Fading memories will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Whether our memory is altered by age or information overload, the “fading memory” population helps keep the sticky note industry booming. Our population relies heavily on sticky notes. We place them on the kitchen counter, the bathroom mirror or on the front door to remind us to take medication, call to make an appointment, or grab our keys with us before we leave the house.
According to the University of Cincinnati’s study on dementia, about 5 to 15 percent of people 65 and older suffer from some form of dementia – the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. As people age, the risk of dementia increases. Moderate to severe dementia is found in 3% of those aged 65 to 74 and in 30% of those 85 and older.
Sticky notes are good reminders for things throughout the day, but in order to remain at home for as long as possible, it is important to create a system that works for your specific needs.
And yet, along with all these daily reminders, shouldn’t we also remind ourselves to smile? Studies continue to show that attitude and positivity help increase our ability to stay healthy and enjoy life.
According to The Mayo Clinic, researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
As a family member or caregiver of an aging parent, encouragement and compliments can help brighten someone day and improve their quality of life.
It’s so simple, yet so powerful. So, stock up:
6 pack of sticky notes = $6
1 black sharpie = $1.50
For a whopping $7.50, try it out and make someone’s day 🙂
According to ALZ.ORG:
- More than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s today.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $216 billion.
- Nearly 15% of caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia are long-distance caregivers.
- In 2013, Alzheimer’s will cost the nation $203 billion. This number is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2050.
Alzheimer’s caregiving takes patience and flexibility. An increasing number of caregivers are deepening their knowledge of the disease to better care for their clients and family members. Consider these tips for daily tasks:
1.) Reduce frustrations
- Schedule – A routine will help with predictability and provide less confusion.
- Time – Know that each task will take longer than it used to.
- Keep them involved – Allow them to help as much as they can.
- Limit choices – Fewer options = easier to decide
- Instructions – Provide simple instructions one step at a time.
- Reduce Distractions – Limit outside noise and movement so they can focus on the task at hand.
2.) Be flexible
Even when putting everything on the list above into place, one’s ability to function and cope will steadily decline. It might even vary from day to day. Try to stay flexible and adapt your routine as needed. Keep it simple.
3.) Create a safe environment
- Prevent Falls – Look for things around the house that could cause someone to trip or fall.
- Use Locks – Install locks on any cabinets that contain something potentially dangerous.
- Check water temperature – Lower the thermostat on the hot-water heater to prevent burns.
- Fire Safety Precautions – Keep matches and lighters out of reach.
4.) Focus on individualized care
Each person who has Alzheimer’s will experience its symptoms and progression differently. Because of this, caregiving techniques need to vary. Keep it simple and tailor these tips to your loved one’s individual needs.
5.) Take time for yourself
According to Caring for the Caregiver (http://caringforthecaregiver.org), in the USA today, there are 44 million caregivers. They’re looking after someone who can’t fully take care of him/herself. Caregivers are magnificent and generous people, but often they stubbornly look after themselves last, very much to their detriment. In order to give the best quality of care to your client or family member, you must first take care of yourself.
“This small white pill is what I munch
at breakfast and right after lunch.
I take the pill that’s kelly green
before each meal and in between.
These loganberry-colored pills
I take for early morning chills.
I take the pill with zebra stripes
to cure my early evening gripes.
These orange-tinted ones, of course,
I take to cure my charley horse.
I take three blues at half past eight
to slow my exhalation rate.
On alternate nights at nine p.m.
I swallow pinkies. Four of them.
The reds, which make my eyebrows strong,
I eat like popcorn all day long.
The speckled browns are what I keep
beside my bed to help me sleep.
This long flat one is what I take
if I should die before I wake.”
Dr. Suess, “You’re Only Old Once!”
Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, he went to Oxford University. Geisel published his first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it. Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books before his death on September 24, 1991. His acclimations include being a winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors.
“You’re Only Old Once!” was written shortly after Geisel had suffered through a series of illnesses, during which he spent a considerable amount of time in hospital waiting rooms. To pass the time and bring some humor into the situation, he began sketching images of hospital machines and scenes of medical procedures. “You’re Only Old Once” was Seuss’s first adult book since “The Seven Lady Godivas” was published in 1939. The book reached Number One on the New York Times Best Sellers List, and remained on the list for over 60 weeks.
So for anyone sitting in a waiting room today or being strung through a series of tests, put a little humor into your day. In the words of the great Dr. Seuss, “You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in!”