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Posts Tagged ‘Patient’

Ode to a Caregiver

Ode to a Caregiver

From Wellspring Village Residents at Brightview Concord River

Always be patient for those in need

You must be a good listener, a good listener indeed.

Always be willing to lend a hand

And empathize so you understand.

Always remember the success I’ve had,

So don’t get discouraged or feel bad.

Put yourself in our place each day you’re here

Speak slowly and calmly, keep communication clear.

Join my reality and focus on what I can still do

Because I’m still here, still here with you.

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How to Communicate with a Person with Dementia DC_031917_How_to_communicate_with_a_person_with_dementia_SNAP

Our Experts have Dementia

Dementia Chats: Where voices of those diagnosed with dementia are heard.  Today we had an interesting conversation regarding communication.  You will here from those diagnosed and what they think about all the tips given by “Professionals” to communicate with them.

You will gain insights which will help you care better.  Learn how their senses change, how their emotions and behaviors are affect by their surroundings and how that impacts them in their daily living.

Thank You To Our Experts Living With Dementia:

Michael Ellenbogen
Paulan Gordon
Truthful Loving Kindness
Brian LeBlanc
Laurie Scherrer
Mary Howard
Susan Suchan
Harry Urban

Here are the links to “20 Sign Language Words”

Laurie Scherrer’s Website
https://dementiadaze.com/about/videos/
https://www.dementiamentors.org/videos.html

For Additional Educational Videos Click Below

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AN EXCITING EXPERIENCE
FOCUSED ON THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION

  • Exercise your brain and body with a specially designed and fun fitness experience
  • Engage in a brain healthy marketplace with friends, food, books, experts and more
  • Educate yourself with a panel of superstars in brain research, fitness, nutrition and more
  • Empower yourself to save your brain and help wipe out Alzheimer’s

You’re invited to join Maria Shriver and The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement for a fun, one-of-a-kind event to wipe out Alzheimer’s. Sign up, fundraise and be a part of this exciting three hour experience featuring an exclusive mind-body workout just for Move for Minds participants!

One Day. Eight Cities. Millions Impacted.
June 4, 2017
Boston | DallasLos Angeles | Miami | New York
Orange County | San Francisco | Washington DC

Join Lori La Bey In Orange County

Can’t Make it?  

Donate & help her raise funds for research.

Any and all donations are appreciated.

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Spooky Statistics – Lack of Healthcare Staff to Meet Aging Demands

Spooky Statistics –

Lack of Healthcare Staff to

Meet Aging Demands

Do not read any further if you are wearing rose colored glasses.

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WARNING! DISTURBING CONTENT!!!

Do not read any further if you are wearing rose colored glasses.

by Certified Dementia Consultant

This is insider information taken from the leading academic journal in the United States called “Generations”. It is produced by the foremost academic and professional organization in America, The American Society on Aging. All content in their journal is researched and documented by the highest credentialed researchers in Aging topics. For more information on “Generations” and the American Society on Aging go to: www.generationsjournal.org and www.asaging.org. All information in quotation marks is directly from the Spring 2016 issue of Generations. (Volume 40 number 1)

Question: How many doctors specialize in diseases of the aging (and therefore know something about dementia)?

Answer: “There have been only 7,000 actively certified geriatricians for more than 10 years.”  That’s for 46 million Americans over the age of 65 (as of 2015), never mind older adults with dementia. Geriatricians are doctors specifically trained in diseases in older adults. Not many- huh? Only “about 300 new geriatricians” are trained in medical schools each year. Not many- huh? Worse, “more than 40% “of fellowships for training geriatricians went unfilled for the last 3 years. And some current geriatricians are letting their certifications lapse.

Question: What does that mean? How does that affect me?

Answer: These are the specialists, along with neurologists, for elders with dementia (most people with dementia are elderly).  Clearly there are not enough experts for the number of people who need their expertise. And there are less in the pipeline coming up, rather than more. Why? Geriatricians pay is lower than most other doctors, and loans to go to medical school can be well over $100,000! And of course the anti-aging bias we have here in America. Look at old wrinkled bodies? Ugh- I don’t think so!

So, what are you left with? Your regular family doctor, of course, or the local clinic, or the emergency room. In other words, the general healthcare system.

Question: How much training do general healthcare system doctors get in older adult issues including dementia?

Answer: “Less than 3% of medical students choose geriatric electives, meaning most medical professionals will enter the field without any exposure to serving elders.” Also there is currently a “lack of faculty, lack of funding, lack of time in [an] already busy curricula (courses that have to be taken) and the lack of recognition of the importance of geriatric training.” In the past, in most medical schools there weren’t even courses in geriatrics at all, so if your doctor had been practicing for a while, chances are huge that they have no training in geriatrics (or dementia). And currently, there is no requirement to have any training in geriatric conditions to keep up their medical doctor certification, except in California, and that is limited to doctors who have over 25% of their patients are elderly.

Question: What does that mean? How does that affect me?

Answer:

Answer: Chances are high that your family doctor and the doctors in the hospitals don’t have the knowledge that you think they do in relation to your elderly family member (especially one with a dementia). That means that you have to ask them how much actual training they have had over the years to know if you have to question their knowledge/advice for your loved one. Taking their knowledge/advice for gospel could be detrimental to your loved one’s health, if in fact they don’t know the intricacies of good care of elderly people. It can lead to medical mistakes, as they are now known. Things like misdiagnosis’s, nondiagnosis’s, the wrong medications prescribed, medications that react badly with the other medications given, too much medication, not enough medications, surgery advised when not needed, and no surgery prescribed when some is needed. The list of errors can go on and on.

Question: If my doctor doesn’t have the training what can I do?

Answer: Ask them to include a course in geriatric medicine for their next certification for their medical license.

Question: What about other health care personnel who deal with my loved one?

Answer: OK, let’s go through some professions.

  • Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses: In 2014 out of 3.1 million nurses there were “7,874 nurses trained in gerontological nursing”.
  • Social Workers: There is no formal gerontology certification for social workers, but there is a specialization in aging category.” In 2010 of 19,673 students, 1,318 graduated with a Masters in this category. Less than 4% of social workers have been trained to work with elders, yet 75% report they regularly work with this population”.
  • There were “2,158 pharmacists in the USA that were certified geriatric pharmacists”. They know the interactions and side effects of drugs that older adults take.
  • “As of 2015 out of 18,071 physical therapists in the USA, 1936 were certified in physical therapy specifically for older adults”.
  • In 2015 there were “18 occupational therapists certified in geriatric occupational therapy in the USA”.

As you can see, there is a severe shortage of all types of healthcare professionals trained in providing all types of healthcare to older adults, not to mention the subset of them with a dementia. You could call it a crisis, if you wish. And as more and more people enter the age group of elderly every day, it is reasonable to assume that it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Question: What can I do to try and make things better?

Answer:  Get loud and demand action of the right people. Who are the right people? Believe it or not, its Politicians! Generations says (and I agree), that there is “no political will” to do anything to address this crisis. Heck, the crisis isn’t even on anybody’s radar, no matter what political party you are talking about. Yes, you may hear about the Affordable Care Act, but guess what? The Affordable Care Act doesn’t even address the issue of next to no knowledge how to properly care for the elderly or how to get professionals interested in caring for the elderly, or in training others to care for the elderly.

It seems as long as our citizens allow the politicians to define the problem as an “individual family” problem, and not a reason to come up with any answers for the problem, then no headway can be made in getting the resources it would take to increase knowledgeable health care for the elderly. It’s got to become the politician’s problem too.

How to do that? What about starting with a phone call, a text or an email to your local state and federal congressman and senator? Or maybe to your preferred political party candidate? It could be as simple as, “What will you do to address the lack of knowledgeable health care out there for our elderly? I want to know, and I vote.”

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Carole Larkin  MA, CMC, CAEd, DCP, QDCS, EICS is an expert in Alzheimer’s and related Dementias care. She has a Master’s of Applied Gerontology from the University of North Texas, is a Certified Alzheimer’s Educator, is a Dementia Care Practitioner, is a Qualified Dementia Care Specialist, and an Excellence in Care Specialist at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, as well as a Certified Trainer/Facilitator of the groundbreaking dementia care training tool, the Virtual Dementia Tour Experience She is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementias issues. She consults with families telephonically nationwide on problems related to the Dementias. Her company, ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX, and her website is www.thirdageservices.com.

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First assisted living facility dedicated to Alzheimer’s patients and research to open in 2014

By Kevin Woo, Special to Alzheimer’s Speaks | November 30, 2012

In 2014 the first assisted living facility dedicated to those with Alzheimer’s Disease will open in Nashville, TN.  The facility, Abe’s Garden, will expand from a 120-bed independent and assisted living facility to a “new” Abe’s Garden that will have 48 additional beds for residents who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia.

The expansion will include a new 5,700-square foot research facility that will allow academics, doctors, behavioral scientists, interior designers for the elderly, and gerontologists to conduct on-going research on the Abe’s Garden campus. The dedicated research center will also be the first of its kind in the U.S.  When the research center opens in 2014 the three medical academic partners will be Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Meharry Medical College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Michael Shmerling, the son of Abraham Shmerling for whom Abe’s Garden was named, hopes that the assisted living and academic research facilities will become a model for other such centers around the world.

“In the past, patients who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have essentially been warehoused,” says Shmerling. “The assisted living facilities don’t have the physical infrastructure or the training to handle those who have various forms of dementia. We are going to change that model with the expansion of Abe’s Garden.”

According to The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. yet there are no residential facilities dedicated to serving its patients. One-in-seven people with Alzheimer’s disease live alone. More than five million people currently have Alzheimer’s disease and someone is diagnosed with the disease every 68 seconds. There are 15 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S. who provide 17 billion hours of assistance each year.

In 2012 it will cost $200 billion to care for the five million people diagnosed with the disease. By 2050 it’s estimated that more than 15 million in the U.S. will have Alzheimer’s disease and the cost for their care will exceed $1.1 trillion.

The gardens

The “garden” at Abe’s Garden will be sub-divided into a series of smaller gardens designed to stimulate difference senses – visual, auditory, and olfactory. Researchers have determined that by stimulating different parts of the brain Alzheimer’s patients have a better quality of life because they participate in something that is familiar and repetitive.

There will be flower gardens to stimulate the sense of smell and sight, and gardens equipped with benches, picnic tables, and things for kids to climb that will encourage family visits and, subsequently, more interaction with the medical staff.

The residents will have their choice of outdoor activities based personal preferences. There will be places to sit and watch others as well as spaces that encourage people take part in physical activity such as gardening or even sitting on swings.

The interior designers of Abe’s Garden will use colors and aromas throughout the facility to serve as memory queues and brain stimulants. For example, various colors will be used to help patients recognize different areas of the building and help them find their way through the facility. Aromas will be used to help manage patients’ emotions. The smell of coffee or chocolate, for example, will be used to trigger the memory of eating and energy, while the smell of almond milk will be used to create a sense of calmness. And, surprisingly, smell of broken crayons will be used as it has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure.

Hopefully Abe’s Garden will be the beginning of a larger movement, one that will make assisted living facilities more friendly and efficient for those with Alzheimer’s.

What are your experiences and what would it take to encourage more facilities to follow the Abe’s Garden model?

Join the discussion.

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