COVID-19 Guidance for Caregivers of People Living with Dementia

Navigating the COVID-19 Reopening Process: Tips for Alzheimer’s Families

Navigating the COVID-19 Reopening Process: Tips for Alzheimer’s Families

June 25, 2020

8:07 AM

5 Ways For Dementia Caregivers to De-Stress

Caregiving Skills

5 Fun Activities to do with the Grandkids this Summer

There are few things sweeter than the bond between Grandparents and their grandchildren. The memories made at grandma and grandpa’s house are memories that can last a lifetime. Have fun this summer joining generations together with good times and sunshine by trying out these 5 fun summer activities.

Summer Activities

Summer Activities

Painting Garden Rocks- Add a personal touch to the yard or indoor potted plants with these little jewels! It’s simple and fun for all ages. All you need for this summer activity are a few stones, acrylic paint, small paint brushes and wa-lah, grandma is so fun! These make great keepsakes or gifts kids can give to family and friends for their garden as well. Paint a stone in dad or grandpa’s favorite colors to give as a paper weight or wishing stone.

*Tip: Larger stones give more surface area making it easier for younger children to paint a design.

Summer ActivitySummer Activity

Silky Soft No Cook Play Dough- If you have hair conditioner and cornstarch you are good to go for this sensory activity! Mix together 1 cup conditioner and 2 cups cornstarch to create a silky smooth, no bake play dough. If you would like to add color, separate the dough in half and sprinkle Kool-aid mix or a few drops of food coloring then knead together with your hands. Keep the dough stored in an air tight container when not using so it does not dry out.

*Tip: Use a measuring cup, if the ratio is off the dough will not result in the desired pliable consistency.

Cookie Cutter PB&J!- Turn an ordinary lunch into an extraordinary activity! Make peanut butterSummer Activities

Summer Activities and jelly (or other favorite) sandwich into little works of art by cutting out shapes with cookie cutters. Simply put your sandwich together like usual then place the cutter in the middle of the sandwich. Press cutter all the way down and move it quickly giggling from side to side until the middle breaks free from the outer edge just as you would with cookie dough. Doesn’t food that looks pretty taste that much better?

Bon appetite!

Summer Activities

Summer Activities

Bubble Target Game- Looking for an outdoor activity that allows the kids to be active but is easy on grandma? Let grams relax in a chair and blow bubbles while the kiddos run around trying to pop as many bubbles as they can using a mini squirt gun. This is a summer game that both generations can enjoy together. Don’t forget the sunscreen and pitcher of delicious ice cold lemonade!

*Tip- Using a large bubble wand and small squirt guns usually work best for this game.

Summer ActivitiesSummer Activities

Build an Outdoor Tent- Build a shady retreat together using a sheet, a rope line to lift it up off the ground and 4 heavy objects to hold down each corner. For the rope line you can you use anything on hand such as fishing line, rope or yarn. If your sheet isn’t large enough to be held down on each corner you can use rope to tie off each corner to any nearby object. Tents are fun for the kids and shield them from the summer rays. Try adding a pillow or two for lounging and a book or coloring pad.

Backyard Granny Pods: The Exciting Elderly Care Option

Granny PodsGranny PodsGranny Pods also known as MedCottages are an exciting housing alternative to nursing and other senior care facilities. Now mom can be just steps away while having her own private, comfortable and safe space to live in. Basically, a Granny Pod is a small cottage like home that can be installed in your own back yard. These little homes come equipped like a hospital room for safety but look and feel homey like a cottage. There are few options out there today but the market is quickly growing as they rise in popularity. One of my favorites is made by Reverend Ken Dupin who designed the MedCottage, a pod that is not only medically safe but it also provides a harmonious environment to live in.

As an only child, I knew that one day it would be my responsibility to care for my parents should the day come where they could no longer care for themselves. I remember even as a young teenager my mom semi-jokingly saying, “don’t put me in a nursing home!” While there are many facilities out there that take excellent care of seniors with 24 hour care, entertainment, friendships and much more, for me I knew I would move mom, dad or both in with me and my family if possible. This choice also brought questions to mind, one being, would this option affect my marriage? My husband and I are both private people and enjoy our alone time. Would living full time in the same dwelling with parents take a toll on our relationship? Caring for parents who are unable to safely care for themselves can be challenging no matter how close of a relationship you have with them. Granny pods offer privacy and independence for both parties yet our loved ones are only a few steps away.

Millions of adult children find themselves having to make serious decisions regarding choices between In-Home Care, Retirement Communities, Assisted Livings, Nursing Homes exedra. These pods have shed a whole new light on what senior care can look like today, paving the way for future innovations for tomorrow. For more detailed information on MedCottages including prices, size options, included safety amenities and much more, visit

The Father’s Day Gift Dad Really Wants

Father's DayFather's Day

Father’s Day

June 19th 2016

Give the greatest gift of all: time…with you!

Father’s Day is just around the corner, impress pops this year with a gift that will create memories and warm his heart…time spent with you! Thinking back on your life, what special moments come to mind? Is it a memory of receiving an item or an experience you shared with someone? Sometimes, it can be both. In general, it’s easier to recall shared moments where you did something out of the ordinary than it is to remember a tangible gift you received. Creating special experiences for or with a special person in your life gives you the opportunity to strengthen your bond and show just how much you care.

Plan a trip!

A trip doesn’t need to be long or extravagant to be special. Plan a day or weekend adventure! Let’s say dad loves nothing better than a good burger, find a burger place with great reviews in another town or city and make a trip out of it! Document with pictures and print them out for dad when the trip is over. This same idea could be based around any other favorite food or activity. The real gem of the trip will be spending time together creating memories.

What if dad can’t travel?

Father's Day

Father's DayIf your father is unable to travel due to poor health or other conditions, bring an adventure to him! If he is

in a facility and it is not in his best interest to leave the community, consider having a volunteer or paid service come for a visit. Does dad love hearing the strums of a guitar? Ask the local church if there are any guitar players in the church choir that would be willing to come by one Sunday after church for a special performance! Are animals his thing? See if there are any pet services in the area that go to assisted livings or nursing homes. Some cities even have exotic animals companies that charge by the hour for private or group visits. Regardless of if you watch his favorite movie or a hire a 3 ring circus, dad will appreciate the time spent with you.

When You Can’t be with Dad in Person

If you can’t be with dad in person this year, no worries, there are ways that you can connect with dad from afar or simply plan a visit in the near future. Video chat with dad if possible letting him in on the plans and details. You can also send family photos in the mail or make a video for dad that he can play anytime he wants. If you have kids or grandkids, get them in on the action too, grandparents are known for bragging about the little ones! A woman I recently met mentioned to me that one of her dad’s favorite gifts before he passed away was a photo of his grandchildren printed on a t-shit. She told me how he would wear the shirt with great pride. Customized photo shirts can be purchased through Walgreens or other online retailers.

Have fun getting creative this year and thinking

outside of the gift box. Share a favorite experience you have had with your dad below. Happy Father’s Day!

Tips for the Emerging Sport: Pickleball!

Above you can see teams of two playing Pickleball on a court. Notice the low net, whiffle ball and enlarged ping pong like paddles being used.

Pickleball is an emerging racquet sport catching the attention of seniors as a fun, low impact sport. So what the heck is Pickleball and does it have anything to do with pickles? This sport is the perfect hodgepodge of ping pong, badminton and tennis, taking elements of each and creating a sport that is attainable for a range of ages. As for pickles, no green veggies will be on the court, however can I suggest a giant pickle holding a paddle as the mascot? The game is said to be named after the founders family dog Pickles, who enjoyed playing with the whiffle ball used for the game as they played in the yard with friends. Some say the original name of the game was called “Pickle’s Ball” but when the name was registered it was shortened to Pickleball.

Why Pickleball may be the perfect sport for you:

Do you like tennis but running all over a large court is a too intense? Pickleball may be just right for you. The courts are only a quarter of the size plus, if you play doubles you are only responsible for half of that!

Do you like the lightness of Pingpong paddles but wished they were a little bigger? Try Pickleball!

Do you like the idea of playing on a small court and having a partner on your team to play along side with just like badminton? Try Pickleball!

Do you like the thrill of a little friendly competition? Do you like social sports where you can make friends? You guessed it…try Pickleball!

It really is no wonder Pickleball is becoming a fast growing sport, you have physical, mental and social benefits all rolled into one heck of a fun game.

Important Tips for Beginners:

Tip #1Know the Rules– Many points are lost from simply not being familiar enough with the rules. Watching a game or two in person or online to become familiar with it before playing can boost confidence and help reduce errors.

Tip#2 Keep Moving– Standing still is your enemy, keep light on your feet to be ready for when the ball comes to your side of the court.

Tip #3 Keep Back, Stay Middle– Try to stay near the non-volley line as much as possible. You have the best odds if you hit the ball staying back in this position.

Tip #4 Keep Paddle High– Try to keep your paddle high at chest level, this way you are in the best position to react to your opponents hard shots.

Tip #5 Eye on the Ball– Just like tennis, ping pong and many other sports, it is vital to keep your eye on the ball!

Tip#6 Comfortable Attire– Make sure your shoes are comfortable and supportive and wear breathable clothes that allow you to move with ease. You cannot focus on the game if you are tugging at uncomfortable clothing that is too tight, too loose, too hot, bunches or rides up, or have sore feet from unsupportive shoes.

Tip#7 Just Breathe- A common unconscious mistake players make is holding their breath. When we focus intensely on something studies show we hold our breath. Many players forget to breathe steadily, hold their breath and start to feel unfocused or dizzy. Practice breathing out as you hit the ball until it becomes habit.

Have fun pickling it up this season!


How to Help Aging Parents with their Pets

Helping Aging Parents with their PetsHelping Aging Parents with their PetsBeloved pets are part of the family, so what happens when your loved ones can no longer care for them due to aging? There are options available to help you and your elderly family member make a decision that is right for all involved. If possible, we want to avoid the painful separation of pet owner and pet. Animals such as dogs and cats not only provide unconditional love and joy, pets also have clinically been shown to improve health in the elderly population. Just a few of the benefits include lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, depression and boredom.

Pets are a responsibility that require a certain amount of maintenance and care at any age. In some cases, it is inevitable that the pet must be re-homed. Moving into a pet restricted community such as an assisted living or nursing home is a common instance where a pet can no longer live with it’s owner. Below are tips for pet management and pet relocation acclimation.

Pet Service for hire-If your parent is having a difficult time taking the dog out for walks and potty time, hiring a dog walker may be a great option to choose.

  • Assisted Living or Retirement Community- If your parent is in a retirement community or assisted living, ask management if they can recommend anyone in the area. Often times there is already an established dog walker being used by fellow residents in pet friendly communities. If your parent needs help with their cat, ask the dog walker if they offer other pet services as well.
  • In-Home Pet Care- Check to see if there your parents community has a neighborhood social networking site such as or Here you can find people who live in the neighborhood or surrounding areas offering pet services. I prefer these types of sites over craigslist because you have the option to ask others in the community for input, recommendations and see other information on the individual. Another option is to find a company rather than a single individual in your area such as the nationwide company Fetch! Pet Care. This may be a bit more pricey, however, you may feel more comfortable with this type of establishment.

Find a volunteer- Do you or your parent belong to a church? Many churches offer volunteer opportunities to it’s members. If your church has a youth group ask if they offer summer or after school volunteer opportunities for the teens. Volunteering builds character, teaches responsibility, strengthens compassion and shows the value of giving back. This option could be a triple win your elderly parent, their pet and the volunteer. Volunteers can also be found by searching the web using key words such as “volunteer for the elderly” There are programs designated specifically for helping senior citizens in all areas including pet care.

Re-home to a family member or close friend- In cases where the pet cannot live with your parent either temporarily or permanently, the best alternative may be for the pet to stay with a family member or close friend. This gives peace of mind to your parent(s) that their beloved companion will be well taken care of and visits could be arranged. If people in your close circle are unable to adopt, extending your network pool to acquaintances and friends of friends would be the next step before considering a shelter. Post a nice photo of the pet on social media such as Facebook adding the reason why he or she needs to go to a new good home. This way the animal does not have to spend any time in a cage at a shelter and can go straight to a loving home.

Non profit organizations/No kill shelters for re-homing- Pets are lifelong commitments and when that commitment must be broken it can be very difficult emotionally to have that bond broken. Even if the owner has not been able to show his or her affection for the pet in some time due to ailments, illness or injury, the separation can still feel just as intense.Make sure all other options have been exhausted before choosing to surrender a pet to a shelter leaving this option as a last resort resource.