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Articles & Tools

In Sickness and in Health: Vow of the Responsible Caregiver

As a caregiver for someone with memory loss, it is easy to think that you are the only one responsible for your loved ones care.  That ultimately you are in the battle alone and must provide everything from intermittent assistance to daily hands-on care. This thought process is very common among caregivers and can be the result of family dynamics, because you are the only child or having siblings who are not overly helpful.  It can also be because you are the spouse and have taken vows to care “in sickness and in health.” This article discusses this feeling and ways to determine what is best for your loved one and for yourself!  

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Spring Sparks Wandering in Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 6 out of 10 people with memory loss will wander outside of the home and become lost.  If not found within 24 hours, up to half of those who wander risk serious injury or death. Learn tips to help your loved one today!
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Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (WADRC) “Dementia Matters” Podcast

Dr. Nathaniel Chin, an assistant professor of medicine, geriatrics and gerontology, at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is the host of this podcast that helps to “humanize Alzheimer’s disease, by speaking with the experts in our community to keep you informed on the latest headlines, research studies, and caregiver resources.”
Check out the episodes here. 

Making Holidays Merry for those with Memory Loss

Holidays can be a wonderful time of year filled with family, food and laughter.  However, it can also bring on stressful times and hurried schedules for everyone.  This is why the holidays can be especially hard for those with memory loss.
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A Poem from an Alzheimer’s Patient

George Baskfield lost his wife, Helen, to Alzheimer’s disease. He looked at this poem when he needed strength during his journey.
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Azura Memory Care Joins the Early Detection Fight

At Azura Memory Care, we care about the health of our community. That is why we have joined the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance (AEDA), a group of corporations, nonprofits and government entities determined to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
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Defining MOSAIC Moments by Azura

MOSAIC by Azura is a holistic programming plan that each of our communities have been using to enhance the quality of life for our residents.
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Easy Resolutions for Caregivers

Every January billions of people join together in an effort of epic proportions…making a New Year’s resolution. For some it will be to eat better, while others may choose to exercise more.
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Keeping Relations Strong is Key for Caregivers

Just like it takes a village to raise a child, a village comes in handy when caring for an aging loved one too. However, get different personalities and points of view together and you are bound to have issues.

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Long Distance Communication still possible – Email a Loved One Today!

Due to the demands of work, kids and life many in our society find themselves taking on the role of long-distance caregiver.
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Magical Moments through MOSAIC by Azura

Azura Memory Care is committed to transforming the culture of care for those with memory loss. Currently our team of quality of life specialists led by Cathy Kehoe, Cultural Training Director at Azura Memory Care are implementing a holistic programming plan in each of our communities.
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Top 5 Secrets to Successful Communication with those with Memory Loss

Communicating with someone who has memory loss can sometimes times be the hardest part of the disease process. In fact, most caregivers find this become even more difficult during the holidays.
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V is for Validation

Venting all of us do it, whether we are an active caregiver or not, venting is something natural to everyone. Therapists will tell you that venting is a form of processing or of taking stock of what is truly happening and how it makes us feel.
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The Purrfect Addition to Caregiving

What has four legs, like to wag its tail and has the ability to lower blood pressure and naturally increase the production of oxytocin, thereby lowering our stress levels?
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Need a Break?  Take a Respite… care that is!

As a caregiver, it is sometimes hard to feel that it is OK to take a break, especially when it means being away from our loved one for more than a few hours.
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Memory It’s a Loss for Everyone or Is It?

Memories are what sustain and fulfill our lives.  The memory of being thrown in a deep lake before we learned to swim may cause us to feel fear when our skin comes in contact with water.  Just as the scent of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven can fill our being with warmth at the memory of our mother’s floured covered hands buttering these delectable Sunday morning treats.
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Journaling Helps Caregivers Remember the Joy

Caregiving is a journey of twists and turns, good days and bad.  There are days in which the smile and thank you we received from our loved one is over shadowed by the stress of cleaning up an accident or going to the doctor.
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Staying Independent is Key with Memory Loss

Staying independent for as long as possible is key for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  Yet as caregivers it is easy to begin compensating for your loved one.  It may start by finishing sentences for them; tying shoes; buttoning shirts; feeding them and doing other things to “help” or get things done more quickly, but the reality is that the longer someone is able to do things for themselves the better.
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Dad’s behavior is it a going problem or a growing problem?

When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia it is easy to become so transfixed on treating their memory loss that we begin to forget about other things that may ail them.  However, it is important to keep all of their medical conditions under control.  By doing this you will help them better manage the disease and sometimes ward off behaviors that may cause them or others harm or frustration.
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Positive Living is More than Just a Way of Life… It’s a Choice!

Have you ever walked down the street and seen someone whose smile just radiated off of their face?  Whose entire disposition, no matter how sick or tough their life might be, is always able to see the best that life has to offer?
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How Do You Express Yourself? – Why Shouldn’t They?

When we are stressed, losing sleep, not feeling well or simply agitated what do we do to relieve ourselves?  How do we express our frustrations?  Do we run away, eat inappropriate foods, yell or scream, strike out, talk nonsensically, get confused…so do those with Alzheimer’s disease.
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Entering Into the Wandering World

Wandering is one of the most common behaviors exhibited by those living with Alzheimer’s disease.  In some, episodes it can last for a few days, while in others it can go on for months or even years.  Many times wandering is brought on by a feeling of anxiety.  It can also signal a change in the progression of the disease or an infection in your loved one.
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Challenges of Caring for those with Memory Loss

When one finds themselves in the role of caring for an older adult in their lives usually it is for two reasons: your loved one has issues related to their physical well being or they have some form of memory loss.  Neither is an easy road to hoe, but for those caring for a loved one with memory loss there are very different challenges that they face.
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Caregiving: A Personal Review

Recognizing changes in a loved one whether it be physically or mentally is very hard for most caregivers to do.  Often it is someone who lives some distance away and doesn’t visit on a regular basis that first notices these changes.
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Aging in Place – Benefit or Burden?

As we get older, aging in place is something that people begin talking about more and more often. Families try to keep grandma home for as long as possible. Or dad does not want to leave the home he has lived in for the past 50 years. Most people pray that they can grow old gracefully at home, independent and living a life of quality.
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Are you a Caregiver?

Over 25 million Americans are caregivers, but many when asked do not even recognize that they are indeed giving care. They view their tasks as part of their daily routine or duties in their relationship with their loved one.
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Forgetting is Not Necessarily a Sign of Dementia

“Last night I went to introduce my friend to my neighbor and forgot both of their names…do I have dementia?”  This is a common concern voiced by people as they age.  However, it is important to realize that forgetting for a short period of time, even a well-known friend’s name, is not necessarily a sign of dementia.
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How do I tell them that Mom has Dementia?

When someone receives a diagnosis that their loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease often they are not sure what their next step should be or whom they should tell.  However sharing the diagnosis with those close to you and your loved one is that next step.
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Emergency Room Tips for Caregivers

Hearing the words ambulance or emergency room is a scary proposition for most people, but even more so when it involves someone with dementia.  Not only is your loved one in some type of crisis, but the setting in which they are receiving help, at times, can also be very stressful.  That is why it is important to plan ahead so that when that emergency does arise you have the necessary tools in place to ensure that your loved one is kept calm, safe and receives the most efficient and effective care possible.
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Dear Mom

Where does the time fly?  It seems like yesterday you were helping me tie my shoes and comb my hair for the first day of school.  I remember how you took my hand and walked with me to meet my new teacher.  Your hand was big and strong around mine, but I was still so scared that I started to cry.  Suddenly your arms lifted me in the air and your lips fluttered against my cheek.
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Caregiver – You’re Somebody’s Hero

It takes a very special person to be a caregiver.  A caregiver must have patience, understanding, strength and the stamina of a tri-athlete.  A caregiver’s heart must be willing to be stressed, torn, broken and never allowed to fully heal.  Caregivers give willing, countless hours of their time without pay or benefits and usually with little to no praise or thanks.  It’s no wonder that many caregivers question why they ever signed up for this job or if their efforts are truly making a difference.
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Get Outdoors

The summer season is finally here and this is the time to take your loved one that has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease outside to enjoy the fresh air, nature and the wonderful sunshine.  Whether it be gardening or going out for a drive it can be very beneficial for your loved one to get out of the house.
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The Long Goodbye

Alzheimer’s disease is often referred to by family members and caregivers as “the long goodbye.”  Although progressive, those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can live from 2 – 20 years with the disease slowly eroding their ability to remember, make decisions and perform daily tasks.
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Eliminating Medication Mishaps

The average senior citizen takes four prescribed medications per day, not counting vitamins and other over-the-counter medications.  Any amount of medication can be difficult to manage, but it is sometimes even harder to understand and account for the side affects that accompany many of these medications.
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Caregiving: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint

When one takes up the caregiving torch they don’t always realize the marathon that they are about to run. In today’s society we are focused on the quick fix on getting better faster. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially when caring for an elderly loved one. Many times caregivers don’t even realize that they are in fact giving care
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