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Caregiver & Elder Care News

Helpful Information for Seniors, Caregivers Introduced by Emeritus Senior Living

Video series of safety tips, holiday help with Alzheimer’s patients and website on living with dementia all available free

See sample of Maude video on helpful hints for eldercare providers and seniors below.

Dec. 3, 2013 – Emeritus Senior Living is promoting their services for seniors and their caregivers with innovative information services that are providing useful and helpful information. The latest include tips on celebrating the holidays with an Alzheimer’s patient, a video series providing tips to help seniors and caregivers lead safer and healthier lives and a new website with a variety of resources for people living with dementia.

Celebrating the Holidays When a Loved One Has Alzheimer's

 Holiday joy can be mixed with stress for those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease. In fact, the number of calls to the Alzheimer's Association national hotline about people with dementia who have wandered away traditionally increases 10-percent during the November and December holidays.

 

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However, an expert with Emeritus Senior Living says with the right approaches the season can be successful for all concerned. To help families with this issue, Emeritus will launched its "Memorable Moments" initiative in November, National Alzheimer's disease Awareness Month. 

As part of the program, Emeritus professionals will visit seniors with dementia and their caregivers to provide insights into creating a smooth, joyful holiday experience. During the visits, Emeritus will deliver free "Memorable Moments" booklets on the topic and a dining set specially designed to enhance the dining experience for those with Alzheimer's.

"The key to a successful holiday season is involving loved ones with memory loss into activities to the appropriate extent, so they feel involved and cared about, but not to the point that it becomes overwhelming," said Emeritus Vice President Kelly Scott, who offers the following recommendations.

Involve them in the preparations: Ask your loved one to help you make ornaments, decorate the tree, polish the menorah, wrap presents, and stuff envelopes. "At times, people with Alzheimer's wander because they are frustrated by having nothing to do," Scott said. "Asking them to help enables him or her to feel productive and useful."

Bring the party home: If you choose to entertain, invite people to the home of your loved one. This will create a more comfortable environment and reduce the stress of having to travel. "We suggest limiting the number of people you invite, because large crowds can be confusing for people with memory loss," she said. "We also recommend showing your loved one pictures of the people coming and talk about how your loved one knows them."

Prepare visitors: Talk to friends and family before they arrive so they know what circumstances to be prepared for when meeting with your loved one. As people with dementia may remember faces, but not names, have guests wear name tags.

Make meals easier: Make it simpler for your loved one to eat by creating color contrast between the tablecloth, the plates, and the food being served, so each is easy to distinguish visually. Set the table with shallow bowls with wide brims rather than flat plates or deep bowls; they're easy and neat to dine from, and can be used for all of the fare. Provide utensils with large, easy-to-grasp handles. "We recommend serving your loved one's beverages in the same kind of glasses that others are using, but include a straw to make them easier to sip," said Scott.

Take care of yourself: Ask for and accept help from family and friends. Make sure you take time for yourself during this hectic season. Take a nap, go to a movie, or do something else you enjoy. This will keep you energized for the busy season and better able to care for your loved one.

Holidays offer key to unlock long term memories: The holidays can provide a powerful reminiscing tool for anyone with dementia. The season is nostalgic for all of us, making it a very magical time to have your loved one be truly engaged and by recreating, reliving or simply discussing holiday family traditions. Engage them in a familiar family tradition, even from their childhood. Making a special recipe such as fudge, cookies or egg nog for Christmas or making latkes for Hanukkah are just two of many activities that can bring back memories and feelings of joy.

"The holidays are such a wonderful family time and it's important for those with Alzheimer's or dementia to be able to share in this special season," Scott said.  "We hope these approaches will help families in having a joyful celebration."

If you or someone you know could benefit from a free home visit and Memorable Moments kit, locate your nearest Alzheimer's and Memory Care community at www.emeritus.com, or email memorablemoments@emeritus.com.

Maude Video Series Featuring Tips for Seniors and Those Who Care for Them

Emeritus Senior Living has launched a video series that provides valuable tips and information to help seniors – and those who love and care for them – lead safer and healthier lives.  

The videos star the animated character, Maude, who likes to meddle and dole out advice – but always for the greater good. A new video will be launched each Tuesday at www.emeritus.com/MeddlingMaude; Maude's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MeddlingMaude; and her Twitter profile, @MeddlingMaude.

"We've taken a lighthearted and humorous approach to topics that can have serious implications for seniors," says Jayne Sallerson, Emeritus Senior Living executive vice president. "For instance, Maude talks about how to reduce the risk of falls, avoid scams, get a better night's sleep, and how to improve brain health, which can help delay the onset of the symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia."

As families gather for the holiday season, the videos can provide adult children of seniors with a fun and easy way to start a conversation about topics that may be difficult to approach. The videos, such as 'How to Live to be 100,'– which features advice from real-life centenarians – are perfect for the entire family to enjoy, as much of Maude's advice is applicable to people of all ages.

The video series is part of Emeritus Senior Living's "Safely Somewhere" program, the goal of which is to help ensure all seniors are safe wherever they live.

"Join Their Journey" Website to Help People Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

Emeritus Senior Living has launched a new website - www.jointheirjourney.com - that provides a variety of resources for people living with dementia and the people who care for them.

'Join Their Journey' is the name for Emeritus Senior Living's family-centered approach to memory care, which is available at 300 Emeritus communities.

"No family's journey with caring for a loved one with memory loss is the same," says Kelly Scott, Vice President of Program Development and Innovation for Emeritus. "That's why our program is individualized to meet each resident's specific needs as well as the needs of their family members."

'Join Their Journey' is a comprehensive program that integrates six program signatures—Wellness, A Nurturing Environment, Dining and Socialization, Life Enrichment, Family Partnerships, and A Dedicated Team—to provide a holistic approach to help seniors living with dementia.

"Just because someone starts losing their memory doesn't mean they lose their passion for life," says Scott. "People living with dementia still have the need for activity, connection and socialization. 'Join Their Journey' provides both Emeritus staff and family members with the tools to help ensure all of our residents are leading joyful and purposeful lives."  

JoinTheirJourney.com offers caregiver tips, ways to increase brain health, a way to request a free home visit to ensure you or a loved one is living safely, and other resources and information for those dealing with dementia.

About Emeritus Senior Living
Emeritus Senior Living reports to be the largest assisted living and memory care provider in the U.S., with the ability to serve nearly 54,000 residents. More than 31,000 employees support approximately 510 communities throughout 45 states. Emeritus offers the spectrum of senior residential choices, care options, and life enrichment programs that fulfill individual needs and promote purposeful living during the aging process. Senior living service offerings include independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, home health care, and rehabilitation services. Emeritus experts provide insights on senior living and care at www.emeritus.com. Emeritus' common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ESC.

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