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Anosognosia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Anosognosia, pronounced ‘uh-no-sog-NOH-zee-uh’, is a condition that sometimes affects people with Alzheimer’s disease which impairs their ability to understand that they are being affected by an illness. In etymology, anosognosia means “to not know a disease” in Greek: a- (without) + nosos (disease) + gnosis (knowledge). Thus, anosognosia is more than just denial is a complex condition that can vary in severity over time. Your loved one may have more recognition of their condition at times, and other times have a total lack of awareness. This varying degree of awareness...

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Sundown Syndrome – Coping Strategies

As sunset looms over the horizon, elders with dementia may be affected by this shift in their environment. The early evening can be a challenging time for people with Alzheimer’s Disease as they may experience sundown syndrome. Sundowning can manifest as confusion, agitation, and restlessness which worsens as daylight begins to fade. This can be difficult because if sundowning affects your elder’s ability to sleep well, then it will subsequently affect their functioning the next day. Sundown Syndrome manifests during sunset and being tired or worn out can increase restlessness....

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Alzheimer’s Care: When Your Spouse Falls in Love with Someone Else

Alzheimer’s disease affects people and their families in ways that are unique and complex to them. The brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease deteriorates in ways that create changes to their personality and their relationships which can be very emotional for their loved ones. These personality changes can be difficult to process and can often lead to loved ones experiencing the grieving process long before the person with Alzheimer’s actually passes. They must also redefine and care for a person who may no longer recognize them and behave increasingly...

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What to do when an Elderly Loved One with Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Recognize You

When navigating a loved one through the stages of Alzheimer's disease you may find that it is your own feelings that are the most difficult challenge. People with Alzheimer's must change and adapt to their new circumstances and often these changes are out of their control. As people who love those with Alzheimer's we change and adapt to these new circumstances as well, but we have a choice in the way that we adapt to these challenges. Often as this change comes, it builds resistance. It is natural to feel...

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Caring for an Elderly Loved One with Alzheimer’s during the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic is putting many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at risk, but because most know it to be a respiratory illness, it is not immediately obvious how. The reality is that dementia-related behaviors such as forgetting to wash their hands and other necessary precautions may increase the risk of contracting the disease. These behaviors, compounded with old age and common age-related health conditions may present a concerning combination for diseases like COVID-19. Whether your community is reopening services or taking more precautions, depending on the number of...

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Ways to Convince an Elderly Loved One with Alzheimer’s to Shower

Hygiene management and bathing is an important yet stressful daily aspect of living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Often, it can be a battle to create a care routine that keeps your elderly loved one physically safe from the damaging effects of poor hygiene, as bathing can be nerve wracking for someone with Alzheimer’s. Attempts to get them to bathe and shower can result in arguments, negotiations, screaming, crying, and hostility. This increases your stress level and creates a negative connotation to bathing for your elderly loved one. This can...

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Alzheimer’s: Repetitive Behavior – Causes and How to Respond

Repetition is one of the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s. A person with Alzheimer’s may fixate on a specific phrase or action and repeat it over and over to self-soothe. As well, they may focus on undoing chore such as unmaking a bed, which can be troubling for them and their caregivers. An elder with Alzheimer’s may show these behaviors and these rituals may be performed as a means to recreate familiarity, comfort during moments of anxiety and cope with their emotional state. As these actions in repetition can be concerning...

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Memory Loss: Age-Related or Dementia? (Part 2)

Age-associated memory impairment, as stated in the last blog post, is a frustrating, but possible outcome of the aging process. However, even possible age-related memory loss can be highly disconcerting for people because of the fear of developing dementia. In our last blog post, we outlined the various causes of memory loss not related to dementia, and emphasized working with your doctor in order to address and combat symptoms. Despite the fear of having dementia, early diagnosis is hugely beneficial for managing the progression and navigating medication and therapy to...

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Memory Loss: Age-Related or Dementia? (Part 1)

As we age, some of us may suffer from forgetfulness or memory loss. It can manifest differently for each person and can be a source of stress and anxiety. A significant amount of stress related to memory loss is the fear of inadequacy or losing a sense of self. This fear is fueled by a lack of information about memory loss and the diversity of diagnosis which may affect memory. This myth-busting article will cover memory loss from normal aging, or age-associated memory impairment and other important factors to consider....

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Caring for Parents with Dementia at Home

As your parents get older, you will find yourself being called over for chores, maybe even more then when you were a kid! Physical or complicated domestic duties that they need help with might be mowing the lawn, cleaning the roof and spring cleaning their attic. However, if your parent has dementia, those domestic duties are ever-expanding with their progression and specialized care will be necessary. There are a variety of different diagnoses that lead to dementia, but it is important to be mindful that the symptoms may range from...

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