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A caregiver helping a loved one with a walker walk down the street

Spring Increases Risk of Dementia-Related Wandering

For caregivers of someone with memory and thinking problems, the change of seasons from winter to spring can raise unique concerns. The same freedom that warmer weather provides can also increase the risk of wandering for those with dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 60 percent of persons with dementia will wander at least once; many will wander repeatedly. As risky and dangerous as wandering is, caregivers can take steps to reduce the risk.

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By Cathy Franz | 03/15/2023

There’s a huge assortment of unproven “miracle cure” treatments out there advertised to manage and possibly cure painful symptoms of chronic illnesses quickly and easily. Unfortunately, many of these fraudulent products specifically target older adults.

Avoiding Medicine and Health Remedy Scams

Schemes advertising dubious pills, potions, diets and other supposed treatments for a wide variety of illnesses common in older people have been promoted by fraudulent salesmen for centuries. Nowadays, instead of listening to sales pitches for home remedies at the county fair from snake oil salesmen, vulnerable older adults are bombarded by ads for these questionable solutions in newspapers, magazines, TV, the internet, and even cell phone text messages.

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03/15/2023

An older adult looking at old photographs in a memory book

Communication Aids to Support People with Dementia and IDD

One of the biggest challenges facing caregivers and loved ones of someone with moderate to severe dementia and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) is communication. Both conditions can affect a person’s ability to understand what is being said and to respond in a clear, appropriate and easy-to-understand way. Because communication can become so challenging, many caregivers and loved ones make the mistake of getting visibly frustrated, avoiding communication as much as possible and even speaking as if the person with dementia and IDD isn’t in the room and by nature can’t understand anything being said.

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By Julie Hayes | 02/15/2023

An older adult in her home, ironing her clothes

How Caregivers Can Help Older Adults Retain Independence

Lack or loss of control can be a very frustrating feeling, and it’s one most people have to contend with as they age. A natural reaction to loss of control is resistance. However, for those of us who are caregivers, that resistance can make providing the support a loved one needs challenging. It can feel like having to do daily battle against a loved one’s stubbornness, and as frustration mounts, it can become easy to forget just how much personal freedoms mean to a loved one and how hard it would be for anyone—including us—to give them up.

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By Julie Hayes | 02/15/2023

A caregiver taking a mini-break to journal.

Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver with Mini-Breaks

Being a caregiver of an older adult with a chronic illness can be especially challenging. Trying to meet both their healthcare and safety needs can often take up most of a caregivers’ time.  Letting your loved ones’ care needs overshadow your own, however, can lead to resentment and impatience and can impact your own health. How can caregivers step away from their caregiving role and still ensure supervision and safety? Enter the mini-break, a small bitesize rest period that provides time to step out of the caregiving role without leaving the one you care for to do so.

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By Cathy Franz | 02/15/2023