Thursday, September 26, 2013

Good Morning Volunteers!

Music, Art, and Alzheimer's
Music can be powerful. Studies have shown music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle-stages of the disease. Even in the late-stages of Alzheimer's, a person may be able to tap a beat or sing lyrics to a song from childhood. Music provides a way to connect, even after verbal communication has become difficult.
Use these tips when selecting music for a person with dementia:
·         Identify music that’s familiar and enjoyable to the person. If possible, let the person choose the music.
·         Choose a source of music that isn't interrupted by commercials, which can cause confusion.  
·         Use music to create the mood you want. For example, a tranquil piece of music can help create a calm environment, while a faster paced song from someone's childhood may boost spirit and evoke happy memories.
·         Encourage movement (clapping, dancing) to add to the enjoyment.
·         Avoid sensory overload; eliminate competing noises by shutting windows and doors and by turning off the television. Make sure the volume of the music is not too loud.
Art projects can create a sense of accomplishment and purpose. They can provide the person with dementia — as well as caregivers — an opportunity for self-expression.

When planning an art activity for someone with middle- to late-stage Alzheimer's, keep these tips in mind:
·         Keep the project on an adult level. Avoid anything that might be demeaning or seem child-like.
·         Build conversation into the project. Provide encouragement; discuss what the person is creating or reminiscence.
·         Help the person begin the activity. If the person is painting, you may need to start the brush movement. Most other projects should only require basic instruction and assistance.
·         Use safe materials. Avoid toxic substances and sharp tools.
·         Allow plenty of time, keeping in mind that the person doesn’t have to finish the project in one sitting.

Thanks for all you do!

Amy Kelly, CTRS
Activity Specialist
Seasons Adult Day Services

Monday, August 26, 2013

Senior Service Activity Specialist Seasons Adult Day Services (989) 633-3764 Midland.

Hello  Seasons Volunteers,

Did you know that you can help end Alzheimer’s disease?  Join others on September 21st at 9AM at Emerson Park in Midland to walk for this great cause.  Read below to find out how!

For more information go to
The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s™ is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s unites the entire community — family, friends, co-workers, social and religious groups and more --- in a display of combined strength and dedication in the fight against this devastating disease. While there is no fee to register, each participant is expected to fundraise in order to contribute to the cause and raise awareness. The Alzheimer’s Association provides free, easy-to-use tools and staff support to help each participant reach their fundraising goal.

When you participate in Walk, your fundraising dollars fuel our mission-related initiatives of care, support and research. In addition, your actions, both through fundraising and participating in the event, help to change the level of Alzheimer’s awareness in your community. At a Walk event, you can learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and the support programs and services offered by your local chapter. You will also have unique opportunities to get involved with the cause through advocacy initiatives and clinical trial enrollment. These experiences, in addition to other on-site opportunities, help each participant connect to their reason for walking.

Our mission
To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Our vision
A world without Alzheimer’s disease®.
Thanks for your dedication!
Amy Kelly, CTRS
Activity Specialist
Seasons Adult Day Services

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sleep Issues and Sundowning

Hello Volunteers,
For July we will focus on the topic of sleep disturbances and sundowning.  Sundowning is an increase in behavioral problems that begin at dusk and last into the night.  At Seasons we often see these concerns which greatly affect the participant and their caregiver.  Hope this information is helpful.  As always we so appreciate you and your efforts at Seasons, we couldn’t do it with out you! 

What causes Sundowning?
Scientists don't completely understand why sleep disturbances occur with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. As with changes in memory and behavior, sleep changes somehow result from the impact of Alzheimer's on the brain.
Some studies indicate as many as 20 percent of persons with Alzheimer's will experience increased confusion, anxiety and agitation beginning late in the day. Others may experience changes in their sleep schedule and restlessness during the night. This disruption in the body's sleep-wake cycle can lead to more behavioral problems.
Factors that may contribute to sundowning and sleep disturbances include:
·       End-of-day exhaustion (both mental and physical)
·       An upset in the "internal body clock," causing a biological mix-up between day and night
·       Reduced lighting and increased shadows causing people with Alzheimer's to misinterpret what they see, and become confused and afraid
·       Reactions to nonverbal cues of frustration from caregivers who are exhausted from their day
·       Disorientation due to the inability to separate dreams from reality when sleeping
·       Less need for sleep, which is common among older adults
How to Help?
·        Approach him or her in a calm manner.
·        Find out if there is something he or she needs.
·        Gently remind him or her of the time.
·        Avoid arguing
·        Offer reassurance that everything is all right.
·        Don't use physical restraint. If the person needs to pace, allow this to continue under your supervision.
·        Keep the home well lit in the evening.
Adequate lighting may reduce the agitation that occurs when surroundings are dark or unfamiliar.
·        Maintain a schedule.
As much as possible, encourage the person with dementia to adhere to a regular routine of meals, waking up and going to bed. This will allow for more restful sleep at night.
·        Avoid stimulants and big dinners.
·        Plan more active days.
A person who rests most of the day is likely to be awake at night. Discourage afternoon napping and plan more challenging activities such as doctor appointments, trips and bathing in the morning or early afternoon. Encourage regular daily exercise, but no later than four hours before bedtime
·        Try to identify triggers.
·        Be mindful of your own mental and physical exhaustion.
If you are feeling stressed by the late afternoon, the person may pick up on it and become agitated or confused.

Renee Pope, CTRS
Activity Coordinator
Seasons Adult Day Health Services

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sara's June Blog

Psalm 143:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.

Genesis 28:15
New International Version (NIV)   
15  I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

I am so sorry I have not been able to submit my blogs because I killed my computer.  My son-in-law was able to provide this one for me, but it has been a process, as this computer is an 8.0 and is much more advanced. I am slow at some of the processes like facebook, email, etc.

When I first lost my computer, I felt bad because I felt I lost my connection to people and my ability to communicate and it was frustrating, it made me angry, and tense.  But a blessing came right away because I was able to rest and not worry about keeping up with on-line communications. This is one of the hardest things with this disease, is loosing the ability to share my thoughts with others.

June has been a full month with three showers and weddings. I remain active at Seasons tending the plants, help at New Hope working with Rumi and with the Alzheimer's Association.

I assisted at a booth at the Saginaw Senior Services Center one Friday in June.  It turned out to be a great day of activities and bringing community awareness.  My part was to share about New Hope Valley, where people would be able to live a higher quality of life.

On June 20th, I was invited to attend a conference held at St. Mary's of Michigan in,  "Special Grand Rounds, Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease", featuring Dr. E. Malcolm Field and Dr. Elliott Mufson.  I enjoyed sharing with people at the buffet and made the comment, that "I am still alive, and not ready to give up my brain to science yet", and they all laughed. Later, during a question and answer period I was able to share my blog address with a few and especially one woman who was concerned for her family and friends who were showing some of the signs of Alzheimer's.  It made me feel so good to be able to give her some comfort.  Although this event was held in the evening, which is not a good time for me, I felt full of energy and revived by being able to help this one.

My friend Terr is here helping me write this and you must realize that neither of us are familiar with the 8.0 but are learning and laughing together.

Today my husband Butch and I are having lunch with his daughter Garlynn and her daughters Jessica and Cali.

This weekend we have our last wedding and then on Monday I will be going with mom to the Retired Nurses Luncheon in Bay City and I have a meeting that evening.  I am hoping I can keep on going with this. 

A good reminder for all of us is, "WE DO NEED TO HAVE REST".  

Monday, April 29, 2013

 Suspicion, Delusions and Alzheimer's

 This month’s Volunteer Training Tip will focus on suspicion and delusions that can be experienced with people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  It is important to know not all people with Alzheimer’s will experience these symptoms but it can be common.  Remember, our coin phrase at Seasons is “If you have seen one person with Alzheimer’s disease, you have seen only one person with Alzheimer’s Disease.”  No two people are identical nor will their disease progress the same way!

A person with Alzheimer's may become suspicious of those around them, even accusing others of theft, infidelity or other improper behavior. While accusations can be hurtful, remember that the disease is causing these behaviors and try not to take offense.

How to respond
·       Listen to what is troubling the person, and try to understand that reality. Then be reassuring, and let the person know you care.
·       Don't argue.
·       Don’t try to convince or reason.
·       Allow the individual to express ideas. Acknowledge his or her opinions.
·       Offer a simple answer.
·       Share your thoughts with the individual, but keep it simple. Don't overwhelm the person with lengthy explanations or reasons.
·       Switch the focus to another activity.
·       Engage the individual in an activity, or ask for help with a chore.
·       Duplicate any lost items.
·       If the person is often searching for a specific item, have several available. For example, if the individual is always looking for his or her wallet, purchase two of the same kind.
·       Share your experience with others.
·       Don't take it personally  J

Thank you for all that you do!

Renee Pope, CTRS
Activity Coordinator
Seasons Adult Day Health Services

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Days of the Month in March

Psalm 23
The Lord the Shepherd of His People
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[
a] in the house of the Lord
1.  Went to eye Dr. and found I have cataracts that will need to be rechecked in 6 months and then decide if they need to be removed.

3.   Penny had to take mom to the hospital and I was there, after she had some tests they gave her medication and sent her home.

4.   The next day she took a turn for the worse and we had to call 911. She came home after 4 days and her health improved slowly. My sister Penny stayed with mom for a week and half and we continue to check up on her. We are grateful she is getting better and better and can get out again.

5.   Visited Meadows Manor in Saginaw, MI. I met with the support staff and family caregivers to share what it is like to have Alzheimer’s Disease. 

8.   Met with Jeanne Schaller a very good friend who lives in Midland.  She is very focused on peacemaking and justice. Jeanne was in Saginaw caring for her grandchild and then at 4:00 Jeanne met me at New Hope together.

9.   Met with our family at Olive Garden.  We went at 4:00 pm and waited one hour to get a table. The food was great though.

12. Laura Ruhle asked me to share at an Alzheimer’s Support Group at Meadows Manor in Saginaw. This is a beautiful facility.
13. I took my mother to Senior Services in Midland for a pedicure.

15. The day after our Anniversary-we took our Anniversary road trip!  Butch and I believed that our Marriage was on March 16, 1984 because Butch picked up the Marriage Certificate that day.           Butch’s daughter, Garlynn and my sister Penny told us we were off by a day and I had to later step up and say, “you were right” (we were married on March 15, the Ides of March).

16. My sister called me this morning to tell me that ABC news does weird things with some follow-up posts. Anyway, if you saw my post from yesterday about my TV interview, take a look at the same link because they've expanded the interview to include a conversation with me and my experience with Alzheimer's Disease. Penny said I did a great job. The actual interview was shown later on the news. They remarked that I was 67 years old(ha ha). I am actually 69, shhhhhhhh.

18. This was my first evening FA meeting this winter which I could attend since there was enough light of day. It was snowing harder and harder by the time I got there and I chose to leave early to go back home.

20. Went to the Health Fair at SVSU and talked with people.  I shared at the Alzheimer’s booth and then s
kipped over to the New Hope Valley booth and shared with them.

23. Planned to meet my sister Claire in Whittemore to celebrate her birthday at lunch but she got sick the night before.  But we decided to pick up my mother’s best friend Verlyn  who lives in an assisted living facility known as Stonecrest in Freeland. We took her to lunch at Harvey’s in Saginaw and had so much laughter.

25. Went to my evening FA meeting and was able to stay the entire meeting, because there was enough light.

26. Terri came to my home to work on the blog and then we left to go out for lunch.  Mmm!

27. Plan to go to my regular FA morning meeting.  I sat down and stayed.  It was great!

28.  Planning to go the Maundy Thursday services at my church, the Community of Christ in Midland at 6:00 pm.

29.  Penny and Mom the Good Friday services at my church  1:00pm. 

30.  My Sister Claire was sick last week and now she is felling good.  Now with Mon, Penny and I,will go to lunch and connect  in Standish  with Claire and Shawn “son”.   We had good time. 

31.  Easter Sunday.  This morning I opened my car, got in, turned on the key, started the car ,backed out oft
he garage, got on the road and I am going to my Mom and Penny’s Church.  Mom didn’t know I was 
coming and when she saw me, her face was smiling.                  

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not 
perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16.  

Coming in to April……….one year ago this month, I first received an email from Rumi,  I  remembered that New Hope Valley came out of ground and now you need to see the inside of the building and meet the people working and living here.     Many things have happened since April 2012—2013! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Using Validation to Manage Difficult Behaviors
Hello Seasons Volunteers,

It’s time for the monthly volunteer training tip! This month, I will be discussing validation therapy, a popular form of conversation among persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The idea behind validation therapy is to “validate” or accept the values and beliefs of the individual with dementia. The key is to “agree” with what the individual wants by using conversation and redirection. 
Often times, direct confrontation among individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can cause increased anxiety or agitation. Validation therapy has a high success rate because it is using a non-confrontational approach.
Take a look at the example below…
Chuck: "I have to find my car keys."

Me: "Your car keys..."
(Don’t tell him he doesn't have a car and he hasn't driven for years)

Chuck: "Yes, I need to get home - lots of work to do, you know!"

Me: "You are busy today?"
(Don’t tell him he is at an adult day center and isn't going home for hours)

Chuck: "Heck, yes. I'm busy every day, girlee."

Me: "You like being busy?"
(Try to find a topic of conversation that he might accept discussing)

Chuck: "What planet do you live on? I didn't say I LIKED it. I just have to work - like most of the rest of the world, ya know?"

(He's getting a little frustrated, but seems to have forgotten the keys.)

Me: "I know about work, Chuck. I do some of that myself. In fact, I'm getting ready to fix some lunch for us. Care to join me?"

Chuck: "Lunch, huh? What are we having?"

Renee Pope, CTRS
Activity Coordinator
Seasons Adult Day Health Services