Alzheimers and Dementia Care

New study reveals a startling projection of the Alzheimer’s epidemic

Today, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and 15 million are serving as caregivers for their family members. A new study conducted by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and released on September 19th of this year reveals new findings related to race and ethnicity, causing a vast increase in the number of Americans affected by the disease.

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Marriage and the Mind

Wedded bliss may not just pertain to honeymooners. In recent studies, researchers have found that marriage may reduce the risk of Dementia. In an analysis published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 15 studies determined widowed people had a 20 percent higher risk of developing dementia while those who never married came in at a 42 percent higher risk of developing this atrocious disease.

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Tom Hlavacek: A Labor of Love

It is with absolute gratitude that we bid a fond farewell to Tom Hlavacek, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, as he retires on Friday, June 30 after 13 years of service to the organization. As the Executive Director, Hlavacek oversaw a staff of 24 people who provide over 37,000 points of service in the 11-county region where an estimated 50,000 people are affected by the disease.

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How to Avoid Memory Loss as a Senior

Most of us have heard the adage: use it or lose it when it comes to memory loss. Learning how to avoid memory loss as a senior is a central concern for many.

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Reduce the Risks of Alzheimer’s Disease

Although prevention has yet to be proven, there is strong evidence that maintaining a healthy lifestyle may play a vital role in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Several studies suggest that overall good health, including regular physical activity, a healthy diet, managing stress and keeping mentally and socially active, will help reduce age-related memory loss and may also lower the risk of dementia.

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The Inverted Funnel

Every now and then, there is an unexpected moment that changes your life. You never know when that will happen; there is no warning, no fireworks in the sky, and sometimes this moment of importance surfaces hours or days after that moment passes.

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Caring for Someone With Alzheimer's Disease

Laureate Group had the honor of sponsoring "Caring for someone with Alzheimer's Disease", a talk given by Governor Martin Schreiber.

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Welcome Governor Schreiber!

Laureate Group is privileged to sponsor a talk given by Governor Martin Schreiber on the topic of Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. In this program, Governor Schreiber shares his personal journey as a caregiver for his wife, Elaine, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Reality Orientation versus Validation Therapy

Recently, I attended the Dementia Friendly Community Forum in Oconomowoc. The participants had the distinct privilege of hearing former Governor Martin Schreiber share some very touching stories about his personal experience as caregiver for his wife, who had Alzheimer’s Disease. During his presentation, Governor Schreiber talked about using “therapeutic fibbing.” He said that when his wife wanted a glass of wine at nine o’clock in the morning. Rather than trying to explain that this was not the appropriate time for an alcoholic beverage, he would simply say: “red or white.” He didn’t try to change his wife’s thought process. He didn’t argue, or scold or correct her. Instead, he went along with her line of thinking.

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Oconomowoc Dementia Friendly Community Forum: A Great Success!

I am so energized after attending yesterday’s Oconomowoc Dementia Friendly Community Forum that was held at Aurora Medical Center in Summit. It is so exciting to see how the community of Oconomowoc has embraced this important initiative. We had a sizeable audience comprised of professionals, community, caregivers and more, all there to learn more about how they can become involved in a dementia friendly Oconomowoc. At the Forum, we heard from professionals that are in the forefront of Alzheimer’s Care such as Michael Malone, MD, Geriatric Medicine with Aurora and Julie Wilson, MD of ProHealth Care Neuroscience Services. We also heard from former Governor Martin Schreiber who shared his story of how Alzheimer’s Disease has personally impacted his life. He shared a touching story about how he’s navigated the journey of caregiver for his wife Elaine, who was diagnosed with dementia years ago.

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Mental Health and Older Adults

Mental health and emotional well-being are as important in older age as at any other time in life. Older people face special physical and mental health challenges which need to be recognized, yet mental health concerns are often under-identified by health-care professionals and older people themselves. Older people are often reluctant to seek help.

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Hearing Loss and Increased Risk of Dementia

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. According to the National Institute on Deafness at the National Institutes of Health, nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 and half of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss. Unfortunately, of those who could benefit from hearing aids fewer than one in three have ever used them.

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The Importance of Mental Stimulation in Your Daily Routine

I have been invited to speak at this year’s Wisconsin Network Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias presented by the Alzheimer’s Association. As one of the largest educational forums in the United States dedicated to the topic, it is an honor to participate as both presenter and a participant.

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Managing the Progression of Alzheimer's

“My father has some memory loss and last week got lost in his own neighborhood. Though it’s hard to admit, I know he’s no longer safe in his own home. I’m not sure what more I can do.”

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Recommended reading for dementia caregivers

Those of us who care for people with dementia know that we actually care for the entire family. For the person diagnosed with dementia, support, care and compassion from people they trust are very important. Equally important for us is to recognize the emotional burden that families carry as they experience the progression of the disease in their loved one and offer our support. At New Years, Lou- Ellen Barkin, President and CEO of the New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association authored an excellent article

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Opening the Mind Through Art

Out of the many precious faculties that Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias takes from a person, artistic ability does not seem to be one of them. Studies show that art therapy can actually give back to someone with Alzheimer’s some of what has been taken away. Artistic expression stimulates the senses and can trigger dormant memories and spark conversation even with those who have stopped communicating verbally.

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With Alzheimer’s, Memories May Fade But Emotions From Them Linger

Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This has never been truer than for those who are suffering from Alzheimer ’s disease. New research has shown that while people with Alzheimer ’s disease may not be able to recall a specific recent event, the emotions relating to that event linger.

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Silver Alert: Keeping Loved Ones with Alzheimer's Safe

For anyone caring for someone with Alzheimer’s it is their worst nightmare: the chance that their loved one will wander away from home undetected. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced the launch of the statewide Silver Alert program designed to protect these vulnerable seniors.

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Could There Be a Simple Test for Alzheimer's?

Researchers announced recently they developed a blood test that may help identify people who are likely to develop Alzheimer’s within two to three years. While still experimental, this is good news as current available tests require either a spinal tap which is painful or an MRI which is expensive. The study was reported in Nature Medicine.

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SPARK! A Special Program for Individuals with Dementia

SPARK! is a fantastic local program for caregivers and loved ones suffering from beginning to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. After participating in one program at the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), Laureate Group staff agreed that our residents should take advantage of this resource as often as possible.

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