Weekly ACA’s Weekly Email February 19, 2021

Upcoming Webinars:

Zoom Support Groups available online:

Alzheimer’s News:

In her latest blogpost, physician, author and former caregiver, Renee Harmon discusses how grief plays out when a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is in the mix. It’s messy and complicated. Ambiguous loss is a term used to describe the loss that comes when the loved one is missing, physically or psychologically. With dementia, care partners witness first-hand this type of loss, as their loved ones gradually change from the person they were. The gift and challenge comes in recognizing the God-spark still inside, and loving them through to the end. https://www.reneeharmon.com/2021/02/17/acknowledge-your-ambiguous-grief/

If you’re caring for a person living with Alzheimers or another form of dementia, chances are you’ve heard the statement I want to go home before. Phrases like I need to get out of here or I’m looking for my mom are very common in dementia care, as they’re a symptom of a changing brain.  Read dementia expert, Teepa Snow’s blogpost How to Calm a Person Living with Dementia Who is Wanting to Go Home – Positive Approach to Care (teepasnow.com)

Aging with Pride: IDEA (Innovations in Dementia Empowerment and Action) at the University of Washington is offering a free program for individuals with memory loss and their care partners. Either the person with memory loss or their care partner must be LGBTQ+. The program includes nine individualized sessions with a trained coach and focuses on problem solving, improving communication, and low impact exercise. The sessions are virtual, using easy video chatting.  Compensation is provided for completing phone interviews, and the program is available in all 50 states.

Watch 3 archived webinars from Being Patient:

  • Caregiving Strategies for Managing Dementia Symptoms, with dementia care expert Teepa Snow Watch it here >>
  • Navigating Life After a Dementia Diagnosis, Bree Baldwin, aging life care manager at Debra Levy Associates, discusses ways to establish a care plan. Watch it here >>
  • Looking After Yourself While Caregiving, Psychologist Dale Atkins, co-author of “The Kindness Advantage,” discusses dementia caregiving and finding time for oneself, building a network of support, and navigating the complex emotions of caregiving. Watch it here >>

People with dementia are at heightened risk of contracting an infection from the novel coronavirus and have significantly greater rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 than those without dementia, according to a recent study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia. The study also indicated that people with dementia were 2.6 times more likely to be hospitalized and 4.4 times more likely to die than those without dementia, though these numbers do not account for demographics, underlying medical conditions or nursing home residency.  

Drugmaker Cassava believes its experimental Alzheimer’s therapy, which sent the company’s stock values surging with a recent phase 2 study announcement, could beat Biogen’s aducanumab to FDA approval. Learn more about sumifilam >>

AFA’s Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness College Scholarship Essay Contest is an annual competition for college-bound high school seniors.  Applicants are asked to write a 1,200 to 1,500-word essay that describes the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on themselves, their families or their communities, and what they have learned in light of coping with the brain disorder. The grand prize winner receives $5,000, with additional prizes awarded for runners up. 2021 Essay Submission Deadline Extended to March 1.  Alzheimer’s Foundation of America | <AFA’s Teen Scholarship Essay Contest> (alzfdn.org)

Check out AFA’s Teal Room (www.alzfdn.org/afatealroom) for free daily offerings of virtual therapeutic and activity programs, including music, art, dance/movement, chair yoga and virtual field trips.

Visit The Dementia Action Alliance website for a schedule of programs for people living with dementia, such as Poetry Club, Guided Meditation, Whimsical Art, and Sports Club, as well as the opportunity to connect with others. DAA’s website

Placemats needed for “fidget blankets”.   Volunteers from Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church have made hundreds of fidget blankets out of discarded placemats.  All kinds of trinkets, fabric, zippers, etc. are sewn on the placemats giving them interesting textures.  The blankets are used by family caregivers to help with agitation and boredom and have been distributed to many on ACA’s service programs.  If you have any placemats that could be recycled for this purpose, please contact Miller Piggott, mpiggott@alzca.org.