Friday, June 29, 2012

Why hire direct...?

Why hire a caregiver directly and get all the problems of checking reference and criminal background yourself, compute deductions for state & federal taxes, look for a reliever when your caregiver does not show up, handle their workers compensation & run the risk of getting sued if they hurt themselves, interview 5-10 applicants & check their employment background, handle caregivers by yourself without any help…?

Or just hire Caregiver Services & Homecare Inc. ( and get all the benefit of hiring a professional caregiver service and still spend almost the same budget every month & save a lot of money & time on a long term. Have ‘Peace of Mind’, call 805-338-8100 / 310-779-6254 / 562-412-2420 / 213-351-9100 and have the best caregivers take care of your family member with proven and success record in the senior community for 10 years.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Homecare and healthcare solutions


"Boomers" are the 77 million Americans born from 1946 through '64. Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, 10,000 Americans a day will turn 65. That will continue for the next 19 years.

Five (5) million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Estimates for medical care expenditures for Alzheimer’s this year are $200 billion. In year 2050, 1 out of 2 seniors age 85 yrs old will have Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, it is estimated that up to 16 million Americans will have it. Someone develops Alzheimer's in America every 68 seconds now; by mid-century, it will be every 33  seconds, according to the  Alzheimer's Association.

Healthcare use and trends:
Among people 65 and older, only about 5 percent managed to get through the year without              
seeing a doctor.

5 leading causes of death: Heart disease (28 %), Cancer (22 %), Respiratory disease (7 %),
Strokes and other blood-vessel issues in the brain (6 %)  and Alzheimer's disease (5 %).

As of 2010, the most recent data year, 59 percent of people 65 and older said they had to limit their activities in some way because of a health problem.

In the book, “Cruise Ship or Nursing Home” by Dr. Lerner et al…, it tackles the 5 Essentials of a Maximized Living. Essential #1- Maximized Mind, #2 Maximized Nerve Supply, #3 Maximized Quality Nutrition, #4 Maximized Oxygen and Lean Muscle and #5 Minimized Toxins. This book articulates a staggering 98% of all disease (as I presented earlier) is all due all or in part to ‘lifestyle’ – not genetics. That means that every day we are making a decision whether we will end up in a nursing home or establish our health now and finish our days vital and vibrant, on a cruise ship.

For Seniors who have health limitations, below are the staggering data and statistics of what it takes to get help from healthcare facility, family members and health professionals. The number of people eligible for healthcare will nearly double from 46 million to 80 million by the time all the boomers reach 65. It's estimated the cost will grow from $500 billion a year today to $929 billion by 2030.



California - State Median: Annual Care Costs in 2011       REF: GENWORTH.COM

      HOMECARE SERVICES = $ 45,760

      ADULT DAY HEALTHCARE  = $ 20,020



      NURSING HOME PRIVATE = $ 91,250

As a Homecare and healthcare solution, Caregiver Services & Homecare Inc. attains its Mission and Service Philosophy for all clients by:


Caregiver Services & Home Care, Inc. 










      ADVOCACY ON “CONTINUING HEALTH EDUCATION” PROGRAM, started Lecture /Presentation on “The Power of Health & Wealth”

For homecare and healthcare solutions:

Why hire a caregiver directly and get all the problems of checking reference and criminal background yourself, compute deductions for state & federal taxes, look for a reliever when your caregiver does not show up, handle their workers compensation & run the risk of getting sued if they hurt themselves, interview 5-10 applicants & check their employment background, handle caregivers by yourself without any help…?

Or just hire Caregiver Services & Homecare Inc. ( and get all the benefit of hiring a professional caregiver service and still spend almost the same budget every month & save a lot of money & time on a long term. Have ‘Peace of Mind’ and have the best caregivers take care of your family member with proven success record in the senior community for 10 years. Call hotline #213-951-3100.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

CSHI launched "Continuing Health Education" program (CHE)


Caregiver Services & Homecare Inc. launched its “Continuing Health Education” Program (CHE Program) for this year 2012. The company will conduct series of lectures and presentation to promote healthy living and be aware of the health trends and risk due to people’s lifestyle. Consequently, all important health information, prevalent diseases of seniors, in-home care service philosophy and healthcare advocacy of experts will be posted regularly in our website, Facebook and Twitter account for the continuing education of seniors, healthcare professionals and family members. Business alliances with financial experts and healthcare authority have been linked in order to help “Boomers” and some seniors to create a strong wealth management principle and health living lifestyle. Seniors and “Boomers” will benefit on its strong campaign on “The Power of Health and Wealth” which has been presented at Malibu Senior Community.

In order to better appreciate the relevance of the company’s advocacy on healthy living and establishing a financial preparedness for the future healthcare needs, you can read through this article on “Healthcare Trends for Older Americans” by Moeller for U.S. news and world report LP.

10 Healthcare Trends for Older Americans

By Philip Moeller | U.S.News & World Report LP

The goals of improved health and financial security are to live longer and, presumably, more fulfilling lives. Increases in longevity have certainly been impressive. Not only has 60 become the new 40, but we're well on our way to the day when 80 becomes the new 60. While the victors in the longevity race have many spoils to enjoy, they also have many aches, pains, and other unpleasant reminders of their continued existence. The government pulls together an impressive array of statistical snapshots in its recent compendium, "Health, 2011," an exhaustive record of the state of the nation's well-being. Here are some of its most compelling findings about the health of an aging America.

1. Healthcare use. Among people 65 and older, only about 5 percent managed to get through the year without seeing a doctor, going to an emergency room, or having a healthcare professional treat them at home. About 34 percent had one to three such visits, 37 percent had four to nine, and 24 percent had 10 or more healthcare visits. About 16 percent of older Americans had at least one hospital stay in 2010; 5 percent had at least two stays.

2. Life expectancy. Babies will live to average ages of 76 (male) and 80.9 (female), based on 2009 survey data. For those who reach the age of 65, a man can expect to live until 82.6, on average, while a woman will live until she's 85.3. At 75, men will live another 11 years and women will live another 12.9 years. These are averages. Millions of us will live well into our 90s.

3. Causes of death. Nearly 2.5 million Americans died in 2008, including 1.8 million people age 65 and older. Among this older group, the five leading causes of death were heart disease (28 percent), cancer (22 percent), respiratory disease (7 percent), strokes and other blood-vessel issues in the brain (6 percent), and Alzheimer's disease (5 percent). Over time, Alzheimer's will move toward the top of this list.

4. Auto accidents. Death rates from auto accidents continue to drop, due to safer vehicles and, more recently, from people driving less because of high gasoline prices. For people age 65 and older, the death rate in motor-vehicle injuries was 16.8 in 2008, down from 18.6 in 2007 and 21.4 in 2000.

5. How we feel. Nearly one-fourth of Americans age 65 and older said their health was only poor or fair in 2010. That was comparable to recent years, but an improvement on 2000, when 27 percent felt that way. By contrast, 19 percent of people ages 55 to 64 said their health was only poor or fair, and 13 percent of those ages 45 to 54 felt that way.

6. Chronic health problems. Persistent ailments are a constant companion for many of us as we age. As of 2010, the most recent data year, 59 percent of people 65 and older said they had to limit their activities in some way because of a health problem. That compares with 27 percent for people ages 18 to 64. For those 65 and older, 30 percent said they had suffered from heart disease, 18 percent from cancer, and nearly 9 percent from stroke. Doctors reported that 18 percent of older Americans had diabetes.

7. Fitness. Older men are more active than older women. Among people 65 to 74 and older, 41 percent of men met national aerobic activity guidelines and 21 percent met muscle-strengthening standards. For older women, the percentages were 32 and 16, respectively. Over time, fewer older Americans are meeting aerobic guidelines but more are achieving the strength standards.

8. Stress. In our stressed-out nation, hypertension is the norm for older people, not the exception. Hypertension affects 64 percent of men ages 65 to 74, and 72 percent of men 75 and older. For women, the rates are even higher--69 percent for those ages 65 to 74, and 81 percent for those 75 and older.

9. Cholesterol. Nearly 49 percent of men ages 65 to 74 had high cholesterol in 2010, as did about 45 percent of men age 75 and up. Rates among women were higher--roughly 53 percent for all women 65 and older. People were included in this category if they had cholesterol readings above 240 or were taking cholesterol-lowering medications. The average cholesterol readings for older Americans have actually declined by several points in recent years.

10. Weight. In the weight Olympics, we are big winners, too. Among people ages 65 to 74, upwards of three-fourths of men and women are overweight. The percentages dip a bit for men age 75 and up, to 73 percent, and decline more noticeably among older women, to 63 percent. About 40 percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 are clinically obese, defined as having body mass indexes above 30. That's up several percentage points from a few years ago.

RLC  “The Power of Health and Wealth”

Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Alzheimer's Patients Say Mean Things, Make an Inventory

When Alzheimer's Patients Say Mean Things, Make an Inventory

The question, how can you get a person living with dementia to stop saying mean and hurtful things to you?

As the number of new readers grows, or when new caregivers discover the Alzheimer's Reading Room, the number of emails I receive tends to go up fast.

Lately, I have been receiving a lot of emails (and comments here on the blog) asking about how to deal with Alzheimer's patients who say "mean things".

I understand how much this can hurt. It happened to me for many years. It kept happening even though I was trying as hard as I could to reverse it.

The question, how can you get a person living with dementia to stop saying mean and hurtful things to you?

Today I am going to focus on the first thing I did to try and get a grip on my own situation when this happened.

I bought a spiral notebook (actually as it turned out quite a few), and I started writing down the day, date, time, and description of what I was doing before Dotty started saying mean things to me.

After a while, I started to notice some patterns.

Here is a simple example. Right after I would get off the telephone Dotty would start saying mean things to me.

Soon it became obvious that Dotty thought I was "up to something" when I was on the telephone. As it turns out, what she was thinking was that I was making arrangements to put her away. In Dotty's terms, "put her in a home".

Let me tell you, in the beginning Dotty was constantly worried about money, believed that people were stealing from her, and was just down right paranoid that she was going to be put in a "home" -- never to be seen or heard from again.

In Dotty's mind a "home" was a really bad place. Nothing like today's nursing homes. I can only imagine what she saw way back in the 1920s, 30, and 40s. It must have been ugly.

Another thing I noticed is that if I went out for a while. Say to go to the store, or even if I was throwing out the trash and stayed out a while talking to a neighbor, the "nasty" episodes started to happen.

I had the best of intentions back then (just like you).

I tried to explain to Dotty what I was talking about on the phone, or while I was gone so long taking out the trash. These were usually long detailed explanations that did nothing but make Dotty angrier or meaner.

In other words, trying to explain the obvious with a lot of words did not work. In fact all it did was make her more confused, and angrier. Too much gibberish on my part, I suppose.

There were lots of things I started to notice once I starting making notes in my spiral notebook.

Another example. Dotty was afraid that someone would look in the window when it was dark. Of course, I would try to tell her it wasn't happening, or wouldn't happen.

Get the trend here? I was always trying to "explain away Dotty's fears".

Why wouldn't I do that. Her fears made no sense to me, and they weren't real in my terms. When I looked at the situatons from my point of view, Dotty's fears seemed idiotic.

Well I now know who the "real idiot" was, and it wasn't Dotty.

Start making notes in a notebook. Eventually when you discover a pattern make a separate page so you can follow that one pattern.

For example, does your loved one tend to get hard to handle at 4:30 in the afternoon? Hard to handle right before it gets dark outside? Hard to handle right after it gets dark outside?

Hard to handle right after you get off the telephone?

Hard to handle when you go out, and then come home?

I will explain in future articles on this topioc, How I changed Dotty from "meaner than a junkyard dog", into a real "sweet - E".

However, first you need to start doing some work. Some note taking. You need to build your own "frame of reference".

I have to warn you. It won't be easy to change the dynamic unless your start writing in a notebook and identifying patterns of behavior; and, the "triggers" of unwelcome behavior.

If you want help, if you want to change the way things are, you have to commit to helping yourself.

This means you have to do some work if you want to be successful.


The Alzheimer’s Hamster Within YOU

The Alzheimer’s Hamster Within YOU

One of the most difficult tasks an Alzheimer's caregiver faces is the development of a new set of communications skills. Sooner or later the caregiver needs to come to an understanding that the way they have communicated in the past, before Alzheimer's, won't work in a world filled with Alzheimer's disease.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Change is difficult under any circumstance. It is even harder when you need to change something that you have been doing all day long throughout your life.

Every Alzheimer's caregiver I ever met has talked about their need to vent. Venting is a good thing. You get the
monkey off your back. However, at some point you need to make a decision to put that monkey in the closet and get off the hamster wheel.

If you have gone years complaining about the same behavior over and over you must ask yourself, how do I change this dynamic?

Two of the behaviors that drive the Alzheimer's caregiver crazy are repeatedly hearing the same question over and over, and hearing mean spirited words.

We all face this. In the real world when someone says something mean it usually starts an argument. Even if the person didn't really mean what they said. If someone engages in a behavior that you find unsettling, you will usually respond with harsh words or in a mean tone of voice.

When an Alzheimer's caregiver responds harshly to someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease they usually regret doing so. This in turn makes them feel guilt and remorse. When you
start living a life full of guilt and remorse it is likely that your whole world is going to turn negative. Negativity breads more negatively.

One of the things that drove me crazy was when my mother would say over and over -- I'm hungry, I'm starving. Compare this to how many times she asked me what day is it, and I can tell you, this is like comparing a tornado to a rain storm in the way that it made me feel.

Of course, like just about every Alzheimer's caregiver, I would respond by trying to tell my mother she just ate, or maybe say something even worse (the correct word here might be dumber).

I knew I had to do something. I understood that I had to change. I understood that I would need to develop an entirely new set of
communication skills. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and it wasn't. It took years, and I a still working on it.

In the article Communicating in Alzheimer's World, I discussed how I started building a new model of communication to better understand Alzheimer's.

Today, I am going to discuss how I developed a simple Imagraph (image/graphic) that allows me to switch seamlessly from communicating in real world to communicating in Alzheimer's world in an instant.

This is how I got myself off the Alzheimer's Hamster wheel.

It all started when I started thinking of myself as a hamster. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't stop communicating in a way with my mother that only made matters worse. When I made matters worse, my mother would go into her room and curl up into a ball in bed. I would go out in the living room, and I took my stomach ache with me. I would just sit there and feel worse and worse. Unlike in the real world, where you might be able to apologize or reason with a person and dismiss the bad feelings, this rarely works in Alzheimer's world.

I just kept thinking to myself, I am like a hamster on a hamster wheel. I kept running and running until I got exhausted and when I was done, I realized I went no where fast. Over and over, I went no where fast. I just couldn't accept this and I wanted to change.

When it would all start, the meanness, the repeating of the same words over and over, I would bring up the image of the hamster on the wheel in my mind. If you read the comics and you have seen those clouds over the head of the character with the the words in them that is how I did it. I just imagined that cloud with the hamster right above my head. I saw the hamnster running and running around the wheel. Going no where fast.

After a while, I changed the Imagraph slightly, instead of the hamster running on the wheel, it was me running on the wheel. There I was, right above my head going no where fast.

And then it happened. I brought up the hamster that was me in the cloud and my communication changed. It was subtle at first, I had finally convinced myself that I didn't want to be a hamster any more. I guess you could also say, there came a time when I refused to be an Alzheimer's hamster.

I bring up my Imagraph whenever I need to, and I then cross coolly and calmly into Alzheimer's World. I am not bent out of shape, I am not feeling those uncontrollable emotions. Instead of acting just like my mother, I get calm. Very calm. I speak in a low, confident voice. I bring her around slowly but surely. Although, I sometimes think it is me bringing me around slowly.

The bottom line, I take control of the situation instead of allowing the situation to take control of me over and over and over.

I believe changing behavior, understanding what is happening, and a willingness to change the communication dynamic are the first steps to Alzheimer's caregiver happiness.

You can read my previous articles to get a better understanding of how I changed the communication dynamic and learned how to communicate effectively in Alzheimer's World.

If you are an Alzheimer's hamster right now, don't feel bad. There are about ten million Alzheimer's hamsters, or X-hamsters wandering around in the world right now.

Here is the good news. You are the ONE that gets to decide. Stay on, or get off the wheel. The hamster has no choice. You do.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Walking speed in the Elderly may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s Dementia.

Walking speed in the Elderly may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s Dementia.

If we can detect dementia at its earliest phases, then we can work to maintain people's independence.

The research study described below really struck home with me. For more than two years my mother's ability to walk was deteriorating. Not only was she walking slower, she was scrapping her feet on the ground.

Every time I mentioned this people would say, "she is just getting old". Even her doctor of six years said, "she is just getting old". I had a more succinct response, "You're fired".

Why is this research important? Because the sooner mild cognitive impairment or dementia are diagnosed, the better the likely long term outcome.

I have absolutely no doubt, if someone had said to me, get her tested for Alzheimer's or dementia rather than, she is just getting old, Dotty and I would have made it on to the path of joy sooner. And, the long period of burden would have been greatly reduced.

As I meet more and more persons who are deeply forgetful I continue to learn that those who are diagnosed earlier have a better chance to say what they want to say, and to get into a better routine that helps them function and deal with their own brain disease. I said better chance. I wish I had that chance.

In this research study infrared sensors were installed in the ceiling of home to detect movements in hallways. Wow.

Now all we need to do is take this information into personal care doctors so they can be alert and start testing to rule in, or rule out, dementia when problems with walking and balance first happen.

Keeping pace: Walking speed may signal thinking problems ahead

A new study shows that changes in walking speed in late life may signal the early stages of dementia known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The research is published in the June 12, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"In our study, we used a new technique that included installing infrared sensors in the ceilings of homes, a system designed to detect walking movement in hallways," said study author Hiroko Dodge, PhD, with Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "By using this new monitoring method, we were able to get a better idea of how even subtle changes in walking speed may correlate with the development of MCI."

The study involved 93 people age 70 or older who lived alone. Of those, 54 participants had no cognitive impairment, 31 had non-memory related MCI and eight had memory-related MCI. Participants were given memory and thinking tests and had their walking speed monitored at their homes unobtrusively over a three-year period. Participants were placed in groups of slow, moderate or fast based on their average weekly walking speed and how much their walking speed fluctuated at home.

The study found that people with non-memory related MCI were nine times more likely to be slow walkers than moderate or fast walkers and the amount of the fluctuation in walking speed was also associated with MCI.

"Further studies need to be done using larger groups of participants to determine whether walking speed and its fluctuations could be a predictor of future memory and thinking problems in the elderly," said Dodge. "If we can detect dementia at its earliest phases, then we can work to maintain people's independence, provide treatments and ultimately develop ways to prevent the disease from developing. Our in-home monitoring approach has a lot of potential to be used for sustaining independence of the elderly.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Intel Corporation.

Alzheimer's Caregivers

Knowing that the day is coming when your loved one -- won't know you-- is the most horrific feeling of them all for an Alzheimer's caregiver.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Are Alzheimer's Caregivers
the Forgotten?

I often use the term "living Alzheimer's from the front row". This term describes caregivers that watch Alzheimer's take its course 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Once Alzheimer's disease strikes, Alzheimer's caregivers get to witness the craziness that comes with Alzheimer's day in and day out.

If you think it is disconcerting to see someone suffering from Alzheimer's for a few hours, a few days, or a week, think about what it might be like -- for every hour of every day for years.

Most people give up trying to understand Alzheimer's disease. Why? Because Alzheimer's is difficult to think about. Most people sitting in the back rows don't want to think about Alzheimer's. It is too painful. They'll leave the thinking and doing to the person sitting in the front row. Feeling?


On one hand, you have the person that has Alzheimer's disease; on the other hand, you have the person responsible for caring for that person -- the Alzheimer's caregiver.

The caregiver is responsible for the safety and care of the Alzheimer's sufferer. They are also responsible for their own emotional and psychological well being. A dual burden.

Alzheimer's kills the brain of the person suffering from Alzheimer's. It will also try and kill the brain of the Alzheimer's caregiver. I doubt that many people know or understand this burden. If they knew or understood they would move up a couple of rows. Get out of the back row -- maybe.

Did you ever sit in the back row at a play? Every sit in the front row at a play? The view is very different.

Unless you are an Alzheimer's caregiver it is difficult to understand or comprehend what it is like living in the front row. The behavior. The illness. The death sentence. Why are their so many empty seats?

Until you sit in the front row you won't be able to comprehend what it is like living in the "front row".

In the early days of caring the caregiver deals with a disease that is difficult, sometimes impossible, to understand.

Alzheimer's disease turns the world of the caregiver upside down. Imagine a person you know all or most of your life and their behavior changes-- suddenly -- and for the worse. This person, your loved one, begins to act out behaviors that you have never seen or experienced. You are forced to try and deal with these behaviors. It is not easy.

When a person hears something that is mean or nasty they usually react in anger. This is a normal behavior -- the "norm". Using these behaviors help you cope. This is the way you have been coping your entire life. No one wants to be treated harshly.

The typical Alzheimer's caregiver is bombarded with mean spirited behavior over and over. Since they are made of flesh and blood they often feel angry, frustrated, and sad when it happens. There is nothing wrong with these kinds of feelings.

When an Alzheimer's caregivers decides to strike back in the form of an argument, or an equally harsh behavior they soon learn that not only does this make matters worse, the Alzheimer's sufferer often goes into a shell.

Alzheimer's sufferers, as the disease progresses, lose the ability to forgive, apologize, or make-up. The words, actions and behaviors of the Alzheimer's sufferer are often a product of the disease, rarely a product of intentional thought.

Alzheimer's caregivers need to learn to understand that Alzheimer's behaviors are a product of the disease. The typical responses that caregivers have been making over the course of their life -- coping, the "norm" -- won't accomplish anything other than worsening the situation in Alzheimer's world. Caregivers need to work on new coping strategies, and developing new "norms" of behavior.

When Alzheimer's caregivers "fight back" they usually ends up suffering from another array of negative feelings -- guilt, blame, inadequacy, and the ultimate worst -- depression.

Alzheimer's caregivers when pushed to the edge often feel like screaming.

Caregivers soon learn that this behavior won't work. Caregivers gradually come to the realization that this only makes matters worse -- much worse.

You cannot reason with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease. They believe what they say to be true and nothing you say will can change it. It usually takes a long time before caregivers learn this lesson.

The lesson -- it is up to the caregiver to make the necessary changes. To change the dynamic. It's all on you caregiver. Sooner is better than later.

A typical caregivers goes on for years trying to hold a dialog or use conventional reasoning to deal with someone suffering from Alzheimer's.

The problem with this scenario is that it takes two rational persons to hold a dialogue, and two rational persons to reason with each other.

Alzheimer's robs the sufferer of the ability to think clearly, reason, and remember. They can't continue to argue with you if they don't remember why they are arguing. They can't apologize for their behavior if they don't remember the behavior. They can't.

Why engage in these behaviors? You are arguing with yourself. Don't.


It is difficult to describe the range of emotions a caregiver might feel or experience in a single day.

Imagine being happy and then sad, caring then angry, focused then frustrated, an almost endless stream of feelings and emotions that conflict. The caregiver lives an anxiety filled life day-after- day.

Imagine being bent out of shape emotionally. Disconcerted. Confused. How does that feel?

Imagine being on the world's biggest, fastest, scariest roller coaster.

Alzheimer's caregivers ride the world's biggest, fastest, scariest emotional roller coaster every day.

How is your day going? Care to jump aboard the rollercoaster? Tickets are free of charge. Front row seat.

Alzheimer's caregivers never know when their life filled with chaos will end.

Typically if you were living in a difficult environment you would want to put those difficult circumstances behind you. As an Alzheimer's caregiver you can't.

The Alzheimer's caregiver lives a life that is filled with negativity. The negativity comes in in many shapes and forms.

The illness -- the gradual or fast decline -- of the brain health of the person suffering from Alzheimer's, medical problems and set backs, financial problems, and the most gut wrenching of them all -- the realization that death is coming -- ugly death in many cases.

This uncertain fate -- the ugly death that is coming -- is a gut wrenching feeling for the caregiver. They know there is no escape.


Her is one aspect that is rarely considered.

Regardless, of circumstance the Alzheimer's caregivers becomes attached to the Alzheimer's sufferer. This emotional attachment is a result of the day in and day out caring. The bond. Like super glue.

Emotional super glue.


Most people have difficulty dealing with change.

The Alzheimer's caregiver gets change whether they like it or not. Never knowing for certain what is coming, but knowing fully it is coming. Informed caregivers try to get ahead of the curve so they can get prepared for these harsh, sometimes hard to comprehend changes.

Knowing that your loved one is going to forget simple things like how to brush their teeth, how to take a shower, and even how to eat is not a pleasant thought.

The actual experience and feeling of helplessness cannot be described. This is life in the front row.

Knowing that the day is coming when your loved one -- won't know you-- is the most horrific feeling of them all for an Alzheimer's caregiver.

It isn't pleasant living in the front row. Yet, somehow we do it. Most of us for years. Trust me when I say this, if you are not living in the front row you could never imagine what it is like.

If you can't or are unwilling to come to the Front Row there are some things you can do.

If you know a caregiver get involved. The first thing you can do is listen to them as they vent.

Venting should be as natural to a caregiver as breathing. They can either vent to a real life human being, or they can hold it in. Holding in leads to a natural outcome -- depression or worse. I am not interested in writing about worse.


One thing you can do is arrange for an Alzheimer's caregiver to get away from it all.

Go to the supermarket. Buy a bag of gumdrops. Every time you arrange for an Alzheimer's caregiver respite -- eat a gumdrop. When you get to the last gum drop eat it. How did it taste? This will let you know how you are doing.

Try hugging a caregiver -- tightly, real tight, tighter. I assure you it will be an experience you won't ever forget.

Don't take my word for it

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ten Tips for Communicating with Alzheimer’s Patient

Ten Tips for Communicating with Alzheimer’s Patient

 Do not argue with them. It gets you nowhere...

By Carole Larkin
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Ever feel like your loved one is ignoring you or that you just weren’t getting through to your loved one? Try some of these tips to see if they help.

Tips for communicating with a mid-stage (or later) Alzheimer’s patients.

1.      Make eye contact. Always approach them face-to-face and make eye contact. Use their name if you need to. It is vital that they actually see you and that their attention is focused on you. Read their eyes. Always approach from the front as approaching and speaking from the side or from behind can startle them.
2.      Be at their level. Move your head to be at the same level as their head. Bend your knees or sit down to reach their level. Do not stand or hover over them – it is intimidating and scary. They can’t focus on you and what you are saying if they are focused on their fear.
3.      Tell them what you are going to do before you do it. Particularly if you are going to touch them. They need to know what is coming first so that they don’t think that you are grabbing them.
4.      Speak calmly. Always speak in a calm manner with an upbeat tone of voice, even if you don’t feel that way. If you sound angry or agitated, they will often mirror that feeling back to you and then some.
5.      Speak slowly. Speak at one half of your normal speed when talking to them. Take a breath between each sentence. They can not process words as fast as non-diseased people can. Give them a chance to catch up to your words.
6.      Speak in short sentences. Speak in short direct sentences with only one idea to a sentence. Usually they can only focus on only one idea at a time.
7.      Only ask one question at a time. Let them answer it before you ask another question. You can ask who, what, where and when, but NOT why. Why is too complicated. They will try to answer, fail and get frustrated.
8.      Don’t say “remember”. Many times they will not be able to do so, and you are just pointing out to them their shortcomings. That is insulting, and can cause anger and/or embarrassment.
9.      Turn negatives into positives. For example say “Let’s go here” instead of “Don’t go there”. Be inclusive and don’t talking down to them as if they were a child. Respect the fact that they are an adult, and treat them as such.
10.  Do not argue with them. It gets you nowhere. Instead, validate their feelings, by saying” I see that you are angry (sad, upset, etc…). It lets them know that they are not alone and then redirect them into another thought. For example “It sounds like you miss your mother (husband, father, etc…). You love them very much, don’t you? Tell me about the time…” Then ask for one of their favorite stories about that person).