“How to Ask for Help and Actually Get It – People want to help you. You just have to ask.”

This recent New York Times article is about asking for help. Advice is always given to caregivers to have a specific list of ways that you’d like others to help you or your family member.

The author refers to Heidi Grant, a social psychologist and author of
the book “Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You.” She
indicates that people want to help you, but you have to ask for help.
Ms. Grant says there are four crucial steps to asking:

* “First, make sure the person you want to ask realizes you need help.
Thanks to a phenomenon called inattentional blindness, we’re
programmed to have the ability to take in and process only so much
information, ignoring the rest.”

* “Second, and the other side of that coin, make clear that the person
you want to ask understands your desire for help — in other words, you
have to ask.”

* “Third, be specific with your request and make sure your helper
knows why you’re specifically asking him or her and not someone else
(or worse, asking a group).”

* “Last, make sure the person you’re asking has the time and resources
to help. We’re all busy, sure, but you probably don’t want to ask for
help from the co-worker who’s juggling five different projects, moving
apartments and prepping for a vacation.”

Here’s a link to the article:

www.nytimes.com/2018/08/20/smarter-living/how-to-ask-for-help-and-actually-get-it.html

How to Ask for Help and Actually Get It
People want to help you. You just have to ask.
The New York Times
Smarter Living
By Tim Herrera
Aug. 20, 2018

 

Webinar – Preventing Burnout for the Dementia Caregiver

FCA’s August Webinar: Preventing Burnout for the Dementia Caregiver

When: Wednesday August 29, 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT)
Where: ONLINE
Cost: No charge
Contact: Calvin Hu, [email protected], (415) 434-3388 x 313
Registration: Click here

Any kind of work, regardless of how enjoyable or personally meaningful it may be, can lead to burnout. And, it is well-documented that the stress of caregiving, especially without respite or a predictable conclusion, often leads to health problems, including depression and cardiovascular disease. Quality of life and the ability to care for a family member or friend can be at risk. At the same time, caregivers often view self-care, hobbies, and enjoyment of pastimes as inaccessible or as an unnecessary indulgence. Preventing Burnout for the Dementia Caregiver will help caregivers understand the importance of self-care and how it can foster positive caregiving experiences, without burnout. Strategies for guilt-free, self-care will be discussed.

Objectives:

  • Learn about the concept of burnout as a predictable result of certain patterns of experience
  • Learn how burnout affects dementia caregivers’ health, well-being, and capacity to provide care
  • Identify strategies for preventing burnout and improving care

 


About the Speaker: Daniel Paulson, PhD

Dr. Daniel Paulson is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Florida. His primary clinical interests include caregiving and dementia evaluation of older adults. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Virginia Tech in 2002 and his Master’s degree in Psychological Sciences from James Madison University in 2005. He then moved to Detroit where he completed the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Wayne State University. His graduate training was supported in part through an NIH T-32 award in Aging and Urban Health at the Institute of Gerontology. He went on to complete the clinical neuropsychology pre-doctoral internship program at the Medical University of South Carolina before moving to Orlando. As a faculty member at UCF, Dr. Paulson teaches in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and directs the Orlando Later-Life Developmental Research Lab (OLDeR Lab) where his research focuses on both dementia caregiving and late-life depression.

“Compassion fatigue,” including typical trajectory – Notes

On August 1st, Caregiver Teleconnection hosted a teleconference by social worker, Amy Cunningham, on the topic of compassion fatigue as experienced by caregivers.

Amy explained the difference between stress, burnout and compassion fatigue. She identified the signs, symptoms and trajectory of compassion fatigue as well as the five habits of resiliency that can help caregivers to grow, rather than be traumatized by caregiving.

There are five habits you can develop that, when practiced every day, will not only make you the best caregiver you can be (happier, more energetic), but keep your health intact so you will be able to care for your loved one for as long as they need you.  The habits of resiliency include:

#1 – Physical resiliency
#2 – Spiritual resiliency 
#3 – Emotional resiliency
#4 – Psychological resiliency
#5 – Self care

Amy reviewed the typical trajectory compassion fatigue takes:

Phase 1 “Zealot” – full of enthusiasm, go the extra mile, handholding, extra care, willingness to do anything

Phase 2 “Irritability” – begin to take shortcuts, avoid people and conversation about work, make mistakes

Phase 3 “Withdrawal” – clients become irritants, enthusiasm disappears, avoid discussing your job, avoid people & work

Phase 4 “Zombie” – go through the motions, no humor, no fun, disconnected from emotions, lost compassion, lost hope.

You can find the audio recording here:

soundcloud.com/caregiverteleconnection/compassionfatigue8118

To sign up for email announcements about these conference calls, sponsored by the WellMed Charitable Foundation, check out:

caregiversos.org/caregiver-teleconnection/

Brain Support Network volunteer Denise Dagan listened to the conference call and shared the notes below.

Robin

—————————————————————

Notes by Brain Support Network volunteer Denise Dagan

Compassion Fatigue
Speaker: Amy Cunningham, Social Worker

Caregiver Teleconnection
August 1, 2018

Amy personally experienced compassion fatigue.  Afterwards, she recovered she developed a curriculum to share with others how to identify symptoms and overcome compassion fatigue.

During a flight with her 5 children under 9, even though Amy was attentive to the flight attendant’s instructions, a flight attendant came to check with her that Amy understood the importance of putting her own mask on before helping her children.  That’s how caregiving is.  Our first instinct may be to care for our family member before ourselves, but if we are incapacitated by the stress of the situation, we are of no help to our family.  You must look after your own needs first!

Stress is difficult to define because it is subjective.  What one person finds stressful, another person may not find stressful.  Stress is unavoidable and not a bad thing with the right mindset and self care.

A good place to begin is to do a self assessment – and don’t lie to yourself or others about how you are managing.

Deviation from baseline is what you want to pay attention to in your self assessment.  Consider these personal attributes:
* If normally you have a good memory but lately you can’t remember anything – you may be overstressed.
* If normally you are in good spirits but lately you are short tempered or moody – you may be overstressed.
* If normally you are well coordinated but lately you are dropping things constantly – you may be overstressed.
* If normally…  Can you identify areas where your normal is deviated from baseline?

We all wear many hats, but how do they affect your stress level?  What is the cost to your health, family or workplace?  If you are a tired, cranky employee, you come home and are a tired, cranky Mom/Dad/daughter/son etc.

Homework:  Take 10 minutes every day to do something you enjoy.  If you have more time to devote to your own joy – do it!  This homework is especially for those of you who feel as though you don’t even have 10 minutes to take care of yourself.
Run, walk, read, meditate, watch a video w/a coffee, tea or soft drink, call a friend or relative (but don’t talk about caregiving!)

What is compassion fatigue?  For today’s talk, it encompasses vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress, as follows:

* Vicarious traumatization – a state of tension and preoccupation with someone whom you have helped or are helping.  It can manifest either as reliving (PTSD) a traumatic event another experienced – OR – you begin to avoid all reminders of a traumatic event.

As an example: when Amy was working in a group home she was listening attentively to a client’s traumatic event.  In the middle of that conversation Amy’s cell phone rang.  She grabbed it and swiped the screen to silence it.  Henceforth, whenever her cell phone rang she recalled the trauma her client was describing.

Having a vicarious traumatization response happen up to a few months from the original hearing of the trauma is normal for those who devote themselves to caregiving because they tend to have a higher threshold of empathy.  Empathy is the ability to put yourself into another’s shoes.  You should be concerned if you experience a vicarious traumatization response longer than a few months or it begins to deviate your behavior from your baseline.

* Compassion fatigue – used to just be called, ‘burnout.’  It is a state of tension and preoccupation with someone whom you are taking care of, a traumatized survivor.  Generally a work related secondary exposure to an extremely traumatic, stressful event.  ‘Work’ includes unpaid, family caregivers, as they are still at risk.

* Secondary traumatic stress is about being afraid.  This is especially seen in child protective services workers where they begin to believe everyone is out to threaten them and their family.  That is an extreme example of how stress affects your behavior.

The term, ‘burnout,’ encompasses a range of degree all the way up to compassion fatigue.  In its simplest form burnout is a state of extreme dissatisfaction with your work.  It is a work related hopelessness and a feeling of being ineffective.

To distinguish between burnout and compassion fatigue.  Ask yourself, “Do you love the kind of work you’re doing?”  If the answer is yes, but you feel some of the symptoms Amy will describe, you may have compassion fatigue.

Symptoms of compassion fatigue:  Significant deviation from your individual normal in these areas are common symptoms of compassion fatigue.

* Emotional indicators – anger, irritability, sadness, depression, prolonged grief, numbness (not wanting to feel anything).  There are some incidents where the timeframe for grief is nearly infinite.  Amy is not talking about those circumstances.

* Personal indicators – isolation (pushing others away, not wanting to communicate), cynical, pessimistic, critical, mood swings, substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, attention, TV binging) to fill a void, memory or concentration problems, self entitlement (justification of negative maladaptive behavior because of the things you do, e.g. social worker stays up all night with a client but the next day they are cranky with coworkers, e.g. someone who worked 60hrs in a week helping others, then announce they will be wasted all weekend)

* Physical indicators – general sickness, cold of flu symptoms, sleep issues, no energy, insomnia.  Note: Disruption of normal sleep patterns can cement PTSD symptoms because sleep is when the brain cleanses itself of traumatic events.  If you are not getting good sleep as a caregiver, you should make sleep a priority by trading the night shift with another caregiver so you do not further traumatize yourself and contribute to caregiver fatigue.

* Work indicators – avoiding certain people, missing appointments, suddenly becoming tardy frequently, lack of motivation, just ‘going through the motions,’ being a workaholic (certain personality type: when things get tough, they get tougher), becoming demoralized, feeling under appreciated or under-resourced (when those challenges of the job didn’t used to bother you)

Compassion fatigue can be arrested and treated at any time.  You just need to identify it to be able to move beyond it.

The typical trajectory compassion fatigue takes:

Phase 1 “Zealot” – full of enthusiasm, go the extra mile, handholding, extra care, willingness to do anything

Phase 2 “Irritability” – begin to take shortcuts, avoid people and conversation about work, make mistakes

Phase 3 “Withdrawal” – clients become irritants, enthusiasm disappears, avoid discussing your job, avoid people & work

Phase 4 “Zombie” – go through the motions, no humor, no fun, disconnected from emotions, lost compassion, lost hope

One student of Amy’s compassion fatigue said she is in phase 1 Monday, phase 2 Tuesday, phase 3 Wednesday and phase 4 Thursday and Friday.  Amy wonders how true that is for many people.  The idea is that if you can take care of yourself and find balance between what you need and what you need to do, you can be your best for both yourself and your care recipient.

One study found people who experienced growth after trauma, so they studied them to find out what they did differently.

They found 5 habits of resiliency that, when implemented daily, result in retraining your brain resulting in personal growth and longevity.

#1 – Physical resiliency: good sleep (6-8hrs, 5dys/wk), nutrition (Mediterranean diet), exercise (take stairs, park at edges of parking lots to get more steps in a day).  It is important to tell yourself that you are intentionally doing these things for your own well being because our brains are hard wired to recognize threats to our safety.  You have to reinforce the positives that you do for yourself to get the most benefit, to remind yourself to make these changes and to reinforce these new habits.

#2 – Spiritual resiliency: prayer, meditation and strong relationships (at least 1-2 people who know your good, bad & ugly)

#3 – Emotional resiliency: cry (releases endorphins which are natural pain relievers), laugh (laughing can relax you for up to 45 minutes, reduce risk of heart disease), give & get physical contact (increases oxytocin, making you feel more bonded to others)

#4 – Psychological resiliency: acknowledge your own personal victories (even if it is for something you do every day like put food on the table for your family.  Acknowledge that the meal is well balanced, it is on time, or that you dressed the table with a cloth or flowers.  Give yourself credit for a job well done throughout your day, every day)

#5 – Self Care: especially in your transition from work to personal time – take off your badge, change clothes, give yourself some music or meditation on your commute home.

Question and Answer

Q. A couldn’t believe her mother was living this long and wondered how long will caregiving for her mother go on?

A. Don’t feel any shame around that.  It is normal and doesn’t mean you love her any less, but that you have a constant demands on you and pressure.  Taking time to implement these habits of resiliency is important so you are not only giving your best, but you are your best.

Q. It is interesting to say that stress is a deviation from whom we really are.  In my case I always enjoyed gardening.  Now I don’t feel like it.  To relieve stress should I go back to gardening?

 

A. Don’t force yourself to do a therapeutic activity because that would have the opposite of the intended affect.  At the same time, our natural mechanism is to push away those things that used to bring joy.  It may be like exercise, most people don’t want to do it, but we feel great after we’re finished.  Try to bring gardening back into your life.  If you find you no longer enjoy it, even after you finish, move on to some other activity you can look forward to.

Q. Someone told a listener that the best way to relieve stress is to get yourself physically away from the stressful situation.

A. That can certainly help to some extent, but you want to make sure that you’re not just running from the situation.  It is not always possible to get physically away so finding moments when you can find stress relief in the middle of the day like through meditation, funny videos, taking a short stroll, reading, etc. is beneficial to your health, boosts your energy and improves your interaction with your care recipient.

Q. What do yo mean by physical contact?  Can it be with a pet or child/baby?

A. Absolutely! doesn’t matter if you are touching another person (of any age) or a pet.

Registration now open – Multiple System Atrophy Conference, Sept 28-29

Registration is now open for the Multiple System Atrophy Conference!  The conference is co-hosted by the MSA Coalition and Stanford University.  Brain Support Network will be exhibiting, providing volunteers, and speaking on the topic of brain donation.

When:
Friday, September 28th, 10am-9pm
Saturday, September 29th, 8:30am-5pm

Where:
Hyatt SFO (in Burlingame, just off Highway 101)

Cost:
Free

Below, I’ve copied the agenda that the Coalition posted to its website.  Friday’s talks will focus on practical information for living with MSA, support services, and therapies. There’s a reception and dinner on Friday.

And Saturday’s talks will feature Stanford’s Kathleen Poston, MD,
movement disorders specialist, and Mitchell Miglis, MD, autonomic
disorders specialist. Other physicians from Stanford and various Bay
Area clinics will address topics of sleep, urology, bowel dysfunction,
etc. Researchers from around the US will give updates on the latest
MSA research.

The agenda doesn’t say but I believe registration opens around 9am on
Friday. The conference runs from 10am to 9pm on Friday. Registration
opens at 8am on Saturday. The conference runs from 8:30am to 5pm on
Saturday.

Register here

I don’t see a deadline for registration but I would think it’s several days before September 28th.

The Hyatt Reservations number is 800-233-1234.  The MSA Coalition’s room rate is $216/night.  A limited number of ADA rooms are available.

Robin

————————-

You can find the tentative conference agenda here:
(scroll down about half way)

Friday, September 28, 2018

[We are assuming registration begins around 9 a.m.]

10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Welcome by Stanford University Hosts and MSA
Coalition Board Chair

10:15 a.m. -11:00 a.m. Overview – MSA & Research 101 – Dr. Kathleen Poston

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Support Group Meetings

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Afternoon Workshop Sessions

There will be multiple time slots with two or three sessions per time
slot and selected sessions will be repeated. Topics will ranch from
practical information for living with MSA, support services,
therapeutic approaches to address symptoms, and research information
and participation opportunities.

5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Reception

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Dinner Program

Saturday, September 29, 2018

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Welcome by Stanford University Hosts and MSA
Coalition Board Chair

8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Symptoms & Treatment Management

Movement Disorder Issues – Dr. Kathleen Poston
Autonomic Issues – Dr. Safwan Jaradeh and Dr. Mitchell Miglis
Sleep Issues- Dr. Mitchell Miglis and Dr. Michelle Cao

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Medical Q & A

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Break/Activity

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Interdisciplinary Panel – Dr. Kathleen Poston
will facilitate a panel discussion among medical specialists in areas
such as urology, gastroenterology, and cardiology with specific
respect to MSA.

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Panel Q & A

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch & Exhibits

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. MSA Research

Natural History Study & Update from 6th International MSA Congress
-Dr. Mitchell Miglis & Dr. Lucy Norcliffe-Kaufmann
Clinical Trials & Relevant Studies– Dr. Daniel Claassen
Research Highlights & Future Directions – Dr. Vik Khurana

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Break/Activity

3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Research Q & A

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Support Group Meetings

“Caring for Someone with Lewy Body Dementia” – Live Chat Notes

Recently, Home Instead Senior Care hosted a conversation with Angela Taylor, Director of Programs for the Lewy Body Dementia Association (lbda.org). She provided a brief summary of what distinguishes Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) from some other dementias, followed by a lengthy question and answer period.

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) includes both:
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD)

Treatment and behavior management is the same for both.

According to the research criteria, someone is diagnosed with DLB when both cognitive changes (hallucinations and fluctuating cognition) and parkinsonian symptoms (gait and balance difficulty and/or tremor) appear at nearly the same time.

And someone is diagnosed with PDD the cognitive changes appear more than a year after parkinsonian symptoms or a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Brain Support Network uber-volunteer Denise Dagan recently listened to the webinar, and shares her notes below.

For additional resources on LBD, check out Brain Support Network’s list of Top Resources for LBD.

Robin

================================

Caring for Someone with Lewy Body Dementia
Home Instead Senior Care
June 7, 2018 Webinar

Live Chat with Angela Taylor of the Lewy Body Dementia Association

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s.  Each type of dementia has different caregiving challenges.

Dementia is an umbrella term which is a change in a person’s cognitive skills that interferes with daily functioning. There are over 100 causes of dementia. Some are treatable, like hydrocephalus. Most are progressive.

LBD is the most misdiagnosed form of dementia and affects 1.4 million Americans. It is a disease of older age (50+).  LBD affects more than just cognitive skills. Biologically, there are the same changes as those with Parkinson’s Disease.

Changes that affect movement. Those changes are called parkinsonism because they resemble Parkinson’s Disease.

Cognitive changes are not so much memory initially, but in planning, paying attention, understanding how things relate in 3D, fluctuations in their cognition even from hour to hour.

Changes in mood and behavior commonly seen in mental health disorders, like hallucinations (commonly people, animals or children) and delusions (when you think something is true, even with no facts to support the belief), depression and anxiety.

REM sleep behavior disorder – physically acting out dreams (hit, shout, kick, fall out of bed), or insomnia, restless leg, sleep apnea

Changes in autonomic nervous system, including digestion, constipation, low blood pressure.

Q&A

Q. How to best deal with hallucinations?

A. Up to 80% of people will have hallucinations. Sometimes, it is the first symptoms families notice. It can be frightening for the family, even if the subject of the hallucination is not frightening to the person with LBD. Hallucinations are a huge indicator that you are dealing with LBD as it is not a symptom that appears early in PD.

Caregiver should listen with your heart before listening with your brain. Respond to what your family member is feeling because you cannot convince them they are having a very real hallucination. First comfort their emotional state. Enter their reality. Engage in ‘therapeutic lies’ to help them deal with what they are experiencing. Try moving them to another location/room to change their visual experience. Turn off TV. Remove mirrors.

Q. How do you convince relatives who only see LBD symptoms on a person’s good days that there really are challenges?

A. People with LBD can really rise to the occasion when they are visiting with someone they are excited to see. The next day they are depleted and their Sx are all worse. If you want a relative to see the aftermath, you really need to ask them to visit for a few days to see the fluctuations in person. Provide the relative with educational material or forward them web resources links explaining LBD symptoms.  Sometimes, the relative is resistant due to fear and grief that they don’t want to believe the person with LBD is declining so dramatically.

Q. How to best deal with delusions?

A. Every situation is unique due to individual experience. Angela’s father became convinced his wallet was stolen. Capgras syndrome = someone believes a person in their household has been replaced by an imposter. Respond that you will fetch the person who has been replaced, leave for a few minutes and return. Often someone with LBD will not see their home as being their home. Therapeutic lies to calm fears or tell them what they believe is going on here is not happening where they live, then relocate them.

For both hallucinations and delusions you may have to try a few different calming comments before finding one they can buy into. As long as you remain calm and not escalate the situation, you will eventually be successful.

Q. Are there treatments for LBD or detrimental treatments for mis-diagnosis of LBD?

A. LBD has a lot of symptoms. There are medications that help many of those Sx. We can’t make dementia go away, but we can improve quality of life for both the patient and family caregiver. You really need a specialist for this because when you treat one area, you may make another worse. Treating autonomic symptoms nearly any doctor can do. Speech therapy can help as those muscles are affected. Physical therapy can help to counter stiffness and rigidity of parkinsonism rather than medications.
Those that treat cognitive skills (Nameda, Exelon) can improve hallucinations, anxiety, etc.  Treating movement symptoms medications can worsen hallucinations in LBD. May not treat minimal movement symptoms.  Treating behavior and mood symptoms (depression and anxiety) can improve quality of life and make them cooperative to care.
Treating hallucinations & delusions medications can worsen parkinsonism symptoms.

5 areas of symptoms in LBD:
Thinking
Movement
Behavior/Mood
Sleep
Autonomic dysfunction

LBDA recently added 24 major medical institutions as centers of excellence for LBD treatment. Increases opportunities for families to participate in research trials.

Q. Importance of early diagnosis, but how?

A. Start with your primary care physician. They should rule out underlying medical conditions. If they can’t figure it out they should refer to a neurologist. 2/3 of accurate diagnosis are done by neurologists, neuropsychologist, geriatricians. To diagnose, they may do a brain scan, cognitive evaluation or other tests to narrow the diagnosis.

Q. Family member with LBD symptoms include jerking of the arms and hands as well as staring unresponsively.

A. Staring into space is a manifestation of fluctuating cognition or orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure). Parkisonism symptoms include masked face, stiffness, tremor. Jerking can be caused by medications used to treat parkinsonism or may be a symptoms of LBD. You should have a doctor see her.

Q. How quickly do motor skills decline? Do some symptoms present before others?

A. LBD is an umbrella term. There are 2 specific diagnoses.  Patients w/PD that then develop LBD have PDD. They have the same Lewy bodies in their brain but heir earliest problems are motor. DLB initially has cognitive issues, and later develop motor symptoms. Each individual will have varying degrees of intensity of symptoms between the 5 areas of symptoms in LBD.

If something has changed suddenly it is important to take your family member to see a doctor. It could be a medical issue that can be treated, but if it is physical changes it could be transition into a later stage of the disease. Only a doctor can determine this distinction. If so, it could be time to call in hospice to support the family.

Q. What should I look for in final stages of LBD and how to choose a good hospice?

A. There are no formal stages of LBD. Late stage is characteristic of being unable to care for themselves in all areas of daily living. Tell your Dr. if your family member having trouble swallowing so they can help you put services in place to support the patient and family, including hospice, speech therapy, feeding specialist, etc. Tell your Dr. if you think your family member may be in pain. Physical therapy & occupational therapy can bring in a hospital bed, special padding, etc. to make them more comfortable. Engage hospice and in-home care as early as possible to support the family so the family can do less hands-on care and focus more on bringing in experiences your family member will enjoy (music, art, movies, reading aloud, animals, family, etc.)

Q. How to deal w/LBD family member who has lost involvement in life?

A. LBDA has a private Facebook group so you can see what others are dealing with and share creative ways to cope. Talk to your Dr. about your family member’s change of activity and motivation. If it is depression it can be treated. Bring your family member’s passions to them or take them to their passions (Example: golf – can go putting, watch friends/fellow golfers at the driving range or a tournament, even watch a tournament on TV). Keep people socially stimulated, physically active and feeling they contribute value to society in addition to emotional support.

Dementia Resources:

– HelpForAlzheimersFamilies.com

– Facebook.com/RememberForAlzheimers

– HomeInstead.com

– LBDA Research Centers of Excellence: www.lbda.org/rcoe

– An Introduction to LBD Booklet: www.lbda.org/content/intro-to-lbd

– LBD Symptoms Checklist: www.lbda.org/go/comprehensive-lbd-symptoms-checklist

– LBD: State of the Science: www.lbda.org/go/lbd-state-science

 

Aug 2018, Speakers at Parkinson’s Support Group Meetings, Northern CA

In August 2018, some Parkinson’s support group meetings in Northern and Central California have guest speakers that may be of interest to those in the Brain Support Network community:

San Jose/Willow Glen
Friday, 8/3, 10am-noon (speaker begins about 10:15am)
Guest Speaker: Harvey Sackett, Esquire
Topic: Filing for Social Security disability benefits with a PD diagnosis
RSVP?: No.

Half Moon Bay
Friday, 8/3, 1-2pm
Guest Speaker: Jetta Van Hemert, PT, physical therapist, Half Moon Bay Senior Center
Topic: Rosen method and exercise for Parkinson’s
RSVP?: No.

San Andreas (Calaveras County)
Tuesday, 8/7, 10am-noon (speaker usually begins at 10:30am)
Guest Speaker: Bailey Freitas, SLP, speech therapist, Sonora Regional Hospital and other places
RSVP?: No.

Placerville
Tuesday, 8/7, 1:30-3pm
Program: Watch “Freezing or Sweating Falls When Walking with PD” webinar from the Parkinson’s Foundation
RSVP?: No.

Menlo Park/Little House
Wednesday, 8/8, 2-3:30pm
Guest Speaker: Ellen Corman, director, Stanford’s Farewell to Falls Program
Topic: Fall prevention in Parkinson’s
RSVP?: No.

Santa Rosa (Sonoma County)
Saturday, 8/11, 1-3:15pm (speaker from 1-2pm)
Guest Speaker: Diana Partovi, neuropsychologist, VA
Topic: Managing cognitive changes in Parkinson’s
RSVP?: No.

Tracy
Monday, 8/13, 10am-noon
Program: Dance for Parkinson’s demonstration class led by Rose, Dance for Parkinson’s representative
RSVP?: No.

Pacific Grove (Monterey County)
Tuesday, 8/14, 3-4:30pm
Guest Speaker: Jennifer D’Attilio, SLP, speech therapist
Topic: Parkinson’s Voice Project
RSVP?: No.

Palo Alto YOPD (Young Onset PD)/Stanford
Tuesday, 8/14, 6:30-8pm
Guest Speaker: James Lu, DPT, LAc, acupuncturist, Zhu’s Neuro-Acupuncture and Rehabilitation Center, San Jose
Topic: Scalp acupuncture for PD
RSVP?: Yes, if this is your first time attending. Please email group leader John Mamin, [email protected]

For meeting location and other details, see the Stanford Parkinson’s Outreach website.

 

“Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Assisted Living” (Samada.com)

This is a terrific article on the *possible* “hidden costs” of assisted living.  It’s terrific because it is very detailed, listing all kinds of costs.
Robin
———————–
Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Assisted Living

Here are additional charges that may not be included in the basic fee
By Kaya Laterman
Samada.com
May 2, 2018

Once you or loved one has made the decision that assisted living would be a good move, the next question is usually: How much will it cost? The national median cost for assisted living is $3,750 per month, but prices vary widely from state to state and facility to facility.

The way assisted living facilities break down their costs also differs from facility to facility. Many residences charge a basic fee, which includes rent, meals, housekeeping, access to activities and exercise. Then they will group additional services, like therapies and medication disbursement, into different payment tiers. Other facilities consider themselves all-inclusive, but may have add-on fees, which can increase a monthly bill by several hundred or even thousands of dollars.

Some facilities, after a periodic assessment, may either try to bump a resident’s payment plan up a tier or start charging more for added services. You are entitled to contest the additional services and fees as long as you can prove they are not needed, which may require the assistance of a geriatric care manager, social worker or other professionals who can attest to that.

It’s important to read the contract carefully and make sure the costs of all services are clearly indicated. Services that may incur additional fees can include:

Hygiene Costs

* Dressing. Fees can be split for dressing in the morning and undressing in the evening.
* Bathing. Fees may be different for full help with showering or having someone in the room while the individual showers.
* Bathroom/incontinence care. Some individuals may need help getting to and from the bathroom, sitting and standing, wiping, and changing adult diapers.
* Laundry

Medical Costs

* Health screening before moving in. Some facilities include this in their overall pricing upon move-in, but others many indicate it on the bill as a separate one-time charge.
* Medication management. Depending on the needs of the resident, staff may simply remind a resident to take his or her daily dosage, while other facilities will store and administer medications and record medication disbursement.
* On-site pharmacy or doctor access. Does the facility have a doctor or pharmacy onsite? You may be charged an additional fee for the convenience, disguised as a monthly “facility fee.” However, the services the doctor renders or the price of the prescription may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
* Treatment for temporary wounds or illness. Some facilities will tack on an additional fee for cleaning out and monitoring wounds from a fall or helping a resident get over a long-lasting flu.
* Blood pressure monitoring
* Blood glucose monitoring and insulin injections

Mobility and Other Care Costs

* Escort to and from the dining room or activity center
* Checking in on resident at regular intervals
* Reminders. This may include reminders to go to the bathroom every few hours or before bed, to take medication or to get to weekly activities and therapies on time.
* Use of gym or spa, if available on premises
* Transportation to area shops, doctor’s office
* Admission/Discharge. A one-time admissions fee may show up on bills under names like Service Initiation Fee or Community Service Fee. Also, look at the fine print in the contract for discharge policies to make sure you are entitled to a refund for prepaid services that were not used.
* Extra fee to deep-clean the bathroom. Hard to believe, but although most cleaning services are part of a standard monthly charge, some facilities may add on a deep-cleaning charge from time to time.
* Telephone

Other Hidden Costs

These are costs that aren’t charged by the assisted living facility itself, but ones that you or a loved one might incur as part of the transition to assisted living.

* Moving costs. Includes hiring a junk removal service, paying for movers and/or the costs involved in selling a house
* Travel expenses
* Lawyer or elder care manager fees

Kaya Laterman is a freelance reporter based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“Sometimes Patients Simply Need Other Patients” (NYT)

This is a good article on the value of online patient groups:

www.nytimes.com/2018/07/09/upshot/sometimes-patients-simply-need-other-patients.html

The New Health Care
Sometimes Patients Simply Need Other Patients
Using the internet for a diagnosis is not recommended, but there’s great power in sharing stories.
By Aaron E. Carroll and Austin Frakt
The New York Times
July 9, 2018

Brain Support Network has a list of online groups for those coping with Lewy body dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, and corticobasal degeneration.

 

Our 15th year of caregiver-only support group meetings

Tonight, Brain Support Network is starting its 15th year of holding caregiver-only support group meetings for those dealing with Lewy Body Dementia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple System Atrophy, and Corticobasal Degeneration. Thanks to all of our volunteers for making possible this milestone.

We meet nine times a year in San Mateo. Let us know if you’d like to be added to our support group meeting reminder email list.