Check out these tidbits gathered from around the web over the past week….
Listen to this edition of the Diane Rehm radio show as Emmy award winning journalist, Meryl Comer, talks about her new book, Slow Dancing with a Stranger. Meryl’s husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at age 58, and she cared for him at home for two decades. Dr. Harvey Gralnick led hematology and oncology research at the National Institutes of Health; a brilliant man and a sobering reminder that Alzheimer’s does not discriminate. Don’t miss this poignant and enlightening conversation.
Kudos to U.S. Senator Bob Casey who announced his plans to introduce the Caregiver Corps bill. This legislation is intended to empower community agencies to build and train a pool of volunteer caregivers to provide assistance to families in need. Read more about Casey’s proposed bill in this article from LancasterOnline.
With the percentage of the U.S. population age 65 and older exploding in coming years, what exactly are we doing to prepare? As Anne Hays Egan suggests in this piece for NonProfits Online, communities should be addressing plans for the “Silver Wave” now. Time is of the essence – we can’t afford to wait.
Alzlive shares an interesting article about Evermind, a small device that plugs into wall outlets and connects to various household appliances (e.g. coffee maker, television, bedside lamp). The gadget monitors when each appliance is turned off or on and sends notifications via text message or email. A change in routine serves as an alert to distant caregivers that they should check in to ensure their loved one is okay.
This fascinating piece from The Atlantic explores the emergence of artistic talents after a dementia diagnosis. How is it that someone with severe dementia can sometimes communicate beautifully through music or art? The key is in understanding that while dementia doesn’t impact the entire brain. Undamaged areas may actually “wake up” to reveal these artistic abilities that had been previously suppressed by healthy parts of the brain.
Learn more about Project Lifesaver, a program aimed at finding missing persons and returning them safely to their homes. Over 1,300 first responder agencies in 47 states participate, and PLI states their recovery times average 30 minutes – 95% less than standard search operations. Members wear a small GPS device that tracks their whereabouts, and rescuers are trained in how to approach and communicate with individuals suffering from cognitive impairment.
In her recent article for MariaShriver.com, Ellen Woodward Potts focuses on the sandwich generation, offering coping tips for caregivers who are stretched too thin. More and more Americans find themselves caring for aging parents while still raising children, and the associated stress can be overwhelming at best and a serious health risk at worst.