Join The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement

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alzheimer's care virginia
Courtesy of http://thewomensalzheimersmovement.org

Almost every minute Alzheimer’s disease impacts a new brain in the United States, and 2/3 of these belong to women. Women are also more likely to become a primary caregiver to someone living with Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impact everyone, women are at the center of this growing epidemic.

Maria Shriver and The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™ is on a mission to inform and educate women around the US and provide key research to find out why women are more likely to receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

You can join the Women’s Movement in the fight.  Sign up online to show your support, see tips on how to keep your brain healthy and active, get the facts on Alzheimer’s or explore tips for caregivers.

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Taking Care of Kids and Elderly Parents at the Same Time

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Taking care of your kids at home while caring for an elderly parent?  You’re a member of The Sandwich Generation, although the name sounds more appetizing than the scenario.

Adults in The Sandwich generation have children at home – or older kids maybe fresh out of the nest but still requiring support – and they also have an elderly parent who with increasing care needs. It’s a daunting and exhausting place to be – and we haven’t even mentioned the full-time workload you’re probably carrying.

We’re here to provide support.

7 Tips to Ease the Burden of Raising Kids While Caring for Elderly Parents

There is good news for The Sandwich Generation is twofold. First, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center nearly 50% of adults between the ages of 40 and 59 have a minor at home and/or an adult child they support AND have a parent 65+ who will require increasing levels of care. Just knowing you have a tribe out there can help.

Secondly, you are seen. Those of us who work in the world of senior and memory care witness first hand the burden placed upon you. We have many tips to help you take care of everyone in your family, without sacrificing the last vestiges of yourself, your energy levels and overall well-being.

Putting these 7 tips you can put into place can help ease the hardships placed on you and your family during this compressed period of time.

memory care richmond
Dining at The Memory Center, Richmond

1 – Start visiting local assisted living communities

. In the midst of crisis is one of the worst times to make big decisions. Instead, take advantage of free consultations with assisted living and memory care communities in your area. These consultations are rich with information and ideas you can put to work now while considering and developing your long-term plan. 

Visiting long term care facilities is the only way to know which one feels like the best fit for you/your parents when the time comes.  And if your parent is in the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, these consultations give him/her some agency regarding their future – very important during a time when seniors often feel like they’re losing autonomy.

2 – Make the home safe and accessible

There are plenty of articles out there on how to remodel a home and make it accessible, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.  With even simple changes and adjustments to your parent’s house and yard, you’ll notably decrease their risk of falling – and that decreases their risk of hospitalization or surgical interventions known to contribute to senior cognitive decline.

Some of the most easiest changes to making a senior’s home safer include installing motion-sensitive lighting, minimizing trip hazards (like exposed cords, edges of area rugs, uneven thresholds, etc.), installing handrails in toilet and bath/shower areas, building a ramp if needed, rearranging cupboards so everyday items are accessible without bending over or standing on a step stool, and providing an easier way to reach you when needed.

3 – Include your children in the process

. We often forget children are alert and aware of what’s happening in the household and to the ones they love. Even if you think you’re keeping the majority of the “heavy stuff” out of their world, they know and sense you are being stretched beyond your means.

However, even adult children don’t always know what to say or how to help. Similarly, children are just as worried and concerned about their grandparent(s) in their own way and may feel very helpless, which can cause younger children and teens to act out.

If nothing else, foster open communication in age-appropriate ways about what’s happening to grandma and/or grandpa, how you are feeling and about how difficult this situation is at times. The more open and communicative your family is, the more supportive and connected it can remain – even during the toughest moments. If they’re old enough, engage children in helping to provide care and companionship, if they’re young – find little things they can do to be useful. We recommend reading, alz.org’s, Helping Your Children or Grandchildren. The tips are universal for any family coping with dementia or Alzheimer’s – whether you’re sandwiched or not.

4 – Make taking care of yourself a priority

You know the airplane safety spiel about fastening your oxygen mask first, and then ensuring everyone around you has fastened theirs? Use it as a metaphor for your current life. If you think things are emotionally and financially challenging now, imagine what it would be like if you wound up succumbing to serious medical issues as a result of over stressed caregiver depletion. It happens all the time to primary caregivers and it leaves their loved ones in a major lurch.

Primary caregivers must make their well-being a priority so they remain healthy, balanced and as centered as possible through this phase of the journey. That means eating a well-balanced diet, finding ways to get a little exercise in (some days, that might  mean parking in the furthest spot to walk a little longer or taking the stairs instead of the elevator) and finding a way to clear 5- or 10-minutes of quiet-time amidst the busy-ness. Joining an Alzheimer’s support group can also provide a wealth of emotional support and bolstering.

5 – Take advantage of respite care options.

If your parent hasn’t relocated yet, contact local home care agencies to ask about their respite care services. Respite care providers give primary spouse and/or family caregivers the opportunity to focus on their regularly scheduled lives. In your case, this means more time to have dinner with the family, attend academic and extracurricular activities, go to bible study or religious events and to gain more quality time with the kids.

It can also serve as a baby step of sorts, a means of getting you and your parent accustomed to letting someone else help out with everything from companionship, driving and medication reminders, to meal preparation, bathing, dressing and toileting – all the things that may need to be taken over as your parent’s condition progresses.

tips for caregivers

6 – Imagine you’re meeting your parent for the first time

Whether a parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, suffering from the crippling grief from the loss of a spouse and/or peers, or is simply frustrated s/he can no longer do the things s/he loved – The ability to take big steps back is an amazing skill-set for children caregivers to develop.

Imagine you’re meeting your parent for the very first time. See your parent as s/he is now – while keeping your memories sacred. This will help you to find new ways to connect, explore creative ways to communicate, and establish deeper means of cultivating compassion with who they are – and what they’re capable of – in each moment.

7 – Be gentle with yourself

You’re under a tremendous pressure – not to mention emotional duress. Also, you are human. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself – and always forgive yourself in the moments you aren’t at your best.

Please visit our News Feed for more resources on Alzheimer’s and dementia care. You can also contact us to schedule a tour of The Memory Center communities in Atlanta, Richmond or Virginia Beach

 

Slammies Food Truck Lunch on August 2nd

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memory center va beachJoin The Memory Center, Virginia Beach on Wednesday, August 2nd for lunch.

Local favorites Slammies Food Truck will be here with their delicious menu specializing in gourmet sliders, grilled cheeses and sides such as cucumber salad and fried pickles with sriracha aioli.  Prices for sandwiches begin at $5.00 and full combo meals are as little as $8.00.

The Memory Center Virginia beach is located at 1853 Old Donation Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
and our food truck events is open to the public.  Contact us at (757) 412-1180 for more information about our memory care community

Car Wash Fundraiser

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This weather is perfect for showing off a clean car, and better yet helping a good cause!

The Memory Center team will be washing your cars to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association this June 21st from 11am – 1pm and 3pm – 4pm.

Drive into the parking lot at The Memory Center Virginia Beach,
1853 Old Donation Pkwy, Virginia Beach and support our Alzheimer’s Walk Team!

See more on our official Facebook event

 

Don’t Be Embarrassed About Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult for children, teens, children even adults to understand. There will be times you grandma doesn’t seem like she used to. Or without warning she may get confused, agitated or even angry to the point of accusing you of stealing. And it may happen when you are out in public, at church, the grocery store, or at a family gathering.  Even though you know Alzheimer’s is the cause, it is common to be embarrassed about it. 

While you can’t stop behavior changes due to Alzheimer’s, there are tips to help you better manage the situation.

alzheimer's care facility atlanta

Think About It From Their Perspective

Alzheimer’s progressively destroys brain cells over time, so during the early stages many people living with the disease do recognize something is wrong.  They may know they are supposed to recognize you, but they can’t. Imagine how frustrating and scary that would be. 

It is important to put yourself in their shoes and think about how you might react if your world suddenly didn’t make sense or you were in a position where you realized you should know someone – even a close family member – but just couldn’t remember who they were or what they meant to you.

Adjust Social Routines

Everyone needs social interaction, even those living with memory loss. But as the disease progresses unfamiliar places and social interactions can become scary and more become difficult to manage.

Consider hosting the monthly family dinner at your house, or the home of a close friend instead of meeting at a new restaurant. Consider a familiar locale for the family vacation and stick to visiting favorite landmarks and attractions.

While each day is different, through many stages of Alzheimer’s it is likely your loved one will feel more comforted and peaceful with the familiar vs. something new that might trigger fear or agitation.  

Have A Sense Of Humor

While Alzheimer’s and dementia are serious, as a family member of friend keeping a sense of humor makes a big difference. Let’s face it, there are times you just have to find humor in the situation. It can lighten the mood not only for yourself, but also for your family and your loved one suffering from memory loss. 

And don’t forget is human nature to pick up on the emotions of others around you and this is no different for those living with memory loss. Getting embarrassed or anxious when grandma says the wrong thing can even make the situation worse as she picks up on your rising level of anxiety.

Sometimes it is just best to whisper a quiet apology, laugh and move on.

Don’t Argue

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that destroys memory.  If someone can’t remember, recalls something differently, or is convinced the neighbor stole their favorite pen, don’t spend time arguing or trying to convince them otherwise.  Even if they end up agreeing with you today it is no guarantee they will remember it tomorrow.  Instead try reassuring them or even asking questions about the memory they are recalling. 

Read more tips from The Memory Center or read more about activities that can help ease Alzheimer’s boredom.  

 

Alzheimer’s Facts Seminar on May 25, 2017

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memory care virginia beach
Download a flyer.

Many people assume memory loss is a normal part of the aging process, when in fact, it isn’t.

Memory loss can be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and you need to know the facts.

Join us for an educational seminar to learn more about detection, risk factors, treatment, stages of the disease and much more.

Offered by: The Memory Center of Virginia Beach & Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Virginia

Date: May 25, 2017

Time: 5:30 P.M.- 6:30 P.M.

Location: The Memory Center of Virginia Beach 1853 Old Donation Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

To Register Contact: This seminar is offered at no charge, but space is limited.  Reserve your space by contacting Kathryn Bennett at 757-412-1180 or email: kathrynb@thememorycenter.com.

 

 

What To Expect In Middle Stage Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease is typically referred to in three stages. Early, middle and late stage.  Many people are familiar with the early (or mild) and the late (or severe) stages, but not sure what to expect from the middle stage. 

Moderate, or middle stage, Alzheimer’s is generally the longest stage of the disease with some living in the stage for several years.

As the disease progresses family members and caregivers may notice behaviors such as:

  • Needing assistance performing daily tasks such as bathing or dressing
  • Difficulty following a conversation or remembering details about what day it is or their family history
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Behavior or more frequent mood changes including becoming agitated, suspicious of others
  • Changes in sleep patterns such as wanting to sleep more during the day, and difficulty sleeping at night

Safety concerns become an issue at this stage and caregivers or loved ones may have to initiate tough alz communities in virginiaconversations.  Taking away car keys, moving in with family members or hiring around the clock care for example. Wandering, a typical Alzheimer’s behavior, may appear and should be taken as a serious safety concern. 

Caring For Someone In Middle Stage Alzheimer’s

Caring for someone at this stage becomes increasingly demanding.  As the disease progresses caregivers become responsible for day-to-day tasks such as helping the person get dressed, grooming, shopping, meals, household chores, transportation, keeping them occupied and much more. 

Many caregivers become so busy taking care of their loved one they start to ignore their own needs such as not getting enough sleep, not exercising, not socializing with friends, or taking the breaks they need.  To be a good caregiver you need time away and shouldn’t feel guilty about asking trusted friends, neighbors or even hiring help on a regular basis to give you a break.

If you haven’t already, develop a daily schedule and try to stick to it the best you can.  Life with Alzheimer’s often comes with surprises, but having a routine helps makes sense of the day and can provide reassurance to your loved one.  Each day should also include activities that provide a sense of purpose and can be adapted to the person’s abilities or mood. 

Activities such as taking a walk, working in the garden, listening to music, sorting playing cards, clipping coupons or folding laundry are ideas.

Read more about daily activities at The Memory Center communities or tips for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Long Can Someone With Alzheimer’s Live At Home

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If you have a spouse or family member diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia you are probably wondering  how long they will be able to live at home and how much help they will need.

Alzheimer’s disease can progress slowly and during the early to mid-stages of the disease living at home with help is possible.  Even so, many caregivers find it necessary to enlist family members, nurses or home health-care aids to help.  Not only so their loved one can remain at home longer but also give the caregiver routine breaks to rest, exercise or catch up with friends.

alzhiemer's care johns creek gaAs Alzheimer’s continues to progressive it impacts more than just memory.  It affects brain functions including sense of perception and balance, behavior, bodily functions and other systems.  Eventually the person will no longer be able to live without around the clock care.  They may no longer be able to dress themselves, feed themselves or even use the restroom without help or supervision. 

At this stage even with hired part-time help, living at home becomes less of an option.  It and can even become a safety concern and care in a residential facility becomes necessary.

Even though most caregivers find it a hard subject to discuss, it is important to research residential care options early, even if you think you won’t need them.  Waiting to research options until there is a crisis, such as a fall, can leave you scrambling to find quality care quickly.  

Most residential facilities have a waiting list so it is a good idea to find one that best suits your needs and get on the waiting list early.  In most cases if a room becomes available and you aren’t ready to move in, you can remain on the waiting list and have the community contact you when the next room becomes available.

memory care midlothian va
The Memory Center, Richmond

About The Memory Centers

The Memory Center communities in Richmond, Virginia Beach and Johns Creek provide exceptional care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  Founded as the first assisted living facilities devoted specifically to memory care, our program is designed to meet the challenging conditions of an aging brain with a caring, interactive community.

Our custom programs and activities are designed to inspire purpose, validate actions and invigorate while providing the highest quality of life for residents.  Functional and fun are key components of our activities – and we encourage family members and spouses to take an active role in their loved one’s care or join us for daily activities.

Read more about Alzheimer’s and dementia care or ask us a question or schedule a tour.

Help The Memory Center Support Beach Bags For Kids

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Spring Break is almost here for many Virginia Beach area schools which means an entire week off.  But not everyone looks forward to these extended breaks.  In fact, there are many students in our area who rely on school meals and may not get enough to eat on the weekends or during school breaks.

This is why The Memory Center, Virginia Beach supports the “Beach Bags for Kids” program to help the memory center va beachour local community and provide meals for kids who need them.

The Memory Center invites you to help us fill as many Beach Bags for Kids as possible by donating non-perishable food items.  Suggestions include: 

  • Individual-sized cereal boxes or oatmeal
  • 8oz. servings of shelf-stable milk
  • Individual-sized meals (ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, macaroni & cheese, etc.)
  • 4 oz. fruit cups and/or 100% juice boxes
  • Snack items (granola bars, raisins, pretzels, etc.)

You can drop off donations at The Memory Center, Virginia Beach anytime during our food drive March 27 – April 6, 2017.   Donation boxes will be set up in the lobby, just drop by anytime between 9am-5pm any day of the week.  After April 6th The Memory Center staff and residents will then assemble and deliver all the Beach Bags to schools in our local community.

Thank you in advance for your participation and support, we look forward to sharing your donations with the kids in the Virginia Beach area.

Click for more information about how you can get involved with the Virginia Beach Schools Beach Bag Program.

LATEST NEWS


18
Sep

Join The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement

Almost every minute Alzheimer’s disease impacts a new brain in the United States, and 2/3 of these belong to women. Women are also more likely to become a primary caregiver...

READ MORE

22
Aug

Taking Care of Kids and Elderly Parents at the Same Time

Taking care of your kids at home while caring for an elderly parent?  You’re a member of The Sandwich Generation, although the name sounds more appetizing than the scenario. Adults...

READ MORE

28
Jul

Slammies Food Truck Lunch on August 2nd

Join The Memory Center, Virginia Beach on Wednesday, August 2nd for lunch. Local favorites Slammies Food Truck will be here with their delicious menu specializing in gourmet sliders, grilled cheeses...

READ MORE

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