alzheimer's care

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Healthy Sleep Tips

According to, it is untrue that seniors need less sleep than younger adults. Even though getting to sleep and staying asleep becomes more difficult as we grow older, adults of all ages need between seven and a half and nine hours of sleep per night. In the elderly, this rest is vital for everything from improving concentration and memory to preventing disease.

Whether you are a caregiver or trying to encourage a loved one to get more sleep, there are several ways to set the stage for a good night’s rest. Read More

Changing the Conversation about Death — Guest Post

I’d like to welcome Jackie St. George, co-founder of Harrison’s Hope,  to my blog today.


Jackie and Jason St. George founded Harrison’s Hope…A Caring Hospice in 2006.   After struggling through her son Harrison’s diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure and surgery at only 2 days old, she understands the stress and uncertainty of caring for a loved one who is ill.  Jackie is a leader in her field with over 12 years of social work experience focusing on Long Term Care, Discharge Planning in the hospital setting, and Geriatric Behavioral Psychology.  For the past seven years, she has dedicated herself to End-of-Life and Hospice care as well as educating the community.  Her passion is evidenced by the level of care Harrison’s Hope provides to our patients and their families.  In Jackie’s words, “By simply asking ‘What do our patients need?’, we find out that patients just want answers and a solution to the medical run-around they have experienced for months or even years.”  Harrison’s Hope…A Caring Hospice was awarded the 2011-2012 Integrity Counts! Award by the Better Business Bureau, confirming that Harrison’s Hope truly is setting the standard of care for hospice in the Treasure Valley.

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Financial Elder Abuse: Recognition and Prevention

154435_199045503546847_441023954_n-300x168Unfortunately, seniors are often the target of financial exploitation, and even more unfortunately, it is often family members who are doing the exploiting. Just this morning, my office received a call from one of our caregivers expressing concern about one of our clients. In this case, extended family members may be stealing funds from the senior who is suffering from dementia. I cannot begin to explain how angry this makes me when I hear about seniors being abused by their own family! Of course, our office is reporting this to our local Area Agency on Aging, and an investigation will be conducted. But since this is something that I see happening over and over again, I just want to remind you what to look for if you feel your loved one is being exploited. Read More

What is Respite Care?

Being a family caregiver is hard work, and like any difficult job, a break from the task every now and then is essential. Respite care allows for relief from the daily responsibilities of caring for someone who is ill, injured or frail. When a caregiver’s own needs for nurture, reassurance, support and respite are met, that is when caregiving is most effective and sustainable. Read More

Learn How to Empower Yourself as a Family Caregiver

When you are a family caregiver, it isn’t difficult to overlook that you need caring for as well. In order to be the best caregiver for your loved one, it is important to pay attention to your needs as well. Here are a few reminders to help empower yourself as a family caregiver: Read More

Alzheimer’s: When To Take Away The Keys

Driving is a powerful symbol of competence and independence—besides being a routine part of adult life. But the focused concentration and quick reaction time needed for safe driving tend to decline as one ages, and for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, this process accelerates dramatically. Read More

5 Things That Can Make You Happier

Here are five things that research has shown can improve happiness:

  1. Be grateful — People who were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way reported a lasting increase in happiness — over weeks and even months — after implementing the habit. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.
  2. Be optimistic — People were asked to visualize an ideal future and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.
  3. Count your blessings — People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness. The act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.
  4. Use your strengths — Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.
  5. Commit acts of kindness — It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.

Health Care Reform (From the eyes of a life-long Republican)

I am so grateful for the passage of the health care reform bill. Now my employees will actually have access to adequate health care. As a small business owner, I have been unable to afford to provide my people with company health insurance. The insurance premiums added to our other hard operating costs would have pushed us over the edge, with our operating costs being greater than our gross revenue.  No small business can stay in business long with this kind of scenario. And yet, my heart broke for the people entrusted to me. Their health and welfare is my concern. Read More

Sleep – Prescious Sleep!

Sleep hygiene is the practice of “grooming” yourself for sleep every night.

Environment: Make your bedroom safe, dark, cool and comfortable. Turn the clock face away and ban TVs, laptops, and cell phones. If you do get up during the night, don’t turn on any bright lights.

Schedule: Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day. Use very bright lights in the morning. Try not to nap during the day — or take only a 10- to 15-minute nap. Read More

Stress of the Long Distance Caregiver

Sara lives three hours a way from her father, Rick, who was widowed several years ago.

Until recently, the distance between father and daughter was not a problem.  Ever since her mother had died, Sara would make it a point to meet her dad at a restaurant located somewhere in the middle, or drive to his home with her family for an occasional Sunday or holiday visit.

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