivers supporting them. In 2019, Alzheimer’s disease will cost the United States $290 billion. This number is projected to rise to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.

Tune in to this conversation, you’ll learn exactly what is done with the money raised. Fundraising is important, checking out this podcast is even more important.

Getting involved with the Alzheimer’s Association started with joining one of their support groups. I had attended a grief support session after my Dad died but that group didn’t cover everything I was going through. A Google search for support groups led me to the Alzheimer’s Association.

After I started my podcast, I interviewed Pam Jarvie, one of the legislative advocates. She persuaded me to join her advocacy team and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. Attending my first state advocacy day this year (2-5-2019) was an interesting eye-opener.

Having very little interest in politics, I found it odd that I was now lobbying politicians on behalf of people like my Mom. Alzheimer’s is no way to live the last years of your life so I do all I can to help find a cure. Lobbying politicians for money is one of the most important activities we can do.

Why I’m Walking

However, not everyone can take the time to go to their state capital and spend the day telling their stories. For those that would rather do anything else, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is an easy way to help. Early autumn is prime “walk season”. Most walks are easy enough that everyone can manage one. The walk I’ll be attending is flat, allows dogs, and has ample parking so even mobility challenged folks can easily attend.

After my talk with Ginny, I decided on a modest fundraising goal. I’m also going to do as much recording and live streaming for the podcast as possible.  Generating as much awareness as possible is part of the mission statement I have for my podcast.

Feeling ashamed with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is a stigma that needs to end. Interviewing guests living with Alzheimer’s or dementia allows me to knock down some of that shame. Showing the joy and camaraderie that people at the Walk experience will help grow my local walk.

We must find a cure for this disease. Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women, and I’m sure women will find the cure.  Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer’s!

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

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

Be sure to tune in to our YouTube and Facebook pages for live streaming of this great event.

 

 

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association

Living With Alzheimer’s

Understanding Lewy-Body Dementia

Understanding how Lewy-Body is different than Alzheimer’s.

Lewy-Body dementia is very different than Alzheimer’s. While physical changes are similar, cognitive changes can be vastly different. Equally challenging, Lewy-Body dementia can present with a range of symptoms. These include problems with thinking, memory, moving, sleep and/or changes in behavior.

To better understand the unique challenges of LBD I spoke to Nance Tobar. Nance is caring for her father who has LBD. A misdiagnosis caused severe changes in his cognitive abilities due to the unique pathology of Lewy-Body.

Nance’s dad, Joe, fell and became hospitalized. As a result, his medications were changed. Notably, they took him off of one medication that was stabilizing his memory. Consequently, the family lost 2-3 good years with their Dad.

Early and accurate diagnosis is important because LBD patients may react to certain medications differently than other memory patients. A variety of drugs can worsen LBD symptoms. Joe was prescribed an anti-psychotic. Thankfully, Nance was warned of the danger before she gave him any. Anti-psychotics can be fatal to a person with LBD.

About Lewy-Body

Notably, LBD is the second most common form of dementia.  Generally, LBD can have three common presentations; movement issues, cognitive impairment or neuropsychiatric symptoms, which can include hallucinations. Joe had hallucinations.

Regardless of the initial symptom, over time all three presentations will develop very similar cognitive, physical, sleep and behavioral features.

The most common symptoms of LBD include:
    • Impaired thinking, such as loss of executive function (planning, processing information), memory, or the ability to understand visual information.
    • Fluctuations in attention or alertness;
    • Problems with movement such as stiffness, slowness, and difficulty walking
    • Visual hallucinations
    • Sleep disorders, like acting out one’s dreams while asleep
    • Depression, apathy, anxiety, agitation, delusions or paranoia
    • Changes in body functions, such as blood pressure control, temperature regulation, and bladder and bowel function.

 

To emphasize the lack of understandings of differences between LBD and Alzheimer’s I talked to Nance. Her story illustrates the struggles that can happen as a result of not having a proper diagnosis. Nance and I are in the same caregiver support group. During the time just after her Dads, hospitalization was a rough time for her.

The changes due to the medication trials make her feel very guilty. Caregiver guilt is common but Nance has nothing to feel guilty about. She’s caring for her father the best way she can. Sharing their stories is her way of helping other families.

Even if you are not caring for someone with Lewy-Body you’ll find this conversation insightful. Understanding all we can about senior health issues makes us all more compassionate. Realizing what challenges people are facing also makes it easier to provide help.

Podcast Housekeeping Notes

Some quick podcast housekeeping! Make sure to check out our new YouTube channel. We’re still creating it but take a look anyway. In addition to weekly video podcast episodes, there will be unique content specifically for YouTube.

Also, if you’re not following us on social media, please do! We’re on Facebook under Fading Memories podcast. Our Instagram account is Alzheimer’s podcast. Twitter is here. We post lots of interesting and fun content on all the channels. Can’t wait to see you there!

Want to suggest an episode topic? Go to our website and click on the voice memo icon. We wouldn’t mind it if you used this to send us some praise too! Don’t forget to rate & review us on Apple Podcasts. Reviews are how new listeners find us. Don’t keep us a secret! We’re here to help as many caregivers as we can.

Until next week, hang in there!

Learn More About LB

Other Insights on Dementia

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

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Could Cannabis be a Cure for Alzheimer’s?

 

Cure for Alzheimer's image

Could Cannabis be a cure for Alzheimer’s?

 

Not only have  200+ trials looking for a cure for Alzheimer’s failed, a cure in my life doesn’t look likely. What if we have had one all along? According to Dementia Care Central the dementia-related conditions that can be helped by CBD include; Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Lewy bodies dementia, Parkinson’s, Frontotemporal dementia and Huntington’s.

Additionally, according to researchers at California’s Salk Institute, their 2017 study has found evidence that cannabinoids such as CBD could help remove dementia from brain cells. At the same time, we’re looking for a cure for Alzheimer’s, we’re ignoring a potential natural ally. At the very least it could be a preventative treatment.

In the hope that we can avoid developing the disease, or at the very least reducing its effects, are we missing out?  Why are we afraid to investigate this option?

In light of this idea, I spoke to Chela of AlzNotes about her experience with her Mom and her use of medicinal cannabis. Coupled with her personal experience, Chela has done more than her share of research on this topic. Given that I have a family history of Alzheimer’s I thought it was important to learn more on this topic.

Has There Been Research Into Cannabis & Alzheimer’s?

Notably, there has been a lot of research on cannabis as medicine. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that small amounts of THC can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s in patients. Additionally, the right balance of CBD-THC can greatly reduce dementia induced anxiety or aggression.

Another key point is that THC is known to be a powerful antioxidant with neuroprotective properties. However, the 2014 study reported that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels. Obviously, this is a mind-blowing result. Additionally, as you’ll hear, Cannabis has many other potential healing properties worth looking into. Natural cures come with far fewer side effects so they’re worth researching.

In short, I’m sure you’ll find this episode as fascinating as I did. Researching this topic further is definitely on my list! Don’t you owe it to yourself to do the same? Here are the links discussed during our chat.

PubMed.com

ProjectCBD.org

Past Episodes on Alzheimer’s Prevention

Move It or Lose It – Exercise & Brain Health

This Is Your Brain on Nutrition – Diet & Brain Health

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

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Alzheimer’s & The Birth of AlzAuthors

Jean Lee, founder of AlzAuthors & her book Alzheimer's Daughter

Jean Lee used her parents Alzheimer’s journey to start AlzAuthors.

 

Jean Lees parents were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s on the same day. She was the hometown daughter, working full time. Her sister lived 1,000 miles away. What could have been a recipe for disaster became AlzAuthors.

Jeans sister suggested keeping a journal as part of caring for their parents . The result of this journal keeping was not to eventually write a book. Quite the contrary. The journal clearly described the health issues of their parents.

But keeping the journal, written words describing “private health information” made Jean feel profoundly guilty. In her own words, “Like a traitorous spy, I kept the journal for two years. It became an integral part of our parents’ diagnosis.”

Additionally, reading guided Jean through her Alzheimer’s caregiving journey. Each book, each voice, equally strengthened her for difficult times ahead. Uniquely, no story was exactly the same. Jean makes your caregiving journey easier by telling her story and adding her voice to the choir, .

How does someone go from documenting health issues to founding the largest collection of books on Alzheimer’s?  As most things, it happened in stages. As a consequence of being told by an agent that her book was loved but that Jean had no name recognition, she decided to self publish.

For example, Marianne Scuicco (a past guest) got started with Blue Hydrangeas through self publishing . Consequently, after her own publishing and receiving many positive reviews, Jean reached out to Marianne.  Jean felt she was reaching out to greatness and was shocked when she heard back.

About AlzAuthors

Connecting over a shared understanding of being Alzheimer’s caregivers is how AlzAuthors was born. Equally important to their connection was finding more like-minded authors with the same goal. Together with a shared goal in mind they reached out to more authors.

Making a difference in your dementia journey is the goal of AlzAuthors. Equally important the site is managed by six daughters who have experienced the loss of a loved one with dementia. Lifting the silence and stigma of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is their goal.

AlzAuthors write the words that serve as caregiver handbooks. In addition, they are guides through the disease process, or a catalyst for much needed conversation. A new author is featured each week and receive requests for inclusion from writers globally. Currently, they are 200 authors strong and growing.

The AlzAuthors Blog

Featuring a new author every week, the AlzAuthors blog is a fantastic resource to learning about other caregiver journeys. Together with authors and bloggers this site offers the widest range of advice in one place.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on AlzAuthors site. Looking for books focused on advice? The memoir and non fiction titles available are sure to provide the advice you seek. Furthermore, if you’re looking for something different, there are many fiction titles available. Equally important are books for kids and teens. Young people have different questions about Alzheimer’s and AlzAuthors has many books that address their concerns.

As if books & blogs were not enough, there are opportunities to meet many the authors. By checking out their calendar of events you may find an opportunity for an in person meeting.

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

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

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

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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!

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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

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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

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

 

Becoming a Savvy Caregiver

Becoming a Savvy Caregiver is as much a journey as Alzheimer’s.

 

The Savvy Caregiver Program is a training program for caregivers like you. Caregiving is a role far different from being a spouse or child.  Those terms describe relationships. Assisting and guiding someone who is living with a chronic illness is the definition of caregiving. It is work.

The caregiving role has a “job description”. Putting together the tasks, the helping, the cleaning up, watching, worrying, everything make up the caregivers job description. Hiring someone to do what you do isn’t truly possible. With enough money you can hire people to do many of your caregiving tasks. However, the caregiver role is more than one person can handle.

Caregiving is a job most of us never expected to have and are untrained to do properly. Lacking proper training leads to stress, frustration and sometimes injuries. Taking care of a person living with a demanding illness like Alzheimer’s is specialized work. Doing this work successfully requires special skills and knowledge,  You also need an outlet and attitude that helps you look after yourself.

Why Do I Need Caregiver Training?

Being unprepared for the role of caregiver is common. Lacking awareness of available training or even the need for training is also common. Many family caregivers tackle their role as a caregiver in a way similar to raising children. Unfortunately, this method leads to a lot of stress, frustration and tears. Consider the situation you’ve found yourself in. Caregiving is likely very different from any other role you have experienced. Seeing, recognizing and understanding that difference are important first steps in appreciating the work you have undertaken as a caregiver.

Most importantly, the Savvy Caregiver Program teaches you how to be a great caregiver. I attended the accelerated version (3 weeks vs 6) this past May. Learning how to be a better care partner to my Mom was a blessing. Taking this training earlier on the disease would have been a huge benefit to my Dad. Between his chronic illnesses and caring for Mom, he had too much on his plate.

What Types of Things Will I Learn In This Training?

Firstly, you’ll learn about providing contented involvement.  In other words, successful caregiving comes down to helping the person be as comfortable & involved & happy as possible. Keeping in mind that a person living with a demanding disorder can still:

  • zero in on a task or activity
  • stay with it for some time
  • have a pleasant time doing it

Keeping the person involved and content may help lessen confusion and reduce the chances of distress and difficult behaviors. Determining contented involvement takes practice. For instance, think of Goldilocks trying to find a balance between too much and too little. That is to say, a just right amount.

As a result of taking the training program I learned new ways to approach caring for Mom as she declines further.  Learning that we, as caregivers, are more in charge than we thought was huge.  While we can’t control the disease, we can control our reactions. For example. reacting in calm, more understanding ways helps our loved one stay calm. Anyone dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s knows that being calm can be a challenge.

Changing our behavior, reactions will change the outcomes of many of our interactions. That’s the benefit of becoming a Savvy Caregiver. As a result, our journey as caregivers can be a lot easier.

This is the painting that was discussed in this episode.

Fruitful life, painted by a person living with Alzheimer’s.

 

Learn More About Training Opportunities

Coping & Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

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!