How to Help Senior Citizens Suffering from Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that can negatively affect memory, behavior and thinking. The disease can worsen over time and cause the victim’s health to digress, eventually leading to the death of the individual. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at the moment; however, care can be provided. Millions of people suffer from Alzheimer’s, which usually occurs in the later years of life.

Each person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has a different experience. While everyone reacts differently as the disease progresses, there are common symptoms and stages that take place over a time frame of several years. The individual loses memory, has trouble finding words and feels disoriented. Decision making becomes difficult and personality and behavioral changes occur, as well.

The primary risk factors for Alzheimer’s include age, genetics and family history. Heart health should be promoted as well as taking care of blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and other issues to try and avoid a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Early-onset of the disease can take place in individuals who are under the age of 65. This is often the case when there is a family history of the disease.

Senior Adult Alzheimer's Disease Worried Nurse outdoor People Old

Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is made, a doctor will provide information on the stages of it. They can be used as a general guideline to understand what will take place as the disease progresses. Understanding each stage can help you to stay alert and plan the appropriate care for yourself or loved ones. Do remember that every individual progresses differently, some faster than others.

Stage One: Mild/Early

This stage of Alzheimer’s lasts two to four years. The symptoms include frequent memory loss of recent events and conversations, repetition of questions, difficulty in expressing a problem or understanding language, coordination issues with writing, trouble using everyday items and behavioral changes.  Depression can occur during this time, along with mood swings. An individual at this stage will need to be reminded of daily activities and will also no longer be able to drive.

Stage Two: Moderate/Middle

This stage of Alzheimer’s can last two to ten years. The individual will no longer be able to hide the problems they are facing. Consistent memory loss occurs at this stage, including having trouble remembering personal history and not being able to recognize friends or family. Speech may no longer make sense and confusion will occur in regards to events, time and place. The victim of the disease might feel lost in familiar surroundings and experience disturbances in their sleep. Mood changes, aggression and delusions can also occur. The individual will need to constantly be reminded of daily activities and may need assistance as well as more daily structure.

Stage Three: Severe/Late

This is the final stage that usually lasts one to three years or even longer. Confusion will begin to blur the past and present, and the patient will have trouble remembering, communicating and processing information. A severe or total loss of verbal skills can occur as well as having issues properly swallowing foods or liquids, incontinence and illness. At this point, the individual is unable to care for themselves and requires constant care.

Care Choices for Patients of Alzheimer’s

Photo of young carer helping the elderly woman


Finding the right care for an Alzheimer’s patient takes time. While some families choose to begin the initial stages of care themselves, others rely on professionals to care for their loved ones. From adult day care to in-home and residential care, several choices are provided so that a loved one will be given the proper attention they need.

Adult Day Care Center

An adult day care center allows Alzheimer’s patients to socialize with others and enjoy activities in a safe environment. Full-time caregivers can receive a break by taking the patient to day care, having professionals look after them. Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s will have to adjust to such programs but will soon hopefully enjoy spending time with others and participating in fun activities.

In-Home Care

In-home care is a service option for Alzheimer’s patients who need various types of care. Companion services provide the individual with someone to visit with who can assist when needed. Personal care services include a caregiver offering bathing, dressing, eating, exercising and other activity assistance. Homemaker services offer assistance for everyday chores such as preparing meals, shopping or housekeeping. Skilled in-home care services provide the individual assistance with physical therapy, injections, treatment of wounds and more. Many times, the services are combined to for overall care of the patient.

Residential Care

This service type is for individuals who are in need of more care than can be provided at home or for patients who need a communal living environment. There are several types of residential care, offering the patient a personalized option for assistance. Retirement housing is one such care type providing individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s with assistance. Patients in this stage are still independent and can live alone safely but experience difficulties.

Assisted Living is a care type that combines the person’s independence with living in a nursing home-like atmosphere. Care is provided with a 24-hour staff who bring meals, assist with housekeeping, coordinate transportation, etc. An option for more extensive care is a nursing home, which provides care 24 hours a day seven days a week, along with long term medical treatment. For Alzheimer’s patients who are suffering in the stages of the disease, special care units are available. A patient in an SCU is grouped together with other patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Specialized services are provided by trained staff members.

Respite Care

When an individual with Alzheimer’s is cared for by the family, respite care is an option for taking a break from the task. It can be very demanding to care for an individual with Alzheimer’s. With respite care, a professional comes into the home and provides a break to the family member who can then go run errands or just enjoy time to themselves or with friends.

Hospice Care

The final stage of care that can assist an Alzheimer’s patient is hospice care. When a patient is reaching the end of life, hospice care provides comfort and dignity for the final days. Support services and care helps to manage pain and other symptoms the patient is experiencing. Specially trained individuals including doctors, nurses, social workers, home health aides and volunteers will provide expertise with Alzheimer’s so that the patient will be comfortable in the last days of their life.

With so many treatment resources available, an Alzheimer’s patient can receive the care they need. When you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, be sure to speak with care providers to find the best treatment service for the disease.

Tips For Preparing Children For Their First Dental Visit

6 yr old at dentist

Parents who recognize the importance of oral hygiene will ensure their kids benefit from regular family dentistry care. As young children may feel apprehensive about visiting a family dentist or cosmetic dentist for the first time, parents should make an effort to prepare their kids to have a positive dental experience. We have invited Modern Dentistry of Richmond VA to provide us with a few tips to help parents accomplish this sometimes daunting task.


Talk about Teeth and Dental Care

By the time children reach 2 years of age, chances are they have a fair amount of teeth that need regular care. By talking to their little ones about how to care for their teeth, parents can slowly introduce them to the concept of visiting a dentist. There are many children’s books and videos that talk about dental visits and explain family dentistry procedures in ways that young children can understand. As a parent, you should portray a visit to the dentist as a new and exciting adventure so your kids can look forward to the experience.


Play Role a First Dental Visit

Many parents find it helpful to act out a dental visit with their kids so their children will know what to expect when visiting a dentist for real. Playing dentist at home can help kids feel more comfortable with the idea of having their first dental checkup. Parents can incorporate such props as a toothbrush, rinsing cup, flashlight for looking into a child’s mouth, small mirror for kids to examine their teeth, etc., into the role play as well as take turns being the dentist and patient.

Parents can even bring in their child’s favorite doll or stuffed animal for a check-up to help their child feel more at ease on their first dental visit. It wouldn’t hurt to have a special snack, outing or gift planned for after the visit to reward children for their “bravery” and cooperation in this new venture.


Set a Good Example for Dental Hygiene

When it comes to oral hygiene, children are more likely to follow their parent’s example. Parents should make an effort to set a good example of taking care of their teeth. This means parents should make brushing, flossing and rinsing a regular part of their daily personal care habits.

If parents have had bad dental experiences in the past, they should be leery of passing any fears onto their kids. They should always portray dental visits in a positive light so their children can get the most from family dentistry or cosmetic dentist care.


baby teethWork with an Experienced Pediatric Dentist

Your choice of a dentist can make a big difference in how your children view dental care. A pediatric family dentist in Richmond VA is more likely to have experience working with children, giving him or her an edge in helping your kids feel comfortable during their first visit. A pleasant and happy first dental visit can open the door for similar experiences in the future.

Asking for a recommendation from family and friends is a good way of finding a good pediatric dentist in your local area. You can then visit the office and talk to dental staff in advance before making an appointment for your kids. Choosing a kid-friendly family dentist who is committed to his or her profession will give you greater confidence that your kids will be in good hands for their oral hygiene care.

Tips For Choosing The Best Child Care Center

Many parents eventually need day care services for their children. Although most establishments of this type are reputable, there are some that should be avoided. Below are some helpful tips concerning how to choose an appropriate day care center:

Searching in Advance

Regardless of the type of care in which a person is interested, whether a child care facility or simply day care services in another person’s home, it can take some time to locate the best option. For this reason, starting one’s search in advance is recommended, as this will eliminate the need to make a decision in haste.

Visiting Different Establishments and Asking Questions

It is always wise to visit each child care center being considered, as this will give the parents a good idea of how well the establishment is run and the competence of its staff. When making an in person visit, prospective clients should observe the child to adult ratio, keeping in mind that the fewer children for each adult, the better the care administered.

It is also in parents’ best interest to ask questions about the staff during such a visit. Clients should inquire about each caregiver’s education and training, and discover if they are required to attend workshops and continuing education classes on a regular basis. If possible, parents should also ask about the turnover at each facility, as children prefer consistency and may not adjust to the establishment if they must constantly form relationships with strangers.

Additionally, clients should ask if the child care provider has received accreditation from a national organization. If this is the case, it is safe to assume that the establishment is better than most, as accredited providers have met voluntary standards for the care of children and these are higher than the licensing requirements in most states.

Choose a Center That Plans Activities

It is in the best interest of virtually any child to choose a child care center that offers a complete activity schedule. Suitable establishments will schedule various activities throughout the day, such as group and individual play, quiet time, snacks, meals and free time. Television and videos should not be part of this schedule, as this shows a lack of involvement between the children and the employees. An appropriate number of fun and creative toys should also be available for each youngster.

Recognizing Red Flags

One obvious warning sign that a particular day care center is not offering the best for the children for which it has taken responsibility, is employees who have no formal child training or college education. In addition, if there are five or more children for each employee or teacher, the workers may be underpaid, overworked and possibly unhappy with their jobs. If this is the case, it is bad for everyone involved, most importantly, the children.

If a prospective client visits a certain establishment and discovers that children are unruly, abnormally loud and rambunctious, or being entertained with video games and television, that center should be crossed off his or her list. Reputable centers do not use videos or television as babysitters, nor do they allow children to become wild due to boredom or lack of nap time.

It is also a bad sign if no rules or regulations are posted anywhere within the facility. This is because the lack of set policies and procedures can lead to the spread of illness, misunderstandings, confusion and a generally unsafe atmosphere.

Finally, as one would suspect, if a particular child care center does not have a good reputation, it should be crossed off the prospective client’s list. Choosing a child care facility may at first seem like a difficult endeavor, but when the aforementioned tips are followed, the process is sure to become much less daunting.

Check out our recommended child care and day care center Apollo Beach, FL, Creative World School, for more information.

Interested in Providing In-Home Assistance for the Elderly?

A Rewarding Career in Senior Care

Senior caregiverMaking sure an elderly friend or family member is safe, happy, and healthy is of utmost importance. Often, people with seniors in their lives have to ask themselves if it’s time to reach for an outside source for help. Providing care for a senior is not always an easy responsibility, especially when the caregiver works full time, has children to look after, or doesn’t live nearby. However, if you have a loving heart and the time to dedicate to helping an elderly person, becoming a senior caregiver might be right for you. You will reap the rewards of brightening someone’s day,  as you offer both companionship and practical services such as transportation, light housecleaning or cooking, for someone in need.

Sometimes their caregiver is the only person a senior citizen sees during the day. Friends and family members can often be too busy with work and their own lives to consistently visit with and take care of their beloved grandmother or grandfather. When an elderly person lives alone for a while, they may begin to feel depressed and maybe unmotivated to do everyday tasks such as cleaning and cooking. If they don’t have much mobility, they might not even get the chance to leave their homes. That’s where the role of caregiving comes in. After working out a plan for what the elderly client needs – be it someone to simply give them a ride to the grocery store or doctor’s appointments, or someone to chat with on a regular basis – you can immediately begin improving their quality of life.

Senior care providers come from all walks of life. Some are younger, some are older. Some have little experience, and some come from careers in teaching or the medical field. This home care service in Noblesville, IN, for example, seeks seniors looking to provide assistance to other seniors. This promotes a trusting relationship where the elderly person in need doesn’t feel judged or belittled, and instead has a peer companion with whom they can comfortably discuss more personal matters. No matter where you’re coming from, the more important detail is that you have an interest in the field. People don’t necessarily enter the caregiving field for the money, but instead to enrich and fulfill another person’s life. So, is in-home care for the elderly the right profession for you?