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Marjorie P. Lee Senior Living Blog

3 Meaningful Ways to Encourage Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness All Year Long

In June, you may have seen people in Cincinnati wearing a lot of purple. Wonder why?

June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, an annual movement to raise funding for dementia and brain research, sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association.

The Alzheimer's Association and families touched by the disease encourage Americans to #GoPurple to find a cure for and finally end the threat of Alzheimer's dementia.

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What's the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?

Is your senior loved one starting to exhibit advanced symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia? It might be time to start switching the primary focus of his or her treatment from memory care, which is primarily concerned with life and memory preservation, to palliative care, which is mostly centered on quality-of-life improvement and pain control.

Many people first hear the term "palliative care" paired with "hospice," and they naturally think that the terms are interchangeable. Although they're similar in many respects, they aren't exactly the same. Today, let's talk about the differences between the two.

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How to Cope With Feelings of Grief After a Parent's Dementia Diagnosis

It can be hard to come to terms with a parent's age-related memory loss. It can be even more challenging  to grieve an elder's Alzheimer's dementia diagnosis.

There's no getting around it: An Alzheimer's diagnosis is always a fatal one. There's no known cure. There's no way to stop the disease in its tracks.

Various memory care methods might be useful in slowing the progression of a loved one's Alzheimer's dementia, but results are hit-or-miss in many cases. There can be periods of prolonged stability, followed by periods of rapid decline.

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Support for Family Members of Loved Ones with Memory Loss

Dementia caregiving isn't an easy endeavor. As your loved one's disease progresses, it will not only rob him or her of memories, but also of the ability to do simple things like dress, bathe or use a fork at mealtime.

It's heartbreaking to watch. But, as your loved one is depending on you for care and for reassurance, you know that you'll need maintain a positive outlook, even though you might not always feel positive on the inside.

So, who can you turn to for support when your older loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or age-related memory loss? They're depending on you for care, but who will you depend on as you face the burden of providing care?

Let's talk today about some of the memory loss support resources available to you here in the Cincinnati area and discuss what each can do for you.

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MPL Resident Dan Wheeler Finds Positive Aging in Lifelong Creativity

In his career as a cognitive psychologist and University of Cincinnati professor, Dan Wheeler was best known for his scientific brain. In his personal life, he's equally well-known for his artistic brain.

"I was a photographer first," he explained. "I was a very serious photographer in both high school and college."

As a teenager, he entered and won science competitions. He once won "a week in the Navy."

"We joked that second prize was two weeks," Wheeler said. "The Navy flew a bunch of us from all over the country to Boston, and we went out for a week on a heavy cruiser. They showed off all the stuff that they did."

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Marjorie P. Lee Staff Learn About a Positive Approach to Care®

If you’ve attended our Refresh Your Soul dementia caregiving conference either of the past two years, or if you’ve been following this blog, then Teepa Snow is no stranger to you.

Over a 30-year career as a Registered Occupational Therapist (OT), Snow gathered knowledge and insights that she’s put in practice to become one of America’s leading experts on memory care and dementia.

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How to Help A Loved One Keep a Positive Attitude About Aging

 

Aging is inevitable. No one ever said it was easy.

As our senior loved ones' bodies and minds naturally change, it can be tough for them to accept that they need extra help from us, that they can't be as independent and in control as they used to be, that a partner or friend is gone, or that their own physical end is — if not close — at least on the horizon.

Sounds depressing, doesn't it? Now, imagine you're the senior in whose head these thoughts swirl.

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What You Need to Know About the Stages of Aging

 

For seniors, healthy aging isn't just dependent upon their physical health. It's also dependent on their maintaining positive attitudes about aging. And, to do that, it's helpful for them — and for family caregivers like you — to understand the stages of aging.

Like earlier phases in our lives, senior adulthood isn't well-described by one stage. Most 60-year-olds' needs are different from those of most 75-year-olds' needs, and still more different from those of most 90-year-olds.

Today, let's examine the stages of aging so that you can help your loved one anticipate his or her changing needs, prepare for them and age positively.

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How Families & Seniors Can Keep Love Alive as Memories Fade

 

Age-related memory loss is disconcerting enough. Memory loss due to Alzheimer's or other dementia disorders is just plain devastating. And either is a source of heartbreak for seniors, their partners and spouses and their families.

Memory loss doesn't end relationships. An elder might not be able to remember all the good moments you've had together over the years, and might not be able to form new, lasting memories, but there are certainly good times still to be had.

Still, it's a difficult thing for seniors and their partners or caregivers to grapple with. So, today, with Valentine's Day approaching, let's talk about what families and seniors living in Cincinnati and elsewhere can do to keep love alive, even as memories fade.

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What is the Psychology of Positive Aging?

 

"Think positive, and you'll feel positive," many positive aging experts say.

We can observe it here in seniors living at Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community: when elders maintain a positive outlook on life, they tend live longer. They report feeling more fulfilled and having a sense of purpose. And we can see it in the literature, too.

It sounds trite, but it's true, at least to a certain degree. And that's really what the positive aging movement (which we'll explore in-depth at the upcoming Refresh Your Soul conference in March) is all about.

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