12 WAYS TO HELP AN ALZHEIMERS CAREGIVER

One in 10 Americans over age 65 years and almost half of those over age 85 years have Alzheimer’s disease or a related type of dementia.  Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, involves a gradual breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Affected persons lose the ability to interpret information and send messages to their bodies to behave in certain ways. Over time they experience mental, emotional, behavioral and physical changes, necessitating increasing amounts of….

PROBATE BASICS

Probate is the legal process of transferring ownership of property from the decedent to his or her heirs either by accepting the validity of their last will and testament or by following the Kentucky laws of intestacy.  For a will to be valid, it must be “self-proven” or proven as valid in court by at least one of the witnesses.  A valid will can also be holographic: written entirely in the handwriting of the decedent, signed, and dated.

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CONTAINER GARDENING

Gardens are great, but they require a lot of time, labor and money. They also require land space and good soil. Container gardening skirts all these obstacles, offering reduced time, effort and costs, and can be enjoyed in an apartment or other home lacking a yard. Vegetables and herbs can be grown in containers on a balcony, patio or walkway.

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become quite understandable when you know their origins. The focus is on maintaining dignity and replacing boredom and isolation.


The Best Friends Day Center is a dementia-specific adult day center with activities for participants, volunteer opportunities for community members and learning experiences for students in a variety of disciplines from colleges in the area. It is now affiliated with Christian Care Communities, Kentucky’s largest faith-based, non-profit provider of senior living communities and long-term care. The Center is located near Brannon Crossing on the border of Lexington and Nicholasville, Ky. It operates in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.


Learn more about the Best Friends approach at www.bestfriendsapproach.com.

Find out more about the Best Friends Adult Day Center at http://bestfriendsadultday.org or call (859) 258-2226.

Nearly 5 million Americans and about 69,000 people in Kentucky are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly one in three seniors who die each year have Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Current medications cannot cure Alzheimer’s. They only help lessen symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion, for a limited time.


We are learning what is good for the heart is good for the brain. Controlling weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia. A diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat and sodium also helps. Regular aerobic exercise (30 minutes three times or more per week), some strength and balance training and not smoking are important for heart and brain health, too. Higher education, cognitive stimulation and social interaction seem to be related to the prevention of dementia.


Health and other services are critical for assisting individuals with dementia to retain their independence by meeting their unique needs, but the everyday things in life matter if they are to keep their self-respect and quality of life. These include continuing the hobbies and activities of a lifetime; communicating with people who understand the basics of interacting with those who have dementia; and being loved, accepted and treated with dignity.

BEST FRIENDS: PROMOTING A MORE DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY

Because there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or other dementias and few effective treatments, developing ways to help people live with dementia is essential. Best Friends, an approach to caring for people with dementia, has been building dementia-friendly communities since its founding in 1984 by Virginia Bell, who was a family counselor at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the time. Dementia-friendly communities have the power to change the way people think about living with dementia. They make a fundamental shift from focusing only on meeting the physical and health needs of people with dementia to supporting them so they can achieve the best quality of life reasonably possible.


The Best Friends approach is nationally and internationally promoted. Its foundation is relationships – getting to know your friends and their life stories and using this knowledge to focus on their strengths and abilities. Best Friends staff, participants, families, volunteers and students learn how to communicate with people with dementia and help others in the community become knowledgeable and sensitive as well. Staff and volunteers listen, speak clearly with simple sentences, give compliments and ask opinions to help connect with people with dementia. Best Friends understand behaviors that seem strange or unreasonable

KATHY BLOMQUIST

Kathy Blomquist is a nurse who watched Best Friends develop when it was hosted by Second Presbyterian Church in Lexington. When she retired in 2011, it seemed natural to join the Best Friends volunteers, young and old, from all walks of life. Best Friends celebrates 500,000 volunteer hours this fall.


more articles by kathy blomquist