9 Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

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The word “Alzheimer’s” sends shivers up the spine when we hear it in relationship to our own loved ones. This very common form of dementia attacks the brain and causes the decline of cognitive functions – thinking, memory, judgment. Each person reacts differently to the disease but what is certain is that it will progress and it progresses faster in some than others.

There is good news on the horizon. Pharmaceutical companies are spending billions for research and development for new drugs that “might” slow or stop the progression of the disease. Two such drugs are already on the market. As with all diseases, the sooner you know you have it, the sooner you can begin to plan for it.

Do you know these basic signs of Alzheimer’s?

  • Loss of memory that affects the ability to perform normal tasks
    Forgetting the work tasks, colleagues’ names or telephone numbers in the moment normal. 90% of the time, you remember them later. People with Alzheimer’s often forget these tasks, names and numbers forever.
  • Problems with doing normal activities
    Leaving carrots on the stove too long is the sign of a busy person. Leaving carrots on the stove perfectly steamed but forgetting to eat them can be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
  • Speech problems
    We all can have issues remembering or finding the correct word for a situation but Alzheimer’s will take the simplest nouns and verbs out of the vocabulary. As the disease progresses, descriptions of basic colors such as black dog, white wall and green grass are lost.
  • Time and local disorientation
    Forgetting what day it is or which street you’re on from time to time is normal. Getting lost going home from the grocery store that you visit every week can be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
  • Poor or worsening rational judgment
    Everyone has irrational moments but an Alzheimer’s sufferer has almost no judgement or filter. The daily tasks they used to do no longer exist in their mind and daily functions like dressing and bathing can be forgotten.
  • Place items in inappropriate places
    Everyone can misplace their wallet, glasses or keys. A person with Alzheimer’s disease will place items in completely absurd places: iron in a refrigerator or a watch in a dishwasher.
  • Changes in mood or behavior
    Everyone has mood changes which is often a reaction to your environment. A person with Alzheimer’s is subject to sudden and unexpected severe mood swings with no environmental change.
  • Personality changes
    It’s normal for a personality to change with environment and age. Alzheimer’s can cause fundamental personality changes such as paranoia, fear and inappropriate behavior.
  • Loss of initiative
    From time to time we all become a little bored with our jobs and/or life. The normal response is to ‘move forward’ – do something new or different. With Alzheimer’s even the desire to eat, walk, talk becomes too much. It’s replaced with sitting in a chair, usually watching TV.

Do any of the above-mentioned signs sound familiar? If the answer is yes, it’s time to have your loved one evaluated. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is upsetting but there are positive steps everyone can take to make this as easy as possible for those affected. Give us a call or use our contact form for a FREE consultation.

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“(Super) Heroes Are Made Not Born!

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OMG!! Stan Lee the MAKER of super heroes died!  As most of us know, he was the creative genius behind most of Marvel’s super heroes, BUT his wife Joanie was the business force behind their successful business.  He left a $70 million estate.

Joanie was the woman behind the man!  She pushed him to break the “perfect man” mold and show super heroes as flawed humans doing the best they could with what they had.  She also handled the business side and no one could get to our super hero without his business partner’s approval. Why?  Because, without Joanie, Lee would have lost tens of millions of dollars because he couldn’t say ‘no’.

Joanie and Stan did what Parent Your Parents advocates – they preplanned! BUT they preplanned for Stan to die first – it never occurred to them that Joanie would predecease Stan.  As a consequence, in the last year of Stan’s life, $1.4 million disappeared from his bank account.  During that time,  he hired several lawyers and accountants to advise him on his money and estate.  All we know is that they took his money, there is no evidence of cogent estate advice.

The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) studies show that one in nine seniors report financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect annually.  One in twenty adults indicate some form of perceived financial mistreatment.  Older adults are simply more susceptible to being influenced by others.  This means there can be several documents floating around which in turn can create tangled webs in estate planning.  When an estate isn’t clearly delineated, lawyers win.

This is why the Parent Your Parents mantra: PrePlanis so important.  Plan for long term care, plan for incapacitation, plan for estate distribution and PLAN IT ALL TOGETHER.  Whether it’s $70,000 or $70 million find a trusted advisor, draw up the documents and put them in a safety deposit box.  Never assume that one is going to die before the other – accidents happen.

Do this earlier vs. later – it’s so much easier to plan in your sixties and seventies and it allows you to LIVE LIFE  . . . no matter when, where or how you die, your wishes are known!

 

 

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Resources for Caregiving from Afar

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Our resource partner, Claire Wentz http://caringfromafar.com/, wrote this informative article we thought you would enjoy!

Sometimes, living close to a senior parent who needs support isn’t an option. Uprooting a family to get closer to them would be massively complicated or even impossible, while aging parents tend to dislike the idea of leaving somewhere they’ve lived for years. In these instances, your best bet is to learn how to be a long-distance caregiver, which isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are plenty of extremely useful resources out there that can make long-distance caregiving a lot more manageable. We have rounded up a few of our favorites.

 

Healthcare Information

 

It’s essential for you to stay informed on any changes to your loved one’s healthcare provisions. The best way to do this is through Medicare websites, which contain an array of helpful information detailing the most useful resourcesavailable. These can help you with everything from enrollment to the plans available in your state and information on supplemental plans covering things like prescription drugs or dental care.

 

Help With Household Tasks

 

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges long-distance caregivers face is that you can’t give your loved one the practical support they need for everyday tasks. However, the internet makes it easier than ever to hire help for just about anything.

 

For instance, if your mom has a dog to keep her company but struggles to walk her pet regularly, you can hire a dog walker  (or even a pet sitterfor when they need to travel) on sites like Rover. Meanwhile, TaskRabbit has a huge database of people ready to helpwith things like cleaning, home improvement, and general handyman jobs.

 

The benefit of these platforms is that you can either teach your loved one to use them at their will, or you can do the searching and hiring yourself if they don’t like using the internet.

 

Technology

 

TechForAging offers an extremely detailed guidethat focuses specifically on wearables to help keep older adults healthy and safe. Wearable technology to support senior adults has come a long way. Nowadays, there are more options than ever from alert devices to easy-to-use health monitors.

 

You can also leverage technology to support your parent through the use of smartphone apps. Senior Livinghas a useful list from informational apps containing advice and support to entertainment apps that can help keep their brains sharp through games and puzzles.

 

If your parent has trouble working a smartphone at all, consider investing in a senior-friendly model. Features to look for include big, bright screens, simplified user experiences, and integrated accessibility settings.

 

Socialization

 

One of the main things you need to watch out for when monitoring your parent is whether they are getting enough socialization. Loneliness and isolationin the seniors is a big issue, and one that can easily lead to depression and other mental health problems. While you can’t force your mom to get out of the house and meet friends, you can guide her in the right direction.

 

Time Money suggests numerous ways in which seniors are leveraging online resourcesto find new friends, from Facebook groups to community-based social groups. Have a look online to see if you can find activities your parent might be interested in, whether it’s an online network, a senior center, or a knitting club.

 

Long-distance caregiving can be emotionally taxing, but it’s not impossible. There is plenty of support, advice, and practical help available both online and in the real world. By using these resources, you can ensure your parent is happy and well when you can’t always be physically nearby.

 

Sometimes, living close to a senior parent who needs support isn’t an option. Uprooting a family to get closer to them would be massively complicated or even impossible, while aging parents tend to dislike the idea of leaving somewhere they’ve lived for years. In these instances, your best bet is to learn how to be a long-distance caregiver, which isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are plenty of extremely useful resources out there that can make long-distance caregiving a lot more manageable. We have rounded up a few of our favorites.

Healthcare Information

It’s essential for you to stay informed on any changes to your loved one’s healthcare provisions. The best way to do this is through Medicare websites, which contain an array of helpful information detailing the most useful resourcesavailable. These can help you with everything from enrollment to the plans available in your state and information on supplemental plans covering things like prescription drugs or dental care.

Help With Household Tasks

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges long-distance caregivers face is that you can’t give your loved one the practical support they need for everyday tasks. However, the internet makes it easier than ever to hire help for just about anything.

For instance, if your mom has a dog to keep her company but struggles to walk her pet regularly, you can hire a dog walker  (or even a pet sitterfor when they need to travel) on sites like Rover. Meanwhile, TaskRabbit has a huge database of people ready to helpwith things like cleaning, home improvement, and general handyman jobs.

The benefit of these platforms is that you can either teach your loved one to use them at their will, or you can do the searching and hiring yourself if they don’t like using the internet.

Technology

TechForAging offers an extremely detailed guidethat focuses specifically on wearables to help keep older adults healthy and safe. Wearable technology to support senior adults has come a long way. Nowadays, there are more options than ever from alert devices to easy-to-use health monitors.

You can also leverage technology to support your parent through the use of smartphone apps. Senior Livinghas a useful list from informational apps containing advice and support to entertainment apps that can help keep their brains sharp through games and puzzles.

If your parent has trouble working a smartphone at all, consider investing in a senior-friendly model. Features to look for include big, bright screens, simplified user experiences, and integrated accessibility settings.

Socialization

 One of the main things you need to watch out for when monitoring your parent is whether they are getting enough socialization. Loneliness and isolation in the seniors is a big issue, and one that can easily lead to depression and other mental health problems. While you can’t force your mom to get out of the house and meet friends, you can guide her in the right direction.

Time Money suggests numerous ways in which seniors are leveraging online resources to find new friends, from Facebook groups to community-based social groups. Have a look online to see if you can find activities your parent might be interested in, whether it’s an online network, a senior center, or a knitting club.

Long-distance caregiving can be emotionally taxing, but it’s not impossible. There is plenty of support, advice, and practical help available both online and in the real world. By using these resources, you can ensure your parent is happy and well when you can’t always be physically nearby.

 

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