Posts Tagged ‘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

8 Ways to Prevent Wandering in Seniors with Dementia

August 17th, 2016 1 Comment

Wandering in Seniors with Dementia In-Home Care Visiting Angels New Jersey

There are more than 5-million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and 6-in-10 will begin to wander. Seniors living with dementia often don’t remember their name, other peoples’ names, or their addresses. They can become confused, even when in a familiar place.  Wandering among seniors with dementia can be dangerous, but may be prevented with a few proactive strategies.

Wandering is most common among seniors with dementia and can start at any stage of the disease. Early recognition of warning signs can help loved ones plan for situations that can lead to wandering, such as restless pacing, appearing to be confused or lost in a new or different environment, or difficulty locating familiar places around the house.

Even the most dedicated family member or caregiver can struggle to stop a senior with dementia from wandering, but below are 8 strategies that may lower the chances of wandering:

  • 1. Identify the time of day in which they tend to typically wander. Planning daily activities and getting exercise can help reduce anxiety and restlessness often felt by those with dementia.
  • 2. Make sure all basic daily needs are met. Do they have to use the bathroom? Are they thirsty or hungry? A person who has dementia may become agitated and want to find relief somewhere—causing the wandering behavior.
  • 3. Ensure your home is secure. Install locks on the windows and doors that can’t be opened easily. You should also place the locks higher or lower on the door so that they are out of sight, as this can prevent your loved one from easily unlocking the door and getting out and wandering. You may also hang a bell on the doorknob or purchase wander alarms to alert you when your loved one is attempting to leave.
  • 4. Keep car keys out of sight. This will eliminate the chance of a person with dementia from driving a car and putting themselves and others in danger.
  • 5. Wear brightly colored clothing. If you’re going to be in a crowd or a busy place, have your loved one dress brightly colored clothing. By wearing brightly colored clothing, it will make it easier to spot them at a distance or in a crowd should they wander.
  • 6. Provide reassurance if the person feels lost, abandoned or confused. Use communication that focuses on exploration and validation in situations where the person with dementia may want to leave to “go home” or “go to work.” Instead of correcting them, use statements that re-direct their anxiety such as “everything is under control at work today; I could really use help folding laundry, though.” Communicate with them in such a way that they feel you’re taking them seriously. Try to focus on how they feel rather than what they are saying.
  • 7. Camouflage the exits. In addition to placing door locks out of the line of sight, paint them the same color as the wall to make it more difficult to locate the exit. An alternative would be to cover the doors with a removable curtain or screen.
  • 8. Use signs. Sometimes a simple sign on doors that says “stop” or “do not enter” can prevent wandering.

If your loved one does wander off, do not panic, but do act quickly. If you can’t locate the person, contact the police. It’s a good idea to have them carry a card in their wallet, purse, or ID bracelet with their address and responsible party’s phone number. GPS technology can also help: via a phone app (providing they carry a phone), a watch, or other wearable trackers.

For family caregivers of seniors with dementia, wandering can cause significant stress. Having a plan in place, taking precautions in the home, and knowing what to do in case of an emergency can help decrease that stress.

If your loved one has been wandering, contact Visiting Angels. Visiting Angels can help improve the quality of life for seniors and adults with dementia throughout Mercer and Burlington Counties in New Jersey with individualized, non-medical, in-home care.

Famous faces may be key to determining early-onset dementia…

August 13th, 2013 No Comments

News for those in elder care New Jersey:

A study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago helps reveal early-onset dementia. Early onset dementia typically occurs before people reach the age of 65. The test involves asking people name twenty famous people from photos and give details why they’re famous. A person without dementia was able to name 93% of the celebrities and recognized 97% of them. Those with early-onset dementia only could name 46% of the celebrities, and were able to recognize and give some details about them for 79% of the photos. For those who could not recognize and name the celebrities, they apparently have tissue loss in both sides of the brain. If they recognized them, but could not name them, the brain tissue loss is in the left side.

Who are the famous people?

John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Liza Minnelli, Pope John Paul II, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Martin Luther King Jr., Humprey Bogart, Sammy Davis Jr., Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Lucille Ball, Condoleezza Rice, and Queen Elizabeth II

Read more on the story at

Photo credit: John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston


Poor dental health may contribute to dementia risk…

August 23rd, 2012 1 Comment

Your mother (and dentist) always told you to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Turns out, Mom was right. Now, a study from the University of California suggests those who brush less than one time per day may have an increased risk for developing dementia…65% greater. This may be related to bacteria which could cause brain inflammation. Read more on’s website:



National Alzheimer’s Plan announced…

May 16th, 2012 1 Comment

Promising NJ elder care news for all affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias

On Tuesday, May 15, the Obama Administration released the National Alzheimer’s Plan. This plan shows the nation’s commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Its main goal is to find successful ways to treat and prevent the disease by 2025. Other goals include expanding support for those with Alzheimer’s and their families, enhancing public awareness, optimizing quality of care and efficiency, and tracking progress and improvements.Visit the government’s new web site at to learn more.

Does Santa’s behavior show signs of dementia?

December 20th, 2011 1 Comment

Does Santa show signs of having dementia? An article from shows how his behavior and health may reveal 7 potential symptoms. For example, he makes a list and checks it twice–many Alzheimer’s sufferers make lists to help them remember. He asks the same questions over and over again (such as “Have you been good this year? What would you like for Christmas?”). He’s getting up in age…and his belly is rotund (obesity is a risk factor). To read all seven of Santa’s similarities, go to

This Thanksgiving, don’t leave out the family member with dementia…

November 23rd, 2011 No Comments

This Thanksgiving, you and your family members can help a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, or other related dementia, to be drawn into the conversation. offers several tips to help create a meaningful Thanksgiving for all ( One idea is to encourage the person to reminisce about past Thanksgivings and holidays; it’s best to keep the person engaged and comfortable.

Visiting Angels NJ Senior Care wishes you and your loved ones all the best this Thanksgiving!

Did you see the emotional tribute to Glen Campbell last night on the CMA awards?

November 10th, 2011 No Comments

Vince Gill, Keith Urban, and Brad Paisley gave a grab-a-tissue tribute to Glen Campbell last night at the Country Music Association awards. Campbell announced earlier this year that he has been diagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease. Watch the tribute by visiting (

Try these 10 easy and interesting activities for those with dementia…

November 8th, 2011 No Comments

We all like to be busy in some form or another. In a person with dementia, especially, engaging activities promote a positive state of well-being. They are happier when doing something productive, which makes the caregiver’s job much more pleasant as well. At, they’ve compiled a list of 10 activities to try, such as listening to their favorite music (and singing along), looking through old photo albums, taking a short walk, and more. Read the article at 

At Visiting Angels, our certified home health aides can help family caregivers implement these activities. Call the home care NJ experts today at 609-883-8188!

Shoes with GPS about to hit the US market, great for Alzheimer’s sufferers…

October 26th, 2011 No Comments

Do you have a loved one with dementia who is prone to wander? A new shoe is about to make its mark in the U.S., one with a GPS tracking device built into the heel. The shoes cost around $300 and are able to track the whereabouts of the person wearing them. Family members can set up an area in which the person cannot walk beyond without setting off an alarm. Read the full story by visiting