Research tells us people who engage in productive and social activities are less likely to develop certain diseases, have a longer lifespan and are happier. Even while you are staying home for COVID-19, you can participate in online games, video chat with friends and family and learn something new.
Have you been meaning to learn Spanish or how to play an instrument? Use this time at home to learn new things. Some music or language teachers offer lessons online, or you could try an app or online tutorial video. Visit the NIH website to learn more about the health benefits of participating in activities you enjoy.
If all the people in Illinois with dementia lived in a single city, it would be the second largest after Chicago, so building dementia friendly communities in Illinois is of significant importance.
Illinois was recognized as a Dementia Friendly state in 2017, as part of Dementia Friendly America. Currently 16 communities in Illinois are designated as Dementia Friendly with many more in the process. ICRN supports Dementia Friendly Illinois and has collected resources to help the efforts of communities in Illinois to become part of the Dementia Friendly America movement.
Dementia Friends Illinois is a grass-roots effort for community members to become aware of the steps they can take individually and collectively to improve the lived experience of persons with dementia and their support systems.
Caregiving is a difficult task, ICRN provides tips on practical caregiving.
Find support groups for caregivers and people with dementia.
ICRN provides information about events, training sessions and webinars all aimed to assist those caring for or living with dementia.
Wishing this Thanksgiving finds you with plenty of reasons to Give Thanks.
People with Alzheimer’s disease may not see, smell, hear, and/or remember things as they used to. You can identify and remove potential home hazards to make life safer and easier for them. Consider the following tips to help prevent accidents…
This alert links to all of the Funding Opportunity Announcements and Notices published by the National Institute on Aging at NIH in the previous month, giving researchers and trainees a heads up about what’s new. Read about the latest NIA…
Finding a way to stay connected during this time of stress and social distancing.
During the spread of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, we are all feeling more lonely and disconnected. If you are living with or caring for someone with dementia that feeling is even stronger. Both family members and healthcare staff are feeling this stress too.
We began #WordsOfComfort to bring us together and share words of support, advice and comfort as we move through this time. We hope these words of comfort help each of us to know that we are not alone.
In moments of great stress such as these, it is impossible not to recognize, appreciate, and be in awe of the tremendous strength of caregivers in putting aside their own worries and facing the ones they are taking care of with calm reassurance and a smile.
On one occasion, I was testing a participant in the Memory and Aging Project who had several physical impairments. Her caretaker was absent on the day of our appointment. While I didn’t meet the caretaker personally, her presence was felt all throughout the apartment: there was a framed photo of the two at the Chicago Pride Parade, the participant used an Amazon Alexa that the caretaker had given her for Christmas, and the caretaker’s warm and giving personality was a recurring topic of conversation.
It wasn’t until later on in the appointment that I learned the reason behind the caretaker’s absence: her sick family member had been hospitalized the night before. It became clear that this caretaker had been acting as a loving, surrogate family member to the participant, in addition to taking care of others outside of her work.
So many caretakers, like this one, go the extra mile. They don’t simply “wipe their feet at the door.” They carry their work with them, touching the lives of those in need, and forming meaningful bonds along the way—all this on top of the challenges they may be facing in their personal lives.
To this caretaker, and all the others, we owe an endless amount of gratitude.
Sandra Shields, a founding member of the Without Warning support program, had a gift for writing poetry. Along with Nancy Swanson, our music therapist, the song Faith was created. This has become a special song to many of our members. Part of this song seems comforting at this time.
Unexpectedly life brings you to your knees.
Just know that there are those out there
That see just what you see.
No matter what life brings you must believe it’s there.
Just as long as you have FAITH.