Summer is here, fireflies are lighting up the night, barbecue grills are smoking, and kids are running barefoot in the yards of Overland Park and Kansas City. But it’s not all fun and games in the summer. Elderly people in particular are vulnerable to heat waves—this population having experienced a significant increase in cardiovascular deaths related to heat waves since 1999.

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Living with Dementia

Living with dementia is demanding, putting strain on caregivers that has lasting impact. Although dementia has different diagnoses—whether it’s Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s Disease, Lewey Body Dementia or other forms of memory loss—the strain on the caregiver is a proven fact. That’s why our professionals at Thoughtful Care have put together a self-care guide for those caring for loved ones with dementia.

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Being a caregiver of someone who requires 24/7 care is tough under any circumstances. Add in dealing with confusion, aggression, sundowning, wandering, and all the other behaviors that go along with Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s not a wonder why as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you may be sleep deprived.

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Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a 24/7 job. It’s also both physically and emotionally demanding. So it’s no wonder that Alzheimer’s caregivers frequently find themselves stressed. And many caregivers end up neglecting their own health by not getting enough sleep, proper nutrition, exercise, and down time. Here are some things you can do to manage Alzheimer’s caregiver stress:

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Communication is difficult for people who have Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia. It’s also not easy for someone who doesn’t have Alzheimer’s to communicate with someone who does. Here are some tips that might help improve communication between people with dementia and their friends and family members and/or caregivers.

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I have five siblings. And aside from normal childhood squabbles, we’ve always gotten along. But there was still some tension around who would do what when my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. My dad would send out a list of things he needed help with, and we’d all wait for someone else to sign up to do them. Or try to choose the easiest tasks before someone else got them.

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Being a caregiver for someone who has Alzheimer’s is a tough job. I had five siblings to help with my mom, and we still needed to hire a Kansas City agency that provided Alzheimer’s home care services. So don’t feel bad if you can’t do it all. You’re not alone.

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