Use a Twiddle Muff

twiddle muff - bluetwiddle muff - cat

 

When you hear the word “activities”, what do you think of?  Maybe you picture arts & crafts, bingo, card games, or woodworking.  To participate in such activities, one must: follow instruction, sequence multiple steps, maintain mental focus, etc., etc. Executing such activities effectively involves use of higher order cognitive processes that are eventually eroded in dementia. Activities need to be simplified more and more extensively as the disease progresses. As your person enters the late stage of the disease, even familiar activities may become too complex.

However, it is critical that those with late stage dementia still be engaged. Keep in mind that “activities” may no longer resemble activities that we would traditionally think of. Reading a book out loud to the person with dementia, listening to a song together, or looking out the front window are all activities suitable for individuals in the later stages of the disease. At this point in the disease process, sensory stimulation or ‘passive’ activities tend to work best.

For someone in the late stage of Alzheimer’s, the Twiddle Muff may be an ideal choice of activity. The friendly, soft and cozy muff, contains a soft, squeezable ball tethered within the center of the muff. It also has three exchangeable gadgets: a sealed satin bag containing movable marbles, a strand of textured ribbons, a loop of colorful wooden beads, as well as a soft, faux suede pocket for personal essentials and a velcro tab patch.

The Twiddle®Cat provides comfort, warmth, and activity to promote increased hand flexibility and brain stimulation. It can help and comfort those with diminished hand mobility, limited social interaction or anyone soothed by repetitive tactile motion.

Interested in learning more or purchasing this product? Follow the links below:

http://store.best-alzheimers-products.com/index.php/twiddle-pup.html#.U4YZP_ldWSo

http://store.best-alzheimers-products.com/index.php/twiddle-cat-cream.html#.U4YZOvldWSo

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The Night Shift cast Invites You to Fight Alzheimer’s on The Longest Day®

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Make No-Bake Cookies

CL9455_no-bake-cookies_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

No-bakes can be whipped up in less time and with fewer ingredients than most traditional cookies. In fact, you probably have everything you need right in your pantry. Low maintenance recipes (like this one) are ideal, as this may prevent confusion and frustration from occurring. Simple AND scrumptious? How deliciously perfect! :)

As the person’s dementia progresses, certain abilities will fade. Therefore, it is important to provide the right amount of supervision and hands on assistance in order for the person to be successful. For instance, someone who is in the early stages of dementia may be able to manage several steps of the recipe without a lot of help. However, someone else that has progressed to the middle stages of the disease, may do better with a 1-2 or single step task, such as dropping spoonfuls of the cookie mixture onto a prepared baking sheet.

Each person is different. Be observant to how YOUR person is reacting to what he/she is bring asked to do. If we notice confusion or anxiety, that may be our cue to simplify instructions and/or slow down the pace of the activity.

The recipe below was taken from a foodnetwork.com entry. I’ve seen other recipes that include shredded coconut, candy pieces, or other little surprises mixed in. You could also try ‘lightening up’ the recipe will fat free peanut butter or sugar alternatives. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • Large pinch of kosher salt

Directions

Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.

Bring the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, and stir to combine.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and let sit at room temperature until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/peanut-butter-chocolate-no-bake-cookies-recipe.html?vty=recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-no-bake-cookies-recipe.html&oc=linkback

 

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Spring Conference: Alzheimer’s Association – Greater MI Chapter

Spring Conf flyer image

Please join us for our 4th Annual Spring Conference “Breaking Through the Taboo of Alzheimer’s Disease” in collaboration with the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center. This educational conference will take place on Tuesday, June 2nd from 8:00am-3:45pm at the Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights.

This conference will provide an unflinching look at several stigmas surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. The agenda will feature common taboo topics, such as decision making and ethical considerations. In addition, presenters will suggest practical strategies that professionals and family caregivers will find useful to enhance care provision and quality of life.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided. 4.5 Continuing Education Credits will be awarded to professionals.

Don’t delay…the discounted rate offered for early registration will be ending at close of business on Monday, May 11th!

To learn more and to register, please visit http://www.alz.org/gmc. We hope to see you on June 2nd!

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Make Homemade Pesto

BasilPesto

“BasilPesto” by Ɱ – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BasilPesto.JPG#/media/File:BasilPesto.JPG

Pesto is an easy and delicious sauce featured in many flavorful dishes. Traditionally, pesto consists of basil (lots of it) olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and pine nuts. However, many variations exist. Pesto originates from Northern Italy, but other cultures and styles of cuisine have taken their own spin on it. For instance, rather than basil, you might consider using another herb, such as cilantro, for a Mexican flair. Add seeded and finely chopped jalapenos for a spicy kick. Substitute almonds or walnuts for pine nuts. Get creative!

Already thinking about chowing down? Pesto is frequently used as a pasta sauce, but it can also be added to minestrone or mashed potatoes, drizzled on grilled chicken or steak, or used as a pizza sauce or sandwich condiment  — the options are only limited by your imagination!

Perhaps the best part? Pesto is so easy to make! Follow the traditional recipe below (adapted from simplyrecipes.com) or mastermind your own riff on a classic. If you do not own a food processor, the recipe can also be made in a blender.

  • 2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves, Packed
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese (about 2 oz)
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • Place washed and dried basil leaves, then all other ingredients (except for oil), in food processor or blender.
  • Pulse several times until well combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape sides.
  • Add a steady stream of oil to mixture and continue blending. Continue until all ingredients are well combined into a homogeneous mixture.

Your person may enjoy smelling the aromatic ingredients (e.g. herbs, garlic) and will love eating the finished product with you. Ask your person to wash and pat dry the herbs, grate the cheese, or encourage him/her to sit nearby and watch as you go through the preparations. Be alert to the possibility of frustration or boredom. Be prepared to modify or end the activity, if your person is becoming too agitated or overwhelmed.

Mangia! Mangia! :)

 

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Create a TrialMatch Profile

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Clinical trials are essential to advancing Alzheimer’s disease research at a time when Alzheimer’s is reaching epidemic proportions. Through clinical studies conducted over the last 20 years, scientists have made tremendous strides in understanding how Alzheimer’s affects the brain. It is only through clinical studies that we will develop and test promising new strategies for treatment, prevention, diagnosis, and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Today, the greatest obstacles to developing the next generation of Alzheimer’s treatments is recruiting and retaining clinical trial participants.

Exploring clinical trial options by yourself can be a steep mountain to climb. Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch helps simplify the process by presenting clinical trial information in an easy to understand format.  In addition, we have staff that are happily waiting to answer your call, and guide you through the process.

Don’t just hope for a cure. Help us find one. Join the millions that are using TrialMatch, and discover the path to tomorrow’s treatments, today.

Want to get started? Visit http://www.alz.org/trialmatch or call 800-272-3900. Watch the video clip below to see the program in action.

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