Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Of Faces, Traces and Love

It has been an unexplainable experience accompanying photographers who are taking pictures of caregivers and their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. I am so appreciative to Aaron Hogan and Tate Tullier, professional photographers who have assisted us in this new project. And, photos that are being submitted for the video display are equally amazing.
“The Faces of Alzheimer’s” Exhibit is shaping up to be one of our organization’s most memorable highlighted events in recognition of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in November. I don’t think the Shaw Center for the Arts has ever had such a display of expression, a display of stories told and untold, a display of the journey of Alzheimer’s disease. In the faces, the eyes, the movement…..there are traces of a life there, traces of things far unknown to us, traces of joy and laughter, of childlike inhibitions, traces of reality, endings and beginnings.
Beginning November 2nd through the end of the month, I invite you to visit the Shaw Center for the Arts and view this special Exhibit. If “love” could ever be photographed, it is thriving in the photo displays, the caring of spouses, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws, cousins, and/or friends.
And though we can’t be immunized against this disease called Alzheimer’s, I hope through this Exhibit that you will begin to lose the “Label” of the disease, that you can look beyond and see the true “faces,” the faces that count, the faces that can have a sustainable quality of life, and even through the reality of this devastating brain disorder, that you will come to understand and see the hope in all of them, and the hope for all of us.
Maya Angelou once wrote, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.”
Viewing the “Faces of Alzheimer’s” Exhibit, I know you will see each face, appreciate a trace of each story, and come to know and understand the root of care for that “Face of Alzheimer’s” is just love, and that love brings forth our hopes.--Dana Territo, Director of Services

Weather Monitoring with Alzheimer's Patients

Many Alzheimer’s patients had jobs related to the weather or simply have always had an interest in the weather. An easy-to-read outdoor thermometer, an indoor barometer, a rain gauge, and the newspaper and/or weather channel are the only supplies needed for monitoring the weather with the Alzheimer’s patient. Checking these items at the same time every day can become a part of the daily routine that Alzheimer’s patients find comforting. The caregiver can encourage as much discussion as is appropriate for the patient. The weather can also be a positive distraction if the patient seems to be agitated. It is important, however, to avoid discussing any weather events, past or present, that could cause fear or anxiety.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Caregivers & Respite Care: Everyone Needs A Break

If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease, you know that caregiving is a hard job. All caregivers need a break at times. Respite care can help.

What is respite care?
*Respite care is temporary care. It gives caregivers rest & relief.
*Respite care can be at home or outside the home. It can be for a few hours or all day. It can be occasional or ongoing.

Respite care relieves burnout.
*Caregivers can become weary and tired—in other words, burned out.
*Being burned out can be bad for your health. Your eating & sleeping may suffer. You may become depressed. You may drink too much.
*Caregivers become so tired or stressed that they cannot provide enough care (neglect) or cause harm (abuse).

Respite care will help you—and the person you are caring for.
*When caregivers are rested, they are able to provide better care.
*Respite care can help you feel better. You will be protecting your health.
*Even a few hours or an occasional break can make a big difference.

Charlie’s Place Respite Center can provide you with that respite care.
Charlie’s Place offers your loved one physical activities and exercise, therapeutic activities utilizing pets, cooking, music, arts/crafts, gardening, social interaction with peers, games requiring mental participation & concentration, and a hot lunchtime meal & snacks that provide healthful nourishment & frequent hydration.

For more information or a tour, you can contact us at (225) 334-7494.

Ed Picard, Respite Center Coordinator