Tips, suggestions, anecdotes and stories to help the caregiver get through her or his day. You’ll find something here if you’re new to this or a seasoned professional.

Millions of people fall victim to scams each year, including an increasing amount of seniors who are especially targeted. Scammers are becoming more savvy and refined with their fraudulent measures, so it is more important than ever to identity the scams before becoming a victim.

Researchers in the U.K. have found declining dementia rates over two decades

There are many reasons to get an early and accurate diagnosis if you suspect dementia. Included: treatment is sometimes more effective when started early, early diagnosis gives one time to get affairs in order, and diagnosis might be more accurate if done early. Most importantly, there are many diseases and conditions that mimic Alzheimer’s disease as well as the symptoms associated with most other causes of dementia. Many of these are treatable and even curable!

Clothing that is easy to put on and take off can extend a person's independence.

As hard as it may be to believe, there is an entirely new concept in fashion design. Advancing age as well as certain medical and physical conditions make dressing oneself difficult, even with another’s help. Immobility makes it hard for a carer to assist in dressing. However,  several clothing manufacturers, including Tommy Hilfiger, are stepping up to with answers to this problem.  Adaptive clothing lines help people with a variety of disabilities to dress themselves, and help care providers to more easily and more effectively do their job.

Maple syrup alzheimer's | Picture of maple syrup and maple sugar candy.

The announcement was made at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society. As usual, more study is needed, but researchers are hopeful that the bioactive compounds available in maple syrup may prevent proteins in the brain from becoming entangled in a process called fibrillation. It is this fibrillation that creates the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. If Maple syrup can prevent Alzheimer’s disesae… well that is certainly good news!

Maple and Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

From Serious Eats

BLAKE ROYER      Time 55 minutes     Serves  4

 

Maple and Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the root
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges, stem ends left intact
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

PROCEDURE

  1. Whisk together the maple syrup and mustard. Season both sides of the salmon fillets liberally with salt and pepper, then brush them with the maple-mustard mixture and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss the sprouts and onion with the  oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until well-coated. Spread them out on a baking sheet, cut side-down, and roast on the lower rack until caramelized and tender, 20-30 minutes.

  3. When the sprouts are nearly done, arrange the fillets on an oven-proof dish and broil them, skin-side down, until the maple mixture is well-caramelized and the fish is just cooked through—7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.

  4. Serve with the sprouts and lemon wedges.

Recipes for Alzheimer's - North African Meatballs

From The New York Times

DAVID TANIS       Time1 hour 15 minutes     Makes about 36 meatballs

These North African Meatballs are classified as a Mediterranean diet entree. The Mediterranean Diet has long been thought to protect against Alzheimer’s. If something guards the brain against damage from disease, there is a good chance that it will also slow progression of the disease as well.

This is a fun do-together recipe. Mixing the spices into the ground meat—by hand—and rolling out the meatballs provides wonderful sensory feedback for a person with dementia. Almost all of the spices in this dish are thought to provide protection to the brain. I recommend frying in coconut oil.

North African Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SAFFRON TOMATO SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • Large pinch saffron, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cubed day-old firm white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Coconut oil or olive oil

PROCEDURE

MAKE THE SAUCE

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook without browning until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron, and stir well to incorporate. Season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to sizzle for 1 minute more. Add broth and simmer gently for 5 minutes. May be made several hours in advance, up to a day.

MAKE THE MEATBALLS

  1. Put bread cubes and milk in a small bowl. Leave bread to soak until softened, about 5 minutes, then squeeze dry.
  2. In a mixing bowl, put squeezed-out bread, ground meat and egg. Add salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, cloves, coriander and cumin. Mix well with hands to distribute seasoning. Add 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro and scallion, and knead for a minute. May be prepared several hours in advance, up to a day.
  3. With hands, roll mixture into small round balls about the size of a quarter. Dust balls lightly with flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil, or a quarter-inch depth, over medium-high heat and fry meatballs until barely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain and blot on paper towel. Simmer meatballs in saffron-tomato sauce, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until tender.
  4. Garnish meatballs with remaining parsley, cilantro and scallion.

Serving suggestions:

  • Couscous
  • Brown rice
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Pilaf

This turmeric smoothie incorporates many of the natural ingredients that are being investigated for their impact on dementia and inflammation.

carrot, turmeric, and ginger soup with cumin roasted chickpeas

carrot, turmeric, and ginger soup with cumin roasted chickpeas

Author: Gena Hamshaw (The Full Helping)
Serves: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric root, grated (or 1½ teaspoons, ground turmeric)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated (or 1 teaspoon, ground)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt (and more to taste)
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1¾ pounds peeled and roughly chopped carrots (about 6 cups)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup coconut milk, canned and full fat

For the cumin toasted chickpeas:

  • 1½-2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Roast the chickpeas. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Toss the chickpeas in the oil, cumin, chili, and paprika. Spread them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chickpeas for 35 minutes, or until they’re quite golden brown and a little crispy. Give them a stir a few times during roasting to prevent sticking. Chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
  2. To make the soup, heat the coconut oil a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft. Add a few tablespoons of water as you go along to prevent the onions from sticking. Add the garlic, turmeric , and ginger, and cook for another two minutes, or until everything is very fragrant.
  3. Add the cinnamon, salt, pepper flakes, carrots, and vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
  4. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are totally tender. When the soup is ready, transfer it to a blender (in batches, if necessary), and blend carefully until it’s totally smooth (stand back from the blender, as hot soups tend to spatter). Alternately, you can use an immersion blender to blend the soup till smooth. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add another ½-3/4 cup broth.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk. Check the soup for seasoning, and season to taste with salt and more pepper, if desired. Serve, topping each bowl with about a ⅓ cup roasted chickpeas and a sprinkle of turmeric powder. Soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days, and it can be frozen for up to a month.

Music is proving to be one of the most powerful therapies for people who have dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. The known benefits of music therapy for dementia include alleviation of stress and depression, improved communication, and the alleviation of pain. Music therapy will even promote physical healing. But for someone who is experiencing cognitive and memory difficulties, just playing music can be difficult or even impossible. Operating a modern MP3 player, a stereo, or a CD player is often too difficult for a person with dementia. The Simple Music Player for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia makes it easy for anyone to play their favorite music. Purchase at our online store.

Introducing the Simple Music Player for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

A recurring problem that occurs when trying to provide direct access to music, however, has been the difficulties people with dementia face when trying to operate modern music playing equipment. Remembering how controls operate, the manipulation of knobs and non-tactile buttons, and an array of confusing symbols all limit access to the therapy that music provides. The Simple Music Player was developed with supporting research from the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (BIME). Research findings confirm both the benefits of providing people who have dementia with music they remember, and the need for easy access to this music.

You can see from the video above that the Simple Music Player for dementia lives up to its name.  It was designed to be as easy as possible for the end user to operate. Setting up the player and loading/unloading music is undertaken by friends, family or care partners, as a one time process.

BUY SIMPLE MUSIC PLAYER

Purchase the Simple Music Player at our store, or call toll free if you have any questions (877/300.3021).

Operating the Simple Music Player

The operation is highly intuitive and does not require any prior knowledge or memory to start and stop the player. The styling is also reminiscent of old radios and is instantly recognisable as something which plays music. To operate, there are only three controls:
Simple Music Player for Alzheimer's and dementia - easy to operate

Simple Music Player – Just lift the lid to start the music!       BUY NOW!

  1. Start playing music – just lift the lid
  2. Skip this song – (optional) press the big button
  3. Stop the music – close the lid

*The music will always continue from where it was last stopped.

 

The back panel allows a USB connection for loading music, a socket for head phones (can be loud, so use caution), and ports for remote switches.

 Setting Up the Simple Music Player for Alzheimer’s

Setup is undertaken by friends, family, or carers. There are two essential operations: Setting the volume and uploading the playlist.

smpvolThe volume control is designed to avoid being accidentally changed by the user. This could lead to the music being far too loud and disturbing, or too quiet and it may appear to be broken.

To adjust the volume, using a pencil or similar, press and hold one of the buttons underneath the player. You don’t need to press too hard; you should feel a gentle click like on a keyboard or doorbell. Only after holding the control for 5 seconds the volume will begin to increase or decrease, so it can be set to the appropriate level.

Uploading Music to your Simple Music Player

Tunes are loaded into the Simple Music Player by means of a USB cable connection to your computer. There is no software to install. It is compatible with all systems which support USB plug and play devices (Apple, Microsoft, Linus)

 Once the SMP is recognised by your computer then it acts as if it were a standard USB stick or some external memory location; simply copy your music files from the computer to the SMP. You can either ‘cut and paste’ or ‘drag and drop’; whichever you prefer. Tunes can be individually uploaded or deleted at anytime using this method.

If you like we can load some music for you before we ship—see our Simple Music Player with Music option!

 For more detailed download instructions see the “Loading Music” video in the right column on this page.

 

Specifications for the Simple Music Player

The Simple Music Player is an MP3  player which also will play MPEG4, WMA, WAV, and AAC music files. It comes in three versions: Red, Green and Burr-Walnut. They are functionally identical so they all operate in the same way. Because of the additional steps in creating the finish, the Burl-Walnut version is $30 more.

The intention is for the player to be installed and left powered on, allowing the user to operate it at will without any other requirement than to lift or lower the lid to start or stop the music.

The only other control available to the user is a large button which skips to the next tune when pressed.Simple Music Player for Alzheimer's and dementia - back showing USB port, headphone jack and jacks for remote controls.

On the back panel there are additional facilities. If headphones are required, then the green socket accepts a stereo jack-plug. (Note: headphones can be extremely loud and cause hearing damage)
For people with dexterity problems rather than dementia related conditions the ’ON/OFF’ control and ’NEXT TUNE’ buttons can be over-ridden by means of remote switches plugged into the two available sockets (note: the lid has to be closed for these controls to work).

The Simple Music Player has been designed with the minimum of controls and has been extensively tested as well as trialled by the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (now ’Designability’).

The construction is highly durable consisting of a strong wooden enclosure with a high strength plastic covering. The loudspeaker grille is cloth finished but reinforced with a steel mesh to avoid any damage to the speaker. Rubber feet ensure that the player does not slip. It can be wiped down with a damp cloth if required.

The Simple Music Player can be used anywhere in the world. It is configured to suit your national power supply at point of order.

  • Dimensions: 300mm x 190mm x 110mm
  • Weight: 1.7kg
  • Colour: Available in Red, Green, and Burr-Walnut effect
  • Memory capacity: 4GB (about 1500 – 2000 songs)
  • Music upload: via USB connection (cable provided) compatible with Microsoft Windows, Apple ios and Linux
  • Music format: MP3, MPEG4, WMA, WAV, AAC files (Note: not M4P files)
  • User controls: ON/OFF and NEXT TRACK
  • Presetable controls: Volume control on the base of device
  • Ancillary controls: User controls can be mimicked using remote switches via the back panel
  • Headphone socket: Yes
  • Power requirements: Local mains supply – factory configured to your country’s standard
  • Power consumption: less than 700mA at 9V
  • Amplifier: 6W Class D mono audio amplifier
  • Speaker: 4ohm 90mm diameter high-quality circular cone
  • Cleaning: Wipe down with a damp cloth (not waterproof)
  • Country of Origin: Made in Wales, United Kingdom

Buy the Simple Music Player for Dementia at our Online Store!

Ljubljana, the city of Best Alzheimer's Products Europe

If you are visiting this website from anywhere in Europe be sure to see
www.best-alzheimers-products.eu.

Holly and I just got back from Europe where we hammered out some of the remaining details with our European partners, Ana and Žiga, concerning expanding the reach of Best Alzheimer’s Products into the European Union. Ana initially contacted me several years ago. Her mother has frontotemporal dementia, and Ana knew long ago that there is more to caring for her mom than just ensuring that her basic needs were met. When she found our website she found confirmation for her conviction.

Ana and her business partner Žiga  live in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, a small Adriatic country that nestles among Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Austria. To be honest, though I’d heard of the country, I couldn’t have located it on a map the first time Ana emailed me. But I knew it was in Europe, and I knew that Europe has a need. I knew that because of the number of visits our website receives from Europe.

Best Alzheimer’s Products is going Global! Announcing Best Alzheimer’s Products Europe!

Best Alzheimer's Products Europe - Ljubljana street scene

A Typical Street in Ljubljana, and By Typical I Mean Cuter Than You Can Imagine

It took some time, but our  European store is up and running. Not all of our products are available to the European market,* but many of our best are in Slovenia now and ready to ship to European destinations. And we are adding more almost every week. We are combing the continent for good products that are European made, but we will continue to export some of our favorites to Slovenia when suitable alternatives are not available.

Looking back, we accomplished a lot via email and Skype. But we are glad that we went in person to put some of the finishing touches on the deal, and to meet Žiga and Ana in person. We met some other great people as well, including Žiga’s wife Romana and their son Luca, and Ana’s boyfriend, Aleš. Romana will eventually help to run the company in Slovenia. Aleš promised to do what he can, when he can, to help spread the word.

Visit us and watch us grow!

Best Alzheimer’s Products Europe

Ana’s initial reason for reaching out was to explore the possibility of expanding Best Alzheimer’s Products into Europe. I was interested in her proposal. Very interested! Best Alzheimer’s Products has a fairly large international following. Our website gets thousands of visits from outside the United States every month; maybe thousands every week. We ship to foreign countries almost every day. But it is expensive to ship internationally. I have been looking almost since we started our business to find a more economical way to get our products into the hands of people outside our own country, people who need and can benefit from them. Ana was looking for the same thing.

Partners---Best-Alzheimer's-Products-Europe

All of the partners at dinner on our first night in Ljubljana. From left to right: Žiga, Ana, John, Holly.

Ana and I emailed and Skyped periodically for the next  months, but we were never able to move our idea forward. I am busy, and she is even busier. More of that later. It was a matter of timing, and our perfect time finally came. Alzheimer Europe, the umbrella organization that brings together Alzheimer’s organizations from all around Europe, scheduled it’s 2015 annual conference in Ljubljana. How perfect! The ideal time and place to announce our intention and inaugurate Best Alzheimer’s Products Europe had blossomed as if out of the ether.

Two expressions come to mind. “Timing is everything,”  and “Some things are meant to be.”

Now that we have been to Ljubljana and met them it is obvious that this was meant to be. Some time ago Ana had introduced us to Žiga, her partner in several of her business endeavors,but, of course we hadn’t yet met either of them in the flesh. Both Ana and Žiga were clearly excited about the prospect when she suggested during one of our Skype meetings that Holly and I come to Slovenia for the event.

WOW!

Holly and I had talked about travelling to Europe for several years, but it wasn’t for business reasons. I have family there. Holly had never been to the continent. Now, suddenly, here was an excellent reason and an opportunity. An international event at which to announce Best Alzheimer’s Products EuropeSlovenia was never in our travel plans before. Germany and Italy and France; maybe Scandinavia; maybe Spain. Nothing on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia? Where’s that?

Best Alzheimer's Products Europe at the 25th Alzheimer Europe Conference

All of us at the 25th Alzheimer Europe Conference with Štefanija Lukič Zlobec (center), president of Spominčica, Alzheimer Slovenija

That was before; now we know exactly where Slovenia is. And oh what a week we had! We love Slovenia and now think of Ljubljana as a second home, even though we were there only five days. We can’t wait to return. And we have family there now!

The picture at the top of this page is one of the many iconic landmarks in this beautiful city, the Ljubljana dragon. Another landmark, St Nicholas Cathedral can be seen in the background.  There is legend associated with this dragon, and sometime I’ll tell you about it. I’m still learning.

Ljubljana is surrounded by mountains. From the top of the tower at Ljubljana castle one can see for miles in every direction; and in every direction are mountain ranges. One day soon I will know what those mountain ranges are, but for now suffice it to say that the view is breathtaking.

On our last night there we had dinner at the castle. The weather was beautiful. The setting was exquisite. And the company was fabulous! Romana and Aleš a joined us. Holly and I felt totally at home. During dinner Ana said it for all of us: “I feel like I’ve known you guys forever.”

Best Alzheimer's Products shared our last meal in Ljubljana at the castle.

The Courtyard at Ljubljana Castle (Ljubljanski grad)

 

 


*Some of the things we sell in the U.S. would not be appropriate in Europe for cultural reasons, or because of language requirements. Additionally, many things sold in Europe require a special certification, a “CE mark” that is the manufacturers assurance that the  product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation. Though our products have been tested and deemed safe for sale  in the U.S. market,  some of the manufacturers we work with haven’t gone that extra step to make their products available to European buyers. We are working with them.