When someone suffers a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, their lives change in an instant. While some brain function may return through healing and rehabilitation, many sufferers plateau, and never return to their former selves.
However, hope is on the horizon thanks to functional neurosurgeons like Jocelyn Bloch. In Dr. Bloch's recent TEDx talk in Zurich, she explains how she and her colleagues discovered a particular kind of cells that may enable brains to help heal themselves.
Dr. Bloch and her colleagues have proven their theories through developing cell cultures using monkey brains, and reintroducing those cells. They did so with a monkey that didn't have any neurological issues, and discovered that the reintroduced cells disappeared. However, when the cells were reintroduced into a monkey that had damaged his brain, the cells remained. She and her colleagues believe that the cells remained to repair the damage.
Moreover, they performed this same experiment with a monkey that had suffered neurological damage, and had rehabilitated until he plateaued. Prior to reintroducing the cells, they had the monkey take a motor skills test. Then, they reintroduced the cells, and two months later, had the monkey take the same test. His progress was clearly and remarkably better.
Medical breakthroughs like this provide hope to those of us who care for sufferers of stroke or other brain injury.
Treating caregivers like family
Caring Hands Caregivers is a family-owned and operated agency that takes great care of our clients, and our caregivers. We recognize that our caregivers are our heart and soul, so we treat them like family. In order to make sure our caregivers succeed at providing the best care possible, we provide on-boarding, and on-going communication and support.
In addition, we now have quarterly caregiver recognition program to show our appreciation for all that our caregivers do. Called the CARE award, eligible caregivers qualify to win recognition--and a nice gift card--based on the following CARE criteria:
We look forward to recognizing our great caregivers, and highlighting their stories. Look to this blog, or follow us on Facebook to hear about the latest winners. Or, if your a caregiver and want to work with us at Caring Hands Caregivers, please submit your application.
In Home Assisted Living
Given a choice, the vast majority of seniors would rather spend their Golden Years in the comfort of their own homes. And while some seniors need to have live-in care in order to remain at home, many seniors are more self-sufficient, and just need a little bit of help during crucial periods of the day or evening.
Bay Area seniors can now get the benefits of Assisted Living while staying in their own home. If you or your loved one needs help with a particular every-day task--such as dressing, bathing, doing errands, at mealtime, or preparing for bed--you can get that help, in as little as 30-minute increments.
We are currently offering this In Home Assisted Living service in many parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. To find out if this service is available near you, call us at 408.775.7626.
Most seniors want to remain in their home for as long as they can. As seniors’ age and their memories falter, being able to live in familiar surroundings becomes more and more comforting.
A recent California Supreme Court ruling is now making live-in home care unaffordable for all but the wealthiest among us. At Caring Hands Caregivers, we pay and treat our caregivers well, as they are at the core of our care, and our business. However, the California Supreme Court nullified the federal sleep time deduction. With that ruling, we are now required to pay our live-in home care workers overtime rate when they are sleeping.
This ruling in Mendiola vs. CPS Security Solutions has significantly increased families’ costs, rendering home care unaffordable for many. When such a substantial payroll burden is being supported entirely by families’ dwindling savings, they often have no choice but to discontinue live-in care. The effects of that kind of change can be traumatic for the entire family, but especially for our senior clients. And if families can't hire us to provide care for their loved ones, our caregivers will be underemployed or even unemployed.
You can help.
We urge you to contact your legislator, and urge them to work tirelessly to appeal this ruling. The burden of such a cost is at the expense of seniors and their families trying to do the right thing.
Thank you for taking action with us.
Through years of experience, we've developed better ways to communicate with our clients who have Alzheimer's disease.
Today, we'd like to share one of these key tips, in the hopes that it can help you through this difficult journey.
Sympathize with their reality
People who have Alzheimer's tend to feel very vulnerable in their confusion, and can perceive threats that aren't actually there. Our natural tendency is to let our loved one know that these threats don't exist, yet that approach can lead them to experience an increased sense of vulnerability.
Sympathizing with the angst that your loved one is experiencing can go a long way to guiding the conversation in a way that eases the suffering of your loved one with Alzheimer's. If your loved one is accusing their neighbor of stealing something, you can say, "I'm sorry that happened to you. You seem really angry. I'd be angry, too, if that happened to me."
Helping clients-- and their families--through the Alzheimer's journey
Watching someone we love suffer from Alzheimer's is extremely difficult and painful. We often want to bring them back to our reality, to an earlier sense of normal. Instead, we have to find a way to come to terms with their loss of function, grieve that loss, and guide them through their new reality.
That's why we provide training and resources to our caregivers and to the families of our clients. We know that providing care is a team effort, and that our clients benefit from a unified approach. If you would like to find out more, send me an email. We're here to help.
The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure Act introduced in House and Senate
Exciting developments in the quest to find a way to slow this disease....
The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) are proud to support the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, new bipartisan legislation prioritizing our nation’s approach to Alzheimer’s disease. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and by Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). The legislation was developed in close partnership between the sponsors, the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM.
“Too often, Alzheimer’s and other dementias are viewed just as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a fatal disease that more than 5 million Americans are living with,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association and AIM President and CEO. “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will ensure communities across the country have access to resources to promote effective Alzheimer’s interventions and better cognitive health that can lead to improved health outcomes.”
The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would establish Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence in communities around the country to expand and promote the evidence base for effective Alzheimer’s interventions, and issue funding to state and local public health departments to promote cognitive health, risk reduction, early detection and diagnosis, and the needs of caregivers. Critically, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would also increase collection, analysis and timely reporting of data on cognitive decline and caregiving to inform future public health actions.
“Alzheimer’s disease is one of the greatest and under-recognized public health threats of our time. Five and a half million Americans are living with the disease, and that number is soaring as our overall population grows older and lives longer,” said Sen. Collins. “After decades of expanding biomedical research in Alzheimer’s, we are ready for the next step: to translate research into practice. I urge my colleagues to join us as cosponsors of this critical bipartisan legislation.”
“As one of the leading causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s prevention is crucial to combating this debilitating disease,” said Sen. Masto. “The number of Americans afflicted with this illness is growing at a staggering pace, and without intervention, as many as 16 million Americans could be living with the disease by 2050. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will address the scourge of Alzheimer’s by creating centers of excellence and assisting state and local governments in their efforts to promote awareness through education and dissemination of best practices. We must work to promote Alzheimer’s prevention, enhance access to treatment, improve patients’ quality of life and find ways to end Alzheimer’s before it claims more lives.”
At an estimated cost of $259 billion annually — including $175 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments — Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country, and is the only leading cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
“Alzheimer’s is the costliest disease in America, with over 5 million Americans living with this disease. Almost every Kentuckian I know is affected by this disease in some way, and many have become caregivers for their family members suffering from Alzheimer’s. That’s why I was proud to join a bipartisan, bicameral group of members to introduce the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. This bill supports cooperative agreements between public and private entities focused on ways to develop best practices for intervention and caregiving, which will help lower costs and promote evidence based research for those who suffer from this awful disease and for those who care for these individuals,” said Rep. Guthrie.
“From my very first days in Congress, I have worked to improve the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and help modern medicine move closer to finding a cure. Through the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act and the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, we laid the groundwork for unprecedented federal investments in Alzheimer’s research and improved care planning for those facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Now we have a critical opportunity to take another giant step forward on this issue, making investments in Alzheimer’s infrastructure that will drive public health research and promote prevention, early detection and diagnosis, all leading to lower costs and better care. I’m proud to stand alongside my fellow Alzheimer’s champions in introducing the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act and I look forward to getting this important legislation signed into law,” said Rep. Paul Tonko.
“We are grateful for the bipartisan support by the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act’s sponsors and for their continued leadership in the fight to end Alzheimer’s,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director. “While we work towards the development of effective preventions and treatments for Alzheimer's, we must implement effective public health solutions today that can help to improve the lives of and outcomes for those living with the disease.”
“Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease that affects millions of Americans and their loved ones, and the more we can do to find a cure, the better. At the same time, we must also do what we can to ease the pain of those suffering and provide help to caregivers, taking a truly comprehensive approach to this fight,” Sen. Moore Capito said. “By creating a public health infrastructure, this bipartisan legislation will help us tackle Alzheimer’s on all fronts and move us closer to finding a cure.”
“As the number of people diagnosed and living with Alzheimer’s disease continues to grow, we have to help alleviate the burden this disease has on our health care system and families across Virginia,” said Sen. Kaine. “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act addresses a problem I often hear from Virginians: how do we improve care for loved ones who are battling Alzheimer’s? States often lack resources that would help caregivers address patient needs. This bipartisan bill would improve care and outcomes by providing a full range of information and support to families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, and boosting local efforts dedicated to addressing this pressing public health need. We are also extremely thankful for the support of the Alzheimer’s Association on this bill, and the work its local chapters do in communities across America to help patients and their families and raise awareness about the disease.”
In 2005, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered to create and launch the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) and developed the Public Health Road Map. The HBI Road Map includes actions for state and local public health departments to promote cognitive functioning, address cognitive impairment and help meet the needs of caregivers. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would increase implementation of the HBI Road Map nationwide.
“Many, many family and friends of Alzheimer’s patients sacrifice their time and resources to assist their loved ones who are unable to care for themselves. We must ensure they have as much support as possible,” said Rep. Smith. “As the number of Alzheimer’s patients is expected to multiply in the coming decades, we must increase funding for vital research and education on how to help patients and their caregivers cope with it. This has become a moral imperative.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. This innovative bill will promote early detection and diagnosis, support caregivers, and reduce health disparities related to the care and treatment of Alzheimer’s patients,” said Rep. Waters.
Former U.S. Surgeon General and CDC Director Dr. David Satcher has said, “Alzheimer’s is the most under-recognized threat to public health in the 21st century.” The Alzheimer’s Association, working through the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement and its advocates, will work to gain further bipartisan support for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act in the 115th Congress.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.
Alzheimer’s Impact Movement
The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization working in strategic partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. AIM advocates for policies to overcome Alzheimer’s disease, including increased investment in research, improved care and support, and development of approaches to reduce the risk of developing dementia. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.
Contact: Alzheimer's Association
Media line: 312.335.4078
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