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MEMORY CARE GUIDE

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Understanding the Complex Forms of Dementia:

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 08/14/2017
What ISN’T Dementia...   Dementia is a complex neurological disease that takes many forms. What makes dementia even more elusive is its tendency to progress differently from person to person. While one person with dementia may show symptoms t...

Managing Dynamics of Relationships: Supporting Children & Teens

Posted by: Susie Sarkisian Posted Date: 08/01/2017
 Supporting Children & Teens Through a Loved One’s Alzheimer’s   If you have a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you understand that the disease affects the entire family. While it&...

Managing Dynamics of Relationships: Maintaining Friendships

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 07/19/2017
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, friends and family will begin to notice cognitive difficulties in a person with memory loss, and changes in relationships will begin to occur. One of the most difficult challenges for those with Alzheimer&...

Managing Dynamics of Relationships: Parent-Child Role Reversal

Posted by: Susie Sarkisian Posted Date: 07/06/2017
As our parents get older, we may find that we are stepping in to care for them more than we did before. As their needs begin to change, we may begin to feel as though the roles have reversed, as though we are now the parent in the relationship. While this may be true to some extent, considering your responsibility to make decisions and care for their basic needs, this mindset could be damaging not only for you as a caregiver, but for your aging parent. According to an article by Carol Bradley Bursack, “How ‘Role Reversal’ or Other Catch Phrases Skew Your Thoughts,” it’s important to remember that there’s a big difference between parenting a child and caring for a parent. In her article, Bursack states that “parenting your parents” and “role reversal” have become common terms because of their widely understood, relatable meaning, but the reality of the situation doesn’t truly fit the phrase. We raise children to help them learn and grow. Our parents have already had full lives, and are now experiencing great loss. “When we have to take on the duties of being a caregiver for a parent with a disease like Alzheimer’s or memory loss, it can be difficult on both sides,” says Susie Sarkisian, director of Family Services at The Kensington in White Plains, NY. “However, regarding our parents with the respect and dignity they deserve can go a long way in helping you both cope. Even though you may be helping them get dressed or decide what to eat for dinner doesn’t mean they are any less of the person they’ve been their whole life. They cared for you all your life. Now it’s time for your to care for them.”   How to Maintain a Positive Relationship with Aging Parents As you work preserve your loved one’s dignity and keep your relationship as healthy as possible, following the advice of other caregivers who have been in your position can make your job easier. Follow some of these suggestions for ways to approach caregiving and how to handle difficult situations in a respectful and understanding way. Don’t emphasize their limitations. Constantly reminding your parent of what they can no longer do, such as drive or go to the store by themselves, can be frustrating for them. While your parent may need your support for certain things, they don’t always need you to tell them what to do. Respect their remaining independence by focusing on their abilities while you anticipate their need for help. Communicate. A big aspect of maintaining a positive relationship with your aging parents is communication. Sit down at the dinner table, eat and talk. Talk about what’s going on in your life, ask how your loved one is feeling and see if there’s anything that they need from you. Open up to each other and take some time to relive past memories or moments, and bond over shared history. Most importantly, be open and honest about your caregiving concerns for their health and safety. Allow them choice and independence. According to Bursak, it’s important to be aware of the losses that your parent is experiencing. She states that it’s crucial to be sensitive to the fact that they have very few choices they can make on their own. With this in mind, when there comes a time for them to make a decision for themselves, you should allow it. This is not always possible, but when it is, it can have a big impact on their morale. Let them do anything on their own that they are still able to do. Spend quality time together. If possible, spend some time with your parent outside of your role of caregiver. If your loved one is able, go somewhere. See a favorite movie of theirs, go to a museum or go sightseeing. A change of scenery and situation can be refreshing for both of you, and it will give you the opportunity to make new memories. Relieve stress and take care of yourself. Caring for an aging parent isn’t easy. It’s very common for you to face countless challenges, tough choices, frustrating situations and caregiver stress. Take some time to take care of yourself and do the things that make you happy. This can make you more relaxed, increase your patience and ultimately make you a better caregiver. You Don’t Have to Go Through This Alone These tips, along with the healthy, respectful perspective of Bursack, can be useful as you cope with the changing responsibilities you experience as your parent’s caregiver. With a positive attitude and the ability to stop, take a breath and remember no disease can ever change the fact that this person is your mom or dad, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationship and give them the care they deserve. “We understand that, as caregivers, positive attitudes aren’t always enough to keep our spirits high,” says Susie. “Sometimes, we need help from supportive people who understand what we’re going through. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, that there are lots of resources available to support and guide you through this journey. If you ever feel like you need someone to turn to, the team at The Kensington will be there for you. Our compassionate, experienced team is ready and willing to lend an ear, offer caregiving tips or help you locate other resources to make your job easier.”   We Promise to Love and Care for Your Family as We Do Our Own Susie Sarkisian is just one of the many special people within The Kensington family – people who make life at The Kensington an enriching, fulfilling and enjoyable experience for all residents. The Kensington is an enhanced Assisted Living and Memory Care residence located in the heart of White Plains, NY. Here, residents are regarded as members of our own family, so hugs, laughs, companionship and patient support are routine parts of every day. We help our residents feel loved and secure by delivering heartfelt excellence in Assisted Living and Memory Care services in a warm, beautiful environment that offers comfortable elegance and is staffed by loving professionals. We believe the comfort of familiarity is precious, so our enhanced program enables us to offer care beyond what the traditional assisted living community can deliver. We offer a full spectrum of clinical support, rehabilitation, wellness and social engagement activities as well as end-of-life care. No resident needs to move out if their healthcare needs ever change. For those with memory loss, The Kensington offers levels of care in specially designed neighborhoods. Connections is for early-to-mid-stage Alzheimer's and dementia care. Haven is for mid-to late-stage Alzheimer's and dementia care. We understand that memory loss is a family affair, so our multifaceted program is geared to support not only our residents but also those who love them. Click to contact us for further information or call us directly at 914-390-0080.

Managing Caregiving Relationships | Dealing with Role Changes

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 06/26/2017
Managing Dynamics of Relationships: Dealing with Role Changes by Mary Ann Durso, RN-BC, Director of Nursing   When a spouse, partner or parent falls ill or is diagnosed with a chronic disease, the dynamics within your home can change dramatically....

Managing Dynamics of Relationships: Changing Roles Throughout the Stages of Memory Loss

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 05/25/2017
When you’re caring for a loved one with memory loss, your role as their caregiver won’t stay the same. Just as their disease progresses, so will the part you play throughout their changing cognitive stages. From being a partner in their care t...

Practical Solutions for Challenging Behaviors: Aggression

Posted by: Susie Sarkisian Posted Date: 05/19/2017
For a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, the irritation, discomfort and frustration they experience don’t always have a clear avenue for expression. In fact, this very lack of emotional expression is often a cause for...

Practical Solutions for Challenging Behaviors: Money Management

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 04/25/2017
Practical Solutions for Challenging Behaviors: Money Management   Among the many effects that Alzheimer’s disease can have on a loved one’s daily life is the inability to manage money. In fact, issues with money may be one of the earlie...

Practical Solutions for Challenging Behaviors: Delusions & Paranoia with Memory Loss

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 04/13/2017
Practical Solutions for Challenging Behaviors: Delusions & Paranoia with Memory Loss   In the middle and later stages of memory loss, a person’s cognitive functions have declined so much that psychological symptoms may begin to emerge as...

Much More Than Just a Good Book

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 04/10/2017
  Older adults who read often enjoy much more than just a good novel. Several studies including recent research published in the Journal of Science has shown that that there are many benefits to seniors including: overcoming stress, enhancing brain ...

RoboPets: A Touch of Joy at The Kensington

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 01/31/2017
Come to The Kensington Memory Care neighborhoods for a visit and find residents, family members and team members interacting with dogs and cats on a daily basis. That is not unusual for an assisted living community but what is different is that most of th...

Dementia and the Challenge of Changing Environments for Your Loved Ones

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 01/25/2017
 Dementia and The Challenge of Changing Environments for Your Loved Ones   “Loved ones who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are dealing with an enormous amount of change to their once normal lives,&rd...

Forgetfulness…Should I be worried?

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 01/24/2017
Forgetfulness…Should I be worried?   Submitted by Joanne Hubbard, Director of Memory Care   When people learn that I am a Memory Care Director, they often ask me questions or share concerns about the cognitive functioning of a loved o...

Memory Care Insights: The Art of Nonverbal Communication

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 01/04/2017
  “When interacting with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, what you say can actually be less important than how you say it,” says Joanne Rodda-Hubbard, Director of Memory Care at The Kensington, an enh...

The Caregivers Guide to Dementia: Part 4 – Frontotemporal Degeneration

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 12/29/2016
  Frontotemporal Degeneration (formerly known as Frontal Lobe Dementia)   “In the first three articles of our four-part series on the different types of dementia, we discussed Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia and Lewy body d...

The Caregivers Guide to Dementia: Part 2 – Lewy Body Dementia

Posted by: Susie Sarkisian Posted Date: 11/17/2016
The Caregiver’s Guide to Different Types of Dementia: Part 2 – Lewy Body Dementia “In our first article on the different types of dementia, we discussed Alzheimer’s disease,” says Susie Sarkisian, Director of Family Servi...

The Caregivers Guide to Dementia: Alzheimer’s disease

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 11/03/2016
The Caregivers Guide to the Different Types of Dementia: Part 1 – Alzheimer's Disease   “Most people don’t realize that all dementia is not Alzheimer’s,” says Joanne Rodda-Hubbard, Director of Memory Care at The Kensi...

Understanding Alzheimer’s: The 3 Stages of Progressive Memory Loss

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 10/20/2016
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: The 3 Stages of Progressive Memory Loss   “Because Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are progressive in nature, it is important for at-home caregivers and their families to understa...

Four Common Types of Dementia

Posted by: Susie Sarkisian Posted Date: 10/19/2016
The term ‘dementia’ is an umbrella term used to describe the symptoms of cognitive impairment.  And within the dementia umbrella, there are many different variations - Alzheimer’s included.  Most of us average folk don’t ...

Memory Loss Caregiver Alert: The Signs & Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 08/17/2016
Joanne Rodda, Director of Memory Care at The Kensington in White Plains, NY, says, “There is a valid reason why memory care experts at the Mayo Clinic and other leading memory care resources have referred to Alzheimer’s caregivers as the &lsqu...

Getting the Care Your Loved One Needs - Understanding Levels of Care

Posted by: Susie Sarkisian Posted Date: 08/04/2016
Today, many older Americans are living longer. As a result, many of them now require some additional help to maintain their independence or to improve their quality of life. There are many levels and varieties of care options available today, and i...

Your Guide to Effective Communication with a Loved One with Memory Loss

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 06/20/2016
As any experienced caregiver knows, communicating with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia is one of the greatest challenges of memory care.   Experts in neuroscience and memory care therapies explain that by damagi...

Understanding and Coping with the Sensory Changes of Dementia

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 05/26/2016
Memory care experts tell us that Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia cause significant changes to the brain as they follow their progressive course. Among these changes is a decline in the functional capacity of the five primary human se...

Quality of Life...What Does That Mean?

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 05/10/2016
Quality of Life...What Does That Mean? By Joanne Rodda, Memory Care Director   How does one define "quality of life"? Three little words with different meanings, contexts and perceptions. There are many theories and assessment tools to ...

Managing the Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease: Dyskinesia

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 05/01/2016
Managing the Symptoms of Parkinson's Part I: Dyskinesia   According to the American Parkinson Disease Association, http://www.apdaparkinson.org/ Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and coor...

Sundowning and Appropriate Intervention Techniques

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 10/16/2015
  A Helpful Scenario for Family and Caregivers...   Its 4pm and our residents with Dementia living in our Memory Care neighborhood are sundowning - a period of increased confusion and restlessness in late afternoon or early evening. This i...

What Do I Say?

Posted by: Susie Sarkisian Posted Date: 02/11/2015
Recently a family member reached out to me for some guidance about talking to his mother. During visits she has begun to get sad and tearful, expressing to him that she’s not able to do what she used to do, sees her health declining, and is struggling with the changes in herself that are a normal part of aging.

Maximize the Benefits of the Change of Season

Posted by: Joanne Rodda-Hubbard Posted Date: 10/02/2014
Elderly people with Dementia and those that care for them also experience changes with seasons. Identify how these transitions affect you and your loved one with Dementia and plan for meaningful experiences.

The Profound Bond Between Music and the Brain

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 07/24/2014
Nearly every culture has created its own musical traditions to celebrate birthdays and holidays, ritual and play. Music brings people together.

4 Things to Know About Memory Care

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 06/05/2014
With the number of dementia and Alzheimer’s cases on the rise, there is a greater need for quality memory care residences. What is a memory care residence?

Improve Your Memory with these Superfoods

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 05/28/2014
We could all use a better memory, so it’s never too early – or too late! – to eat a diet that is rich in brain-boosting superfoods. You may find that for yourself, it’s easier to make the right decisions when it comes to picking healthy, wholesome foods, but your elderly loved one may have a more limited appetite.

BEYOND WORDS - Nonverbal Techniques to Improve Communication with Your Memory-Impaired Loved One

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 04/30/2014
Communicating with other people is difficult enough on its own, but what happens when you have a loved one who is nonverbal or cognitively impaired due to a stroke, progressive dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or a traumatic brain injury? Is it possible to communicate with these individuals who may have hearing loss, vision loss or short-term memory loss? Yes!

How to Prevent Wandering in Your Loved One

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 03/06/2014
One of the biggest concerns caregivers have about loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia is wandering. If Mom is suffering from dementia, every creak in the middle of the night may make you think that she is walking out of the house. If Grandpa was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you may not feel safe taking him with you to the mall or supermarket. The fear of having your loved one walk off can create a lot of anxiety. Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous, but there are strate

Tips for Visiting Grandparents with Alzheimers or Dementia

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 02/27/2014
Once a grandparent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, it gets more difficult for grandchildren to spend the same quality time with their loved one. Grandma or Grandpa may be more forgetful, repeat the same stories or ask the same questions. This can be scary and confusing for a young child, but this doesn’t mean that the visits should stop.

Challenges Along the Way

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 01/10/2014
Outbursts, paranoia, delusions and violence to name a few. You may have thought to yourself, “I’ve never heard mom use a swear word in my life, where did that come from?” Or you may see your loved one make a sexually inappropriate gesture towards someone and you felt humiliated. This is especially common when the Frontal Lobe of the brain is being affected as the Frontal Lobe is responsible for impulse control and judgment.

How to Improve Communication With Your Loved Ones

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 12/14/2013
When communicating with your loved ones who have memory loss, avoid questions that may be difficult to answer...

Frontotemporal Dementia Finding Joy in The Little Things

Posted by: Mary Ann Durso Posted Date: 10/24/2013
FTD is an umbrella term for a group of disorders demonstrating gradual, progressive cell damage to specific regions of the brain...

Dance, Dance, Dance

Posted by: The Kensington Team Posted Date: 09/23/2013
Neurologic music therapy has been used for decades to help people of all ages suffering from neurological conditions.

 

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