Many clients have asked us over the years for advice about connecting with a loved one who has dementia. In this video, Tim Tholen, CEO and Founder of Thoughtful Health Care and its affiliates in Kansas City, talks about how to maintain a relationship with a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia.Continue reading
Category: Dementia Care
Why Plan Outings?
Making an effort to keep a loved one socially engaged can keep him or her feeling upbeat and joyful. Since people who have dementia tend to suffer from isolation and depression, an outing can provide a loved one with something to look forward to, and it livens up the day-to-day routine.Continue reading
After a diagnosis of dementia, it’s natural to want answers to all of the questions that follow the news. It can be overwhelming, and there is a steep learning curve. This is why Thoughtful Healthcare and our affiliates have created a video specifically for new caregivers, to help them understand the steps to take once a diagnosis of dementia has been given.
Every family has different needs, and no two cases of dementia are alike. But Tim Tholen, Founder and CEO of Thoughtful Healthcare, lends his the experience, walking viewers through the discovery process, giving answers for questions that families living in Kansas City might not have considered to ask about living with dementia.
Watch the “Mom’s Been Diagnosed With Dementia” video below.
Loved ones caring for people diagnosed with dementia will want to know about the diagnosis itself—whether Parkinson’s Lewy Body or Alzheimer’s. Progressions of diseases can vary, so it’s important to get educated about treatments and new medications. Routines will probably need to be altered, and more support may be needed.
That’s where Kansas City Home Care comes in—we are a locally owned, Kansas City metro area in-home care provider here to give answers to all of your questions.
For more information about Kansas City Home Care visit the Kansas City Home Care website.
Got a case of the holiday blues? Rest assured you’re not the only one who doesn’t feel joyous when the holiday decorations go on display and the festive music begins to play in every Kansas City store and on every radio station. Many seniors feel sad around the holidays.Continue reading
Overland Park, KS – When you live many miles away from your loved one with dementia, the separation complicates caregiving. Concerns about the person’s safety, nutrition and health can be overwhelming at times.Here are some strategies to manage long-distance caregiving.
If the person with Alzheimer’s disease lives alone, he or she may have difficulty managing daily tasks. Identify what kind of help he or she may need to remain independent in the home for as long as possible. When you visit you loved one, observe the following:
- Is there food in the refrigerator? Is it spoiled? Is the person eating regular meals?
- What is the condition of the inside and the outside of the home? Has it changed?
- Are the bills paid? Are there piles of unopened mail?
- Do friends and relatives visit regularly?
- What is the person’s personal appearance? Is the person bathing and grooming?
- Is the person still able to drive safely?
Building a list of contact people and resources can help you coordinate care from a distance.
- Family, friends and neighbors. Make a list of their phone numbers and addresses. Ask if you can check in with them to find out how your loved one is doing. They may also be willing to stop by your loved one’s home for regular visits.
- Your loved one’s doctor. Keep in contact with the person’s doctor. The doctor can call you if there are concerns about the person’s mental or physical well being.
- Community organizations. Check with local churches, temples, neighborhood groups and volunteer organizations. They may provide meal delivery, transportation or companion services.
- Home care services. You can hire home health care workers to help the person with bathing, personal care activities, preparing meals and taking medications. Hiring a geriatric care manager can help you assess and monitor the overall needs of your loved one and communicate with you regularly about his or her well-being.
Make the most of visits
Few long-distance caregivers are able to spend as much time with their loved one as they would like. The key is to use your time wisely :
- Make appointments with your loved one’s physician, lawyer and financial adviser during your visit to participate in any decision- making.
- Meet with neighbors, friends and other relatives to hear how they think the person is doing. Ask if there have been any behavioral changes, health problems or safety issues.
- Take time to reconnect with your loved one by talking, listening to music, going for a walk or participating in activities you enjoy together.
There will come a time when your loved one will no longer be able to live alone. One of the decisions you might consider is moving the person into your home. Here are some things to think about:
- Does he or she want to move? What about his or her spouse?
- Is your home adapted to support the person?
- Will someone be at home to care for the person?
- How does the rest of the family feel about the move?
- How will this move affect your job, family and finances?
- What respite services are available in your community to assist you?
Moving a person with Alzheimer’s disease from familiar surroundings may cause increased agitation and confusion. Talk with your loved one’s physician or a social worker and call the Alzheimer’s Association for assistance before making a decision. In some situations, an assisted living or a residential care setting may be a better option for the individual.
Resolving family conflicts
Caregiving issues can often ignite or magnify family conflicts, especially when people cope differently with caregiving responsibilities. Family members may deny what is happening, resent you for living far away or believe you are not helping enough. There may also be disagreement about financial and care decisions.
To reduce conflicts, acknowledge these feelings and work through them.
- Have a family meeting. Talking about caregiving roles and responsibilities, problems and feelings can help ease tensions. You may want help from a professional counselor or clergy.
- Recognize differences. Some family members may be hands-on caregivers, responding immediately to issues and organizing resources. Others may be more comfortable with being told to complete specific tasks.
- Share caregiving responsibilities. Make a list of tasks and include how much time, money and effort may be involved to complete them. Divide tasks according to the family member’s preferences and abilities.
- Continue to talk. Family meetings or conference calls keep the family up-to-date and involved. Discuss how things are working, reassess the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s, and decide if any changes in responsibilities are needed.