Caring for our friend, Bernice, convinced us that it is possible to live well with dementia.
That is not to say that she was in a good place all the time. How many of us are? She certainly had her moments; her crabby times, her frightening hallucinations, her periods of anxiety and confusion. In fact, she presented with many of the typical behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease at one time or another.
However, Bernice could also be a delight. She had a great sense of humor, was intelligent, and, when her mood was good, she was fun to be around. Even as her dementia progressed, it was obvious to us that our friend could enjoy life in the moment. It became our goal to give her the best quality of life that we could in the time she had left.
The trick was keeping her engaged. An inactive mind allowed for the disease to take control. That is when Bernice succumbed to her agitation and confusion. Indeed, at times she would even become aggressive. We spent many hours online and in stores looking for things to keep her busy without frustrating her diminished abilities or demeaning her adult sensibilities. In fact, we created some activities especially for her.
We also got good at re-writing the rules of many games, simplifying them as her abilities diminished. Qwirkle is a good example of how we kept reinventing a game and were able to keep an activity she was familiar with.
Why Best Alzheimer’s Products?
We created Best Alzheimer’s Products because it was hard to find the information we felt we needed to provide the best possible care for Bernice. It was 2004. The best available information then was found in clinical research reports. Eventually we distilled the advice and the evidence contained in these professional papers into a blog. According to the feedback we got from readers, Best-Alzheimer’s-Products.com made care information available to people who really needed it but might not otherwise have found it.
However, dementia care is more than just knowing what to do and why it works. To be an effective carer you need the right tools. Early on we noticed that the behavioral symptoms associated with Bernice’s dementia lessened when she was involved with one or another of her “toys”. So we eventually created a store to sell some of the products, the games and other activities that Bernice cherished. This led us to concept of “Alternative Therapy” for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
The products we recommend and those found in our store are evidence based. Be sure to visit our blog for current news and research concerning dementia in general, and about dementia care.
Here are some favorite activities, many which Bernice enjoyed
Below are links to our core content, the information and articles that we think are most important for dementia care. Indeed, a comprehensive course in care could begin here..
ACTIVITIES FOR ALZHEIMER’S
Better dementia care through activity
There is a growing body of research designed to investigate the benefit of activities for Alzheimer’s. This research overwhelmingly concludes that appropriate activities have a positive effect on the behavioral symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease progresses, activities that a person has been doing all of their adult life will become too difficult. Those activities have to be modified, or new activities found.
ALTERNATIVE THERAPY FOR ALZHEIMER’S
Dementia therapy without drugs
Alternative therapy is sometimes known as complimentary therapy. For our purposes, the term non-pharmacological therapy is more descriptive. We think of alternative therapy for Alzheimer’s as any effective treatment that doesn’t involve drugs or medication, surgical intervention, or other medical procedure. In other words, Dementia Therapy Without Drugs. That covers a lot of ground, as the titles below suggest.
- Can Aromatherapy help Alzheimer’s Disease
- Art Therapy for Alzheimer’s
- Doll Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
- Light Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
- Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
- Reminiscence and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Sensory Stimulation for Alzheimer’s
FOR THE DEMENTIA CAREGIVER
Alzheimer’s disease and most other diseases and conditions that result in dementia are progressive in nature. Because of this you probably will not be thrown suddenly into a situation in which another person is totally dependent upon you for their care and well-being. As an Alzheimer’s caregiver you will have some time, or you have had time, to adjust and to learn your new role. This knowledge does not make the prospect or the task easier, but it does give you time to prepare. The more you learn about the disease and best care practices, the more effective will be your care. And take the time to develop a support network. Family members, professional organizations and care providers, and your faith affiliations can all provide you with much needed backup, either on an ongoing basis, or just at those times when you need help most.
Better dementia care through understanding
When we began to learn about Alzheimer’s disease and best care practices, the word “Alzheimer’s” was almost synonymous with the term “dementia” in general use. That was some time ago, and understanding has changed appreciably since then. But people still ask us, “What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?”
Alzheimer’s is a particular disease that affects the brain and brain function. Memory loss, difficulty with speech, disorientation, impaired judgement, and withdrawal are just some of the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Dementia, on the other hand, is a loss of cognitive functioning regardless of cause. There are more than 100 different diseases and conditions that can lead to dementia. Dementia is a general term that characterizes a group of cognitive symptoms; Alzheimer’s disease is just one cause of dementia.