Dementia Caregivers Need Spiritual Connections

It doesn't matter if you have a formal religion you choose to follow or you just feel there is a higher power, dementia caregivers need to embrace their spiritual side as a way of keeping their balance as a caregiver.

Dementia caregiving brings out all sorts of emotions that have to be dealt with; both by you as the caregiver and by the person with dementia.  One easy way to cope is to fall back on old routines.  If you have found comfort in formal religion from your past, practice the rituals with your loved one with dementia.  You may be surprised to find that many of the songs or prayers from religious practice are part of long-term memories and can often be accessed again.  This activity also gives you a way to communicate and connect with each other, when other methods might be difficult.

Norman DeLisle, MDRC
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New Episode of The Senior Care Podcast by LivHOME Discusses Long-Distance Caregiving

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LivHOME, the nation's largest provider of professionally led at-home care for seniors, has released a new episode of The Senior Care Podcast by LivHOME that discusses the challenges of long-distance caregiving and practical ways to close the gap.

In Episode 5, LivHOME Care Manager Sharon Rosenfield discusses the challenges of providing care to senior family members who live apart from their grown children. Long-distance caregiving has become a necessity for many seniors as families find themselves living at greater distances.

During the interview, Rosenfield emphasizes the importance of noticing the little things, such as whether a senior is taking his or her medicine and paying attention to personal hygiene, as a clue to understanding whether it is time to begin providing long-distance care. She discusses ways to make the experience less lonely for seniors and explores the roles a long-distance caregiver must play in emergencies.

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A New Internet Based Solution for Caregivers of the Elderly

Tender Tidings, Inc. announced today the launch of a new Internet based solution for caregivers of the elderly. Caregivers will be able to visually monitor their aged loved ones via streaming video from any computer with a high speed Internet connection.

Whether at work, at home, or traveling, caregivers now have the ability to check on their senior loved ones through a convenient, affordable, easy to install wireless camera that can be placed in any room of the senior's home.

Besides the high-quality wireless camera, offers a collaborative, on-line calendar so family members can keep up with important appointments and events. They also have access to convenient notepads and reminder tools for communicating with in-home caregivers. was created by a mother/daughter team: Elaine Osteen, whose mother-in-law with the early stages of dementia lives right around the corner, and Amy Howell, who lives two hours away from her grandmother.

Because so many caregivers share that responsibility with siblings or other family members, the whole family can share one subscription. The main caregiver, or the Guardian, can issue passwords to other trusted friends or family members and each can access the video of their elderly loved whenever it's convenient for them.

Survey Finds 3 In 5 Caregivers Say Their Children Help Care For Loved Ones With Alzheimer's Disease

Results from the third annual Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) ICAN: Investigating Caregivers' Attitudes and Needs Survey suggest that Alzheimer's disease care is a family affair. Most "sandwich caregivers" - the parents or guardians of children under 21 who also care for an aging parent, other relative or friend with Alzheimer's disease - say their children are assisting with caregiving responsibilities that range from attending doctors' appointments to feeding and dressing their loved ones.

Survey results ound that about three in five caregivers say their children aged 8 to 21 are involved in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. Of the caregivers who feel they do a good job balancing the care of their loved ones with Alzheimer's disease and children under 21, more than one-third (36%) specifically cited support from children as a contributor to their success.

Among children, ages 8-21, who are involved in caregiving, many are reported as taking on significant tasks:

* About one-third of young adults (ages 18-21) assist with doctors' appointments;

* 42% of young adults assist with transporting loved ones with Alzheimer's disease;

* About one-quarter of young adults and teens (ages 13-17) assist with activities of daily living, such as feeding and dressing;

* Nearly 90% of pre-teens (ages 8-12) visit and entertain a loved one with Alzheimer's disease (please use caution when interpreting results due to small base size);

* Approximately 85% of teens pay visits to the person with the disease.

New Section On For Alzheimer’s Caregivers: How to Cope

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, individuals may still be able to perform the daily tasks necessary to live and function independently. As the disease progresses, these responsibilities increasingly fall to the caregiver.

A new section on for Alzheimer’s caregivers provides helpful information on daily routines, communicating with the patient, dealing with family issues, long-term care options and self-care.

The feature offers a number of practical tips that can make providing care easier.

Alzheimer's Study: Grief Is Heaviest Burden For Caregivers

The hardest part of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's type disorders is not the everyday practical challenge, but rather the emotional impact of losing the patients' support and companionship as the disease robs them of their faculties, according to new research at the University of Indianapolis.

"You are losing and grieving while you're providing the care, because Charlie isn't Charlie anymore," says Associate Professor Jacquelyn Frank of UIndy's Center for Aging & Community. She says the results point toward new avenues of service that could be provided by community-based support agencies.

Frank gathered responses from more than 400 dementia caregivers around Indiana, most of them spouses and adult children of Alzheimer's patients. She is continuing to analyze data from the survey's 100-plus items, but she was struck immediately by the responses to this open-ended question: "What would you say is the biggest barrier you have faced as a caregiver?"

Families Need Help Coping With Mild Cognitive Impairment

The age related memory condition known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is more disruptive of day-to-day life and relationships than once believed, gerontology researchers at Virginia Tech have discovered.

Funded by the Alzheimer's Association, Karen Roberto, director of the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech, and Rosemary Blieszner, associate director, set out to determine the issues and needs of families responding to MCI. After interviews with 99 families, the researchers reported, "Primary family members reported that their relatives were experiencing memory-related changes that interfere with their daily activities and responsibilities, decision-making processes, and relationships."

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