September 2019 Proactive Seniors Monthly Newsletter

September 2019 Proactive Seniors Monthly Newsletter


September is World Alzheimer’s Month 
World Alzheimer’s Month is the international campaign by Alzheimer’s Disease International every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. World Alzheimer’s Month was launched in 2012. 

Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s Disease?  Perhaps you can make a point to reach out to them this month.  See below for some tips on how to best communicate. 
Welcome to our September newsletter. We have created the Proactive Seniors monthly newsletter to provide useful information, tips and strategies that seniors or people who are blessed with seniors in their lives, can use to make life better. Feel free to pass it along to a friend or family member who would benefit from this kind of information. Subscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter or by visiting our website at:  
A Message from Alberta Health Services

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
September marks Alzheimer’s Awareness month, a time designated to raise awareness of the effects and signs of Alzheimer’s disease in our loved ones and what we can do to support them.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a syndrome that affects memory, thinking, orientation, judgment and ability to carry out everyday tasks. It is estimated that by 2038, about one in 10 Albertans over the age of 65 and nearly half over the age of 90 will be living with some form of dementia.
Dementia has certain warning signs. Contact your doctor if you notice a loved one having increased difficulty with any of the following:
  • Learning and retaining new information 
  • Handling complex tasks, like balancing a cheque book
  • Knowing what to do when problems come up 
  • Finding his or her way around familiar places, driving to and from places he or she knows well 
  • Finding the right words to say what he or she wants to say
  • Understanding and responding to what he or she sees and hears
  • Acting more irritable or suspicious than usual, or withdrawing from conversation and activity.
Finally, here are some tips in communicating with anyone who may have dementia:
  • First, make sure the person does not have a hearing or vision problem. Sometimes a person may not respond to you because he or she cannot hear you. Not being able to see well may make the person more confused, agitated, or withdrawn. If you suspect a problem, have a health professional evaluate the person’s hearing and vision.
  • Don’t argue. Offer reassurance, and try to distract the person or focus his or her attention on something else.
  • Use short, simple, familiar words and sentences. Present only one idea at a time. And avoid talking about abstract concepts.
  • Explain your actions. Break tasks and instructions into clear, simple steps, offered one step at a time. 
  • Pay attention to your tone of voice. Be calm and supportive. A person with dementia is still aware of emotions and may become upset upon sensing anger or irritation in your voice.
  • Maintain eye contact and use touch to reassure and show that you are listening. Touch may be better understood than words. Holding the person’s hand or putting an arm around his or her shoulder may get through when nothing else can.
  • Pay attention to the person’s tone of voice and gestures for clues as to what the person is feeling. Sometimes the emotion is more important than what is said.
  • Do not confront the person about his or her denial of the disease. Arguments will not help either of you.
  • Continue to treat the person with dignity and respect.
  • Allow choices in daily activities. Let the person select his or her clothing, activities, and foods. But too many choices can be overwhelming. Offer a choice of two to three options, not the whole range of possibilities. 
In Alberta, services are readily available for both those suffering from any form of dementia and their caregivers. The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and the Northwest Territories provide education and ongoing support. 
Albertans can also call Health Link at 811 for advice. Health Link will assess the needs of the person and provide immediate advice for their concerns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When needed, callers can be referred to Dementia Advice, which is staffed by specialized dementia nurses.
Proactive Seniors Dementia Care Planning and Coaching

Are you caring for a loved one with dementia or cognitive impairment?  This can be a challenging journey and we are here to help you.  We will identify the programs and services that can best support you as a caregiver and your loved one as well.  Having a ‘road map’ helps build confidence and reduce anxiety towards the future.  We provide ongoing coaching and recommend strategies to address new challenges that occur.  If a transition to residential memory care is needed we can help you find the best fit.  

Alzheimer’s Disease Breakthroughs

New Treatment Methods 

With Alzheimer’s breakthroughs occurring, a better understanding of the disease is happening, and researchers are able to develop new methods of treatment. While not every study can produce a groundbreaking and therapy-altering method, some exciting ones are emerging. One of the most recent methods still being studied comes from West Virginia University. The study uses ultrasound technology, which may not be new, but it has never been used in this capacity. With focused ultrasound waves, they believe they can open a patient’s blood-brain barrier to allow better flow and prevent blocks of large molecules and medications from properly flowing to the brain. This breakthrough, which still in very early phases of testing and study, provides a lot of hope and optimism to the community.  This study will take several years to test, and it is currently being tested on only one patient, but the researchers behind it are very hopeful, and so are we! 

As we continue to make more Alzheimer’s disease breakthroughs, we begin to understand the disease. Another study comes from the University of Manchester  and suggests that herpes simplex virus one (HSV1) can cause cumulative damage to your brain and ultimately lead to the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. This discovery may seem somewhat minor, but it gives researchers hope and a new perspective. On the same token, certain treatments used for HSV1 may also yield potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease. 

Understanding the Disease and Diagnosing 

As Alzheimer’s disease breakthroughs become more common, so do the ways we diagnose the disease. New methods are taking effect, making it easier and more cost-effective to accurately diagnose the condition.

A new method comes out of Duke University where researchers have learned that Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed through an eye test. These researchers found that those with Alzheimer’s have fewer small retinal blood vessels at the back of the eye and a thinner specific layer of the retina compared to those without the disease. 

Another method uses Tau PET scanning to help improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. This process shows a much higher sensitivity to detecting Alzheimer’s disease and can drastically lower the rate of misdiagnosis. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease does share symptoms of other health conditions, and while misdiagnosis is potential, this method helps reduce those odds. 

Written by The Origin Lifestyles Blog Team

Join Us Tomorrow – Sunday September 22nd

for a great Seniors Fair & Presentations

Key Note Speaker will be Dr. Ismail, Associate Professor Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Cummings School of Medicine University of Calgary.  

He will be talking about Brain Health and Early Dementia Detection

See details below….

Supporting A Friend in Dementia Care

Roughly 43% of those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in Canada receive assistance from a formal caregiver or a memory care community. It can be challenging to come to terms with the reality that a close friend is living with memory loss or residing in a memory care community. You may start to feel a disconnect from that friend, but it is important to focus on what you still have with that friend. Origin wants to help you stay connected and engaged with those close to you, even if they are living in a memory care community. Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with a friend in memory care:

Educate Yourself

Whether your friend has Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory loss, learn as much as you can about the condition so you can better empathize with your friend. A better understanding of the disease will also:

  • Help you handle their mood and personality shifts
  • Allow you to understand the importance of developing routines for your friend, i.e., visits, planning activities, etc.
  • Give you a better grasp of additional techniques you can do to help your friend cope with their memory loss

Do Activities Together

When visiting your friend in memory care, take the time to do the activities that you used to enjoy together. Whether it’s sharing a cup of coffee or taking a walk, continue to do these things together. Visits will remind your friend that their friendship is still valuable to you and that you want to continue to share activities with them.

When doing activities together, you can also try to incorporate music or other items that help trigger memories. Triggers like music or smells have strong connections with memories and, even those living with memory loss can start to remember things they may have forgotten. Adding memory triggers to activities not only helps your friend cognitively but helps strengthen your connection.

Be Patient

One of the hardest, and most important things to do is to remember that your friend is living with a disease and at times, will not be the person he or she once was. There will be times when they make perfect sense, respond correctly, and even remember things they had previously forgotten, but these moments will pass. It can be easy to become frustrated when this happens, but patience is key. Showing empathy and understanding with your friend will help build your connection and trust. Treasure the moments when they remember the past but appreciate that your friend is with you in the present.

At Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, we understand how difficult it can be when interacting with a friend with memory loss. It can be even more difficult when that friend relocates to a memory care community. The most significant thing you can do for your friend is to continue to be there for them – reminding them that, although some things have changed, your friendship has not.

Written by the Origin Lifestyle Blog Team 

We Appreciate Your Referrals!

At Proactive Seniors most of our clients come through word-of-mouth referral. We are very proud that our clients and care partners show their trust in us.

To say thank you, each month we draw a name from the growing pool of people who have referred a client to us.  For September we want to thank our long standing client and advocate Mary with a $50 dinner gift card.

Upcoming Presentations or Information Booths (click on presentation for registration information)
  • Canyon Meadows Seniors Fair  – Sunday September 22nd 10-3 (public welcome)
  • Trust and Estate Group – September 25th (private presentation)
  • Seniors Tai Chi Group – September 27th (private booking)
  • Caregiver One Day Retreat – Amica Britannia September 27th 9-4 email: to register (free public event)
If you are part of a group or organization that would like to hear more about Planning Ahead for Proactive Seniors or Seniors Housing Options in Calgary, drop us a line. We’d be happy to accommodate.  
Please help us spread the word.  

The services we offer at Proactive Seniors are not offered anywhere else.  However, because we are a new company, many people don’t know that we are here to help.  Please share our newsletter and follow us on facebook so that more people will know that there is support available to families for Seniors Planning and Seniors Housing . Plan Ahead / Live Well 

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You can reach us at:
Phone: 403-809-1971
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Phone: 403-809-1971

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