CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 3. Issue 7 | Home Care Assistance CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 3. Issue 7 | Home Care Assistance
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CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 3. Issue 7

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Letter from the Editor:

Alzheimer's affects a lot of people – 5.3 million people to be exact. As these numbers rise, it is important that we continue to raise awareness for this disease and set aside time to stay apprised of the most recent Alzheimer's research, studies and findings.  This information will prove useful for our parents and for ourselves. At Home Care Assistance, our Balanced Care Method™ may help create lifestyle choices that play a role in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer's for many individuals. Our caregivers are knowledgeable about each element of The Balanced Care Method™  – fostering independence, maintaining social ties and remaining active, physically and mentally – which promotes healthy, happy living and enhances quality of life.

 


Race, culture may play role in Alzheimer’s disease

On Monday, July 11th, the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease took place in Honolulu, Hawaii. Much research and new studies were presented, but perhaps among some of the most interesting findings was the role that race and culture play in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Several professors at the University of California, San Francisco, conducted a study that examined the relationship between dementia and nursing home placement and mortality. The study found that many of the African American and Latino participants were not placed in nursing homes, and also lived longer than most of the white participants. This study suggests that in-home care might be more culturally appropriate for African American and Latino elders. This study also explored the different ways in which varying cultures deal with death, and the patterns in which these cultures seek help for dementia in their elders. While white families were found to seek elder care about two years after noticing dementia signs, American Indians and African Americans tended to wait about five or six years to seek help. R. Scott Turner, Director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center believes that the culture differences affecting the treatment of Alzheimer’s is very important due to our country’s changing demographics, and should continue to be studied.

 


With crayons, brushes, an escape from Alzheimer’s

With nearly 5.3 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s today, we all eagerly await a cure for the tragic disease. Many doctors and scientists have developed treatments and medicines that they feel may help slow the process, but the Museum of Modern Art, along with the Alzheimer’s Association, have come up with a slightly different idea: art. “One of the ways to get to people with Alzheimer’s is to engage them through art, because art is so creative,” says Tania Becker, one of the people involved in this project. Becker and her volunteers believe that art can help those with Alzheimer’s, because art is an easy way to express one’s emotions, and inability to express emotions is often one of the most isolating factors of the Alzheimer’s.  Therefore, Becker, along with some volunteers, has started an art class for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Participants in Becker’s class can come in and paint virtually whatever they like – sometimes they paint an image from their minds, other times they paint the highlighted centerpiece provided by Becker. Becker believes that art can help her students live in the “here and now,” which is something they don’t get to experience often.

 


Obesity harms women's memory and brain function, study finds

With nearly 5.3 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s today, we all eagerly await a cure for the tragic disease. Many doctors and scientists have developed treatments and medicines that they feel may help slow the process, but the Museum of Modern Art, along with the Alzheimer’s Association, have come up with a slightly different idea: art. “One of the ways to get to people with Alzheimer’s is to engage them through art, because art is so creative,” says Tania Becker, one of the people involved in this project. Becker and her volunteers believe that art can help those with Alzheimer’s, because art is an easy way to express one’s emotions, and inability to express emotions is often one of the most isolating factors of the Alzheimer’s.  Therefore, Becker, along with some volunteers, has started an art class for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Participants in Becker’s class can come in and paint virtually whatever they like – sometimes they paint an image from their minds, other times they paint the highlighted centerpiece provided by Becker. Becker believes that art can help her students live in the “here and now,” which is something they don’t get to experience often.

 


Home Care Assistance Caregiver Spotlight

Nancy Owen, who many clients have come to think of as an “angel,” joined Home Care Assistance in January 2010.  To describe her as hard working would be an understatement.  Nancy’s dedication, skill and compassion for her clients sets her apart from her colleagues. She not only works overnights, 24-hour shifts and early mornings, but she often fills in for other caregivers when they are unable to work their shift.  She currently balances three clients; one is a couple that has Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s,  another client is a quadriplegic and another is a wife who needs help with her husband who has Alzheimer’s and is dying of cancer. However, due to Nancy’s skill and confidence as a caregiver, clients are instantly at ease upon her arrival. They know that they are in good hands.  Not to mention, she is a great cook and takes pride in preparing meals for clients. Her specialties include a quiche and a coated chicken dish that is baked, but tastes like it is fried! Jigsaw puzzles are another favorite activity that Nancy likes to do with her clients, especially with the ones that have Alzheimer’s. Before joining Home Care Assistance, Nancy worked as a home health aide for a company. She then went to work in a local nursing home and served as a personal care companion to her husband who passed away from ALS. “Having Nancy on our team makes all of us better. Her patience, pride in her work and the solid advice she consistently offers on client care sets an example for all of our caregivers," said Lori Wengard, owner of Home Care Assistance Columbus.

Thank you for all of your hard work, Nancy!