LEA discusses strengths needed when leading programming for residents with cognitive impairment

‘You have to adapt to the environment, the situation and the behaviour at the moment’

Forest Hill life enrichment aide (LEA) Shannon Lynch says leading programming with residents who have cognitive impairment requires team members to focus on preventing responsive behaviours while being a multitasker who is caring for each resident’s needs. Read more

Expert offers tips on helping people with dementia enjoy meals

‘Be patient are the key words here’

It can be challenging to encourage people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to eat full meals, but Bob DeMarco, an expert on Alzheimer’s disease and founder of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, has provided some ideas to help caregivers. Read more

Keeping hands busy fends off agitation, increases residents’ appetite: LEC

Finger-painting on an iPad and potato-peeling are among activities that are helping West Lake residents most

West Lake Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Janie Denard says programming aimed at enhancing quality of life for residents affected by cognitive impairment is not only preventing agitation, it’s also increasing appetites. Read more

Website launched to help women cope with Alzheimer’s

WomenandAlzheimers.org provides information and resources for women affected by dementia and caregivers

The vast majority of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia are women. To coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, a U.S.-based Alzheimer’s research support organization has launched a website dedicated to helping women find valuable information to help cope with Alzheimer’s. Read more

Memory games, makeshift Snoezelen, room among successful interventions at Kentwood Park

Kentwood Park

Activities customized to best meet needs of residents with cognitive impairment

The Kentwood Park life enrichment team has created several interventions to ensure residents of all cognitive abilities are fully engaged in programming. Read more

Alzheimer Society creates new resources to help families and LTC staff collaborate on care

‘Families may have never been to a long-term care home before, so we’re trying to help them understand that they have a very important role to play’

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has recently created a new set of resources to help ease the transition for people living with cognitive impairment into long-term care homes. The resources are also aimed at helping long-term-care home staff and families work together to make the transition easier for new residents. Read more

Collaborative approach helps create meaningful connections for people with dementia

Caregivers and families can work together to discover best approaches

Many people with dementia living in long-term care homes are in the late stages of the disease and may have difficulty verbally communicating. This can make it challenging for their families and caregivers to connect with them, but there are tools available to help create meaningful connections, says the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s director of education Mary Schulz. Read more

Alzheimer Society’s 2017 campaign focuses on how dementia impacts everyone

‘If you talk to random people, everyone has been touched by this condition’

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affects more Canadians than the 564,000 the Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates are living with the condition. This is a key message behind this year’s awareness campaign. Read more

Editorial: First step to ending Alzheimer’s stigma is talking about it

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Renowned actor Gene Wilder passed away Aug. 29 at age 83 after what initial media reports described as a “long illness.” Many around the world expressed shock when it was soon revealed Wilder had succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease, a condition he had lived with for several years. Read more

Evidenced-based toolkit aims to ease ER transfers for people with dementia

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New checklists are the result of collaboration between Alzheimer Society and University of Alberta

Transferring to a hospital emergency room can be traumatic for a person with dementia. The Alzheimer Society of Canada has recently created a toolkit to try to make this process less stressful.

The toolkit, which includes checklists and forms, is the result of collaboration between the Alzheimer Society and University of Alberta nursing professors Belinda Parke and Kathleen Hunter. The checklists and forms were developed using feedback from people living with dementia who have had a recent emergency-room experience and emergency-room staff.

The researchers who created the toolkit wanted to understand what the experience was like, what obstacles were present and what would have helped ease the situation. The researchers’ findings are the toolkit’s foundation.

The checklists cover three areas: going to hospital, being in hospital and going home from hospital. Information about the person as well as their contacts, medications, wishes, personal belongings and going-home plan are included.

The toolkit can be used by staff members in long-term care homes as well as by people caring for a person with dementia at home.

“Going to the emergency room is difficult for anyone, (but) when a person has dementia, that difficulty is magnified because of their inability to understand what is going on in their environment,” Mary Schulz, the Alzheimer Society’s education director, tells The OMNIway.

“They are in a strange, noisy place, surrounded by people they don’t know, and their routine is thrown off, so it’s a place where people with dementia are most likely not going to do very well.”

Having these checklists readily available is important for caregivers of people with dementia because a hospital visit can be unexpected. The best way to ease the transition to an emergency department for a person with dementia is to be prepared, Schulz says.

“(If people are not prepared) the treatment may be inappropriate, it may be, at best, uncomfortable, and may be so disorienting that the person with dementia loses some of the abilities that they have,” she adds.

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