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The research from this Alzheimer's memory test, Self-Administered Geocognitive Examination (SAGE), shows that four out of five people (80 percent) with memory issues will be detected by this test.

Ninety-five percent (95) of people who are normal thinking (memory) will have normal SAGE scores.

Please note.

If you find the test results suspicious, you should contact your doctor immediately, and ask for a neurological or geriatric consult.

These specialist can determine, through a series of tests, whether or not you are suffering from or headed for Alzheimer's disease.


SAGE is a brief self-administered cognitive screening test used to identify mild cognitive Impairment (MCI), Alzheimer's disease and early dementia. 
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Average time to complete the test is 10 to 15 minutes.

Go here to get the Test

SAGE - A Test to Measure Thinking Abilities

This is a frequently asked question.

How Do Alzheimer's Patients Die?
For more information on memory tests go here --

Memory Tests
How to Get Answers To Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia

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Under: Dementia test online

Original Content the Alzheimer's Reading Room
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I have been thinking about this for a long time
In Heaven there is no Alzheimer's.
And now, I am convinced this is true.

In fact, I think when you go to Heaven you remember everything. The good stuff and the bad stuff.

While thinking about this I have concluded that the bad stuff is there to make you stronger.


By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Here is another thing of which I am certain. If you have ever wondered if your loved one living with dementia appreciates your caregiving effort you'll find out in Heaven. Guess, what? Your learn two things.

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Yes, a person living with Alzheimer's does appreciate you more than you can imagine. Maybe they aren't telling you this right now. And maybe, you doubt it right now. They do, don't doubt.

Here is second thing you are going to find out - I'm certain about this.

They Love You More

When I go out on speaking engagements I run into people that already know me. They know me from the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

Many of them say, you are going to Heaven. They say it kind of matter as fact. They say it with complete conviction and belief. Over time, they have convinced me its true. I hope they are right.

If they are right, you are going to Heaven right along with me.


Can caring for someone afflicted with dementia erase all your sins; and, earn you a ticket to Heaven? Why not? Here is one thing I know for sure, you are admired and respected right here on earth for your effort.

I don't need to know you in person to say, "I admire and respect you". You are operating every day at a very high station in life.

Some people have concluded that I gave up my life to care for my mom - Dotty. Say what? I was living my life to the fullest while I was caring for her. Somebody had to do it - and that somebody was me.


Some people come up to me and say - You are a Saint. Hmm. I have to admit I like that one.

Saint Bobby. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Here try it. Say out loud Saint (say your name). Keep doing it every day.

Here is another thing of which I am certain. When we get to Heaven we will remember every detail of our lives. All the good stuff and all the bad stuff.

We won't remember our care giving effort as the bad stuff.

We will be very proud of our effort and everyone will know what we did.

Let me ask you this. Why wait until you get to Heaven to be proud of your caregiving effort? Why not do it right now!

In Heaven there is no Alzheimer's. Just the joy of knowing what we accomplished.

I wonder what the veal parmigiana tastes like in Heaven. I am going to be very disappointed if it is not the best I ever tasted.

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Citation
Publisher Alzheimer's Reading Room
Author Bob DeMarco
August 21, 2015
Title: In Heaven There is No Alzheimer's
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2015/08/demenita-care-heaven-there-is-no-alzheimers.html

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Need Help? Search Our Award Winning Knowledge Base for Answers to Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia
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Here are ten communications tips that can help Alzheimer's caregivers improve their daily life.
Sometimes it helps to look at each situation from the perspective, or from out of the eyes of the person living with dementia.

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia
by Alzheimer's Reading Room


Dotty's Ten Tips for Communicating with a Person Living with Dementia
  1. You know what makes me feel safe, secure, and happy? A smile.
  2. Did you ever consider this? When you get tense and uptight it makes me feel tense and uptight.
  3. Instead of getting all bent out of shape when I do something that seems perfectly normal to me, and perfectly nutty to you, why not just smile at me? It will take the edge off the situation all the way around.
  4. Please try to understand and remember it is my short term memory, my right now memory, that is gone -- don't talk so fast, or use so many words.
  5. You know what I am going to say if you go off into long winded explanations on why we should do something? I am going to say No, because I can never be certain if you are asking me to do something I like, or drink a bottle of castor oil. So I'll just say No to be safe.
  6. Slow down. And don't sneak up on me and start talking. Did I tell you I like smiles?
  7. Make sure you have my attention before you start blabbering away. What is going to happen if you start blabbering away and you don't have my attention, or confuse me? I am going to say No - count on it.
  8. My attention span and ability to pay attention are not as good as they once were, please make eye contact with me before you start talking. A nice smile always gets my attention. Did I mention that before?
  9. Sometimes you talk to me like I am a child or an idiot. How would you like it if I did that to you? Go to your room and think about this. Don't come back and tell me you are sorry, I won't know what you are talking about. Just stop doing it and we will get along very well, and probably better than you think.
  10. You talk too much -- instead try taking my hand and leading the way. I need a guide not a person to nag me all the time.

The Importance of Touch and Kindness in Dementia Care

5 Tips How to get an Alzheimer's Patient to Shower

Dementia Patients are People Too

Communicating in Alzheimer's World


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Citation
Publisher Alzheimer's Reading Room
Author Dorothy DeMarco
October 12, 2013
Title: "10 Things a Person Living with Dementia Would Tell You If They Could"
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2013/12/10-things-person-living-with-dementia.html


You are reading original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room

"The Alzheimer’s Reading Room is clearly one of the most informative and unbiased Alzheimer’s blogs. Bob DeMarco provides information on all things Alzheimer’s." 
"The blog covers the spectrum on Alzheimer’s issues, featuring everything from critical advice from someone who is on the front line caring for a loved one with the disease, to translating and reporting on the science and research that is leading the way to a cure". 
"All of us in the Alzheimer’s community are fortunate that Bob has taken on this important work. At Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, we encourage people to follow the Alzheimer's Reading Room; and, we rely on it ourselves to stay up to date and in touch."
Tim Armour
President of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

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Every caregiver of a person living with Alzheimer's, Lewy Body dementia, Parkinson's or any other related dementia faces this gut wrenching question -
Should I put my loved with dementia in a nursing home or memory care facility?
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

We all face this gut wrenching decision. Most of us don't want to do it. But sometimes, it is the only decision, and only right decision.

There are a long list of reasons why you might have to place your loved one in a nursing home or long term care memory facility.



Let me start by making this clear - it is not your fault. It is not your fault that your loved one is living with dementia. I know from talking with caregivers that many blame themselves. They live with enormous stress, guilt, and often fall into a deep sadness or depression.


No on can operate effectively under those conditions. The pressure of caring can cause sleep deprivation, disrupt eating, and cause patterns that are likely to get worse including poor physical health for the caregiver.

When this happens you really have no choice. It time for nursing home care for your loved. Don't blame yourself. Make the good and right decision for your loved one.

In addition, the kinds of issues I am describing above might make you resentful of your loved one. Don't blame them either - it is not their fault.


Here are some of the reasons that can cause the need for long term care in a memory care facility.

1. Wandering
60 percent of Alzheimer's patients will wander. This can be life threatening to the person living with Alzheimer's. It is not well known but dementia patients can and do die while wandering.

It is very difficult to keep a person living with Alzheimer's from wandering. If you have to work or they are living at home alone then long term care becomes a real possibility and often the right alternative.

There is a reason why they keep the doors locked in most memory care facilities - they know Alzheimer's patients are going to wonder.


2. Falling
Problems with balance, falling and walking are common among dementia patients. This is especially true in the later stages of the disease.

One of the greatest caregivers I ever knew "had to bite the bullet" and place her husband in a memory care facility. She found this decision gut wrenching and heart breaking. However, she continued to care by visiting him and doing things with him each day.

Here is the background scenario. Her husband started falling all the time. He was a big man and she couldn't get him up all by herself. She had friends help her, she called 911 and they came and helped her. But it got to the point where it was happening almost daily.

She soon realized that he might fall and break his hip, or fall and hit his head and get a concussion or worse. She knew she had to bite the bullet. She did. It was the right thing to do.

Over time she realized how much safer it was for him to be in a memory care facility. She did not have to live with all the worries of what might happen if he were to have a "fatal fall". Her stress was greatly reduced. Her level of anxiety dropped. She felt better physically and mentally. This actually helped her to be a better caregiver.

You don't have to stop caring when your loved moves to a long term facility. In fact, you might be able to do it better.


3. Aggressive Behavior
Some Alzheimer's patients can become very aggressive. When this happens the behavior can become more than you can handle. When this happens and if the aggression can not be treated effectively it often calls for professional help. The kind of help that can be found in a memory care facility that is effective in handling this kind of patient.

Ask yourself this question - has my loved one become a danger to himself (herself), to me, to members of my family, or to relatives and friends?

Memory care might be the only option.


4. Sundowning Syndrome
A large fraction of dementia patients suffer from this syndrome. Quite often it can be dealt with and controlled; but, sometimes it cannot.

Like in the example above the patient can become very aggressive. This is one of the kinds of behaviors that can be very burdensome to caregivers. It can cause enormous stress and can lead to deep sadness and depression. If you can't handle it, you can't handle it. Don't blame yourself - consider long term care.

Learn More -  Sundowning is an Anxiety Syndrome in Dementia Patients
5. Escalating Health Care Needs
You can reach the point where the health care needs of a dementia patient are more than you can handle. By keeping your loved one at home are you in anyway endangering the person living with dementia?

Let's flip the coin. Are you the caregiver experiencing greater health care needs? Are you foregoing proper treatment because you don't have time for it. Or, you just don't have enough energy to take care of yourself? Are you feeling constant anxiety? Enormous stress? Well this can lead to strokes or heart disease or worse. You have to consider your own health. You won't be of any help to the person living with dementia if you can no longer take care of them in any way, shape, or form.

Over time dementia care patients frequently experience greater health care needs, including the need of real nursing care.


6. You Have No One to Help You
This is a real issue in Alzheimer's and dementia care. If you have no one to help you, or family and friends have abandoned you, you just might "burn out". The human body can only take so much. When you reach the point that you can no longer operate in the best interest of the person living with dementia, or in your own best interests, it is time to look at long term care as a "real alternative".

Topic - Are Alzheimer's Caregivers the Forgotten?
There is no Right or Wrong Way to Care
There is no right or wrong way to care. Let me make this clear to everyone. The simple fact that I was able to keep my mom at home until she went to Heaven does not make me a better caregiver than someone that chooses long term memory care for their loved one.

What it is all about is making the best decision you can. There are two parts to this equation - the person being cared for and the caregiver. You can not separate the needs of both.

If care in a long term care facility is the best solution, the only solution, or even if it is necessary for any reason - make the decision.

Okay now let me shout this one more time -

It is not your fault.
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Did you know the Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009? The website is designed to help caregivers deal with the problems they face each day.

Need Help? Search Our Award Winning Knowledge Base for Answers to Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia

Citation
Publisher Alzheimer's Reading Room
Author Bob DeMarco
December, 2016
Title: 6 Reasons Why You Might Have to Put Someone with Dementia in a Memory Care Facility or Nursing Home
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2016/12/alzheimers-dementia-care-6-reasons-why-you-might-have-to-put-someone-with-dementia-in-memory-care.html


You are reading original content Alzheimer's Reading Room

"The Alzheimer's Reading Room and Bob DeMarco are true treasures to Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones, especially their caregivers. As a scientist I visit the site every day for the always current research updates." 
"The world is incredibly fortunate to have this endless source of information and support. God bless you, Bob, and thanks for all you do!"
Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Professor of Neurology and holder of the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Neurology at Harvard University.

Memory care is a distinct form of long-term care designed to meet the specific needs of a person with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other types of memory problems.
Alzheimer's Net
Memory Care Center. Memory care is the general term that is used to describe the type of care that is provided to seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia.
Senior Homes
Memory Care Facilities may also be called communities, neighborhoods, units, wings, or hallways. They are all designed and devoted to serving people with Alzheimer's and dementia.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Nursing Home. A private institution providing residential accommodations with health care, especially for elderly people.
A nursing home is a place for people who don't need to be in a hospital but can't be cared for at home. Most nursing homes have nursing aides and skilled nurses on hand 24 hours a day.
Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy. There might be a nurses' station on each floor. Other nursing homes try to be more like home. They try to have a neighborhood feel. Often, they don't have a fixed day-to-day schedule, and kitchens might be open to residents. Staff members are encouraged to develop relationships with residents.
Some nursing homes have special care units for people with serious memory problems such as Alzheimer's disease. Some will let couples live together. Nursing homes are not only for the elderly, but for anyone who requires 24-hour care.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR).
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The goal of the Alzheimer's Reading Room is to Educate and Empower the Alzheimer's community.

At its core the ARR is about helping Alzheimer's caregivers and families to better understand, cope, and communicate with persons living dementia.

This page updates in real time.

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Voted #1 by Healthline in the Best Alzheimer's Blogs of 2012 - 2018





The Award Winning Alzheimer’s Reading Room Knowledge Base is considered to be the highest quality, deepest collection, of information on Alzheimer’s and dementia in the world.
The Knowledge Base is easy to use and easy to search. It is ideal for caregivers, educators, and dementia care professionals.

Need Help? Search Our Award Winning Knowledge Base for Answers to Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia





Source Alzheimer's Reading Room
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I often hear people say that a person suffering from Alzheimer's is not the person they knew. I wonder to myself - Who are they then?~Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's QuotesAlzheimer's Reading Room


Alzheimer's Care, The Power of Purpose in Our Lives
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You know, people get frustrated because their loved ones who have Alzheimer's, oh, he doesn't recognize me anymore, how can I recognize this person, if they don't recognize me? They're not the same person.  
Well, they are the same person, but they've got a brain disease. And it's not their fault they've got this disease.

~ Ron Reagan
_____________________________________________
I am saddened when I hear these words --this is not the person I knew -- because those words objectify the person suffering from Alzheimer's.
When you objectify a person you also dehumanize them.

Once dehumanized the person becomes a villain.
~ Bob DeMarco 

__________________________________________




__________________________________________
People think it's a terrible tragedy when somebody has Alzheimer's. But in my mother's case, it's different. My mother has been unhappy all her life. For the first time in her life, she's happy. 

~Amy Tan 

__________________________________________
My father started growing very quiet as Alzheimer's started claiming more of him. The early stages of Alzheimer's are the hardest because that person is aware that they're losing awareness. 

And I think that that's why my father started growing more and more quiet.  
~Patti Davis 

__________________________________________
Alzheimer's is a devastating disease. It was painful for me and my family to watch my grandfather deteriorate. We must find a cure for this horrible disease. 

~David Hyde Pierce

__________________________________________
Dedicated researchers seek better treatments and cures for diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer's and every form of cancer. But these scientists face an array of disincentives. We can do better. 

~Michael Milken

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Alzheimer's World

Originally published in the Alzheimer's Reading Room
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You start feeling good about yourself and soon the person who has Alzheimer's will start feeling pretty good also. Instead of getting that nasty vibe from you, you will be sending a very different signal -- I care, I'm here for you.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I finally realized that I was fighting Alzheimer's and this was not working. I needed to change.

Like it or not reality had changed.

This understanding lead me to a new place that I now call Alzheimer's World.

Communicating in Alzheimer's World

The person living with Alzheimer's disease can hear you and even respond to you. What they don't do well is remember what you just said.


I grappled with this problem for years as I was constructing my own understanding of how Dotty was thinking (or not thinking) and feeling.

I named the parallel universe that Dotty lived in -- Alzheimer's World.

One thing that drives Alzheimer's caregivers crazy is repetitive questions and repetitive behavior. I know this from the number of emails I receive on this issue, and the number of comments we get on the issue.


It is clear to me that a large fraction of patients with Alzheimer's disease ask the same things over and over, and do the same thing over and over. I understand how disconcerting this can be -- I took care of my mom for eight and a half years, 3,112 days. I understand,

It took me a long time to understand this repetitive behavior and adjust to it.

I am looking at my Leonardo da Vinci pad and some of my bunkhouse notes. One question I asked myself,


I know its going to continue to happen everyday until I figure out how to do something about it.

Why can't I accept this as a "normal" part of everyday living with Alzheimer's?

Seems simple and straightforward doesn't it?

Topic - How to talk with someone who has dementia
These kinds of situations and experiences helped me to envision Alzheimer's World, and then to start formalizing my construct of Alzheimer's World.

For Alzheimer's caregivers, there are two communication worlds: real world and Alzheimer's World.

In real world, we communicate in the same way we always have. This doesn't work well in Alzheimer's World. This is especially true if we allow recurrent behaviors that are common to Alzheimer's patients to get us angry, frustrated, and stressed.


I finally realized after years of thinking about it that it would be much easier if I went into Alzheimer's World, my mother's world, instead of trying to bring her back into my world.


I decided to go one step further, I invented a new and totally different world that I envisioned as a parallel universe.


In the beginning, I would physically step to my left as if I was walking into, or entering, this other world -- Alzheimer's World. This giant step to my left reminded me to shift gears.

In Alzheimer's World, the communication is very different than in real world. For one thing, there is only one other person in Alzheimer's World most of the time -- my mother.

One thing that makes my mother different from the rest of us is that her short term memory is gone.

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It would be foolish of me to expect her to remember what I said a little while ago. She can't. As Alzheimer's progresses, short term memory disappears. It no longer exists. Once you accept and understand that short term memory  -- the just what happened memory -- is gone, you should not be surprised if a person with Alzheimer's asks the same questions repeatedly.

They can't remember if they asked a question -- once or ten times. It is not their fault.

You can remember because you can still operate in real world. Your short term memory is still working.

Alzheimer's patients transition to a new world in their mind -- Alzheimer's World, no memory world.

 As I thought about this I came to a simple conclusion. Instead of trying to change Alzheimer's World, instead of trying to fight Alzheimer's World, not only would I accept Alzheimer's World as a reality, I would go into Alzheimer's World and learn how to communicate effectively.

Here is the first thing I learned. The fewer the words the better in Alzheimer's World.

Article - Alzheimer's Communication Tip - No More Blah Blah Blah
So when my mother asked me --what day is it? The answer is Thursday. Not I already told you its Thursday; or, you just asked me that five minutes ago. Thursday.

You know what I learned? I learned this is really easy to do if you practice. And, I learned you don't get bent out of shape in Alzheimer's World when you keep it simple.


I learned something else. Once you finally accept that this is the way it is going to be, you might find yourself laughing or chuckling when the questions keep on coming. You fully expect what is going to happen -- in advance. You figured this out in real world -- by the way.

After a couple of years I thought to myself. It must be really disconcerting when you don't know what day, month, or year it is. I mean, how do you think you would feel if you never knew what day it was, or whether it was winter, spring, summer, or fall?


So I found myself thinking -- this must be really disconcerting to my mother. I continued to think about it more and more. I started thinking maybe this is one of the reasons my mother gets mean or starts acting crazy. If she doesn't know what day it is that must really be disconcerting.

Think about all the other things she no longer knows or remembers. Things we take for granted when we communicate with others.

I concluded that Alzheimer's patients are most likely unsettled most of the time. Yeah, I think so.


Every wonder what it feels like when you are drawing a blank while trying to think? So I added another behavior to my arsenal of communication tools that I use in Alzheimer's World. If my mother starts asking me a question over and over I think to myself, she must really want to know, or need to know something. Maybe not knowing is disturbing to her. Here is what I started doing.

Instead of getting bent out of shape and giving her a completely exasperated response I started doing the opposite. I walked over, put my arm around her, put my head against her head and said -- Thursday. Then I give her a little squeeze.

Article - The Importance of Touch and Kindness in Dementia Care
Obviously over time, I started doing this more often and in different situations. Guess what I learned? I learned that I was no longer exasperated, bent out of shape, or stressed out. Quite the opposite in fact. I felt good about myself. I felt good, not bad.

Here is the best part. We both started feeling good, instead of BAD. So you see, you have a choice. You can accept that certain things are going to happen over and over. You can come to an understanding that these behaviors are not part of your real world, they are part of a new and very different world -- Alzheimer's World.


Soon you might learn that something that use to drive you up the wall can actually have the exact opposite effect -- it can make you feel good about yourself. Good when you deal with the situation effectively.

Need Help? Search Our Award Winning Knowledge Base for Answers to your Questions, and Solutions to your Problems

TIP. You start feeling good about yourself and soon the person who has Alzheimer's will start feeling pretty good also. Instead of getting that nasty vibe from you, you will be sending a very different signal -- I care, I'm here for you.

As you learn to communicate in Alzheimer's World you will be doing something that is very important. You will be creating an environment that is very safe and very secure. Once your Alzheimer's patient starts feeling safe and secure they will become kinder and more gentle.

Topic - Should you correct someone with dementia?
If I treated you with respect and understanding wouldn't you be kinder and more gentle to me?

Before you know it, you might learn the most important lesson of them all -- Alzheimer's World is very different than you think.

Alzheimer's World is a good place

You get to control what thoughts are rolling around in  your head during the course of the day. If you tell yourself enough times that Alzheimer's World is a good place, you won't mind going there.

In fact, once you learn that it is a better place than the place you might be in right now, you might learn to enjoy it in comparison. It only gets better. Instead of reaching for the Excedrin plus, you'll start reaching for the stars.

Related Articles

Why Do Alzheimer's Patients Have Lucid Moments?

Alzheimer's Patients Can Deceive Others to the Distress of Their Caregiver

Why People with Dementia Switch Back to the Past

Alzheimer's World and the Positive That Comes With It

Can how you think and what you believe affect your Alzheimer's caregiving effort?

Routine and the Importance of the First Action of the Day in Dementia Care

What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Coping with Dementia

Citation
Publisher Alzheimer's Reading Room
Author Bob DeMarco
January, 2011
Title: "Learning How to Communicate with Someone Living with Alzheimer's"
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2011/01/learning-how-to-communicate-with.html

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. This blog contains more than 5,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.


Originally published January, 2011 in the Alzheimer's Reading Room
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2011/01/learning-how-to-communicate-with.html


"The Alzheimer’s Reading Room is what it claims to be – and more 
This comprehensive site is run by full-time caregiver and gifted advocate Bob DeMarco. 
Filled with wonderful contributions from a variety of talented writers, this site offers everything you need to know about the challenge of caregiving, learning about your loved one’s condition, and taking care of yourself as well. 
Thanks to the tireless efforts of everyone at the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, you have a go-to place for advice, education, and an occasional laugh. Stop by, and start feeling empowered to handle life as a caregiver."
Healthline - Alzheimer's Reading Room Best Blog 2012 - 2018

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One thing I have learned over the years is that Alzheimer's caregivers tend to blame themselves too much.
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Caregivers often agonize over things that go wrong. They often wish they had done more.

Caregiving for a person living with Alzheimer's is not easy. In fact, most would agree that is the most difficult thing they have done during their entire lives.

One of the biggest reasons we do not do more is because we often have no clue what to do. In the beginning it would be safe to say most of us have no idea what we can or should do.

So let me make this clear to my fellow caregivers -

It is not your fault.

We wake up one day and we are an Alzheimer's caregiver whether or not we know it at the time.

We have a zero frame of reference. We have little or no life experience that helps us to understand, cope or even how to change our communication so that we can thrive, work, and live with our loved one living with dementia
.

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I wrote many times that Alzheimer's is a sinister disease. It kills the brain of the person living with Alzheimer's, and it tries to kill the brain of the Alzheimer's caregiver. Alzheimer's has very long tentacles. Approximately 40 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers suffer from depression - or what I call deep sadness.

Life is not easy for an Alzheimer's caregiver under any circumstance. I think we all know things can go horribly wrong at any moment. This alone makes living the life of an Alzheimer's caregiver difficult. Often emotionally gut wrenching.


Let me start by making this clear. I took care of my mom at home for 3,112 days. I first started thinking about Alzheimer's in December, 2004 when my mom was diagnosed. I can say with certainty that I have been thinking about Alzheimer's and caregiving every single days since then. For 13 years.

I never stop thinking about caregivers. I can's say why -- other than because I understand how they feel. I know what it is like. And, I know that over 1,200 new Alzheimer's caregivers are being born each day in the U.S. Read that last sentence again - it is mind boggling. More than 1,200 people join our ranks each day.

I can assure you - I get new and better ideas about caregiving all the time. I think and I think and I think then I get a new idea, or I figure out how to improve one of my existing techniques. I then give my new idea to someone and ask them to let me know if it works. It is like magic - it works.

I can teach anyone how to get an Alzheimer's patient to take a shower, how to get them to take a poop, how to get them to eat more food, and how to them to take their medication. How to get them to cooperate, what to do when they get mean.


By now you might be thinking no way, or maybe you are thinking how?

Let me be clear on this. None of these techniques happened and worked over night. I had eight and a half years to figure them out. One of my best ideas - how to get an Alzheimer's patient to take a poop - took me over 6 months to figure out. My sister Joanne can testify to this.

One day while she was visiting I had the poop problem. I told her straight out - by the next time you come back - 6 months - I'll have this problem solved. She was truly amazed when she came back - problem solved. I could explain to you how to do this in just a few minutes - it took me six months.


Joanne often laughed when she visited us and I would say to her - in the next 2 minutes mom is going to say - I'm hungry, I'm starving. Now Joanne knew that Dotty had just eaten. But, right on cue she said, I'm hungry, I'm starving.

Do you know how many arguments I had with my mom in the first couple of years where I tried to explain to her that she couldn't possibly be hungry because she just ate?


Do you know what happened next - she would go in her bedroom and refuse to come out. You know what else my mom did - she told her friends I was starving her. They believed her. How do you think that made me feel? I bet something similar has happened to you that made you feel bad. It wasn't my fault. And,

It's Not Your Fault.
My point here is simple. If you can't figure out what to do - start trying. Don't beat yourself up. I can assure you that you are going to have new and different problems all the time. They just keep coming.

Here is what I did to solve the above problem with my mom. Instead of trying to convince her she couldn't possibly be hungry because she had just eaten, or by berating her, Or arguing with her, I would simply say - okay, give me a few minutes and we will eat. This usually pleased her and made her smile.

Just so you know, my mother never stopped saying - I'm hungry, I'm starving. What I did was start listening to her. I mean if she said she was hungry, then she felt hungry. Whats the big deal?


Here is another example I don't like and it has happened to me many times.

I meet a professional that works as an Alzheimer's caregiver. They tell me they can't get the patient to take their medication. I say, I can solve that problem for you.

They tell me straight out - it won't work. I say, how do you know it won't work, I didn't even tell you the solution yet.

Then I tell them the solution. Guess what they say - it won't work. I say how do you know that - you didn't even try it. Now to be honest I want to get angry. But, I don't. Instead I say to them - just try it. At the time I am thinking to myself - this person ought to be fired.


One thing I know for certain. If you keep telling yourself it won't work, or there is no solution - you are going to be right. It is called - a self fulfilling prophecy.

My goal is always the same - try and help. If you don't want my help fine by me. The biggest challenge I have is getting more people to come into the Alzheimer's Reading Room and subscribe. Right now about 37,500 active readers. You know what, I wish that number was more than a million.

The Alzheimer's Reading Room operates for the benefit of society. This is not a big money making operation. I could make more working for Uber.

Repeat after me

It's Not Your Fault.
If you have a problem, a question, if you are seeking advice why not search our Knowledge Base. Put in a word, a sentence, or ask a question. If you don't get a satisfactory answer - use the contact button and send me the question. If I don't know the answer, I'll try to find someone who does.

Did you know the Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009? The website is designed to help caregivers deal with the problems they face each day.

Need Help? Search Our Award Winning Knowledge Base for Answers to Your Questions About Alzheimer's and Dementia

__________________________________________________________

We also like to answer questions and then add the answers to our Knowledge Base.

Here is a good example of how this works. Alzheimer's Team asked me to answer this question they received from one of their readers.
“Don't know who else to ask. My father with Alzheimer's has recently started staring at me or my wife. Now, I understand what his brain is going through. Or what he might be thinking. But is there any way to make it less Creepy ? Or any info I might not know that can help me understand better, to make it "Less" Creepy ? Thanks.”
When I read it I went yikes - I can't answer that and I didn't think anyone could. I did decide to ask our expert Dr. Rita Jablonski. Lo and behold she didn't even flinch. She told me she would would write up an answer. Here is the article.


By the way before asking us for an answer Alzheimer's Team searches our Knowledge Base to see if we already have the answer. If so, they link to our existing article on their Facebook Page and share it with their followers.

I think Rita Jablonski is the second best resource for caregivers in the world. Wanna guess who I think is the best?

You can find more from Rita by searching our knowledge base. Better yet, click here and see what you get from her (right here) - Rita Jablonski. Rita also shares her wisdom on her own blog - Make Dementia Your B*tch.

I want to add a personal note to my fellow caregivers who have gone the distance; or who have had to place their loved on in a memory care facility. You often tell me you wish you could have done more. You are sad about this.

Now it is not up to me to tell you how to feel. However, I would like you to think about this. If you didn't take care of your loved one - what would have happened?

Caring for a person living with dementia means caring for a person who needs you so much they could not operate or even live on their own without you.

When you care, and no matter how you do it, you are operating at a very high station in life. I believe caring does one thing we might now have yet imagined - it allows us to live a meaningful and purposeful live while doing it. How many people can honestly say they lead a meaningful and purposeful life? Think about it.


I once described my life to Jane Gross of the New York Times this way.

"I have a life that is rich in experience, and is now rich in spirit."
I made that response when it was inferred that in some way I had given up my life for my mom. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

It is the spirit within us that carries us along as we care. We use our heart and we use our brain to the best of our ability.

It is not our fault that our loved one is living with Alzheimer's.
So we do that best that we can. When it is all over and done we have accomplished more than anyone can ever imagine.

It is really pretty simple.

You are the ONE.
Looks around you. How many people can make that claim?

In closing. Everyone around you understands your great accomplishment. Ever been told you are a Saint? Ever been told you are going to Heaven? Those are wonderful compliments of the highest order.

As for me? Does it matter that so many know what I did for my mom? Not really.

What matters is I did it. Nobody can take that away from me. And I hope you will come to the same conclusion.

More from the Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Effect of Emotional Super Glue in Alzheimer's Care

The Importance of the Daily Routine in Dementia Care

The Alzheimer's Caregiver Blame Game

Topics from our Knowledge Base

How To Do It Alzheimer's Care

How to get a dementia patient to do what you want them to do

How to communicate with dementia patients effectively

Alzheimer's Insights Podcasts

How to Understand the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's

Why Do People Living with Alzheimer's Want to Go Home?


Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

You are reading original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room,
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2017/12/care-of-dementia-patients-its-not-your-fault.html

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"This comprehensive site is run by full-time caregiver and gifted advocate Bob DeMarco. 
Filled with wonderful contributions from a variety of talented writers, this site offers everything you need to know about the challenge of caregiving, learning about your loved one’s condition, and taking care of yourself as well. 
Thanks to the tireless efforts of everyone at the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, you have a go-to place for advice, education, and an occasional laugh. 
Stop by, and start feeling empowered to handle life as a caregiver."


Healthline
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A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team finds that neurogenesis -inducing the production of new neurons - in the brain structure in which memories are encoded can improve cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
Research team identifies way to mimic exercise's beneficial effects through pharmacologic and gene therapy.

"The lesson learned was that it is not enough just to turn on the birth of new nerve cells, you must simultaneously 'clean up' the neighborhood in which they are being born to make sure the new cells survive and thrive.
Exercise can achieve that, but we found ways of mimicking those beneficial cognitive effects by the application of drugs and gene therapy that simultaneously turn on neurogenesis and BDNF production."
~ Rudolph Tanzi


The investigation shows that those beneficial effects on cognition can be blocked by the hostile inflammatory environment present in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease and that physical exercise can "clean up" the environment, allowing new nerve cells to survive and thrive and improving cognition in the Alzheimer's mice.
"In our study we showed that exercise is one of the best ways to turn on neurogenesis and then, by figuring out the molecular and genetic events involved, we determined how to mimic the beneficial effects of exercise through gene therapy and pharmacological agents," says Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, vice-chair of the Department of Neurology and co-director of the Henry and Alison McCance Center for Brain Health at MGH and senior author of the paper published in Science.

Lead author, Se Hoon Choi, Ph.D., of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit adds,
"While we do not yet have the means for safely achieving the same effects in patients, we determined the precise protein and gene targets for developing ways to do so in the future."
  • Adult neurogenesis - production of new neurons occurring after the embryonic and, in some animals, neonatal periods - takes place in the hippocampus and another brain structure called the striatum. 
  • While adult hippocampal neurogenesis is essential to learning and memory, how the process impacts neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease has not been well understood. 
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The MGH team set out to investigate how impairment of adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) contributed to Alzheimer's disease pathology and cognitive function in a mouse model and whether increasing AHN could reduce symptoms.
  • Their experiments showed that AHN could be induced in the model either by exercise or by treatment with drugs and gene therapy that promoted the birth of neural progenitor cells
  • Behavioral testing of animals revealed limited cognitive benefits for animals in which neurogenesis had been induced pharmacologically and genetically. But animals in which AHN was induced by exercise showed improved cognitive performance and reduced levels of beta-amyloid.

"Although exercise-induced AHN improved cognition in Alzheimer's mice by turning on neurogenesis, trying to achieve that result by using gene therapy and drugs did not help. That was because newly born neurons, induced by drugs and gene therapy, were not able to survive in brain regions already ravaged by Alzheimer's pathology, particularly neuroinflammation. So we asked how neurogenesis induced by exercise differs." ~ Tanzi explained


Choi says,
"We found the key difference was that exercise also turned on the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF - known to be important for the growth and survival of neurons - which created a more hospitable brain environment for the new neurons to survive."
"By combining drugs and gene therapy that both induced neurogenesis and increased BDNF production, we were able to successfully mimic the effects of exercise on cognitive function."  ~Choi is an assistant professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).
Tanzi added,
"The lesson learned was that it is not enough just to turn on the birth of new nerve cells, you must simultaneously 'clean up' the neighborhood in which they are being born to make sure the new cells survive and thrive. Exercise can achieve that, but we found ways of mimicking those beneficial cognitive effects by the application of drugs and gene therapy that simultaneously turn on neurogenesis and BDNF production."
  • In another part of the study, the investigators found that blocking neurogenesis in young Alzheimer's mice shortly after birth led to more pronounced cognitive deficits later in life
"We will next explore whether safely promoting neurogenesis in Alzheimer's patients will help alleviate the symptoms of the disease and whether doing so in currently healthy individuals earlier in life can help prevent symptoms later on," says Tanzi, the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at HMS. 
"We are very excited to now investigate ways of implementing our new findings to more effectively treat and prevent this terrible disease."

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The Award Winning Alzheimer’s Reading Room Knowledge Base is considered to be the highest quality, deepest collection, of information on Alzheimer’s and dementia in the world. Ranked #1 by Healthline for 7 straight years (2012-2018).

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Originally published in the Alzheimer's Reading Room ,
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2018/12/alzheimers-research-study-shows-how-exercise-generates-new-neurons-improves-memory.html

"The Alzheimer's Reading Room and Bob DeMarco are true treasures to Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones, especially their caregivers".
~ Rudy Tanzi, Harvard, Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world

Additional co-authors of the Science paper are Enjana Bylykbashi, Zena Chatila, Eunhee Kim, Alexander Rompala, Mary Oram, Caroline Asselin, Jenna Aronson, Can Zhang, PhD, Sean Miller, Andrea Lesinski, and Doo Yeon Kim, PhD, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, MGH Neurology; Benjamin Pulli, MD, and John W. Chen, MD, PhD, MGH Radiology; Star W. Lee, PhD, Gregory Clemenson, PhD, and Fred H. Gage, MS, PhD, Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Henriette van Praag, PhD, Florida Atlantic University; and Bruce M. Spiegelman, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The study was supported with grants from the Cure Alzheimer's Fund, the JPB Foundation, the Mather's Foundation, The Leona and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the National Institutes of Health grants R01 MH060009, 1RF1 AG048080-01 and 2R01 AG014713.

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $900 million.
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It is not unusual for an Alzheimer's caregiver to wonder if the person living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia still loves them. Do they?
The simple actions that person living with dementia perform each day can lead us to only one conclusion.


By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Listen Now or Continue Reading


Alzheimer's - They Love Us More (Support Podcast Health Education) - YouTube



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Many Alzheimer's and dementia patients shadow their caregiver. This means they follow us around, or call out our name when when they can't see us..


You can learn more about this phenomena and the articles I wrote on this topic on the following topics page -


Alzheimer's patients often become angry when we leave them alone for any period of time. They asked for us repeatedly and want to know when we are coming back. They miss us fiercely.


  • They miss us because we are their connection to the world
  • They miss us because they rely on us to protect them against any and all demons real or imagined.

Have you ever given any real thought to this phenomena? You should.

What does it mean?

They Love Us More

Article - They Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

Related Articles

Article - The Effect of Emotional Super Glue in Alzheimer's Care

Article - The Power of Purpose in Our Lives

Topic - How to Solve Dementia Care Problems

Article - What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Article - Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Tests)

Article - 10 Things a Person Living with Dementia Would Tell You If They Could

Article - 16 Things I Would Want, If I Get Dementia

Topic - How do you talk and communicate effectively with a dementia patient


Search the Alzheimer's Reading Room for Answers to Your Questions, and Solutions to Problems

"With Alzheimer’s Reading Room, Bob DeMarco shares not only his own journey as a loving Alzheimer’s caregiver but also his remarkable gift for curating, storytelling, discovery, scientific curiosity and practical wisdom." 
"The Alzheimer’s Reading Room is the internet’s top resource, and it should be the first “prescription” for anyone facing this challenge." 
Jack Barrette CEO, WEGO Health

Citation
Publisher Alzheimer's Reading Room
Author Bob DeMarco
Originally published June, 2014
Title: "Alzheimer's - They Love Us More"
https://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2014/06/they-love-us-more.htmlhttps://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2014/06/they-love-us-more.html

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