Month: November 2015

Family caregivers of loved ones with dementia often hesitate to ask for help. There’s a variety of reasons to not want to ask for help, but a diagnosis of dementia is a life-changing event for the entire family.

It is alright to ask for help when you need it.

G. L., an LCSW with Mountainland Department of Aging and an advocate for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia says that part of being a good caregiver is asking for help. Caregivers who don’t take care of their own needs and health – physical, emotional and mental – won’t be able to provide good care for their loved ones.

But where should caregivers go to find help when they need it and what kind of help is available?HISCCaregiverStress-multimedia-content-placeholder

Karen Rogers is Aspen Senior Care’s Family Caregiver Coach.  She can help family caregivers navigate the challenges of caregiving. As a caregiver coach, Karen can help you:

  • Feel encouraged and supported.
  • Cope and problem solve.
  • Better understand memory loss and dementia.
  • Manage stress and take better care of yourself.
  • Be aware of community resources.
  • Deal with challenging behaviors.

Mountainland Department of Aging here in Utah County and the Utah Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has many resources available to help families caring for loved ones. The Aspen Senior Day Center in Provo, 3410 North Canyon Road, hosts a Family Caregiver Support Group every first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm. The support group is free and is a great way to meet with others who are caring for loved ones with dementia, share stories and experiences and just talk. Geri Lenhardt is the facilitator and can answer questions about community resources. Susan Johnson with Aspen Senior Care is also there to answer questions and provide support.

Aspen has caregivers trained in dementia care who go into seniors’ homes to provide respite for family caregivers. Aspen Senior Day Center is an adult day program that allows family caregivers to bring their loved one for the day and know they will be safe, provided with nutritious meals and participate in stimulating activities. For more information call Susan at 801-420-5167.

 

November is National Family Caregiver Month and here at Aspen Senior Care we honor those who endeavor to compassionately care for family members with declining health or dementia, while balancing family and work responsibilities as well.

It’s been estimated that more than 30% of the American population (about 90 million people) care for family members who, for various reasons are unable to care for themselves.   Caregiving is physically, emotionally, mentally and financially exhausting.

Family caregivers often feel isolated or alone. The following comments in response to an article at Alzheimer’s Weekly give a clear picture of family caregiver frustration:

“My husband has ALZ. What is it that makes people who spent 20 minutes with him 8 weeks ago think that they know him and our life together?” – Toni
“I also take care of my husband and some people tell me ‘are you sure he has Alzheimer’s?” – Donna
“Hubby has ALZ. Sometimes I feel that we both have a contagious disease.” – Anonymous
  “…I sometimes get the feeling no one wants to be around him because he asks so many questions. I even had a friend tell me that I am in ‘denial’ and should be thinking about putting him in a nursing home. He is a long time away from a home.” – AnonymousElderly woman

Here at Aspen we have the honor of associating with some of the most amazing family caregivers! They inspire us with their devotion to their loved ones. We have a Family Caregiver Award which we give to family caregivers, to recognize them and the hard work they are doing.

Thank you to all the family caregivers who strive to do the best they can in caring for loved ones.

The Aspen Senior Center in Provo was specifically designed to provide respite for family caregivers who bring their loved ones for the day and know that they will be well cared for and involved in fun, enriching activities and get proper nutrition. For more information or to take a tour call 801-607-2300. Visit Aspen Senior Center’s Facebook page to see all the great activities they do. 

 

Gardening is good for the soul! Simply getting outdoors and digging in the earth, planting seeds, watering, and watching plants blossom and yield flowers, fruits and vegetables can be beneficial for everyone, including people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

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Horticulture Therapy professionals believes that therapeutic gardening has an important place is the care and treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

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Some of the benefits are cognitive, physical and mental/emotional:

  • Enhance cognitive functioning
  • Promote physical health
  • Improve concentration
  • Prompt memories
  • Help social interaction
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Reduce stress and help with anxiety
  • Decrease depression
  • Give participants a sense of accomplishment

V__EB15Aspen Activity Days at the Taylorsville Senior Center has seen this happen first hand!

They started a garden in April and had everyone participate in preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering, nourishing and weeding the plants. They have grown a beautiful garden and you can see how much they have enjoyed it. They even made chili for lunch last week with vegetables from the garden!

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Aspen has an Activity Day Program in Salt Lake City and an Adult Day Center in Provo where families who have loved ones with dementia can take drop them off for the day and know that they will be well cared for and participate in activities they will enjoy and feel connected to others. To see more of what benefits these programs have to offer visit  www.aspenseniorcenter.org  and  Aspen Activity Days  or call us at 801-224-5910.
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