Author: Dave Kelso

No place like home for dementia care

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the US healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part eight of an eight part series. If you are starting to think that optimal caregiving at home is more than you can manage on your own, you could be right. The going is, well, going to get rough. Here is who to reach out to. With a Little Help For the millions of family caregivers of people who are living with Alzheimer’s, there comes a time when love, dedication, and...

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The key ALZ therapists

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the US healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part seven of an eight part series. You’ll notice issues with communication, difficulty with balance or walking, or problems with routine tasks like getting dressed or eating. Medicare and most private insurance reimburse for therapy services. Don’t hesitate to discuss the need for services with your loved one’s primary care provider. Go to the Experts Therapists bring a unique perspective to caring for a person with Alzheimer’s. Their focus will be on...

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Call on nurse practitioners for ALZ support

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the US healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part six of an eight part series. Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, alternatives to doctors, help ensure that patients have timely access to quality health care.   Great Players to Have in Your Court Like many caregivers, you may regularly interact with a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant on your loved one’s care team, rather than the primary care physician. That can be a good thing. “Many caregivers are happy to...

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The relievers

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the US healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part five of an eight part series. Helping caregivers and families improve interaction with their loved one is the job of an emerging new field of care managers, dementia coaches and patient advocates. They are valuable team players. You don’t have to carry the entire game on your shoulders. Going to the Bullpen Did you know that caregivers have their own versions of relief pitchers? They go by different names, but...

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Who’s who on the care team

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the US healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part four of an eight part series. Throughout your caregiving experience, you will interact with many members of your loved one’s care team. They might be clinicians, such as neurologists, geriatric psychologists or nurse-practitioners. Or, they might serve a support role, as social workers or geriatric care managers. Confused about who does what and why? Read on. Geriatrician: Geriatricians are medical doctors certified in either family or internal medicine who have...

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Pitfalls of the American healthcare system, pt 3

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the US healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part three of an eight part series. Once you and your loved one have absorbed the reality of the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it’s time to think about the practical matters of caregiving and daily life. While changes may be subtle at first, the truth is that learning to cope with a continually shifting “new normal” can be daunting. This article documents all the early steps you can take – and decisions to consider...

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The Impact of an ALZ diagnosis

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the US healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part two of an eight part series. Hearing the News “What does that mean? “What do we do now?” are typical first thoughts, as is fear of the unknown, according to Chuck Fuschillo, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Reactions will range from surprise, denial, fear, helplessness, anger, or sad corroboration of declining function. Unfortunately, patients and caregivers can leave the physician’s office feeling adrift, without much tangible...

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Busting myths about palliative care

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part eight of an eight part series. Palliative care is often misunderstood as simply a way to manage the last weeks of life. This evolving discipline, however, is much more than that. It’s a focused treatment offered by a specialized team: doctor, nurse, social worker, often working alongside pharmacists, nutritionists and counsellors. The mandate of the team is broad – and includes helping caregivers contend with the emotional stress of a...

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When your care is not enough

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part seven of an eight part series. Before Barbara Larkin moved her 80-something mom into an assisted living facility in Maple Ridge, B.C., she would sit in her car outside her mother’s apartment and cry. “I felt like I was leaving a four-year-old in the house on her own,” she says. Larkin’s mother, Eveline, suffered from dementia. She was increasingly unsteady on her feet and she was unable to shop,...

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Canadian patient care navigators

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part six of an eight part series. For people with Alzheimer’s and dementia who are admitted to hospital, understanding diagnosis and treatment options, as well as investigating and accessing available supports, can be overwhelming. Once they get home, when symptoms change (increased memory loss, decreased physical independence, for example) and needs escalate (for day programs, respite care, personal support workers, etc.), getting help becomes more time consuming and critical. Finding...

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Finding ALZ support in Canada

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part five of an eight part series. Once you hit what many call “the enduring stage,” you will have to help more with Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, your loved one will experience more behavior and health issues, and you are going to need breaks and extra support. Here’s how the system works; and how to make it work better, for you. ‘It Just Drains You of Energy’ “The...

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Memory care clinics in Canada

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part four of an eight part series. Memory Clinics are the gateway to dementia-related health care services. Team Approach Managing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias often requires more specialized care than many family doctors offer. Resource: eCareDiary: manage appointments, track medications and get reminders, organize important documents, coordinate care among family members Memory clinics were designed to offer health care services from multiple disciplines to those living with dementia. From neurologists and...

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The early stages of ALZ

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part one of an eight part series. People can live full lives, especially in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “Living with dementia doesn’t mean every day is a misery,” says Mary Schulz, director of education for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. “There’s a lot that can be done to manage the disease, from medication to healthy lifestyle changes and being involved in clinical trials....

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Assessment and diagnosis in Canada

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series of videos from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part two of an eight part series. What’s involved in getting a diagnosis of AD or dementia? You may be worrying that some forgetful moments are leading to disease rather than aging. Don’t hide your head in the sand. The earlier you go for a doctor’s checkup, where it can be ruled out (maybe your forgetfulness was Vitamin B deficiency or some other underlying condition), or confirmed, you can begin to work with...

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Navigating the Canadian healthcare system

Whether you’re new to caregiving or a veteran, there are still things to learn about the Canadian healthcare system. This series from Alz Live provides a roadmap. This is part one of an eight part series. In Canada, we have a single-payer health care system, a great achievement. However, it’s not a market-driven system; therefore it’s not as responsive as it should be. The Canadian numbers of those with Alzheimer’s will climb. Here’s what it’s like for those who entered the system in the early days of disease awareness. The gateway to ‘The New Normal’ Jeff Willis’s wife of more than...

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