A Peruvian Alzheimer’s Adventure

A caregiver and a man living with Alzheimer's

Can getting Alzheimer’s care in a foreign country be a smart alternative?

 

How can getting eldercare for someone with Alzheimer’s be better in Peru? To begin with, the cost of living is so much lower in Peru than in the United States. Instead of $600 a day, Barabra Drakes father lived like a king on $600 a month.

If you’re listening to this episode, you may be facing terrifying options for a loved one. The cost of care in countries like America, Canada & the United Kingdom can be prohibitively expensive. Many families are faced with choices that are unacceptable but they don’t have better options.

It is possible to retire outside the United States. It takes careful research and planning but it may be an option worth considering. Barbar’s blog can help you start your research correctly and maybe you too will have a Peruvian Alzheimer’s Adventure with your loved one.

What type of caregiving adventure have you been on? We’re always looking for guests with interesting stories, helpful advice, anything that might help. Are you a potential guest or know someone who could be? Contact us at fadingmemoriespodcast.com with ideas, suggestions or if you just want to say hi!

Peruvian Alzheimer’s Adventure Blog

La Vida Con Deby: The not-so-secret life of an American woman in Buenos Aires. Tango, late nights, and a whole new identity.

Getting Caregiver Time Off

Alzheimer’s Trippin’ With George – Another Adventure Story

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

 

Caregiving & Employment Struggles

Caregiving & Employment Struggles

When caregivers struggle with dual responsibilities their employment can suffer.

Because of our aging population, more people over the age of 65 are facing caregiving & employment struggles. A significant portion of people at retirement age are at risk of having to care for a parent. Some of these workers may also be caring for a spouse.

Caregiving is largely an unpaid, family responsibility. However, this responsibility is already causing a decrease in employment, productivity, and innovation. Neither of these facts is sustainable.

Currently, 22% of retirees left the workforce early due to competing caregiving and employment struggles. Additionally, 25% of Alzheimer’s caregivers are sandwiched between caring for parents and children.

At first glance, it would be understandable if corporations thought being part of the solution was expensive. Thankfully, the opposite is true. Organizations can gain a competitive advantage by becoming a caring corporation with little financial outlay.

What Can Corporations Do?

Good news amongst such a challenge. The purpose of this episode is to spark conversations on solving this growing crisis. A study by Harvard Business School (Focus on Work) lays out 6 suggestions. Most of the suggestions add to duties already in practice. One of the most important things a corporation can do is listen. Employees need to be open about their caregiving and employment struggles.

The study suggests that employers understand that caregiving employees are committed to their jobs. We still have outdated assumptions that this is not the case. Allowing workplace flexibility is crucial for employees at all levels of caregiving. This can include child-rearing and eldercare.

For hourly employees do away with no-fault absenteeism policies. Understanding their struggles will differentiate dedicated employees from others. Knowing that they are dedicated to their jobs, just pulled in many directions makes a difference.

Provide education and training about having caregivers on the job. Also important, train managers to understand caregiver discrimination. This benefits the organization in many ways, not just the employee.

Offering eldercare support, resources and referral services can help tremendously. Most family caregivers end up in their situation due to an emergency. This situation does not allow for planning or research. The availability of these resources is nearly a no-cost benefit with huge rewards.

Implementing recruitment practices that recognize the unique variety of skills caregivers acquire. Understanding these unique skills will benefit organizations tremendously.

Regardless of the industry, all organizations can easily become caring companies. Coupled with being the morally right thing to do caring companies can also gain a competitive advantage.

 

Giving A Caregiver Help
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Activities for People Living with Alzheimer’s

Activities with 3 women with Alzheimer's.

Activities are important for people living with Alzheimer’s

Activities are important for keeping someone living with Alzheimer’s engaged and productive. However, as their disease progresses activities they once loved become impossible to manage.

Activities offer important benefits like cognitive stimulation, the opportunity to connect with another person, relaxation and more. If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s you may struggle to find activities that they are capable of doing without adding stress to your day. What options do we have to keep them busy and happy?

Finding the right balance between what is good for them and what is good for you is an endless challenge. It’s a challenge that is fraught with emotional struggles. Is it even worth bothering?

Taking what they once loved and simplifying the task is a great start. Unfortunately, our being aware of what they can actually accomplish. Sometimes we have to take a step back and see if we’re expecting more from them than they are capable of handling.

Tune in to learn more about activities for people living with Alzheimer’s.

Get Judy’s book!

Senior Delight Boxes

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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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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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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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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!

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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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!