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Caring for someone with Dementia: Episode 102

Rick Topete on caring for someone with dementia

Caring for someone (especially our loved one) with Dementia can be challenging.

Rick Topete is with us today to give us advice on how to take care of someone with Dementia. Rick's passion with seniors began way back when he was in high school.

He studied at St. Bernard High School where they visit local Senior Centers in Los Angeles. During his visit to Senior Centers, they would play cards, listen to old-time music, hear their great stories, put a smile on their face and let them know they mattered. In 2011, he had an opportunity at Silverado Care. Within the first year of taking the job, his Aunt was diagnosed with early onset of Dementia that made it “real” and really centered him on what this disease is.

Rick gives us some tips on how to take care of someone with Dementia.

  • Keep the tone of your voice pleasant and soft.
    • Sometimes, the noise can have an effect on someone with dementia.
  • Gentle eye contact
  • Stay away from negative words
  • Change topic if needed
  • Give simple choices
    • Example, would you like to wear the red sweater or the blue sweater?
  • Know their passion and help them use and maintain the remaining strength they have today.
    • Celebrate their abilities and not focus on their limitation
  • If a loved one has passed, be in the moment with them

Rick tells us it's all about understanding what their passion is, what's their past job, hobbies, etc. Once you get to know them better, you can use it to help them feel important. If you knew someone with Dementia and you know that he or she likes gardening, have him or her do gardening (with supervision, of course). It's all about not making them feel that they have a disease or that they are useless. What's important is that we make them feel that they matter, that they have a purpose.

“Give them the opportunity to live, understand what's in their heart, understand what's important to them.”

Even though the disease may be there it doesn't mean they can't live and still have that social involvement in living

each day.

Below are some links to support activities for Seniors, especially those with a Dementia diagnosis.

If you would like to contact Rick his phone number is 760-215-5517

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Ways to Improve Memory Skills: Episode 097

Angela Gentile discusses ways to improve memory skills

Angela Gentile gives us ways to improve memory skills.

Angela Gentile, M.S.W., R.S.W. has over 25 years of experience working with older adults and their families in a variety of capacities. She has worked in healthcare, private practice, long-term care, home care, and non-profits.

Angela has written a book, and a co-authored a mobile app, Dementia Caregiver Solutions. She is founder and manager of the LinkedIn Group, Gerontology Professionals of Canada and the Aging Well for Women Facebook page. She is currently employed full-time as a Geriatric Mental Health Clinician. She enjoys writing, traveling, photography and exploring what it means to age well.

Angela began working with older people at a very young age. She found she really enjoyed it and made a lifelong career. She is the “go-to” person if friends and family have questions regarding aging and it has also helped her with her own parents as they age.

All that accumulation of “stuff” doesn't matter anymore as we age. What matters most are the memories

According to Angela, it is very interesting to see what people are left with after 80 years of living. Sometimes they end up in one little room because they can't afford a house anymore, or they've lost their partner and they just don't need all that space.

Dementia

We talked about the various types of dementia which include:

  • Alzheimer's which is the most common form
  • Vascular Dementia which is the type that can most be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices
  • Mixed Dementia which is Alzheimer's plus vascular combined
  • Lewy Body
  • Korsakoff's which can be caused by alcohol consumption

What are some ways to improve memory Skills?

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Form habits to help manage misplaced items
  3. Association or cues
  4. Learn it and store it correctly
  5. Keep Physically active. The brain needs oxygen to thrive and survive

Angela has provided a Freebie for my listeners. Five Strategies to Help Improve Memory Skills. This goes over these in more detail and can be found at https://rockyourretirement.com/MemorySkills

Books

Caring for a husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide

A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival

Contact information: Phone: (855) 974-4219  *  Email: CareToAge@gmail.com  *  Website: www.AngelaGGentile.com

Do you have tips on ways to improve memory skills? If you’d like to share your story with Angela and me, go to the show notes at Rock Your Retirement.com and leave a comment.  And you can talk with me and other listeners of the show in our private Facebook Community.  Just click on the community tab of the website.

If your parents have Alzheimer’s, you need The Secret of Adult Day Care Episode 69

Lisa Tyburski discusses Adult Day Care Programs

Lisa Tyburski discusses Adult Day Care Programs

Caregiving is relentless. It is exhausting beyond belief and caregivers need a break. Adult Day Programs (AKA Adult Day Care) are a way for people to get a break.  They can drop their loved one off in a safe environment.

I spoke with Lisa Tyburski from The Glenner Centers which offers Adult Day Programs AKA Adult Daycare Center from their 3 locations in San Diego. Lisa shared with me the powerful story about how The Glenner started. It was founded in 1982 by Dr. Glenner and his wife Joy. Dr. Glenner was a researcher at the UCSD school of medicine. He was working to advance research in the Alzheimer’s field. One night around midnight, he and his wife Joy received a phone call from the husband of one of Dr. Glenner’s Alzheimers patients. The husband, who had been a caregiver to his wife was frantic. He was absolutely at the end of his rope and he had a loaded gun in his hand. He was going to murder his wife and commit suicide. Dr. Glenner knew he needed to come up with a solution to help the caregivers.

You can go to work, run errands, take a nap, or whatever you need to do to tend to the other areas of your life.  You know that your loved one is being taken care of.

The Glenner Centers provides brain-stimulating activities. This can also help with sundowner's syndrome in the evenings.  Some of these activities include:

  • Singing and music
  • Listening to and discussing current events
  • Animals brought in from the Humane Society
  • Socializing

I had NO idea these places existed and I had to learn more.

Have a care giver?  No problem, you can still use Adult Day Programs (AKA Adult Day Care).

Things Lisa says you should look for when looking into an Adult Day Programs (AKA Adult Day Care):

  • Do they specialize in dementia if your loved one has dementia?
  • What is the staff to participant ratio?
  • How many total participants in the center on any given day. You may want to look for a smaller center for more personalized experience
  • Do they have a nurse on staff and ask if they can manage medications?

If you would like to contact Lisa or The Glenner Centers you can email information@glenner.org or ltyburski@glenner.org and the website is www.glenner.org

The freebie for this episode is ABC's of Dementia which you can get by going to http://RockYourRetirement.com/abc

Special Thanks to:

  • Angie Strehlow who helps us get great guests that help us with our retirement lifestyle while keeping everything on track…and helps with these show notes!
  • Les Briney, my husband, and Danny Ozment of Emerald City Pro who edits the show and makes my guests and me sound terrific
  • Lesinda Tubalado who helps keep the website up to date
  • Henry Shapiro, host of Retired Excited that airs on Fridays
  • YOU for telling your friends about the show, leaving comments below, and sharing episodes you really like on Facebook.

This post on Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

ABCs of Alzheimer’s: Interview with Dave Jackson

Dave Jackson ABCs of Alzheimer's

Dave Jackson talks about his experience with Alzheimer's

On the 10/17/16 episode of the Rock Your Retirement show, Kathe interviewed celebrity Dave Jackson about his experience with Alzheimer's disease.

Dave Jackson runs the School of Podcasting.  Frances McGrogan, a previous guest, and I talked about how he helped us learn how to podcast in episode 21.

This chat wasn't about podcasting though. It was about his experience with Alzheimer's Disease, which is a form of Dementia.  Dementia is a heartbreaking disease, and Dave tells his story about how he was able to deal with it.

Dave told us about his father, and his experience with Alzheimer's.  The family thought that the symptoms were due to a mugging that he had experienced earlier in his life.   As his father got older, Dave and his brother realized that something was wrong.  Dad was always bringing up certain stories and repeating them. (But we all do that, right?)

Dad went to the hospital for colon cancer.  The hospital diagnosed him with dementia, and Dad couldn't be left alone.

The family had to do some quick planning.  They only had a week to find a place for him to stay.

A common side effect of Alzheimer's is inappropriate sexual behavior.  It's also common for Alzheimer's patients to form a new love relationship while they are in memory care. This can be a problem if the spouse is still alive.  Dave's Dad got “frisky” in the memory care unit.

Every time he visited, Dad gave Dave a tour.  it was brand new to Dad.  His Dad also introduced him to the nurses each time.  He also told him who was in the photos on the wall each time Dave visited.  This is also common in Alzheimer's patients.

The staff coached the family on how to deal with Dad.  “Don't correct him”, was one their advice.

It's difficult for the family.  People are bound to have mixed emotions.  Dementia patients need a lot of sleep. It is exhausting for them to try to do things, and their brains work differently than ours do.  So you go to visit, and Dad is asleep.  That's hard to deal with if you've come a long way to see him or her.  You don't want to wake them up.  Then when he wakes up, you get the tour again!

A great piece of advice from Dave:  There may be a day when your Dad might not recognize you.  Don't take things personally because it's not you, it's the disease.

To get the our free guide, ABC's of Dementia, just click HERE. You can also listen to the episode on your favorite smartphone podcast app, or click on the player at the top of this page.

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