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Making the shift from ‘me’ to ‘we’ when caring for people with Alzheimer’s

Blogger shares how changing language enhances quality of life

Caring for a person living with cognitive impairment requires caregivers to be selective about the words they use, and substituting the words “you” and “me” with “we” is one important step in this process, says Alzheimer’s expert and blogger Bob DeMarco. Read more

Editorial: Canada’s new dementia strategy creates opportunity for LTC sector

With the passing of Bill C-233 in June, Canada became the 30th country to launch a national dementia strategy. This, of course, is welcomed news for people living with dementia and their families as well as for the long-term care sector. Read more

‘Positive language’ helps increase quality of life for people with dementia, say experts

Authors note changing language is an important part of Montessori methodology

Using positive language when working with people living with dementia is an important step in enhancing quality of life, say two authors of a book examining the positive impact of Montessori methodology on people who have cognitive impairment. Read more

Careful planning, keeping things simple can create happy travels for people with dementia

Alzheimer Society offers suggestions to help families create enjoyable holidays for loved ones with cognitive impairment

Summer is now in full swing, and for many people, this is a time to take a family holiday. But what if one of your loved ones travelling with you has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? 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

New Burnbrae Gardens colouring program is proving beneficial to residents with dementia

‘I’ve never seen the residents so engaged and focused’

A resident at Burnbrae Gardens who is living with cognitive impairment sometimes becomes agitated and upset. But when life enrichment staff hand the resident some pencil crayons and pages from a colouring book, she will immediately become calm and focused. 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

iPod program proving effective at calming residents with agitation at Springdale

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LEC says staff support has helped make Music of Your Life successful

Springdale Country Manor’s Music of Your Life program is curbing agitation for residents affected by cognitive impairment, and all of the home’s staff members have contributed to this success, says Candice Stewart, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC). 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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