Dementia Connection of Havasu Logo

Dementia Connection MembersWelcome to
Dementia Connection
of Havasu

We are members of the community who have formed a non-profit organization dedicated to providing SUPPORT and EDUCATION regarding issues related to dementia.  We have dedicated volunteers that facilitate SUPPORT GROUPS and ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS, which allow attendees to discuss issues they face, learn new coping skills and help others while helping themselves.
 
 
 
Support Groups
Dementia Connection of Havasu holds regular support group meetings the
first, second and third Tuesdays of each month at 1:00 pm
 
An activity group is provided for your loved one, if you are interested please call 928-453-8190 to make a reservation for the activity group. 
 
Tuesday meetings are held in the HCHF Learning Center in the Shambles, 2126 McCulloch Blvd. N. Ste. 5 & 7.
 
On the fourth Thursday of the month at 1:00 pm, there is another meeting for caregivers or family members only..
 
Thursday meetings are held at HCHF meeting room at 94 Acoma Blvd. S. Suite 101.
 
 

Alzheimer's Association Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures

 

About Dementia – Definition

• Dementia is a general term that describes a group of symptoms-such as loss of memory, judgment, language, complex motor skills, and other intellectual function-caused by the permanent damage or death of the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons.
• One or more of several diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, can cause dementia.
• Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in persons over the age of 65. It represents about 60 percent of all dementias.
• The other most common causes of dementia are vascular dementia, caused by stroke or blockage of blood supply, and dementia with Lewy bodies. Other types include alcohol dementia, caused by sustained use of alcohol; trauma dementia, caused by head injury; and a rare form of dementia, frontotemporal dementia.
• The clinical symptoms and the progression of dementia vary, depending on the type of disease causing it, and the location and number of damaged brain cells. Some types progress slowly over years, while others may result in sudden loss of intellectual function.
• Each type of dementia is characterized by different pathologic, or structural, changes in the brain, such as an accumulation of abnormal plaques and tangles in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and abnormal tau protein in individuals with frontotemporal dementia.

Warning Signs

Although every case of Alzheimer’s disease is different, experts have identified common warning signs of the brain disease. Remember, Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and it is important to look for signs that might indicate Alzheimer’s disease versus basic forgetfulness or other conditions. With Alzheimer’s disease, these symptoms gradually increase and become more persistent.
If someone is exhibiting these symptoms, the person should check out his or her concerns with a healthcare professional. Awareness of these warning signs is not a substitute for a consultation with a primary care provider or other qualified healthcare professional.

Typical warning signs include:

• Memory loss, especially of recent events, names, placement of objects, and other new information
• Confusion about time and place
• Struggling to complete familiar actions, such as brushing teeth or getting dressed
• Trouble finding the appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions and conversations
• Poor judgment when making decisions
• Changes in mood and personality, such as increased suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities
• Difficulty with complex mental assignments, such as balancing a checkbook or other tasks involving numbers.

Diagnosis:

• Clinicians can now diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with up to 90 percent accuracy. But it can only be confirmed by an autopsy, during which pathologists look for the disease’s characteristic plaques and tangles in brain tissue.
• Clinicians can diagnose “probable” Alzheimer’s disease by taking a complete medical history and conducting lab tests, a physical exam, brain scans and neuro-psychological tests that gauge memory, attention, language skills and problem-solving abilities.
• Proper diagnosis is critical since there are dozens of other causes of memory problems. Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other memory problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
• The sooner an accurate diagnosis of “probable” Alzheimer’s disease is made, the easier it is to manage symptoms and plan for the future. Click here to gain insight into the new diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease released in April 2011, as discussed by Marie A. Bernard, M.D., deputy director of the National Institute on Aging and one of the experts who helped develop the criteria.
Click here to learn more about community memory screenings, including those provided during AFA’s National Memory Screening Day each November and Community Memory Screenings year-round. Results of screenings during these initiatives do not represent a diagnosis, but can indicate whether someone should pursue a full medical examination. We at the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Connection of Havasu provide free memory screening. Just email or call us at 928.855.6000 to set your appointment.

Making the Most of Community Services

Community services can make a big difference, but it takes work to find those most relevant to your situation. Here are some tips to get you started:
Respite Care: A Break for the Caregiver
READ the Article
Hiring a Home Care Worker
WATCH the Video
Hiring a Home Care Worker
READ the Article

Identify needs

Assessing what you and your loved one may need can be overwhelming. You can attempt this on your own, or you can hire a geriatric care manager who will conduct a formal assessment, which will identify both needs and sources of assistance. Learn more on how to properly assess your and your loved one’s needs.

Do your research

Find out what community services are available where your parents live, or get help from a geriatric care manager, social worker or hospital discharge planner. These folks can point you in the right direction for the services you’re interested in. In addition, some community agencies provide relevant information and referral services.

Compare costs

What will insurance cover? While you may be able to find free or subsidized services, some may be short-term only. If Medicare, Medicaid or other insurance policies provide coverage, be sure to find out the limits. Check with your area agency on aging, organizations offering community or faith-based services, and your local department of social services.

Check for the quality of services

There is limited government oversight of long-term care services, so it’s important for you to analyze their quality. If someone is coming into the home, interview them, check with the agency that represents them (if applicable), get referrals and ask for references. If you are bringing your loved one to a facility, take a tour, interview staff, ask to contact other families who are using/have used the facility in the past and take notes about anything amiss.

Get referrals

Start with friends and family. Interview providers and involve your parents if feasible. Find out about worker education, training and experience, and get at least two references. Ask if the agency screens and bonds employees and provides training. Visit facilities. How clean are they? What kinds of activities are going on? Who participates — those with physical disabilities? Speech problems? Alzheimer’s?

Be organized

Specialists on aging will tell you to organize a filing system for all the agencies you research. This will come in handy should you need to compare and contrast all of the different agencies and services you look into.

Be sensitive to your loved one’s reactions

Although your loved one may prefer that you or other family members provide all their care, you have the right to get help. Work through their concerns, and if needed, seek help from a geriatric care manager. While it’s their best interest that you have at heart, you need to remember to take care of yourself.
 

Books For Adults available on Amazon:

 36 Hour Day
A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss
by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins
Losing Mother Twice, Facing the Alzheimer’s Journey
The authors know how incredibly difficult it is to watch a loved one lose herself.  They describe their mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease from the first signs of illness until the day they lose her for the second time.
by Regina Olson and Deborah Harwood
Still Alice
Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
by Lisa Genova
The Hedge People
How I kept my sanity and sense of humor as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
by Louise Carey
Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out
Offers a glimpse into the world of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. The author, who was diagnosed at age 58, shares his account of his slow transformation and deterioration.
by Richard Taylor
Losing Lou-Ann
Losing Lou-Ann is a biography of a Pick’s disease patient from diagnosis to death, seven years later.
by Clinton A. Erb
The Alzheimer’s Diet:
A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach for Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment
by Richard S. Isaacson, MD and Christopher N. Ochner, Ph.D
The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook
100 Recipes to Boost Brain Health
by Marwan Sabbagh, MD
Losing my MInd
An Intimate Look at a Life with Alzheimer’s
by Thomas DeBaggio
Creating Moments of Joy
A Journal for Caregivers
by Jolene Brackey
A Dignified Life
A Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
by Virginia Bell, M.S.W. and
David Troxel, M.P.H.
Caregiver’s Bible
Helping Older Adults with Behavioral and Emotional Quandaries
by William Matterson, Ph.D.
What if It’s Not Alzheimer’s?
A Caregivers Guide to Dementia
by Lisa Radin
Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s
Offers a practical approach to the emotional well-being of both patients and caregivers.
by Robert N. Butler, M.D.
Dr. Ruth’s Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver
How to Care for Your Loved One without Getting Overwhelmed
by Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and
Pierre A. Lehu
Inside Alzheimer’s
Inside Alzheimer’s tells how dozens of persons with dementia and their sharing of wisdom, humor and life’s teachings led Ms. Pearce to the six basic principles of connection
by Nancy Pearce
 
 

Resources

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America 
1-866-232-8484
http://www.alzfdn.org/
 
Alzheimer’s Association 
1-800-272-3900
http://www.alz.org/
 
National Institute of Health
Lou Ruvo Cleveland Clinic
Keep Memory Alive
Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Arizona Attorney General / Advance Directives / Life Care Planning
www.azag.gov/life_care
Vial of Life
http://www.vialoflife.com/
The Vial of Life is a smart way to have your medical information on hand just in case of an emergency. Seniors need this because of their constant medical changes and medications… It’s the right thing to do.
Arizona Department of Health Services
www.azdhs.gov
1) Licensing Facilities / Provider Search
2) Assisted Living
3) Enter name
AZ Care Check is a searchable database containing information about deficiencies found against facilities/providers by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Records may be searched by facility/provider name, location, and provider type. The database contains information about the facilities and providers. Specific searches for Enforcement Actions can also be conducted by selecting that option.