Just for you...tips to help with caregiving of those with dementia.

This April, Get Active and Try Some Fresh Caregiver Tips
Happy Spring! In this season of renewal, we wanted to bring you some fresh ideas to assist with caring for those with Alzheimer's or related dementias. This month's newsletters features:
  • Helpful hints for bathing 
  • Tips for getting those with Alzheimer's to eat
  • Suggestions for activities to engage your loved one 
  • Plus, some fun facts about Spring cleaning
Read on.
Activities in April are Appealing

ActivCare residents are jumping into spring this April with a calendar chock-full of events. If you want to see the full calendar, click the button below.


Bathing and Alzheimer's

We hear it all the time, "My loved one with Alzheimer's refuses to bathe." The daily personal care struggle may be so great that the act is deferred. Unfortunately, this practice could lead to unpleasant odor or infections (UTIs are common among the elderly).

Understanding why someone with dementia may be reluctant to bathe is important. The resistance can be due to fear and discomfort; modesty; loss of control; or even depression. With cognitive impairment, the bathroom can be a scary place. For example, not understanding where the water from a shower head is coming from is common and can be disconcerting when one feels vulnerable. 

The best results come from understanding the reluctance, advanced preparation, encouragement, and allowing the resident to participate (and feel that they have some control).

Convincing the Need for the Shower

Initiating the bath can be the most challenging step. Each person is different and responds to different techniques. Residents can be convinced that a doctor has required regular bathing; incentives have worked for others; framing bathing as a "spa day" where loved ones get special attention can also work. 

Incorporating devices such as hand-held shower heads, shower chairs and grab bars can add comfort, assuage fear and  reduce the risk of falling.

There are many tips to assist a caregiver with getting the resident to bathe. We have identified a few great resources for you. From Dementia Today, here's a great overview: Alzheimer's and Washing/Bathing.

From the Alzheimer's Reading Room, this is great (and honest) advice from a family caregiver that can help: 5 Tips How to Get an Alzheimer's Patient to Shower.

The Alzheimer's Association has an entire page devoted to tips for bathing those with Alzheimer's.
Getting Those with Alzheimer's to Eat

The best food in the world is great, but if you cannot get a loved one to eat, how can they benefit?

We have some ideas to share.

Some causes for a loss in appetite include:
            • Don't recognize food
            • An underlying illness (UTI or other malady)
            • Poor fitting dentures
            • Not enough exercise 
            • Medications
As cognitive function declines, so do motor skills. Using a knife and fork may seem like second nature to most, but may seem impossible for those with Alzheimer's. Consider finger foods that are easy to grab on the go for active seniors: bananas, grapes, half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or even a burrito are options. 

The Alzheimer's Association has some suggestions to make mealtimes easier. Click on the link below.
Activities for Those with Alzheimer's

The Alzheimer's Association reports that someone with Alzheimer's or related dementias does not have to give up participating in activities they enjoy. Inactivity and isolation can advance cognitive decline. Keeping someone engaged helps keep them at their highest functioning level. 

As a caregiver, safety is a huge concern. Engaging in favorite activities may pose a risk to a person's well-being if left alone or not supervised. 

To help caregivers find the right activity and to help control the environment, the Alzheimer's Association has put this list of engaging activities and ways to keep your loved one safe. Click on the link below to learn more.


The Benefits to Being Active

Put a spring in your step. Hop to it. Jump in with both feet. However you do it, get moving in April. For caregivers as well as those with dementia, staying active is important for good health. According to WebMD, exercise and fitness also have these benefits.
  1. Exercise boosts brainpower
  2. Movement melts away stress
  3. Exercise gives you energy
  4. Exercise lets you eat more
  5. Exercise boosts performance
See the full list and learn more here:  Top 10 Fitness Benefits
Ah, spring, a time for a deep spring cleaning. If you want a fresh start to the season, you will want to clean out the old. We have some fun trivia about cleaning.

Did You Know...
  • If you clean for two hours, you burn 200 calories.
  • The average person spends 87% of their time indoors.
  • The average kitchen sponge can contain 4 billion living germs. Pop it in the microwave for two minutes to kill germs and prolong its life.
Alternative Cleaners
  • Lemons are a great disinfectant...vinegar is too.
  • Banana peels can be great for cleaning your leather shoes.
  • Mouthwash can clean floors. If you run out of cleaner, add a capful of mouthwash for every gallon of water.
  • Ketchup makes a great silver cleaner.
  • Don't have steel wool? Scrub with aluminum foil instead.
  • Vinegar can be used as a de-greaser - add a few drops to your dishwashing soap for extra shine.
ActivCare at Rolling Hills Ranch  |  850 Duncan Ranch Rd  |  Chula Vista, CA  91914
619-552-3517  |   ActivCareLiving.com