This Guide Helps You Create a Caregiver Plan

caregiver plan

A caregiver plan helps at any stage

No matter where you are in the caregiving journey, it’s never too late to create a plan.

Avoiding it until there’s a big problem can make a tough situation worse. Planning ahead means having more time to make decisions and being proactive instead of reactive.

A caregiver plan helps reduce problems with older adults and family members, removes uncertainty, and minimizes last-minute scrambling for solutions. It can also help reduce the financial strain.

We found a helpful free guide from AARP that takes you through 5 steps to create a caregiver plan. It also includes helpful checklists and excellent resource recommendations.


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Use AARP’s guide to create a caregiver plan

AARP has a handy guide that helps families discuss and create a plan for caregiving. It’s called Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families.

The guide breaks things down into 5 steps to make it more manageable. The sections include information on how to get started, questions to ask, and where to find helpful resources.

Here’s an overview of the 5 steps outlined in the AARP guide.

 

STEP 1 – Prepare to Talk
It’s tough to talk with an older adult about a decline in their abilities or the need for additional help. It’s not something you want to bring up without preparation.

Step 1 helps you think through important questions and plan your approach. It has key questions to ask yourself, a checklist to understand their goals for the future, and 10 tips for approaching a difficult topic.

The advance thought and planning will make the discussion more successful and reduce your older adult’s defensiveness.

 

STEP 2 – Form Your Team
The second step advises you on forming your caregiving team and how to keep the planning process moving forward.

It might not be realistic for everyone’s situation, but AARP recommends including the whole family in caregiving discussions — even those who are difficult or argumentative. Their thinking is that those family members may become even more difficult in the future if they’re left out of the initial discussions.

 

STEP 3 – Assess Needs
In the third step, the guide helps you understand your older adult’s needs and gather information. Here’s where you’ll find the bulk of the checklists and information about benefits programs and caregivers resources.

Useful checklists walk through the activities of daily living, help locate important personal information and documents, and give an overall picture of your older adult’s needs.

This section also includes helpful information about public benefits programs for seniors. Page 22 has an easy-to-read chart that summarizes the benefits offered by programs like Social Security, Medicare, etc.

The information about caregiving resources on pages 24 and 25 is especially helpful. Included are national and local resources that help with housing, health, transportation, and financial matters.


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STEP 4 – Make a Plan
Nobody can plan for every possibility, but having the basics covered will significantly reduce stress and uncertainty for everyone.

Step 4 shares advice on how to have a successful planning meeting with your older adult and family. Key tips include writing brief notes about what was discussed, who is responsible for what, and a summary of the care plan.

A brief example care plan is included on page 28.

 

STEP 5 – Take Action
Creating a care plan is a challenging exercise, but one that will be worth it when life gets complicated. In step 5, AARP shares tips on how to be flexible and update the caregiving plan as things change.

 

Next Step > Start your caregiving plan by printing or saving AARP’s Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families (PDF)

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: 9jaFlave

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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Source: CareTips

The Importance of Humor for Older Women Downsizing Their Home

Older-Women-Downsizing-Their-Home

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”

— Mark Twain in “What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us”

Does this sound impossible to do? How can I giggle while I’m getting rid of things I’ve had for a very long time and have been important to me? What’s joyful about getting rid of my kids’ favorite toys? There’s no way I can smile as I trash album after album of our family’s pictures.

Right. There are some aspects to a major home downsizing that just can’t be funny. And there are other things that can be if we remain open to that possibility.

My Experience with Outdated Belongings

Last year, while I was going through downsizing from a very large house to a very small apartment, I discovered an entire box of heavy notebooks that I had used in a job I’d had 25 years earlier.

Everything was totally out of date. Even if I’d wanted to use some of the material again, I wouldn’t have been able to without major updating, which would have taken longer than starting from scratch.

I also found a box of index cards that contained research notes I had gathered hour after hour in the card catalogue at a local university library. Card catalogue! Probably everyone readying this blog will know what I’m talking about, but our children – and certainly their children – would not.

I found it really amusing that I could reconstruct and even greatly enhance that research in at most two days’ time using Google.

Finding Amusement in Unexpected Places

After a while I even found it funny that I was being really snippy with people I’m usually very polite and patient with. My snide, curt responses became sort of funny to me. And then I’d have to go back and apologize, but it was amusing to me at the time.

Does this make any sense to you? It seems to me that there are many things in life that we need to take seriously. Serious, yes. Solemn, no.

In the midst of many difficult times, if we’re open to it, we will find things that actually are funny, and, as Twain says, “all our hardnesses yield all our irritations and resentments flit away.”

What can we do to try and keep our sense of humor while getting rid of treasured things? For starters, it’s probably best not to even try when we’re working with our truly most treasured things.

There are many things I had to donate or sell that were very important to me, and I could not have laughed about those things. But those “truly treasured things” were a fraction of everything I eliminated from my home.

Laugh with the Items that Look Archaic

So, don’t focus on those special things. Instead, focus on those way-out-of-date things that you’re surprised are even still there. Believe me, for most of us there will be many, many of those things.

At a recent talk I gave to an organization on downsizing your home, a man in the audience described finding a box of copy books from his grade school days. When he first described that box, he was fairly serious.

As we talked about it, it became funnier and funnier that he still had those copy books that he hadn’t looked at for at least 40 years. By the time he sat down, everyone in the audience was laughing, and I think their laugher had at least as much to do with their identifying with him as it did with his story.

You also might watch for patterns to what you saved and what you didn’t. For example, do you still have every single trophy or ribbon you ever won in your life – even a blue ribbon for that cherry pie you baked when you were 11?

Do you still have all the sports memorabilia from when your children played baseball or soccer or whatever? Or what about the plastic whatchamacallits from the family trips you took when your children were growing up?

Just Think About It

Now, all that is pretty funny if you really think about it, especially if you’re surprised that it’s still there, which means you haven’t seen it for years.

I am certainly not suggesting that a major downsizing of your home is a fun event. What I am saying is that there will be many funny or at least amusing moments if you’ll just remain open to them. And if you do, the whole process will be just a bit lighter.

While I believe that is very true, downsizing your home can be challenging, or even painful, so consider providing yourself with some extra support.

Ask a non-judgmental friend to help you. Explain to them the importance of recognizing times that could be humorous during the process. Or consider hiring a coach like myself to help you.

For any of you who have completed a major downsizing, I’d love to hear about how you were able to keep your sense of humor and how, at times, it helped. And for those of you who are contemplating such a process, what can you do to remind yourself of the importance of finding humorous things? Please share your thoughts below.

The post The Importance of Humor for Older Women Downsizing Their Home appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

The 3 Cs for Enhancing Creativity in Your 60s: Color-Contrast-Curiosity

Retirement is a fruitful time to develop creative projects and activities that inspire and increase the general health of your mind, body, and spirit. So, let’s get creative!
During my working years I wrote textbooks on acting as well as a plethora of articles for magazines and PR firms, plus a boatload of Hollywood screenplays.
I can’t paint, draw, or play an instrument. I was born to be an actress, teacher, and speaker, and I’m happy and more than grateful for all these creative outlets.
However, in retirement, I’ve been writing books, blogs, and speeches. Writing has been my passion as well as my creative joy throughout my 60s. The gift of writing for Sixty and Me continues to help me discover more color, contrast, and curiosity in my life.
And then another idea hit me in my 70s. I determined that if I wanted to call myself a real writer, I would have to enter the world of fiction.
I’d always written non-fiction and opinion pieces, yet the real and true path that would eventually challenge my writing skills and abilities was to create stories that come from my imagination.
Finding Inspiration
If you love nature, you are quite likely a creative person. Loving nature means that you have developed your five senses, your intuition, and environmental awareness.
Loving nature means you have an inherent ability to develop a creative environment that manifests itself through your mind, body, and spirit. This creative process expands your vision and perspective about how you are living your life culturally, emotionally, and intellectually.
Taking a Leap of Faith
My mother used to say to me, “Joanie, never fear anything. It’s a waste of time. Besides, it’s more fun to be surprised by life.”
My mother was a force of nature and a creative icon to be reckoned with. She never held back from taking leaps of faith while staying conscious and aware. She never feared the unknown. She and my father built homes, condos, and apartment buildings into their early 80s.
Avoiding Resistance
Being creative means turning your ideas into reality – putting your imagination to work. Creativity presupposes that you have the ability to examine opportunities and possibilities that you never thought of before.
When you ask yourself, “What if?” it is then you see that the world is your oyster and your imagination soars.
Yet, it is unfortunate that it is human nature to resist. Resistance is the opposite of creativity. Resistance is toxic to your soul and gets in the way of everything you think you want to imagine and explore.
In your early childhood years, the world is limitless, but as you grow older, you become cautious and lose your ability to expand your world and take chances. As a result, thinking becomes repetitive and predictable.
Being creative means stretching your mind and mastering a new way of thinking that involves exploring and experiencing, questioning and accumulating new information, and recognizing that everything you’ve ever done, everything you’ve every learned adds to your journey of creativity.
Color, Contrast, Curiosity
The following are three ways to enhance creativity after 60 and overcome the diminishing capacity to imagine without limitations.
Look for Color in Your World
Every day, all day, you see color – in your homes, dwellings, clothes, food; in the outside environment –the sky, cars, trees, water, facades, interiors. And the list goes on.
Most people ignore colors. But, suppose you make an intention to see as many colors in your world as possible and make a list of those colors. This activity would necessitate staying fully conscious, fully aware during the day. Artists – painters and designers – do this naturally because it stimulates creativity. Try noticing different colors and blending them into creative ideas. Discover how this exercise stretches your imagination.
Look for Contrast
Contrast is everywhere in life and begins when you wake up in the morning: the thought of a great day but your body is tired and sore; the warmth of your home and the cold temperatures outside. You experience hundreds of contrasts daily.
Contrasts are the meat and potatoes of the living experience and the key to developing creative ideas. Contrasts enrich the human experience and tap into your imagination, as well as stimulate curiosity and provoke the idea of “what if.”
Be Curious
Mental gridlock is the devil you encounter frequently. It teaches you nothing about your life and even worse, it inhibits stretching your mind. In fact, mental gridlock turns off your neuro-transmitters – adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin – and keeps you stuck in mental quicksand.
The only way out of the mental stagnation is to be constantly curious about life, relationships, behavior, and changes that are constants in life. Ask yourself what’s on the other side of your mind? What is challenging, new, and provocative? Take risks and be willing to make glorious mistakes.
More importantly, tap into your vulnerabilities. Vulnerability is the key to creativity. Acknowledge your emotions and be brave. Without curiosity, life will be boring and lifeless.
Creativity is one of the most important tools in your mental tool box. From creativity come new skills, talents, and abilities you never thought you had. It increases mental, emotional, and spiritual bonding. More important, creativity brings joy and stamina into your life.
This is the first of a two-part blog series on the creative process. Please follow my next blog about tips on how to write memoir and fiction and for a discussion of how I published my book, An Accidental Cuban, which launches on January 21st, 2019.
How do you inspire creativity in your life? What are the tools that give you creative energy? Let us know your creative process.

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Source: CareTips

6 Reasons Why Getting a Copy of Medical Records Improves Senior Health

Having key information makes caregiving easier

Knowledge is power, especially when you’re caring for someone’s health.

If you aren’t clear about what happened with your older adult’s medical care in the past, it can be more difficult, time consuming, or expensive to get them the best care now and in the future.

Gathering copies of your older adult’s health records means you’ll have the key facts about their medical conditions at your fingertips and will be able to share them with medical professionals as needed.

We share 6 reasons why it’s a good idea to get a copy of your older adult’s health records and how it improves their health.

getting a copy of medical records

6 reasons why getting a copy of medical records improves senior health

1. Get a better understanding of their health history
For most adults, a lifetime of health records are spread across multiple doctors, hospitals, and healthcare facilities.

It’s important to gather as many of your older adult’s health records as possible and keep it organized. The purpose isn’t just to have them, but so you can get a better understanding of their health history.

For example, your older adult could have had surgeries or significant medical treatments in the past that you’re not aware of. If you had that information, it could help you make care decisions or help their doctor better treat current conditions.

Having a copy of current health records also allows you to review them before a doctor’s appointment. You can make notes about questions or concerns about current treatments and ask their doctor to explain during the appointment.

2. Find and correct errors
Unfortunately, medical records often contain mistakes. Having a copy of your older adult’s records means that you can find and correct any significant errors.

Then, when those records are being shared between doctors, you’ll know that they’re getting accurate information.

3. Have a clear understanding of current treatments
The information and instructions that doctors give during an appointment can be complex and take time to understand.

Having a copy of the record gives you something to review at home and compare your own notes against to make sure you heard and understood everything.

And if anything is unclear, you can follow up with the doctor’s office right away.

4. Have a complete medication list
If your older adult has multiple doctors, it can be tough to keep track of all the medications they’ve been prescribed.

Having their medical records means that you can put together a comprehensive list of their medications, prescribing doctors, when each was started, and what health condition each one treats.

Then, anytime your older adult has a doctor’s appointment, you can bring the complete list of medications for the doctor to review.

5. Review and track lab results
Lab tests provide a lot of useful information about your older adult’s health.

If you’re able to keep an eye on lab tests over time, you can see if your older adult’s health is staying steady, improving, or declining.

Plus, if their doctor didn’t go over all the results with you, now you’ll have a chance to mark the items you have questions or concerns about so you’ll be able to ask during the next appointment.

Also, you can usually request lab test results directly from the lab, so you don’t have to go through the doctor’s office to get them.

6. Provide better information during an emergency
In an emergency, having a copy of your older adult’s health records in your hospital essentials kit can give medical professionals the information they need to better treat them.

Plus, you’ll be confident of the facts when sharing basic information like height, weight, allergies, and medications.

Having the records available for reference might even cut down on the number of tests that are needed and can provide a baseline for comparison against current tests.

For example, having past EKGs on hand can be very helpful when doctors are treating someone for an emergency related to their heart.

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Source: CareTips

Want to Achieve Lifelong Wellness After 60? Follow These 5 Steps!

Lifelong-Wellness

Modern medicine has a way of keeping us alive even when our health is terrible. The United States Census Bureau reported that the 90-year-old are among the fastest growing demographic.

In the US, Medicare insurance for seniors spends 75% of its resources on chronic illness, the conditions that don’t kill you but can affect quality of life.

At 50, it can be hard to imagine what life will be like at 70, 80 or 90. And yet, doing so can be a strong motivator to look at how you are living today and how that will impact the reality of your older years.

I remember someone warned me at age 20 that if I kept smoking I would have trouble climbing a flight of stairs by age 60. Being able to run up a flight of stairs quite effortlessly at the time, I didn’t believe it.

Luckily, I stopped smoking at 24. Now, as I grow older, I keep that early warning in mind and appreciate that what I do now will impact my 70s and 80s.

I can always do better and remind myself that it will pay off in later years. For me, more aerobic movement is a goal for 2018. Do you have changes/improvements you want to make this year?

This is my 20th year helping women with nutrition and lifestyle. What I’ve seen over these two decades is our enormous potential to heal, to improve overall health, even when our earlier years may not have included many healthy habits.

Perhaps you were a fast food fan or never ate vegetables. When you shift to better eating, you will enhance your future health.

What Exactly Is Eating Well?

Eating well means your diet consists of high quality nutrients, mostly plant based. This would include beans, lentils, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. High quality meat without added hormones might be a choice for you as well. Eggs too. And clean water.

This way of eating has much greater value than simply counting calories. What you put in your body, good or bad, becomes your body. Eating an adequate amount of high quality foods pays off in both weight and health.

Nutritional Healing Protocol for Lifelong Wellness

A true nutritional healing protocol consists of 5 steps, only the first of which is food-related. The rest define the way we live which impacts our nutrition in very deep ways, because the way we live is how we nourish – or don’t nourish – ourselves. Here are the 5 steps:

Eat Simple Whole Foods

Simple whole foods are those foods that come in their original form, unprocessed and without additives and preservatives. Eat local when you can, and organic when you can. Your own garden is ideal.

Move More

Movement is very important. I don’t say exercise, as that word can be a turnoff. Instead, think of the way you like to move your body, and do it a lot. Dance, practice yoga, run, swim, walk, climb, play pickle ball. It’s natural to do whatever it is you like more than a prescribed exercise.

Just Chill

Stressors are a part of our lives that we can’t escape. What we can do is follow the centenarians’ advice to stop worrying as everything has a way of working out. Surely, these hundred-year-olds have had their share of stressors through life, yet this is their message.

What is damaging with stress is not the stress itself, but your response to it. Find ways to let things go. Identify what you have control over, and let go of the rest. You can hear a sampling of my stress meditation or read about it.

Cut the Negative, Add the Positive

Surround yourself with positive things, experiences and people who make you laugh and who appreciate you. Filling your mind and your life with positive thoughts and positive people is one of the healthiest things you can do for mind, body and spirit.

Find Your Purpose

No matter how simple or how profound, figure out a reason to get up in the morning. It is the most energizing thing you can do. It is how we express and embrace our true self.

Which of these steps is already a part of your everyday life? Are there any that you feel you haven’t given much time to but feel they would help you?

When our lifestyle includes the whole package, it lowers our risk for illness. What’s better, it can be a great source of the kind of energy that puts a spring in your step and a true love of being alive.

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Source: CareTips

5 Ways to Prepare for the Terrifying and Exciting Transition to Retirement

Transition to Retirement

There’s no advance warning system to predict one’s response to retirement.

You can chat yourself up before the actual day arrives. You can bathe in some fuzzy ‘before-glow’ about the leisurely life you’re about to experience. However, nothing can prepare you for the moment your world shifts from deadlines and demands to dead time and sweat pants.

Assuredly, you can’t return to the office. That special ‘it’s all about me’ place of refuge where everybody knows your name is off limits. Your month-long career celebration left work buddies too exhausted to watch you circle the cubicles in yet another victory lap.

The world you knew has gone silent.

No emails. No voice mails. No texts. You’re a freshman member in the state of ‘carefree,’ perfectly depicted by the lyrics to Kenny Chesneys, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems

But that is the problem. You’re conditioned to dead-heats… not dead-stops.

The Unremitting Series of Sprints Leading to Retirement

You’ve been traveling at the speed of light since the age of five. First, you were unceremoniously nudged into Kindergarten. It was a year-long Nirvana experience where unsuspecting children are tantalized – Pied Piper style – by the soft indulgences of finger painting, peaceful naps and sing-a-longs.

Then, unfortunately, you get kidnapped into a Twilight Zone of commitment that will become the rest of your life.

Caught on an education carousel, your life becomes a series of cycles. You go through grade school, high school, college, career, the start of family, real estate purchases, recessions, depressions, regressions and hard-won victories on an unbalanced ladder of achievement.

You have to stay alert to all this, while also keeping vigil over the ultimate exit strategy – a 401K savings plan frighteningly sensitive to the whims of every volatile global situation, from Brexit to Kim Jong Un.

It’s a marathon race lasting 60 years, at the end of which you’ve run so far over the cliff’s edge, there’s no solid ground beneath you. Emotional gravity takes over for the quick plunge toward earth. Without a strong internal sense of purpose, you’ll soon find that retirement – just like ageing – isn’t for the weak.

The Cold Turkey Dive into the Retirement Pool

Three weeks into the deep end, and I’m sorting through some emotional jitters of my own.

During evenings of wine-induced glibness preceding the big day, promises were made to myself and others that I’d shine with an intense new light in my post-career career.

Those regrettably delivered commitments have created a pressure cooker of demand for great ideas that are not readily forthcoming. Synapses were apparently damaged in the fall.

I should get a simple job. Make myself useful. A greeter at Walmart. Or grocery packer at the nearest supermarket. Nothing strenuous or challenging.

I reach out to my financial adviser for emotional support:

  • Have I retired too early? No
  • Do I have enough money to live comfortably? Yes
  • What if I live to be 100? No worries.
  • What’s your prognosis for the market this year? We’ve discussed this a million times. You can’t time the market.
  • Couldn’t we earmark even a small amount of cash for me to execute some day trading? Under no circumstances.

With God-like patience, he listened. Then he defined the difference between his services and the services of a good psychiatrist.

Perhaps a new life mission statement was in order. Something resonant enough to return me to those halcyon Chicken Soup for the Soul days.

To move faster toward that goal, I thought actively about enrolling in Tony Robbin’s highly-touted, Firewalk, that speedy trip over burning hot coals, guaranteed to overcome unconscious fears and master personal development.

Then again, maybe not.

So I went old school and began a slow drive onto that worn highway of existential pain commonly known as the To-Do list. But while pondering weak and weary over next steps it became clear I was currently more suited to work on my honey’s honey-do list until mental clarity was restored.

And then it happened, while hanging family photos in the den of our new home, re-energized by simple engagement with what’s truly important, I developed this:

A Simple Global Positioning Guide For Retirement’s First Phase

  • Give yourself time to parachute to a soft landing. Start retirement with a long vacation.
  • It’s not about how you fill your days, it’s about the self-fulfilling waiting to be found in those days.
  • Reinvest in relationships with important significant others in your life and find sustenance.
  • Listen to the wisdom of your inner voice and commit only to those things you might not regret in six months or one year.
  • Take out that old box of Crayolas. Start to draw like that crazy Kindergarten kid who wasn’t afraid to go outside of the lines.

Article completed! Intellectual juices now coursing through my veins!

 
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Source: CareTips

What is Frontotemporal Dementia? Get the Essential Facts

frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia tends to start at younger ages

Frontotemporal dementia is the 5th most common cause of dementia. It’s also referred to as FTD or frontal lobe dementia.

It’s estimated that there are 50,000 to 60,000 people with FTD in the United States. It often occurs between the ages of 45 and 65, but can also start as early as age 20 or as late as the 80s.

We explain what frontotemporal dementia is, common symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, how it compares to Alzheimer’s, risk factors, and treatment options.


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What is frontotemporal dementia?

Frontotemporal dementia can be challenging for doctors to diagnose. The signs and symptoms can be very different from one person to another. In the past, people were often misdiagnosed with depression, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer’s disease.

FTD affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It’s sometimes called frontal lobe dementia and used to be known as Pick’s disease.

The affected areas of the brain control personality, emotions, behavior, executive functioning, and speech. At first, frontotemporal disorders leave other brain regions untouched, including those that control short-term memory.

FTD is divided into 3 categories based on the most prominent symptoms in each:

  • Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) – affects personality and behavior
  • Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) – first affects speech, then behavior
  • Progressive nonfluent aphasia – causes loss of ability to recall and speak words

 

Frontotemporal dementia symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of frontotemporal dementia are extreme changes in behavior and personality.

In the early stages of FTD, people typically have one type of symptom. As the disease progresses, more types of symptoms will appear as more parts of the brain are affected.

It’s important to know that these behaviors are caused by physical damage inside the brain and aren’t things the person can control or contain. Often, they aren’t even aware that their behavior has changed or that it’s become a problem.

Common behavioral and personality symptoms (especially in bvFTD)

  • Changes in personality and mood – like becoming depressed, self-centered, or withdrawn
  • Avoiding socializing or being unwilling to talk
  • Repetitive or obsessive behavior
  • Lack of inhibition or lack of social tact
  • A decline in personal hygiene
  • Lack of judgment
  • Apathy – like no longer paying attention to hobbies and interests
  • Lack of awareness of thinking or behavioral changes
  • Loss of empathy and other interpersonal skills
  • Increasingly inappropriate actions like unusual verbal, physical or sexual behavior
  • Changes in eating habits, especially overeating
  • Weight gain due to overeating
  • Putting things in the mouth or trying to eat inedible objects

However, people with FTD can usually keep track of day-to-day events and understand what’s going on around them. And people with bvFTD usually keep their language skills and memory until late in the disease.

Common speech and language symptoms (especially in PPA)

  • Difficulty finding the right word or in calling objects by the correct name
  • Trouble with reading and writing
  • Losing the ability to understand or put together words in a spoken sentence
  • Speaking in a very hesitant or ungrammatical way

Some people with FTD could have severe problems recalling and understanding words, but still be able to speak fairly normally. But as the disease progresses, less and less language is used until the person becomes practically mute.

Common movement symptoms
In later stages, people develop movement problems. Some people may develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gherig’s disease).

  • Tremors
  • Rigid muscles
  • Muscle spasms or weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty swallowing

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Diagnosing frontotemporal dementia

There isn’t a single test that specifically diagnoses FTD. Doctors must try to identify certain characteristics while ruling out other possible causes, like liver or kidney disease.

It can be especially difficult to diagnose in the early stages because the symptoms often overlap with those of other conditions.

Standard testing may include blood tests, MRI, CT scan, PET scan, and neuropsychological testing.

Tests used to diagnose frontotemporal dementia include:

  • Blood tests to help identify other conditions that could cause similar symptoms
  • Neuropsychological testing to check judgment and memory skills as well as to help determine the type of dementia, especially at an early stage
  • Brain imaging to check for tumors, bleeding, or blood clots
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests to give doctors a detailed image of the brain
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans to create images of brain in layers

 

The difference between Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia

Age at diagnosis
Most people with frontotemporal dementia are diagnosed between ages 45 and 65. The majority of Alzheimer’s cases happen in people over age 65.

Memory loss
With FTD, problems with memory may show up in advanced stages. In Alzheimer’s, memory problems show up early in the disease and tends to be a more prominent symptom.

Behavior changes
Changes in behavior are an early sign of FTD and often are the first noticeable symptoms. Behavior changes are also common as Alzheimer’s progresses, but they usually occur later in the disease.

Problems with spatial orientation (like getting lost in familiar places) are more common with Alzheimer’s than with FTD. Hallucinations and delusions are also more common as Alzheimer’s progresses, but not very common in FTD.

Speech
People who have FTD often have more problems speaking, understanding speech, and reading than people with Alzheimer’s.

People with Alzheimer’s might have trouble thinking of the right word or remembering names, but they usually have less trouble making sense when they speak, understanding when others speak, or reading.

 

Frontotemporal dementia risk factors

Today, the only known risk factor for developing FTD is if you have a family history of dementia.

However, not everyone with a family history will develop FTD. It’s estimated that more than half of people diagnosed with FTD don’t have a family history of dementia.

 

Frontotemporal dementia treatment and life expectancy

Unfortunately, like other dementias, FTD is a progressive disease with no cure. That means the symptoms will worsen over time. The speed of decline will be different for each person.

Treatment options
Current treatments focus on easing symptoms, but can’t slow the progression. There are medications that can be used to improve quality of life by reducing behavioral symptoms.

Medications that may be used to reduce behavioral problems include:

  • Antidepressants like trazodone
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft (sertraline) or Luvox (fluvoxamine)
  • Antipsychotics like Zyprexa (olanzapine) or Seroquel (quetiapine)

Important: These medications must be used with caution because the side effects include an increased risk of death in people with dementia.

Speech therapy could also help with language issues by teaching alternate communication strategies.

Life expectancy
Frontotemporal dementia shortens a person’s life span. Each person is different, but most people with FTD live 6 to 8 years after the first symptoms appear.

FTD will eventually cause a person to have difficulty with essential bodily functions like chewing, swallowing, moving around, and controlling the bladder and bowels. These changes can cause serious infections in the lungs, urinary tract, and skin – leading to death.

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Silver Roots


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The post What is Frontotemporal Dementia? Get the Essential Facts appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

5 Everyday Health Hacks for Women Over 60

Everyday-Health-Hacks-for-Women-Over-60

“Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

January, the month of resolutions and new beginnings, is quickly passing. What is it you want to accomplish with your health this year?

It’s easy to think that we need to go all out to change our health for the better. Making lofty, unachievable goals, can put a quick ending to any thoughts of improvement. If you have intentions of improving your health this year, simple, small steps will help you accomplish them.

By age 60 we see the big picture. Sure, it would be nice to be a size 6 or 8, but is that the most important thing we can do? At this age, we’re wise enough to know that health is far more important than the size of our clothes.

We see friends around us falling ill, and it changes our perspective. It’s not the perfect bikini body we strive for – it’s the healthy body; if it also looks good, so much the better. The question is: how do we get there?

Here are 5 simple healthy hacks to keep you going strong:

Love Your Body

Make a conscious statement every day about your body. Stop criticizing it. It’s the only home you will ever live in. When you appreciate it, you will put good food in it.

Eat Breakfast

Did you know this is the meal centenarians value the most? People in the Blue Zones – i.e., populations with longest lives – wouldn’t think of starting the day without breakfast.

Stop Night Eating

Your body’s digestive system does much more than digest food. It has immune receptors and it generates serotonin, the happy hormone.

If you give your body 12 hours between your last meal and next day’s breakfast, your digestive system can rest and regenerate all its functions. It’s also the proven way to prevent obesity. Refer back to my post on the circadian rhythm’s role in weight management.

Eat More Vegetables

We all know that vegetables are good for us. Include all the colors, and eat the ones you like. Don’t eat vegetables you don’t like. There are enough choices in all the colors for you to find the ones you enjoy. I often include vegetables with my breakfast so I get a good start in my daily vegetable count.

Drink More Water

Many women are afraid to drink more water for fear of needing to get up through the night. When you gradually add water with the goal of getting 7-8 glasses a day, your body’s cells will absorb more water; it will not go to your bladder.

So there you have it. When you make these hacks part of your life, everything changes for the better.

It’s Flu Season

Winter can be a tough time for colds and flu. It’s especially important at this time of year so follow the 5 hacks and do a few other things:

  • Avoid large crowds. I love going to the movies in the winter, but I’m choosing theaters that have low attendance instead of the large multi-cinema showcases.
  • Get enough rest and stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Eat medicinal foods. Check out my Wellness and You post for more information.
  • Have some homeopathic remedies at home.
  • Manage your stress. Have you noticed you are more vulnerable when you are all stressed out?
  • Have fun and filter out the negative noise. Laughter is truly the best medicine.
  • If you have to fly, check out my post for limiting exposure to bacteria.

What do you do to stay happy and have fun? Do you have a circle of friends? A loving spouse or companion? Do you spend time outdoors or have a hobby? Are you studying or working on something you love? Please join the conversation below!

The post 5 Everyday Health Hacks for Women Over 60 appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

A Brisk Walk and Good Food Make Up the Recipe for Longevity

senior woman benefits of walking

One brisk walk a day is enough to cut the risk of early death by as much as 15 per cent, according to Public Health England. I read this in my nightly download of stories of centenarians. Fifteen percent! That’s a pretty good payoff for one brisk walk a day, don’t you think?

My Recent Experience

I gave a talk about nutrition and lifelong wellness at a retirement community today. My advice on how to live long and die short? Eat well, move and relax, don’t worry.

I was in the hall talking with a resident after the program. She pointed to the back of a man who was walking briskly down the hall. “He’s 104,” she said.

These are very informed residents who want to stay well. They are willing to do the work to live long and die short.

The Questions and Some Simple Answers

As a result, they had many questions: Are eggs good for you? Skim or full fat milk? Milk at all? What foods should I eat to support my under active thyroid? Is beef okay to eat? How about mushrooms?

It would take some time to thoroughly answer these questions, but briefly stated, the answer to all of them is whatever you eat, begin with simple whole fresh foods that have not been treated with antibiotics or hormones.

Food Is Important

Know the source of your food. Buy local whenever you can so you can know the answers. You may hear that eating quality food is too expensive. If so, contact me and I’ll give you a shopping list that will get you what you need for under 50 USD a week.

Take into account what you like to eat. There are enough foods to choose from – you can choose from more than 100 vegetables alone. You can always find a healthy choice. No one wants to suffer through vegetables or grains or fish or meat that they simply don’t like.

You may be someone who has dieted off and on throughout your life. If so, you may have missed the pleasure and satisfaction of consistently eating high quality foods and maintaining a healthy weight.

Well, it’s not too late to foster a new relationship with food. See what a program like 6 Weeks to Diet Freedom can do for you.

Longevity Is Almost Sure

Because of modern medicine and improvements in the general quality of life, most of us will live very long lives. What do you want that to look like for you? Will you be able to enjoy your later years? Will you be spending your money doing things you enjoy, or will it all be going to health care?

How we live in our 60s and 70s will either set the pace for a long healthy life or lead us toward a decline in our health. Taking that simple brisk walk, eating quality food, and connecting to people and things you enjoy will raise the likelihood for a happy end of life.

How motivated are you to do the simple things of walking and eating well each day? Do you think it’s worth the effort to live to be like that 104-year-old man I saw yesterday? Leave your comments below.

The post A Brisk Walk and Good Food Make Up the Recipe for Longevity appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

7 Qualities of a Good Entrepreneur That Will Help You Start a Business in Retirement

Start-a-Business-in-Retirement

In a previous blog, I offered some points to consider when you decide to become an entrepreneur in retirement. This time I would like to look at the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur.

It is not a failsafe guarantee, and I am living proof, as I sold one business successfully, only to have the next one liquidated.

If you google the topic you will come up with many suggestions. I would like to present the 7 qualities that I think will stand you in good stead as you set out on your entrepreneurial journey:

Decisive and Action-Oriented

There are going to be many decisions you will need to take, not only as you get started, but along the way, so an ability to sort the wood from the trees and make clear decisions as well as action them will be an advantage.

As the entrepreneur, you will dictate the direction of the business, so everyone involved will be looking to you to make decisions. Wavering indicates indecisiveness and will leave people feeling insecure.

Self-Disciplined, Self-Starter

When you decide to start your own business, you need to realise that nothing will happen if you do not do it. Entrepreneurs tend to be natural self-starters, but the discipline to keep going despite distractions is essential.

Many who have been in the structure of corporate life do not realise the social distractions that pop up when you are not working to a rigid timetable.

As an entrepreneur, you will also need to get things done outside office hours, even if it is only to catch up with backroom chores, such as keeping the books up to date!

Passion

If you do not have a passion for your product or service, it is going to be difficult to keep going during the tough times. The road to success is seldom straight and it is your passion that is going to keep you on that road when it twists and turns.

Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to continue on despite setbacks. You started the business and you believe you are on the right road.

It may involve improving your service delivery or fine-tuning your product, but you need to be able to go back to the drawing board every time you get feedback, to keep ahead of your competition.

Assertiveness and Confidence

The quiet, withdrawn person will find life hard as an entrepreneur. You will need to push your product and you will have to demonstrate complete confidence that you are doing the right thing.

Any visible hesitation and you will lose credibility. That does not mean you can’t have a failure of confidence with your close friend, but ideally never in front of your client.

Willingness to Learn

Seldom do we get things perfect the first time with our product, service, and delivery. A successful entrepreneur learns from their mistakes, listens for feedback and then acts on it. You also need to analyse your competition and learn from what they are doing.

Courage and Risk-Taking

If you are frightened of risk, then perhaps entrepreneurship is not for you. The successful business thrives when you are doing something new and are playing out there ahead of the competition. You will need to tread the path not yet followed if you really want to be successful.

All of this takes courage and of course some measure of risk-taking. A word of caution. I refer here to well-considered risk-taking, not blindly following your gut.

Personally, I feel the above 7 attributes will take you a long way on your entrepreneurial journey. Good Luck!

What do you think about starting a business in retirement? What attributes do you think make an entrepreneur successful? Which of them do you lack and which do you have abundance of? Please share in the comments below.

The post 7 Qualities of a Good Entrepreneur That Will Help You Start a Business in Retirement appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

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What we offer

  • Wound Care
  • Care of chronic diseases & Education
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  • Medication management
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  • Diabetes management
  • Pain management
  • Dementia & Alzheimer
  • Assessment of blood pressure, pulse, respirations, lung sounds, blood glucose or pulse oximetry, as ordered by your doctors
  • Home Health Aide/Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Homemaker
  • Medication Reminder
  • Medical Escort
  • Companions
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Fall Prevention
  • Medical Social Worker Services

NewVision understands that navigating our healthcare system is complex for clients and families alike. That is why we also offer a comprehensive care management program that is strictly run by our advanced level nurses who are well-versed in the complexities of the healthcare system. Our approach is team-based and patient-centered, it is designed to make healthcare simple.  Services include but not limited:

  • Assess and develop individualized plan of care
  • Implementation of a comprehensive plan of care
  • Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
  • Oversee and direct care provided at home
  • Medication management and treatment plan review
  • Assist with advance directive
  • Find appropriate solutions to avoid a crisis
  • Coordinate medical appointments and medical information
  • Provide transportation to medical appointments
  • Assist families in positive decision making
  • Develop long range plans for future needs
As clients transfer from acute and/or post acute care settings back into the communities, the process can be fragmented and as a result this can be detrimental to clients with complex care needs. Transitional care is there to prevent the care gap that exist between the “handoffs” from the hospital to the outpatient care teams. Our well trained and experienced advanced level nurses and nurse practitioners will connect the pieces from the acute and/or post acute care settings accurately. Our goal is to safely link clients back into the communities in a safe manner through coordination with inpatient, outpatient care teams along with family members. Our comprehensive plan of care is design to prevent unnecessary readmissions.

Contact Info

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888-276-4747
info@newvisionhealthcare.com

Emergency Service/On-Call Clinicians Are Available: 24/7
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