Friday, May 29, 2020

Alzheimer's & COVID19 Game changer

This is going to be a series of posts with this title. COVID 19 is here to stay, at least until a vaccine is found. It will have many ripple effects on everything we do in our lives. How does this affect a person with Alzheimer's and Dementia? it all depends where they are currently living. If they are at home, hopefully, you have taken the necessary precautions for the cleanliness of the place. Limit visit or have no visitors at all. have a set of rules of hygiene and engagement. of course it all depends on your beliefs.

Depending on what stage if the disease they are in is how the day will unfold. keep in mind that our seniors, as it has been all over the media are the most vulnerable ones to this virus. Hopefully, you have developed a daily routine for them, I like to have exercise three times a day be part of that schedule. it doesn't have to literally be a workout routine, although it would be ideal.
Sweeping, raking the leaves, yard work, and dancing can be modified to their abilities, and considered a workout. Going for a walk before or after dinner is a great addition to a routine. Aside from the fact that they are burning off energy. Their oxygen intake is higher, therefore relaxing them. 

Avoid the news channels they don't need to be bombarded will all that information.  I would limit television to a few shows. I like the price is right, wheel of fortune, family feud and if you can find it jeopardy(try Youtube). these shows are great to engage the mind, aside from being staples on our t.v. schedules for a long time, they provide a challenge you have to guess prices, guess quotes, answer the top 10 favorites, or immerse yourself in trivia. all of these shows offer engagement, colorful characters, and humor. They are my go-to shows.

Start working on a project, how about Christmas gifts for the family. I know you are going to say but that is too far away. It will is here before we know it. Have I told you that I'm a huge fan of YouTube, its amazing all that you can find. Well in this instance we can search for DIY that is appropriate for our patient or loves one. I'm always amazed at the soothing effects that a good craft project can have. Always keep in mind their abilities to complete the project. you don't want to set them up for disappointment or a meltdown. I always like to set the stage for whatever project that we will be working on. Soothing music in the background set everything that you will need beforehand. a quiet environment is always ideal. turn the T.V./Radio off, extrasensory stimulation at this time is not needed.

I know the rest of the family may be extra anxious and they want to communicate with Mom or Dad. of course there are various platforms to do so. let's have a successful chat session. of course, this is depending on their stage of AD.
if you are using an Ipad, please use one of the larger models. practice beforehand, turn on/off, take pictures, video of them saying "Hello" show it to them. I have found that hearing is a huge problem for them, for that, I use a wireless speaker to hear the person on the other end better. Show them pictures, if available of the person that they will be chatting with. I have noticed that for some people depending on the stage of the disease they are in, it takes them a good 10 -15 to understand what is happening. This is why I suggest practicing beforehand to have an enjoyable experience. keep an eye for cues of frustration on their end, please don't get frustrated with this virtual communicating process, remember they can sense our emotions. Practice beforehand, practice a lot.  If you are using a laptop for this also keep in mind the hearing part of this equation. 

As I said in the beginning this will be a series of blogs relating to Alzheimer's, Dementia, and COVID 19.

Be safe, wash, wash, wash those hands. Don't' like to wash hands, wipes are amazing accompanied by a few spritzes of 99.7% alcohol combined with the soothing smell of lavender and voila! instant hand sanitizer. Don't care for lavender omit the oil. 

It's a bumpy road we need to-
Be Prepared, Be Informed, Be Empowered.

I send you lots of positive virtual energy.
As always please send me your feedback using my email form at the Contact page here

With gratitude-