Archive for the ‘Advocate on Steroids for Caregiving’ Category

Striking Feature of Memory Care Home Solutions

Striking Feature of

Memory Care Home Solutions

By Carole Larkin, Third Age Services

Recently, on a trip to St. Louis Missouri I visited a truly unique nonprofit organization called Memory Care Home Solutions. It provides sorely needed services for care partners of persons with dementia in the local area for free. It is funded by grants and contributions from individuals.


The most striking feature of Memory Care Home Solutions is that it has a mock up of a home showing inexpensive safety measures for homes containing persons with dementia. Care partners can walk through the mock up and see how they can modify their own home cheaply to make it safer for their loved ones.  The Executive Director, Lisa Baron, and her staff graciously walked me through the mock up, showing me the features of the house. They allowed me to take pictures which I have included with the article.  As you can see, these are visual and other types of safety aides for people in the early through early-mid stages of the diseases. To me the pictures are self explanatory.  The items foster more independence for the person and help the person’s sense of self esteem remain higher than without the items, as the person could accomplish tasks and have more purpose for their day. To me, this place teaches “person centered care”.

Memory Care Home solutions 6 kit cab marked memory care home solutions 3 beth chairs Memory Care home solutions 9 stop sign on door Memory Care Home Solutions  5 marking dresser Memory Care home Solutions 8 calendar grease board notes

Memory Care Home Solutions also does private consultations and training with care partners, designed to reduce care partner stress. They also provide interactive workshops, presentations and seminars to the community as well as referrals to community services. All this is done to help the person with dementia avoid institutionalization as long as possible. Everything they do is free and is meant to serve low income populations.

Memory Care Home solutions 2 locked thermostatWashington University (one of the most highly regarded universities in the nation in relation to knowledge of Alzheimer’s and other dementias) Department of Psychology conducts a quality assurance program on Memory Care Home Solutions and has helped compile a study of what Memory Care Home solutions has done over a twelve month period ( in 2010). Their outcomes are phenomenal!

  • 911 calls decreased by 60% per patient
  • ER visits decreased by 61% per patient
  • Outpatient visits by 43% per patient
  • Estimated total Medicare dollars saved $972,000
  • In their delay of institutionalization study, 1000 dementia patients:
  • Delayed Institutionalization for at least 365 days
  • Saved Medicaid/Medicare $45,625,000

In their preliminary study on reduction of caregiver burden they found that their programs made a huge difference in care partners’ confidence in providing high quality care, in their feelings of preparedness for changes coming and in the caregiver’s own self care.

Personally, I think this place could serve as the template for communities all across the United States to build their own Memory Care Home Solutions for their local. I also think that the big non profits including The National Alzheimer’s Association, The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, The National Parkinson’s Foundation and The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, should help fund these grass roots efforts to help care partners at home. For more information or to get a copy of their DVD or Memory Care Guidebook (14.95 and really terrific) here is their website: www.memorycarehs.org. All their contact information is there.


carole_larkin_pic_jpegCarole Larkin MA,CMC,CAEd,QDCS,EICS

ThirdAge Services LLC

1700 Commerce St. Ste. 1605

Dallas TX 75201




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Great Emergency Contact Technology For Those With Dementia


Life Saving Technology –

Simple, Safe and Small

Code4Armour is a medical band that speaks for you in emergencies when you cannot.

Code4Armour is a shock-resistant, water-resistant, battery-free wearable that helps save lives by delivering vital Personal Health Information to First Responders in seconds in the event of an emergency.

Now available on Indiegogo.

Support the Cause 

Protect Your Loved Ones!


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Greg O’Brien – Attacking Alzheimer’s

Greg O’Brien Veteran Journalist – Attacking Alzheimer’s

greg_obrien_video_2_Check out Greg’s book

ON PLUTO: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s

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Come Dance With Us For Dementia

Come Dance With Us!

Raise Funds To Improve Lives

Of Those Living With Dementia

Gianna homes event 1gianna homes event lori others

I Hope You Can Join Us

gianna homes 2 scheduleGianna_fundraiser_nov_7gianna homes about them

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“Person-Centered Matters” is a beautiful and compelling 16-minute video

Dementia, Including Alzheimer’s

Has Become A National Challenge

In The U.S.!

Over 5 million Americans are currently living with dementia – or one in nine people age 65 and older – and the number will escalate at an alarming rate as the baby boom generation ages. It’s very likely you know someone in your extended family or community with this condition.

Dementia costs now exceed those for cancer or heart disease. Despite the high expenditures, dementia care in the U.S. is fragmented, the quality of paid care is uneven, and most services and supports are NOT following the gold standard of person-centered practices. Person-centeredness nurtures well-being by supporting one’s dignity, individuality, personal preferences, and choices.

Person-centered care is the gold standard and can help make life better for people living with dementia and for those who care about them.     “Person-Centered Matters” is a beautiful and compelling 16-minute video produced by the Dementia Action Alliance and filmed by a former National Geographic filmmaker. It portrays five people living with dementia and how person-centered care helps them live more fully.

YOU can help improve dementia care in the U.S.

Become a Champion of Change and make a difference!


WATCH The Video

SHARE The Video

CHAMPION Person-Centered Care

The Dementia Action Alliance consists of Champions of Change across the country — people who are living with dementia, their family and friend care partners, and other advocates, groups and communities who believe the time is NOW to improve dementia care in the U.S. and help people live more fully with dementia.


“A Nation Joined Will Make a Difference”

The Dementia Action Alliance is a national partnership to coalesce and connect people, organizations, and communities to come together for collective impact to help people who have dementia and their care partners live well with dementia.  The Alliance is led by CCAL-Advancing Person-Centered Living, AMDA: The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Broyles Foundation, CareGivers United, LeadingAge/Georgia, Planetree, and The Eden Alternative.

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Dementia Call To Action

Dementia Call To Action

Here is a note from one of my colleagues, Meryl comer who is out fighting the battle of dementia.


I have cared at home for my husband, Harvey, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at age 58, for almost 20 years, and now I care for my mother at home too. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in these last 20 years – there are still no disease-modifying treatments or better care options. So I wrote Slow Dancing with a Stranger to urge caregivers to tell the hard truth about this cruel disease and flip their pain by becoming more vocal advocates. After all, we are already on the frontline of care – in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and doing battle with insurers. So I hope all caregivers will come out of the shadows with me.

meryl_comer_book_coverClick to review or purchase

It’s been shown that caregiving can have harmful mental and physical health consequences – like depression, fatigue, stress, and chronic illness. What upsets me is the latest research that shows caregiving can take as much as 10 years off a family caregiver’s life. How unfair is that!!

That’s why I’m asking you to take 20 minutes of your time to participate in our new online study – “from the lab to your laptop” – to help researchers focus on the cognitive toll of caregiving. Why? Because what happens to our loved ones if something happens to us? It’s time to show the research community that we can be valuable research partners, and to do this we’re creating the largest virtual cohort of caregivers to join together on the front lines of research – without leaving home.

That’s why yesterday we launched the 21CBT/Health e-Brain Study that invites caregivers to complete a quick lifestyle survey and take a Lumosity brain performance test. That’s it! We promise to share what we learn to help protect your health.

Click here to learn more and participate in the 21CBT/Health e-Brain Study. Your participation will contribute to critical Alzheimer’s prevention studies.

I think most people are worried about their own risk if they have seen Alzheimer’s in their family. I worry all the time. But we don’t need to be powerless. We deserve more than lip service for our unpaid contribution to long-term care in this country. Join this study to show that caregivers count. Our metric for success is to help caregivers stay well and we are using our brains to do it.

Sign up now for the 30-minute study and help researchers help us better understand the early cognitive warning signs to take better care of ourselves.

Fighting Alzheimer’s on the outside when I know it will win at home, makes me fearless. This is not about me. My fight is to make certain no other family ends up like mine. Together we need to show the world what’s really on our mind!

Thank you,

Meryl Comer

P.S. If you’re not a caregiver but know someone who is, please forward this message to help us reach as many caregivers as possible.


More than 400 leading Alzheimer’s researchers agree that we can prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025 – and it could even be sooner if critical investments and reforms are made. We must SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASE funding for Alzheimer’s research in the next 5 years and we must DRAMATICALLY SHRINK the time it takes to get new, safe therapies to market.

USAgainstAlzheimer’s is a community of enraged and engaged individuals who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and are committed to achieving the bold and attainable goal of ending Alzheimer’s.

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Healthy Food and Smaller Portions: The Key to Longevity

Healthy Food and

Smaller Portions:

The Key to Longevity

If you are like most people, you believe that your genes have predetermined just about everything about you. As you look in the mirror each morning, perhaps you see your mother’s eyes or your father’s smile. You may also be convinced that your genes have already predetermined the illnesses you are destined to suffer.

In her book, Living Downstream, Dr. Sandra Steingraber describes her health challenges in living with bladder cancer. Because her mother, uncle, and grandfather had all died of various forms of cancer, many people who knew Sandra assumed that she had inherited cancer genes. They were not aware that Sandra had been adopted. Her cancer, she believed, was caused by exposure to environmental pollution as a child.

Dr. Steingraber’s story reminds us of an important fact.   Rather than supposed genetic predispositions, it is external conditions ― the circumstances to which your genes are exposed ― that contribute either to maximum wellness or to disease, accelerated aging and premature death.

According to leading researchers, only about 10 to 15 percent of cancers are genetic in origin; the rest are caused by a combination of environmental and lifestyle factors.

Here’s something else that perhaps you didn’t know.

Because you eat so often, food is the single most important way to maintain your genetic integrity or to destroy it. Many excellent scientific studies underscore this vitally important truth. Richard Weindruch, Ph.D., has conducted research into how genes are affected by dietary change. The results were published in Scientific American, back in 1996.

His paper, “Nutrient Modulation of Gene Expressions,” illustrates that simply by reducing the number of total calories eaten, the lifespan of a lab mouse could be prolonged by 30 percent. In human terms, that would translate into extending the predicted life span from an average of 76 years to a ripe old 93.

You would be very satisfied with that life expectancy, wouldn’t you? I’d gladly settle in advance for 90-some good years.

There are 6,347 genes in the typical lab rat. Dr. Weindruch discovered that during normal aging, when the animal was permitted to eat as much as it desired, five percent of the rat’s genes underwent an increase in activity and five percent decreased.

Ninety percent of the rat’s genes showed no change in activity levels. Are you surprised to learn that the five percent that rose in activity were stress genes and the five percent that fell were energy genes? For the sake of longevity, these percentages should be reversed.

This is similar to what I see in patients who are aging prematurely. They are fatigued, depressed and stressed. They describe having chronic pain, arthritis, memory loss and weak immune systems. Unfortunately, until I ask, they have rarely thought about how diet may have caused many of their symptoms.

Perhaps you are not interested in being able to run a maze at age 60, but I know you would like to have as much energy as possible and you want to be active at every age and stage of life.

Here’s how you can do it. Merely by cutting down on your total calories and eating healthy foods, you can send positive signals to your genes, thereby increasing your chances for a long, robust life.

All the research on caloric restriction points out that you are constantly speaking to your genes and the words are the foods you eat. This means smaller portions of nutrient-rich foods like lean protein, Omega-3 fish, good fats like avocado and extra virgin olive oil, and fresh fruits and vegetables are sending your genes an important message ― you want to live a long and healthy life by providing every cell in your body with the right amount of nourishment it needs to enable you to enjoy a ripe old age.

At the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, we know that the food you eat not only determines your longevity; it is a primary factor in the health of your brain and Alzheimer’s prevention.  That’s why we have made it #1 in our 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention.  It’s your most important tool for a healthy mind and body at any age.

You can obtain some great recipes when you sign up for ARPF Newsletter and stay in touch, simply follow this link.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

President and Medical Director


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