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June 2016
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In This Issue - June 2016

Minds in Motion Class Comes to Avon
What if a simple song could reconnect someone to the world?
Negotiating the Doctor's Visit


Let us be your direct link to help with Alzheimer’s
When you have a question about Alzheimer’s disease or what to do in caring for a loved one with the disease, please call or email us:

www.alz.org/cleveland to "chat" with one of our staff via the website, available Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 pm.

Quick Link: Upcoming educational classes for caregivers

Did you know that your Amazon purchases could benefit the Alzheimer’s Association at no cost to you? Click the AmazonSmile logo on Amazon.com and select Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter (Beachwood, Ohio)




Minds in Motion Class Comes to Avon

The Cleveland Area Chapter is proud to announce the expansion of its Minds in Motion program! Residents in Lorain County and surrounding areas will now have easy access to our very popular social engagement program. The classes are held the second Thursday of each month from 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm at the Avon Lake Senior Center and designed specifically to enrich the mind, body, and soul of those with mild to moderate memory and thinking disorders and their loved ones. Pre-registration is required. Please contact Taylor Young at 216.342.5589 or tyoung@alz.org to learn more.

Click here for the schedule.


What if a simple song could reconnect someone to the world? 

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is teaming up with the Ohio Department on Aging to get music into the hands of people who can benefit from it! “Music & Memory” helps people living with a wide range of cognitive and physical challenges to find renewed joy in life through music that is personally meaningful. Music can help to reduce depression and anxiety, help with behavioral problems, and improve quality of life for persons living with dementia.
Here’s how they can help:

  • Helping you create a personalized playlist
  • Providing or setting up an mp3 player
  • Providing gift cards to purchase music

Click here to learn more


Negotiating the Doctor’s Visit

It can be difficult to get a person to go to the doctor for a diagnosis or routine check-ups. The person may fear getting a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or a related illness. Validate his or her fears, but state your position.

For example, say: “I know you are healthy, and you feel you don't need to see a doctor, but I am concerned about some of the things I see and would feel better getting the doctor’s opinion about what’s going on.” Try to reassure the person: “There are some treatable conditions that cause similar symptoms. Let's go see the doctor to find out what he/she thinks.”

Emphasize treatment/prevention. “If there is something wrong, we don't want to delay treatment.” Using the words “Alzheimer's” or “dementia” can increase resistance. Use language that is comfortable for the person, such as “changes that could mean a lot of different things, so we need to see a doctor.”

Tips for getting a person to go to the doctor:

  • Schedule the appointment at a time of day when the person feels his/her best or rested (e.g., early in the day, just after an afternoon nap).
  • Pair the appointment with a trip to a place that the person enjoys, such as a restaurant or store.
  • Tell the person he or she needs to go to the doctor for an annual wellness visit (now covered by Medicare).
  • Have the doctor's office call the person to schedule an appointment. The office can explain they haven't seen him/her for a long time and it's time for a checkup.
  • If the person is on prescription medications, tell the person that in order to continue a prescription, he or she must visit the doctor for a check-up.
  • To avoid making the person nervous or worried about a doctor’s visit, it is best not to give the person too much advance notice of the appointment. Tell the person only a day or two in advance of the appointment.

In later stages

  • Get the person ready to go. If they question where he/she is being taken, say that you are both going to the doctor and then out to lunch or for ice cream. This may take the emphasis off the doctor visit.
  • Consider taking a third person along to occupy the person in the car and in the doctor's office.
  • Use other physical problems as a way to get the person to the doctor. For example, if the person expresses other discomforts, such as a hip or hands hurting, explain that the doctor can take a look at that as well and may give him/her something to help ease the pain.
  • See if the doctor will do a home visit. If not, a nurse practitioner or a visiting nurse service may be able to do an assessment and report to the doctor.

Preparing for an initial doctor's visit

  • Doctors have a limited amount of time to spend with each person. Make the most of your visit by being prepared.
  • Write a list of concerns and issues. Keep a log documenting symptoms or behaviors (when they start, what time of day they occur, and how frequently they occur). Share this information with doctor.
    For example, “Last Tuesday, my spouse/partner got lost on the way home from the store.” Take all medications, both over-the-counter (vitamins, aspirin) and prescription to the visit. Or write them all down on paper.
  • Make a list of past and current health problems. Note if other family members had illnesses that caused memory problems.
    “My spouse/partner hasn't been sleeping well at night for about a month. He/she wakes up three times a night upset about something.”
  • Give your concerns to the doctor or the nurse prior to the appointment either in writing by mail, fax or e-mail or by making a phone call.
  • Bring a pad of paper and a pencil to take notes during the doctor visit.
  • If the person wears glasses and/or a hearing aid, be sure that he/or she is wearing the glasses and/or hearing aid. Also make sure the hearing aid is working properly.

At the doctor's office

  • Request that a Release of Information be signed so you can get information from the doctor and be in the room for appointments.
  • Ask the doctor to explain any tests and their purpose.
  • Ask the doctor to explain anything you are unclear about.
  • Take notes during the visit.
  • Answer the doctor's questions honestly and to the best of your ability.
  • Ask who will be the person who will be your primary contact for following the person’s care.
  • Ask under what circumstances the office should be contacted.
  • Ask what will the regular appointment schedule will be (e.g., every six months).
  • Ask whether you can schedule the next appointment while you are in the office. 
  • If symptoms get worse over time, the doctor may need to order more tests.

Tips for follow-up doctor visits

  • At each visit, the doctor will assess the person's progress. You can help keep track of changes in the person's condition and share them with the doctor.
  • Make a list of the types of issues and concerns you want to discuss with the doctor. Consider faxing or e-mailing the list to the doctor the day before the visit.
  • Bring to each visit a list of the person's prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Log any changes in memory, symptoms, mood, behaviors, and/or general health. Also record when the changes first occurred, how often they happen, and when it happens.
  • If you don't understand something, ask questions until you do. Don't be afraid to speak up and share your point of view. 
  • Take notes during each visit


Find a Support Group

Support groups are an open gathering of people with common issues, needs and interests who come together to share their thoughts and experiences to better cope with and manage the challenges of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Association support groups are available throughout the United States.

Find a support group anywhere in the country.


Important Dates in 2016


Our Helpline is here for you 24/7

Call (800) 272-3900

The Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline provides reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. Call us toll-free anytime day or night at 1.800.272.3900.

Our 24/7 Helpline serves people with memory loss, caregivers, health care professionals and the public. Highly trained and knowledgeable staff can help you with:

  • Understanding memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer's
  • Medications and other treatment options
  • General information about aging and brain health
  • Skills to provide quality care and to find the best care from professionals
  • Legal, financial and living-arrangement decisions

Our 24/7 Helpline also features:

  • Confidential care consultation that can help with decision-making, provide support, crisis assistance and education on issues families face every day
  • Help in a caller's preferred language using our translation service that features more than 200 languages and dialects
  • Referrals to local community programs, services and ongoing support

Find more caregiving tips online here!


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.