Mentally prepping for the annual clean-out can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start but beginning the spring season with a fresh and clean house can make the warm months that much more enjoyable!
Apr 17Spring Cleaning Tips!
Check out the following excerpts taken from an Alzheimer’s Information Presentation given by Donald Sostek, the Director of Sostek Home Care. (more…)
Feb 3ADVANCED STYLE
Click the link to see some seriously fashionable seniors!
This is a collection of a number of tips and tricks used by professionals to manage AD and provide the patient with the best quality of life. Most can be easily incorporated into your daily interactions with your Alzheimer’s family member. Though it may be difficult to modify our daily behavior, realize that it comes with a great benefit to those struggling with AD to be in a calm and structured environment!
Approaches for the Caregiver
● Non-confrontative speech and actions
● Check environmental cues and triggers; such as lighting, shadows, noise
● Visual signs, i.e..”STOP, TOILET” instead of words
● Finger foods
● Pacing patterns, allows for energy to be expended
○ Cover doorways to redirect from exits
● Break down ADL (activities of daily living) tasks into steps, i.e…brushing teeth then bathing then dressing for bed
● Words may lose their meaning for an individual with AD, modify your communication accordingly; speak slowly and clearly while trying to avoid confusing language
○ Enhance your message with visual cues; facial expressions and gestures are helpful
● Approach from the front in a friendly, gentle manner
○ Smile and use touch in your communication
○ Utilize direct eye contact and speak slowly
● Turn off background noises which may be distracting
● Avoid questions, open ended questions or requests, be direct and engage in decision making with only one or two choices
○ Try using “Let’s go to the store” instead of “Do you want to go to the store?” or “Is there anything you need at the store?”
● Always remain as calm as possible
○ Emotional areas of brain will pick up on your mood if you are upset; Smile and use facial cues, a positive mood is best
● Use humor, laugh as much as possible, have a happy demeanor but do not tease!
○ Conversations need to have a very literal interpretation, sarcasm, dry humor or teasing will most likely not be picked up by the patient
● Move and speak slowly, quick movements may trigger a negative reaction or frighten the patient
● Explain what you are doing clearly and concisely
● Surround their environment with familiar objects, pictures or furniture
Many times our current and future clients come to us with questions on what caregivers can do in their “down time” with patients. Research has shown that for many suffering from Alzheimer’s, simple activities done with the assistance of a caregiver can be not only beneficial but enjoyable for the patients. The double benefit from these simple activities is not only to give them an opportunity to bond with the caregiver but also may allow them to feel as though they are being productive.
One of the unfortunate parts of this disease is that it affects people who have spent their entire lives being productive, whether it be as a homemaker, a businessman, a firefighter etc… Once the disease makes progress, the patient may feel as though they are no longer able to contribute. This, of course, is certainly not true! As the family and friends of an AD patient, we know that just having their presence is enough to suffice but for the patient themselves, being able to contribute in any small way may uplift their spirits! Our resident social worker has provided us with some small projects that caregivers and family alike can do with a family member suffering from AD that will not only stimulate their mental functions but, more importantly, will provide some much needed enjoyment! Remember though, AD can be extremely frustrating for the patient, they may not remember how to do things that used to come naturally, so be patient and understanding with them – and be as helpful as you can!
Activities to Engage an AD Patient
● Some activities may help the patient feel a part of what is happening around them.
○ Gardening, cooking, raking leaves and simple household chores are good examples
● Activities that provide an opportunity for self-expression
○ dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument, drawing, painting or coloring
● Try to include some form of exercise in each day’s activities.
○ Walking, throwing a ball, or playing with a pet are simple but provide adequate exercise
● Find a simple task that the person can do with little supervision if the caregiver/family member needs to take care of other necessary household tasks
● Remember that an AD patient’s ability to perform a certain task may vary from day to day or moment to moment
● Do not ask the patient to do a simplified version of an activity or craft in which they once excelled. Their awareness of the skill loss may be painful.
● Encourage and praise the person’s effort regardless of the apparent skill level.
And remember: Creating an atmosphere of quiet activity promotes the feeling that the memory-impaired person continues to be important. Restlessness decreases, and life is more enjoyable for everyone. Enjoy!!
P.S. Do you have any activities that you have found to be successful? We’d love to add to our list!
On September 24, Sostek Home Care will join thousands of others for the Alzheimer’s Associations Walk To End Alzheimer’s. This year we
will be walking at Bird Park in Walpole, one of the many satellite locations sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association. This walk is a yearly event
to honor those who are or have been afflicted with this disease, and to bring awareness to the public of the devastation that Alzheimer’s disease
causes to the individual, as well as their family and loved ones.
Alzheimer Disease impacts over 5 million Americans at present and the number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by the year 2050!
Any funds raised by the walk will go directly to the Alzheimer’s Association for research, educational programs and advocacy.
Sostek Home Care continues to be committed to supporting our community through our involvement in many important causes. Donald
Sostek, our Director, is an active member of the Board of Director’s at the Alzheimer’s Association. He has personally seen the devastation of
Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as professionally helping thousands of families to cope with the issues of caring for a loved one with the disease.
Please consider supporting our team at Sostek Home Care. Any donation, large or small is greatly appreciated. We are aware of these difficult
economic times and truly understand if you are unable to contribute at this time. Please feel free to join us on our walk on September 24th!
For online donations http://alzwalk.kintera.org/neponsetvalley/sostek
To mail a donation, checks can be made to Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts and New Hampshire Chapter
Attn: Walk to End Alzheimer’s
311 Arsenal St
Watertown, Ma 02472
Contact us with any questions at 617-244-8560.
Let’s make a difference together for a World without Alzheimer’s Disease!
Team Sostek Home Care
Every 69 seconds, another person in America develops Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and of Americans over 65, one in eight have the disease in some degree (Source: Alzheimer’s 2011 Facts & Figures). Alzheimer’s is a heartbreaking condition that affects an entire family and can be a frightening journey for those who are suffering. Thankfully, public awareness of the disease has been on an upward curve in recent years and in the video below you can watch a video from President Obama calling for Alzheimer’s Disease to be made a national priority. (more…)
Jul 25An Introduction
Welcome to the new Sostek Home Care blog!
If you’ve landed here it means you have come across the recently redesigned website for Sostek Home Care, a local home care agency based out of Newton, Massachusetts. This blog will, in the coming weeks and months, grow into a resource for information on aging and personal stories from former clients, home care professionals and the like. However, for this first post, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself, our company and what it’s like to have grown up in this unique industry.
To begin, my name is Olivia Sostek. My family has owned and operated this home care agency for three generations, and it has always been a part of my life, right from the very beginning. I will be the primary administrator for this blog, as well as for our website and social networks. I wanted to begin this blog by sharing with you some insight into our company. Because family is so important to me, I want you to feel like it’s all of our family helping all of yours. So here is, in my words, a little bit about us. (more…)