Posts Tagged ‘alzheimer’s/dementia’

6 Thanksgiving Activities for Those Who Have Dementia…

November 21st, 2016 No Comments

6 Ways to Help Make Thanksgiving More Enjoyable for Those Who Have Memory Issues

Thanksgiving week is upon us! If you’re a family member in New Jersey who provides elder care (or elsewhere!) of someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, these tips can help them become more involved in the family activities.

  • 1. Make the guest list small. The more people talking may make the person feel agitated.
  • 2. Give the person small tasks, such as folding napkins or stirring ingredients. Be sure to make sure their abilities match the task. Don’t criticize if it’s not perfect.
  • 3. Reminisce about the old days, but try not to ask them if they remember a certain event. Instead, say, “we all had a great time when Grandma did such and such that year.” This will help encourage their own memories.
  • 4. Look through old photos after dinner. This will spark their memories and encourage discussion.
  • 5. Bring up topics or old memories that will make the person laugh. Laughter always makes people feel good!
  • 6. Play music they love during meal preparation and throughout dinner. This will help stimulate memories and help them feel comfortable.

Photo: MorgueFile by taliesin

How to help dementia sufferers sleep through the night…

August 11th, 2015 No Comments

10 Ways to help a person sleep when they have memory loss and confusion

A common NJ senior care caregiver challenge is getting their loved one with dementia to sleep peacefully through the night. Many times, especially beginning with sundown, they become anxious and restless.

10 simple and practical tips that will help:

  • 1. Diet: Make sure to limit caffeinated beverages to mornings; alcohol should also be avoided
  • 2. Limit Naps: Set and keep regular times for rising in the morning and keep naps to morning hours, if needed
  • 3. Active Days: keep the person as active as possible throughout the day–take a walk with them, have them fold laundry, rake leaves, etc.
  • 4. Make Evenings Relaxed: Develop relaxed routines each evening, such as listening to music or watching TV; keep excess activity, noise, and visitors to a minimum
  • 5. Don’t Go To Bed Hungry: A light snack before bedtime is ideal
  • 6. Keep a Diary: Maintain a log of activities, food, medications, or beverages that may contribute to their sleep disturbances
  • 7. Bedtime Routine: Keep it relaxed and easy. If they refuse to go to bed, let them sleep in the chair or couch. If they don’t want to wear their PJs, let them wear their day clothes
  • 8. Bedroom: Keep the bedroom comfortable–temperature, soft music, comfy PJs, blankets, nightlight
  • 9. Safety: Keep the path to the bathroom (and other areas of the house) clear, block dangerous parts of the home, such as the stairway, use audible monitors if necessary
  • 10. Provide Reassurance: If they wake up in the night, offer reassurance instead of arguing or explaining as you slowly get them back into bed

For more NJ elder care information on dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, visit our Alzheimer’s Awareness page.


Study shows singing show tunes helps those with dementia…

November 14th, 2013 No Comments

Singing Familiar Show Tunes Helps Those With Dementia

A new study has shown singing show tunes has helped raise cognitive abilities of people who have dementia. Nursing home residents were involved in the study. One half of the group participated in singing show tunes, while the other half just listened. The half who sang showed improvement in a cognitive exam. The group met three times a week for 50 minute sessions. While singing is definitely not a cure for dementia, it’s an activity that has been proven to engage and help those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. It’s also an activity in which we can participate with our loved one; it’s fun and doesn’t cost much. So break out the show tunes recordings and start singing!

To read more on this story, go to


Burlington County NJ woman’s murder charge dropped due to dementia

August 22nd, 2013 No Comments

Dementia cited as reason for dropping Burlington County NJ woman’s murder charge

Fredricka Rosa, 78, from Burlington County allegedly shot and killed her husband in 2012 and was charged with first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon. A judge recently dropped the charges after it was determined her dementia made her incompetent to stand trial. Ms. Rosa was diagnosed with dementia in 2009. It’s unclear why Ms. Rosa shot her husband; she has no recollection of the alleged crime. The victim, Valpa Rosa, had several guns in the home which were not locked away.

The dangers of having guns near those with dementia

Persons with dementia are not safe owning or handling guns. It’s also unsafe for family members living in the same home with their loved one. Their memory is impaired, as well as their judgement. Dementia may cause hallucinations, which can trigger a person into believing an intruder is in the home, when in reality it’s a family member or a shadow on the wall. A person with dementia may believe they are in serious peril and will not hesitate to shoot.

If you have an older loved one who owns one or more guns, follow these tips:

  • Is the gun owner truly able–physically and mentally–to handle a gun?
  • If the gun owner is not competent, get their permission to release the weapon from their home.
  • If the gun owner isn’t competent to own firearms, and refuses to release the gun(s), remove it from the home anyway. You may need to enlist assistance from your local police department.


Alzheimers and related dementia now takes the life of one in three seniors…

March 19th, 2013 No Comments

A new report from the Alzheimer’s Association reveals that one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia. Other findings of the report include:

  • Dementia is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States
  • About 5 million people over the age of 65 have dementia; 200,000 people under the age of 65 have dementia
  • More than 15 million family members and friends of those who have dementia have provided unpaid care to them
  • These caregivers report high levels of emotional stress
  • The disease is on the rise. In the U.S. currently, someone develops the disease every 68 seconds. By 2050, it is predicted to be every 33 seconds

Read the report at the Alzheimer’s Association website:

For NJ elder care Alzheimer’s statistics, download their pdf at

Alzheimer’s Month: In NJ, over 435,000 family members provide care

November 13th, 2012 No Comments

This month is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Most everyone knows a loved one of someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. Our hearts go out to them because it’s a progressive, unpredictable disease. Each individual is different.

One of our specialties at Visiting Angels NJ is to care for the personal and in-home care needs of our beloved Alzheimer’s members within our Visiting Angels extended family. We share this information with you in the hopes of helping families understand the nature of Alzheimer’s and what can be expected in certain cases. Some of this information is difficult and painful, but knowledge is a powerful tool.

Did you remember to set your clocks back an hour? How the time change can affect seniors…

November 5th, 2012 1 Comment

With the time change yesterday, we all got an extra hour of restful sleep. But as elder care New Jersey family caregivers of their senior loved ones know–especially loved ones who have dementia, the time change may have affected sleep patterns.

For example, because it’s dark earlier, those who experience sundown syndrome may experience more confusion and agitation for a time. As a family caregiver, you can try to expose your loved one to as much daylight as possible and keep naps to a minimum. Also, when the sun starts to set, occupy your loved one with a fun activity such as playing a board game.

Read more at:’s


Movies, popcorn, field trips — a unique overnight program for dementia sufferers in NYC

October 2nd, 2012 No Comments

Hebrew Home at Riverdale, a nursing facility in Bronx, NY, has developed a unique overnight program for dementia sufferers. The program is called ElderServe at Night, and is aimed at Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers who tend to stay awake all night, making it difficult for family members to sleep. The program arranges to pick up the patient at night, and delivers them back home in the morning (allowing family caregivers to get some sleep). During the night, they are offered a variety of activities such as watching movies (with popcorn), cooking (with supervision), tactile and sensory activities, resting rooms filled with music and twinkle lights, even field trips if they are able to get out. As the nation ages, and the need for such elder care NJ service increases, this idea is certain to take off. Read the AP story at the Wall Street Journal’s website:

Go ahead and have that 2nd cup of coffee–it may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease…

September 25th, 2012 No Comments

A study led by Chuanhai Cao, PhD (University of South Florida College of Pharmacy), has suggested that adults over the age of 65 who drank 3-4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day were more likely to delay or prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This is great news for those of us who can’t go without our frequent cups of Joe! For those in elder care NJ, always check with your care recipient’s physician before brewing up a fresh pot for them to drink.

Photo: MorgueFile by Alvimann

Have you heard about the Dutch village that’s really a facility for the memory-impaired?

July 23rd, 2012 1 Comment

Picture this: a small village at the edge of Amsterdam with shops, a cafe, hairdresser, and a movie theater. The village is home to 152 residents within 23 apartments. What’s so special about this village? The residents are memory-impaired and the disguised shopkeepers, cashiers, and servers are really health care workers, specifically trained in dementia care. Hogewey, the village, is really a nursing home.

Because most residents believe this is an actual village rather than a care facility, they feel more relaxed and as a result, need less mood-altering medication. This unique concept may influence the future of dementia care here in the United States. Currently, with 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease (1 in 8 older people), and more projected as baby boomers age, the demand for this type of elder care will increase.

For more details on this unique concept, go to